email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Rockwell Delta Wood Lathes Post-WW2

Rockwell/Delta Home Page    1960s Model 14/11
Delta Metal-Turning Lathes

By 1945 the Delta company had been sold by its founder, Herbert Tautz, to Rockwell, and, happily, that company seeing potential in the design, continued the development of the original wood lathe and turned it into a rather more sophisticated and useful machine; the bed was in cast iron and a proper, enclosed headstock was employed with the V-pulley running between the bearings rather than being overhung as before; the drive could also be taken either downwards, as illustrated in the picture above, or rearwards so allowing the owner to choose the most effective drive system for their particular installation.
Running in sealed-for-life ball bearings, the spindle was bored through 1
1/4" and carried a 1" 8 t.p.i thread at both ends - the left hand one, for bowl turning, being "left-handed", of course.
When driven directly from the motor, four spindle speeds of approximately 915, 1380, 2150 and 3260 were available, but, if the owner wanted to undertake light metal-turning work and larger wood bowl turning, then it was necessary to employ the optional countershaft, the use of which reduced the bottom speed to a more user-friendly 340 rpm.
A range of handy accessories also became available including a very unusual "two-thread" faceplate that could be mounted on either the right or left-hand threads of the spindle; the faceplate was not, as might be expected, threaded from each end, instead, the left- and right-hand threads were actually combined, the multiple starts of each thread interlacing with each other as one would interlace the fingers of both hands. As one holds the faceplate and turns it, looking down into the threads, the threads are seen to "cross" each other like this twice, once in each 180 degrees of rotation - a most unusual yet effective arrangement..

Although the spindle indexing device was retained from the earlier models (and more conveniently situated on the front of the headstock) the tailstock had lost its eccentric lock and used a cheaper "through-bolt" fastening and "self-hiding" spanner instead.
Delta also made a range of bigger and heavier wood lathes, some with gap beds and a neatly enclosed variable speed drive - details below. If any reader has good-quality photographs of Delta wood lathes, the author would be pleased to hear from you..

Circa 1948 Delta 12" x 37" Wood Turning Lathe

Headstock: showing the indexing arrangements

Sanding attachment

A beautifully restored Delta wood lathe from the 1950s. This is one is marked as the Model 1460 46-305.

Late model Rockwell Delta 12" wood turning lathe with variable-speed drive and a detachable-gap bed. Two models were available, the "Heavy-Duty", shown here, and a "Standard" version - which could be had with either the variable-speed drive, or an ordinary 4-speed, V-belt drive headstock, not unlike the one shown at the top of the page. On the variable-speed model the spindle-speed control was a built neatly into the end of the headstock.

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

Rockwell Delta Wood Lathes Post-WW2

Rockwell/Delta Home Page    1960s Model 14/11
Delta Metal-Turning Lathes