Craftsman 12 in wood lathe upgrade

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Forum topic by Dimensions posted 04-27-2017 12:05 AM 1147 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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25 posts in 428 days

04-27-2017 12:05 AM

Topic tags/keywords: wood turning lathe craftsman bowl turning setup lathe

I inherited an old craftsman 12 inch wood lathe. I know it’s a common tool and there are a TON out there. I want to equip it for bowl turning so I need a jaw headstock, a live center, and I’m not sure what it’s called but it looks like a Jacobs chuck from a drill press to place drill bits in on the lathe. If anyone can help with links or manufacturers or even just the sizes for the parts I’m looking for it would be an immense help!!!

Thanks in advance!

7 replies so far

View MrUnix's profile (online now)


6580 posts in 2162 days

#1 posted 04-27-2017 12:27 AM

According to the manual for that lathe, it has a 3/4”-16tpi threaded spindle, and MT1 tapers in both the head and tailstock. There are chucks that have that thread which will work, such as the Barracuda 2 . It comes with the proper insert for your spindle, and will also work on a 1”-8tpi spindle should you decide to upgrade to a more common lathe. Alternatively, you could just get a proper size thread tap and make your own faceplates and other attachments out of scrap wood (see this thread). The rest of the stuff is just common MT1 type accessories… live and dead centers, drill chucks, etc… that can be found all over the place.

Having said that, I would be cautious of sinking too much money into it. That is one of those c-man single tube machines and they are not all that robust and subject to problems due to the tube design, not to mention the unusual spindle and taper sizes.


-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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1278 posts in 1693 days

#2 posted 04-27-2017 12:39 AM

Brad’s on point. He is probably the best resource we have on this site. I have the same thoughts as he as don’t spend a lot on this lathe until you realize turning is what you like, and then upgrade…... If you don’t like turning, then will it to someone else in the family…...... Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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25 posts in 428 days

#3 posted 04-27-2017 12:48 AM

Thanks guys! I’m sure I will upgrade most of my tools in the future because 90% of what I have is old, used, and not exactly top of the line. I enjoy working on the lathe ( we all know they are like woodworking crack) but it is not my primary genre. I just want to have the capability to turn a bowl safely if I so desire. I want to find a relatively inexpensive solution to get me up and running.

View Blackbear50's profile


4 posts in 140 days

#4 posted 11-30-2017 07:40 AM

I just bought one for $50, my first lathe! Any advice welcome, I’m not rich so won’t be sinking money into her!

-- Chris, Pennsylvania,

View LeeMills's profile


521 posts in 1264 days

#5 posted 12-01-2017 06:41 PM

AS Brad said…”single tube machines and they are not all that robust and subject to problems due to the tube design”.
They were really made for spindle work or small bowls. Be careful of a large out of balance pieces. I had a Jet which looked almost identical. They have a small metal strip on the bottom of the tube and it can be broken. I know how to do it. :( You also probably have a very high “slow” speed maybe in the 900 – 1100 range which is way to fast for many larger items so please be careful and wear a face shield.

-- We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Albert Einstein

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4 posts in 140 days

#6 posted 12-02-2017 12:55 AM

Thanks LeeMills, that is exactly what I intend using lathe for. It doesn’t inspire using large wood!

-- Chris, Pennsylvania,

View Dimensions's profile


25 posts in 428 days

#7 posted 12-02-2017 02:53 AM

Yes i can definitely attest to the fact that it gets shaky with an unbalanced load. I’ve turned a bunch of spindle projects with great success, but since i don’t use pre cut blanks, it does take a minute to get it balanced. The larger the log, the more this is amplified.

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