Champion "Motor-driven" Lathe
Champion Home Page Champion 14, 16 & 18-inch Lathes
The "Motor-driven" lathe as Champion called their first self-contained machine was a kit of parts that could be used to modify the 12-inch and larger lathes.
The method of operation, as described by the manufacturer, is worthy of a moment's reflection: "A steel pinion mounted on the motor shaft meshes with a raw-hide intermediate gear, which makes the drive practically noiseless. This raw-hide gear meshes in turn with a friction gear running freely on the spindle sleeve. Keyed to this sleeve is a friction controlled by the horizontal lever shown on the front of the head-stock, by means of which the lathe can be stopped or started at will, independently of the motor. The drive from here to the spindle is either direct through the face gear to which friction can be connected by means of the locking pin, or through either one of the positive clutch double back gears, actuated by the vertical lever."
Let us hope that this description of the system was not written by the same man responsible for designing it.