Author Topic: Prentice Brother's Lathe?  (Read 659 times)

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Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« on: June 14, 2017, 12:29:25 PM »
Hello there,

On to my next piece of machinery... Maybe... This one I don't own yet, but I found it for $600, and am sorely tempted, and want to know more about it. The aesthetics of it have me hard in love with it, but I actually know very little about lathes, this would be a purchase of opportunity, rather than immediate use... So here are some pictures.... Thoughts/opinions? Metal lathes don't come up often here, and they're never this pretty <3

Seller states it works good...

Thanks.









« Last Edit: June 14, 2017, 12:38:41 PM by Twilight Fenrir »

Offline oldgoaly

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2017, 01:02:06 PM »
Best website for info on lathes is here! http://lathes.co.uk/
check for wear on the bed where the carriage rides along that is the easiest to see, if it under power turn something to see ha well it works.
A bunch of pics (3000+) of tools and project in our shoppe
https://www.facebook.com/187845251266156/photos/?tab=albums

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2017, 06:22:41 PM »
Best website for info on lathes is here! http://lathes.co.uk/
check for wear on the bed where the carriage rides along that is the easiest to see, if it under power turn something to see ha well it works.
Very insightful page n.n I've been reading up a bit on it, and man, having a lathe sounds so much better than I had even dreamed XD

She's a decent sized machine, a little over 6' in length (actual machine size, not stock size) which sounds like a good size for my shop. I can always sell it, and get a bigger one if the need arises, but aside from making parts for other machinery, and perhaps being able to bore out and bush my post drill press, I don't have a pressing need for a lathe NOW. But I know I will in the future when I can throw more time into my shop. And, if this thing isn't worn out, it looks like an absolute treasure.

I'm still really nervous about it, though... Except for a honking big (36" diameter stock big) lathe at a local machine shop, I don't know that I've ever even seen a metal lathe in person XD Maybe I should look up some youtube videos and get better visual aides to go along with the written information.

Offline rustyfordgarage

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2017, 07:07:01 PM »
Check out David Richards on Youtube.  He has a steam powered shop full of machine tools similar to that lathe. Keith Rucker and his site /channel Vintage Machinery are also a good resource.

Offline turnnut

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #4 on: June 14, 2017, 07:14:16 PM »

Offline oldgoaly

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #5 on: June 14, 2017, 07:17:37 PM »
Lathes are like most machines one size doesn't fit all.  It takes a little longer to set up the threading gears but they cut just like one with quick change.
A bunch of pics (3000+) of tools and project in our shoppe
https://www.facebook.com/187845251266156/photos/?tab=albums

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2017, 06:59:41 AM »
Will do, thanks!

Already been to Vintagemachinery, they're always one of my first stops. They didn't have any information on this particular machine, though the company history was interesting...

Actually, I'm starting to wonder if the belt drive part is original, or if the drive shaft was originally remotely mounted, and someone cobbled it together onto the machine... I'll have a better feel for that when I go look at it...

Lathes are like most machines one size doesn't fit all.  It takes a little longer to set up the threading gears but they cut just like one with quick change.

Yeah, I'm starting to question whether or not this machine is big enough... It's probably not going to be my end game lathe... But, as long as it's in good shape, it might be a good one to learn on...

I actually quite like the idea of physically replacing to gears to change  gearing :P I love anachronisms, and it gives the machine character...

Offline turnnut

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2017, 07:05:51 PM »
 that looks like an interesting lathe,  with all your projects, I'm sure you will find use for it.

Online Northwoods

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #8 on: June 16, 2017, 06:17:43 AM »
"Purchase of opportunity".  I need to remember that one to try out on Mrs Northwoods. Wish me luck.
The ORIGINAL Northwoods.

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #9 on: June 16, 2017, 06:21:25 AM »
The more I think about it, the more things I can think of I could use a lathe for... :P Making parts for my other machinery would be nice

"Purchase of opportunity".  I need to remember that one to try out on Mrs Northwoods. Wish me luck.
Haha, good luck! I only need to run things past my dogs, and they're pretty chill about it :P

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2017, 06:19:42 PM »
Well, it was probably the wrong call, but I loaded the lathe into my El Camino and brought it home for $500. It's a little bit rough around the edges (metaphorically) but the important bits seem to be in good repair.... Time will tell. It did come with a brand new chuck in an adorable little wooden crate X3

Thanks for the input n.n

Offline turnnut

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2017, 07:09:43 PM »
good luck with this project,  but I hope that you do not tell us that you need to buy another lathe to make parts for the Prentiss.

only kidding, good luck.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 06:35:14 PM by turnnut »

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2017, 10:03:34 AM »
good luck with this project,  but I hope that you do not tell us that you newed to buy another lathe to make parts for the Prentiss.

only kidding, good luck.

It seems to be in working order.... Some of the frills are compromised... I'll get more details of it in a couple weeks... As much as I am inclined to futz with it, I have to get ready for my demonstrations next weekend.

Online Yadda

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2017, 10:19:04 AM »
I look forward to future posts on this subject.
You might say I have a tool collecting problem....

Offline Twilight Fenrir

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Re: Prentice Brother's Lathe?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2017, 05:33:24 PM »
I finally got around to doing just a little bit of putzing with the lathe today... I put on a new flatbelt, and mounted the brand new chuck that came with it.

The plate the chuck is mounted on appears to be .0025" excentric. If I set it to zero in one spot, it cranks out to .005 180* around the plate. But, if I zero it 90* to either side, I wind up with +/- .0025". After mounting the chuck, I re-ran the test on the narrow pass between the chuck jaws and the tightening screws, and I get the same results, +/-.0025. So at least it appears I have the chuck mounted nice and square.

I'm not sure how much this should concern me... Though, I'm guessing probably not terribly much... .005" is one third, of one 64th of an inch... I don't foresee needing that kind of tolerances any time soon...

I don't appear to have a chuck key, and the size is a little odd, so I can't slip anything in it at this very moment. No big worry, I'm a blacksmith, a chuck key will be easily made. It's just between 3/8" and 1/2" so I don't have anything I can just cram in there to fool around with it immediately on hand :P


I've been watching videos on techniques, and tools, and parts I can make for my lathe, on my lathe... I've got quite a few projects in my head already :P I'm also considering using my lathe as an end mill.

I've done some reading, and the big problem with using a lathe as an end mill appears to be that the tool rest isn't rigid enough to support the piece adequately. (As well as having a limited range of movement up/down) But, I notice my lathe has something no other lathe I've seen has... great big honking T-slots on the apron on either side of the valley, and on either side of the tool rest. (though, the far rear one is broken off... ouch...) But this would certainly be sturdy enough if I could figure out a proper design...

But that's a far off project. Of more immediate concern is the steady-rest on my lathe is thrashed, and I'll need to make a new one. But, my first project, when I get around to it, will be making a new arbor for my 1950's 13" Craftsman bandsaw, as the section that holds the v-belt drive pulley is stripped on mine.

Of even greater concern I guess... is figuring out how to level the damn thing on my horribly uneven concrete floor... I understand lathe's need to be as close to dead level as possible... and that's gonna be tough to do... especially given there are no adjusting feet on the lathe.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2017, 05:44:10 PM by Twilight Fenrir »