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John Bertram & Sons Lathe "saved"

Sachmanram

Stainless
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Hello all,

I am the proud "new" owner... hmmmmm... "caretaker" of what I think is a nearly 100 year old Canadian made lathe. It's been a long day starting at 6:30 with a one hour drive to a tiny hamlet called Belleisle Creek in a beautiful farming valley full of market gardens. I met the son of the owner at 8:30 (got kinda lost... don't ask... :crazy:)this morning at his father's homestead and found him to be one of the most polite, friendly and helpful person that you'd ever want to meet.

I wasn't sure just what I was up against until I saw the lathe. My little 4x4 Ford Ranger was "not" going to carry this heavy iron home... :eek:
Once we made the deal, Layton offered the use of his tip trailer, his help to dismantle as much as we could from the lathe, skidding the lathe onto his trailer and will deliver it to my front door as long as I pay his fuel cost.... of course it will be a "donnybrook" to get him to take the "extra" cash that I will hand him for all of his help... There are real good people in this world... and I met one today...

Anywaaaaaayyy.... I brought home a bunch of odds and sods with me and will prepare the way when Layton will deliver the lathe... possibly on Monday evening... I will try to take as many pics as I can....

I'm not sure if it was Layton's father who installed the wooden vertical slats in the headstock leg assembly, but i thought that it was a rather clever way of keeping the change gears from separating from the lathe... I don't know if I have a complete set or not at this point... There are two separate doors on each end of the leg assemblies and am not sure if there would have been a back cover of some kind to keep the "innards" from wandering... I will post a few pics to whet your appetite for now... I have too much on the go right now, but will try to post a few pics of the iron that I brought home with me tomorrow... I do believe that this lathe has a taper attachment, but am not sure if I have all of the necessary parts for it...

By the way, I am painfully aware of the massive cast iron failure at the nose of the tail stock.... I sincerely hope that it won't detract from my pleasure of exploring this lathe.... It came with a manual transmission, but I may want to restore this lathe to a ceiling mounted lineshaft in the future...

I'm really happy with this lathe... :D

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Joe in NH

Diamond
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Location
Stratham, Cow Hampshire
Um. I think the pix got entered twice?

Still a very nice example. And yes, the change gear storage is not a new idea, but widely done around the turn of the 20th century.

That nose on the tailstock will look just fine after a little cosmetic repair with bondo or JB Weld. You'll want to blast the mating surface for best adhesion. Maybe even tap a couple of small holes and sink a short machine screw or two (or three, or four) to act as "anchor point" for that molecular bonded surface. Just keep the screws short so they remain submerged in the putty and don't mess up your fairing efforts with a grinder/sander/whatever.

Wots the drill press down in back?

I've found that most people who are interested in machinery are quite giving in their relationships with their fellow old iron addicts. So giving, in fact, your garage/shop/side yard/living room will be filled with machinery before you can say stop. But it won't happen immediately. The saturation point kind of creeps up on you.

Still, Layton sounds like the sort of guy who should be on this board with us.

Joe
 

Dave D

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
Congratultions, the lathe looks great. A bit of history preserved for the future. Its really nice that it was being used and kept out of the elements.

Once it's all set up the way you want it you'll likely find youself turning it on just to marvel at it working.

Dave
 

Dave D

Hot Rolled
Joined
Oct 7, 2006
Location
Vancouver, B.C.
A couple of afterthoughts (which you likely have already considered).

If you choose to, there are many different ways to repair the tailstock. Do as Joe suggests or if you have a mig welder you could try that to build up the area. I've been very successful using a mig on old castings. There are several other possible repair techniques discussed on this forum, just do a search.

It does look like it has been cared for so a thorough disassembly/cleaning may not be necessary. The advantage to a disassembly/cleaning is that sometimes there are lubrication points buried under the "patina", you have a better understanding of how it all works and can find any other necessary repairs, if any.

Once again, congratulations. Many happy hours ahead.

Dave
 

cretedog

Cast Iron
Joined
Dec 22, 2007
Location
North Dakota USA
Nice lathe Sachman! Looks like a 2 hour drive through beautiful countryside was well worth it. And there IS still room on the trailer for a small drill press...
 

Andy FitzGibbon

Diamond
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Location
Elkins WV
That nose on the tailstock will look just fine after a little cosmetic repair with bondo or JB Weld. You'll want to blast the mating surface for best adhesion. Maybe even tap a couple of small holes and sink a short machine screw or two (or three, or four) to act as "anchor point" for that molecular bonded surface. Just keep the screws short so they remain submerged in the putty and don't mess up your fairing efforts with a grinder/sander/whatever.

Doubtful that Bondo would hold up in that area, due to the forces exerted by the ram locking bolt.
Andy
 

Sachmanram

Stainless
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Hello Joe,

Thanks for the advice on fixing the tailstock. I'm not sure what the make of the drill press is... I asked if he was interested in selling, but he wants to keep it... I should have taken a photo of it, but I was too busy accepting free and valuable help to take the time.

Brian
 

Sachmanram

Stainless
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Hello Donosaur,

I will be posting a few more pics of the gear that I brought home with me and will include the one part that I'm sure is a portion of the taper attachment. There are a couple of other mystery parts, but they don't seem to belong to it. Any additional info would be appreciated, including a photo of your own taper attachment.

Brian
 

Sachmanram

Stainless
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Hello Dave,

I certainly am looking forward to cleaning and dismantling the lathe once it arrives. I agree that I will learn a great deal about the lathe through the process and end up having it operate a little more smoothly and, like you said, I may find some oiling holes that would otherwise go undetected. The tailstock clamp seems to lock the tailstock ram fairly well, but I sure would like to return some meat to the damaged area to help out in the clamping.

Thanks...

Brian
 

Sachmanram

Stainless
Joined
Jan 17, 2011
Location
New Brunswick, Canada
Thanks for all of the positive responses from all of you... I still have lots to learn and am grateful for all of the input and help.

Here's a few pics of the odds and ends that I took home with me... included gears are as follows... 76, 72, 68, 64, 60, 52, 48, 44, 40x2, 36, 32, and 24... I suspect that # 58 is on the lathe... does this seem to be a complete set of change gears?

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One part of the taper attachment...
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Joe in NH

Diamond
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Location
Stratham, Cow Hampshire
Doubtful that Bondo would hold up in that area, due to the forces exerted by the ram locking bolt.

Yea, I thought of that. But look closely at the bolt and you'll see it's functional as it is (the flange of the bolt head seems firmly embedded in the original casting.)

So I hedged my bet and threw in the sunken anchor option. Between this and the difference in elastic modulus between cast iron and epoxy material (cast iron is considerably more rigid than epoxy) this might have a chance to succeed.

There are epoxies that have incorporated materials to aid properties. One of these is "fiberglass filled bondo" which includes fibers of glass or plastic and serve to make the bondo more flexible in a linear sense. This is the body filler of choice for those thin body panels subject to air or impact vibration.

Or Belzona makes a rubber filled epoxy product that when fully cured creates a sort of "hockey puck" type consistency. This would be ideal in this sort of non load bearing application. (and bring a benefit of impact resistance?) But bring your wallet as Belzona is typically $125 a pot.

Whatever. The key thing to remember is that the new epoxy nose will not aid the mechanical properties in any way. It's simply a cosmetic addition.

Maybe that isn't important to the user?

Interesting discussion and a valid observation.

Joe
 
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Jim Christie

Titanium
Joined
Mar 14, 2007
Location
L'Orignal, Ontario Canada
Sachmanram .
It is nice that you are able to give the lathe a new home .
I can imagine that there are not many other copies of that model of Bertram still around if any .
Incase you didn’t see it there was some discussion about Bertram in this thread with some related Bertram links .
http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/antique-machinery-history/macgregor-gourlay-lathes-215881/
I don’t recall seeing any pictures of a lathe like yours in Canadian Machinery but I would think that your lathe is likely ten or more years older than the earliest magazines .
I would guess that your lathe might date from 1890 –1900 but don’t know for sure .
I had already posted this link in the the thread above
I looked through a few issues doing a search for Bertram
Internet Archive Search: subject:"Machinery -- Periodicals"
I found this article about Bertram’s pattern shop.
Canadian machinery and metalworking
I look forward to reading more about your lathe and getting it back in operation again.
Regards,
Jim
 








 
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