Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

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Hardware/Software: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB

Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by JPH » Sun 30 Oct , 2016 19:04 pm

I recently acquired a Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe in need of some TLC, and thought I'd share my experiences of restoring it on this forum to assist anyone else with a similar machine. First of all, let me say that although I consider myself reasonably practical when it comes to building things out of wood, I have never stripped down and rebuilt a lathe before - or anything similarly mechanical. About as much as I've done mechanically is bolt some luggage racks, fairings and footboards to my Moto Guzzi, so this was the first time I have ever attempted anything on this scale.

I previously had a very cheap wood lathe that I used to start learning wood turning on - with only a 0.5hp motor, a 12" swing over the bed giving maximum theoretical bowl sizes of 12", but realistically around 10.5" to have some clearance. As I turned more bowls and started doing segmented bowl turning, I felt the need for something with more power and a greater clearance to allow larger bowls up to 16-18". After considering a new lathe, I decided that I could not justify spending either side of £3000 to get a Killinger or a Wivamac lathe, great as they are, but too expensive for me when it's just a hobby. So, I turned my attention to secondhand lathes - either the Union Graduate or the Denford Viceroy, with the intention of adding a 1.5hp motor and an inverter to run on single phase electrics from a domestic circuit. The Union Graduate was discounted because the max 12" swing over the bed was no better than my existing lathe, and its size was too large for the space in my workshop. So I chose the Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB and waited for one to come available on ebay or other classified sites. I eventually found one in Glasgow that looked in decent condition, and included an Axminster chuck and a sanding table for the LH bed. I was the only bidder on it, so soon found myself searching for pallet quotes to get it shipped to me near London.

The lathe had been painted a very bright green at some point, but there were lots of paint runs and areas where the paint was chipped down to the cast iron underneath, so it needed to be stripped back completely and painted again from scratch. The motor it came with was a 3-phase 0.75hp motor, but I intended to upgrade the motor and add an inverter, so that soon came out. Pictures below of my progress so far, with comments along the way which I hope provide an insight into the process.

Here are a few of the suppliers who I used which were very helpful: - very competitive price and delivered safely and on time, delivery driver very helpful. - John at Newton Tesla was very helpful in providing advice about which motor and inverter would suit the intended use, and they supply a control panel which is designed to fit a Union Graduate lathe, but also fits the Denford Viceroy TDS6 with some new holes for the faceplate (see below). - Paragon Paints, including Primer and top coat. I chose CompAir Broome Wade Light Blue from their Workshop machinery colours, which I know isn't original, but I wanted something bright and cheerful as well as different. (Yes, Hammerite silver or green is much easier, but it's not for me). - Emkay Screw Supplies had a Socket Head Shoulder Screw, 0.5" x 1.0" x 3/8" BSW which I need for the spindle lock, which is unfortunately missing but I'll make another one once the lathe is put back together. - the tool rest and tailstock had some really crappy handles made from a bit of threaded bar, so I purchased some new handles from Berger Tools, who sell an adjustable tension lever handle with a 3/8" BSW thread, in a variety of diameters and thread lengths (item 212.3). In fact, I couldn't find any other companies that still offered these handles with 3/8" BSW thread - more expensive than I had anticipated at nearly £10 each + vat + shipping, but worth it if they fit perfectly and work properly.

Here it is as it arrived on the pallet:
IMG_0999.JPG (1.43 MiB) Viewed 12788 times
And then stripped down into the main components: headstock and base, steel base and cast iron plate for the motor:
P1020094.jpeg (240.57 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
All the other components laid out on my workbench:
P1020093.jpeg (205.46 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
After a couple of hours with a grinder with a wire brush attachment, which really ripped through the paint right back to the cast iron with a little pressure:
IMG_1010.JPG (1.44 MiB) Viewed 12788 times
IMG_1011.JPG (1.36 MiB) Viewed 12788 times
I used a "Surface Preparation Wheel" from Screwfix on the tool rest uprights and tailstock - and that whipped through the paint with very little pressure at all. This was a great tool for stripping paint off, but be careful not to apply any pressure at all!
P1020095.jpeg (202.24 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
I used paint stripper from Stationary Engine Parts on the steel base, rather than the wire brush on the grinder, as I was concerned that the wire brush would be too harsh on the sheet steel. A generous brushing of paint stripper left for 20-30 minutes required no more than 2 coats before I was back to bare metal:
P1020096.jpeg (189.51 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
While the paint stripper was working its magic on the base, I took the angle grinder with wire brush attachment and polished the cast iron bases that the tool rest slides on. There are two of them: one before, one after:
P1020098.jpeg (184.34 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
I also turned my attention to the lathe bed to remove some of the rust and marks. I used a variety of metal polishes: Autosol Bluing Remover which is designed to remove the blue heat stains from the exhausts on my motorbike, applied with 000 wire wool:
P1020099.jpeg (173.72 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
The lathe bed came up reasonably well with the Bluing Remover, but I also used Autosol metal polish, and even tried a Brillo pad with WD40 to remove some of the deep stains - however, the circular stains wouldn't clear entirely:
P1020104.jpeg (171.62 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
With the base now completely stripped, it was time to dry-fit the new motor, inverter and control panel to check where the new holes would have to be drilled for the control panel and the inverter, but also ensuring sufficient clear space between the motor and inverter. I wanted to mount the inverter horizontally to allow for more space between it and the motor, but after speaking to John at Newton Tesla, he said the inverter had to be mounted upright due to the way the fins were designed to dissipate any heat from the inverter. He also said it was ideal for it to be mounted to the steel base as it is then completely grounded and the steel also acts as an additional heat sink for the inverter:
P1020107.jpeg (205.65 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
And here is the steel base with the socket head screws through the new holes drilled to mount the inverter:
P1020105.jpeg (164.01 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
Here is the base for the motor as it arrived:
IMG_1013.JPG (1.11 MiB) Viewed 12788 times
And after a couple of coats of primer, showing the new holes drilled to take the new motor, and bolted to the new base I made out of an old 10x10cm fence post, with 4 x 50cm lengths bolted together with a 10mm threaded bar. I knew the centre height of the lathe was a couple of cms lower than my previous lathe, and I wanted it to be even higher, so this seemed like a good solution to raise the centre height while also adding even more mass to the base to prevent it moving around my workshop:
P1020121.jpeg (168.9 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
The underside of the lathe bed after 2 coats of primer:
P1020114.jpeg (172.9 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
And the other components being primered:
P1020116.jpeg (202.77 KiB) Viewed 12788 times
I'm now waiting for the primer to dry completely before I can start on the top coat. Pictures of that to follow when complete.

Thoroughly enjoying the rebuild so far. Looking forward to painting it and then starting to turn on it.

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Location: Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia

Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by JohnPDownunder » Tue 01 Nov , 2016 11:58 am


Looks like you are doing a good job at rebuilding the old TDS6. I have just joined the forum to bring back a few memory's of my apprenticeship at Denford Machine Tools in the mid 60's and low and behold the first post I see is related to theTDS6.

During my time with Denfords I built a lot of wood lathes and Bowl Turning machines (TDS6) but I was mainly on the Centre Lathes. You will find it is a simple machine to work on and If I remember correctly the Spindle Bearings are Angular contact bearings (not Taper Roller Bearings) so if you need to remove the spindle for cleaning etc it is easy to put back together as long as you remember to assemble the angular contact bearings so the spindle adjustment is taken up by adjusting the lock nut to pull the inner races towards each other to take up the end float in the outer races.

I look forward to seeing your finished project and some fancy bowls you can turn on this machine, there is nothing better looking than turned and polished wood products.


John P

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Joined: Sun 30 Oct , 2016 17:21 pm
Hardware/Software: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB

Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by JPH » Sun 06 Nov , 2016 22:47 pm

I've now completed the repaint and rebuild of the lathe, as shown below.

First of all I had to bolt the new motor to the base plate:
P1020163.jpg (237.25 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
Then I connected all the wires to the inverter: the mains lead from the plug, the grey cable from the motor and the black cable with the wires from the control panel. Instructions from Newton Tesla were extremely clear and simple, very easy to follow.
P1020164.jpg (258.89 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
Here is the inverter installed inside the base case, with four socket head screws from the outside to nylon locking nuts on the inside.
P1020166.jpg (205.8 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
The control panel and door now fitted.
P1020171.jpg (208.65 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
The tailstock fitted to the bed, with the original handwheel repainted, and new locking handles for the tailstock and live centre or chuck from Berger tools.
P1020174.jpg (255.84 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
The tool rest fitted to the bed and the chuck to the spindle.
P1020175.jpg (232.66 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
The left-hand bed installed, with the sanding table and faceplate on the LH spindle. I have a sanding disc I need to screw to the faceplate.
P1020176.jpg (208.09 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
And the finished item with everything complete.
P1020178.jpg (260.63 KiB) Viewed 12765 times
I was concerned when I was painting it that the colour was possibly actually too bright, but once it's all together, it looks just how I wanted it to - and it'll soon be covered in sawdust and wood shavings anyway. I'm going to leave it for a week to let the paint harden before I turn anything on it. In the meantime, I need to make a spindle lock to fit onto the shoulder head screw behind the LH faceplate, and also start cutting and gluing some segmented pieces to start turning some more bowls.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing it, and, considering I've never done anything like this before, I am very happy with the result. Final cost of the lathe, motor, inverter, paint, handles, less what I got for selling my old lathe, was just over £1000 - but I now have a lathe with a 1.5hp motor and a 18" capacity (maybe even 19"), as well as a separate sanding table which I can use without having to swap chucks or faceplates. As I mentioned earlier, to buy a new lathe of this power and capacity would have cost me somewhere in the region of £2500-£3000 if I'd gone for a Killinger or Wivamac lathe.

Thanks for watching, and hope it is of use to anyone thinking about restoring or upgrading one of these lathes.

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Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by Pete. » Mon 07 Nov , 2016 0:28 am

That has come out very nice indeed!

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Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by JohnPDownunder » Mon 07 Nov , 2016 8:31 am


You should give yourself a big pat on the back for the work you have done on the old lathe. It looks better than new in most areas and if you could have got new Name plates it would finish it off perfectly. Maybe a local screen printing company can try to reproduce the originals for you (or close to them).
With the new VS drive you will have full control to cover any application. I look forward to seeing some of your machined bowls and other products like round Cutting boards made out of segmented wood.

Again, very well done.

Cheers John P

Andy B
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Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by Andy B » Mon 07 Nov , 2016 22:29 pm

JohnPDownunder wrote:... if you could have got new Name plates it would finish it off perfectly.
The name plates are etched, so it should work to just repaint them.

This technique is used for a lot of miniature name and number plates for model railways.
I would clean with Bar keepers friend, dry, apply paint with a brush in all the hollow areas then 'squeegee' it off.
Once dry, any odd bits can be removed (gently scraped or very fine (1200+ grade) wet'n'dry).
A thin top coat of varnish would then keep the brass shiny.


edit: here is a youtube video of the process, just a bit different as he paints the plates white first (for white lettering). -
Last edited by Andy B on Tue 08 Nov , 2016 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by JohnPDownunder » Tue 08 Nov , 2016 12:02 pm

Hi Andy,

Sounds like a good solution to refurbish the nameplates. Look forward to seeing the results,

Cheers, John P

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Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by Woodguy » Fri 09 Dec , 2016 17:41 pm

Hello, may I thank you for your great post. It provided much valuable information as I have just purchased a TDS6 SW bowl lathe for my father in-law aged 84. He decided he wanted a dedicated bowl lathe and has been looking at graduate and others.

I came across the TDS6 for sale and your post gave me the knowledge to understand what was being sold. It also shows what potential these lathes have when rebuilt.

It was in three main pieces so it's stripped down. Some TLC and a clean and repaint is definitely needed. It's a single phase 240v machine. Need some new belts and I will replace all the headstock bearings and drive pulley bearings as part of the rebuild.

I am sure I will hit some snags and have some questions about where to get spare bits etc, I hope your open to helping

Nice to know you and others provide valuable info for these lathes to be given a new lease of life


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Joined: Tue 02 May , 2023 10:59 am
Hardware/Software: Viceroy TDS6 SB

Re: Denford Viceroy TDS6 SB wood lathe restoration

Post by Brecien » Wed 03 May , 2023 10:54 am

ImageHi All?? Starting a new post to share info with anyone else interested or restauring one of these old Bowl lathes. My restauration is starting this year and will post progress as it developes. If I can end up with a machine anywhere as good as this post I'll be extremely happy. The main difference is I want to use the old Hoover 3/4Hp motor with VFD and a remote control panel mounted on an extended top pulley access panel. Ill post pictures along the way in the hope that anyone can offer their wealth of experience and knowledgeThanks to all in advanceImage

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