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Thread: Can you tell me anything about this lathe here in New Jersey?

  1. #1
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    Can you tell me anything about this lathe here in New Jersey?

    I know nothing about turning but would like to try it. There is a lathe for sale on the Jersey Shore craigslist , it includes a bunch of knives. Its $190 and is said to be from the 1920's. if you do a search on the Jersey Shore craigslist under lathes, its easy to find. Can someone take a look at it and tell me if its worth buying?
    Thanks
    Dennis

  2. #2
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    Dennis, I don’t know a lot about wood lathes either but other than the motor looking a little anemic it looks like a fair deal.
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  3. #3
    I'm the kind of guy that would jump all over that. The turning tools alone are worth more than $190.
    The first thing I'd do is put a new motor on it....but that one would probably work for getting started.
    Hard to tell what the bearings would be like.
    But it would make for a fun project.
    ~john
    "There's nothing wrong with Quiet" ` Jeremiah Johnson

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennis thompson View Post
    I know nothing about turning but would like to try it. There is a lathe for sale on the Jersey Shore craigslist , it includes a bunch of knives. Its $190 and is said to be from the 1920's. if you do a search on the Jersey Shore craigslist under lathes, its easy to find. Can someone take a look at it and tell me if its worth buying?
    Thanks
    You might locate a turning club near there and see if an experienced woodturner would take a look at it and advise.
    I didn't look for that lathe. Maybe you could copy and post some pictures from the Craigslist ad.

    Nearly any lathe would be useful for some turning if it has:
    - a motor that runs
    - enough power in the mower
    - a means to change the speed (stepped pulleys, etc)
    - an adjustable tool rest
    - enough "swing" (space between the spindle and the bed) for what you might want to turn.
    - a tailstock with a working quill
    - a bed that is reasonably straight and flat

    Besides that, there are numerous things that can make turning more fun and productive or alternatively cause a lot of frustration. Some things that have evolved to make today's lathes useful may be missing on an older lathe. Some:
    - A drive spindle threaded so a chuck or faceplate can be mounted.
    - A drive spindle with a morse taper socket for accessories, typically #2MT these days
    - A way to use a live center in the tailstock
    - A #2MT socket in the tailstock quill

    Note that a lathe without these may still be useful for some turning but hard to say if it would be worth the money without seeing the lathe. For example, a dead center (without bearings) was used for a long time but it often had to be lubricated.
    The usefulness of the tools would depend on the quality and how they were treated. Some cheap tools are not properly hardened and won't hold an edge very long.

    If this lathe is missing some key features, you might keep looking for an inexpensive but more modern lathe. For example, I paid $150 for a used Jet Mini lathe which is an excellent starter lathe with reasonable power, stepped pulleys, 10" swing, spindle with a common thread, and #2MT sockets in both headstock spindle and tailstock.

    BTW, besides a lathe and some useful tools, you will also need a way to sharpen the tools, typically a bench grinder.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    https: // jerseyshore.craigslist.org/tls/d/forked-river-lathe-antique-flat-belt/6925571061.html

    It is indeed an old OLD industrial lathe. It is not variable speed in that you can push a button or lever to change speeds. You must shut it down and then slip the belt from one pulley to another. That requires that the motor and other pulley be moveable in distance from each other.

    It appears to be well taken care of, but paint can hide a multitude of problems. The other thing as I see it, it the possibility that it has babbit bearings instead of ball bearings. Ball bearings can be replaced. Babbit bearings when wore out must be melted and poured by someone who knows what they are doing.

    If they are babbit bearings and they are shot, you may not know until you get up to a certain speed and then there will be a slight chatter, sometimes barely detectable. I would hate to have you buy it and find after getting your hopes set that the bearing is shot and you need to have somebody repair it. The expense alone could be more than the lathe cost. For just a little more money you can get a new 10 x 18 lathe from Harbor freight. It won't be as heavy duty, or be able to handle large work, but it will serve a beginner well. Used lathe knives are cheap at flea markets and yard sales and frankly, today's metallurgy is soo very much better and you don't need all those tools, just three or 4 good ones will do almost everything that can be done with the tools on that rack. Many turners now use almost exclusively carbide tools. My personal preference is the skew. I use a skew 80 percent of the time. A bowl turner may use a bowl gouge 80 percent of the time. Don't buy cheap lathe knives. (Avoid the $20 set at HF)
    Last edited by John K Jordan; 07-27-2019 at 8:59 PM. Reason: direct links to craigslist not allowed, remove spaces to use

  6. #6
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    I counted 32 chisels if they are average grade you would not get hurt just with them and yes a larger motor but it does not look that bad , one that old might have oil caps that you would use to keep the bearing what ever they are lubed.

  7. #7
    I dont know where in New Jersey you live but you are more then welcome to come to one of our meetings the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 7pm. The club is Atlantic shore woodturners club. We meet at the Howell community church in Howell. http://www.atlanticshorewoodturners....sX8XckNjXDT_gg. We have members just starting like you to members with years of experience.

  8. #8
    It does have oil caps. The larger ones. The chisels would interest me too, but I figure, about a third of old lathe knives are wore down to junk, or were junk to begin with. How many HSS or carbon steel spindle gouges can a person use? I have purchased about 50 old lathe knives and about a third were junk. One or two were old hand forged carbon steel and one of those, a skew has an odd shape and comes in handy. Two of the old spindle gouges were bent, and two of the parting tools were also bent. Of the 50, I use the heavier skews most.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Hilbert Jr View Post
    https: // jerseyshore.craigslist.org/tls/d/forked-river-lathe-antique-flat-belt/6925571061.html

    It is indeed an old OLD industrial lathe. It is not variable speed in that you can push a button or lever to change speeds. You must shut it down and then slip the belt from one pulley to another. That requires that the motor and other pulley be moveable in distance from each other.

    It appears to be well taken care of, but paint can hide a multitude of problems. The other thing as I see it, it the possibility that it has babbit bearings instead of ball bearings. Ball bearings can be replaced. Babbit bearings when wore out must be melted and poured by someone who knows what they are doing.

    If they are babbit bearings and they are shot, you may not know until you get up to a certain speed and then there will be a slight chatter, sometimes barely detectable. I would hate to have you buy it and find after getting your hopes set that the bearing is shot and you need to have somebody repair it. The expense alone could be more than the lathe cost. For just a little more money you can get a new 10 x 18 lathe from Harbor freight. It won't be as heavy duty, or be able to handle large work, but it will serve a beginner well. Used lathe knives are cheap at flea markets and yard sales and frankly, today's metallurgy is soo very much better and you don't need all those tools, just three or 4 good ones will do almost everything that can be done with the tools on that rack. Many turners now use almost exclusively carbide tools. My personal preference is the skew. I use a skew 80 percent of the time. A bowl turner may use a bowl gouge 80 percent of the time. Don't buy cheap lathe knives. (Avoid the $20 set at HF)
    Thanks for the Information, I'm going to pass on this
    Dennis

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