Sat. Dec 7th, 2019

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1940s Metal Lathe [Restoration]

2 min read

This tool restoration focused on a Craftsman “Model 109” metal-cutting lathe from 1948. The lathe was giving to me by a fan about a year ago. This specific lathe is quite small for a metal-cutting lathe and everything about it has been miniaturized compared to “normal-sized” machining lathes. These were marketed as a model-makers lathe or a hobbyist lathe.

These lathes do have some fatal flaws that I point out in the video. Most notably, the spindle is only 0.5″ wide and completely hollow. This means that the lathe will never be able to take large cuts or work well with harder metals. If you follow the limitations of this small lathe, then you can definitely get the job done.

I decided to repaint all parts as there was too much paint splatter on most of the castings. Several of the bronze bushings were worn out, so they needed to be completely replaced. I do believe this lathe was only missing one of the remaining gears, but hopefully I can find it one day. The decals for this machine were found here:

After fully reassembled, I was able to get a pretty decent cut out of some brass stock that had, so I was pleased. I may take this a but further and do some modifications on the lathe to improve performance. You can see what can be improved here:

I would like to thank Evapo-Rust for sponsoring this video.

Wrenches are now for sale at

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21 thoughts on “1940s Metal Lathe [Restoration]

  1. No "Simpsons-Sears Ltd." tag…it must had been purchased in the US.

    You may already know this but those lathes were made by Atlas Press Company.

  2. Now being that I am not a machiniologist I was able to grasp most of what you were doing and finally talking to my friend I was able to understand that, yes of course, you must always tape a machine to a bench when painting it. Is that lathe what a shoemaker would use?

  3. New to your page. Enjoyed watching your work. I am interested in buying my first lathe, would this be a good starting lathe? What are they worth in the original condition? What my interest in making are small parts, mostly brass.

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