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Thread: 1930 1940 large Rockford Lathe

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    13

    Default 1930 1940 large Rockford Lathe

    Hello- I'm new to the forum and also a novice at machine work. For years I've had an antique Rockford lathe sitting in my old shop. Never used it. I recently built a new shop and now have the lathe up and running. I just love the old machines and want to learn how to use them and teach my grand kids the same.

    Long story short...I was trying to learn its functions and some how broke something in the carriage. I really need a manual and have had no luck finding one. Part of the problem is me. I don't have a clue as to what size the lathe is or the model. So I have no idea what to tell people I need.

    Does anyone know where I can go for help?

    Thank you,

    1930u

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1930u View Post
    Does anyone know where I can go for help?
    A camera store, so you can take some pictures for us.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
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    Default

    Guess theres a wise guy on every forum. I'm done.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    SF East Bay.
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    Default

    Yeah, pictures should be helpful.

    Many lathes work sin a similar way with similar controls. Check out http://lathes.co.uk/rockford to see if you can find your model there.

    The sizes are general given as Diameter x length. The diameter is the largest disk that can be cut without hitting the ways or twice the distance from the center of the chuck to the ways. The length is (roughly) the distance between the tailstock when mounted as far right as possible and the spindle that the chuck screws onto. An example would be a 12x26. The size of the lathe will be longer that that since the 26 does not include the length of the headstock or tailstock.

    Welcome and good luck

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    USA MD 21030
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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    A camera store, so you can take some pictures for us.
    I think new members cannot post pictures until they have made a few posts or get permission from George. Also it is difficult to use the forum software to upload and show images. Please refrain from such comments until the new member has been welcomed and becomes used to the sarcastic flavor of humor that seems common here.

    1930u, welcome to the forum. I hope you stick around and enjoy the vast treasure trove of knowledge and experience represented here.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    SF East Bay.
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    While we are waiting.... what was the last control that you played with on the carriage / apron ?

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Chilliwack, BC, Canada
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    If you leave now you'll miss out on a lot of good help.

    I assume you tried a basic search for "rockford lathes" in Google or your favorite search engine? Did it turn up http://www.lathes.co.uk/rockford/index.html ? Down at the bottom of the page are links to the Rockford lathes of the 20's, 30's, 40's and 50's. Chances are good that yours shows up there somewhere. And that same source of all that is holy for machine tool information also has a page of downloadable literature. Maybe not a full manual for your lathe but there's likely something in there that'll come in handy at some point.

    As for what might be broken or just not understood tell us what's happening and why you think it's broken. It may be normal and just needs a lever to be pushed the right way.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    30,392

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    The Rockford lathes seem to have been actually quite nicely done, very usable, and apparently easy to fix, which bodes well for the OP's machine. Given the rust bucket restoration shown on the lathes.co site, which seems to have come out in good order (if perhaps not a tru re-ground restoration to manufacturer specs), fixing the OP's up for use may be relatively easy.

    I'd not mind having one of the Rockfords.

    Quote Originally Posted by PStechPaul View Post
    I think new members cannot post pictures until they have made a few posts or get permission from George. Also it is difficult to use the forum software to upload and show images. .....
    But it is very very easy to use some OTHER hosting service, such as Imgur, to put pics in. And I don;t know if that is forbidden somehow for the same time.... it may be, to discourage bad links to malware, as well as ordinary advertising spammers.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2010
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    Syracuse NY
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    Back in the dark ages when I was in school we had Rockford gear-head lathes. They were probably WW2 surplus from some local factory. They did a beautiful job but, parts were nonexistent. What usually was broken, were the gears in the threading quick change. They were straight tooth gears so they weren't hard to make new ones. I don't remember what the spindle speeds were but as i remember they weren't all that fast. You could really remove material in a hurry because of the power.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Tai Tokerau - NZ
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    181

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glug View Post
    A camera store, so you can take some pictures for us.
    I LOL-ed at this.
    Quote Originally Posted by 1930u View Post
    Guess theres a wise guy on every forum. I'm done.
    Sheesh, thin hide or what. FYI there are lots of Wise Guys on this forum, and they'd love to help, but you gotta help them to help you. Your loss.

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