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AA109 Sherman Clark & Zoerman-Clark
Power-feed Attachment for Armature Work
Craftsman Home Page   Model 80 & AA109, Dunlap & Companion Lathes
Last AA109 Model 109.21280    Early 9-inch and 12-inch Lathes   
Late-model 12-inch Lathes     
Craftsman 6" Lathe Mk. 1    Craftsman 6" Lathe Mk. 2   
Craftsman wood lathe conversion kit to metal

SEARS Model 549-2892 8-inch Lathe (Re-badged Emco Compact 8)

Sherman Clark Mfg. Co. of Jackson Michigan - Armature Lathe
Craftsman-branded Wood Lathes   Courlan-branded 109
Operating Instructions and Publicity Catalogues
are available for most Craftsman lathes

Also available: the 3 distinctly different "manuals" that cover all types of the 109 Metal Lathes.

In order to provide a simple and inexpensive longitudinal feed to the carriage, some AA "Craftsman 109" lathes have been found fitted not with changewheels but a double-reduction belt drive driven either by a pulley on the end of the headstock spindle or a jackshaft (countershaft) assembly. The mechanism used a small boss cast on the back of the bed (not all 109s were so fitted, however) into which fitted a shaft carrying a double-step pulley that transmitted its drive to a similar pulley on the end of the leadscrew. Some aspects of the conversion, especially the leadscrew clasp-nut arrangement,  have an amateur appearance and no mention of the machine can be found in any Pre WW2 Craftsman catalogue. However, during 1940 and 1941 the lathe was advertised in motor-trade and other publications as the $27.50 New Model No. 40 Armature Lathe - with several examples coming to light in recent years carrying the remains of an oval badge proclaiming: Sherman Clark Mfg. Co. of Jackson Michigan (USA) or, alternatively, Zoerman-Clark Mfg. With the town of Jackson only 35 miles south of Lansing  (home of the AA Company), there would have been a tie up between the organisations with Sherman Clark realising that a power-feed attachment would make the lathe so much more useful and commissioning a batch from the AA company for subsequent modification and sale under their own label. The basic specification was a 26-inch long bed, a capacity between centres of 18 inches a 6-inch swing and a 360 swivel top slide. As shown in the advertisements, there was a bolt-on quick-action lever feed to the carriage positioned at the tailstock end of the bed, the connection to the carriage being by a piece of twisted flat steel plate. Also supplied were the necessary attachments to mount an armature, an adjustable 3-bolt drive "carrier" to fit the headstock spindle and some sort of rotating centre for the tailstock.
The maker's badge was applied to rather roughly-finished castings and, whilst not absolutely distinct, appears to have been laid out with the maker's name across the top on a red background, "
Garage Equipment and Tools" along the bottom and, on a yellow background: "The Right Tool For The Job" across the middle with the words Jackson above and Michigan below.
So far, two distinct types have been discovered, a Mk. 1 and a Mk. 2 - the former easily recognised by its bed - with a V-way at the front and a flat at the back - together with an open headstock that lacked any form of belt guard and a crude tailstock with a spindle that just screwed into the casting and a direct-acting bolt as a lock. The Mk. 2 had, like most AA-built metal lathes, a twin-V-way bed and a headstock with its casting raised at the front to provide a simple belt cover. In other respects the lathes were very similar - though the Mk. 1 lacked the boss on the back of the bed to carry the double-step pulley - with each having the same type of carriage with a compounded slide rest and an identical attachment to the leadscrew. So far no literature has been discovered featuring the Mk. 1 and should any reader discover  an advertisement showing the machine, the writer would be interested to know..

Simple open headstock of the Mk. 1 AA109 Sherman Clark & Zoerman-Clark lathe

V and flat-way bed of the Mk. 1 AA109 Sherman Clark & Zoerman-Clark lathe

Typical AA carriage assembly with a compounded slide rest and the same design of attachment to the leadscrew as used on the Mk. 2

Crude tailstock of the Mk. 1 AA109 Sherman Clark & Zoerman-Clark lathe

Later model Zoerman-Clark (Sherman Clark) New Model 40 Armature Lathe. This crude picture was used in 1940 and 1941 advertisements. An examination of the sketch reveals that the lathe was supplied with a 3-bolt drive "carrier" to fit the headstock spindle and some sort of rotating centre for the tailstock.

A well-preserved and original Mk. 2 Zoerman-Clark (Sherman Clark) complete with the headstock  carrier and carriage lever-feed assembly

The 4-bolt carrier can be seen tied to the headstock spindle

Carriage lever-feed assembly

Rear mounting boss used to carry the lower pair of pulleys

Although the engineering of the leadscrew clasp nut had all the hallmarks of an amateur modification it was a production item

The simple block and cam-operated, spring-loaded plunger that made up the clasp nut assembly

The complete drive system in place on an AA-manufactured (but Sherman-Clark modified) 109

E-MAIL   Tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools for Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Machine Tool Catalogues   Belts   
Books   Accessories

AA109 Sherman Clark & Zoerman-Clark
Power-feed Attachment for Armature Work
Craftsman Home Page   Model 80 & AA109, Dunlap & Companion Lathes
Last AA109 Model 109.21280    Early 9-inch and 12-inch Lathes   
Late-model 12-inch Lathes     
Craftsman 6" Lathe Mk. 1    Craftsman 6" Lathe Mk. 2   
Craftsman wood lathe conversion kit to metal

SEARS Model 549-2892 8-inch Lathe (Re-badged Emco Compact 8)

Sherman Clark Mfg. Co. of Jackson Michigan - Armature Lathe
Craftsman-branded Wood Lathes
Operating Instructions and Publicity Catalogues
are available for most Craftsman lathes

Also available: the 3 distinctly different "manuals" that cover all types of the 109 Metal Lathes.