New guy bought a No.4 (M-1420) - How'd I do?
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  1. #1
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    Default New guy bought a No.4 (M-1420) - How'd I do?

    Hey guys,

    I'm a mechanic setting up my personal shop, and I stumbled upon a W&S no.4 with tooling and a phase converter for $300. It belonged to an older couple's son that recently passed away, so they don't know much about it but she said that he bought it from a machine shop and it was in good working order.

    There was stuff scattered around the barn but I was able to locate a bucket of tooling and cutters, a box of collets, a bar feeder(?) buried in a snow bank and what looks like a brand new phase converter.

    I wasn't able to locate any jaw chucks, and I noticed that there wasn't much oil in the sight glass. Anyway did I do good for $300 for all this stuff? I know next to nothing about lathes or how to operate them, but I'd be using this thing for fabrication of random stuff in small quantities. Mostly forming, tapering, and facing aluminum and steel.

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    I'd say the price is good to excellent. However, a turret lathe is a special lathe used to make lots of the same thing over and over. Not a good general purpose lathe. Not sure if you can thread with it. With a jaw chuck you can do turning, facing and drilling.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by TDegenhart View Post
    I'd say the price is good to excellent. However, a turret lathe is a special lathe used to make lots of the same thing over and over. Not a good general purpose lathe. Not sure if you can thread with it. With a jaw chuck you can do turning, facing and drilling.

    Tom
    Hey Tom.

    Yeah the small amount of reading I'd done about them said essentially that. I'll probably end up with a tool room or engine lathe, but with other projects and priorities it was probably this lathe or no lathe for a while. It seems like there are various tools / attachments that can adapt a turret lathe for most jobs, is there anything that they cannot do no matter what aside from thread cutting?

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    Early forties "bar" machine - which is why no chucks. Purposely set up to exclusively make parts from bar stock held in collets

    Might find useful pubs here

    Warner & Swasey Co. - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org

    The "bible" - or one of them, is their book on tooling, aptly named TOOLS

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    Hey John,

    Thanks for the info. The headstock will still accept a jaw chuck though right? Can you tell from the pics what kind of tooling it comes with? There were a couple pretty big drill chucks in the bucket of stuff too.

    What are the differences between the tool holder on the cross slide vs a compound on a typical engine lathe?

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    You can use a die head to make threads on the ends of shafts if you have the right chasers.

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    The headstock will still accept a jaw chuck though right?
    Yes, if you remove the collet set up, you will find the A type spindle nose - the A type chucks bolt on to that.

    The M-1420 has the 8" A type nose - says the above mentioned TOOLS book

    The tool post arrangement is like an engine lathe missing the compound rest - not very handy

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    Since my machine came with a taper attachment, will that be used to accomplish some of the same operations that a compound would be needed for?

    If not, would it be possible to retrofit a compound rest in place of the slide tool post?

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    Proper capstan/turret lathe chucks arent a lot of use anyway.....they are either air operated ,and even the key ones have a restricted grip variation,the jaws have to be reset for a different size.......So,make up an adaptor to fit a standard lathe chuck........the cross slide is slotted to take various stuff,and a very nice accessory is an indexing toolpost.....it cranks round with a part turn of the handle ,indexing exactly....Very common,IMHO...I have several saved from machines.......and yes,you could fit a topslide from a standard lathe,but youll need a lot of centre height to fit it all in.

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    A lot of later machines used a hydraulic copy attachment in lieu of a taper slide,and thats a very handy accessory.....they sell cheap now too........One point ,is get every thing belonging to the machine,especially collets and turret tooling.....hard to find now,and expensive to ship .Grab all the stub drills ,too...The short bar feed is good too,needs a bit of repair ,but far more useful than a long bar feed ,which takes too much room.

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    Thanks for all the info John, and pardon all my questions. I'm trying to read up on this stuff at the same time. Since a jaw chuck will likely cost more than I'm paying for the whole machine, is there a size or style that would provide the most versatility for a while? Any idea what kind of adapter plate I need (ie A___ to X___)?

    The tricky thing is that the lathe is stuffed in a barn that is packed with all kinds of junk, and the machine formerly belonged to the lady's son so she's not sure if what I've found so far is everything.

    I'll definitely try to do another good search when I'm there to pick it up on Sunday, but I feel kinda bad digging through her son's belongings (he recently passed away).

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    While you are looking through his pile you could help out the lady by putting anything you see that should be together, together. Just like items with like items, if it is easy. Categories like camping gear, gardening, car/motorcycle parts, tools... each in its own pile or shelf or whatever. Not trying to organize the entire barn but if you have to pick it up to get access to lathe parts put it down where it makes sense, if that makes any sense.

    Yow will probably be making your own chuck adaptor, you could use an old worn chuck that fits the spindle and start there.

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    Here is a 12" three jaw not far away - for A8 (the six bolts nearest center)

    Have to come up with some top jaws. Probably tired, but maybe better than nothing

    12” 3 Jaw Self Centering Manual Chuck A8 / D8 Mount | eBay

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    You did very well indeed. Ignore the haters. That ol' girl will make just about anything need, and in a hurry. Lb for lb she will eat faster than most. Threading with die heads is way better anyeay. Taper attachments seem desirable but are seldom to never used and mostly just wind up in a pile.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Here is a 12" three jaw not far away - for A8 (the six bolts nearest center)

    Have to come up with some top jaws. Probably tired, but maybe better than nothing

    12” 3 Jaw Self Centering Manual Chuck A8 / D8 Mount | eBay
    Pardon my ignorance, so is "A" the type of spindle nose and "8" the diameter of the bolt circle? Does the spindle on the W&S No.4 have an inner and outer bolt circle and you can use one or the other?

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    Thanks for obliging my dumb questions, here's an example of where I'm getting lost looking at chuck stuff
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    209.5 mm is near 8 1/4", and though I can't read the little dimensions, that is the O.D. I expect. A1 has both bolt circles, A2 has only the outer. The chuck shown on Ebay uses the inner bolt circle on your M-1420. And YES, the A represents a particular design which comes in multiple sizes for the simple reason that there are both large and small machines and lots in between.

    Not to worry about ignorance, it can be rectified, and we all come with loads of it

    Quote Originally Posted by ChriS2000 View Post
    Pardon my ignorance, so is "A" the type of spindle nose and "8" the diameter of the bolt circle? Does the spindle on the W&S No.4 have an inner and outer bolt circle and you can use one or the other?


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