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    Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    I'm looking at an old lathe which is branded Bucyrus. I cannot find any info on the company or quality of their tools. I've attached a few pics. Any guidance will be appreciated.
    Steve

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Bucyrus was a mining machinery manufacture that later merged with another company and became Bucyrus-Erie. They made all kinds of machinery, including some really mammoth sized steam shovels etc. Some of those huge machines had a small machine shop to make repair parts. The lathe may be something they made to outfit the tool rooms.
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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by sawman101 View Post
    Bucyrus was a mining machinery manufacture The lathe may be something they made to outfit the tool rooms.
    Most likely in the pattern shop for casting models.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    I have never owned a wood lathe before. I do like old machines and this one appears to be a solid one. I can get the lathe for $250 and add a motor. My issue is not wanting to get something that I can't use. Is a pattern lathe only capable of making certain items or will I be able to turn a variety of projects?

    Thanks
    Steve
    ďA society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in".

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Unless you have a specific need for that lathe - turning really long things or pattern making - I would suggest passing as a 'first lathe'. Here are the issues as I see them:

    1) from the picture, this is a big old lathe so oddball spindle threading and tapers are likely. If the lathe doesn't have fairly common threads and tapers, you won't be able to use the plethora of common hobby accessories like scroll chucks and drive centers without engaging the services of a machinist to make adapters.

    2) the lathe doesn't appear to pulleys for the spindle. If so, you'll need a step pulley to change speeds, unless you go with a VFD and 3ph motor. Fitting a step pulley to what could be an oddball spindle could be expensive. The VFD - maybe $150. You're looking at $100-200 for a motor either way.

    3) the design of the headstock with the caps on the bearings surfaces and the protrusions in the castings below the spindle makes me suspicious that this lathe has babbit bearings. If true, babbit bearings - while excellent if maintained - do require regular maintenance with oiling, etc. If the bearings have not been maintained, you get to learn how to refurb babbit.

    4) if you're planning conventional woodturning, you'll have to come up with some way of mounting tool rests. The cross-slide arrangement the lathe has now is excellent for precision lathework - does the lathe come with toolholders? - but typical woodturning is not precision woodturning. You'll probably want to buy/find a conventional lathe banjo to fit to the lathe.

    Here's a pretty good video explaining the issues. Pay particular attention for each time the commentator mentions that he had to adapt or change something for conventional woodturning...
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLJOOuHdge0

    None of these issues can't be overcome, but collectively it represents a lot of time and money for a would-be hobby woodturner before you can make the lathe act like a $250 (with coupon!) Harbor Freight lathe.

    -Mark

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Steve, instead of messing with this thing, you can pickup a new, benchtop lathe for comparable cost! It's a great place to start, plus everything is new and ready to plug in and get spinning!

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Kind of like an antique sawmill when what you need is a table saw. Very cool machine though.

    If you want an old lathe that is more useful to you, you might keep an eye out for old Delta Rockwell lathes such as the 1460:
    http://vintagemachinery.org/photoind....aspx?id=14417

    This has modern, standard fittings for accessories. They are not terribly uncommon if you watch for them.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Also, that looks to me to be a metal lathe and not a wood lathe. I tend to agree with Mark's assessment that it will have non-standard (for wood turning) fittings and threads and end up being more trouble than its worth. But you makes your choices and takes your chances.

    As Michael mentions, you can pick up a new Rikon benchtop lathe for about the same price with the motor. If you can wait until October for the Klingspor Extravaganza in Hickory then all of that kind of equipment will be on sale there. If not Penn States Industries has some very nice small lathes via mail-order.
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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by KenOfCary View Post
    Also, that looks to me to be a metal lathe and not a wood lathe.
    It is a pattern maker's lathe, for making very precise wooden patterns for metal casting. For example, in the old days you might make a pattern for the body of a fire hydrant on this lathe.

    Also with a longer bed you could make porch columns or bedposts on this lathe. The carriage will make the edges perfectly straight.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    For what it is worth, It is correct that Bucyrus was a steam shovel manufacturer originally located in Bucyrus, Ohio. They did merge with the Erie Steam Shovel Company to form Bucyrus-Erie. They were both a construction equipment and mining machinery manufacturer and of the early B-E shovels were used to dig the panama canal. The company later moved to South Milwaukee Wisconsin and operated as Bucyrus Erie for a long time. Sometime in the late 1990's I think they shortened the name to Bucyrus. Then in about 2008 Caterpillar bought them and the products and company are now branded CAT.
    It was my first job out of college working for Bucyrus Erie.
    Many of their parts were cast out of iron or steel and then machined for the part. So, although I would not be able to comment on the lathe itself, there is no doubt they had pattern shops making wood parts for cast molding.
    Great memories for me. Glad to see the name again.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Many a Bucyrus 15 and 20B Dragline worked on drainage projects in eastern North Carolina. The 20B was probably the most popular machine in its time.

    "The American Republic will endure until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money!" Alex de Tocqueville"

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by JackLeg View Post
    Many a Bucyrus 15 and 20B Dragline worked on drainage projects in eastern North Carolina. The 20B was probably the most popular machine in its time.

    ,T A Loving owned a butt load of them, most bought surplus right after WWII. They came with a Perkins diesel, which ran the same speed, only louder under load. They could be set up as cable operated back hoes, with a 14,000 bucket, drag line with 120" boom, or crane.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    I would love to have a lathe like that if I had room for it..



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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    I'm with Mike on that.

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    Re: Anyone familiar with a "Bucyrus" wood lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by awldune View Post
    Kind of like an antique sawmill when what you need is a table saw. Very cool machine though.

    If you want an old lathe that is more useful to you, you might keep an eye out for old Delta Rockwell lathes such as the 1460:
    http://vintagemachinery.org/photoind....aspx?id=14417

    This has modern, standard fittings for accessories. They are not terribly uncommon if you watch for them.
    Put a treadmill motor on my 1640 for VSD.

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