Turning Archive 2008

Help Sears 351. 217170

Gary Smyth
>OK, several years ago I bought a Craftsman (Chinese) 351.217170 lathe with 38" spindle length, 15" inboard and 20" outboard capability. Cast iron bed, 1 HP DC motor, MT2, 1x 8 TPI spindle and I paid , I believe, $280 for it—pretty close to ˝ something comparable. It is variable speed 400-2000 rpm. For what I bought it for the item was, and is fine for occasional use except for the bearings and they’re driving me nuts. Sounds like marbles. Note: It has made the sound from the beginning and because I didn't believe what I heard way back when (1997) I checked out two same model number lathes at that time and all had the same slop. Anyway, I this past week called Sears about the lathe to see if there was a better motor/bearing assembly and sure enough, zippo--it's no longer offered in the configuration I have. What a surprise. No assembly is available, and the assembly for a motor and bearings if the current replacement is purchased will not fit in the old housing in the bed. The bearings are listed as STD315225 or 6202ZZ double shielded

Still the lathe is decent enough, even good, if I can just smooth out the motor sound and maybe (if I can find something better) with a new motor get some additional torque for bigger stock.

Here’s what I need help with. I know next to nothing about bearings. If I replace the marbley sounding Sears bearings with new bearings, will the new ones (say Timken or the like) work smoother or am I buying more of the same noise only newer?

Anyone ever had this lathe and done the surgery? Any suggestions as to how adding a new motor might be done? Making it pretty is not my concern, but safety is, with kids and animals about. I can do this if I knew what to ask for. Ideas please. I don’t need a new lathe just a decent tweak.

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