On early models the spindle nose was threaded internally, with a conical section against which a combined centre and drive dog was drawn. It is possible that later versions used a conventional external thread (though these may have had home-made replacement spindles) and, if so, would have been much more adaptable to accept special fittings and the carrying of conventional chucks.
Like the popular and long-lived Goodell-Pratt Model 125 lathes (and later the 1950s Emco Unimat), the compound slide assembly employed an inexpensive and easy-to-manufacture twin-bar construction - but with the feed screws on the Little Goliath lacking micrometer dials, though fitted with a swivelling top slide. Two bolts, one at the front and another at the rear secured both the carriage assembly and tailstock to the flat-topped bed. Unfortunately, the face to which the slides clamped, at back edge of the bed, was left un-machined.
Early top-slides, on non-Drummond examples, were machined flat on the top, with either a single, central tapped hole for a post - over which dropped an English-type tool clamp secured by a nut - or four studs to take two flat plates as used on very much more massive industrial machines. However, on the Little Goliath the tool holder formed the upper section of the top slide with two holes bored through it at right-angles on centre height with a single square-head tool-retaining bolt where the holes crossed - the design being reminiscent of the tool holder fitted to the post-1911 Round Bed.
A brass plate, stamped with top-slide swivel degree marks, was trapped between the 1¼"-travel top and cross slides; unfortunately, because the plate was not screwed down but located only by being turned over along one edge, as the top slide was swivelled (or the clamping bolt tightened), the plate moved and the reading changed.
The No. 0 Morse taper tailstock made do with just a simple (but very effective) lever-action control for the barrel and with the various pivots provided economically by ordinary split pins.
Supplied with each lathe were an unhardened screw-in driver-point (with adjustable arm for catching the driver) a hard dead centre for the tailstock and two blank screw-in parts, one solid, the other hollow for the owner to make of what he wished. Ordinary accessories were few: a foot-motor (£1 :15s : 0d) with step diameters of 13/4", 21/4" and 2 ¾"; a faceplate combined with a 4-jaw chuck (17/6s and considered by Model Engineer to be particularly well-made); a 1/4" capacity tailstock chuck (7/-); a hand T-rest (3/-) and a strong wood bench, requires foot-motor for 17/6d.. In an attempt to broaden the machine's appeal - which obviously failed - by 1924 a number of more ambitious extra were offered including a sliding boring table (£1 : 2s : 6d) and attachments to convert the lathe into a vertical drill (18/6d); milling machine conversion (£1 : 14s : 0d) and a combined milling and drilling attachment at a total of £1 : 19s : 0d.
When used as a drill or miller, the bed was held upright in a casting that bolted to the bench; for drilling work a round, 4-slot faceplate, about 4 inches diameter, was attached to the end of the (usefully-long travel) tailstock barrel. For milling, it appears that the lathe's ordinary top slide was used instead with, instead of a T-slotted table bolted to it, a simple flat-topped plate pierced with a number of ¼" tapped holes. The milling attachment was remarkable in that there was no Y-axis feed. Movement in that direction (i.e., towards and away from the operator) would have required manually repositioning the workpiece - only the truly impecunious would have submitted to such torture.
Like many light drills of the time, the design called for a rear-mounted motor that drove, using a round leather belt, over a pair of adjustable jockey pulleys - in the case of the Little Goliath this assembly being secured by bolts passing through the holes normally used by the headstock-end bed foot.
Although a clever attachment, the boring table must have been difficult to use and complicated by the utter crudeness of its mounting. Like the tailstock and the slide-rest, it was aligned by the front edge of the bed aided by the pressure of two springs, pressing against little brass pads (with the tension adjustable by screws), acting against the back edge. The unit was hand propelled by an overhung leadscrew, with an ordinary V-thread, carried by a casting screwed to the bed's end face. Beneath the assembly was a cradle with a sprung roller that ran over the bed's underside face - the spring being there to deal with the roughness of the surface, it presumably being designed to have sufficient strength to prevent the table from lifting under the action of a cutting tool.
Background and Publicity
One of the few really practical small lathe offered on the UK market until the introduction of the Adept in 1930, Drummond took considerable time and expense to advertise it, taking full-page facing advertisements in Model Engineer. However, with the same journal giving the home mechanic access to proper, light-engineering instructions and information on other machines, sales must have remained disappointing. The maker's advertising puff read:
This ingenious little machine will give many hours of delightful mechanical occupation. Model engines, motors, cranes, etc., ornamental work, small tools, wood and ivory turning - the lathe is ideal for these. The various attachments greatly increase the range of work that can be done, and the lathe is not cumbersome for home use. It may be driven by a discarded sewing machine treadle, or by the foot-motor supplied" (Model Engineer, 21 December 1922).
A further problem was price for, although basic, the Little Goliath was never particularly cheap, especially when compared with other miniature lathes. For example, in 1921 the more conventional and workmanlike David Model-Maker's Lathe (2.5" x 6") was £3 : 17s : 6d and the newly-introduced C.A.V. Wade (2" by 12") just £2.10s : 0d. In 1926 the popular 21/8-inch Portass 'Baby' with a sliding carriage and a lever-action tailstock was just £2 : 15 : 0d with the Model de-Lux backgeared and screwcutting version (B.G.S.C.) just £4 : 5s : 0d.
Simultaneously, and no doubt to better effect, Drummond took a series of advertisements in the boy's publication Junior Mechanics. The December 1922 issue exhorted parents to Buy your boy a lathe for Christmas...Everyone likes useful gifts ….
Production of the Little Goliath at the Drummond works was described in 1921 in the December 1st of Model Engineer magazine. This article explained and illustrated the various machining operations - as well as showing some of the numerous jigs used to produce the lathe quickly and economically. The lathe's bed ways for example consisted of just two accurate surfaces - the top and the front edge - both planed during a single jigged set-up on an Eberhart shaper.
If any reader has a Little Goliath, or any of the rare accessories or publicity material, the writer would be very interested to hear from you. Restored Little Goliath