LumberJocks Woodworking Forum banner

Tool Rest Broke!

1901 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  shawnmasterson
In mid bowl shaping yesterday my tool rest decided to break on my craftsman lathe. Talk about getting my attention…well this goes on the tube style track and I noticed there isn't any aftermarket rests out there for this or am I missing something? I am thinking of making this into a bowl lathe and want to engineer a sturdy rest that swings out and is adjustable. Anyone else have any ideas? I would post a pic but this site is so screwy with uploads to forums.
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Just click the "img" button and go for it.

When you say tool rest are you talking about the T bar (actual tool rest) or the banjo (the part that clamps to the lathe and holds the rest)? Either can be found on ebay by the scads. If it's the actual tool rest then you can buy aftermarket, just look for one that matches your post size. They are usually 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8" (weird Craftsman size), or 1". A 3/4" post will work just fine in place of a 7/8". They even come in curvy shapes for bowls.
It is the actual banjo that holds the rest. It's made of crappy pot metal so I'm gonna draw up something and take it to the machinist.
happened to me several years back. 12" craftsman tool rest. sucks
I agree Kurty!

Let's see if this works
See less See more
That's not technically the tool rest. On other lathes that would be the "banjo". The tool rest is the "T" shaped part, where the tool actually rests. if I'm not mistaken the tool rest pivots on that base?

You could fab a new base out of some steel and pipe if you can weld or know a welder.

Otherwise it's time to braze that cast iron or buy a new one.

Or… my ideal recommendation would be:

Buy a new or used lathe with standard Morse tapers and spindles, not to mention a real banjo…. Jet and Nova make some that are decent.
Thanks UD…no since in putting a band-aid on a turd! I'm gonna devise a swing away rest with adjustable arms…since its going to be a bowl lathe then no need for the rest. Trying to get it mounted up right now and then draw something up. Trying to get some pics to start an engineering spark!
I had one welded a few weeks back. Broke 15 minutes after I started using it. I made one out of 1" square tubing seems to be doing well. Good luck.
Just buy another or if you have some skill or know someone with skill get them to make it new.I would buy a used better stronger one (preferrably with a camlock on front )Alistair
I got the fab skills but no welder. Just looking for something to bolt to the floor with high strength. I was also gonna get another headstock shaft made just like the link I posted. I can't afford another lathe so may as well have one to my liking. My neighbor does alot of junking so he is looking out for a motor with more horses
Used treadmills are a good source for cheap motors and they come with speed controls.
You have to preheat cast iron to have a good chance of welding it back together.
another motor thought is to go 3phz with a VFD. The VFD will give you a world of options. Variable speed, soft start, break abilities. The 3phz / VFD setup will make it like the high priced commercial lathes on the market. Also I like the setup.
How much would a 3ph vfd cost?
More than any Craftsman lathe is worth. (I say that as an owner of a Craftsman lathe) For the price of a VFD, 3ph motor and phase converter, you could just buy a nice lathe. You'd also lose torque and need to oversize the motor. Going that route is only worthwhile if you have a sizable vintage lathe and want to convert to variable speed.
Had it happen on my delta, guess it's what happens when the banjo is 80 years old, the tool catches and the shop is actually at freezing. Had a friend who claimed he could weld it so I let him try, been 2 years so it can be done.
I agree with Rick after researching prices..and I laughed too at the accurate statistics! Been looking for a free treadmill that has a working motor…$50 is as close as I got to free. I would have it welded but the fear factor is pretty high of this breaking and actually catching shrapnel on a second chance! First breakage had an 8.5 pucker factor, followed immediately by a stare of disbelief, then a finale of colorful vocabulary before shutting off the lights. Talk about turning PTSD!

After pricing the steel and other parts + labor I believe I could get a good lathe with a steel stand. Decisions decisions…
With scrap metal prices up, free treadmills have become rare. I scored one free treadmill, the other I paid $20 for. The one I paid for uses a regular V belt pulley and went on my Craftsman lathe. The free one uses a flat belt pulley and I haven't decided what to do with it yet. But, if you get a treadmill, the parts inside might be worth money. I sold one of the boards inside the free treadmill for $30, put it on ebay and it sold within hours (which means I probably priced it too cheap).
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.