View Full Version : 11" Delta/Rockwell Lathe

10-28-2001, 12:29 AM
I am looking into possibly purchasing a 1957 Delta 11" lathe, model 25-307 (variable speed). I haven't been out to look at it yet(don't know all of the specs on it either). I need it for hobby/side project use. Does anyone have any history with one of these? What should I look out for? From talking to the owner it sounds like it has had a decent life and is in good shape. Is it worth a 80 mile round trip to check out? I looked at the Jet stuff and I think I would rather go with a quality older piece than an import.


10-28-2001, 08:56 AM
A friend of mine has one -- thinks it's great. Another man whose opinion I respected highly was extemely impressed by the opposed Timken roller bearing system used in the headstock. He thought it was an excellent design. It's a true industrial-quality lathe.

I'd say it's certainly worth a look.

I think the variable-speed drive on my friend's either didn't work or had some kind of problem he had to fix. He's since installed a VFD motor drive on it, so he just uses that now, I think. If the rest of the lathe is in good shape, don't let a cantakerous variable-speed drive necessarily discourage you, there are ways around it.

[This message has been edited by SGW (edited 10-28-2001).]

10-28-2001, 10:05 AM
Thanks for the info! The owner wasn't sure on the spindle bore (about 1"+) or the distance between centers(24"?). Do you know what these sizes are off your friends machine?


10-28-2001, 11:23 AM
This site in the UK has some info that may be of use:


Back up to: http://www.lathes.co.uk

to find info on all sorts of older machine tools that are of interest to the hsm.

10-28-2001, 11:59 AM
Great web site! All the info I was looking for. Looks like I'm goin on a road trip.


10-28-2001, 03:37 PM
My friend's takes 5C collets and it's a long bed so it may be up to 36" between centers, not sure. In practice, the times I've needed a long bed on my lathe have been about twice in 25 years, so I wouldn't let that hold you up if it turns out to be a shorter bed. (Unless you KNOW you're going to want a long bed, for rifle barrels or something.)

10-29-2001, 11:55 PM
From the info I got from the owner I'm guessing long bed. From looking at the pics it looks like a quality piece. Making plans to go look this week.
Thanks for the help!


11-01-2001, 04:32 PM
I may be the friend SGW is talking about- at least he is a friend, and I do own a Rockwell 11" Lathe :-)

I think it is an excellent, industrial quality, machine. Mine is the 48" bed model, they also made a 36" and maybe even a smaller one. The spindle bore is 1 3/8, and does hold 5C collets. The spindle nose is L00, which is a taper shank with key so you can run in reverse and not unscrew a chuck. The headstock does run in big Timken rollers and can be adjusted to run dead-on. It has a nice one-hand lever to lock the spindle or to engage back gears.

Mine does have a vairable speed drive, of the type that uses variable width pulleys. It works fine. I have added a 3phase VFD drive, and that gives me even more options, but the variable speed is still usefull.

The only bad thing I have heard about them is that they do seem to have a bad habit of loosing teeth on the back gear. I have read notes from several guys about replacing them. I was told that my lathe had that problem, the owner had taken it apart, replaced the gear, but never got the machine fully back together and it sat for years until the dealer came along and picked it up. He sold it to me as a basket of parts, with the promise to get me any part that was missing- it was complete and I had no trouble assembling and setting it up.

I bought mine from a guy less than 40 miles from home, but I drove over 1,000 miles looking at other junk before I settled on this one. I highly reccommend the machine.

11-02-2001, 12:53 AM
All these good reports are making me ill. I had plans with the owner to go check it out tomorrow and buy it if it was in good shape. The guy called me tonight and said his buddy had just come and picked it up. How rude, I had a nice warm shop waiting for it! At least he called before I made the drive out. I'll take it as a sign that there is something better out there, maybe another one much closer to home, and keep looking. Thanks for taking the time to provide the details. I'm still interested in any more info on this model as it sounds like a good candidate.


11-02-2001, 01:36 AM
Steve, Steve, Steve,

Sue the bastard for psycic trauma and mental anguish AND for being a wennie!

Keep your eyes open, wallet ready, and sneakers pretied (unless you have the zip-up ones). Pay yer money, (don't laugh maniacally if it is a great deal or rub your hands together in glee - dicker for less money first and fein coronary at the final price) load it up, and get the hell out before they change their minds - IMHO.

Dave ;-)