Fleck U. Co. Charlottenburg Germany
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Fleck U. Co were based in Charlottenburg, an area of Berlin, and known for their small, high-precision, standard engine-type as well as a number of production capstan lathes of various sizes.
A strange cross between a precision plain-turning bench lathe and a general workshop machine, the 3" x 12" (90 x 300 mm) Fleck lathe shown immediately below is very rare in the UK - and would have been constructed circa 1920 to 1935. Of high quality design and execution, with precise detailing, it is was unusual in having both screwcutting and power cross feed (from a shaft geared to the leadscrew and fitted with a dog clutch) but unfortunately not a slow-speed backgear - an odd mixture of basic and advanced specification rarely found in this class of machine.
With a wide bed - cast integrally with the headstock - carrying pairs of separate V and flat ways for carriage and tailstock, the lathe had a saddle with conventional wings at the front but a very much shorter section at the rear. The compound slide had a decently wide cross slide (with sufficient length to guard the feed screw both at the front and rear) yet with a traditional (though very useful) long-travel top slide with exposed ways of a type that might have been expected on a simpler machine.
With relatively slender, flat-topped posts supporting the plain bearings and a flat front face, the headstock had the appearance of a machine built more than two decade earlier, though the very fine-pitch changewheels were quite at odds with this.
Fleck's range of engineering-shop lathes varied in specification, the limited amount known about them indicating that, while some had full screwcutting gearboxes, backgear and power cross feed, others were constructed as production lathes, these needing only basic equipment lacking advanced features. A typical example of a proper backgeared and screwcutting general-purpose Fleck lathe is shown towards the bottom of the page.
If you have a Fleck lathe the writer would be very interested to hear from you..