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Watchmakers lathe garage find

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  • BCRider
    replied
    My thinking is that it really doesn't look that bad. It'll have a dull look to the surfaces but I'm thinking it'll clean up nicely and be functional.

    If you use any abrasives on the bed be aware that the way the bevels work removing anything from the top of the bed means you need to carefully remove a hair of metal from the beveled sides of the bed so the head and tail stock still sit correctly. All in all I'd Evaporust it and live with the minor pitting in the hopes that there's still enough material to keep the head and tail stocks in alignment. A little oil and some firm running the head and tail stock back and forth would burnish down any roughness in short order and keep most of the original fit.

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    There were a lot of lathes made of a very similar type. So resemblance is not an absolute ID.

    Boley marked theirs on the end of the bed at the tailstock like this:


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  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
    There is no need to limit it to just a polishing lathe.... they can make parts. Watchmakers did do amazing things with just a "graver", a miniature cutter that looks like a wood lathe cutter, only maybe 0.093 square, with an angled face on the end to get a diamond shaped cutting edge (other shapes also used).

    There were also actual crosslide and compound slides used as well as the hand graver. I do not have one (I priced them and they can go for several hundred dollars). Those look much like the one for my Rivett 608.
    Actually, they still do it this way, although the frame plates are done with CNC nowadays. The small manual lathes make all the axles and etc still to this day.

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  • Dan Dubeau
    replied
    Thanks for digging OaklandGB. There are some interesting similarities there. I did look through Tony's site back when I first got it a couple years ago, and just kind of assumed it was a copy of some sort because of the lack of identifying marks, but I may need to have a closer look at it tonight. I might bring it into work with me as a breaktime restoration project for the next little while.

    Originally posted by George Bulliss View Post
    Bolt a stepper to it and toss it on your Tormach for a fourth axis.
    Interesting idea.....

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    That one seems to have a longer tailstock "spindle" than usual, although the lock ring that goes in the small slot in the tailstock looks like it is missing.

    In use, a lot of things were actually done with the tailstock, and the long spindle allows a long movement, permitting some operations to be more easily than with a shorter one.

    The amount of rust on the tailstock spindle means it is pretty much toast as far as accuracy, but can still be useful. It appears to have a pin vise type chuck on it, which is not typical. It should fit in using a tiny taper shank and socket, down in the area of a #0 taper pin size. It may be stuck by rust. Light oil in kerosene (or just using liquid wrench) may get it to loosen up.

    There is no need to limit it to just a polishing lathe.... they can make parts. Watchmakers did do amazing things with just a "graver", a miniature cutter that looks like a wood lathe cutter, only maybe 0.093 square, with an angled face on the end to get a diamond shaped cutting edge (other shapes also used).

    There were also actual crosslide and compound slides used as well as the hand graver. I do not have one (I priced them and they can go for several hundred dollars). Those look much like the one for my Rivett 608.

    If you fix it to usable condition, I think something like a "Magna -visor" is almost essential for doing much work. I actually have a binocular microscope for mine, with 3 settings up to about 40 power, but you do not need to go that far for ordinary work.

    You can't beat them for doing very small work.

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  • OaklandGB
    replied
    Wild guess:
    Did a little looking around. Not much found but did see some vague similarities to a G. Boley 8mm WW type. The "split" type tail stock, the rounded bottom of the bed casting, and the type of pulley used are notable similarities. Split type tail stocks are not commonly in most search results. Most also had flat belt pulleys. Sort of wonder if yours is a particular model of the G. Boley line, or a knock off of some kind Here is a pic with the items that look roughly the same circled. It has a cross slide instead of the tool rest on your machine. Good luck in your search.
    Click image for larger version

Name:	BOLEY LATHE.JPG
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  • George Bulliss
    replied
    Bolt a stepper to it and toss it on your Tormach for a fourth axis.

    Leave a comment:


  • nickel-city-fab
    replied
    I would clean it up good, oil it properly and enjoy. AFAIK these take 8mm watchmakers collets. https://www.sherline.com/product/116...ww-collet-set/

    The bearings are not complicated but they have *very* close tolerances.

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  • Mcgyver
    replied
    Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
    The bed might make a great case for electrolysis. I've always wanted to try it, but have never had much of a need. Unless that's a bad idea too?
    it would probably be fine, but I've gotten in the habit of use the rust remover places like Crappy Snappy sell. Just easier. Unlike a screw cutting lathe, the beds on these don't matter very much as they not a linear bearing. Some set ups would use the tailstock in which case bed condition matters, but even that isn't the common use of them - i.e. drilling is most often done by hand not using the tailstock.

    That fact btw, that the bed isn't a sliding bearing surface, makes them suited for use with abrasives as is commonly done with watch work (polishing etc)....unlike a lathe with a carriage traveling on ways.
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-16-2021, 10:43 AM.

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  • Dan Dubeau
    replied
    Thanks for the tips Mcgyver, especially about how to oil the spindle. Some things are not always obvious, thanks. I had no ambitions to power it up yet, I just know the spindle isn't rusted solid. A polishing/free hand turning lathe is all I ever anticipate using it for it I ever get around to it. Not plans to get in the watchmaking business, don't have the hands, nor eyes for it. I do have a nice little dc motor and pwm control that would be perfect for it though. It's way down the list of projects right now. Maybe next winter.

    I read your post about the spindles in the other thread (which is what made me post this one) and I don't think my idea to fit an er spindle would be a good one anymore . Didn't realize the spindles in these things were that complicated. I'll keep my eye out for for some collets that fit this one.

    The bed might make a great case for electrolysis. I've always wanted to try it, but have never had much of a need. Unless that's a bad idea too?

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  • Mcgyver
    replied
    looks like a typical ww format watchmakers lathe, in rough shape. whether its scrap or not depends on the spindle bearings but somehow they seem keep their oil and don't rust so it may be ok. (that, and if they inside of the spindle taper is badly rusted) Take apart (remove nuts from outboard side of spindle, loosen the set screw in the pulley and very gently tap the spindle out) soak in rest remover and assess. It'll be a nightmare to change the spindle and then you are into a very expensive project to get anything like the quality it should have. 8mm collets are readily available used for reasonable money, you'd go nuts trying to make them. makers marks are usually stamped on the end of the bed, but not always and they may be hidden by paint

    PS....please, if you guys ever ever find one of these don't just power it up without oiling the bearings first or that could damage it very quickly. Not that you guys would, but that's the first move of the ham fisted idiot - lets turn grampa's lathe on and see if it works. There is often no obvious place to oil in which case there are usually sprung rings on the left and right sides....rotate those until a small holes appears that will let oil in the bearing - on both sides
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 03-16-2021, 10:26 AM.

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  • Doozer
    replied
    Sanding / Polishing lathe maybe.
    Not good for much else.
    I see that it may take up more space than it is worth.

    -D

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  • Dan Dubeau
    started a topic Watchmakers lathe garage find

    Watchmakers lathe garage find

    While cleaning up the garage on the weekend I found this little guy that I forgot I had. My Dad picked it up at a yard sale a few years ago. Tape on it said $2, but knowing my Dad he paid way less for it. Nothing else came with it, and no makers mark that I can see. I suspect the knob on the tailstock is not original....




    While it's a bit rusty, everything is freed up. Not sure what to do with it besides a scotchbright/rustoleum rebuild and make it useable. Might fit it with a er11/16 spindle, or make/find some collets for the original spindle. Not sure where I'm going with it, but thought I share and solicit opinions and comments. It looks/feels a bit hobbyish level so I doubt it's a rare priceless model that deserves to be restored to original, but if I can slap a small dc motor on it, and have something usable for little investment it could prove handy for things.
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