Delta Wood Lathe

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Woodworking Shop

Hive13 Equipment
List of All Documented Equipment
Owner/Loaner: Hive13
Hive13 Asset Tag: HV0082
Make/Model: Delta 46-460, with 46-463 bed extension (google)
Arrival Date: 11/2016
Does it work?: Yes
Certification Needed?: Yes
Contact: Dave Velzy or Woodshop Warden
Floorplan: Woodshop


This Delta Midi-Lathe, model 46-460, has an electronic variable speed control on its 1 HP Max motor to enable turning objects at any speed between 250 and 4,000 RPMs. It will turn objects up to 12-1/2" (318 mm) in diameter over the bed and 9" (229 mm) in diameter over the tool rest base. The base 46-460 lathe has a maximum distance between centers of 16-1/2" (419 mm). This particular lathe is equipped with the optional 46-460 bed extension accessory to enable a maximum distance between centers capacity of 42" (1,067 mm).

Manual: File:Manual for Delta Wood Lathe 46-460.pdf

Parts List: [Parts List for the Delta Wood Lathe


  • Powerful 1 hp max, 1,725 rpm motor
  • Large 12-1/2-inch swing capacity
  • Electronic variable Speed with three-pulley speed ranges provide the required speeds needed to turn a project without changing belt position
  • Forward and Reversing function allows the turner to achieve a superior finish. Sanding a turned piece with the grain causes the wood fibers to lay down and remain rough.
  • Belt tensioning system for easy and quick speed changes and sets the belt at the correct tension every time for maximum power transfer and longer tool life


  • 4 Jaw Chuck
  • Extension bed - Increases working area to 46". Possible to install one additional extension
  • Knockout bar
  • Spur drive
  • Live center
  • 6" and 10" Tool Rests


  • Motor: 1 HP max, 120V, 60 Hz, 1 Phase
  • Speed: 250-700, 600-1,800 and 1,350-4,000 RPM
  • Swing Over Bed: 12 1/2 in.
  • Swing Over Base: 9 9/16 in.
  • Distance between Centers with Extension: 42 in.
  • Tailstock through Hole: 13/32 in. Self-ejecting
  • Drive Spindle through Hole: 15/32 in.
  • Drive Spindle: 1 in.-8 RH TPI Thread (This is used for attaching faceplates, and other accessories)
  • Head and Tailstock Taper: #2 MT (This is used for any accessory with a taper)


  • Set screws on faceplate/chuck 3 mm allen wrench
  • 4 Jaw Chuck screws 4 mm allen wrench

Pic of knockout tool location

Lathe accessories
4 Jaw Nova chuck for wood lathe

Wood Lathe 101 - a basic getting started explanation

  • Turning wood on the lathe is easy to get started. Hive13 has all the needed tools.
  • Watch this video - exceptional for getting started:
  • Read this well written manual if you need words and diagrams.
    • For your starter piece(s) there are two schools of thought.
    • Use Pine because it is low cost. The downside is Softwood may tear out or allow the chisle to gouge and is difficult to get a nice finished surface.
    • A middling hardwood, like poplar or basswood, though more expensive will shave or cut more easily.


  • Be excellent by wearing a mask and face shield. Be sure to clean up after yourself.  The Lathe makes a bigger mess than most any other machine.

Regardless of the wood you begin with, start with a 2x2 square cross section cut into 6” sections and practice using that between centers on the spur drive. The reason for this is:

  • It is cheap. You are mostly learning tool familiarity at this point.
  • Being between centers it will be more stable, and less chance of sending it flying.
  • If it does go flying, it is small and less painful
  • If it goes flying, it is quick and easy to stick back on the spur drive.
  • One of the first daunting things to get used to is making square things round.
  • Once you can confidently make the square things round, then you can start working on your spindle work.
  • There are only 2 things to worry about in spindle work, beads and coves.  But that is because everything on a spindle is either a bead or cove....
  • From there, face turning for things like a platter, are just beads and coves at a 90 degree angle from what you are used to.
  • And bowl turning is just a 2 sided spindle.

One of the first things I learned at Hive13 is that if you ask 12 people the right way to do something, you'll get 13 answers all claiming to be the only correct way.  But nothing any of of us made the first few time is going to be a nice decorative piece. And I don’t think you’d really be able to blame the wood for the issues. :) But you innately need thinking to yourself, if I screw this up, I’m destroying $0.23 of material.

Tool Sharpening

  • On the topic of sharpening, there are 2 schools of thought.
    • A perfect edge that you spend 5 minutes setting up on jig for the a wet grinder, or
    • A good enough edge you spend 15 seconds doing on the bench grinder. If the edge scrapes a curl from your fingernail, it's sharp enough.

Hive13 has several sets of tools. We have low cost tools. Use these first. If you decide that you need your own, then buy a CHEAP set from amazon. There is one out there for like $30. They aren’t nice, but they work. As you are learning to sharpen, so what if you grind extra off to fix a mistake. When you are starting out, the tools will not be the limiting factor. The same reason lacking a $3500 guitar is not really the reason my guitar playing does not sound as good as Eric Clapton’s. Once you start burning up that cheap set, it will be worth investing in the single tool that cost more than the entire cheap set.

The first tool you’ll use is a 3/8 gouge that comes with a garbage grind on it. But by that time you’ll have a general idea of the shape of the grind you like on your gouge.

The skew chisel is really the only tool you need of all of them because it is the most versatile and therefor the best tool there is.  Don’t take it out of the case for the first 6 months. It is the hardest to learn to use properly, and it is easy to get yourself in trouble with it when you are first starting because you can either cut with the heel or the toe, but NOT both at the same time. That is when bad things begin occurring.

I’m mostly typing at this point so I can copy it out and put it on the wiki as a basic getting started list. ... like I said the past 2 times people have asked about getting started with the lathe...

Note: Hive13 now has higher end tools that did cost more for one tool than all the other tools. How can I tell the difference? Generally, the better tools have longer handles. We recommend that you start on the smaller lathe and work your way up in skills.