Seldom encountered, the Ferdinan Kunad lathe shown below is marked as being manufactured in "Plagwitz-Leipzig", an area to the south-west of the city centre. Kunad were know makers who appear to have made a range of smaller plain and backgeared and screwcutting lathe with centre heights of up to 125 mm. They also produced, it is believed, chucks, calipers and other engineering tools.
Of the simple, plain-turning type, the Kunad was typical of its type and probably made between 1890 and 1920. As such, it would have been in stiff competition with, amongst others G. Boley, Wolf Jahn and Lorch - and so appears not to have survived to become a major manufacture of lathes.
Lathes of this type originated in the United States, in Waltham, where the Stark Company are acknowledged to have been the first to being the type to market. So mpopular did they become, that by the early 1900s some fifteen or more makers had introduced similar models - with the total to eventually exceed around twenty-five.
The description that this writer penned for the Stark article would also apply to the Kunad, in that "….at the heart of the lathe's accuracy was a superbly-made, high-speed headstock spindle and bearing assembly based on a design already standardised for watch lathes where a hardened, ground and lapped spindle ran in glass-hard steel bearings - a system which represented the very best use of the materials and manufacturing techniques available in the late 1800s. The spindle and bearings were originally advertised as being manufactured from "English steel" - almost certainly a reference to crucible steel, the contemporary (Huntsman) method of producing small quantities of high-quality metal with tightly-controlled properties. The headstock design continued unchanged until the late 1920s when the option of precision ball bearing spindles was offered, at first to special order - and then only recommended by the makers for applications where very high speeds had to be sustained for long periods
While many lathes of this type had a bed with a flat top and bevelled sides to locate the headstock tailstock and slide-rest assembly, on the Kunad V and flat ways are used and reflect a similar arrangement on the Auerbach from the Black Forest region and Kärger from Berlin, both contemporary makers of high-precision lathes
If you are fortunate to have a Kunad lathe - or other machine tool by this maker, the writer would be pleased to hear from you.