email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books   Accessories

Jones - USA

Jones Shaper    Jones Millers

Sets of plans are available for all the Jones machines

Although one might imagine that sets of casting to build small machine tools, especially lathes, would have been in constant demand during the more austere times of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, this never seemed to be the case. The only possible exceptions were Jones and Lewis in the USA (Lewis's main product was a shaper) and the English Dore Westbury milling machine (which filled a particular niche for the model and experimental engineer who needed a versatile, compact but not over-heavy machine). Certainly, it is much more difficult than one might imagine to home-build an effective machine-tool of any type, especially with the facilities normally available to the amateur engineer. Even though the pages of the English "Model Engineer" magazine have featured a number of home-designed and built machines over several decades, nobody seemed interested in marketing a complete set of castings or other parts for home machining and assembly. However it has been the case that some lathes, normally sold complete have been offered for home assembly , these include from the early part of the 20th century the English Relm and Super Relm  and, in the closing decades, the Simat 101 and possibly Perris as well - but that is not the same thing at all.
Hence, the American-made
David Jones Machine Company kits, described on these pages are, therefore, something of a rarity - however, one cannot help wondering just what proportion of the casting sets for lathes, millers and shapers - bought with such initial enthusiasm - were successfully turned into functional machines. The company originally marketing these castings and drawings was the Pootatuck Corporation of Old Stratford Road, Shelton in Connecticut whose advertisements appear to have run from the very early to mid 1950s with their first address given as 100 Sammis Place, in Stratford, Connecticut - a location not shown on present maps. However, the owner of Pootatuck at that time was Donald Sammis and the company managed by his nephew, John S. Richardson. In 1956, having bought the company from his uncle, Richardson moved it to Shelton. The subsequent connection to the David Jones name is still not clear - but will no doubt be revealed in the fullness of time..

Jones offered three kits from which to built a lathe:: the 8-swing screwcutting "Modelmaker", the 7-inch plain-turning "Tyro" and another 7-inch lathe modelled on the lines of a traditional  "Precision Bench Lathe". The most useful of the three was the "Modelmaker", with a twenty-eight inch long cantilever-form bed the machine offered 15 inches between centres, a set-over tailstock, compound slide rest - and spindle bearings, split to form a means of adjustment, formed from the cast iron of the headstock itself. Aping the practice of precision bench lathe makers, Jones fitted the headstock cone pulley (which incorporated a ring of indexing holes) the "wrong" way round, enabling a bracing strut to rise from the base of the headstock casting to stiffen its front bearing. Either V or flat-belt drive was offered - the pulleys being 2.25", 3.25" and 4.25" in diameter for the 1" wide flat belt and 3", 4" and 5" in diameter for the V belt system.
Although only one type of spindle bearing is mentioned in the Jones' sales literature, it is possible that a second type of rather more substantial headstock bearing was offered fitted with a detachable cap retained by two bolts.
The spindle nose was identical to that found on a Myford ML7 - 1.125" x 12 tpi - but only No. 1 Morse centres were fitted to both the headstock and tailstock. The bed carried a single V way at the rear to locate the headstock and tailstock whilst the carriage was aligned by an angle on the edge of the front way - and a square on the rear.
The leadscrew was 11/16" in diameter and the 10 tpi thread of square form - a single half-nut, carried in an eccentric-activated slide on the apron, engaged with it. The changewheels, of 24 pitch, were carried on a single slot arm L shaped arm and engaged through a tumble reverse system which had its plunger located on the back face of the left-hand headstock bearing column. A proper rack-feed was fitted to the carriage which had, for a small lathe, unusually long saddle arms; the carriage traverse handwheel was shown in photographs as a full-circle wheel, but in many of the drawings as a balanced-handle type.
Various "accessory" casting kits were available including ones to make a countershaft unit to drive the lathe, a vertical milling slide, a T-slotted 3.5" x 5" boring table, various sizes of angle plate, a swivelling machine vice, a hand-operated shaping attachment to fit on the cross slide, a machine vice and a grinding attachment.
Some time after the introduction of the "Modelmaker" lathe a simpler, slightly smaller machine was introduced, the 7-inch swing plain-turning "Tyro" - an outline sketch of which can be seen at the top of this page.
The term "Bench Lathe" at one time denoted a very special kind of machine, a finely made and absolutely accurate lathe of the type made famous by first Stark then Ames, Pratt & Whitney and Rivett, etc. In an effort to cash in on the appeal of these expensive lathes Jones offered a kit of parts to make something that was styled to look like one - however,  although the bed had the mandatory bevelled edges, and a central securing slot for the headstock, slide rest and tailstock, the rest of the machine was perfectly ordinary. Included in the kit of parts were separate circular bed feet and a compound slide rest for which the micrometer dials were listed as an option..

Jones 8-inch "Modelmaker" lathe

A Jones "Modelmaker" 8-inch lathe fitted with the maker's T-slotted cross slide, tumble-reverse to the screwcutting changewheel gear train and a vertical milling slide with swivel-base machine vice.

The screwcutting "Modelmaker" 8-inch lathe fitted with a neat hand-shaping attachment.

The plain turning 7-inch "Bench Lathe" was styled along the lines of a traditional, high-quality, plain-turning precision toolmakers "bench" lathe.  The bevelled-edged bed was 26 inches long with the raw casting cored out for passage of the bolt to retain either the hand rest (shown above) or a proper compound screw-feed slide rest assembly

The Jones 7-inch bench lathe with optional compound slide rest assembly

Jones Shaper    Jones Millers

Jones - USA
Sets of plans are available for all the Jones machines

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books   Accessories