Craftsman 9″ Lathe

Circa 1940′s
Model 103.23070

This is a Craftsman Lathe, 9″ Swing/ 30″ between centers. offers a download of the manual for this lathe here.

Here it is finally restored. You can read through the process below.

As found:

While visiting my parents in the Sierras, my dad and i went on a old tool hunt at the salvage yard. After a hour or so of looking at all the random junk, we were on our way out an spotted this gem on a wood pallet.

The lathe came with a threaded morse taper adapter and a craftsman keyless chuck threaded on. It is also missing the headstock end cover.

Tear-Down/Dissasembly 9-10-06

I tore down the lathe tonight.

I ran into 2 problems. First, the mt#1 threaded adapter was rusted in. Secondly, the tailstock ram would not come out of the tailtock.

For the first problem, I soaked the assembly in penetrating oil for a while then used a rod pushed through the spindle to try to hammer the center out. That didnt work so finally I bolted the spindle down and (to the horror of other owwm’ers) used vise crips on the adapter to rotate it back and worth. Finally it came out.

For the second problem I used some of the existing parts to pull the ram out of the spindle. I’m not sure if it is supposed to fit that tightly, I’m sure I’m going to have to get creative again when it comes time to put it back in.

I also began to use electralysis on the tool rest to remove the rust and paint.

To find out more about what electralysis is please visit the following links:

Paint/Rust Removal & Paint Prep 11-18-06

To remove the paint and rust on the larger parts I let them soak in my Electrolysis tank for several days each. After this I used a wire wheel chucked ino my drill press to clean off any grime or rust left and end up with a shiny, clean surface.

I got these 2 wheels at my local Home Depot. One is a cup for getting into crowded areas and the other a standard wheel.

Wire Wheels

The great thing about using your drill press and a wire wheel together is that the up-and-down action of the spindle can help speed things up alot. Here are some shots of the cleaned parts. The bed is the only thing i couldnt get the paint off of, since it wouldnt fit in my electrolysis tank and I don’t have a sand blaster. I went over the bed with some medium grit sandpaper to give the new paint a good surface to bond to.

Small Parts

Headstock, etc

Lathe Bed

To remove the Craftsman badge and the Model Number badge I took the advice of some owwm’ers and grinded down the time of a 3 1/2″ nail and used it as a punch to drive out the pins from behind. It took some patience to find the right angle and room to swing the hammer but eventually the all came out. Tip if you are doing this yourself. Either have a clean floor underneath the pins or put a towel or blanket to catch the pins and badges when they finally do come flying out. You don’t to be on your hands and knees looking for that tiny pin. (sound like i know what i’m talking about?)

Pins and Badges

Hopefully I will find time to prep further then paint then week! After it dries I’ll reassemble then build the stand I’ve been sketching out.

Finally Assembled 1-5-07

IMG_6895.jpg IMG_6891.jpg IMG_6892.jpg

I no longer own this machine.

43 Replies to “Craftsman 9″ Lathe”

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  1. Harry Shelton says:

    Great restoration. I have the exact same model Craftsman wood lathe I aquired from my father-in-law. It belonged to his father and fortunately he had built a stand out of angle iron and wood. I’m curious if you needed to find any parts for your machine, I’m finding it difficult to locate a source for parts. Keep up the good work.

  2. Mike says:

    Nice job! I just picked one of these up last week-end. It’s about 95% complete. I managed to get the bearings freed up in the head stock. The index pin is frozen. I’ve had it soaking in penetrant. Any reccomendations on freeing this up without breaking it. I tried propane heat with no luck. I’m missing the two nuts on the outboard spindle, do you know what size those are. Again , great restoration.

  3. bill lozano says:

    I have used transmission oil for freeing up frozen rusted metal with good success. A little bit of tension to cause a twisting type of tension while it’s in the solution also helps. Do you know what the deminsions are for the tool rest in your photos: length, width, thickness of shaft, etc.?

  4. Santos Ramos says:

    Beautiful work. I just purchased one. I notice that the same model was posted and it had the aluminum cover, like brand new. The one I have doesn’t have the chrome cover. Is there a way to get these covers?

  5. Greg Applen says:

    Great job on the restoration. I have one that seems to be a copy of yours however the color is a metalic wheat, or very similar to powermatic yellow. It has not been repainted so I am assuming the color is original. I am very interested in your electrolysis system. Can you direct me to info on how to set this up.

  6. Matt Hayden says:

    I’ve just gotten one just like yours, albeit in better condition, for $60. Only missing piece is the spur center, and I understand that it’s a standard #1 Morse taper. Trying to order one from the PartsDirect website, tho.

  7. George Tongue says:

    I have a Craftsman model 103.23180. It
    is in mint condition and just gave it to a
    woodworking friend. It was given to me many
    years ago with the stipulation that no money
    ever changes hands, kind of a legacy. I was
    the third owner and as my friend lives with-
    in an hour, I can always go there and do my
    turning work. That’s when Sears sold real
    goods. phone is (518) 399-1521.

    Take care,

  8. TJ Profera says:

    I have the same lathe (103.23070) and was hoping you could help me. Have you found a place where an owners manual can be found?

    I like your restoration! You do nice work. Its good to see these old ww machines restored and put in use. Thanks for sharing.

  9. TJ Pro says:

    Did you ever get this lathe mounted and running? I’d like to see what you’ve done for a bench and copy it maybe.

  10. therese martin says:

    good morning, i just bought this wonderful old lathe last weekend, and i need to get a shorter belt to make work on the stand it came on. how do i get it off the motor?
    thankyou, therese martin

  11. Russ Trice says:

    I was given this lathe a few years ago by a cabinet maker who retired. I would also be interested in seeing how the lathe is mounted and in particular how the motor is mounted.

  12. Tsoumou says:

    Besoin d’info sur les prix des machines.

  13. Scott Beck says:

    What size electric motor is stock for this wood lathe. I bought one from someone w/o the motor.

  14. Luke says:


    Check out the site – you can find the original manual / papers on there that have all the specs for the lathe (and it’s motor).


  15. john saffran says:

    I just bought this lathe which is in pretty good shape, I would like to change to a longer belt. The headstock spindle seems frozen onto the bearings. I have tried tapping both ends but am afraid of hitting too hard. Any ideas how to free it up without damaging the bearings?

  16. Luke says:


    The spindle is supposed to be tight on the bearings. Make sure the bearing retaining plates are off and use a rubber mallet. Worst case scenario is that you trash the bearings and need to buy new ones. They are cheap and the lathe might need them anyway.

  17. John Saffran says:

    If parts (the bearings) do need to be replaced, suggestions as to where should I start looking would be appreciated?

  18. Randy Beard says:

    I have a Craftsman model 101.06260 wood lathe that doesn’t have a tailstock shaft. Anyone know where I can get parts for this lathe?

  19. Luke says:


    Try ebay and the site.

  20. Shawn says:

    Need your insight. I have this old GE wood lathe/table saw combo. It came on its own GE stand, 1/8 hp motor, between centers is 18in and 9in swing. table saw fit 7.25to 8in blade. I would like to restore it but im missing a few key parts. (tools rest, miter gage) and maybe more stuff> I can’t find any info on anywhere on the internet. any help on finding parts or point me in the direction to some one who know about this lathe.

  21. Jesse Rieber says:

    I have a Dunlap lathe model 1040602. Someone replaced the spindle in the headstock with a solid spindle. I have never owned a lathe before but from looking at various sites it appears: 1) that the business end is supposed to have tghreads on the outside and 2) a moorse taper in the middle. I am looking for a replacement for the original spindle or the specifications of an original such that I can have a machine shop make me on. If you can provide either please contact me at 508-999-3290 (you will get a recorded message stating you have reached a psychotherapist’s office, but leave the message because that’s me!

  22. Jesse Rieber says:

    Sorry error in typing the correct number is 1030602

  23. Ray Sutherland says:

    Nice job…lots of hard work. I found a 103.23070 at a yardsale…giant pile of rust…and am currently restoring it. I didn’t do quite the job that you did, but I did completely dismantle it a wire wheeled everything, repainted, etc. It looks good. I’m missing the cover and the #1 morse tapers on the head and tail stocks…nobody seems to make them anymore. The guy was using it for metalwork and had a 4 jaw chuck..I can use that but want the original stuff. Any hints on finding parts?

  24. Luke says:


    You can find the MT1 tapers at many tool stores, particularly Sears. If your local store doesn’t carry them then check out their website – they are available there – albeit a little pricey.

  25. bud says:

    i have a vintage 60′s atlas 6″ lathe. i have been trying to put a value on it but i cant seem to find any others to go by thanks bud

  26. john curtin says:

    I recently came across this Craftsman woodlathe, 9″, 103.23070, and it has never even been taken out of it’s original packing box. Any offers or suggestions?

  27. EARL BONNER says:


  28. Max Bradley says:

    I was given a Sears wood lathe, model #113.228162. I would like to know where I can get parts and a instruction manuel

  29. Joe Wildermuth says:

    For my craftsman 103-23070 I need tailstock center point and the tailstock shaft into which the center point fits.

  30. Sean Sullivan says:

    Hello, folks. Great site. Always wanted to try woodturning, and as luck had it, purchased a Dunlap lathe at a yard sale. All the moving parts sem to turn easily by hand. Yet the machine is missing the (bits?) that spin and hold the stock in place. I will take some pics and send them along. The lathe is it original blue color. I hope these parts are still common to more modern machines and easy to come by. Thanks for any help.

  31. Jeff says:

    I just bought the same lathe as pictured. I cleaned it up, but have not powered it up yet. The problem is the spindle coming out of my headstock has no threads of any kind. The spur center is tapered and snugs into the spindle. What am I missing? The photos above show something else, but the diagram in the users manual looks just like mine. I want to buy a faceplate, but there are no threads to attach it to! Can anyone help me?

  32. Luke says:


    It’s possible you have a replacement spindle without the threads, but I doubt it. Email me a photo or two of it and I’ll see if I can help out at all. The address is info [at]


  33. Ryan says:

    I just bought a sears dunlap 9″ wood lathe dated july 1940, its in great condition and I have used it, does anyone know how much it would sell for?

  34. Luke says:


    Price is worth what someone would pay for it. Could be anything, or nothing :-) . It might be worth posting a thread in the For Sale forum here:


  35. Ryan says:

    Alright, thank you for your help.

  36. Mike says:

    I have a model103.23070 that is comlpete and in working order. However, I need to free the graduated speed roler forward a bit.
    I was afraid that I might break the bearings and was not sure I could get more. I will try the web site you mentioned to look for an owners manual. I haved used this laith for at least 10 years to make spindals and table legs. I am now going to try my hand at bowels. I bought a chuck through Penn State. I hope it all works out.Mike

  37. Jim says:

    I have a Craftsman wood Lathe model 103.23071, 30″ with 9″ swing (bought around 1955-57). I have lost the cup center with point that holds the wood to the tailstock assembly. Does anyone know where I can get this item or any other part that would work in my lathe? I would like to sell this lathe and need this part to complete make the late totally operational.

  38. Susan says:

    Hi Old Machine,
    Your blog is over the top.
    You have done a wonderful job on the Craftsman Lathe #103.23070.
    I have been eagerly searching for a manual for the same lathe.
    I was so pleased when I saw that you had one and were willing to share it with others…the link has expired :(
    Do you still have the manual to share???
    I would really appreciate a resource for Mr.Lathe.
    Thanks again for a great blog.

  39. Henry Shipman says:

    I was given this lathe, craftsman model no. 103.23070. It does not have its motor and I’d like to know the horse power of the original supplied motor.

    If anyone knows how I could find a copy of the owner’s manual for this lathe, please let me know

    Thanks Henry shipman

  40. I own a craftsman lathe model# 10323070 and the “tail” end that holds the wood in place does not turn with the wood, as does the newer models, hence the wood heats up and smokes. Is there any kind on adapter one can put on or a new part so the tail end spins with the wood? Grant 503-341-1532

  41. Ed says:

    To John Saffran,

    If you go to a machine shop, or an industrial welding shop, they will be able to tell you who in your area sells bearings. Bearings can be ordered by cross referencing numbers, or simply by accurately measuring the originals. They may have lower priced bearings and higher priced bearings. You will get what you pay for. If you want your restoration to last, spend the money.

  42. S says:

    I was cleaning out an old shed and was given this exact machine in really good shape. What do you think it is worth or best means of getting it to someone looking for a progect

  43. John says:

    I have this lathe and have used Craft Supplies USA in Utah for some parts. Their service is great and they usually have what I need. (I don’t work for them but am glad to recommend them for any lathe tools or accesories)

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