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Thread: Rockwell lathe and turning

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Default Rockwell lathe and turning

    I would appreciate any info. on a Rockwell 46-200 (older model) wood lathe, 8" swing, 3 pulley positions, 46" bed, work on either side, mounted on a wooden stand. Everything supposedly works.
    Would this be suitable for turning bowls etc. (I am a newbie).
    What would this be worth?

    Errol

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Quispamsis NB
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    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    If the price is right anything to get started with, get your feet wet, see if it is for you without breaking the bank.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Thanks but I really don't know what a good price is. I can purchase this lathe for $345 Canadian. Is that a fair price?
    Errol

  4. #4

    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    If bowls are your goal, I would pass on this lathe. Not enough speed control, not enough swing. Probably be an excellent lathe for spindles. If I were you I would get a lathe that has a minimum of 12" swing, and has a low speed of 500 RPM max. Lower the better.

    Michael

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Thank you for you info. Appreciate all the info. I can get while I am getting started.
    Errol

  6. #6
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    just what you thought :^')

    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Hi Erroll, welcome to the forum.
    I'm no expert on the Rockwell lathes, but I thought those 46-200 lathes were all 12 inch swing lathes, are you sure this one has only an 8" swing ???, that would mean the spindle is only 4" above the bed/ways !!
    If it is 8 inches above the gap of the bed, as the Rockwell gap-bed lathes are commonly, then you would have the normal 12" swing Rockwell 46-200, I think.
    If it is actually only an 8" swing lathe, that would pretty well eliminate it for making bowls.

    On the other hand if it is the 12" swing lathe, with an outboard turning setup, then you certainly can use that lathe for turning bowls, the only thing you best would do, is to get some more speeds on that lathe, come to think of it I think Pete's lathe is a similar one, and he's made some modifications on his and is turning all kinds of pieces on there, he'd be the better one to show his setup, I expect him to jump in here as soon as he sees this post.
    There are several turners on this forum that use a Rockwell lathe, these lathes are a quality build machine, and will outlast pretty well several generations of turners.
    Depending on the condition and the accessories that come with the lathe and the size of the motor and also the stand, (cast legs included ??) the prices go from a low of $200.-- to a high of $450.--, and much higher if the metal turning setup is included, and realistically you can't buy much of a lathe for under $800.-- in that size and quality.
    You could have a look at the new model Delta Midi lathe, that is quite a nice lathe as a small starter lathe or the General International lathe, but $$$ are more fore them, good luck

    Have fun and take care
    Leo Van Der Loo

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Thank you very much Leo. I will get back to the seller and determine if he can confirm the swing.

    Errol

  8. #8

    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Rockwell 46-200 is indeed a 12" swing as Leo pointed out. It is also a 4 speed. Go here for a schematic:
    http://www.acetoolrepair.com/46200-p-1681.html
    and here for some pictures to verify:
    http://www.owwm.com/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=8154
    Comments by Leo are all good, he knows his stuff
    Important things you should find out.
    Inspect the pulley on the headstock spindle for cracks or pieces missing. Expensive ($150) to replace
    Check out the motor HP 1 is nice but most of these lathes came with 3/4HP which is marginal.
    Check voltage and make sure it's not a 3 phase motor
    Is the motor pulley a match i.e. same sizes but in reverse to the spindle pulley?
    Slacken the V belt off and move it off the spindle pulley to the outboard and then turn the spindle by hand. Is it smooth turning? Any roughness means new bearings. Try moving the spindle side ways and up and down, there should be no play at all. Bearings are cheap and reasonably easy to replace.
    Accessories are readily available from all sorts of places because of the spindle size 1" x 8.
    If it's on a wooden bench then it depends on how well made and how functional the bench is but I would not consider it as a significant factor in the price. Chances are you will either build your own or modify it anyway.
    Basically one of the best line of lathes made as far as quality and versatility. As they are now all pretty old it says something about their durability.
    The only down is the high slow speed but it's comparable to most modern lathes.
    Price seem reasonable but pictures would tell
    Some of my lathe rebuilds and improvements ( slightly older model)
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=22566
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=21597
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=21839
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=19042
    http://forum.canadianwoodworking.com...ad.php?t=22618

  9. #9
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    Pass Lake ON
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    Default Re: Rockwell lathe and turning

    Thank you Pete for all the info. , very much appreciated . I will print this
    out and take it with me when I check it out.
    Appreciate any info. on turning to get started.

    Errol

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