View Full Version : Still got my little squeak.

Alistair Hosie
08-07-2007, 05:17 PM
In my headstock comes and goes sometimes when I start the lathe it is gone but usually turns up eventually.I have removed the headstock top cover and checked that every thing is ok and that all oil points are functioning which they are any I deas comes at all speeds .My lathe is a smart and brown 10 24 vsl variable speed lathe Alistair ps excuse typing

08-07-2007, 06:00 PM
I don't know specifics about that lathe, but if its a gear head, likely its bearings are lubed either by splash or pump.....neither of which happens when its not run. I tend to wonder on my own lathe if the lube for the large spindle bearings does not tend to all run off if it sits a good while. Perhaps this is what you are experiencing? In any case, it ought to quit the squeak very quickly on starting if this is the case.

Maybe I ought to go look at lathes.co.uk to make sure its not a plain bearing head, before I post this. Or maybe not:)


08-07-2007, 06:06 PM
Yes indeedy...I should have looked first. That is a fine looking lathe and the description speaks highly of it. It reminds me a lot of the Monarch 10EE that is so finely made, over here in the US.

In any case, the site indicates both that it uses roller bearings for the spindle and that filtered oil is pumped. I would take a look both to make sure that the filter is clean and that it is indeed pumping oil as it should. Better to find it before those (likely) expensive bearings would pay a price.

Edit-- I see upon reflection that you say you are getting oil flow at all needed points. I suppose the dry start theory is still possible. Maybe you can catch it next time and listen with a hose to the ear to see which end of the spindle it actually comes from....to at least narrow it to one bearing or another.


J Tiers
08-07-2007, 06:16 PM
While it is a gear head, according to the UK site, there is a belt/pulley drive to the headstock. Since the VSL is "mechanically almost identical" to the prior version, I assume it is likewise.

Belts can squeak. It may be the belt "talking", if it is once in a while and not very consistent.

08-07-2007, 06:34 PM
Alistair, take a look at this thread on the PM site...


There is even a link to a "Smart and Brown" specific Yahoo group.


Alistair Hosie
08-07-2007, 06:50 PM
The s and b 10 24 variable speed lathe is a beautifully made lathe no doubt. I think you might be right about the belt J Tiers thanks for that. I just need a little reasuring anyway will look again the belt looks a little worn in places so could be that right enough on that diagnosis thanks so far Alistair

John Stevenson
08-07-2007, 06:55 PM
Sure it's not your wallet ?


Your Old Dog
08-07-2007, 08:51 PM
Sure it's not your wallet ?


I'm pretty sure it isn't. We would have heard it on this side of the pond :D

Norman Atkinson
08-08-2007, 03:06 AM
Nothing worn?

Rude remarks about dandruff, perhaps but Alistair wears a green kilt.
Nothing worn? Not the story that I've heard.

Alistair Hosie
08-08-2007, 08:21 AM
My kilt is fine and there is nothing worn underneath it .

Its all in good working order.:DAlistair p s John My wallet was the first thing I checked it actually died of consumption years ago :D

08-08-2007, 12:32 PM
If its the typical moving sheave variety of variable speed drive then perhaps its the sound of the sheave squeaking on the shaft it moves on. In this design, the two "halves" of the sheave move together or apart to change the diameter of the sheave. My Sheldon shaper uses one variety of belt tension takeup and my Bridgeport mill uses another, but the basic principle is the same on most all of these.

In any case, you might kneel down before starting the next time to see if its coming from the drive works down below or up higher. I dismissed the notion of this sort of drive since the description seemed to suggest speed change using buttons, which suggested an electronic motor drive of some sort. However, the pictures seem to show levers that can be moved for speed changes which implies the possibility that that portion of the works is a physical change. Its good that you are looking into it. It may be something totally innocuous, but if its a wear item better to find it now and lubricate as needed rather than to wear out parts that likely are not replaceable. I love old machinery and finding stuff thats well cared for is indeed a prize.


08-08-2007, 07:18 PM
The film of hydraulic oil on your headstock parts should be adequate to keep things lubed until the pump or splashed oil gets around. Imagine how many squeaks your auto engine would have if residual oil film were not adequate for a short interval, not to mention the frequent engine overhauls ;)

I'd check any sheet metal cowling, electrical or gear box covers or the edge of any sheet metal touching against other metal. Simplest thing to do is find a speed (got a VFD on that thing ?) where the squeak is stronger and start touching any panels to see if it is dampened or stopped.

How about the rubber seals on your headstock bearings or shaft bearings? If they are swollen and hardened you might get some squeaking out of them after the machine sits for a while.