email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Larger Drummond Lathes:
5", 6" and 7" Standard Models : "6-inch-rising-to-9-inch, Drummond-Barreto" : "Double-height bed" Models

Continued on Page 2

Drummond Home Page    Drummond 5-inch Photo Essay   
Geared-head Drummond   Geared-Flywheel Drummond

Literature for Drummond lathes, gear shapers
and other machine tools is available

Drummond lathes were made in Guildford, Surrey, England, by Drummond Brothers Ltd. Originally operating from the domestic premises of Arthur Drummond in Pinks Hill, Woodstreet, Guildford - probably until late 1904 - they finally settled at their well-known Rydes Hill address.
In the early years the Company specialised in smaller lathes, but gradually larger ones were added including the interesting  Drummond-Barreto and a geared-head model that appears to have been restricted to the Australian market. However, the range of heavy lathes remained very restricted when compared to the wide variety offered by contemporary firms such as Lang, Butler, Swift, Smith & Coventry, Dean, Smith & Grace, Binns & Berry, Willson and Denham, etc. Fortunately, despite their initially limited  range, Drummond were contractors to the War Office and all the British Armed Services made wide use of their machine tools from the late 1800s until the 1940s. The navy were good customers and records survive that make it possible to identify which particular warship a Drummond lathe was allocated to. During the First World war the entire production of Drummond's factory was requisitioned, with the Government dictating what should be built and to whom it should be delivered. A surprising number of these older lathes are still about in original condition (even with their treadle gear) and make both a useful and interesting addition to any enthusiast's workshop
Occasionally one finds a Drummond lathe with another maker's plate substituted - or a supplier's plate so ornamental that one would image them to be a substantial manufacturer not the owner of a small warehouse. - rather like Web addresses today I suppose. The Drummond "J" type shaper has also been found in a disguised form with a beautifully designed plates bearing the legend "Richard Kelly and Sons"
By the second decade of the 20th century the larger Drummond lathes, which were essentially simple, uncomplicated machines, were both more massively built and better specified. They could be had in 5, 6 or 7-inch centre heights and incorporated a power shaft to drive the sliding and surfacing feeds with the feed taken through a friction clutch on the apron. The drive to the power shaft was taken from a gear on leadscrew positioned just to the left of the gap in the bed.
Links to other larger Drummond lathes:
Drummond 5-inch Photo Essay  and Drummond Geared-flywheel lathe.. 

"Drummond-Barreto"  Universal Machine circa 1912
The Drummond-Barreto" was an early attempt to make a combined lathe and miller capable of not only of turning between centres but also large-diameter boring, screwcutting, milling and gear cutting. The centre height was adjustable from 7" to 18" by raising and lowering the headstock and tailstock on screw-operated slides - a system used again in the 1950s on, for example, the much smaller Murad bench lathe/miller. The speed range was set at a nominal 5 to 270 rpm, the higher speed representing a rather low figure even for the early part of the 20th century, when cutting speeds were limited by the comparatively narrow range of available tool steels.
The apron was fitted with what must have been a very cleverly-designed mechanism, capable of reversing both the screwcutting leadscrew and the power-shaft drive "
without shock at any speed" - but you would be safe to hazard a guess that this particular claim would not pass muster with today's Advertising Standards Authority ..
Besides the usual small accessories of centres, spanners and catchplate, a 20" diameter faceplate and a large angle plate were supplied with the machine as standard.
The 3-step input drive pulley was mounted low down on the headstock end of the bed and was designed to be driven, like most machine tools of the time, from overhead line-shafting that threaded its way through the roof space of every engineering works and textile mill in the world. A single, fixed belt then passed up to the headstock where it drove an open 3-speed gearbox - the operating levers of which can be seen splayed out and angled downwards from their attachment on the milling-arbor support casting on top of the headstock. The lathe was also available with a "silent-chain" driven, a self-contained electric motor drive and 3-speed enclosed gearbox - similar in design to that used by South Bend in the USA and also used as an option on that company's "large-swing" (fixed centre height) lathes..

Drummond 6" - raising to 9" BGSC  lathe circa 1912
This lathe was designed to be converted into a larger swing machine by the use of raising blocks beneath the headstock, top slide and tailstock. The engineering niceties of the interesting treadle design were probably lost on the poor apprentice who provided the motive power whilst his master was busily engaged with tasks requiring greater skill. The whole of the saddle top was formed into a T-slotted table and could mount either a (rather unusual) swivelling compound slide rest - as shown - or a variety of fastenings (see below) designed to allow large objects to be machined with boring bars or face cutters (photographs of an example are below).

Drummond 6" lathe showing the large T-slotted saddle being used as a boring table to machine  a 4" diameter barrel from an engine used in a small steam launch.

Drummond 5" "double-height bed" lathe circa 1912.
Careful examination of the above illustration (of an early 5-inch) will show that, whilst the saddle ran on one pair of low-set bed ways, the tailstock has it own ways at a much higher level. This design, introduced on a 4-inch version some years earlier, aimed to provide a very large gap, capable of allowing the saddle to travel, fully supported, right up to the faceplate; there was no gap piece to remove and so no weakening of the bed when turning the largest diameters. The cross slide was a substantial casting, fully T slotted for use as a  boring or milling table, with the slots running in the same direction as the bed; its design, claimed Drummond, allowed items such as twin-cylinder engines to be bored at one setting and so made the lathe especially suitable for motor-car repairs. Two leadscrews were fitted, one provided power sliding along the bed, the other power surfacing across it. The sliding feed was selected by a domed-headed, spring-loaded lever moving in a vertical slot at the tailstock-end of the apron with neutral in the centre the upper and lower positions could be selected to move the carriage to right or left. Power surfacing (across the bed) was engaged by pulling out a knob underneath and just to the left of the cross-feed handwheel; the direction of this feed could be changed by using the normal tumble-reverse mechanism on the headstock. The arrangement of this mechanism must have given trouble for, like that on the 3.5-inch model, changes were made and the position of the control levers altered.
The method of fixing the top slide to the 8 Tee-slot cross slide was, in effect, a beefed up version of that used on the 3.5 inch B Type lathe where the base of the top slide was made in two parts and the lower element aligned with a long rectangular key and formed a base on which the upper part could swivel.
While early versions of the lathe were arranged for drive by a separate countershaft - or from overhead line shafting - later models were to become the company's first effort at an integrated drive system. A motor, mounted on a heavy, adjustable bracket outboard of the headstock-end plinth, drove upwards to a shaft held between bearings carried in each wall of the plinth. The shaft carried a gear (made from compressed strips of leather) that engaged with teeth cut in the rim of the flywheel..

The very rare geared-head Drummond lathe - so far found only in Australia It featured a quick-change Norton-type screwcutting and feeds gearbox and power sliding and surfacing feeds

A remarkably fine and original early (circa 1912) 5-inch. This was still in productive, professional use during 2010
A Photo Essay of the machine can be seen here

Apron of a late-model 5-inch

The eight Tee slots along each edge of the cross slide together with one down the centre provided a multitude of mounting possibilities.

Not all 5-inch lathes used the same type of top-slide fitting: on this late example the method of attaching the top-slide to the T-slotted cross-slide was, in effect, an improvement on the original, off-set, single-bolt design as also used on the Company's smaller lathes. The unit shown is held down by two bolts, so spreading the load and improving both rigidity and resistance to twisting forces. See below for the earlier type.

Later 5-inch Drummond showing the company's first effort at an integrated drive system. A motor, mounted on a heavy bracket outboard of the headstock-end plinth, drove upwards to a shaft held between bearings carried in each wall of the plinth. The shaft carried a gear (made from compressed strips of leather) that engaged with teeth cut in the rim of the flywheel.




Early, circa 1912 5-inch with the early single-bolt top slide fitting secured by a tapered-head bolt running a in a V-sided slot
A photo essay of this fine example can be seen here

The top -slide swivel was arranged against a conical surface that provided both a guard against the ingress of swarf and a powerful clamping action.

Drummond 6" - raising to 9" BGSC  lathe circa 1912
This lathe was designed to be converted into a larger swing machine by the use of raising blocks beneath the headstock, top slide and tailstock. The engineering niceties of the interesting treadle design were probably lost on the poor apprentice who provided the motive power whilst his master was busily engaged with tasks requiring greater skill. The whole of the saddle top was formed into a T-slotted table and could mount either a (rather unusual) swivelling compound slide rest - as shown - or a variety of fastenings (see below) designed to allow large objects to be machined with boring bars or face cutters

Larger Drummond Lathes:
5", 6" and 7" Standard Models : "6-inch-rising-to-9-inch, Drummond-Barreto" : "Double-height bed" Models

Continued on Page 2

Drummond Home Page    Drummond 5-inch Photo Essay   
Geared-head Drummond   Geared-Flywheel Drummond

Literature for Drummond lathes, gear shapers
and other machine tools is available


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories