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Smashedfinger

Older Delta variable speed lathe

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I have the chance of getting an older Delta variable speed lathe,two nova chucks,and various Robert sorby tools, and the swing over lexan guard, for 650.00. It appears to have been used very little. does anyone have any experience with this type of lathe? The photo is a similar type (Rockwell not delta) I believe it was made around 1980. It only has a 12" swing, but I have seen riser blocks for it on eBay.

 

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I had one for a long time.  That's not a bad price, considering tools, and chucks.  Check to see if the speed control works.  It should only be adjusted while the machine is running.  The pulley that expands, and contracts to change the speed is a bit complicated, and was often messed up by someone not knowing how to operate it.  If that works, it should be fine.  If that doesn't work, I'd offer almost nothing for the machine.

The other issue is that sheet metal base makes it very loud.  There are all sorts of things that can be done to minimize the noise, but that's something else to have to do to it.

Much work has been done with those, but modern electronically speed controlled lathes are much more pleasant to work with.

The shield means it probably came out of a school, which doesn't matter much.

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I've not used one, but I've heard that the Reeves drive is the weak link and if broken next to impossible to replace.  So like Tom said, check the drive.  

The Lexan shield could be a nice thing if it's still clear, otherise you'll want to pull it off.  

For $650 there are some new lathe options in the mini category.  @Chestnut just bought a Comet II.  These would be smaller, but still capable tools.  Though you also have to weigh the value of the included chucks and tools.

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FWIW, I had a HF lathe with reeves drive. The drive stuck in the low position and couldn't get it loose. Scrapped it and bought a Rikon lathe. Personally, I would never buy anything with Reeves drive. Good idea but not IMHO.

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I went to see this lathe in Seattle. It was in pristine condition, the original belt looked new. Even came with a outboard floor tool rest. I did pass on it because I found a laguna 18/48 in excellent condition with a whole bunch of nice big bowl blanks for a few hundred more.

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