Delta 46-715 Lathe Refurbish Project #1: Getting the Lathe Home and Mapping the Process

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Blog entry by Sawdustonmyshoulder posted 12-31-2014 03:38 AM 9529 reads 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Delta 46-715 Lathe Refurbish Project series Part 2: Tach, Toilet and Grinder »

The Lathe

Here is the lathe. I bought it on Craigslist and got what I feel was a good deal. I went to Nashville and picked it up on Saturday. My plans are to replace the AC motor with a DC motor and make the lathe variable speed electronically.

Empty Head

This lathe has no drive pulleys. The Reeves drive broke and all the parts were trashed. So the headstock is empty except for the spindle and the indexing pin.


The AC motor is good so I will put it on eBay and sell it. I have a DC motor from a treadmill that is rated 2HP. I Googled how to take the flywheel off the motor and found that it screws on to the motor shaft with a lefthand tread. Well, if I want to reverse the direction, I will have to make sure the flywheel doesn’t fly off. Pun intended. So, I drilled and tapped for a 1/4”-20 set screw and flattened the motor shaft where the screw contacts it.

Motor Mount
I will have to build a mount for the new motor. That looks like a simple task to build. I have to find some steel tubing and nuts n’ bolts.

Controller and Controls

I found a MC-60 motor controller on eBay. All of the connections are labeled so it should be ‘monkey-ready’ to wire it up. I will need to obtain a couple of switches. One will be for the AC on/off, one will be for reversing the motor and one to switch the DC power to the motor. I bought a 250K liner pot to adjust the speed.

This lathe is a Type 1 version and has a 24mm spindle with a key. After looking online and calling some local suppliers, I have found the solution to the pulley issue. Now I will have to determine the size pulley I need.

I bought a laser tachometer and it should be here tomorrow. I will use it to determine the RPM’s of the motor and with a pulley calculator I found online, I should be able to determine the size of the driven pulley.

The pulley I plan to use is of the type of a V-belt. The pulley on the motor is not a V-belt so I will have to machine the motor pulley to have a V. I think I have found an article on how to do that.

More to come. Thanks for joining me on this journey.

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

7 comments so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5360 posts in 5174 days

#1 posted 12-31-2014 03:28 PM

You have been a busy feller. Be sure to keep up the posts as the project grows.

-- [email protected]

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1799 posts in 2944 days

#2 posted 01-09-2015 08:49 PM

If you are going to machine anything, machine a pulley for your spindle. Make your pulley to match the motor pulley. That’s a J series shown and looks to be 2”OD. The belt needed, and readily availible at any belt supplier, would be a J 8 belt, because you can accomodate up to 8 grooves with that pulley.

I started with a motor similar to yours, and made a 4” od with a step down to 2”. I used a piece of 2’ long X 4” round stock,( steel for mine), but aluminum can be used. The grooves are 60°. I was going to give you the distances from center of each groove and the depth, but I can’t remember. You can get that info from your belt supplier. The belt is a lot smoother than regular V belts. ............. Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

View mickeybob's profile


9 posts in 2448 days

#3 posted 01-09-2015 09:49 PM

That will be a nice lathe when you have it done. If you want to have a continuous readout on your rpm you can always add a cheap tach, this the type i have used before and they work well, and are very cheap.

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4842 days

#4 posted 01-13-2015 02:35 AM

Thanks, Nubsnstubs. By the time I read your post about the pulleys, I had already ground the flywheel to 3/4”. The pulley on the flywheel was originally 1.4” in diameter. Check my latest blogs. It seems to be working.

mickeybob, thanks for the link to the tach. May have to drop a few bucks for this one. I’ll have to sneak it by the wife. She keeps asking me the total outlay for this machine. :-)

-- The more skilled you are at something, the worse you are at it when someone is watching.

View db366's profile


10 posts in 2638 days

#5 posted 09-28-2015 01:02 PM

Is there any way you can give me your source for your pulleys and sizes? I have the same lathe, just type 2. I believe it also has the 24mm spindle and I am trying to copy your design exactly.


View georgechamplin's profile


6 posts in 2382 days

#6 posted 11-18-2015 06:31 AM

If you’re willing to remove the flywheel you can use a 17mm bore auto alternator pulley. That’s the size of the shaft coming out of the treadmill motor. You can file a flat on the shaft and drill the pulley for a set screw.

I was lucky and had a dead alternator, I was able to mount the 2 1/2” pulley, fan and bushing from the alternator to the shaft without modification, except for grinding a flat for the set screw.

The whole sandwich, fan, backer disk and pulley is secured by a 1/2 – 13 left-hand thread nut I got at Ace Hardware for $1.85, and a lock washer. The thread on the flywheel is left-hand 1/2 -13. I was amazed!

Note: the fan will be rotating backwards, but I think it will still provide some cooling ventilation for the motor.

View Carey  Mitchell's profile

Carey Mitchell

190 posts in 3173 days

#7 posted 04-10-2020 12:00 AM

Would you share some photos of how the new motor is mounted?

I picked up a lathe in similar condition; the fellow had found a treadmill setup and had made a bracket for the control board and motor, but I don’t see any good way to mount it with the bracket he made.

All have been sitting in a corner for a year while I got the new shop up and going. Built a stand for it (he kept the stand) today and am now ready to order a pulley for the arbor shaft.

Any help would be appreciated.


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