Manufactured by the Chanana Brothers of 26, Okhla Industrial Estate, New Delhi 20 in India, the IEC range of lathes was made into the late 1970s - and possibly for longer. With a design that would have looked more at home in the 1930s, they were expressly designed (and advertised) for use in Indian workshops, where their simple yet rugged construction enabled them to survive considerable abuse. Details of two typical machines are available, the belt-driven 165 mm (6.5") centre height CB.26-1 and the 190 mm (7.5") CB.26 and the geared-head Model AG-53.
CB.26-1 and CB.26-2
Of identical construction, each had a 240 mm (9.5") wide, V-way bed able to turn diameters of 500 mm (19.75") and 560 mm (22") respectively in their detachable gaps and with short and long-bed versions available to take either 750 (29.5") or 1000 mm (39") between centres. Both were powered by a 1 h.p. motor, carried on a hinged plate inside a South Bend-like underdrive plinth, with drive to the 38 mm bore, long-nose American L0 taper headstock spindle by a flat belt running over 4-step pulleys. Backgears were of the conventional type, brought into action on an eccentric with a spring-loaded plunger to ensure the correct mesh. It appears that both plain bronze and taper roller bearings were offered - with the former having the spindle ground to a mirror finish. The 8 spindle speeds spanned 42 to 800 r.p.m., a range that was neither slow enough for the largest jobs (or screwcutting by beginners), nor fast enough for small-diameter work.
Drive to the Norton quick-change screwcutting gearbox and 1.25" diameter 4 t.p.i. leadscrew passed through an externally-mounted tumble reverse mechanism (when most lathes of this type had long been fitted with one better supported on the inside face of the headstock). 54 inch pitches from 4 to 250 t.p.i. were available and, with the substitution of changewheels (an extra 8 were provided) 27 metric from 0.25 to 7.5 mm pitch.
Power sliding and surfacing feeds were fitted, driven from a slotted powershaft and through the usual apron-mounted worm-and-wheel gearing. Both selection and engagement appear to have been by a single, quadrant-style lever - the lack of a clutch with this system being guaranteed to cause problems with disengagement as the drive loaded-up under a heavy cut.
Locked to the bed by a lever protruding front its end face (an old-fashioned arrangement long abandoned by other makers) the set-over tailstock carried a spindle with a No. 3 Morse taper with a useful 145 mm of travel.
Supplied with each new lathe was a 3-phase motor and reversing switch, fixed and travelling steadies, a simple 4-jaw chuck based on a slotted faceplate, a thread-dial indicator. chip tray and 8 metric translation gears..