Fixing the lathe
I have an old lathe that I bought about 9th hand from an old guy in Thomasville, NC. He had gotten it from a flea market. I gave him $100 for it. Works ok, but needs some fixing, and so far can be done cheaply.
1. Too lightweight. I bolted the lathe to a worktable that wasn't being used and put some bags of concrete underneath. Beefs it up pretty nicely. Cost: $0. Had all the stuff already.
2. Replaced three bolts. The tool rests lock in place with bolts that are threaded at 1/4 x 20. But the bolts that were in place (probably replaced a hundred times) were galvanized and soft. These worked, but had to be tightened and loosened with an open or closed end wrench and were extremely inconvenient. Not to mention that the softness of the bolts caused them to shear off and become unuseable. SO, I had heard a tip about using a Dremel to grind a slot in the end of a sheared off bolt and try to use a screwdriver to get the bolt out. It worked on ONE of the two broken bolts. A friend of mine was able to grind the other bolt, center punch and drill it, and get the bolt out with an "EZ-OUT" bolt remover. I replaced these with phenolic star knobs which have a harder bolt. Perfect and VERY convenient! Cost: About $7.50. (3 knobs at $2.50 each)
3. The bed is a steel tube with a rectangular strip of metal riveted to the bottom. The tool rest arm slides on the tube and has the negative of the tube with metal strip so that it does not slip around. That metal strip on the bottom of the tube is loose. Looks like the heads of some of the rivets have broken off. Might be a simple fix, but will have to be unbolted from the bench. A pack of rivets is cheap and I have a friend with a riveting tool. Cost: pack of rivets.
4. Could use a nice sprucing up. Cleanup cost: Free. Painting cost: can of spray enamel.
All in all, a nice little lathe. Not fancy or great, but I probably got more than I paid for.