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I have an old Delta lathe, about 4 inch swing, about a 3 foot bed. It came with a faceplate that has four sliding clamps but no center. I would like to get something better but don't know what is avilable. The head stock is just a 1/ inch shaft. I don't ecpect to do anything fancy but woud like to be able to turn simple things like chisel handles. Thought I'd ask the experts what might be best way to go.
 

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mike44
retired carpenter and farmer
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I have an old Delta lathe, about 4 inch swing, about a 3 foot bed. It came with a faceplate that has four sliding clamps but no center. I would like to get something better but don't know what is avilable. The head stock is just a 1/ inch shaft. I don't ecpect to do anything fancy but woud like to be able to turn simple things like chisel handles. Thought I'd ask the experts what might be best way to go.
The head stock spindle has a morse taper. Determine the taper, may be a #2 or #3 MT. Is the spindle threaded? Count the threads in one inch. Measure the diameter of the spindle. Many lathes have a 1" spindle with 8 threads per inch.
There other combinations so measure carefully. You can then buy a chuck, or spur point . I rarely use my chuck but use the spur point a lot. The spur bites into a spindle that is centered. The other end is held in the tail stock with a MT dead or live center.Live center is preferred as it rotates with the spindle and does not burn the wood. The tailstock centers are removed by cranking the spindle to the closing position til the center pops loose. The spur point is removed with a steel rod that taps the spur point off the MT. Hold the point with a doubled up rag so it does not drop on the bed.
Your face plate can act as a 4 jaw chuck that holds square or round stock. Bowl stock also can be mounted to the face plate.
If cost is considered then all you need is a spur point, dead or live center for spindle turning.
Your face plate can be used as a 4 jaw chuck . If you need to buy lathe tools, I would reccomend Penn States Benjamins Best L&S ( long and strong )
mike
 

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To help us help you best, it would be good if you could provide the model number or or any other identifying information from the lathe (photos would be great). Also include photos of the headstock and tailstock. Please hold a ruler next to the headstock threads, too.
 

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Those photos help a lot. Check out this image search:
https://www.google.com/search?q=delta+277+lathe+headstock&tbm=isch

What I saw were small accessory attachments that push onto that headstock shaft and are held in place with set screws against the flat part of the shaft.

I saw the same faceplate/chuck as yours, and also a spur drive and a threaded fitting. The threaded headstock fitting could hold a standard "flat" faceplate or a more modern chuck. It appears that the tailstock has the same fitting, but I saw no tailstock attachments. I suspect that the tailstock accessory would look like a point, a "dead center."

Here are some additional links that may help:
http://vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=6981
http://www.vintagemachinery.org/photoindex/detail.aspx?id=16152
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1141/1904.pdf

I noticed that dates of manufacture ranged from the late 1920s to early 1930s.
 

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Shopsmith accessories fit a 5/8" spindle, perhaps get a bushing for your 1/2" spindle so you can use them. You can also get an adapter to use 1"- 8 TPI chucks etc.

 
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