Vintage benchtop lathe identification
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    Default Vintage benchtop lathe identification

    Hey guys,
    I've just been given this bench top lathe by my dad. He purchased it second hand in Adelaide Australia approx. 10 years ago.
    He and I both have no idea what it is. There is no marking other than a few stamped numbers in the end of the bed.
    It is very old, its had at least 3 coats of paint and looks to of originally been red.
    It doesn't have the original motor.
    The only accessories that are with it are the 3 jaw chuck, a dead center, and some change gears.
    Dad said he doesn't know what the taper in the tailstock is, he thinks its something odd, the morse #2 from his other lathe doesn't fit.

    I haven't had a chance to measure anything yet so cant say a whole lot more about it.

    Can anyone help me identify it?

    Thanks in advance,
    Daniel

    thumbnail_20210801_160216.jpgthumbnail_20210801_160222.jpgthumbnail_20210801_160228.jpgthumbnail_20210801_160352.jpg

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    Daniel:

    Welcome to our forum and to our community. Your lathe looks like a solidly built little bench lathe. I cannot offer any clues as to who made it. However, regarding the tailstock spindle taper, some lathe manufacturers used the Jarno taper- either as a standard feature in their designs (such as Seneca Falls in the USA, if my memory serves my properly), or on 'special order'.

    What I would suggest is you try to measure the male taper on the dead center. Using a fine-point 'Sharpie' or similar, make two lines on the shank of the taper, and measure how far apart they are using something like a vernier (or dial or digital) caliper. If your eyesight is good, try to split the marker lines with the 'nibs' used for inside measurements on the caliper. This will give you the 'true length' or 'hypotenuse' of a right triangle, with the shorter leg being the one along the centerline of the tapered shank. For practical purposes, to 'get you into the ball park', the hypotenuse is going to be good enough. Measure the diameters of the taper at each of your marks on the shank. Again, try to 'split the lines' with the jaws of your caliper or with the faces of a micrometer. You will only have point contact, with daylight under the 'downhill side' of the caliper jaws.

    Once you have those three measurements, you can then calculate the approximate taper. Take the larger diameter and subtract the smaller diameter from it.
    Divide this value by the distance between the marks and you have 'taper per inch'. Divide this value by 12, and you will have the approximate 'taper in inches per foot'. Using this value and the overall dimensions of the tapered shank, you can then look at published data for various tapers in something like a "Machinery's Handbook" (a US reference many of have and rely upon), or some similar handbook. Being a dinosaur, I go to hard-bound books, but I am sure there is plenty of data about tapered shanks available online.

    As for determining the maker of your lathe, Tony Griffith's site "Machine Tool Archive" is the best place to start browsing. The design of your lathe is fairly standard, no unique features that distinguish it as coming from one manufacturer. The flat bedways, gap in the bedways, and a few other design features point to this being a lathe designed by people who followed British design practice- could have been Australian or English.

    Thank you for inverting your photos and posting the pictures 'right side up' for those of us who are not living 'down under'.

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    Not to disagree with the great Joe M, but the ways are hardinge-style dovetail - which should make the ID process even easier! Gap bed *and* dovetail ways.

    My first thought also was this is a super-Atlas.... something about the drive details.

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    The dovetail ways, and handwheel on the right seem to suggest not an Atlas. Agree it seems English.

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    Close to an Advance but not quite right - especially the halfnuts lever...

    Advance Lathe Page 2

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    If your lathe wasn't made in the U.K. or Australia like the one in Jim Rozen's link there is an off chance that it was made somewhere in India .
    Going back more than 50 years there were several companies that made lathes in India patterned after older British Machines and a couple of things like the somewhat heavier than usual large counter shaft pulley and the thickness of the carriage hand wheel remind me of some others from India that I have seen pictures of but can't seem to turn up at the moment.

    There were at least up until recently still some larger machines of a similar flavor made in India like these for example.
    Small Lathe Made in India - Google Search
    If you try a Google search from Australia it may yield better results.
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    The dovetail ways, and handwheel on the right seem to suggest not an Atlas. Agree it seems English.
    Handwheel on the right, obviously because it's a gap bed machine. But Joe and I were originally fooled by the drive unit and the first photo where it's not apparent the bed is dovetail. The way the carriage edges come down to the bed is a dead ringer for Atlas, also the tailstock mounting to the center slot in the bed, another false congnate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    Handwheel on the right, obviously because it's a gap bed machine. But Joe and I were originally fooled by the drive unit and the first photo where it's not apparent the bed is dovetail. The way the carriage edges come down to the bed is a dead ringer for Atlas, also the tailstock mounting to the center slot in the bed, another false congnate.
    Gap bed is another British lathe feature, uncommon in small US. Particularly a permanent gap type with no "filler piece"..

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    Gap bed is another British lathe feature, uncommon in small US. Particularly a permanent gap type with no "filler piece"..
    If one pokes around in the 'various australian lathes' section in tony's link it's astounding the amount of convergent evolution going on.

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    A lot of the details make it look like a Drummond. Or a copy of a Drummond made by some unknown maker in Australia.

    Drummond (& Myford) M-Type Lathe

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    Very close but that halfnuts lever is the sticking point!

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    I noticed this one in another search I tried.
    https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...-b-lathe10.jpg
    "Here's another slightly larger Australian lathe with a similar construction from about the same period. This one is a Brackenbury and Austin 9x18 manufactured in Sydney, Australia. It was bought new by my father in 1948. Once again, I would guess it was loosely based on the ML4. It also has an odd spindle nose thread - 1 5/16 x 10 TPI."
    It was posted here in post # 4
    1960's "Advance" Australian made lathe
    Jim

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    Thanks for the details guys,
    I made a similar post in a facebook group and received a photo and some details from someone about it possibly being an early (mid 1930's) Hercus branded lathe, manufactured in Adelaide Australia (which fits to dads rough memory of who he bought it off telling him it was manufactured locally, whether that's true or not).
    A lot of the parts look identical to me: the cross slide and top slide, tool post and tail stock, the bed and even the gearing. The only difference I can notice is the headstock casting, and lack of the upright overhead pulleys (what do you call them?) and motor mount part on the back (which may make sense, since the description in the photo says it was driven by an overhead line shaft that also drove a drill press).

    similar_hercus_lathe.jpg

    I also had a few people say it could be a Rexman manufactured in Melbourne Australia. I had no idea these vintage lathes were all so similar, there was so many different manufacturers, and so many of them were copied by new manufacturers.

    I've since pulled a lot of it apart and found quite a few issues (most of which I already knew about). I'm going to make a new topic about that.

    Cheers, Daniel

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    jeep_lathe.jpg
    Kinda looks similar. This picture has come up a few times related to mobile and Military machine shops. I think the closest ID I read was Drummond as SIP6A noted. The markings on the Jeep also jive with Australian military units in WW2.

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    FWIW this image is from the Australian War Memorial Collection. Some further information here:
    Aitape, New Guinea. The versatile jeep, once more proves it is invaluable. New use is found for ... | Australian War Memorial
    I seem to remember reading elsewhere in a discussion about the photo that the lathe was a South Bend - could be wrong - it was sometime ago.

    franco

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    Not an SB. Drummond is very possible due to bed of lathe.

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