1930's Companion Wood Lathe

Discussion in 'Other metal working projects' started by Tops, Sep 8, 2022.

  1. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    I needed a spoke shave the other day and there were none to be found save on Amazon and the the more exclusive woodworking stores an hour's drive one way...so in true fashion I drove that hour one way and bought a vintage lathe off of Craigslist instead. Appears to be 1930's in the Sears range. I managed to round over a piece of 2x2 last night with only 2 or 3 attempts to fix the work between the centers. I can already see the accessories costing more than the lathe and that I'd probably be better off upgrading versus accessorizing but in any case it seems like a good project for learning turning and possibly a light restoration. It runs out pretty good at a couple speed settings.

    Question #1 is the little caps, both on the lathe (smooth tapers with a knurled top, one missing) and on the GE motor (both gone). Are the motor ones available and what does one call them? Otherwise I might be swayed to go for the copper and brass oiling system.

    tops_lathe1.jpg tops_lathe2.jpg lathe1.jpg ge_oilers1.png
  2. crazybillybob

    crazybillybob Silver Banner Member

    Those look like oiler cup caps that are missing. Might have to order a whole new cup.
    Tops likes this.
  3. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

  4. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    You could fix the spindle oil holes with Gits oil caps because they're total loss and require continual replenishment. But on the motor you could probably stuff some dense felt in there just to keep the dirt out and then remoisen occasionally if you dont want to monkey around yanking the old cups out. Although the motor holes may already have debris in there making a service job more justifiable.
    Just my 2 cents.

    Tops likes this.
  5. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    Thanks Pete, nice to have the manufacturer's name for the caps. The motor seems
    to be taking oil about like the lathe, 5-6 drops from a small tin of 3-in-1 or compressor oil a session. Does that seem excessive?
  6. Petee716

    Petee716 Gold Banner Member

    That is excessive for the motor and not the right oil for either application. I put a couple drops of 30 weight in my small motors a couple times a year. As for the spindle, do some research to find an educated recommendation. I dont have one for you, but it wont be 3in1. Those should be topped off every time you use it.

    Tops likes this.
  7. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    Thanks Pete. Did a little more digging beyond the website that said 3-in-1 is OK. Looks like many of the impregnated bronze bearings would have had SAE30 from the factory. The motor using oil is a bit of a letdown. I was almost done with a tapered piece on the lathe and I caught the skew chisel and tore out a hunk...twice... So I need to fix tools and techniques.
  8. Jason

    Jason Gold

    Do you still need a spoke shave? I've got one collecting dust.... I'll never use it.
  9. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    I still do need one. I'll send you a message...
  10. Tops

    Tops Silver Banner Member

    I have not done any restoration work yet, but I did adjust the position of the motor mount to get a straighter/tighter belt on the two 'settings' that I am likely to use. The outer flange of the large sheave on the lathe is bent so I am using the other two. It also looks like the pulley on the motor and on the lather are for different belts. I did manage to glue up a couple odd piece of scrap poplar, taper and square it up to an acceptable starting point, and turn it into a reasonable rope-working fid. It is sanded and stained and drying, waiting for varnish or beeswax.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2022
    Jason, DaveZ and Tobho Mott like this.

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