email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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IME Lathes Models 100 & 300
& Screwcutting Model 300

IME Home Page    IME Precision Drill

Complete Workshop Outfit CW08

Interesting Sales & Accessories Literature is available for these lathes

By the mid-1950s IME had moved to Woburn, south east of Milton Keynes in Bedfordshire, and introduced two new machines: the conventional-looking but very heavy 3-inch Model 300 and the very unusual 2-inch centre height Model 100. Both lathes reflected the changes in miniature precision lathe design begun (tentatively) by Pultra in 1947 (with their Models 17/50 and 17/70) and picked up by the German firm Leinen (on lathes branded Boley & Leinen) in the early 1950s. Instead of a bed supported at one end, or on double feet, on these new models it was integrated into a smooth, cast base that also acted to support the drive system. The Model 300  was a more conventional lathe than the 100 and mounted on a substantial cast-iron tray that formed, at the rear, a mounting point for the pivoting plate that held a variable-speed motor. In size is was more akin to the Swiss Favorite No. 3 and, because of this, was able to tackle a far wider range of jobs than most other miniature precision lathes.
While early versions of both the 100 and 300 used the compound slide from earlier models, in later years a slightly larger (satin-chrome-finish) version was employed - with one longitudinal and two traverse T-slots. The headstock on both models was formed as a simple, box-section casting with the drive to the spindle from an overhung, two-step toothed-belt pulley. Power was provided by a 1/6 h.p. infinitely-variable speed, thyristor-controlled motor that gave speeds from 50 to 4000 rpm. Early models of the 100 and 300 had an unusual arrangement of headstock bearings with the spindle supported on a ball race immediately behind its nose and a taper roller bearing at the other end--though later versions were fitted with ball races at both front and back. Because both edges of the bed were formed with inverted V-shaped ways (most plain-turning and watchmakers' lathes have just bevelled top edges), the lathe was relatively easy to convert to a powered sliding carriage - and one very rare version of the Model 100 was indeed so equipped. Yet another (unadvertised) example has been found with a leadscrew and changewheel-driven screwcutting - again with the whole carriage, rather than just the top slide as on most similar machines, moving along the bed. The feed and screwcutting conversion consisted of two simple brackets, one bolted to each end of the (conveniently flat) bed ends. Each was bushed to carry the leadscrew and the headstock-end one adapted to support the changewheel banjo. A proper tumble-reverse mechanism was fitted between the spindle and changewheels and the apron provided with a double clasp-nut for engagement.
Both the Models 100 and 300 were offered with a small range of accessories including a 4-way toolpost, a rear toolpost on a long T-slotted raising block, a vertical milling slide, collets for the tailstock, lever-action and screw-feed tailstock barrels and (though never officially listed), raiser blocks for headstock, tailstock and top slide..

Either a very early or alternative version of the IME 100

The superbly constructed, heavily built (45 kg) and very unusual IME Model 100 2" x 8" Precision Lathe mounted on a cast-iron base that held  the control gear for the rear-mounted variable speed motor. In contrast to late versions this earlier model machine had a much larger motor-speed control wheel and a 3-speed round-rope drive to the headstock instead of  2-step toothed pulleys. This machine reflected, in many respects, the changes of cosmetic design also seen in Leinen and Boley & Leinen lathes of the same period.
If the controller gives trouble contact: Kevin Davies (Test Engineer/Workshop Manager) Tel (01792)851083 or mail kevin@cjcontrols.co.uk

Late version of the Model 100 IME with its smaller motor-speed control wheel and a two-step toothed pulley drive system

An apparently unused 3-inch centre height M300 discovered in 2008. As standard this lathe was mounted on a substantial cast-iron tray with a pivoting mounting at the back to carry an infinitely-variable speed, thyristor-controlled motor that gave a speed range from 50 to 4000 rpm. Drive to the spindle was from an overhung, two-step toothed pulley drive. This is a late-model example with the beautiful satin-chrome-finish compound slide rest with one longitudinal and two traverse T-slots.

Model 300 - this late example with improved compound slide

IME Model 300 Precision Instrument Makers' Lathe

Early-model IME. Model 100 with late-type slide rest

Above and left: the rare screwcutting version of the M300

With its V-edged bed the Model 300 was relatively easy to convert to a screwcutting lathe. Simple bolt-on brackets were fitted at each end of the bed and carried the leadscrew bearings, changewheel banjo and the tumble reverse bracket.. The spindle drive gear was carried on a sleeve slipped on between the collet draw-bar wheel and the drive pulley. A simple apron with clasp nuts was bolted to the front face engineered to fit the saddle but there was no quick rack-and-pinion drive to move the carriage quickly up and down the bed, instead the clasp nuts were released and the saddle moved by hand. Interestingly, because the screwcutting was an accessory,  the carriage clamp plate was retained and the long travel top slide could still be used in its plain-turning role.
Should any reader have a complete Model 300 lathe with screwcutting, and can provide some photographs of the set up, the writer would very much like to hear from you

IME Home Page    IME Precision Drill    Complete Workshop Outfit CW08

Interesting Sales & Accessories Literature is available for these lathes

IME Lathes Models 100 & 300
& Screwcutting Model 300

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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