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CVA Toolroom lathe - Saddle Lubrication


Sep 21, 2016
Woking, Surrey, UK.
Hi folks,

I’m gradually working through the things that need fixing on my 1961 CVA. The saddle and apron are both now off. Everything needs a good clean but the saddle lubrication pipes are worn through and will have to be replaced.


The pipes are 5/32” diameter copper which is easy enough to get.
The 5 metering valves are all marked YL0 and carry the “Tecalemit” company logo.



On the CVA the 5 valves feed: Front saddle V way, Rear saddle flat way, left cross slide way, right cross slide way, cross slide feed screw thrust bearings (mine does not have the taper turning attachment so these are at the front rather than over the TTA).

The manifold and all the metering valves were full of muck. A friend advised me to contact Lubetec in Leeds (UK) for replacements. They were very helpful and although the valves I have were obsolete by 1963 they still had the catalogue page!


It’s interesting to note that even back then there was a connection with Bijur. Unfortunately they were unable to supply any direct replacements with 1/8” BSP threads on both ends. In the end I ordered new valves (AJB-0) with M8 x 1 metric threads and will either modify the existing manifold or make a new one. The new valves have the same flow rate as the old yet it seems odd to me that the cross-slide gets the same amount of oil as the saddle. There’s another valve in the apron that feeds the oil distribution there. This was marked YL2.

The manifold is made from a slab of steel with interconnecting holes to make the oil passages. All outlets are on the same side so one pipe loops underneath (well on top really) to feed the cross-slide on the tailstock side. I wonder why they didn’t put that outlet on the other side.


Any other CVA owners out there done this repair? I imagine fitting the new pipes will be ‘interesting’!



Sep 21, 2016
Woking, Surrey, UK.
CVA Toolroom Lathe - Saddle Lubrication part 2

Well it’s been a while since the previous post, and although no-one has replied here I’ve seen pictures of other CVA’s showing similar damage to the lubrication pipes.

Had I been able to get exact replacements for the metering valves I might have attempted to replace just the damaged ends of the pipe. As it was the replacement metering valves have different threads and are slightly longer than the originals, so I removed all the pipes. This made cleaning the saddle easier. I could find no evidence that the pipes had been sealed into the drilled passages. It seems to me that this would be important, especially for the two delivering oil to the cross-slide ways where the oil is being pushed upwards and unless the pipe is sealed in the hole the oil would tend to run back down the hole on the outside of the pipe.

After cleaning and painting.

If you’re familiar with the CVA or 10EE you’ll probably notice that I have machined a little off the area that should be clear of the front flat bedway. Mine had just started to touch here.

Does anyone know what this clearance was when new on 10EE or CVA

At this point I should have looked at some 10EE rebuilds to see how the oil manifold is arranged, but in blissful ignorance I dived straight in to making a new manifold with metric threads and inclined faces to reduce the severity of the pipe bends.


I have also put one of the outputs on the other side so the manifold does not need clearance for the looped under pipe that feeds the cross-slide ways on the tailstock side.

Despite the manifold sitting higher, the pipes are even lower than they were originally!

This is a side by side view of old and new pipes


I wasn’t happy with this so the MK1 manifold was consigned the the scrap bin and I searched here for some 10EE rebuilds.


Apologies – I did not make a note of whose picture this is, but thank you!
The picture made me realise why there aren’t lots of 10EE owners with lubrication pipes worn through like mine were. The pipes are kept out of harms way.

The only thing I didn’t like was the sharp bend for the input pipe.
It looks like the manifold is a casting, presumably it’s a standard Bijur part?

I decided to fabricate something similar from brass and silver solder it together.


Continued in next post...


Sep 21, 2016
Woking, Surrey, UK.
CVA Toolroom Lathe - Saddle Lubrication part 3

Continued ...


The 10EE and CVA pipe order is different: On the tailstock side the position of the pipe from the apron and the pipe that feeds the cross-slide are reversed. Fortunately I spotted this in time and put the manifold inlet on the other end.

Here’s what it looks like after plumbing


I did not have as much difficulty getting the pipes in as I had expected. If there’s a secret to this it’s keeping the copper annealed. I used some odd bits of hardwood as pushers to help get the pipes into place. A piece with a 5/32” hole is helpful for holding while bending close to the end of the pipe. I avoided using pliers and any metal tools which would mark the soft copper.

It's not quite as compact as I would have liked, but the pipes are now higher up and less susceptible to damage.
If I were doing it again I'd make the manifold mounting tag shorter which would give a bit more room.
I'd also be confident about making the bends a bit sharper.

One point of correction - in an earlier post I said that the original pipes were copper. Having cleaned one of them I think they're brass.

I hope this thread is of help to other CVA owners.