Please help identify Butler lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default Please help identify Butler lathe

    Hi,
    My first post here so please bear with me!
    I just picked up (not really--it's Heavy!) an old wartime (I think) Butler lathe.
    It's a gap lathe, measures about 14-34 x 6 ft bed.
    It has some interesting features including what seems to be a geared system for tapers!

    I'll post some pictures if I can figure out how!!!

    Jim

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    How can I add a picture?

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    More likely a relieveing system for making milling cutters.

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    ad_0_1590161599543.jpg
    This is as I got it

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    That is old old !

    Have you had a good furtle through Graces Guide ? Butler Machine Tool Co - Graces Guide

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    an old wartime (I think)
    Yep, maybe the Great War - August 1914 to November 1918.

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    Rudd - good find on the Butler lathe pdf!

    John - I think you are spot-on with dating, see attached portion of Butler history. It seems that after they joined the ABMTM Grouping c.1917, they dropped their full range of machine tools and concentrated on reciprocating machinery i.e. planers, shapers and slotters.

    Diesel Gypsy - it would be great to see some more photos please, larger if possible. I am guessing Tony on the lathes.co.uk website would appreciate some photos too as he doesn't have any Butler lathe listing as far as I can see. The Butler name reappeared on lathes in later years (1970's?) when they were part of B. Elliot & Co.


    butler-1962-pg-01-edit.jpg

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    It's painted army green beneath all the grime. I suspected it was a wartime unit but which war? I'm thinking John is right - WW1
    Every moves and slides... slow and stiff!
    The drive motor is woefully inadequate, only 1.5hp and set up the way it is only turns about 60 rpm in high gear. ��
    But not much wear so hopefully I can get some use from it.
    Just got it slid into my shop today. I figure it likely weights at least 4000 lbs.
    Thanks for the helping identify it. I'll look up those links right away.
    Peter, I will post some more pictures tomorrow.

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    Rudd, you are right, page 6 of the PDF appears to be the same machine. On page 7 the listing for 8" unit looks about right. Even the weight is exactly what I thought, slightly over 4000 lbs. Thanks!

    I still don't know why they would make the saddle (carriage) power drive run together with the powered cross slide? It engages with one of the turn knobs on the side of the carriage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diesel Gypsy View Post
    Rudd, you are right, page 6 of the PDF appears to be the same machine. On page 7 the listing for 8" unit looks about right. Even the weight is exactly what I thought, slightly over 4000 lbs. Thanks!

    I still don't know why they would make the saddle (carriage) power drive run together with the powered cross slide? It engages with one of the turn knobs on the side of the carriage.
    Some " Craven " lathes had a similar feature, they called it " coning ".

    " Butler " started making lathes again when they became part of the BEC Elliot group and demand for planers fell off in the 1960's. The lathe was known as the " Concord ", some liked them, some didn't. I wasn't a fan. The headstock design was ok apart from the " Matrix " clutches being a size too small and therefore requiring a lot of adjustment. The apron design was flimsy and ill thought out being more prone to coolant rot than normal.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    As Peter said,Butler specialised many years ago and then they did what they did really well. Many years ago I saw a gear head Butler lathe,and thought it was pretty average.

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    Tyrone-re apron rot,I think the chosen coolant is the determinant. Where I worked,we had a row of smart DSGs which suffered badly with this lurgy. The coolant was Cimcool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedinNorfolk View Post
    Tyrone-re apron rot,I think the chosen coolant is the determinant. Where I worked,we had a row of smart DSGs which suffered badly with this lurgy. The coolant was Cimcool.
    We got a " coolant expert " in once Ted. He recommended a French brand, we tried it and it was OK rot wise and it smelt really nice but when it dried up it turned into a glue. After about 3 months all the operators were complaining about the slideways being really hard to move. It was great for me because I got about 6 months work out of it taking all the machines apart to remove the glue.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    As promised here are some more pictures
    img_20200526_105852.jpg
    img_20200526_105808.jpg
    img_20200526_105909.jpg
    img_20200526_110123.jpg
    img_20200526_110153.jpg

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    ....and history repeated itself where I worked in Lynn,only this time it was a row of Clchesters and the coolant was a pale green whereas the Cimcool was pink. And it was me they got to deal with them,whereas at Cambridge it was old Willy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TedinNorfolk View Post
    ....and history repeated itself where I worked in Lynn,only this time it was a row of Clchesters and the coolant was a pale green whereas the Cimcool was pink. And it was me they got to deal with them,whereas at Cambridge it was old Willy.
    This stuff wwas pale green also.

    Regards Tyrone.

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