Craftsman Woodworking Lathe

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Woodworking Lathes

Status:Down bearing on drive side failed. [colm @ 1/1/19 23:46]

Logs for AMT124:

We have two woodworking lathes, a smaller Central Machinery (Harbor Freight) Mini Woodworking Lathe Model 95607 and a larger Craftsman Variable Speed Wood Lathe Model 351.21 7170.



  • This tool will soon require certification... until we can offer training though it is a use at your own risk situation. 
  • Users must wear impact rated eye protection. That means it has z87+ on it, not z87 (other standards do exist - just consider having a heavy piece of wood fly at your face) 
  • Please try to avoid sanding on the lathe - the shop is not setup for it


The smaller lathe is not particularly powerful but runs well and is also variable speed. It stalls quickly when it catches. 

The Craftsman is making some very ugly noises from the reduction gearing. We checked the bearings, is not that - sounds like gears complaining. Colm found that the switch on the lathe was jammed in the ON position (it could still be switched using the speed controller). He vacuumed out the switch and it reset of its own accord so that is seemingly fixed for now. However, the thread on the drive centre was really mangled. He cleaned it up with a file and was able to fit the chuck and the spur centre but it took considerable effort. It still needs a good bit of work or maybe a replacement part (the bearing on the drive centre is starting to feel pretty rough too). The tool is up but takes a bit of effort to get going for now!

Lathe Chisels and Accessories

The two share a good chuck, just need an adapter for the small unit. 

A number of lathe chisels are available but we don't have a grinding jig, nor are the ginders set up well for sharpening. Currently it's all freehand, and the grinder wheels tend to need resurfacing. Plans for chisel grinding jigs can be found online

AMT Certification Course

This is a summary of what is taught in the AMT Certification course for the Lathe.

What Does a Lathe Do?

A lathe spins your stock securely so that you can shape it by holding sharp chisels against the stock. You control how much wood is removed by pressing more or less hard. The chisel must be held at the proper angle and orientation to safely shape the spinning stock. You can also adjust the speed of the lathe to accommodate different sized stock, allowing you to shape anything from a thin table leg to a bowl.

Lathe Adjustments

Lathe Accessories

Common Techniques

Turning a Table Leg

Turning a Bowl

Dust Collection

There is a dust collection outlet underneath the lathe. Connect the collection hose that is normally connected to the table saw to the lathe's dust connection outlet and turn on the dust collector. Periodically while using and again after using the lathe sweep any accumulated shavings into the vacuum pipe. Since the lathe throws wood chips all over, remove the dust collection tube and use it as a vacuum to collect any remaining wood chips.

Lathe Safety

Throwing a Tool

Destroying Parts of Your Body

Safety Features

Failsafe Hand Positioning

Failsafe Stock Handling

Your stock should be relatively close to balanced and should be mounted along its center of gravity. This is increasingly important as the stock becomes heavier.

Obviously there is a maximum size for stock over the bed.

The headstock on some lathes can be rotated 180 degrees 
to allow a large bowl to be turned in the space next to the table.

The stock should be securely held between the headstock and tailstock so that it can't fly loose while it is being turned.

Default Configuration

When you are done with the Lathe:

Protecting the Lathe

Basic Maintenance

1) Wax the ways (runners for tool rest and tail stock)    

2) Vacuum the base (Dust collection at the lathe is not very good)    

3) Ensure all handles and lock screws are moving freely -  oil if necessary (NOT WD 40)    

4) ensure lathe is doubly switched off (both at the speed controller and the switch)


the piece of wood to be shaped on the lathe


Media:Craftsman L0804177 WoodLathe.pdf

CentralMachinery 95607 miniLathe.pdf

Talon Lathe Chuck

Testing out for certifictation

Experienced user may test out to obtain certifiction. Use slack to get in touch with a certfication tester. 

Lathe Testing Rubric