Another Shop Addition

Lathe as found in a garage in Roxbury, CT

Lathe as found in a garage in Roxbury, CT

A few weeks ago I found and purchased this old lathe. It was found in a garage out in the woods of Roxbury, CT. It is a 1941 vintage South Bend 9″ Model B bench lathe and it came on a solid butcher block maple bench. It was apart, but mostly in working order.

The finished lathe ready for work.

The finished lathe ready for work.

The bench was sanded and cleaned. The legs were repainted and I added a shelf and two stiffeners to make it more solid. Several coats of oil finish were put on the top to make it more resistant to oils and make keeping it clean easier. After disassembly and cleaning the lathe was reassembled and mounted to the bench. The switch and motor wires were replaced and the switch was rewired because the lathe ran forward in reverse and reverse in forward when it was hooked up. This was corrected and the motor/drive assembly was mounted to the bench in the proper location this time. A new leather spindle drive belt was made for it. Air was brought to the lathe and it is ready for use. You might ask what use this machine is in a woodshop? OLD TOOLS would be the answer.

Studs to mount knobs and totes to Stanley bench planes made on the South Bend lathe.

Studs to mount knobs and totes to Stanley bench planes made on the South Bend lathe.


Above are some studs made on the new lathe. These studs mount the knobs and totes to Stanley planes. There are many more jobs ahead for this machine including some new tooling for turning the bench plane knobs. One of my major goals is to bring back to use and keep in use as many old tools as possible. These old tools were useful in their day and they are still very useful in todays shops. I breakdown all my rough lumber with antique and vintage handsaws that I have restored and sharpened.

There are more shop improvements planed for the near future so stay tuned.

As always thanks for stopping by and feel free to leave a comment.


Professional furniture maker and restorer. Dealer and collector of vintage and antique woodworking tools.
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9 Responses to Another Shop Addition

  1. Pat says:

    Beautiful work as always. It looks great. Pat

  2. Kelly Wilson says:

    Like you I am rebuilding vintage wood working tools, both power and hand tools. I recently picked up a Logan 820 10 inch metal lathe. While I do love the metal working lathe. One must consider the amount of tooling required to make these things user friendly. I my self have invested several hundred dollars in tooling, micrometers and various measuring tools. Great blog I look forward to reading about how you progress with this fine tool.

    • I have been a toolmaker/machinist since I started my first apprenticeship in 1965. I still work part time running a machineshop inspection department. So the only tools I need are a few cutting tools and holders. Ebay will provide them.

      If you need any help feel free to ask.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Randy Allen says:

    Nice lathe, I’m sure it will be useful for you. I’d only seen Stanley planes with screws holding the totes on until I got my No 5, then I realized that there was supposed to be a stud and brass nut. Do you know what size the threads on the studs are? I’ve had trouble finding a match.

  4. Randy Allen says:

    I was afraid of that but was hoping that an all American firm like Stanley wouldn’t use obscure threading. It’s about like old British motorcycles or guns, many odd thread sizes. You wouldn’t know what size the threads are on Disston saw nuts would you?

  5. Steve says:

    It should be noted that at the time Stanley standardized on 12-20 it was the standard in industry.
    I learned this when researching why my model 71 had 1/4-20 threads. American Standard threads were the standard in the US until around 1949 when in co-operation with Canada and England we moved to “Unified” screw threads for interchangeability between the three countries. This process is detailed in my 21st edition of Machinery’s handbook. Probably more information than you wanted to know…

  6. Steve says:

    I also love the engine Lathe , You can not get the same quality in anything built since the 1950’s…
    I cut my teeth on an old US Navy surplus Monarch and have been looking for one worth the money since I retired…

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