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  1. #1
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    Default Ward Turret Lathe

    Well, because of some unexpected expenses, I had to pass up the opportunity to buy the 16" Hendey shaper at the very last minute.

    As a way of distracting myself from that loss, I've set my sights on something much closer to home, and with a much looser time line. There's a metal fab shop 5 minutes down the highway from my house, and out front is parked a big turret lathe. I contacted the owner of the shop, and he is "leaning" towards selling the lathe. I have no idea what kind of price he would be asking. I don't know that I'd even need a turret lathe, but if the price is right, I don't think I would be able to turn it down.

    It looks to be a 50's vintage lathe, and I haven't been up close yet to get a good idea of the condition it is in. It sat wrapped in a tarp for 6 months, and now it's naked. It does look like it is coated with more dirt'n'oil'n'grime than rust, which is promising.

    If I can get home before sunset today, I'll grab a couple pictures of it.

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    Default Pictures

    Well, I didn't make it home before sunset, but I drove down and took a couple pictures anyway:







    It's... umm... large. I think it's a Ward Model 7 Combination Turret lathe:

    http://www.oldengine.org/members/diesel/Ward/ward9.htm

    The above site says the ways are covered with stainless steel covers, which jives with what I saw tonight, so it's been a bit more protected from the elements than I thought.

    Any thoughts on what would be a reasonable price to offer for this lathe?

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    How about trying .20 cents a pound. Gary P. Hansen

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    Gary's not being flippant, either. Big older turrets that actually sell on eBay (don't go by what they're listed for, go by what they sell for) tend to go for pennies a pound.

    There's been a couple of times I've watched running, tooled Warner & Swasey turrets go for $200 to $500, "come get it out of my shop".

    That's not to say they have no value, but they are, after all, large, heavy, industrial turret lathes. That limits the potential market considerably.

    If the owner is not considering selling it, you might ask what his plans are. Another month out in the weather will rapidly reduce its already minimal value down to nonexistent or less: Scrap prices are in the toilet as well, so unless the owner is willing to load and haul it himself, scrapping may well cost him a few bucks.

    Doc.

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    I am guessing that it it is at least 3000 pounds. At .20 cents a pound that would be $600. Please be aware that a turret lathe with out a lot of tooling is not very useful, also their man usefulness was for production runs of the same part over and over again. CNC lathes have taken over that job. So may be offer the owner to take it off his hands for free, and see what he says. Gary P. Hansen

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    Doc & Gary,

    So far the wording I have to go on is "leaning towards selling it to you". This place is a fab shop, and from what I can gather from their web site, this lathe would be their only piece of equipment that doesn't form metal by bending, banging or burning it; that is, if it wasn't sitting out in the snow loaded with tooling that hasn't been seen on a production machine for 50 years.

    I think I'm going to ask for clarification on "leaning". As with any old piece of machinery, I don't think it is right to let it turn into rebar before its time is up. I'm not sure how to nicely tell the guy that he's going to have trouble finding someone willing to pay more than scrap for this lathe -- at least not in this area.

    This machine is very close to home, and the cost of moving it will be minimal, given what I have already invested in rigging supplies for the failed shaper acquisition. At first glance in the cold and dark, it appears to be in reasonable shape. I can't see the ways because of the stainless steel covers, so it's hard to get an idea of wear.

    Now, for the practical arguments: What limitations does a turret lathe have when compared to a standard lathe? Immediately, I can see that there's no compound slide or tailstock. I'm guessing the turret makes for a fine tailstock, but the lack of a compound slide seems to be a bit of a problem. Let me clarify -- could something like this turret lathe be shoehorned into more everyday non-production tasks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keelan View Post
    Let me clarify -- could something like this turret lathe be shoehorned into more everyday non-production tasks?
    -Well, sort of.

    While I'm not familiar with the Wards, it looks like there's a power feed and/or leadscrew. It might actually be capable of threading. If that's the case, a compound could be adapted with reasonable ease (looks like there's a riser already) and assuming it did have power left/right at least, then yes, it probably wouldn't make a bad engine lathe.

    The tailstock is somewhat trickier. It looks like the machine has a fixed turret on a movable saddle, as opposed to a movable turret that slides on a fixed saddle. Theoretically you should be able to mount a live center to the turret, and presumably there'd be some way to lock the saddle from moving under load.

    The issue there is you'd have little or no way to center the tailstock, to keep from turning a taper. It probably wouldn't take much fabbing to come up with a sort of floating holder that will let you center it properly, though.

    So assuming it can thread and has power carriage feed, it probably could be used as a reasonable engine lathe. Maybe not a full-featured one, but might be worth it at a "get it out of my yard" price.

    Doc.

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    Sweet, nice to see someone else on here might get a big old Ward!
    I'm got a wartime Number 7 capstan machine and it's sad to think that these things must be getting scrapped all the time. The 7 is one of the medium sized machines. I think they did a number 18! I bet there are very, very few of those left.
    As Docs says it should have a leadscrew so threading from the saddle is possible. Several different leadscrews were avaialble for cutting different threads. Ward spares are now dealt with by http://www.bamfordajax.co.uk/FBamfor...mfordCoLtd.htm although I think they are looking to sell that side of the business. :-(
    =http://imageshack.us][/URL]

    Speaking for the capstan machine, mine needs the turret adjusting to get it totally central. Left/right can be done with the gib strips and I'm planning to put a shim under the turret to bring it up a little. I imagine you'd be in the same boat with the turret version of the machine.

    It'd be a very useful machine with the compound slide. Even without, there must be jobs for it on small production runs.

    If you don't buy it, would you consider asking about getting the tooling and some spares off it for me?

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    Default Scrap Prices

    I have seen several posts as I looking through the different forums today on scrap prices and they have been at $0.20/lb. This is way too high to be paying for scrap prices. Actully it is at least double what people should be paying. The current buying rate for the scarp yards is $4.75 per 100 lbs. (or 0.0475/lb) for unprepared steel which is what machinery falls under. I would only offer scrap price or maybe a little higher since the owner does not have to do any work such as taking it to the scrap yard to sell.

    Roger

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    It is a Ward 7.It will weigh at least 5000lbs.It will have power feed to the saddle,long and across and power feed to the turret.Ward threading works like this.You fit a leadscrew and nut of the thread you wish to cut,for a different thread,fit a different leadscrew,they just drop in.There used to be a few leadscrews kicking about,but I`ve never seen a metric one.The crosslide has a quick retract for threading,makes it very easy to use.Good machines and go on forever.
    Mark.

    Spacemonkey,
    if you lift the covers on the rear of the turret you will see there is two gib strips.This lets you adjust the turret centrally to the spindle.Can`t do anything about up and down mismatch though,that is caused by wear.

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    Thanks Mark.... We spotted the gib strips and thought we could use them for adjustment. We are going to try making a shim to correct the vertical misalignment. I don't know how well it will work but it must be worth a try!

    The Ward lead screws can be used for a few different pitches each. You don't need a different screw and halfnut for every thread. I think there are four or five imperial screws that were generally available. I only have a 7TPI leadscrew. That should give me 7TPI, 14TPI and 28TPI.

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    Spacemonkey,

    It's nice to see the same lathe in good shape and being put to use! I will keep your need for parts in mind.

    Mark McGrath,

    Regarding threading, what is this table (and associated levers?) relating to:



    I'm hoping to get some clearer pictures tonight. In the dark, the best I could do was point the camera and hope I got a worthwhile photo. I had permission, but I didn't want to spend too long stumbling around in the dark in an area surrounded with no trespassing signs.

    What is the approximate vintage of this lathe? I have a feeling knowing might be useful in my arguments for purchase.

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    at auction this would go for less than 50 bucks, which allows a scrapper to make money on it at todays scrap prices. this could easily be 3 tons. with out tooling it is basically worthless on the market. If you want to mess with it, make a low offer that includes his loading it, I would start at 100 bucks settle for 200, unless you are conviced you really want it. A few years ago at a big auction at Carrier they had lines of #3A W+S with crates of tooling that went for 25 - 50 bucks and these were already up pn blocks ready to load.

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    My Number 7 capstan is not so pretty but at least it is now clean and in good working order.
    I'd like more tooling though. If anyone has #7 tooling kicking about I'm interested!

    If you want to know how old the lathe is, get the number off it and call Bamford Ajax. They told me that my machine is a really, really early one. I never had any joy from emailing them though. I think there is only one guy to deal with the Ward side of things so he probably struggles to man the phone and PC.

    I bet this one is later than mine. It looks like the double steady version as an extra steady that runs from the pillar in the centre of the turret. It looks like the normal steady is missing. It runs through those clamps near the speed control levers.

    The stainless bed covers are good. It should be a very quick and easy task to take the screws out and slide them out for a look at the bed.

    That table in your pic shows the different pitches available with each leadscrew. You can change the reduction for the lead screw. I think you get 1:1, 1:2, 1:4.

    It has already been used to rough out some carburettor manifolds and I'm hoping to use it to machine bellmouths/velocity stacks eventually. The plan for mine is to graft on a hydraulic copy slide (in place of the rear tool slide) and use it to take the big cuts (it is very good at that!) and machine the profiles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rhpope View Post
    I have seen several posts as I looking through the different forums today on scrap prices and they have been at $0.20/lb. This is way too high to be paying for scrap prices. Actully it is at least double what people should be paying. The current buying rate for the scarp yards is $4.75 per 100 lbs. (or 0.0475/lb) for unprepared steel which is what machinery falls under. I would only offer scrap price or maybe a little higher since the owner does not have to do any work such as taking it to the scrap yard to sell.

    Roger
    $0.20/lb is what the scrap yard here charges if you want to buy something out of the yard. They are currently paying $0.05/lb for mixed scrap (they don't separate machine cast here).
    Do you want a turret lathe for any particular reason? If you're not planning on doing production runs I'd hold out for a standard engine lathe.
    Andy

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    I worked on Ward 7s a lot when I was younger. Good bullet proof machine , the headstocks were a by word for good design and reliability. Wardies must have built tens of thousands of them overy the years with barely a change in design. The aprons were the usual coolant traps but apart from that there wasn't much that went wrong. I liked the screw cutting set up on the ones that I worked on, you could set the length stops to trip out the feed lever and the whole cross slide flew out about 3/8". you then wound back to your start point, put a cut on, threw the lever back in and away you went. The lever could give you a nasty crack on the knee if you weren't careful though. You had to watch out with the bed guards, they could conceal minor slideway problems until they became major problems, the ways were un hardened cast iron. This one looks a bit care worn but could be a go er, it all depends what you want to do with it. Regards Tyrone

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    Andy,

    I'm a HSM -- since when was practicality a concern? No, there is no particular need for a turret lathe. This area has resource based economy with little to no manufacturing taking place. This means that there is very little that turns up in the way of old iron. The way I see it, I can pick this machine up for a reasonable pice, and if something better comes along, I will give this one a bath in LPS 3, crate it up and store it in a shed until I can find someone else to pawn it off on. Either way, it would be a far nicer machine to work with than a Chinese import -- if I can sort out a collection of lead screws to make it usable for most HSM kind of work. I'm also looking at restoring this lathe as a project in itself.

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    Default Scrap Price

    Just called the local scrap yard, $40/ton for a metal lathe. This works out to $0.02/lb CAD.

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    There is a small firm near where i live, and for small runs they still use a big Ward from memory i think it is a No7, Also the man has a No4, A most elegant looking machine, And like her big sister powerful, versatile & accurate, It is of interest the man uses c.n.c. lathes, but some jobs still suite loading up the Ward A few years back, these machines were everywhere in this area of Scotland where i live, I remember when i was an apprentice, the firm getting a brand new Ward, and i spent a time "ogling " it, as it was most handsome in its new paintwork
    Wards, had their big works at Selly Oak in Birmingham, and Catchpole works in Worcester, From memory, i think the Worcester works was the last to close down The Ward catalogue is a most interesting bedtime read, near the front of the catalogue is a view of their erecting bay, with lathes in various stages of construction, vanishing into infinity
    Glad to see Spacemonkey enjoying using his Ward, maybe in years to come at least one will be preserved for posterity, as along with Herberts they opitomised some of the best examples of British machine tool products, As the Warner & Swasey is to the history of quality in the U.S.A.

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    Keelan,I had forgotten that one leadscrew cut more than one pitch and I can`t ever remember seeing metric pitches mentioned.I last set one of these in 1970 so can be excused a bit of memory loss surely?
    Mac,
    I have a Ward 2DS and a Herbert 2D.I used to look at capstans sitting in my shop never getting used and would scrap them.Within two weeks I would have to go out and buy another one for a job that had came in.Now I let them sit.
    I`ve got jobs running in cnc`s that could be made as quick and infinitely cheaper in a capstan,but where do you get someone to set them and run them?
    If you want to see Ward and Herbert lathes have a look at www.budgetmachinery.co.uk
    he goes out his way to buy Wards and Herberts,shifts quite a few over the year.
    Mark.


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