W C Lipe "army lathe"
I just got a lathe unlike any I have seen before and am trying to find out a bit
more about it.
The massive tail stock rides on its own set of ways at the back of the bed and the Jacobs chuck thereon is moved in and out by a lever rather than the more usual hand wheel.
The ways are covered to prevent objects from falling into the rack and pinion mechanism that moves the massive but rudimentary cross- slide. One lever engages a set of back gears that control the feed rate, and it seems to be capable of cutting a limited number of thread types by moving the gears about.
Another lever operates a clutch that engages a massive flywheel driven by two hefty belts from an ancient 2hp 3 phase motor. The drive is unusual as the flywheel is at the back and drives the headstock at 90 degrees via a worm gear.
It looks as if it was designed to be driven by an external engine such as a tractor or even a steam traction engine.
The gentleman I bought it from told me that he had been told by a previous owner that it had been used by the army (US or Canadian presumably) but that was all he knew.
A brass plate on the headstock announces the manufacture's name: W C Lipe of Syracuse New York. There is no date of manufacture, byt my best guess would put it in the thirties or forties.
Last edited by rodcrawf; 02-05-2012 at 04:20 PM.
Reason: trying to add pictures
I saw the add on Kiji, and if I was closer, I would have loved to see the machine. Definately a bit different. I just read a few weeks back about a larger lathe that had the tailstock on a rear set of ways, so it would not interfere with the carriage.
The photo of the back flywheel is pretty small - but perhaps it was designed to run off an overhead lineshaft?
Does it have halfnuts so you can disengage the cariage from the leadscrew? Where is the leadscrew? I do remember the price was pretty reasonable on the add. Any tooling come with it?
I seem to remember another lathe something like this being posted on this forum a while ago .
I can’t recall the title of the thread but perhaps it was one of those many “What kind of lathe is this?” titles.
As I remember it was painted red ( not that the colour means anything ) but maybe someone else who posted in that thread will remember and can add something .
If I recall correctly, Lipe was a maker of automotive transmissions. My guess is the lathe was something built specifically for a production machining operation in the manufacture of the transmissions. Lipe furnished transmissions to many early auto makers. As such, they probably were mass producing large numbers of transmissions in their plant. This would call for large numbers of machine tools to perform specific production machining operations on the transmission parts.
The other possibility is that the lathe shown here was something sold by Lipe as a service tool for repair work on their transmissions or differentials. The lathe shown in this thread looks like it was built for a very narrow or specific range of operations, not the sort of thing used for general machine shop work. It may well have been built for some sort of automotive service work, such as truing differential flanges or some similar lathe job the early repair garages might have to do on a Lipe transmission.
IMHO, I doubt that the lathe was an "Army Lathe" as it would not be versatile enough to be a part of a field machine shop. The overall construction of the lathe does seem to point more towards a production machine tool.
There is no leadscrew, the cross slide is moved by a rack and pinion. All I got with it was a set of reverse dogs for the 3 jaw chuck, a center and a handful of tool bits. It was very heavy to transport, must be about 500 kg or more!
Yes, Brown & Lipe was the transmission builder--heavy truck transmissions known as "brownies" however I don't know if that's related to the lathe.
A little bit of info.
William C. Lipe was the brother of Charles E. Lipe(milling machine of Brown & Sharpe fame).
Brown & Lipe was Alexander Brown & Charles Lipe.
W.C. Lipe was into quite a few companies. Broom sewing machines, foundry etc.
From 1929; W.C. Lipe Inc., Syracuse, NY. Production Tools, Special Machines.
From 1937; WC Lipe, Inc., Buys Lathe Division of Porter-Cable The purchase of the lathe division of Porter-Cable Machine Company ... consisting of the 9" Production lathe, the Mechanical Carbo lathe and the Hydraulic Carbo.
From 1940; W.C. Lipe, Inc., Syracuse, NY, announces that construction is under way for an addition to the company's plant in Syracuse to provide for the expansion of the Machine Tool Division, which manufactures the Lipe mechanical Carbo-Lathe. The improved Carbo-Lathe is designed for high production turning with modern alloy tools.
Amongst many others, Brown & Lipe made the transmissions for the Mercer Raceabout.
I found the thread with the other one I thought I had seen.
There are a few differences may guess would be that the one in this link is a bit older.
Mystery Lathe ...