Wood Lathe Restoration





Introduction: Wood Lathe Restoration

Restore a wood lathe.

Step 1: Wood Lathe

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

Step 2: Disassemble

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

Step 3: Bolts

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

Step 4: Wash

Wash the large parts and dry.

Step 5: Paint Removal

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

Step 6: Wipe

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

Step 7: Grind

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

Step 8: Tape

Tape off parts that will remain unpainted.

Step 9: Prime

Prime the parts.

Step 10: Electric Motor

Disassemble the electric motor.

Step 11: Clean and Prime Motor

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

Step 12: Paint

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

Step 13: Hardware

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

Step 14: Buff

Buff all the shiny bits.

Step 15: Reassemble

Reassemble the beast.

Step 16: Alignment

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

Step 17: Banjo Lock

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

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

Step 19: Stain

Stain or paint the stand.

Step 20: Mount the Motor

Secure the motor with heavy bolts.

Step 21: Mount the Lathe

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


Step 22: Complete

Plug in the beast and make sure everything is groovy.



    • Casting Contest

      Casting Contest
    • Oil Contest

      Oil Contest
    • Make it Move Contest

      Make it Move Contest

    We have a be nice policy.
    Please be positive and constructive.




    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.

    1 reply

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

    Nice .. It seems like new ..

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

    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!

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

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