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Machine Shop and Tool Talk

Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe


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  #1  
Old 11-03-2010, 08:09 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Hello,

I have just purchased an old lathe and I have no idea as to the make, model or age. The previous owner has no idea either. I couldn't see any name plates or stampings but will look again in more detail when it is delivered on the weekend (I need to clear some space).

It is BIG! The overall length is 9' 10", hight is 8' 10" and it needs 4' 10" to accommodate the depth. It currently has a 10" 3-jaw chuck but the 4-jaw one looks to be about 12" (I forgot to measure it). The inside diameter of the spindle shaft is a touch under 3" and the bed is 5' long.

I have attached a few pics and hope that someone here might be able to shed some light. There are a few bits missing that are required to get the auto feeds working but the machinist who checked it out with me said it would not take much to get it running. Everything else works. Hopefully some of you may know (or even have pics of) what is missing and how it was configured originally. One can hope!!

Cheers,
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SDC10214.jpg   SDC10228.jpg   SDC10226.jpg   SDC10218.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 11-03-2010, 08:45 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

It may be like an old lathe like I have. A Mystery. I claim the one I have came over on the Boat Before the MAYFLOWER.

Kent
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Old 11-03-2010, 07:21 PM
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JBoogie JBoogie is online now
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

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Originally Posted by K D Redd View Post
It may be like an old lathe like I have. A Mystery. I claim the one I have came over on the Boat Before the MAYFLOWER.

Kent
lets see it!!!

mayhem, you may want to cruise around on www.lathes.co.uk to see if you can find anything similar. you can also send an email to the webmaster there for him to post in the unknown files. lots to look at there.
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Old 11-03-2010, 08:55 PM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Thanks - I'll check out that site. I wouldn't be surprised to find "Noah was here" scratched into it somewhere when I clean her up!
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:03 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

As I was looking at the lathes on www.lathes.co.uk I noticed that the wheel on my tail stock is quite distinctive, so I wonder if this might provide a clue?



---------- Post added at 12:03 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:01 PM ----------

oops - wrong pic! Sorry, I couldn't find an edit button

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Old 11-04-2010, 09:11 AM
Combustor Combustor is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Hello Mayhem,
Thought I was the only one with a nameless mystery lathe here in West Oz. Mine is near identical and came from just south of Perth, though said to have come from Perth second hand 50 odd years ago. I have had it here in the far North Kimberley for about 40 years now.
Have had various opinions as to its origins but generally agreed it was made here in West Australia. Suggestions include such makers as State Engineering Works (Fremantle), Millars Timber & Trading, or another early WA foundry. Not sure if Hadfields or J&E Ledger go back that far, but opinions put it in early 1900's. Believe a major Kalgoorlie mine also had its own foundry and built engines and some machine tools.
Original drive would have been via overhead lineshaft. My machine has had a similar electric conversion to yours but still has part of a fast/loose belt shifting setup on the upper shaft. Also has a Ford A model gearbox on the motor for extra speed ranges. My motor is a 5hp 3 phase 40 Hz Metropolitan Vickers (English). Fremantle was 40Hz power till mid 1950's so it may have spent time in that area.
The handwheel on my tailstock is the same wheel but without the 4 handles screwed into the rim. The previous owner of mine supplied a bar which hooked in the spokes for extra purchase whem feeding large drills etc.
So the mystery continues. Send me a PM if you unearth any further clues. I am as curious as you are. One last possibility, WAGR Midland Railway Workshops? Regards,
Combustor.
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Old 11-04-2010, 10:25 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Thanks for the info Comnustor - that gives me food for thought. I received an email from Tony at www.lathes.co.uk who said the following:

Quote:
I'm afraid that I don't immediately recognise it - but it appears to be from around 1895 to 1910.
So that confirms the age. I have also sent an email to a local who I hear is clued up on old machinery, so I am hoping that he may have some info if it was indeed made locally.
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Old 11-05-2010, 09:36 AM
K D Redd K D Redd is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

See the gear and shaft with the handle behind the spindle shaft. This is your BACKGEAR. When you engage this lever the spindle will lock-up unless you pull or slide a pin out. This pin is somewhere directly behind the bearing that is behind the chuck. With this pin out this BACKGEAR greatly reduces the speed of the spindle. Locking the spindle up will also let you remove the chuck if it is a screw on model.

Kent
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:12 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

I thought I would provide an update. Whilst I still have no idea who made it, the responses I have received suggest it was made around the turn of the 20th century.

I have been spending a bit of time when I can in striping it down, cleaning it up and putting it back together. So far I have removed the saddle/apron and all parts attached to it, the rack the lead screw, tumbler change, power feed and the three jaw chuck (to eventually get to the spindle).

As you would expect for its age, there was a heap of grease, oil, chips, varnish, several layers of paint and some surface rust (fortunately nothing on the ways and other critical surfaces). There were some through holes that when viewed from the bottom side looked as if they were blind. It wasn’t until I dug chips out of the top and revealed a thread that I made a thread chaser to suit and noticed it pushing out chips from the bottom. The chips were that tightly packed that the plug that came out actually had a countersunk head!!!! The half nuts are massive heavy things that are about 6” x 5”.

Given its age and the subsequent inherent flaws in some of the castings, I decided that I didn’t want to try and give it a perfectly flat, show room finish as I think it would look out of place. As such, it have cleaned down to bare metal where needed and primed and painted. There were a number of different colours on the lathe and it looked like the saddle/apron were originally blue but the rest was either blue or the pale green. I decided on blue in a hammer tone finish. I have polished the hand wheel rim and handles but there are pit in them which will never come out and I think they add character. The cross slide screw has a bend in it, so I will need to straighten that and the hub has broken off the face of the wheel and previously been welded. The welds were poor and I dropped it off the bench (angle grinder cord snagged it) and it broke the welds. Looks like I now have a project!









I removed the chuck which was a struggle as I didn’t want to force it. Eventually I got it off and my next challenge is to remove the backing plate the previous owner made to attach it to the spindle. There is another smaller diameter plate with 4 holes in it that matches the recess in the back of the 16” 4 jaw chuck. In fitting the 3 jaw, the bolt heads had to be recessed into the backing plate and bolted to the original plate. The 3 jaw chuck is then fastened to the backing plate into the back of the chuck. In recessing the hex bolts into the faceplate, he lost the ability to hold them in order to secure the backing plate. To overcome this problem he welded the backing plate to the plate attached to the spindle! Fortunately, it is only three small welds that I need to remove. There are three countersunk screws in the back of the 3 jaw chuck that I am unsure of their purpose. One is loose but I want to understand their role before I tighten it up. Perhaps I will post a pics later and ask the question in a new thread.
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Old 01-04-2011, 10:16 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

One thing I forgot to ask is your thoughts and comments on replacing some of the hardware?

I have replaced several damaged bolts and nuts an for most, they were standard hex head. However, I am considering replacing the square head bolts with socket cap bolts, for a couple of reasons:

1. functionality
2. most of the square head ones are damaged
3. a lot are missing (namely from the turret) and I haven't been able to locate replacements

Do you think it will look out of place?
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Old 01-04-2011, 02:06 PM
Richard W. Richard W. is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

I believe you need to look for "square head set screws" for the tool post. It would be nice if you could find "half dog point" or the regular "dog Point" square head set screws.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/GSDRVS...00000167796021

or here;

http://www.fastenersavings.com/squar...-ct-1767.html?

They say square head set screw half dog point, but the photo is a stock photo of a regular square head set screw.

http://scfastening.thomasnet.com/vie...half-dog-point

If you can only get "square head set screws" then you can use the lathe to make them half dog point set screws.

Although most people are going to the "dog point set screw". Which I like better, because they are shorter and more out of the way. You find these in such popular brands as "Aloris" and "Dorian". It is better to find the length that the top end is flush with the top of the tool holder when clamping the most common size tool shank in the tool post. This gives extra support for the internal hex when tightening or loosening the set screw.

http://www1.mscdirect.com/CGI/GSDRVS...00000167796920

The above would be good replacement for the tool post. For other applications the socket head cap screw is a good replacement for when the head is doing the holding. Not where the end of the the bolt is pushing something in place. Reason being is on set screws the end is heat treated to handle a lot of pressure before it deforms. Once it deforms you can't back the screw or bolt back out of the thread. Which a bolt or socket head cap screw would do. Even regular set screws will deform over constant tightening and then you wont be able to remove them from the threaded hole with out damaging the thread. Dog point screws have the end turned undersize with a flat end. This allow the end to distort some and still be removed from the threaded hole. Usually this happens if the screw is over tightened.

Most likely I told you more than you wanted to know.

Richard W.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:42 PM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W. View Post
I believe you need to look for "square head set screws" for the tool post. It would be nice if you could find "half dog point" or the regular "dog Point" square head set screws.
Thanks for this - a couple of the links didn't work but at least now I have the correct terminology to search for dog and half dog point

[QUOTE=Richard W.;597562]For other applications the socket head cap screw is a good replacement for when the head is doing the holding. Not where the end of the the bolt is pushing something in place. Reason being is on set screws the end is heat treated to handle a lot of pressure before it deforms. Once it deforms you can't back the screw or bolt back out of the thread. Which a bolt or socket head cap screw would do. Even regular set screws will deform over constant tightening and then you wont be able to remove them from the threaded hole with out damaging the thread. [QUOTE]

This make sense now that you have pointed it out and I now know why a couple of the tool post bolts were very difficult to remove. The turret has two different size holes, so I wonder if some have been drill out and re-threaded due to stripped threads?

[QUOTE=Richard W.;597562]Most likely I told you more than you wanted to know.
Quote:

Not at all. I welcome all the information people are willing to give me and I especially like the fact the you not only took the time to find the inks but provide a rationale for your advice.

Thanks

Richard W.
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Old 01-09-2011, 10:16 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Oops - not sure how I managed to mess up the quote / response above.

I removed the spindle and the bearings yesterday, as I continue on my journey of checking, cleaning and getting back into a good working condition.

I am unsure of how to remove the back gears, so they can be cleaned and the head assembly painted. The gears are supported by a split bushing at each end. However, the two arms into which the bushings are pressed are part of the headstock casting. Here are some pics:

Thanks
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Old 01-15-2011, 09:37 AM
Mayhem Mayhem is offline
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Default Re: Help with Identifying an Old Metal Lathe

Well I managed to get the back gears off as I continue my mission of tearing down and cleaning up. They actually came out easier that I had expected once I got the front split bush out.

Next Saturday I plan on unbolting the motor and overhead cone assembly, which will be modified to sit lower. This should improve stability by lowering the centre of gravity.
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IMG00095-20110115-1142.jpg   IMG00096-20110115-1142.jpg   IMG00097-20110115-1152.jpg   IMG00100-20110115-1153.jpg  
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