Turning Archive 2004
Earl in Elkton MD
I have the opportunity to buy an old used Oliver lathe, model 51-B, with 12" swing and 36" center to center. From the serial number lookup on www.oldmachines.com, it would appear to be from 1926-1927.
The motor is made by Kimble, and looks original. The nameplate says it is a single-phase, direct-drive, 1/2-hp motor, with a variable speed range of 600 - 3600 rpm. It seems to run fine through the whole range of speeds. (i didn't turn any wood, just turned on the motor and cranked it up.) The lathe base is solid iron or cast-iron, couldn't really tell for sure which, but it's heavy. The lathe components ride on an I-beam, which is supported by two A-frame style legs.
I can't seem to get the digital picture small enough to upload so can't post a picture yet. I'll keep trying.
The beast is dirty and needs a little TLC, but seems to be complete and everything appears to work. The seller wants $350, will throw in a set of gouges, and will help me disassemble and haul it away. He bought it from a woodshop going out of business in New Jersey some years ago, and has used it lightly. He doesn't know any history beyond that.
I'm a complete novice, so I'm concerned that I won't know the right questions to ask. What should I worried about? Does this sound like a good deal for me, or a good deal for the seller?
Many thanks in advance,
(The link below is to a listing in the oldmachines Oliver pages that sounds very much like this one, although built a decade earlier.)
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- Old Oliver lathe *LINK*