email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Ceruti M18, N30, N35 & NP40 Lathes
- and other models -


Manufactured by Ceruti in Italy, a maker of not only a wide range lathes - some of enormous size - but also milling and boring machines, the Model M18 was sold from the late 1940s until the mid-1950s. During that time there was a serious shortage of new machine tools of all kinds, with waiting times extending to a year or more. To profit from this situation, the large UK-based machinery dealers B.Elliott and Co. Ltd. were busy sourcing machines from wherever they could be found - and Ceruti were just one of many foreign companies they were known to have engaged with.
Oddly, even in the 1950s, the M18 was being advertised as a "Single Pulley" model, an expression originally used to distinguish more modern machines from older models that had cone-pulley flat-belt drive. With a centre height of 7.5", taking 39.365" between centres - and with a swing over the saddle of a fraction under 9.5" - the lathe was heavily built and of a good specification. Beds longer than standard could be had in increments of 20" with each section adding 250 lbs to the 3,300 lbs of the basic model. A detachable gap was offered as an option and, when specified, allowed a disc some 22" in diameter and 13" thick to be turned on the standard faceplate.
Mounted on a height-adjustable plate on the back of the stand, the 4 to 5 h.p. motor had its drive taken by multiple V-belts to a single input pulley on the outside of the all-geared headstock - and then through a multi-disc clutch. With twelve speeds spanning 26 to 800 r.p.m., the headstock had gears in alloy steel that had been heat treated and hardened and ground; they ran in a simple oil bath on multi-splined, heat-treated and ground shafts. The 1.56" bore spindle, in a forging of alloy steel, ran in plain bronze bearings with thrust taken by a large ball race. Once started - using no-volt-release safety push buttons - electrical control of the spindle stop, start and reverse was by a three-rod system, this having two control lever, one pivoting from the right-hand face of the apron (and so travelling with the carriage) and the other just outboard of the screwcutting gearbox. By this means, the operator was always able to position him or herself in the most appropriate place for the job at hand.
Screwcutting and power sliding and surfacing feeds were provided by a Norton-type quick-change gearbox with a sliding tumbler and lever control. The standard box could produce all metric pitches from 1 to 14 mm and generate Whitworth (inch) from 2 to 28 t.p.i. By the substitution of changewheels supplied as part of the regular equipment, it was also possible to produce both diametral and module threads as well. Formed with a 3 threads-per-inch pitch, the leadscrew had a diameter of 1.4375" and was machined to an accuracy of 0.0012" over a 40-inch length. When the leadscrew was engaged, a push-pull button was provided that instantly disengaged the clasp nuts.
Sliding power feeds ran from 0.005" to 0.08" per revolution of the spindle and cross feeds at half those rates - each feed direction being provided with very useful, adjustable and automatic knock-off stops. Feeds were engaged through a drop-out worm-and-wheel mechanism, so ensuring that, even at the highest rates of metal removal, the drive did not "load up" and could be disengaged at a touch on the control lever. 
Of conventional design, the compound slide rest assembly was fitted with micrometer dials of only a modest diameter while the top slide, able to be rotated through 360, was equipped with what must be regarded - for a lathe of this size - as a hopelessly inadequate, triangular clamp-type toolpost.
Supplied with each new M18 lathe was a 4-jaw independent chuck, a fixed steady, a travelling steady, a faceplate, a catchplate, two Morse centres and a set of spanners. On the option's list were a 4-way toolpost, a taper-turning attachment, a rear toolpost, a spare chuck backplate and coolant equipment.
Published data on Ceruti machines tools is not common (and often in Italian) but should you have anything with which to expand this article, the writer would be pleased to hear from you.




A very large Ceruti lathe of an unknown Model type. Below is another Ceruti of uncertain designation - but possibly a Model NP40



email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
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Ceruti M18, N30, N35 & NP40 Lathes
- and other models  -


.