bench lathe identity?
I'm planning on looking at this lathe this weekend. Anyone recognize it? What are likely collet sizes? This would go nicely on my work bench in the basement. Thanks,
That is a dead ringer for my Ames #3, but mine has the name cast into the front, and the feet are slightly different. Mine is right next to me, so it really is that similar, clear down to the toolpost and handles. My headstock and tailstock are the exact same green, but the bed is black. I even have the same sized Jacobs chuck in mine right now.
I looked at the collets, none of them say what they are. I want to say 3EJ, but a quick google search says that probably isn't even a type of collet. They're the same as my P&W #00 mill, but that's probably not too helpful since the P&W was made with a couple of different types of collets. Oh yeah, the Ames drawbar uses external threads on the collets, the P&W uses internal threads. Between the two machines, I have collets that are threaded on the inside, outside, and both.
The top of the bed looks square on that lathe. My Ames #3 has a Hardinge style reverse dovetail bed. Are the headstock and tailstock keyed into the bed slot? My P&W mill headstock is like that, otherwise it's just like one of their bench lathe headstocks. I wonder if the lathe you're looking at has a non-standard bed so it could share parts with one of their mills?
It's a good little lathe. I would guess that the compound would sell for about twice what the rest of the lathe would, and you'll probably pay more for a complete set of collets as you will for the lathe. But it's worth it.
Whatever it is, the collets will be very hard to find.
An old Hardinge collet catalog says the Hardinge brand collets for Ames lathes were marked either 3AM for the 5/8" max. capacity collets or 1AM for the 1" max. capacity collets. The Ames millers used the same collets. The 3AM has a .745-24 RH thread and the 1AM has a 1.120-24 RH thread, external, of course. I think I have seen one or the other turn up on eBay at rare intervals.
I once saw a pair of lovely Ames millers at a machinery dealer. I recall the tables had a shape like my Cataract lathe beds for mounting tooling, indexers or perhaps the lathe headstock and tailstock. In other words, I wonder if this lathe is an Ames. Tony only shows Ames machines with the Cataract shape bed and milling tables.
One reason I collect Hardinge Cataract lathes and mills is that the 3C, 4C and 5C collets are plentiful.
Don't think it's an Ames. The ames machines had distinctive beds as far as I can
tell, two flat hand scraped regions on the front surface, top and bottom. And a
painted recessed portion between the upper and lower scraped surface.
The toolmakers compund, that could be ames based on the dials but the
photo is pretty indistinct there. A close up view would really help on that.
Not sloan and chace, those had V-ways.
Do not think it is rivett either.
Stark and Wade have oval or round legs. The square legs are
very distinctive and should be a certain identifier. But I can't find
a match anywhere.
Also the top mounted, short, straight tailstock clamp lever is distinctive.
There seems to be a knurled or raised portion, on the handle side of the tailstock.
On a reexamination, you're right about it not being an Ames, or at least not a #3. It's surprisingly close, though. My #3 has a 36" bed, this one looks smaller. The spindle nose is a bit longer on the Ames, and other small differences like that. The Ames has square legs, of roughly the same proportions, but they're turned 90 degrees from this one and the feet on the Ames are round rather than square.
Thanks for the thoughts and insights. I hope that box contains most of the goodies needed to make this a useful tool. I'll let you all know what happens.
My guess is for a early Elgin. Same feet. Bill
My bet is on Horace Moseley's Moseley Lathe Co., Elgin, IL circa 1885-1906. See Cope page 105 for an old ad with a fuzzy cut that looks like the lathe in the OP.
Originally Posted by bjstan
The Moseley watch lathes are unique in using a vee T-slot down the center of the bed to locate the headstock and tailstock. I have never seen one of his bench lathes, but it makes sense that they would use much of the same design.
Elgin tool Works, Elgin, IL came along in 1904 and was not related to Moseley according to Cope. But there is a family resemblance in their bench lathes, as seen by comparing Cope's pictures. I have a pre-1930 undated Elgin Tool Works catalog. It clearly shows the bed shape is the conventional one with sloping front and back edges to locate the headstock and tailstock, not like the photo in the OP.
I always thought it odd that the pre-1930 Hardinge Cataract catalogs do not mention Elgin Tool Works collets. Hardinge did give dimensions for the several sizes of Moseley collets and dozens of other make collets, which Hardinge would make to order, just as they still do. In 1930, Frank Hardinge sold or otherwise disposed of his lathe business in Chicago. The Hardinge factory re-opened in Elmira, NY with new owners. After 1930, Elgin Tool Works was probably bought by Frank Hardinge and moved into his old Chicago lathe factory, where they made newly designed lathes that were more like the Cataract lathes than the older Elgin lathes. But Elgin paper ads and catalogs, whether before or after 1930, are very scarce, so it is hard to be sure of the facts.
Well the feet are a solid match, for elgin:
See the photos about halfway down the page. The
cross slide is wade so don't go by that.
Its a Mosley
Larry gets the prize, the collets (54 of them) are stamped Mosley as is the left end of the bed. Also included is a face plate with a 3 jaw chuck mounted on it. No other accessories were to be had. No counter shaft, I missed out on the motor that was supposed to go with it, but did get another that should work for $1. The lathe spent most of its life at NCR in Dayton, belonged to the seller's supervisor and has been idle for many years. Missed the Kennedy box sold for $5 when I took a load to the truck, but I did did get a good share of the contents. I bought a Kennedy (in worse shape) at a garage sale yesterday for $10, so that's where the loot is going.
What is the exact spelling of the company name on the bed? That may pin down the date a little better.
What is the body diameter of the collets and the cone angle? That will tell the model size of the lathe.
N0. 4 collet body .590
No. 3 collet body .400, and they were made with either 15 degree cone or the Moseley "conoidal" (trumpet shape) end
There were other models, but they would be smaller than yours. You will probably never see any more collets, or another Moseley bench lathe, for that matter. It is a collector's item.
Horace Moseley claimed in his ads to have invented hollow spindle lathes and split collets. It was a good idea that really caught on.
The collet bodies are .590 and the angle 20 deg best I can tell. Here are some pictures:
The arbor supporting the 3 jaw chuck does not have a key way cut into it but it looks like it has been used, should the key be taken out when this is inserted? If so how? I have not looked at it for very long yet. Are there any other things I need to know about running this lathe that are unique or do all principles apply no matter, I have several texts covering lathe operation but none that I know of that delve very deeply into running a small bench lathe.
I was happy to get this lathe because there is a well known collector in my area that loves this little stuff, I would not have gotten it if he would have been there. BTW I also snagged this nice Parker also:
Last edited by Bret Rochotte; 07-06-2009 at 12:10 PM.