Lathe by C.Hansen of Winnipeg
Though to have been made in small numbers, this finely constructed little 4" x 20" backgeared and screwcutting lathe is believed to one of a several different designs by Mr. Carl Hansen, once the foreman of the machine shop at MacDonald Brothers Aircraft Company in Winnipeg. The Macdonald Company later became part of Bristol Aerospace before finally being bought by Rolls-Royce. Looking to have been inspired by an early South Bend lathe of a similar size, the lathe was built using castings poured just before WW2 with machining work carried out after hostilities ceased. In 1954 the lathe passed into the hands of the head of MacDonald's R & D department and from there, eventually, to his son, from whom the present owner purchased the machine. The vendor reported that Carl had also built other designs of lathe with 4.5 and 7-inch centre heights around the same time - as well as violins and grandfather clocks and so appears to have been both a machine-tool builder and keen model engineer. In a 1932 edition of the Winnipeg Free Press some evidence of his work survives - he is mentioned as having displayed a recently-finished 4-inch centre lathe at a local model-engineering society show. Fitted with a 3-speed flat-belt drive to the headstock spindle, like most early and lighter South Bend lathes, the motor now used carries a V-pulley with the V-belt wrapped (very effectively) around a single flat crowned pulley on the countershaft. Fitted with a long, 1.2" x 10 t.p.i. threaded nose backed by a plain register bored with a No. 3 Morse taper socket, the headstock spindle ran in bronze half-shell bearings with the slow-speed backgear having to be engaged by first slacking a nut (instead of a quick-action spring-loaded pull and twist pin) on the face of the large spindle-mounted bull wheel. Sturdily built, the compound slide rest assembly had a cross-slide screw fitted with a small but crisply-engraved micrometer dial, this having, just outboard of it, a neatly arranged, narrow grip-ring knurled on its outer surface. Unfortunately, the top slide had no micrometer dial, though the periphery of its base was marked with a degree ring to indicate the swivel angle. It appears that this lathe never had the test run that would have enabled the marking of a matching zero line on the cross slide casting. Driving through a tumble reverse mechanism - unlocked by a lever rather than an inconvenient nut - screwcutting to the Acme-form, 8 t.p.i. leadscrew was by changewheels, of which it appears that the usual set of thirteen was supplied. Able to be offset for the turning of slide tapers on V-ways, the tailstock had a No. 2 Morse taper spindle with around three inches of travel, this being locked by a proper "split-barrel" compression mechanism rather than the cheap and nasty way of a slot cut into the casting and closed down by a stud and nut. The owner of the lathe reports that it displays an excellent cosmetic finish, is rigid, very accurate and capable of high-precision work. If you have a lathe or other machine tool, or a model by Mr. Hansen, the writer - and the owner of this lathe - would be pleased to hear from you.
If you have a lathe or other machine tool, or a model by Mr. Hansen, the writer - and the owner of this lathe - would be pleased to hear from you.