Bolein Watchmakers' Lathe
Other lathes for watchmakers
Of unknown origin - though possibly made in England during the 1920s - the rather crudely constructed Bolein watchmakers' lathe was of the light Geneva pattern with a typically round bed but, unusually, with no locating flat to locate the headstock carriage or tailstock.
Made in what must have been bronze, the headstock had the maker's (or possibly dealer's) name cast-in - rather like the somewhat similar Accuro watchmakers' lathe - with the spindle almost certainly running direct in the surrounding metal instead of hardened steel bushes or ball races. Despite size, instead of the usual 6 mm, the lathe took 8 mm collets in both headstock and tailstock.
Formed from a round bar, the steel bed was machined with a simple V-shaped groove along its underside, this being used to locate the carriage and tailstock - the headstock being split along its base and clamped on with two cross screws.
Bronze, it seems, was the designers favourite material for, in addition to the headstock, the supporting bed foot, tailstock, tailstock collet handwheel, sliding carriage, hand T-rest support, 3-step headstock pulley and the headstock collet drawbar handwheel were also in that material.
In place of properly make locking levers of handwheels wheels, the various components of the Bolein were locked by commercial bolts whose heads - to allow fingers to grip them - had been cross drilled and fitted with short, protruding pins.
In addition to the majority of Swiss Universal and English Mandrel types, another lathe that featured bronze in its construction was the very different English C.L.H,
The Bolein lathe is rare - indeed, it might even be home made - and, should you have one, or any supporting literature, the writer would be interested to hear from you..