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Walker-Turner Wood Lathe
Walker Turner Page 2   Walker Turner Page 3

A Maintenance and Instruction sheet for the
variable-speed drive is available

Sought - a copy of the "Driver Add a Tool" operating
manual and catalog. Can you help?

Walker-Turner were based, originally, in Plainfield, N.J. USA and made a wide range of metal and woodworking equipment including a combination wood and light-duty metal-turning bench lathe (of the plain, non-screwcutting type), and the most unusual "Driver-Add-A-Tool"; the latter, a universal wood and metal-turning machine, is shown lower down the page. However, their most popular lathe was a variable-speed drive wood-turning model first advertised in the early 1940s that was to continue in, in various modified forms, until at least the early 1970s. This machine was also available in a simpler form, which appeared to use largely the same main components, but with a cheaper drive system that used ordinary V-belts - with the guard cover on the headstock left open to allow easy accesses to the pulleys.
On all versions the base, bed, headstock, tailstock and tool rest of both models were properly made in cast iron and, unusually for a wood lathe of that size, the bed was fitted with a gap that allowed work up to 15.5" to be turned. The swing (over the bed) was 12" and the capacity between centres was a very useful 38". Bored through 5/8" the headstock shared with the tailstock a No. 2 Morse taper, the latter having a self-eject spindle. Well engineered, the headstock spindle, fitted with right and left hand 1-inch 10 t.p.i threads, ran on two sets of pre-loaded ball bearings (double row at the tailstock end and single at the other).  For very large capacity work a bowl-turning attachment was available that bolted to the end face of the headstock end plinth - though so strong was this structure, and the choice of mounting points so large, that a home made assemble could just as easily have been made up. A fully-enclosed motor was held within the headstock-end plinth - either a 0.5 h.p., which was recommended for general work, or a 1.5 h.p. for heavy-duty turning and metal spinning. Alternatively, a two-speed 1750/3500 rpm 3-phase motor could be specified, in which case the speed range spanned an impressive 260 rpm to 4500 rpm. The drive to the headstock incorporated a mechanical expanding and contracting variable-speed drive unit that could be padlocked at a chosen setting  - an ideal arrangement when the lathe was to be used in educational and training establishments where students, not known for their care of expensive machine tools, would have delighted in seeing just how far they could force a control wheel or handle. A rectangular speed-indicator plate, fitted in the lower left-hand corner of the headstock's front face, had a pointer connected directly to the speed-change mechanism. The bed-mounted toolpost, with a robust T-rest supported on a 1.25-inch diameter shaft, was equipped with permanently-fitted clamping handles that allowed it to be both slid easily and then locked instantly in place..

Spindle-speed control wheel - fitted with a padlock .

The variable speed drive system was simple but effective and used two V belts running through expanding and contracting pulleys mounted on a common shaft. This system was also used on certain of the company's band saws.

Large capacity bowl-turning rest fitted to the cheaper, open-headstock, rear-drive model.

A very useful right-angle bowl-turning attachment

Alternative rear-mounted 16-speed countershaft unit -  an accessory that was to be discontinued in the early 1950s.

A "Polishing" or "Speed" lathe which used the complete headstock, variable speed drive unit and cabinet leg of the wood-turning model.

Walker Turner Page 2   Walker Turner Page 3

Walker-Turner Wood Lathe

A Maintenance and Instruction sheet for the
variable-speed drive is available


E-Mail Tony@lathes.co.uk 
Home    Machine Tool Archive    Machine Tools For Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Machine Tool Catalogues   Belts   Books

Sought - a copy of the "Driver Add a Tool" operating
manual and catalog. Can you help?