Delta can be normally be depended on to roll out hard-working wood shop gear. The 46-455 and 46-460 lathes are fine-looking examples of that trend. Like many larger shop machines, one looks about the same as another — until you look under the hood.
To start off, the first attention grabber was the quick-change belt system that can easily change the five or six groove belts with the pull of a lever. You can adjust the rpm much like a bicycle. Move the belt to one of three positions internally and dial in the rest of the rpms on the adjustable speed knob located on the head stock.
So, getting the lowest to highest variable speed out of the system which covers 500 rpm – 4000 rpm on the 455 and 250 rpm – 4000 rpm on the 460 is made pretty simple. The low-end grunt is provided by a 3/4 hp motor on the 455 and the 460 sports a 1 hp power-plant, each making sure that their respective models never bog even when turning big-ass bowls.
Delta must have read “less vibration” enough on the survey comment cards, because they thoughtfully added 17 pounds of cast iron to the base and bed the help deaden vibration. As far as stock specs are concerned the numbers look pretty impressive — each rig has 16.5” of center to center capacity and 12.5″ of swing so big bowls and full chair legs aren’t a problem. Of course, if you’re looking for table legs, you’ll need a bed extension that can be added to make a 50” capacity a reality.
The 455 will set you back about $500 and the 460 will run you about C-note more than that. It’s a lot of functionality for the money. Plus it’s a Delta, which in our experience normally means they’ll stand behind them.