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Emco Emcomat, Maximat & Mentor
7, V7, V7L, V8, 8.4,
8.6 and 10 Lathes

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Very Early Emco TD55 lathe
1950s Mk. 1 "Maximat Standard" and "Compact" Universal Machine Tool
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Emco Milling Machines


Instruction Books, Parts Books, spares and drive
belts are available for all Emco V7 to V10 lathes

After a reasonable start with their early Maximat lathes, the Mk. 1 through Mk. 4 including the 3000 and 4000 Series machines, Emco's conventional hobby and semi-professional lathe production began to increase dramatically during the late 1960s with the introduction of a complete range of geared-headstock machines. These were:
Emcomat 7  at 3.5" x 17.7" and a long-bed 3.5" x 23.7"   
Emcomat 8.4 and  8.6 at 4.13" x 17.7" and a long-bed 4.13" x 23.7"
Maximat V8 (a marketing exercise where a milling head and stand were included in the price) at 4.13" x 23.7".
Maximat V10 and V10P  at 5" x 25", with the P-suffix machine having power cross feed.
Although the 7 and 8 sold in good numbers, the most popular versions, judging by the numbers on the used market, were the V10 and V10P, lathes similar in capacity to the belt-drive Boxford. However, all variants of the range types, from smallest to largest, were of a very similar design and shared a number of parts and accessories including an identical all-geared headstock mounted on raiser blocks that varied in thickness according to the centre height of the particular model. One significant difference was that, while the "7" had a flat-topped bed, the V8, 8.4, 8.6 and 10 all had V-way beds - presumably to appeal to American buyers, the company's main market for many years. For their size, all types had decently deep beds (though with rather skimpy diagonal bracing) and with the ways ground finished.
Although Type Designations remained consistent across the world, for some areas an educational and training version, the "Mentor", was added - these were mechanically identical to the standard machines, but mounted on a braced sheet-metal stand similar in construction to the standard unit with its locking tool cupboard but equipped with special safety switchgear. While variations may have occurred - it is believed, for example, that some UK-market 7s were fitted with 1-speed motors - the official specification was for all machines to be fitted with a two-speed motor - either 1 or 3-phase - and with the (non-too-reliable) push-button switchgear mounted neatly on top the headstock. The 8 speeds for the 7 and 8 spanned 65 to 2800 r.p.m, while for the V10 a small reduction was engineered to give 60 to 2500 r.p.m. driven by either a 1-phase or 3-phase 1400/2800 0.6/0.85 motor. Initial drive on all models was by a long-lived toothed drive belt.
With all versions of the 7 and 8 restricted to screwcutting by changewheels (a standard set containing: 25t, 30t, 40t, 50t, 55t, 60t, 65t and 70t gears), the V10 was the only model offered with the option of a screwcutting gearbox. On the V10P the box (at least for most markets) became a standard fitting, as did an effective and easy-to-use power cross feed mechanism driven by a hexagonal-section powershaft, below and parallel to the leadscrew and controlled by a single lever pivoting from the apron's right-hand face. Strangely, while many makers produced versions of their lathes with the carriage traverse handle transposed to the left-hand side of the apron for the American market, Emco apparently reversed this procedure with the publicity material showing European-market machines with the handwheel on the left with those destined for America having it on the right.
All V10Ps appear to have left the factory fitted as standard with a metric-specification, Norton-type quick-change screwcutting gearbox able to generate 24 pitches from 0.125 to 4.00 mm. However, for the British and American market machines, the lathe was offered with an English screwcutting-conversion set in place and the gearbox threading plate listing only English-pitches from 4 to 120 t.p.i. The box was provided with a sliding gear to select either fine or screwcutting feeds, with the knurled change-over knob, on the end of the sliding gear, allowed to protrude through the gear-guard cover - a long-established design idea dating back to the original design of the late 1800s. Sliding feed rates varied from 0.028 to 0.444 mm per revolution of the spindle with the cross-feed rates arranged to be exactly 50% slower. The changewheels drove through a tumble-reverse mechanism fitted with a plastic output gear that, while entirely adequate for normal use, could not stand (like the alloy casting of the early-version tumble-reverse arm) heavy-handed operation.
Photographs of a particularly fine and original Emcomat 7 here
Continued below:

Emco Maximat V10P with screwcutting gearbox, power cross feed and early 4-speed milling head. Although these heads are shown in the maker's literature canted over to run on their side it is wise to ensure that, if they are tilted over so far, they are not overfilled with oil. If they are the simple oil thrower will not stop lubricant leaking into the electric motor.
Continued:

Shared between the models, the headstock appears to have been internally identical, with an arrangement such that the drive was always taken through a pair of gears where one in metal engaged with another whose steel hub carried laminated "fibre" teeth. Combined with lubrication by oil-splash this combination gave unusually quiet running - and a reputation for reliability. However, none of the assemblies can take foolish handling, and trying to move the selector levers before the shafts have completely stopped leads to the main-spindle fibre gear being eaten away on one side and the eventual failure of the two lightly-constructed alloy selector forks - and it is not unknown for these to also fail with age and fatigue. Hence, it's a good idea (and especially before buying one of these lathes) to remove the four screws securing the headstock cover plate and take a good look inside.  Cracks in the selectors are hard to see, but a magnifying glass will often reveal them. If the a fork does break, and drop into the headstock, it will wreck two or more pairs of gears. New forks, in bronze, are available - though as they are made in batches might not always be in stock (email for details).
Hardened and ground with a 20 mm bore and 3-Morse taper (though some early 7s have been found with a No. 2 Morse) the headstock spindle accepted L20 collets and ran in precision roller bearings. Early V10 machines had a threaded nose to M39 x 4 mm (described in the literature as "EM 39 DIN 800") though it is possible that the 1.5" x 8 t.p.i. thread from the earlier 3000 series was used as well. On the V10P power cross-feed model both metric and Imperial spindles were fitted: the former being Part. No. B2B-030-160 with a metric thread (M39 x 4) and the former Part No. B2B-030-160 (1.5" x 8 t.p.i.).
On later screwed spindles the chucks supplied were fitted with a safety clamping ring - to reduce the likelihood of fittings coming unscrewed in reverse - whilst late-model examples of the V10P were given an inconvenient (but safe when running backwards) three-stud nose. This latter arrangement meant having to remove and replace three nuts every time a spindle fitting was changing. For accuracy, the nose assembly relied upon a short taper in the back of each fitting - faceplate, backplate or collet unit -  making complete contact against the end of the spindle. Unfortunately it not unknown for third-party components (usually of Chinese or Indian origin), to be machined so that they do not fully engage against the taper and, if a 3-jaw chuck proves to be inaccurate, it may well pay to investigate the backplate seating. All parts of the spindle nose should be kept scrupulously clean, for even the smallest piece of trapped swarf will cause the chuck to be tilted over and possible damage the seating and spindle end.
On all versions of the lathe the cross slide was heavily constructed and provided with three T slots, running laterally (at 90 to the bed's ways). The construction of the top slide was a little unusual: its base casting was formed with a circular boss that retained a loose ring that clamped the slide down by means of 2 T-bolts sitting in the cross-slide T slots. The design not only allowed the slide to rotate through 360 degrees but also to be positioned quickly either forwards or backwards as need dictated. Rather small zeroing micrometer dials were fitted, and it is suspected that single 2.5 mm pitch (10 t.p.i.) cross feed screw (of ordinary V not Acme form) was used for both English and metric versions, only the dials being appropriately engraved. On the V10 the cross-feed screw ran through a threaded bush held captive in the saddle casting by a spring dowel-pin; for the power cross feed V10P this crude arrangement was dropped (the nut was very difficult to replace), and the feed-nut fastened to the underside of the cross slide with clearance provided by a central slot cast in a new and wider saddle. At the same time the opportunity was taken on the V10P to redesign the cross-feed screw end bracket and incorporate a pair of ball bearings to give better support and provided a better thrust arrangement for the feed screw.
A 0.25 h.p. 4-speed, 350, 640, 780 and 1450 r.p.m. milling head  (later replaced with a six speed), proved to be a popular, if expensive, fitting and was lifted straight from the contemporary Emco bench milling machine. The head's mounting column was held in a simple cast-iron bracket bolted to the back of the bed by four set-screws and arranged so that it rested on the bench exactly level with the bed feet. Electrical control of the head was integrated into that used for the lathe, with the necessary switchgear built as standard into every machine to allow easy retrofitting. The head had a 40 mm stroke quill, carried a No. 2 Morse taper, and offered 305 mm of clearance between spindle nose and table and some 145 mm of throat.
Fitted with  30 mm diameter barrel with 80 mm of travel and a proper two-part compression lock, the set-over tailstock was of conventional design and enjoyed the benefit of a standard-fit micrometer collar. Unfortunately, instead of a neat cam-lock lever arrangement, it was clamped in place by the action of a self-hiding spanner on an ordinary nut.
Machines can be roughly dated from their colour with early V10s finished in a blue "Hammerite" paint and later models given a more pleasing shade of "European-standard" machine-tool green; blue machines can be found with either the 4-speed or 6-speed head but the green lathes were fitted with just the 6-speed head. The 7 and 8 models were usually in a hammered-green or blue finish, with no change of shade or colour to indicate the age.
Last to be made of the 10 Series lathes, the "Compact 10" was a quite different machine; it had little in common with the earlier models and included several cost-saving features. The headstock was V-belt driven from an over-hung pulley, screwcutting was by changewheels only (no gearbox was offered) with the power shaft and associated cross feed arrangements removed. This easily-handled (though expensive lathe) appears to have been finished only in a gloss "machine-tool" green.
One point to consider on all Emco lathes of this era is the small frame size of the electric motors and their tendency to run very hot. However, being of modern design, they should, in theory, be no more unreliable than older types of more generous proportions, but with less effective insulation - however, one has to say, their reputation in this respect is not good and direct replacements appear unavailable.
A wide range of (expensive) extras was available for the V10 and V10P including steadies, collets, rotary tables and a neat toolpost grinder that used the special high-speed collet-holding headstock spindle assembly supplied as an option for the Unimat SL1000
Tony Griffiths

Emcomat /Maximat 7 with screwcutting by changewheels and the optional 4-speed milling head.
The 7 was very similar in general layout and specification to the V10 but of  3.5" (90 mm) centre height and 17.5" (450 mm) between centres - although a 24.6" capacity (600 mm) longer bed model, the 7L, was also offered. Two very useful feature of this lathe were the excellent spread of speeds--65 to 2800 r.p.m for the English market- and the ease of changing them; there were no belts to move only two headstock-mounted levers and the 2-speed electric motor push buttons. No screwcutting gearbox was offered and the standard changewheel set consisted of 9 gears which could cut metric threads from 0.4 mm to 3 mm, English Threads from 8 to 80 t.p.i. and module from 0.2 to 1.

Basic lathe section of the Emcomat/Maximat 8.4, 8.6. and Maximat V8
This model was available in two bed lengths of 450 mm (17.71") and 600 mm (23.72"). Apart from the changes necessary to the major castings to set the centre height of 105 mm ( 4.13"), the 8.4, 8.6. and Maximat V8 used all the major components of the Emcomat 7. The Maximat V8 was the Model designation of the  Emcomat 8.6 fitted with the 4-speed Vertical milling head and a cabinet stand included in the price.

Shared between the various Maximat Models - 7, 8 and 10 - the headstock appears to to be internally almost identical with a mixture of steel and fibre gears and lubrication by oil splash giving it a reputation for quiet running and reliability. However, it will not take foolish handling and trying to move the selector levers before the shafts have completely stopped leads to the main spindle fibre gear being eaten away on one side - and eventual failure of the two lightly-constructed alloy (ZAMAK) selector forks. It is also not unknown for the selectors to fail with age and, as these are now unobtainable from the makers, improved versions in bronze are available - email for details. Before buying one of these lathes take off the headstock cover plate and have a good look inside.
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Screwcutting gearbox as fitted to the Maximat V10 lathe

Triangulated bracing between the bed walls

Early 4-speed milling head as fitted to the Emcomat 7 and Maximat V10 lathes

Emcomat 8.4 and 8.6 with the 6-speed Vertical Milling Attachment. Available in two bed lengths of 450 mm (17.71") and 600 mm (23.72") this model used all the major components of the Emcomat 7. The Maximat V8 was the Emcomat 8.6 fitted with either the 4 or 6-speed milling head as standard.