Thursday, May 7, 2015

Swing Arm Task Lamp

Swing Arm Lamp

Months back I made this articulated arm lamp but the arms were too narrow and didn't develop enough friction to hold the lamp without drooping over time.

I made this swing arm lamp as an improvement. It reuses parts of the original hinge with a longer central pivot.

The bottom arm has a dowel that engages one of three notches in the upper arm. The notches are only about 3/8" apart but allow approximately 20" vertical movement.

Lowest position
Middle position
High position
When swung left it lights up my drill press table. When swung right it sets above my lathe's headstock.

Here is a free plan. You will need to adapt it to whatever lamp you have. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Rockwell Delta 46-111 Lathe, Part 3.1: Variable Speed

This will be my 2nd lathe converted to variable speed.

This is the lathe, a Rockwell 46-111, circa 1974. Which I have finished repainting. You can read more about the lathe in previous blog posts.

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This is the motor: 1.5hp at 90 VDC. Big improvement over the 1/2hp original motor. It's from a popular brand of treadmill. Originally it had a digital control panel and extra boards but I eliminated all that and attached a 5k linear taper potentiometer from Radio Shack. The treadmill cost me $30. I listed the control panel on ebay and it sold within hours for $35, plus $25 for the scrap metal and I came out ahead.

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Two things left to do.
  1. Make a new motor mount or modify the original. Shouldn't be difficult.
  2. The DC motor has a flat pulley but the lathe has V pulleys.

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The most common solution is removing the flywheel and attaching a V pulley. I could do that but then I lose the torque benefit of the flywheel and extra torque is always welcome on a lathe. 

This chap had a great solution. Unfortunately I do not have a metal lathe and at 1-1/8" dia the flat pulley on mine is too small to accommodate a V belt. 

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So I'm thinking I will make a 2nd pulley that will slide over the flat pulley. A 2" pulley would put me in the range of 3500 RPM at the spindle. I'll soon let you know how well it works.

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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Rockwell Delta 46-111 Lathe, Part 2: Paint

Indexing pin and tail stock levers that originally were bare metal but I painted them black to protect against rust and improve appearance.
Anything I could fit in a toaster oven was baked at approximately 150 degrees Fahrenheit for two hours. Not sure of the exact temperature but you could touch the parts with only mild discomfort. The paint instructions said not to exceed 190 degrees.

Freshly repainted tool rest and banjo. The color darkens when dry.

Repainted bed. Same color as tool rest but the paint has dried for a few days, and shop lighting is less intense.
Better than a new dog. That logo pops!
Tail stock back together with nice new paint, looks better than 1974.

Next steps are reassembly and conversion to variable speed.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Goodell Pratt bench lathe, Part 4: reproduction knob

My first try at a reproducing the missing tool rest knob. I goofed and made the diameter a bit too small but otherwise it looks pretty good. I'll make another but this was good for getting for the dimensions and general shape. We'll call it proof of concept.

I started by gluing up scraps of maple and beech. Beech is on the outside right.

I always forget to take pictures but I measured the original with calipers, transferred that measurement to the wood blank using the same calipers and a parting tool, then blended the curves.

Before cutting to final size, I drilled a 3/8" hole through the center and installed a 1/4-20 threaded insert. I also marked off 12 equal divisions around the perimeter using the indexing wheel of my lathe then ground 12 grooves using a Dremel. I didn't bother sanding out the burn marks because this will be painted black eventually.

After friction polish (shellac/oil). Not shown here but I also seated the threaded insert a little deeper.

Comparison with original:

Friday, April 24, 2015

Rockwell Delta 46-111 Lathe, Part 1: Overview

Picked up a 1974 Rockwell Delta 46-111 wood lathe. This was a light duty lathe sold by Delta for over three decades, from the 50's - 80's. It is a "gap bed" lathe. The theory being you can turn a larger piece near the head stock but the gap is so short that it would only be useful for turning plates or platters. Besides a little surface rust, the lathe is in excellent condition and included the original 1/2 hp motor and sheet metal stand.


  • 11"/14" swing
  • 36" between centers
  • 1"-8 spindle threads
  • #2 Morse tapers
  • 4 speeds (990, 1475, 2220, 3250)

In the late 60's or early 70's, Rockwell wanted to reduce cost so did away with the cast iron stand in favor of sheet metal which rattles like a meth head on a thunder machine if not braced and fastened to the floor. They also changed the tailstock from cast iron to cast aluminum. At least they upgraded it to a fast lever locking system instead needing a wrench.

The 46-111 indexing wheel has two rows. An inner row with 60 holes and an outer row with 8 holes. The manual includes a chart to tell you the #holes for common divisions.

Next step will be a good scrubbing, repainting, reassembly, then converting to variable speed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Goodell Pratt bench lathe, Part 3 of restoration project

The GP is painted and back together. The bare metal is waxed only, not shined and polished, something that may or may not be done. The vermilion/paprika color defies my phone camera so these pics are not exactly the right shade.

I have more plans for this lathe which I will cover in a future blog. It won't be restoration exactly, more reproduction work. Also considering a video of taking this apart and showing the inner workings, not much to show but might be interesting to a few. Let me know if you would like to see that in a video. Might be a couple weeks before another update as I have finished painting another machine and need to reassemble it.

Best representative of the vermilion color.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Goodell Pratt bench lathe, Part 2 - Painting

Vermilion Red

Goodell Pratt's trademark colors were black and vermilion red, which is an orange red. The closest I could find was Paprika by Rustoleum. It's not quite right but short of having a custom color mixed, it will do. And even if I wanted a custom color mixed, I have no perfect sample to match. The color on my lathe and grinder are not a perfect match, and I don't trust pictures on the internet. Speaking of pictures on the internet, if you Google "Rustoleum paprika", the color is more reddish. That's because I bought the wrong color. Someone had switched caps, putting a paprika lid on a can of orange paint and I didn't catch it until after I started spraying.

In the oven


Went back to the store and bought the right color paint. Pic below.

Here is [actual] Rustoleum Paprika. 
My GP grinder with factory paint.
Other GP color samples from the internet.
Colors are all over the place.


This one is easy although a purist may dislike the semi-gloss finish since GP had a particular gloss level. I don't know what that gloss level was, but the internet is sure there was a specific one.

The Paint

I used Rustoleum Painter's Touch Ultra 2X. Supposed to be a paint and primer all in one that provides better coverage than their regular spray paint. Their Professional series covers the best if you ask me but this isn't bad.