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Thread: craftsman 149.23871 lathe question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Clintonville, WI

    craftsman 149.23871 lathe question


    My father-in-law had this old craftsman (model 149.23871) up in the rafters of his shed. I decided to rescue it this morning, but know NOTHING about lathes or turning, but would like to learn. I'm not sure I have all of the parts. Is it worth cleaning up and putting it to use or is it good for scrap? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Aurora, Co.
    Without any description of the lathe and the parts that you rescued It would be a real crap shoot to tell you weather or not you should try to bring it back to a full working lathe again. If you could post a picture of the lathe and the equipment that came with it we may be able to give you some advise. I know that old iron is sometimes better than the stuff that is comming out today.

  3. #3
    I don't know that lathe by the number but I'm guessing it's the old craftsman tube lathe, it has a long steel tube instead of parallel ways. But anyway, if it turns on when you flip the switch and the tailstock quill isn't all rusted tight I'd say it's good to go. They have a 3/4" x 16tpi spindle with a #1 morse taper in both the spindle shaft and the tailstock. You can get centers, chucks, and faceplates easily if any of that is missing. Fire it up and take it for a spin.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Clintonville, WI

    picture of lathe

    Here is a picture of the lathe. I don't know what I'm missing actually?? Forgive me for being lathe illiterate!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Longview WA
    It looks like what you will not be missing is a few bruises when the lady of the house sees what you did to her freezer.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007


    Whether it is the old twin tube, four foot bed lathe, or the mono tube lathe, many of us cut our shavings teeth on one of those. They can be underpowered, and difficult to get ascessories for. But I personaly turned on one for too many years. Good luck on whatever you decide to do. We'll be waiting for pictures.

  7. #7
    If you go to Sears Parts

    and search on that model number, you will get a diagram and parts list

    Hope this helps

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Clintonville, WI
    The freezer is an oldie but it still keeps kicking. Probably an energy eater too. As long as it keeps meat cold, we don't care what it looks like!

    I don't know what I'll do. He just told me he had a lathe up in the rafters and I thought I would check it out. I'm not married to the lathe just his daughter! If it isn't worth it, back up in the rafters it can go!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Lincoln, NE
    If it runs give it a try. I learned on a Dunlap that did not look that much different. Still have a lot to learn even tho the lathe has changed.

  10. #10
    the craftsmen wood lathe 149-23871 is ok, the tailstock is the problum in the way it's tied down with just one screw, I made a bracket that encases the back of the tailstock and ties both sides of the tubes down as well as the center screw. this keeps the lathe from rocking and moving around, you can go further by replacing the tubes with solid steel bars to make the whole unit very rigid if needed. A good point about this lathe is that you can extend it without to much effort, but in doing so the steel bars would be needed. I myself like the unit and with the above modifactions it works very well for my intended use.
    In closing it all depends and what you are able to spend and the applacations you need a lathe for.
    Last edited by Don Booth; 10-29-2011 at 10:25 PM.

  11. #11
    if you plug it in, does it turn? Do the headstock & tailstock line up? if so you have a lathe. You can turn spindles 'til you drop. My first lathe was a springpole I made. this has gotta beat that!! I made chair parts on mine & it did just fine.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Belden, Mississippi
    It will be for rather light duty turning. Good lathe to start with, and it'll teach ya some of the tricks.
    Get some starter tools, maybe even a Harbor Freight set, learn to sharpen 'em properly, and turn away.
    I did a lot of turning on a very similar lathe.
    On the other hand, I still have five fingers.

  13. I realize this thread is years old, but here goes. I just got a Sears 12-inch wood lathe, model 149.23871, from my brother-in-law a month ago. I have restored it. I saw a listing in a 1976 catalog for this machine. It sold new for $49.10. I tried to upload a photo of the restored lathe, but it failed to upload.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Fort Worth Texas

    The most important part of any lathe is the operator

    I cut my teeth on a very similar lathe, (see photo) and produced both of the attached pieces and many others some would say we're not possible on the lathe, but then I was very determined and hate giving up. If you have the tools that came with that lathe the handles may not be great, but the old steel still holds an edge better than some of the modern HF stuff, and I still use one ok my skews in a new handle.

    Seek out out a turning club, find a mentor, read books, look at videos, and let your imagination run wild. All the technology in the world cannot help someone with no talent for turning, but lack of technology will not hold back someone that does. Have fun and find out which type of turner you are!
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Platte City Missouri
    it is there. I learned on one just like it. Mount it to a 2x8, a nice flat one. then Go to start with pen turning. I recommend starting with carbide turning tools. You will not need to learn how to sharpen tools that way. (another art) Hahahahah, I just saw that I was responding to a 2009 post.)

    SO, what did you do? now its 2015


    Roy Sanders
    Knot to Pen Custom Turned Pens

    Platte City, Missouri. USA

    CorelDraw x 6
    Nice-Cut NC-4040 Tabletop Laser 40W

    12" Craftsman Table Saw
    12" Craftsman Band Saw
    Craftsman Scroll Saws
    DeWalt Thickness Planer
    !0" Wood Lathe
    Vacuum Chamber
    Pressure Pot

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