Seneca Falls 12″ Metal Lathe

Model: 12″ Quick Change Engine Lathe
Circa: 1915

I purchased this lathe from a gentleman in Lodi, CA who’s father originally had and used the lathe. It is thought to have come from a factory in Lodi that made ‘re-treads’ for tires in the 50′s. I am going to use this lathe to make and repair parts for my wood working machines.

The machine sits on the cast iron ‘special legs’ and has the rarer gear box that lets you change the lead screw feed speed easily. I believe it is one of if not the most robust machine that the company made. It has the distinct handwheels instead of the normal ‘faucet’ handles which also stands out.
It is in good running condition with a 3 horse 3 phase motor running to a jackshaft/truck transmission. I plan on doing away with this setup and going to a flat belt step pulley mounted above the machine from the wall.

The lathe came with a few cutters, a 12″ 3-jaw chuck, a tapering attachment, lantern style tool stand and the original adjustment wrenches. It also has a cross feed stop. The overall machine width counting the gearbox is around 80″, much larger than I thought.

Seneca Falls Tapering Attachment

Update 2012 — I no longer own this machine.

26 Replies to “Seneca Falls 12″ Metal Lathe”

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  1. Your Wife says:

    What a man! What a lathe!

  2. Tamara Bloom says:

    My father has had an old seneca falls lathe with the “STAR” trade mark for 50 years. The last patent date is Jan 11, 1910. I can’t find any other numbers on it. I have taken some pictures and would like to know if this is still a useable piece of equipment that we should sell as such or are people out there who research the old equipment for archives? He is getting older and would like someone who would appreciate it own it.

    Thank you for your time.
    Tamara Bloom

  3. Dan Spohn says:

    I have a seneca lathe also.
    I beleive it is much the same lathe.
    It has a pan under the lathe, betwene the
    lathe and legs.
    Mine looks very much the same, and is in exelent condition.
    I would like more close up pictures.
    I could also send som pic,s of mine.
    I hope to hear from you.
    Dan Spohn

  4. Reuben Y. says:

    I recently acquired a Seneca lathe- looks similar to yours.
    I’m in the process of getting it out of the sellers property and have to dismantle it for the move. Would you have any knowledge or a manual to show assembly or disassembly?
    I’ve got pics to share too.

    Not very much info on the net for Seneca lathes only the UK one which doesn’t show pictures such as yours.

    Would like to hear from you.


  5. tom says:

    I have a metal lathe number 6 sept 21,
    seven & 1/2 long with castron legs and heavy,
    the motor is about two foot above the chucks

  6. S.K. says:


    I recently acquired a star lathe which looks similar–possibly identical–to yours. I was wondering if you had any information on the value of this particular piece of equipment? Mine’s a bit dirty, but still in full working order.

    Thanks! You can reply to the email I registered this comment with.

  7. Tim Dunham says:

    I Have an old metal lathe made by Kidd Iron Works in Rochester, NY. Seems to be in working order, and lots of parts and cutting tools. Trying to find more info on it. Any suggestions?

  8. Warner Athey says:

    I just bought a Seneca Falls Lathe. I may need some advice from you. My lathe looks a little smaller than yours. I think they are about the same age.

  9. Walt Richardson says:

    Hi I have a 11×24 Seneca falls Star lathe, it was a private purchase unit I believe and it is in very god shape, it has a most of the attachments that appear on e UK web site Gear cutter + spline cutter + machining attachment. If you havew nay questions I can help with feel free to ask not a pro but have had alot of fun with it so far

  10. Walt Richardson says:

    Would be neat to see a pic of the taper attachment for your lathe thats the only thing that got awa y from me so I adapted a Atlas unit to my lathe

  11. Warner Athey says:

    I have an old Seneca Falls lathe which is about 36 inch. I did not get a motor with it. It looks like it had belts comming down from overhead. I did not get the belts. Can anyone tell me what size motor I will need to power the lathe? If you have powered a lathe like this I would be interested in finding out how you did it. Thanks Warner Athey

  12. Luke says:


    I’ve just updated the post with the only picture I have of the taper attachment. The whole thing isn’t even in the picture. Hope that helps you.

  13. Warner Athey says:

    Is that a rat in the last picture?

  14. Warner Athey says:

    I was wondering something. How do you measure in or to get 12″? Is that between centers? If so it looks like a lot more than 12″.

  15. Warner Athey says:

    I was wondering something. How do you measure in or to get 12″? Is that between centers? If so it looks like a lot more than 12″. Thanks Warner

  16. Walt Richardson says:

    Thanks for the picture of the taper attachment looks kinda like I thought it would have liked to have gotten the one that came with mine, you need to measure from the center of the spindle over to the closest point of the way to find the swing of your lathe it woould be the largest diameter of an item that could be chucked in the lathe and and rotated. My lathe has a 1/3 hp motor attached to the back of the lathe and runs at 1,725 RPM with a 3″ pully on the shaft, it then runs by flat belt up to a flat pully that is 7.906 in diameter which runs at 654 rpm. from there it goes horizontally through a shaft with a 3.245 inch Vpully (3 1/4 would work)which also is turning at 654 rpm. From this pully it goes by vbelt to a 12 inch pully which gives a rpm of 177 rpm and that inturn drives the 4 step secondary cone. these rpms allow the lathe spindle speeds to be correct at the spindle which is suppose to be between 450 to 128 and 54 to 15 using the back gear Hope this is some help

  17. Steven Barfuss says:

    I have a friend in New Hampshire who I am going to try and sell his old lathe. It has the name hennelly on one of the plates’ Send me an email and I will share the pictures. I would like to find a good home for this lathe.

  18. Ray Kehrhan says:

    My Brother and I have set up a Yahoo Forum for folks interest in lathes Built by Seneca Falls Co. We Invite all interested to apply to participate.
    The purpose of the forum is to exchange information and restoration tips and to build a user group that can share information. It is limited to Seneca Falls Co. built lathes.

  19. angela bruce says:

    I have the Seneca Falls Metal Lathe in my basement that my husband used. He is now deceased and would like to sell it to someone who would like to have one.(real cheap) There are dates of 8/20/1889, designed patent 11/5/1895 and another date 6/30/85. Anyone interested please email me and we can make some type of arrangements.

  20. James Craft says:

    I recently bought a Seneca Falls lathe 12″x48″. It looks very close to your machine. It is in fairly good condition, with a few teeth missing on some gears and the reverse tumbler broken. I believe that I can gas weld and grind new teeth, but I would like to get a new reverse tumbler. Do you know where to get parts for this lathe? Also a manual?

  21. meenadevi.C says:

    need old die machine lathe pls send your contact number and address, i will contact you back

  22. I live near Lodi, Ohio and have one of these lathes.

    If someone is interested, make a fair offer.

    You would have to pay for shipping or pick it up.

  23. James Craft says:

    I emailed you about a year age. I have been working on my Seneca Falls lathe. gears mostly. Do you have the yahoo forum up and running yet? I would like to join if I can.

  24. jim underwood says:

    I recently purchase a STAR metal lathe in perfect like new cond…about 1906;;;;; I would like to purchase a working taper attachment,,,,also i would like to know a ballpark value of lathe.thanks…

  25. I would like to buy a used metal lathe. I am in Eureka, CA.—Matt

    707 268 8514

  26. R.Bradley says:

    Would like to know the apprtoximate value of a Senca Falls Star lathe

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