Jazz Age Mini-Lathe | Popular Woodworking


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Some years back, when the company I worked for relocated out of state, I lost my job. While hunting for a new position and feeling a bit down, I visited a shop that sold used woodworking machines. I found a little pick-me-up there in the form of a #700 Goodell-Pratt bench lathe, made in the late 1920s, which I talked myself into buying. The price was $80. My wife wasn’t too keen about my purchase, but she said that fixing it up would be a good tonic for me.

She was right. I replaced the pulleys, which weren’t original, by turning new ones from 2″ dia. aluminum bar stock on my 12″ woodturning lathe. I cleaned all the lathe’s parts, repainted them black, added an on/off switch that would also reverse the motor’s direction, and built a portable stand with a drawer. I also made a set of miniature turning tools from some used HSS reamers. All that work certainly kept me busy!

The lathe weighs 9-3/4 lbs. and stands only 8″ high. It’s 12″ long overall, has a 5″ swing over the bed and is 3-1/2″ long between centers. I’ve since found that Goodell-Pratt made a wide range of accessories for it, including ones for metal turning. It makes a great mini-lathe, and provided a fun project when I really needed something to do. By the way, it took some time, but I did land a position with a very nice company. –Walter Kwiatkowski

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in American Woodworker #148


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