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Dean Smith Grace Lathe Owners

M. Moore

Jun 8, 2007
Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada
Hello all DSG owners, I just bought one! As there is no place for English Heavey Iron I thought I would start this thread.
I have a 1953, 13x40, 5000lbs of elegance. I'm just finishing the process of cleaning 30 years of grime. Looks very nice underneath all the muck.
Like they say, this is "The Cadillac of Lathes", more appropriate would be "Rolls Royce". I'm guessing the Rolls Royce factory even had DSG lathes! So let's here from all of you and in particular anyone that has a machine pre 1955, as they changed the design at that time.
This particular machine has internal drive belts for the spindle which are no longer available. I would like to find out if anyone has overcome this problem.

Michael Moore



Well done, nice looking bit of kit, 2 1/2 ton is a fair starting point for a 13" lathe:D.

IIRC there were quite a few variations & options even on the same model & year.
Others will prob know about the belts,........ PM ers ''Tyroneshoelaces'' and ''Mark McGrath'' comes to mind, however this might start the ball rolling. Manuals etc on free download.

http://www.shamrockmachinery.com/DEAN SMITH GRACE/dean_smith_&_grace_lathes.htm
Limy, thanks for the link. There were different options, but after 1954 they did a serious redesign. As you can see in the photo the motor is sticking way out to the left. The new design tucks the motor underneath the headstock. (much nicer) They also got rid of the internal drive belts and changed the chuck mount from their own "Fast Lock" system to the more common D1-6. The fast lock is fast but no taper for alignment. Also can't get any backing plates, I will have to make some.
Hm Hell of a sturdy looking machine tool. I don't think I've ever seen a more stoutly built smaller lathe unless it was a Monarch EE.

I dont see any jacks or hold down bolt holes. It that what I call a "three point" machine? That is, a machine sufficiently rigid it was intened to mount on three points - two under the headstock and one iunder the tailstock end?

That is "Rolls-Royce of Lathes", not that other lesser name, thanks! :)

I have spent some time on a similar size, but later model (the model with the feeds/threads changed by turning a knob, with pointer and chart behind a glass panel - beautiful!). What I recall mostly was that the controls were nicely placed and worked smoothly, nothing clunky. When it came to buying a lathe, I was sorely tempted by the DSG, but I went for a smaller, newer Graziano - not as smooth to operate (clunky feed control) but much faster (higher spindle speeds and on-the-fly speed changes).
I use a early 60's era Type 21 and I can't imagine a finer lathe ever being built than a DS&G. Overbuilt and very tough are common words used when describing one. They've been around since 1865.

Full parts service and technical support provided for every lathe manufactured by Dean Smith & Grace since 1945. The vast proportion of spares can be supplied from stock, with next day delivery, however should certain items or components not be readily available, our experienced Customer Service Department will endeavour to meet customer requirements in the shortest time possible.
Our team of factory engineers provide expert service support across the whole range of Dean Smith & Grace lathes and other quality machine tools.
Services provided include installation and relocation, on-site rebuilds and full factory rebuilds.

Anyone heard anything about their CNC lathes?
Hey, I looked away for a few moments....

I'll start with Forrest, the jacks are located behind the panels on the front , and exposed on the backside. The left panel on the front has the electrical switches inside and below the tailstock there is a very stout door which holds the spare threading gears.
The manual suggests that for "light duty" use you don't have to bolt her down! Only bolt her down if you are doing heavy offcenter turning.

Limy, thanks for the link I will check it out.

Jeff B, fine is the right word, 55 years old and still cuts within .0005 at 12" !!
I have been in contact with the spares person at DSG, that's how I found out the belts are no longer available (cry emoticon)

RC, yes at least five colors I have found so far, the guys at the Department of National Defence (Canada) sometimes have to make the shop look really nice. It appears that it was painted about every ten years or so....maybe in time with the Royal visits?
The original grey seems to be in good shape under all that other stuff, there's even baby blue on there, ugh!

Thanks for the replies....and how about some photo's from other DSG owners!!

Love the PM!

Congratulations; that DS&G is a FINE lathe, and a heck of a lump of iron. I had thought of buying a baby DS&G before I bought my 10EE, an I/M would have pushed me over the edge. That really is a stout lathe.

Here are some pics of x2 DSGs I know of, the first one is mine, a 1307 x 40, made in 1978, weighs close to 3 ton :-



And the second is my mates 13 x 42, made I believe in 1968, I actually prefer the ealier models with thier solid, rigid cast bottom trays.



Below is a picture of a Dean smith and grace that is for sale at a local shop. They got another CNC and need the room so this has to go and soon . If any one is interested it is priced very low and the shop will load it on a truck or trailor free. If any one is interested you can contact me at [email protected] The lathe is a 17 by 36 and includes a 3 jaw and a steady rest that are not seen in the picture as well it has taper attachment


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We used to jokingly call them Dean, Smith and Disgrace ! Seriously one of the finest lathes ever made. The feel of the controls is just superb and replacing parts is a pleasure, everything fits like a hand in a glove. Only "Holbrook" and "Cazenurve" ? in my experience comes near.
The C.N.C. lathes were good but I suspect " Monarch" had a lot of input by this time. Regards Tyrone.
DSG Lathes

I'm guessing the Rolls Royce factory even had DSG lathes!

Rolls Royce did indeed use many DSG lathes in their factories. Furthermore, when RR were involved in setting up an overseas overhaul facility for their engines, they always recommended DSG lathes for the facility machine shop.
Like they say, this is "The Cadillac of Lathes", more appropriate would be "Rolls Royce".

Nice buy !
Haven't used that model, but the next one (both 13" and 17") They are definitely a velvet paw / iron glove proposition

They do have an unusual clasp-nut arrangement (at least, the following model did) where they swing closed like a clam closing, not like the Southbend, but instead about an axis parallel to the spindle.

It's great that they're still in business. I believe they will rebuild their manual lathes to original acceptance limits - if you've got a few tens of thousands to spare....

Re your comment above - who was the American (presumably of Irish origins) who used to say that the Cadillac was 'the Rolls Royce of automobiles' ?
I'm running a DSG 21 x 72 myself. It's a very fine machine. It had been hit by a numbskull with a forklift. The motor was broken, and the bolt-on casting base under the headstock was also broken. I took it in trade against a 25" machine.

I adapted a modern Totally Enclosed Fan Cooled (TEFC) motor to it. I fabricated another base under the headstock (old one unbolted) and have run it for several years. I also converted the electrical to American components. If I recall correctly it's a 1952 machine. No finer lathe than a DSG was ever built.

I'm probably going to sell it soon, if anyone is interested. Loading is no problem. I want a bigger swing and bigger spindle hole. (present one is 3 5/8") It's in place running now.

Another thing I did was removed the turret tool post and made it accept an Aloris DA. I will be using the DA I have with the next lathe (which I think I've found)

Your 13" is a fine lathe. It even makes my Axelson look a touch light!