Service Manual for Octogenarian W&S 3-A, 4-A
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  1. #1
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    Default Service Manual for Octogenarian W&S 3-A, 4-A

    I'm about to get my 3-A and 4-A powered up.
    I've been told these were built in 1934. There are a couple of manuals on eBay, printed in 1940~1941, will these be good for my machines?
    Or am I overthinking this, just pour oil in the headstock, oil and grease everything else that looks like it needs it, and start making parts?
    I usually get a manual for anything I'm fooling with.
    I have a little machine shop experience, though not enough to have any confidence in this.
    Thank y'all, and Happy New Year!

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    There is a general flyer on vintagemachinery.org
    Mostly make sure she has some oil, and the motor is spinning the right way. Then have some fun. They are pretty self explanatory. Kinda a big toy. Whatcha planning on doing with it?

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    Thank you Aejgx6! Those on vintagemachinery.org will help tremendously, and with no chance of buyers remorse.
    Right now, I have some 31' drillpipe to shorten to 20'. Maybe bore the cylinders on a Minneapolis-Moline irrigation engine. I hope to learn how to thread cable tool drilling tool joints, rotary connections, etc.
    I just see me doing repairs on stuff we can't buy, or afford to buy. I have no desire to stand in front of it cranking out long runs of parts. I have a hard time getting the local machine shops to do much, in a reasonably timely manner.

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    1934 machines will have threaded spindle noses - the standardized A type was off somewhere in the future.

    Have the '34 1A, 2A and 3A brochure - 40 odd pages

    I'll suppose you could say they are pre carbide - top speed on 3A is 367

    No threading capabilities mentioned

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    Thank you johnoder! The 4A has a taper attachment, and the previous owners (all deceased) were threading 8V pipe threads. The 4A doesn't have a threading gearbox though. Wish me luck figuring that out. I'm pretty sure these lathes were updated prior to showing up here in ~1950, as both have v-belt drives instead of flat belt drives. The 4A still has the "Hamilton Huster Machinery" tag on it.

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    You are not very far from this M-1180 4A - another antique (the lack of cap screws passing thru chuck to hold it on shouts at us that there is no A type spindle nose yet)

    WARNER & SWASEY 4A TURRET LATHE - business/commercial - by owner - sale

    Smaller (ram type) brochures show threading with a leader attach, which seems pretty limited. Don't know if such things were offered on the saddle type machines (1A - 5A)
    Last edited by johnoder; 01-02-2020 at 09:52 AM.

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    I have been tempted to go look at it. I think the price was cheaper a few months ago. I dont think I have enough juice to spin it up though.

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    Scanned the M-550 3A spec page for you - from the 1934 Brochure

    It can be emailed as a more resolution file if you want to share that address via private message

    When PMing, do put something in the subject line to give me a clue what is wanted
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 3a-spec-sheet-1934.jpg  

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    Aejgx6, ~$200/ton, it oughta be worth that.
    The gentleman that helped me move mine has lots of experience dealing with Asian manufacturing interests. He said 30 years ago everyone junked the old U.S. machines for newer technology Chinese lathes. Now that Asian stuff is worn smooth out, and they are looking for ancient American iron, because they know a 60 year old U.S. machine will still be productive 60 years from now. He thinks these old machines will continue to appreciate. He thinks I have a retirement savings account in my shop.
    This gentleman has been very successful, so I have to believe he's right on this.
    In the meantime I can piddle with it, and it'll earn its keep.

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    I wish you to be right but I suspect I will be the last owner of my pile. The value of yours will follow the price of oil. The bigger girls can always be put to work fixing down hole stuff. I watched an auction last yr where a 5a with a big throat (11"?) Brought >$40k. At the time I had space for it and I intended to buy it.l I was hoping to be the lone bidder and take it for the cost of rigging. It just reminded me my notions rarly align with reality..

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    I figure my heirs will get scrap price for all this. I spent 40 years on a West Texas cotton farm, my community tends to be irrationally optimistic.

  18. #12
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    Forty odd pages will be on the email - the 1934 brochure on the 1A, 2A and 3A

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    Thank you! This helps!

  20. #14
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    You are welcome. If someone comes up with an elderly 5A, that brochure (dated September 1929) can be scanned

    22,000 Lbs of iron


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