Turret Lathe Making
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Berkeley Springs, WV, USA
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    Don't get me wrong, I'm just Crazy 4 Wraner & Swasey but I have to ask this.

    Were the Warner and Swasey turret lathes, especially the ram types made like machine tools or were they made more like printing presses or maybe tractors.

    Here's why I ask.

    When a company makes an engine lathe, they hand scrape here and hand fit there. When you need parts they are hard to get and maybe you have to do some fitting yourself.

    Most lathe manuacturers really didn't make that many machines in a year's time.

    Warner and Swasey made a whole bunch of ram type turret lathes, I mean a whole BUNCH. Many of them shared parts and assebemlies even though they were different sizes of lathe.

    Parts were easy to get, they still are. The machines must have gone together rather easly, W&S surely couldn't fuss too much over each and every one.

    Yet, those things are accurate as hell. You can work a one off piece from the carriage and cross slide as easily and as well you can on any engine lathe - better than on a lot of them.

    I figure that Warner and Swasey was one hell of a company simply because they made so many lathes that it couldn't be just dumb luck that they turned out so good.

    Another thing, W&S must have been the Big Kahuna in the engineering department. No lathe manufacturer in their Right Mind would even try to design something like the gear transmissions of the Square Head models.

    Making even one of them is an engineering and manufacturing feat, yet Square Head Warner and Swasey's are as common as sparrows.

    How did the company do that???


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