Found Lathe - From Junk to, well, slightly more usable junk.
And here are a few shots of its first, *ahem*, spin. I set it up on my Workmate and chucked up a junky piece of southern yellow pine just to try it out. It works plenty well enough for my needs for the forseeable future. :-) I'm quite pleased.
The first step in the rebuild process was to disassemble the mess and get rid of everything I didn't need. That included most of the gunky wiring snaking off of the motor and the rotten bench it was mounted to.
Next, I took the whole thing apart, at least as much as possible. The belt doesn't come off since it was looped into the head stock apparently before being welded to the base. At this point, I brushed all the parts with either a handheld brush, a circular brush in my cordless drill or wire wheel on my grinder. I oiled all of the moving parts and bearings in the stock parts and re-assembled it. Lastly, I mounted a motor to a scrap piece of MDF with two door hinges, as seen in the pictures above.
In the summer of 2005, I stumbled on this pile of half rotten wood and metal at an auction I frequent. It surely didn't look like much, but when I noticed the motor and pulleys, I recognized it as a lathe. I didn't yet have a lathe and I had a real need to turn some replacement handles for my growing horde of vintage socket chisels. I bought a bid number and waited. I wasn't sure what to expect, but the chance that I might snag it for a little bit of nothing and have a functioning (if not pretty) lathe appealed to me.
All told, the pile included a 3/4hp motor with stepped pulley, a box with 3 or 4 lathe tools, a makeshift bench with holes where drawers once might have been, a big iron bed with head stock and belt, moving tool rest and a moving tail stock. The intriguing part was the fact that most if not all of this beast appear to be homemade by someone who seemed to at least partly know how to weld.
When the time came to bid, I lucked out and had only one other competitor. I won at $35. Woo! Funny thing was, a guy approached me as I loaded it into my truck and offered me $60. I declined, though. ;-) Now, if this thing could be put back together and the motor worked, I'd be in business. That is a big if. *grin*