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AKE Watch and Clockmakers' Lathe

Made by the now long-forgotten company of A.Cl.Hofmann u.Co in Kamenz, Saxony, in the far east of Germany, the plain-turning AKE was one of a number of small lathes made in the former Communist-controlled German Democratic Republic during the 1950s and 1960s. Looking to be a half-way house between a lathe intended for use by watchmakers - and one designed for slightly larger work - the AKE was around 300 mm long, took 150 mm between centres and had a centre height of about 80 mm. The headstock, made of aluminium, had its spindle driven by a pulley overhung on its left-hand end - this being a particularly easy and  cheap-to-produce though very effective design widely employed on a wide variety of less-expensive lathes throughout the 20th century. However, the AKE was perhaps rather meanly specified with just a choice of two speeds. Equipped with a threaded nose, the spindle was also bored to accept 8 mm diameter collets, these being of the compression type, retained on a screw-on nose cap.
Bolted to the headstock's inner face was a bed in cast iron - unusually wide for this class of lathe and formed with square-section ways. A simple carriage, made with its "inner apron" and saddle as one piece, was driven by a balanced handwheel connected to a leadscrew positioned between the ways on the bed's exact centre line. Adjustment of the saddle-to-bed fit was by a row of three gib-strip screws at the rear, these being equipped with locking nuts.  Only a simple cross slide was fitted - moved in and out by a screw with an ordinary rather than an Acme or square thread - and carrying a non-swivelling tool slide equipped with an American lantern-style toolpost intended to take a small tool-bit holder.
Of the simplest possible kind, the tailstock had just a plain "push" spindle, secured by a handle closing down a slot in the casting, could not be set over for the turning of slight tapers and was locked to the bed by a direct-acting screw formed with a knurled-edge ring.
Other small East-German lathes from the same period include three by unknown makers, a range of watchmakers' lathe by Andrä & Zwingenberger (together with versions badged as Georg Jacob, WMW Prazima and Saupe & Sohn), the Unispan, Saupe, Rudolf Kadner, SL2a and Eisfeld.
Wenn ein Leser hat eine AKE Drehmaschine, würde der Schriftsteller freuen, von Ihnen zu hören..



Wenn ein Leser hat eine AKE Drehmaschine, würde der Schriftsteller freuen, von Ihnen zu hören

lathes.co.uk
AKE Watch and Clockmakers' Lathe
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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