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Lucas #41 HBM

MAMaxwell

Aluminum
Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Location
Arkansas
Recently bought this Lucas #41 HBM for the shop. I plan to use it mainly for line boring old engine cylinders. It is a slow speed machine, with only 381 r.p.m. on the top end, so figure it is a plain bearing machine. The slow speed shouldn't be a real problem with cylinder boring.

I'm not sure of the age of it, but figure early to mid 1940's since it has the war production tag on it. The serial number is 41-28-10.

Attached are a few pictures of it, getting ready to unload.
 

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Have the "Instruction Manual" and "Parts Manual" for 41-21-20 I got from Lucas many years ago. These are slim so-so reprints. I suppose such things could be scanned or whatever if needed
 
John,

I would be interested in your 'so-so' reprints for scans of the "Instruction manual" and "Parts manual". - I'll private message you.

My Lucas seems to have an interesting feed chart, which may of been standard on the early Lucas mills? - Attached is a picture of it, with the "standard" feed for when back gear is out or in for lever "0", then only feed rates shown when back gear is in for "fine" feed. Not sure if this "fine" feed would apply to when the back gear is out too, but isn't listed on the chart? I haven't got the machine fired up yet to know how all the feed rates work. It has a horizontal lever for the "standard" and "fine" feed rates that is between the speed levers and the feed rate levers that I haven't seen in other pictures of Lucas 41 HBM. It will be interesting if your Parts manual shows this setup.

One thing that surprised me was how the spindle looked on the machine, it looks brand new. Even where the draw key is pounded in doesn't look like it was ever hammered on. Lucas must of used a special material for the spindle to look that good or whoever operated it for the past 80 years took extra good care of it? - The shop I got it from said they bought it for one big project a few years ago and had been sitting since then. They decided to get rid of it, as they saw no further use for it.

Mark
 

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Today's corporate reincarnation of Lucas Machine Company is called Lucas Precision, and has become a subsidiary of Fermat. The after-aquisition-by-Fermat Lucas Precision website still contains bits and pieces of Lucas Machine heritage and wisdom, although those pieces are now a bit harder to find than on the original Lucas Precision website.

For some reason, my confuser does not want to copy and past a link, so let's try this:

1. Go to lucasprecision.com
2. Click on About Us
3. Click on History of Lucas

The nuggets are in blue boxes on the left side of the History page.
 
Today's corporate reincarnation of Lucas Machine Company is called Lucas Precision, and has become a subsidiary of Fermat. The after-aquisition-by-Fermat Lucas Precision website still contains bits and pieces of Lucas Machine heritage and wisdom, although those pieces are now a bit harder to find than on the original Lucas Precision website.

For some reason, my confuser does not want to copy and past a link, so let's try this:

1. Go to lucasprecision.com
2. Click on About Us
3. Click on History of Lucas

The nuggets are in blue boxes on the left side of the History page.
Lucas has an interesting history. It looks like the Lucas family was involved with the company up to 1945, when they completely sold out to McDonald Investment Corporation.

I noticed New Britain Machine Company bought Lucas in late 1948 and had the company until 1968. I had been looking at a 42B-60 Lucas before buying this 41 and noticed it had the New Britain Machine Co. on the nameplate, with Lucas being a division of them. - I really liked the 42B-60 with a 4" bar, but it had no tailstock and finding one to fit the particular model is scarce.
 
Looks good for a 80+ year old machine.
Yes, it is probably one of the best machines in my shop of that age. It has been well used but was very well taken care of. It has a lot of life left in it. I haven't found a broken part on it yet, which is unusual for a machine this age.
 
One thing this HBM has on it is a 3-axis Acu-Rite DRO. This is the first machine in my shop that has this feature, but what I've read they are indispensable on a HBM.

I looked under the Acu-Rite website and they say they have manuals for their older DRO's so hopefully can find a manual for the model I have to get the most use out of its functions.

The 42B-60 Lucas I was looking at before I bought this 41 had only a 2-axis DRO. I don't know if that third axis on a HBM is really needed or not, as I've seen other HBM's for sale with only 2-axis DRO's?
 
My 3” HBM came with a 2 axis DRO (X and Y). At the very least I wish it was 3 axis (X, Y and Z). If money were no object and this HBM proves to be worth it, I would want to go 5 axis as mine has a rotary table.
 
One thing this HBM has on it is a 3-axis Acu-Rite DRO. This is the first machine in my shop that has this feature, but what I've read they are indispensable on a HBM.

I looked under the Acu-Rite website and they say they have manuals for their older DRO's so hopefully can find a manual for the model I have to get the most use out of its functions.

The 42B-60 Lucas I was looking at before I bought this 41 had only a 2-axis DRO. I don't know if that third axis on a HBM is really needed or not, as I've seen other HBM's for sale with only 2-axis DRO's?
Is the Z axis the table in/out or the spindle?
 
Is the Z axis the table in/out or the spindle?
On a 3 axis DRO for a HBM the Z axis is the vertical movement of the head up or down. At least that is how mine is setup.

For the X axis on mine it is the table cross travel and the Y axis is the table travel along the bed.

The spindle is not setup for DRO, but does have a visual scale with vernier on a collar at the manual feed handwheel.
 
Recently bought this Lucas #41 HBM for the shop. I plan to use it mainly for line boring old engine cylinders. It is a slow speed machine, with only 381 r.p.m. on the top end, so figure it is a plain bearing machine. The slow speed shouldn't be a real problem with cylinder boring.

I'm not sure of the age of it, but figure early to mid 1940's since it has the war production tag on it. The serial number is 41-28-10.

Attached are a few pictures of it, getting ready to unload.
Did you get the line boring bars with it ? They have a bad habit of getting lost/scrapped.

Regards Tyrone
 
John,

I would be interested in your 'so-so' reprints for scans of the "Instruction manual" and "Parts manual". - I'll private message you.

My Lucas seems to have an interesting feed chart, which may of been standard on the early Lucas mills? - Attached is a picture of it, with the "standard" feed for when back gear is out or in for lever "0", then only feed rates shown when back gear is in for "fine" feed. Not sure if this "fine" feed would apply to when the back gear is out too, but isn't listed on the chart? I haven't got the machine fired up yet to know how all the feed rates work. It has a horizontal lever for the "standard" and "fine" feed rates that is between the speed levers and the feed rate levers that I haven't seen in other pictures of Lucas 41 HBM. It will be interesting if your Parts manual shows this setup.

One thing that surprised me was how the spindle looked on the machine, it looks brand new. Even where the draw key is pounded in doesn't look like it was ever hammered on. Lucas must of used a special material for the spindle to look that good or whoever operated it for the past 80 years took extra good care of it? - The shop I got it from said they bought it for one big project a few years ago and had been sitting since then. They decided to get rid of it, as they saw no further use for it.

Mark
You used to be able to buy “ adjustable draw keys “ to retain the tool in the Morse taper spindle. That prevented the idiots from thrashing the spindle. Unfortunately not everybody bought them. However they had to be inserted the right way round in the slot. So the idiots occasionally put them in the wrong way around. Sometimes that meant taking the spindle out to let gravity sort out the draw key.

Regards Tyrone
 
Tyrone --

You've mentioned the wrong-way-key-gets-stuck syndrome before, and I haven't understood what actually causes the sticking.

In fifty years of hanging around machine shops as a student or customer, I only remember playing with a couple of adjustable draw keys. Both had rounded working edges, and i haven't been able to imagine how they would manage to jam themselves in place.

I'd appreciate your schooling on the subject.

Thanks,

John
 
Tyrone --

You've mentioned the wrong-way-key-gets-stuck syndrome before, and I haven't understood what actually causes the sticking.

In fifty years of hanging around machine shops as a student or customer, I only remember playing with a couple of adjustable draw keys. Both had rounded working edges, and i haven't been able to imagine how they would manage to jam themselves in place.

I'd appreciate your schooling on the subject.

Thanks,

John
It’d be easier to show you than talk you though it. However here goes. When you look at the milling arbor cotter slot in the travelling spindle you can only see some of the cotter slot in the arbor. The arbor doesn’t go all the way in. Part of the arbor slot is out of sight inside the travelling spindle. Normally you insert the adjustable cotter in the slot with the tongue pointing towards the tang end of milling arbor. When you wind in the adjusting screw it propels the tongue out against the inside edge of the arbor, trapping the arbor in place.

If you put the cotter in the wrong way round and wind the adjusting screw in the tongue goes into the space in the arbor slot and doesn’t bear against anything. Unfortunately on the adjustable cotters I used you could only wind the tongue out, you couldn’t wind it back. With the spindle being horizontal you were stuck.

What you had to do was remove the travelling spindle and invert it on the overhead crane with the business end upwards. Then you could tap the cotter and spindle with a soft hammer and let gravity bring the tongue back so you could remove the cotter.

Roughly a day of a job.

I hope you got all that.

Regards Tyrone
 
Tyrone --

Muy gracias for that explanation, it makes perfect sense now. I always assumed thay both sides of an adjustable draw key passed completely through both the spindle and arbor.

Again, I do appreciate the explanation.

John
 
It was the best explanation I could come up with. it’s a simple idea but hard to put into words. It was usually the apprentices who made that mistake and most of them only made it once, after I’d had a word with them.

Regsrds Tyrone
 
Did you get the line boring bars with it ? They have a bad habit of getting lost/scrapped.

Regards Tyrone
Unfortunately no line boring bars came with it. I asked the shop owner that I got it from if it had any and he said no, but did get a box full of cutters and holders.

Have some bar material of about 2 1/2" diameter I plan to make into a boring bar. I have a long bed lathe that I can turn the end to fit the HBM. - Not as good as having a bar especially made for line boring, but should work.
 








 
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