'new' Powr-kraft 10" Lathe And Some Questions.

T. J.

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This has been quite a project and I've learned a lot. Here are a few observations and things I would do differently if I ever do another one.

  • Old paint is more durable than new paint. The newer paint stripped easily with chemical stripper, but it wouldn't touch the original paint. It was removed with a wire wheel.
  • I painted the legs and chip pan with a HVLP spray gun, but chose to brush paint the lathe. This was fine for the rougher castings, but the parts that had been sanded smooth (i.e. headstock covers, compound, cross slide screw cover) have obvious brush marks. These should have been sprayed.
  • I bought a parts washer from Harbor Freight and used the PSC-1000 solvent from Tractor Supply. This was an invaluable tool for cleaning up the parts after disassembly.
  • The legs I built aren't as solid as I would like. There is considerable side-to-side wobble (along the lathe's long axis). I will have to add some cross braces on the back legs to minimize this.
Overall, I'm very happy with the lathe. Now to make some chips!
 

francist

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That's a great looking machine, TJ. Very nice.

-frank
 

brino

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TJ,

Great job!
Thanks for sharing your journey and what you learned along the way.
That is valuable info for anyone else starting their own refurb.
It is much appreciated.

-brino
 

eeler1

Dang, buggered that up too!!
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Wow, that turned out nice!

On the legs not being as rigid as you hoped, the pic looks like about the same surface area under the lathe feet as the old Logan lathes. Of course, those were cast and had virtually no 'give' at all. Also a heavier material (thicker). But the older legs also had that curvy art-deco look. So the feet were broader apart front/back, and also sat a few inches outside, compared to where they connected up to the feet of the lathe bed. A bigger footprint so to speak, like an a-frame.

Bracing ought to cure any movement in the stand. So just my ramblings on machine stands.
 

T. J.

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Thanks! I tried to roughly duplicate the dimensions of the Logan legs, however not nearly as curvy :). I think mine are wider from front to back (18") because I allowed enough area on the top to bolt the countershaft assembly to it.

The legs are pretty rigid themselves. I think the play is coming from where they bolt to the lathe. The bolt holes on the lathe bed feet have a slight boss on the underside. This creates a pivot point. I assume that the boss is desirable for leveling purposes - so as not to create undue stress on the lathe bed by having contact anywhere other than right at the bolt.
 

CluelessNewB

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You "Baby Seal Black" paint job makes me almost want to repaint my Logan. Nice job!
 

jperry109

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How do you like the operation of this lathe? I'm looking at the same machine tomorrow for purchase and wonder what your feedback is now that you've been running it for a few years. Any specific things to watch for with this specific lathe? I'm an experienced machine buyer but have not owned or used this specific machine before. Thanks.
 

T. J.

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Thanks. It has worked well for me, and I'm happy that I bought it and spent the time on it. That said, every machine has its weaknesses and this one has its fair share. Here are a few of the things I don't like about it:
  • Small spindle through hole (25/32") - limits the size of stock that can pass through and doesn't allow for using 5c collets in the spindle nose.
  • Plain apron - all feeding is powered by the lead screw. Also, no clutch.
  • As a result of the above, the finest feed is 0.004" per revolution. I often wish for a finer feed to produce a better surface finish.
  • Underpowered. Mine has a 1/2 HP motor (which is what the machine is spec'ed for). You're not going to be doing any "hogging":p
Those are the main drawbacks for me. As with everything, YMMV and that mostly depends on the kind of work you plan on doing. Fill us in if you wind up buying it and of course ask questions if you have them!
 

jperry109

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Thanks for the reply. All good info. I didn't know the Powr-Kraft couldn't use the 5C collets. I bet the specific collets for this machine are hard to find. I knew the spindle hole was small but can likely work around that. The feed rates may bother me a bit. I'll look at it tomorrow and provide feedback. Thanks again.
 

T. J.

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It will take 3AT collets. They're not as common as 5c, but they are available.
 

CluelessNewB

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You can use 5C collets with a 5C collet chuck but it's not ideal since it increases the overhang and runout. That's what I have on my Logan 820 and has been good enuf for me.
 

jperry109

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Very helpful, thank you. It's come down to this machine and a larger 11" Logan table lathe which has the 1.375 spindle hole, automatic apron and motor under the table. Same price but the bigger machine will require rigging costs. It's 850 lbs versus the Powr-Kraft at 450.
 

wa5cab

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The larger through-hole requires a larger spindle nose which means that generally almost everything that goes on the spindle will cost more at least when new, and some when used. This usually includes the lathe itself although you say it isn't true with what you are looking at. So it usually depends upon what your pocketbook can stand.
 

jperry109

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I bought the Powr-Kraft lathe tonight. I have one reservation about the purchase and would appreciate your thoughts. The lathe sat for 15 years unused. It's in a heated dry space but the spindle was stuck at first. I released the spindle so it should move freely and it did not. After sometime I muscled it and it broke free and began to move. The more we spun it, the easier it got. Makes sense. However, it didn't move as freely as I thought it should. I'd describe the sensation as feeling the ball bearings moving around in the bearing race. I suspect the bearings are not sealed and likely filled with dust and debris over 15 years. Thoughts?

The lathe included the original 3-jaw chuck, a face plate, three drive dogs, basic original tooling. It's on it's original cast iron legs and oil pan. The ways are in good condition. All seemed right. I paid $750. How'd I do?
 

T. J.

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Used machinery prices vary according to what part of the country you're in. To me, it sounds like a steal. But if the spindle bearings are shot, you're not done spending money yet :wink:

The Logan spindle bearings are supposed to be "permanently" lubricated, but remember that lube is at least 50 years old. Check the spindle runout with a DTI and see what you get. Once you have it under power, run it and see if the bearing gets hot. If you need to replace the bearings, I believe there is at least one thread here dealing with that process. I won't be much help, since that's the only part of my lathe I didn't tear apart.
 

jperry109

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I tore down the Powr-Kraft lathe. I was able to salvage the front spindle bearing by irrigating and repacking it. But the back bearing was toasted and sealed. I ordered the back bearing and it should ship out today. I "refreshed" all components of the lathe. It's in remarkable condition. The ways are spotless. The screws have very little backlash. It should be a nice little machine once complete. I'm upgrading it with a forward/reverse switch but may put a 2.5HP DC motor and tachometer on it for finer control. I have both from another project I abandoned.

I can see where the manual apron may represent a challenge to finish quality. I may make a tool holder for a grinding stone to take off any threading that occurs. No pictures yet. Still in pieces.
 
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