Not a company to advertise widely, C.H. Joyce (of 40 Monkton Street, Kennington, London SE11), were responsible for a number of small lathes including some plain-turning precision types manufactured in the first two decades of the 20th century and the better known (though still rare) "Beswick". With a centre height of 5" and taking 24" between centres the Beswick Model G5 was, from its general appearance, almost certainly produced during the late 1940s and early 1950s. The company claimed: 'years of practical experience in the manufacture and operation of small precision lathes' - and the specification certainly reflected a knowledge of what would make a 5-inch centre height machine an effective tool for general workshop use. The bed, of traditional English pattern with flat-topped ways, had it front and back faces "cut away" rather savagely and unnecessarily between its mounting feet, leaving little vertical depth to resist twisting forces. The capacity between centres was 24-inches and in the gap material up to 14-inches in diameter could be swung. As on Raglan lathes, two bolts secured the bed foot at the headstock-end and a single bolt at the other - the 3-point mounting allowing a degree of self-alignment to take place and doing something to prevent the owner stressing the bed by bolting it down tightly to an uneven bench .
With a No. 3 Morse taper in its nose and bored through 3/4-inch, the headstock spindle carried a robust 11/2 '' x 8-t.p.i. nose (identical to that used on the 9-inch South Bend and Boxford) and ran in Timken taper roller bearings - all other headstock bearings being in the ubiquitous OILITE material. The backgear assembly was carried in brackets bolted to the back of the headstock so allowing, by their omission, the possibility of marketing the lathe in a cheaper form. To the back of these brackets was bolted the upper section of a built-on countershaft unit fitted with a double-diameter motor pulley and a 4-step Vee-belt drive to the headstock that gave an excellent spread of 16 speeds: 28, 44, 69, 82, 110, 128, 182 and 290 rpm in backgear and 170, 260, 410, 480, 650, 730, 1200 and 1820 in direct drive. Like those on the well-known Atlas 10-inch lathe, the countershaft bearings were supported by an ingenious yet very inexpensive arrangement consisting of opposed alignment screws that could be quickly and easily adjusted. While the motor-to-countershaft pulleys were left exposed, the front headstock drive belt was covered by a neat, rear-hinged but short cast-aluminum guard of the type deemed acceptable at the time.
Screwcutting was by changewheels, with the drive from headstock to 3/4-inch diameter Acme-form 8 t.p.i. leadscrew through tumble-reverse gears fitted to a bracket with a spring-loaded location plunger. The changewheels were carried on a very unusual and highly adaptable bracket with four radially disposed slots that would have allowed almost any combination of gears to be mounted. The threading range with the supplied gears was a respectable 4 to 96 t.p.i.
With an "open" gap bed fitted as standard, and to stop the saddle running over fresh air when working close to the faceplate, the cross-slide was fitted in a very unbalanced position along the left-hand edge of the carriage. The front and back saddle wings to the right-hand side were provided with a T-slot to mount the travelling steady and the cross-slide travel, driven by a 1/2" x 8 t.p.i. Acme-form screw, was a generous 7 inches. However, the top slide (fitted with an "American-style" toolpost) failed the critical test - with a movement restricted to just 2 inches it could not cut the full length of a standard No. 2 Morse taper centre.
1.187-inches in diameter, the tailstock ram had a travel of 23/4", carried a No. 2 Morse taper in its nose and was engraved in 1/16" divisions for a length of 3-inches. While the upper section of the tailstock casting could be set over up to 5/8" on the sole plate to allow slight tapers to be turned, the unit required the services of a loose, self-hiding spanner to lock it down to the bed.
With its beveled-edged corners the pressed-steel stand, was not dissimilar to that offered for the Raglan "Little John" (though with a too-shallow chip tray) and offered generous storage space in its two cupboards and two drawers.
If you have a Beswick lathe; or other Beswick machine tool, or any information about the C.H. Joyce, Ltd., the writer would be pleased to hear from you..