Walker Turner Lathe Restore. Fighting to the bitter end.

Walker Turner Lathe Restore. Fighting to the bitter end.

In 2013 I happened to be working in central NY and this came up in Lumberjocks. A free Walker Turner Lathe. It was a great idea at the time and in the end, it’ll all work out. But talk about a rocky road. Doesn’t this stuff realize I don’t need another reason to drink? This Walker Turner Lathe Restore increased the intake.

When I got the information, I was headed to pick up a working unit. So the unit looked like this.


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Why would any paint such a nice unit this color?
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Then I find out there is no motor. No Motor on a working unit? Ugghh

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So after I get it back to the shop, the plan is to take the motor off my Craftsman lathe. But the motor mount is different (a lot thicker) so the belt doesn’t work. And not really understanding how the clutch works, I’m not sure how to measure it, so I order a link belt.

While that’s being shipped I start stripping it, thinking all the time ”you really should make sure it works first”. But I continue on. Its stripping and wire wheeling and scraping and more stripping and heating and scraping and wire wheeling. They had painted over everything. And had stripped nothing. Rust? Ahh, just hide it.

I completely wore out one wheel.

Even an old Stanley seen some action. Actually, a lot of action.

The next bone head move I make is breaking the arm for the speed adjustment. So now some more wait while that gets rewelded.

Then priming and painting.


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Next bone head move. There is a grease fitting on the shaft the clutch assembly is on. So I grease it. Seem logical right? Turn it on and the next thing I know I have grease all over the inside. Do you know how well a well greased v-belt works?

Take it apart and clean it. The only way to clean the belt is take it apart, one link at a time.

Finally I get the belt back together and everything de-greased and the speed control doesn’t work. I specifically didn’t take it apart, because I didn’t want to screw up my “working” unit and NOT be able to get it back together right.. I fiddle with it for hours and nothing works. Finally out of desperation I take it all apart again, and this time take the clutch assembly apart. Through some reverse engineering and a few Jack Daniels, I figure out the clutch assembly isn’t put together correctly. Back together it goes. A new approach, put it together right this time.

By now my nice new paint job looks 5 years old, but the speed control is working. Well, speed controls working sweet, wow, we may be on our way.

Now I discover the 1/3 HP motor is no where’s near powerful enough to run this lathe. It hardly turns it over empty.

The only other motor in my shop has my course wire wheel on it. I hate to give that up, but decide at least temporally that one horse will work. Dissemble it from the wire wheel, put the lathe back together and everything seems to be smooth as silk. Spins nice, speed controls working sweet, wow, we may be on our way. Now I can actually enjoy a Jack.

But wait something’s not right. Its spinning backwards. I spew a long string of profanity I learned in my truck driving days and take he lathe apart again. Screw it, I’ll reverse the motor. A great plan that would have worked fine had the motor actually been reversible.

So as I’m standing there I have another brilliant idea. And no, I haven’t been drinking yet! “Hey” I think. All I need to do is walk around the other side of the lathe. OK, the speed control will be on the wrong side, but who cares, at least till I dig up another motor. Put it all back together again.

Hmmmmm, isn’t that nice. Spins nice, speed controls working sweet, wow, we may be on our way. Now if I had only noticed the drive spindle will only work in one direction. And not one direction at a time, but one direction period.

So that’s were we’re at nice Walker Turner Lathe Restore, spinning backwards. Uugghhh. Where’s my Grizzly catalog. Honest hon, a new motor is the last thing I’ll ever ask for.

Making a new hand plane knob

UPDATE: Well after doing this Walker Turner Lathe Restore, the Reeves Pulley system stopped working. I was pretty bummed and completely discouraged. I had grown accustom to this lathe. But I finally decided to take it apart. Come to find out, there is a couple set screws that had just worn out. I put new bolts in and it’s back up and running.


Making Another hand plane knob