email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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BESWICK LATHE
C.H.Joyce

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  1
1/2 '' 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 2
3/4", 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..

C.H. Joyce precision bench lathe as advertised during 1920/21.
Although precise details cannot be confirmed, the centre height appears to have been around 3.5" and the capacity between centres 16".  Instead of the bed having the usual flat top and bevelled edges common to this class of lathe, the Joyce used two V-ways, rather in the manner of that other exception to the rule, Sloan & Chase in the USA. Another unusual feature was the long-travel top slide; while the length was not unusual (all such lathes had slides with a similar travel) full enclosure of the ways was, these normally being of the open type that left the finely finished surfaces (and sometimes the feed screw as well) exposed to the wearing effects of dirt and swarf. The only other bench precision lathes known to have used such a design during the 1920s were made by Schaublin, in Switzerland, their Types 65, 70 and 102 all enjoying this feature. However, while the Schaublin lathes all had large zeroing micrometer dials the Joyce had non, though they might, just possibly have been on the options' list.
The picture above - the only known surviving illustration - shows the lathe marked below the headstock with the word "Precision" - though if this really was in place, or just an addition at the advertising art-work stage, is not known.
Could the lathe have been of continental, possibly German manufacture? While the two-ball hand-nuts used to secure the hand T-rest, compound slide and tailstock look to be copies of those used on some older Lorch lathes, nothing else provides a clue.

The Beswick 5" x 24" "Model G5"

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 4-step Vee-belt drive to the headstock. Note the unusual changewheel bracket with its 4 radial slots.

The No. 3 Morse taper 3/4-inch bore headstock spindle carried a robust  11/2 '' x 8-tpi nose (identical to the 9-inch South Bend/Boxford) and ran in Timken taper roller bearings--all other headstock bearings being in the ubiquitous OILITE material.

Like those on the well-known Atlas 10-inch lathe the countershaft bearings were supported against pairs of opposed alignment screws that could be quickly and easily adjusted.

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.

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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BESWICK LATHE
C.H.Joyce