email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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T.N.C. Lathe Australia
Other Australian-built machine tools

Adept Home Page   Adept Shapers  USA Adept   Specialist Adept Pages
If any reader has copies of T.N.C. literature
the writer would be pleased to hear from you

Adept literature is available   



Although the background to the T.N.C. Company is uncertain (though they were known as makers of engineering tools) their lathe was either imported from the United Kingdom or built under licence as a replica of the Super Adept.  It was sold in Australia before and after W.W.2 with machines marketed through McPhersons, a major supplier to industry but who also catered to the "home workshop" customer. Their 1937 catalogue listed the No. 1 and No. 2 shapers and just the Super Adept lathe, priced with a simple slide tailstock barrel at 2 : 5s : 0d or, with a screw-feed arrangement, 2 : 7s : 6d. Although a countershaft was not shown a foot-motor was - at 1 : 15s : 0d. In the 1949 edition, the McPhersons catalogue did not list any Adept machines - though much other British equipment was included (Moore &Wright, Eclipse, etc) - but as it also lacked any products for amateurs (such as their own 3.5" bar-bed lathe) it may have been for industry only. By 1955 the Super Adept lathe and both sizes of shapers were back, though the foot-motor had disappeared and just one 3-jaw chuck was shown. Whether Adepts were exported with T.N.C. badges, or manufactured in Australia, is not known - and if any reader has copies of T.N.C. advertising literature the writer would be pleased to hear from them.
Only the most minor differences between the Adept and T.N.C. can be found: a straight instead of waisted carriage-feed handle; a top slide whose base casting was modified at the rear with a curved slot - the purpose of which was to improve the ease of setting over. Most are found with a green finish, but some have been discovered in grey
It is just possible that the lathe was an early product of Hercus, with the name acting as a suitable disguise. Certainly, as yet, no advertising literature has been discovered for the machine and it may well have been distributed around local tool dealers "by hand" - as a convenient way of starting off what was to become a very successful machine-tool manufacturing business.  Fred Portass also produced a modified Adept for the London department store
Gamages, this being identical to the ordinary version save for cosmetic changes to the bed casting. .

Almost identical to the English "Super Adept" - the Australian-made T.N.C.

Distinctive Red and gold T.N.C. badge

A badge more commonly found on the TNC is this larger type

Rear view of the Australian T.N.C. lathe



The useful but time-consuming-to-set 4-jaw chuck

A longer tapered finger-grip on the leadscrew handwheel replaced the rather more elegant and curvaceous affair on the English version of the lathe.

In comparison with the rest of the lathe the compound slide rest was relatively large - a fact emphasised in this overhead view.

Fitted with simple, bronze bushes in split housings adjustable over a small range (though see below), the headstock held a spindle that carried a 3/8" British Standard Fine (BSF) thread and a tiny taper, much smaller than a No. 0 Morse. The lathes could be driven by either a two-speed human-powered "foot-motor" and flywheel assembly, or from a small electric motor though a simple bench-mounted 3-speed countershaft.

Original or modified? This headstock has the spindle running not in bronze bushes but direct in the cast iron of the headstock. The shaft is bored clear through, equipped with a 3/8 x 24 t.p.i. (UNF) thread and with a 3-piece thrust washer assembly between the chuck abutment collar and the headstock casting.
The grey paint is original.

Neither cross nor top slide was fitted with micrometer dials

The tailstock spindle was solid and had to be used with centres equipped with a hole that allowed them to be "twisted" out

As on the original Adept no attempt was made to smooth the castings

The same very simple link arm - in bronze or cast iron - was used to join carriage and leadscrew




Adept Home Page   Adept Shapers  USA Adept   Specialist Adept Pages

Adept literature is available   

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

T.N.C. Lathe Australia
Other Australian-built machine tools

If any reader has copies of T.N.C. literature
the writer would be pleased to hear from you