My “New” Old Lathe

New-old lathe

I bought this lathe from Al LeCoff in 1981 and turned on it for 20 years.  When I had to move my shop, I didn’t have a place for it right away, so I stored it in a barn for several years.  This Christmas I received a VFD (variable frequency drive) which allowed me to have both forward and reverse and variable speed controls on this machine which is now powered by a 2 hp 3 phase motor.  I spent the last couple of weeks rebuilding the wooden parts, and Saturday was the first day that I was able to turn on it.  The wooden bed on this lathe was 14 feet long when I bought it from Al: I’ve now shortened it to 7 feet.  The head and tail stock castings are so large that this leaves me about 4 feet between centers.


Here’s a photo of the tail stock showing the manufacturer’s logo cast into the tool: L. Power & Co. Phila. Pa.


This is the head stock.  This machine has babbitt bearings and a bronze thrust bearing on the outboard end.  The wooden pulleys were most likely driven by a line shaft at one time.  One of the jobs remaining is to mount the jack shaft to the frame: it’s just held by clamps now.  One might wonder why I’m inside writing about this in stead of in my shop turning on it.  The answer is that it’s barely going to break freezing today and my shop is not heated.

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