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Heavy Duty Iron Woodturning Lathe

An unusual, very heavy duty wood lathe with 50" bed, but only 16" between centers, due to the massive headstock and tailstock. 13" swing, 10 1/2" over the tool rest. The intended use for such a heavy lathe of such limited capacity eludes me. Perhaps to turn wood hubs for wagons and carriages?

The spindle is fitted with a 4 point spur drive with the most unusual taper I have come across in 19th c. American lathes. It is essentially a 7/8" straight shaft except for the very end, which has a slight taper. It doesn't slip and is easily removed. However, a vacuum is formed unless the center is withdrawn slowly to allow air to escape and it pops back out if rapidly pushed in, due to compressed air. The tailstock ram is fitted with an MT2 cup center. The ram clamping lever appears to be homemade, but works well. A fine user lathe as long as you don't need to turn long spindles. You won't have to bolt this one to the floor!

headstock with adjustable thrust bearing. The spindle end has 1 1/2" 7tpi threads.

left end view. Note 3" hole in ends of bed

The brass name plate reads "O'Brien Machinery Co., 119 North Third Street, Philadelphia, PA"

Left view showing heavy decorative legs more typical of early metal lathes.

the tool rest In addition to the 9" original tool rest, there is a user made 12" blade.

The 5' countershaft with 4 pulleys to match the 4 steps of the headstock and a 15" spoked driven pulley. The countershaft and pulleys may be purchased separately (by the lathe buyer only)for $75. (Most lathe buyers want to use an electric motor belted to the spindle pulleys and don't want to hang a countershaft)

Price: sold (Buyer must pick up or arrange transportation)
Safe storage until your next trip to Maryland is no problem.
Items reserved by email will be held 10 days and shipped upon receipt of your check. Please wait to mail your check until you receive email confirmation of your reservation.

Contact: Richard Van Vleck - Email:

© 2006, American Artifacts, Taneytown, Maryland.