Old Delta 1460 lathe questions

Southern_Canuk

Scotty
User
Hey Everyone,

Longtime lurker but never really posted,

I was not planning on getting into wood turning this soon but instantly fell in love with the old iron look of the delta, but how are these lathes? I have little to no knowledge about lathes but I am very handy. Currently disassembled it to restore and replacing bearings (someone beat on them previously), and belt. It has an older Baldor 1/2hp motor that is in perfect shape just needed the capacitor replaced, it only came with a centering bit i believe it is, and 4" tool rest and it has the original stand with it but I will need to replace the wood. Doing a serial number search I managed to find it is from 1948.

Currently I only have what I paid for it into it which is $250, is it worth spending more on? If so what upgrades would you guys suggest? What is a good chuck to find/buy? What tools should I buy to start with? (I want to try bowls and Vases) Also for the replacement wood for the stands would it be better using something like ash or just purchase pine?

Thanks!
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
I have a similar unit but mine I think is a 1350, I believe a 1992 version, never really looked into too much.

Mine had a constant velocity pulley system. So, when you turn the lever on the front it swages the pulley smaller or larger depending on the direction you are moving it. This changes the speed of the spindle. Yous I think is a set of pulleys you move the belt to change speed.

I didn't like that too much, and the original motor was too weak. So I converted it 1st to a DC motor with a variable speed controller.

But, after a while I converted it to 1.5 hp 3ph 208 motor with a VFD (Variable frequency driver). This runs on a 220 circuit. Like it way better now.

As far as the Delta unit itself. It is a great lathe as long as you do not need to turn anything bigger than a 12" diameter piece.... here is the manual. This will help you

If it was me I would build the table top out of Baltic birch 1.5 thick (2 3/4 glued together) then use use Ash or something else hard for the legs/supports.
 

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Southern_Canuk

Scotty
User
Oka thanks for the manual! That will help with finding some different accessories and I am glad to hear these lathes are great. I was hoping I didn't jump the gun too fast and make a mistake. I'm debating about running it with a bigger motor and a variable speed drive later on after I learn the ropes but I was wondering why a ply Baltic birch top?
 

Oka

Oka
Corporate Member
Baltic birch ply when you glue 2 3/4 piece together you make a very stiff and stable top, that is REALLY important for a lathe.
Remember when something is spinning, the inertia is great so you need to minimize the vibration and any possible flex motion. Otherwise, it could cause the turning piece to get loose.. Alsop you will want to bolt it to the floor.
My lathe has a cast/steel bottom, the thing weighs close to 400 lbs and the lathe will still move when 1st turning a larger piece especially at first until you have it roughed in.
 

Southern_Canuk

Scotty
User
Bob - Thanks for the link. It will give me all the details I need and answer quite a few questions on reassembly.

Oka - Ok I figured it was for weight but I never knew it would be that heavy. I'll go buy a sheet and have it ripped down to the size I need.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Here's a drawing from OWWM.org that one of the guys did. This is for the cast iron legs that were normally bought with the lathe. Those cast iron legs these days are highly desirable and thus bring a premium. At the bottom is a photo of my 1939 1460 that I hopped up with a custom pulley set, DC motor, and a gear rack for a compound.

Delta lathe board dimentions.jpg


1 1460 - 1.jpg
 

Southern_Canuk

Scotty
User
Bob - Perfect drawing to reference for the new wood. Thanks for locating that. I have been out in the shop stripping the parts today and haven't had much time to browse through but looking at your DC motor i bit the bullet and will be doing the conversion. You and Oka have done it so changing belts must get tiring faster than I thought so might as well tack it onto the list.

One more question for you guys, I chemically stripped all the paint off, used a nylon wire wheel to finish cleaning it and sprayed it with a sand able rust converter for now. Should I hit it with a primer before paint? Usually I would just spray over the rust converter but I have never finished cast iron before.
 

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