Introduction: Wood Lathe Restoration

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Restore a wood lathe.

Step 1: Wood Lathe

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I found a sturdy old wood lathe at an estate sale for pennies and decided to give it a spit shine.

Step 2: Disassemble

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Inspect the lathe and disassemble it. Take good photos of all the moving parts, they come in handy on reassembly.

Step 3: Bolts

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Cover the bolts and other small hardware in white vinegar to remove rust and grime.

Step 4: Wash

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Wash the large parts and dry.

Step 5: Paint Removal

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Use your favorite paint removal method. I chose aircraft remover this time around.

Step 6: Wipe

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Wire brush and wipe the parts down with a solvent. Allow to dry.

Step 7: Grind

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Cup brush any parts that need a little extra help with an angle grinder.

Step 8: Tape

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Tape off parts that will remain unpainted.

Step 9: Prime

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Prime the parts.

Step 10: Electric Motor

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Disassemble the electric motor.

Step 11: Clean and Prime Motor

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Clean out the motor and remove the paint. Prime the motor housing to ready for painting.

Step 12: Paint

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Select your paint colors and give all the parts a few good coats.

Step 13: Hardware

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After 4 or 5 days the vinegar should have done its job. Wire brush, dry and lubricate all the hardware.

Step 14: Buff

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Buff all the shiny bits.

Step 15: Reassemble

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Reassemble the beast.

Step 16: Alignment

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I replaced the drive center and live center. Took MT1 morse tapers. Check the alignment after installation.

Step 17: Banjo Lock

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This lathe didn't have a banjo lock, so I built one. You can see the instructable through the following link.

Step 18: Build a Stand

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Grab some lumber and build a stand to accommodate the lathe and motor.

Step 19: Stain

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Stain or paint the stand.

Step 20: Mount the Motor

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Secure the motor with heavy bolts.

Step 21: Mount the Lathe

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Mount the lathe and hook up the belt. Information on lathe speed can be found in the following instructable.

Step 22: Complete

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Plug in the beast and make sure everything is groovy.


RobertS176 (author)2016-11-13

Very nice job did you ever look into how to make your lathe variable speed. That is some how making the motor variable speed. I have a older lathe something like yours and would like to know how to make it variable speed besides just changing pulleys.

djpolymath (author)RobertS1762016-11-13

Haven't looked into making the motor variable speed, but it sounds like a fun project. Thanks for the suggestion.

respina_sina (author)2016-06-12

so nice ... good job man

YouOnlyL1 (author)2016-06-09

Nice .. It seems like new ..

Mjtrinihobby (author)2016-05-31


Mjtrinihobby (author)2016-05-31

nice write up.!

deathbyproxy (author)2016-05-28

I have to show my admiration at your restoration. Highly commendable and well carried out on all levels.

gm280 (author)2016-05-27

Very nice restoring job. You even reworked the motor. A lot of folks would not go that far. I'm glad you did. Hope you enjoy it for years to come. Thumps Up!

seamster (author)2016-05-26

Wow, this turned out looking sharp. Very inspiring work!

BeachsideHank (author)2016-05-25

Nice restoration, you don't see a gap bed wood lathe all that often either, a real keeper, thanks for sharing.

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