Delta 46-715 Lathe - Spindle Pulley Rebuild

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Blog entry by denverdan posted 12-14-2015 04:15 PM 5505 reads 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

The Delta 46-715 lathe is a beast with over 300 pounds of woodturning machine.

However, it has two Achilles Heels. The Spindle Pulley and Motor Drive Pulley. These pulleys are called Reeves Drives and they enable the operator to variably change the speed of the lathe while its running.
(For an interesting brief history of Milton Reeves,

The problem is…Break one of these pulleys and you’ll quickly discover they’re obsolete. Well to be accurate the exact replacement part is no longer made.

Anyhow, I bought this Delta lathe with a broken Spindle Pulley on CL for $80. I thought I might be able to fix it using a generic Reeves Drive. Along the way of doing a ton of research into reeves pulley, I discovered a reasonable solution.

First, Pulley dimensions- The bore size of the Spindle depends on whether you have Type 1, Type 2 or Type 3 Delta Lathe 46-715. Type 1 and Type 2 have a 24mm bore. Type 3 is 22mm. The Pulley Diameter – 6 inches. And I believe, the key is 3/16.

The guy I bought the lathe from had a Jet Spindle Pulley with a 24mm bore and a smaller pulley diameter. But he didn’t know which Jet Pulley it was. (The fit was too loose on my Type 3 lathe.)

At first, I found this post from a guy here ... I bought the JWL1442-161 spindle pull assembly from Mike’s Tools. It turned out it was the identical pulley. Same bore size and diameter etc. And I returned it.

The solution – I decided that I didn’t need a pulley. I just needed to change the bore size by creating a bore sheath. So I looked around Ace Hardware trying the pulley on different pipes…

The solution – I found that the pulley slid nicely on a piece of 3/4 EMT conduit. And, the spindle shaft could almost fit inside the conduit. So I bought a $4 piece of 3/4 EMT conduit. And, since I realized the key depth size would also need to change. I also bought a $4 piece of 3/16 flat bar.

I cut the conduit to length and slit a key way into it with my radial arm saw. Slipped it on the shaft and sanded the conduit down with an angle grinder until the pulley slid easily onto it. Next, I measured and cut a new key and used an angle grinder to grind that down.

The last pieces of the puzzle… The pulleys now fit on the spindle and spun. However, they needed some tension to open and close properly. Originally, there was a spring bushing between the two halves of the pulley. However, the spring bushing was designed for a different pulley and didn’t fit this pulley set. I went back to Ace and bought a #69 spring. Since, I just needed about an inch in length I cut the spring with a little dremel and sanded the sharp edge.

I fit the spring inside the pulley and put the retaining clip on.
I also bought a link belt from Harbor Freight. I wanted to adjust the belt tension. The older belt seemed too loose.

My $8 solution works great! Spindle spins and changes speed.

3 comments so far

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4234 days

#1 posted 12-14-2015 08:54 PM

I bought one of these lathes on CL also. After I sold the motor, I was in it for $140. My lathe didn’t have any drive pulleys, so I elected to put a treadmill motor on it.

Used it last week. Turns like a dream!!!

Here is the blog of my journey. Hope it helps.

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

View denverdan's profile


9 posts in 1507 days

#2 posted 12-14-2015 10:26 PM

Thanks for sharing, Sawdustonmyshoulder!

I actually found and read your blog thoroughly while I was researching the CL posting. I figured if I can’t get the pulley working then I’ll go to plan B. (Plan B was the treadmill motor option.)

Thanks again for the comment!

View Sawdustonmyshoulder's profile


489 posts in 4234 days

#3 posted 12-15-2015 08:29 PM

Great! If you have any questions or concerns, you can PM me and we’ll discuss.

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

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