Looking For Info On "EMPIRE" Model 35 Turret Lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default Looking For Info On "EMPIRE" Model 35 Turret Lathe

    I recently saved an "EMPIRE" model 35 Turret lathe from the scrappers. It is a slant-way,ram type turret lathe. I'd say it's about a No.1 - No.2 size with a power feed turret. It looks to be 1970's/ possibly 80's vintage, not sure. Made in Elgoibar Spain, imported by Empire in New York.

    It looks like it could be a pretty handy little turret lathe if I can get it cleaned up, and running. It is all complete at least, and the gearboxes seem to be ok, so far as I've had time to check.

    Ive looked all over the internet, and can't find anything quite like it. Just wondering if anybody had any manuals, or info on it. I'll try to get some pics of it, but it might be a day or two.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brianison View Post
    I recently saved an "EMPIRE" model 35 Turret lathe from the scrappers.
    There was probably reasons why it was there.
    Did it want to be saved?
    Where's Digger Doug?
    JR

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    Quote Originally Posted by JRIowa View Post
    Where's Digger Doug?
    JR
    ...Being "Saved".....

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    That sounds an interesting beast ...........Pics would be a great help.

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    Finally Got some pictures. Hopefully they'll be clear enough to make out. turret-lathe-1.jpg

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    Can't seem to get more than 1 pic per post, guess I'm not smart enough. So here's #2 turretlathe3.jpg

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    Interesting, but very rusty.

    I picked up this, and it came with the manual, here's a page of it,
    also from Spain.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sprintlathe-cover.jpg  

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    Actually, the rust looks a lot worse in the pics than it is in real life. It had been oiled down pretty well before being outside, and most of it scrapes off with a thumbnail,and everything still moves, and turns freely. I shamefully have to admit that most of it's time outside has been under my care...or lack of it. About the time I got it, business picked up to 7 days a week for several months. Just now got some time to move it in and clean it up.

    Digger, That one does have a little of the same look. From what I understand,Elgoibar is, or at least was the the machine building capitol of Spain, and for a little while they had a currency valuation that made them cheap to import.

    It's kind of neat that the base, chip pan, bed,and headstock are all one casting. For it's size, it's damn heavy, but it looks to be as ridgid as a 10ee Monarch

    Oh, in response to JR's comment, I live in the buckle of the Bible Belt, where everything gets saved whether it wants to be or not

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    That's handy looking tool Brianison, and as long as it's not totally shagged should after cleaning and fettling up be capable of making good parts, speaking of which, contrary to common belief there are still plenty about for which a small turret is a very viable choice when set against a more expensive to buy and run CNC lathe.

    Being Spanish the turret bores could well be metric, which could be a problem in the US finding metric shank tooling. (although they may have been ordered or changed to imperial) BOTOH adapting tooling to suit shouldn't be much of a problem for a half decent machinist - should it

    Re Dougs Sprint, as I recall, in their class the Sprints were a good tool, I remember seeing quite a few when I was ''batting around the jobs shops on the side'' in the early 70's, and ran a couple.

    To be fair, quality and longevity wise the Sprints were never a small Ward, Herbert, Smart & Brown or the smaller Accuratool, but they were available virtually off the shelf (when the 3 listed had a long waiting list), came ''well tooled'' as standard, were considerably cheaper, ....... yet still made good parts, AKA - a boss's dream ................and they made good bonus / piecework for a young and very green Sami

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    The only Sprints I know of were English. I seem to remember that they started off as plug boards or switches. Made by EMI-MEC.

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    I have a similar machine made by Cabellaria S.A,..and its a good little machine......the turret takes standard Ward/Herbert type tooling....But without the turret tooling you are restricted to using boring bars and the like....That one also appears to have the collet chuck missing.....Incidentally,the Cab replaced a pegboard Ward 3 DS,which was great while it was going,but very complex and costly controll system wise......basically wires etc hardened by coolant,and a hundred expensive Maxam valves/solenoids.

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    I do know that the turret has a standard 1 inch bore, so tooling that up will be a cinch. As far as collets are concerned, there is currently a collet installed in the spindle nose, but I haven't gotten around to taking it out to see what it even is.

    My business is mostly one-offs, and small run jobs of whatever oddball thing someone comes up with, and I think this thing will be as handy as a pocket on a shirt for pins, bolts fittings, etc. I've had an 11" Logan with a turret for 20+ years ,(which also conveniently has a 1" turret bore). It's a handy machine, but isn't nearly as ridgid, or well suited to turret work as this thing. I'm hoping to replace the Logan with a 10EE someday, and then I'll have the best of both worlds.

    The other thing I like about it is that it doesn't take up much space, which is at a premium in my shop.

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    The bolt-on type tooling was once seen in big heaps at scrapyards,now its very rare....For some reason the machines are always sold stripped of the turret tooling,when its of no use to anyone who doesnt own a machine.I have some very nice Pratt and Whitney tooling,like grooving heads,and internal rebating heads,even a Chatwin hexagonal turning tool....makes a hex on round stock.The collets on Spanish machines were often the Burnerd "multisize " type,which are very good,and still available.But a bit prone to damage in rough usage that some capstans get .The threading heads are sometimes seen cheap on ebay,make sure the chasers come with them,as chasers are often dearer than the heads..

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    Well, I got some room made, and got it moved into the shop today. After looking at the nameplate again I saw that there was a lot more info there about it's origin than I remembered.....Still not much on the internet about them, but here's how the placard reads:

    EMPIRE Model 35
    Built For Bentley Industrial Corporation - Long Island City, New York.
    By EGUZKI S.C.I. - Elgoibar, Spain.

    Doubtless, Bentley was just an import distributor. Haven't been able to find much of anything about Eguzki either.
    The feeds rates on the gearbox are in MM's And I get the feeling that the dials may be too (haven't verified yet), but interestingly, the chrome plated dials are HUGE! The cross feed dial is almost 5" diameter, and the carriage feed dial is 6". The graduations are almost 1/8 inch apart! Wish I had dials that big on all my lathes.

    As a correction ,The bed/headstock are a separate casting from the base. It just takes some close examination to see the joints.


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