I’ve been looking at getting a lathe for a while, so when this Dewalt Lathe Model 730 popped up on Craigslist, I jumped on it immediately. This is a Model 730 manufactured around 1963 right here in Lancaster, PA. It originally sold for around $155 and is 115lbs of American cast iron. It’s in amazing shape for it’s age. It came with the a Rockwell 3/4hp motor, all the tools and the table for the low price of $100.
Once we got it home, #2 son and I assembled a mobile tool base for it, since I don’t have space in the garage for a permanent home. I’ve used these bases for my Grizzly Table Saw and my Sprunger Planer and they work well, when they get assembled right. They’re even better when you can use a 20% coupon on them.
We re-mounted the Lathe to the table, connected the belt and turn it on, it worked perfectly. At that point we quit for the night because it was a very long day.
Today I decided to actually try turning something. I’ve never used a lathe before, but I’m familiar with the general operation. I had two piece of red oak that were glued together a while ago and figured they’d make a good practice piece. When we put the belt on the night before, we set it for the highest RPM, 4000. After I turned it on at that speed, I realized that seemed to be too fast to work with on my first piece.
I figured that I’d just try rounding this piece with a rasp. It took a little more than an hour and I had it rounded down the entire length. Over all, that part was fairly easy. I’m going to need some practice using the other tools.
My First Turn on the Dewalt Lathe Model 730
I did spend some time this morning before I tried turning a piece cleaning up all the sliding surfaces with Fluid Film. There wasn’t much surface rust on it, but just enough to make the end stock and tool guide difficult to slide. The bearings on the spindle are smooth and quiet. You’d never know that this machine is as old as it is just from hearing.