I recently acquired a Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe in need of some TLC, and thought I'd share my experiences of restoring it on this forum to assist anyone else with a similar machine. First of all, let me say that although I consider myself reasonably practical when it comes to building things out of wood, I have never stripped down and rebuilt a lathe before - or anything similarly mechanical. About as much as I've done mechanically is bolt some luggage racks, fairings and footboards to my Moto Guzzi, so this was the first time I have ever attempted anything on this scale.
I previously had a very cheap wood lathe that I used to start learning wood turning on - with only a 0.5hp motor, a 12" swing over the bed giving maximum theoretical bowl sizes of 12", but realistically around 10.5" to have some clearance. As I turned more bowls and started doing segmented bowl turning, I felt the need for something with more power and a greater clearance to allow larger bowls up to 16-18". After considering a new lathe, I decided that I could not justify spending either side of £3000 to get a Killinger or a Wivamac lathe, great as they are, but too expensive for me when it's just a hobby. So, I turned my attention to secondhand lathes - either the Union Graduate or the Denford Viceroy, with the intention of adding a 1.5hp motor and an inverter to run on single phase electrics from a domestic circuit. The Union Graduate was discounted because the max 12" swing over the bed was no better than my existing lathe, and its size was too large for the space in my workshop. So I chose the Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB and waited for one to come available on ebay or other classified sites. I eventually found one in Glasgow that looked in decent condition, and included an Axminster chuck and a sanding table for the LH bed. I was the only bidder on it, so soon found myself searching for pallet quotes to get it shipped to me near London.
The lathe had been painted a very bright green at some point, but there were lots of paint runs and areas where the paint was chipped down to the cast iron underneath, so it needed to be stripped back completely and painted again from scratch. The motor it came with was a 3-phase 0.75hp motor, but I intended to upgrade the motor and add an inverter, so that soon came out. Pictures below of my progress so far, with comments along the way which I hope provide an insight into the process.
Here are a few of the suppliers who I used which were very helpful:http://www.sendapallet.co.uk
- very competitive price and delivered safely and on time, delivery driver very helpful.http://www.newton-tesla.co.uk
- John at Newton Tesla was very helpful in providing advice about which motor and inverter would suit the intended use, and they supply a control panel which is designed to fit a Union Graduate lathe, but also fits the Denford Viceroy TDS6 with some new holes for the faceplate (see below).http://www.stationaryengineparts.com
- Paragon Paints, including Primer and top coat. I chose CompAir Broome Wade Light Blue from their Workshop machinery colours, which I know isn't original, but I wanted something bright and cheerful as well as different. (Yes, Hammerite silver or green is much easier, but it's not for me).http://www.emkaysupplies.co.uk
- Emkay Screw Supplies had a Socket Head Shoulder Screw, 0.5" x 1.0" x 3/8" BSW which I need for the spindle lock, which is unfortunately missing but I'll make another one once the lathe is put back together.http://www.berger-tools.co.uk
- the tool rest and tailstock had some really crappy handles made from a bit of threaded bar, so I purchased some new handles from Berger Tools, who sell an adjustable tension lever handle with a 3/8" BSW thread, in a variety of diameters and thread lengths (item 212.3). In fact, I couldn't find any other companies that still offered these handles with 3/8" BSW thread - more expensive than I had anticipated at nearly £10 each + vat + shipping, but worth it if they fit perfectly and work properly.
Here it is as it arrived on the pallet:
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And then stripped down into the main components: headstock and base, steel base and cast iron plate for the motor:
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All the other components laid out on my workbench:
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After a couple of hours with a grinder with a wire brush attachment, which really ripped through the paint right back to the cast iron with a little pressure:
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I used a "Surface Preparation Wheel" from Screwfix on the tool rest uprights and tailstock - and that whipped through the paint with very little pressure at all. This was a great tool for stripping paint off, but be careful not to apply any pressure at all!
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I used paint stripper from Stationary Engine Parts on the steel base, rather than the wire brush on the grinder, as I was concerned that the wire brush would be too harsh on the sheet steel. A generous brushing of paint stripper left for 20-30 minutes required no more than 2 coats before I was back to bare metal:
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While the paint stripper was working its magic on the base, I took the angle grinder with wire brush attachment and polished the cast iron bases that the tool rest slides on. There are two of them: one before, one after:
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I also turned my attention to the lathe bed to remove some of the rust and marks. I used a variety of metal polishes: Autosol Bluing Remover which is designed to remove the blue heat stains from the exhausts on my motorbike, applied with 000 wire wool:
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The lathe bed came up reasonably well with the Bluing Remover, but I also used Autosol metal polish, and even tried a Brillo pad with WD40 to remove some of the deep stains - however, the circular stains wouldn't clear entirely:
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With the base now completely stripped, it was time to dry-fit the new motor, inverter and control panel to check where the new holes would have to be drilled for the control panel and the inverter, but also ensuring sufficient clear space between the motor and inverter. I wanted to mount the inverter horizontally to allow for more space between it and the motor, but after speaking to John at Newton Tesla, he said the inverter had to be mounted upright due to the way the fins were designed to dissipate any heat from the inverter. He also said it was ideal for it to be mounted to the steel base as it is then completely grounded and the steel also acts as an additional heat sink for the inverter:
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And here is the steel base with the socket head screws through the new holes drilled to mount the inverter:
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Here is the base for the motor as it arrived:
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And after a couple of coats of primer, showing the new holes drilled to take the new motor, and bolted to the new base I made out of an old 10x10cm fence post, with 4 x 50cm lengths bolted together with a 10mm threaded bar. I knew the centre height of the lathe was a couple of cms lower than my previous lathe, and I wanted it to be even higher, so this seemed like a good solution to raise the centre height while also adding even more mass to the base to prevent it moving around my workshop:
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The underside of the lathe bed after 2 coats of primer:
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And the other components being primered:
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I'm now waiting for the primer to dry completely before I can start on the top coat. Pictures of that to follow when complete.
Thoroughly enjoying the rebuild so far. Looking forward to painting it and then starting to turn on it.