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"Brown" and "Dandy" Lathes - USA

A previously unknown make and looking, from its design and general specification, to date from the 1920s, the backgeared "Brown" lathe was well specified with a screwcutting gearbox (though it only generated a limited number of pitches), power sliding and surfacing feeds, a 5-inch centre height and took around 30 inches between centres. In appearance, its built-on overhead countershaft system appears identical to that used on another little-known lathe from the same era, the "Dandy" - with other aspects of the machine being similar as well--though details of those will have to wait until the one known surviving "Dandy" is restored. However, to muddy the waters further, the same countershaft has also been found on a Dandy-like lathe built by students in a Chicago trade school. As drive systems are awkward things to build, this may well have been a commercially assembly sold as an over-the-counter accessory to help owners (and manufacturers) get their new lathes up and running with the minimum of fuss. As the word "Brown" is cast into the easily-changed cast-ion changewheel cover - and the "Dandy" name very similar in layout - both lathes are likely to be from an established maker who assembled a batch for sale to a large machine-tool distributor - this very common practice continues, of course, to this day in many areas of commerce.
Interestingly, the trade school lathe used castings and some parts, such as the spindle and bearings, that showed the remnants of South Bend numbers - and so may well have been machined and assembled using some raw components from that maker. Dennis Turk, who owns one the  trade School lathes, met a gentleman back east whose father had attended that institution and recounted him mentioning teams of four students being assigned to build lathes from the ground up. Upon closer inspection the Trade School lathe showed clear evidence that it was made up from a hodgepodge of parts taken from a variety of different lathes with some modifications and made as necessary, the tailstock for example having a sleeve made from a galvanized pipe coupling soft soldered onto the casting. Not all the machining had been done in a consistent manner with the saddle cross-slide ways showing clear evidence that they had been machined in different setups: the left-side and its dovetail ran down hill to the rear by 0.015" out of parallel to that on the right with the dovetails also out of parallel by 0.028".  Needless to say, the resulting "feel" of the cross-slide was interesting…..
Should any reader have a "Brown" or "Dandy" lathe - or one that resembles them - the writer would be interested to hear from you, especially if you have some better pictures than the ones below.

A "Dandy" lathe for bench mounting - though this lacks the full screwcutting gearbox and  power cross feed of the "Brown" and has a plain, not roller bearing headstock

"Dandy" saddle and compound slide rest assembly - identical to that on the "Brown"

"Dandy" countershaft assembly - as found on the "Brown" and the Chicago Trade School lathe

Restoration of the "Dandy" in progress

"Dandy" headstock

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"Brown" and "Dandy" Lathes - USA


Brown & Dandy Lathes continued here


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"Brown" and "Dandy" Lathes - USA