My Brand New [Fifty Some Year Old] Rockwell Delta 46-450 Lathe - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
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Default My Brand New [Fifty Some Year Old] Rockwell Delta 46-450 Lathe

What a nice couple days. Though I live in the toolies and, generally, find any good craigslist deals far distant, I looked at the list the other day and saw a Rockwell Delta 46-450 wood lathe for one hundred bucks and only a couple miles away.

Though I haven’t found a listing of how much yet, the beast weighs a lot. I’m guessing around four hundred pounds, with the base. As such, general turning operations using out of round wood, at low speeds, shouldn’t produce much vibration. Certainly not as much as my little Jet produces for things relative to its size.

I’d just touched a lathe for the first time a couple months ago, when I bought a little Jet off craigslist [in town about an hour from me]. Now that all my files have nice handles [as well as those of some friends and a neighbor], it’s safe to say the turning bug is alive and well in me. As such, when I saw the heavy iron beast, I had to look at it.

I didn’t attempt a negotiation on the price. The parts were worth far more than that. Especially since it’s the “new version” and the [120/240 VAC] motor ran and everything was there.

I broke the thing down to its stand, bed and head stock, and base so I was able to load and offload the thing myself (it steered at least as easy as a crappy car with a hand truck on the other end].

It had a lot of superficial rust, but, broken down, it’s proving easy to deal with.

I cleaned the shafts for the Reeve drive and that’s working fine. The speed control handle would turn, but wouldn’t lock. Cleaned of rust, it works fine and actually locks easy (and now I know how to adjust it).

A drive center was locked in place on the head stock and the indexing pen was rubbing and wouldn’t back off. A lot of penetrating oil and some taps with plastic hammers and soft drift punches and everything is free and moving again. A little light sanding, with oil, then a buff with McGuire’s Mag polish and things are starting to shine, as well as work smooth.

The upper bearings seem to be doing okay, but I’m tempted to drop the forty for new ones, just because. The lower ones might be talking, so those are going to be a “gotta do it” thing and might as well be done before I toss the bed and head back on.

I’ll probably go with a link belt, so I don’t have to disassemble the head and half of the U.S. to get the old one off and a new one on. I believe it’s going to take a 3/8, but the old one will tell.

I was elated to discover the tapers and threaded chucks for my little Jet can all be used on the 12”/36” Rockwell Delta.

The paint shows signs of age and neglect. Said to heck with it and am going to do like another guy did and go with a lighter color. Picked up a can of white primer and cream white oil. It’ll give the HVLP something to do.

Once it’s up and going, I’ll see if I’m happy with the speeds. Somewhere, an on-line manual or other, it’s indicated adjusting the Reeves drive cable will allow me to drop the speed lower than 340 RPM. We’ll see.

The reason I have what you want is, I never lent it out before.

Scraps are a myth.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 06:34 PM
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Good show, Kelly, I like to hear of persons restoring that old iron, a lot of will do just fine in the home shop. Maybe not all the bells and whistles of the new tools , but you can't beat them for heft and power, and most of the new frills are for marketing purposes anyway.

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 07:34 PM
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The thing I like best about the old iron is the amount of it they used. Cast iron soaks up vibration and the more of it there is the better it does it.

I have a a good turning book by Aussie Mike Darlow and he said that some guys are adding a shelf under the light weight lathes (like your Jet and my Delta) and loading them with sand bags or bags of cement. He said it will settle them down. He said one turner he knows poured a large concrete block and mounted his lathe to that.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 07:38 PM
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excellent score Kelly..
Happy turnings to you...
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This would have been the week that I'd have finished chewing thru the restraints...
If only new layers hadn't been added....

Forget the primal scream, just ROAR!!!
"SNORK Mountain Congressional Library and Taxidermy”
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-13-2016, 08:47 PM
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Congratulations, of luck with it...ole arn is addictive...
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 08:48 AM
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Great find and score. Ole iron is the best.

Bernie W.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 03-15-2016, 02:55 PM
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We should all be so lucky. look forward to pics.

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 08:13 AM
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Good luck with the lathe...hopefully you have done some nice turning on it by now.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-03-2017, 09:44 AM
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Nice find. They just don't make them like they used to. How about a photo of the finished lathe?

John T.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-04-2017, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Knothead47 View Post
Nice find. They just don't make them like they used to. How about a photo of the finished lathe?
Photographs of the finished lathe woudl be nice.
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