Help with Macson (Mcpherson) Lathe 1930's
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    Red face Help with Macson (Mcpherson) Lathe 1930's

    Hi guys,

    I am trying to gather some information about a lathe for my grandfather (and I know nothing).

    He recently was given parts of a lathe belt drive 6” Centre Height. This machine is one of four lathes that was used in the annex for war products by B.H.A.S. Pty Ltd Port Pirie, South Australia during 1939-1945 war. What I need is if possible you may have or may know where I may get the following:

    1. He has the apron (no gears in it). It has the knob control in it. A round slide unit for feeds
    2. A gear box
    3. Also the gears for drive from headstock to gear box
    4. also the rack for movement of saddle
    5. tail stock (if possible)
    6. information on lead screen diameter and threads per inch

    I would be grateful if you could help me in anyway- we are located in Adelaide, but i could definitely buy some pieces online.
    I've also attached an image that my grandpa says is very similar to the lathe he has...

    Thanks so much in advance!


    file-18.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by lydia92 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I am trying to gather some information about a lathe for my grandfather (and I know nothing).

    He recently was given parts of a lathe belt drive 6” Centre Height. This machine is one of four lathes that was used in the annex for war products by B.H.A.S. Pty Ltd Port Pirie, South Australia during 1939-1945 war. What I need is if possible you may have or may know where I may get the following:

    1. He has the apron (no gears in it). It has the knob control in it. A round slide unit for feeds
    2. A gear box
    3. Also the gears for drive from headstock to gear box
    4. also the rack for movement of saddle
    5. tail stock (if possible)
    6. information on lead screen diameter and threads per inch

    I would be grateful if you could help me in anyway- we are located in Adelaide, but i could definitely buy some pieces online.
    I've also attached an image that my grandpa says is very similar to the lathe he has...

    Thanks so much in advance!


    file-18.jpg
    First the image is for a much later lathe than what you describe so of little or no use in helping anything, sorry. It's from a 1970's or newer machine with a geared head and camlock spindle.

    I'm pretty confident in saying that there will be no parts available anywhere unless you can find a donor machine, and that will be limited to Australia.

    METALWORK GENERAL

    Would be a better place to ask, at least a few members there have or have had Macson lathes.

    But please, save everyone a lot of guesswork and take some decent sized pictures of the *actual* lathe before asking questions about it. People are happy to help but that runs out quite fast if you can't be bothered doing everything you can to make it simple to do so.

    PDW

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    From what I see in the photo posted by the OP, the lathe appears to be one of the generic Taiwanese or Chinese lathes. No way would I say that the lathe in the photo was WWII era. The shape of the tailstock and compound (top slide), design of the apron and gap bed all scream "Chinese" or "Taiwan".

    The Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers offered (and still do) some belt drive bench lathes with back geared spindles, camlock spindle noses, and "Norton" style quick change boxes. I'd suggest looking in the "Grizzly Industrial" online catalog and you may see a very close version of the lathe pictured. These lathes were built in large numbers by Chinese or Taiwanese firms and "badged" by various sellers in the USA, UK, Australia, etc. About all that differed was the color of paint and the name on the feed chart/nameplate (usually a silk-screened aluminum plate riveted to the lathe's castings). Look at Tony Griffith's site ("Machine Tool Archive") and there is quite a spread on these types of lathes with photos.

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    Based on what you've told it sounds more like a parts machine/ basket case. Unless the majority of the parts are there(90% or more) you'll spend more time and money attempting to put it to rights than just buying a running lathe. Jmo

    Also don't allow someone to contact you privately claiming they have all you'll need. At this point they would be lying.

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    sorry about the image. My grandfather lives in a different town to me, and sent me a letter with the questions he wanted to ask. I can't exactly drive over to him and take a photo of the lathe- this image is one I was quite sure he identified a few months ago, but I was wrong.
    I'll update when I can with an actual photo. I would appreciate you not being so rude to me though, I was asking for help as a favour to my grandfather.


    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    First the image is for a much later lathe than what you describe so of little or no use in helping anything, sorry. It's from a 1970's or newer machine with a geared head and camlock spindle.

    I'm pretty confident in saying that there will be no parts available anywhere unless you can find a donor machine, and that will be limited to Australia.

    METALWORK GENERAL

    Would be a better place to ask, at least a few members there have or have had Macson lathes.

    But please, save everyone a lot of guesswork and take some decent sized pictures of the *actual* lathe before asking questions about it. People are happy to help but that runs out quite fast if you can't be bothered doing everything you can to make it simple to do so.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    From what I see in the photo posted by the OP, the lathe appears to be one of the generic Taiwanese or Chinese lathes. No way would I say that the lathe in the photo was WWII era. The shape of the tailstock and compound (top slide), design of the apron and gap bed all scream "Chinese" or "Taiwan".

    The Chinese and Taiwanese manufacturers offered (and still do) some belt drive bench lathes with back geared spindles, camlock spindle noses, and "Norton" style quick change boxes. I'd suggest looking in the "Grizzly Industrial" online catalog and you may see a very close version of the lathe pictured. These lathes were built in large numbers by Chinese or Taiwanese firms and "badged" by various sellers in the USA, UK, Australia, etc. About all that differed was the color of paint and the name on the feed chart/nameplate (usually a silk-screened aluminum plate riveted to the lathe's castings). Look at Tony Griffith's site ("Machine Tool Archive") and there is quite a spread on these types of lathes with photos.
    No, no - the picture attached bears *NO* resemblance to the actual lathe that the OP wants information/parts for and I have no idea why it was posted except - *maybe* - to give us an idea of what a lathe was. Or the OP simply doesn't know sufficient to post something meaningful.

    Macson is an Australian company brand all right, part of the McPhersons group and they actually did make/sell machinery including lathes in Australia up to the 1980's. There are quite a lot of their lathes about the place. They were OK sort of machines, nothing special, just a work horse. I can easily believe there's a pre-WW2 machine needing parts, just that without decent pix of the actual machine nobody is going to be able to help even if they've also got a basket case tucked away. Even then - shrug. Find a TS, well, maybe - good luck having it fit properly without scraping/machining it to suit.

    I actually have a metal planer with a McPhersons badge on the cross rail. No idea if they made it or re-badged an import. After some recent TLC it's actually a functional machine again.

    PDW

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    Sorry about the picture- as I said I know nothing about lathes, and i THOUGHT this was the picture my grandfather showed me a while ago.
    I don't live in the same town as him, he asked me to send a letter he had handwritten to the company asking for the above information. I'm just trying to find out some more info for him as his granddaughter, so please don't post rude comments about how i'm too lazy to take a photo of the actual lathe- it's not productive.

    Is there a record where I can get a manual for the type of lathe described above, or someone i can contact? I am a novice.

    THanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by lydia92 View Post
    Sorry about the picture- as I said I know nothing about lathes, and i THOUGHT this was the picture my grandfather showed me a while ago.
    I don't live in the same town as him, he asked me to send a letter he had handwritten to the company asking for the above information. I'm just trying to find out some more info for him as his granddaughter, so please don't post rude comments about how i'm too lazy to take a photo of the actual lathe- it's not productive.

    Is there a record where I can get a manual for the type of lathe described above, or someone i can contact? I am a novice.

    THanks
    Lydia, I'm not trying to be nasty, a lot of meta-information goes missing in a pure text based system.

    McPhersons were in the machine tool biz for many, many decades. They made machines, imported & re-badged machines, you name it, they did it. Given the age there's a fair prospect it could be a UK made machine they imported & re-badged.

    We *like* old machines. If we can help you out, we will. But we can't help without some data. The simplest information is good clear photos of the actual machine because that doesn't require the person asking to know the details of the machine - things like the bed form, headstock config, spindle details etc become obvious. Someone might recognise it.

    You can send me a private message if you like with an email address and I'll reply off forum - I'm an Australian living in Hobart and I have friends in Adelaide, a lot closer to you, who might be able to assist. A lot of us are pack rats, there's a chance someone might have something useful.

    PDW

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    Mc Phersons Ltd are still in business,after 80 years of attacks by company raiders ,asset strippers,politicians and other assorted spivs.....Unfortunately the machinery side of the business was would up in the late seventies,and the massive real estate holdings sold off.(asset strippers).....up to about 30 years ago they still held all the drawings for their machines ,and would send voluminous copies ,free of charge.......they were proud of their heritage...........did you know that ,thru the Ajax Bolt subsidiary,they made every one of the 7 million rivets in the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Mc Phersons Ltd are still in business,after 80 years of attacks by company raiders ,asset strippers,politicians and other assorted spivs.....Unfortunately the machinery side of the business was would up in the late seventies,and the massive real estate holdings sold off.(asset strippers).....up to about 30 years ago they still held all the drawings for their machines ,and would send voluminous copies ,free of charge.......they were proud of their heritage...........did you know that ,thru the Ajax Bolt subsidiary,they made every one of the 7 million rivets in the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
    Interesting - I thought they were long dead.

    I'd dearly love to know if they actually made my metal planer here in Australia, or if it was a re-badged import. And just when it was made. I've never seen another one quite like it. The man I bought it off was a 70 y/o and his father had owned it before him, not sure if it was from new, think it was just after WW2 though. Which would make some sense (though WW1 probably more like it for a metal planer......)

    PDW

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    Nearly all the Mc Pherson catalogs are available thru the Victorian Museums Service.

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    Hi PDW , PM sent to you re this Macson

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    Hi Lydia,I have a scan from the 1937 McPherson catalogue which shows a 6" centre height Macson lathe possibly similar/same as your grandfather's. If you PM me with an email address I could send it to you. The process to post on here is too convoluted for me. Meanwhile you might try the National Library in Canberra, if you strike the right person you might be lucky, at some point in history all Oz publications began to be registered with them. I wouldn't bother trying thro' TROVE their online search facility because their entire collection is not necessarily digitised. As PDW said, the Oz-based Metalwork forum, Google it, might be more productive .. local knowledge & all that.

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    Re reading the original request,it seems to me there is nothing there ,lathe wise.........its likely the machine has been stripped to make a one purpose machine,and rebuilding it would be near impossible,unless it was a high value item,like a vintage motorcycle.......a lot simpler ,IMHO,to appeal to the masses for a free lathe for an old timer to amuse himself with.

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    Swarfless's scan of the old catalog....

    FWIW I doubt this will help a lot, but let's put it out there in case Lydia comes back & checks this thread. If she shows the pic to her grandfather maybe he can say yea or nay and we'll at least know which machine it is that needs parts.

    Still doesn't mean they're findable but if you don't know what you're looking for......

    PDW
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails macson-1937.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Re reading the original request,it seems to me there is nothing there ,lathe wise.........its likely the machine has been stripped to make a one purpose machine,and rebuilding it would be near impossible,unless it was a high value item,like a vintage motorcycle.......a lot simpler ,IMHO,to appeal to the masses for a free lathe for an old timer to amuse himself with.
    Agreed, though at this point it's advice falling on deaf ears so to speak.

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    This was posted earlier, the 1949, 1955 and 1966 McPherson's catalogues: Index of /www.titaniumstudios.com/titaniumstudios.com/tooljunkie/paper


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