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  • New to me lathe

    Hi all,

    I usually find myself over in the woodworking forums, but lately I've been finding more and more reasons to sneak in here too...

    Here's the latest: a nice old 12" swing metal lathe. There are no markings on it anywhere, except for "1914" scribed on the ways near the tailstock end. There's a thread/speed chart on the headstock, but no maker's marks anywhere. I'm thinking sebastian? But I haven't found any exact matches...

    Some details:

    - The headstock has what look like Babbitt bearings. I haven't taken it apart, but there's no play and everything spins freely

    - spindle is 1 1/2-8tpi with a 1" through bore. Interestingly, it looks like a straight hole - no morse taper. Is that likely, or is it more likely a huge taper like a MT4 or similar?

    - probably was line shaft-driven originally, and now has a jackshaft arrangement hanging off the back. The motor is a nice old 115v 1/2hp General Electric, which unfortunately is making lots of internal blue sparks when I tested it briefly. Never seen that on an ac motor before - only dc? May end up switching to three phase...

    - it came with 2 three jaw chucks (a big one and a little one), which appear independent-jaw. That seems a little strange. I've seen 4 jaw independent and three jaw scroll, but not this?

    - it has a lead screw with power feed, and also power cross feed - I think - don't know much about this yet!

    - blue is probably not the original paint, but it's in pretty good shape so I'll probably leave it as is. For future reference, anyone know what the original color should be?
    I'm looking forward to cleaning this up and learning to use it. I realize it may have some wear and may not be super accurate, but will hopefully be good enough for my needs until I know what I'm looking for in my next lathe. Besides, it's another cool old piece of arn for my shop!

    Can anyone give me some insight into what this type of lathe can and can't do? I'm not looking to take 1/4" cuts on steel or anything like that, but it'd be nice to know what kind of limitations a machine like this presents.

    Thanks,

    Lee





  • #2
    Welcome! Good looking old lathe, if only she could talk! You might look around LathesUK site & find it or one close. As far as what you can you won't know till you try but it may surprise you. Good luck!

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    • #3
      "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter & lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves"- Abraham Lincoln

      wow so much nuclear explosive material, bombs ,weaponary ,missiles ect, one day a terrible accident and we could all die I live within a few sea miles from a nuclear submarine base and it makes you think sometimes. Alistair
      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Alistair Hosie View Post
        "America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter & lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves"- Abraham Lincoln

        wow so much nuclear explosive material, bombs ,weaponary ,missiles ect, one day a terrible accident and we could all die I live within a few sea miles from a nuclear submarine base and it makes you think sometimes. Alistair

        Thats a bit heavy Alistair ..... but then again it is painted blue.


        Are your meds okay...your starting to comes across as if you've been taken over by the spirit of old Norm Atkinson..

        Rob

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        • #5
          Nice looking lathe leeko, always liked flat belt driven machinery, nostalgia i suppose.

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