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.