The Dale C. Maley Family Web Site

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Saving the 1939 Wood Lathe

This 1939 Montgomery Wards wood lathe was given to me by my father-in-law Lloyd Wells in the early 1980's. 

The day before Christmas, I found out I needed to make 1 more pen on the lathe for a Christmas gift.  I had the big 3-jaw chuck on the lathe and needed to remove it and replace it with the pen mandrel.

There is a felt washer between the chuck and the lathe headstock. The felt keeps the chuck from getting too tightly threaded onto the headstock. Usually, I just jerk the big chuck with my hand, and it starts to un-thread.  This time, it would not budge. The felt had apparently finally worn out.

I couldn't find anyway to resist the torque to un-thread the big chuck.  I grabbed a pipe wrench and put it on the smallest of the 3 diameters on the pulley........and promptly shattered the pulley!!!!!!!!!!!

I ended up removing the 2 nuts and grinding wheel, then putting a pliers on the spacer hub to get the big chuck off. Since I had only broken the small pulley, I was able to make the pen using the medium or middle v-belt pulley.

McMaster-Carr to the Rescue

I ordered a new pulley from McMaster-Carr...........

I wanted to buy a more robust steel pulley, but they do not sell them at McMaster-Carr.

Here is the new pulley and the broken old pulley........

New Pulley Installed and new Green Felt Washer

I made a new green felt washer, which you can see on the threaded headstock. Hopefully, this new washer will work fine and will keep the chucks from getting too tightly threaded.

The moral of the story is ..................don't apply any force to these pulleys. They are made of a low strength material like zinc (my dad used to call it "pot metal").




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