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Original 1904/6 3.5-inch Flat Bed
Drummond Lathe
Literature for Drummond lathes, gear shapers and
other machine tools is available




Bernd Fischer writes from Germany:
..I feel your friend has done the right thing by operating the treadle himself . Producing an item with nothing else other than your  know-how and your own muscles gives a really great job satisfaction. To me, it seems perfectly natural, to treadle myself, especially as I am also using a treadle wood turning lathe (older still than the Drummond ). Mind you, quite a few people have thought, I must be mad (and I probably am ).
But I am aware that some people use a treadle lathe with  a pair of people operating it. Like, for example, the previous owner of my Drummond: I had bought it in 1976 from an elderly lady who replied to my ad in the local paper where I had been looking for a treadle woodturning lathe. She said on the `phone, that she wasn't sure that it was a woodturning lathe, but it certainly was a treadle lathe, because as a child, she had to treadle it for her granddad. So, quite often, when I was sweating over the lathe on a hot day, I thought of this poor little girl, working her arse off on the treadle, whilst the old geezer was just standing there, happily twiddling the wheels.
From what the lady could tell me, it seems quite likely that her granddad was the first owner and I am only the second, which is quite amazing for an item over one hundred  years old. The condition of the lathe would support this assumption, because it is very nice and not kicked about and abused and everything is totally original and untampered with. Even the leather drive belt was still there, but gone hard and brittle and locked into shape after not having been used for donkeys years. So, I replaced it with the correct new round leather belt  making use, of course, of the original screw-on hook-and-eye type connector. It also had a good set of change wheels and a range of carbon steel tools (nothing wrong about those). I only had to make a few extra gear wheels (like 21 teeth  for example) to be able to cut metric threads to a very close approximation ( there is no room for one with 127 teeth). However, I felt it wise to change one detail: The original spindle of the top slide is threaded the opposite way round from normal: turning it clockwise withdraws the tool and turning anticlockwise feeds it in. I thought that this could lead to some bad mishaps when I was using other people's lathes with a "normal" spindle. Therefore I fitted the spindle and nut of a Boxford top slide, but without doing any  damage to the Drummond casting  Refitting the old spindle can be done anytime in a few minutes. I also fitted a pair of drop-feed oilers, but they only need pulling out of the holes in the headstock casting and the lathe is again as it left the factory..
To see an inspection and measurement test of a 1907 Drummond, click here