View Full Version : old tough lathe

30th Jan 2011, 04:53 AM
Hi all! How much can be wrong with an old tough lathe? I was introduced to the world of wood turning on a tough at high school but that was many years ago now. Am I right in guessing that parts are no longer still avail? Cheers for any help or advice in advance.:2tsup:

brendan stemp
30th Jan 2011, 10:08 AM
I'd reckon you couldn't go wrong with an old Tough. Similar to any old Woodfast. All the important bits should still be good and the wear and tear bits should be easily replaced. Put a variable speed motor on it and you should have an excellent lathe.

30th Jan 2011, 05:06 PM
G'day comgreserv, you can get new parts for your lathe from these blokes at The WOODSMITH Pty Ltd Home Page (http://www.thewoodsmith.com.au/thewoodsmith/)

Len Smith at the Woodsmith bought all rights for Tough lathes and tooling to make new replacement components. :2tsup:

30th Jan 2011, 05:50 PM
Haven't heard of Len at the Woodsmith selling spares I must say but Waldo has.

There's two members of the forum that have bought old Toughs.

I can recall one and prob will in the shower tomorrow remember the other. PM me.


There was one I crawled over at a nearby 2nd hand ww machinery place and it didn't jump to the top of my 'good opportunity' for someone list.

You need to back up and ask yourself what you want to do with a lathe.

Distance between centres?
Outboard turning facility?
How much power?

There are good lathes and there are cheap lathes. If you get lucky, you might get both, with careful research and close looking.

tea lady
1st Feb 2011, 10:24 AM
I've got an "Old Tough" lathe! There is a whole thread here with who has them and what they thought! Good lathe I reckon! There is also one at Knox Woodworkers workshop!

You can do outbord turning on them. Especially the ones with a left hand thread on teh outboard side! The only down side is they have nuts and bolts holding the bango and tail stock down. But I am starting to actually prefer it. Don't take much time to adjust when you get use to it. and you can get more pressure that cam locks, which can come adrift a bit.

tea lady
1st Feb 2011, 10:27 AM
Here is the other thread about them! :cool:


old pete
1st Feb 2011, 05:15 PM
Hi Comgreserv,

There's two quite distinct models of the Tough cause I've got one of each. The earlier model is a pretty close copy of the Woodfast with cosmetic changes. The newer model is quite different with a massive cast base.There's one shown in an earlier post to this thread. I originally had the two mounted end to end on a single bench for long turning.

Obviously only drove this rig from the LH headstock end for spindle turning. I had planned to reverse the headstock in the RH machine and use it for outboard turning for bowls, ie using the RH thread on the reversed headstock with the motor direction reversed on that end, but whilst I was not getting on with this I was fortunate enough to acquire a bowl specific lathe so it never happened. A few years ago I fitted a VSD motor: fantastic. I set the belt on the pulleys on the third highest speed and I've never shifted the belt since. I also fitted a new banjo and tool rest equipped with camlock fittings

I don't think I'd worry about spare parts. I've fitted one set of thrust bearings in about 25 years of sub- commercial turning say averaging 15 hours per week year in and out. Since reading your post I went out and had a close look at the bases of both the tool rest banjo and the tailstock. There's no discernible wear there at all with the original machining marks clearly visible over the whole surface. There's a bit of wear exhibiting as take up slop in the threads of the tail stock mechanism but that has no effect on precision.

I've said it before on these forums sometime but I think age in a lathe is largely irrelevant. What is relevant is having a massive vibration free quality casting and then a precision machined bed and tail stock with everything lined up with minimal tolerances. There's lots of "old" lathes about that have never done anything but a bit of hobby work or sat in a dark corner in a school cause nobody on staff could teach the art. The bowl lathe I have is a Viceroy and it came from a school where I used to teach turning part time. The cleaner told me he hadn't seen it operate in the 24 years he'd worked there. I bought them two VM 140's for their other lathes in exchange for it

PS I also have a Tough chain morticing machine. That's a much less common beast and again massively built with beautiful precision action in the long and cross feed mechanisms.:)

Cheers Old Pete