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Levin Lathes - page 2
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Levin Ball-turning Lathe

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Self-contained Motor-drive and Countershaft Unit "Type AB"

Above: the basic Countershaft unit was supplied in two lengths to suit the 12" or 18" bed lathes. Extra pulleys, as well as clamp-on Idler Pulleys (shown below) could be mounted on the shaft to drive accessories such as the grinding head and milling slide.

Powered accessories, no matter how awkwardly aligned they are with the lathe bed, can be driven by looping their drive rope around the adjustable Idler Pulley Attachment.

Alternative forms of Idler Pulley Attachment:
Left - the Auxiliary Motor and Swivelling Idler (Code ACAE) designed to make the driving of powered accessories independent of the lathe motor.
Below - the Idler Pulley Stand (Code ISPP) mounted to the bench top by a single screw. The height and cross-arms' settings can be altered to bring the drive belt to any desired position

Ball Bearing Spindle lathes
The Levin "Watchmakers" lathe was constructed with the long familiar and traditional "D" shaped bed; the swing was 3.94" and distance between centres either 3.5" - with the 12-inch long bed - or 9.5" with an 18-inch bed. The bed was identical in cross section and centre height to other Levin lathes - and so allowed for the economical interchangeability of accessories between them.
Both ball and cone-type plain-bearing headstock spindles were available, the latter with either bronze or hard-steel bearings. The most expensive lathes were fitted with a ball-bearing headstock spindle, the cheapest with bronze-cone bearings - the difference in price across the range being some 40%. Whilst the ball-race and hard-steel headstocks could be ordered with either D or WW type collets, the bronze bearing model was restricted to the WW collets only.
Tailstocks were offered with either a simple "push" barrel or one controlled by a lever-operated rack and pinion.
In standard form a conventional tip-up tool rest was the sole fitting on the bed, but a very wide range of superbly made accessories was available to turn the lathe into a miniature machining centre.

Levin Ball-bearing headstock "Watchmaker's" 18-inch bed lathe with "push" tailstock barrel.
Code ABEO with WW collets, 18" bed and "push" tailstock barrel
Code ABIE with D collets, 18" bed and "push" tailstock barrel
Code ABEP with WW collets, 18" bed and lever-action tailstock barrel
Code ABEQ with D collets, 18" bed and lever-action tailstock barrel

Levin Ball-bearing headstock "Watchmaker's" 12-inch bed lathe with lever-action tailstock barrel.
Code ABBQ with WW collets, 12" bed and "push" tailstock barrel
Code ABID with D collets, 12" bed and "push" tailstock barrel
Code ABBR with WW collets, 12" bed and lever-action tailstock barrel
Code ABBT with D collets, 12" bed and lever-action

Tailstock with "Push" barrel and an adjustable stop

Levin Turret lathe Code ABHE (WW Collet) & ABHF (D collet) with 18" bed, ball-bearing headstock spindle, double-tool rest cross slide, 6-position turret and lever-action collet closer.
Turret lathes
All types of Levin lathe can be converted into miniature production machines, for second operation work and the manufacture of instrument parts, by the addition of a bed-mounted turret unit, double tool side (sometimes called a cut-off slide) and a lever-operated collet closer.
The cross slide has a swivelling slide at the end nearer the operator and a tool block at the rear. Adjustable stops are fitted to each slide, allowing accurate repetitive movements.
The turret head, with six half-inch diameter holes, is self indexing and runs on hardened steel ways, so guaranteeing long life and sustained accuracy. When new (as on all accessories of this type) the rotating head was supplied with undersized holes to allow final boring out by the lathe on which it was to be used. Transferring a turret from another machine may mean buying a new rotating head assembly and boring it out - if perfect accuracy is required
In catalog form the turret lathe was offered with a headstock spindle running in either ball-bearings (Code ABHE for WW collets and Code ABHF for D collets) or with a hard-steel cone bearing (Code ABIL) which, in the case of the Turret lathe, took WW collets only.

Using the lever-operated toolslide.
Levers provide a wonderfully delicate direct "feel", - which is especially useful when delicate components are being machined.
Used in conjunction cross-feed stops, and with six tools mounted in the self-indexing head, small-batch production of intricate and critically dimensioned components can be achieved by even unskilled operators.

Splash guard Code ABKI (lathe) and ABKJ (milling or grinding attachment) to fit over the spindle nose and prevent coolant spraying on the operator.

Accessories
Accessories are the key to making the very best use of a precision lathe. If the basic machine tool is well-built and accurate enough to form a solid foundation, then numerous useful guides, formers, cutters, grinders, drills and milling attachments can be mounted on it and will perform as well (is not as conveniently) as stand-alone machines.
The accessories listed by the makers of high-class machine tools do seem to vary as the years go by, items frequently being dropped from the catalogs as demand slackens or alternatives become available. Batches of special or modified items were frequently manufactured for specialist use, and these were sometimes never listed or illustrated in the firm's sales lists; if you find an "unusual" unit, this might explain its origin.
So sort-after are certain accessories - the milling and grinding heads in particular - that on the rare occasions when they become available on the open market prices are correspondingly high. One way of negating this is to build up a stock of accessories that you can offer in part exchange; the owners of fine-quality machine tools tend to keep them for many years and, if you have something to tempt a seller with other than cash, that can be the deciding factor in your favour.

Simple "push" type tailstock barrel with accessory Micrometer Stop.

Milling Attachment (Code MAOO) carries a swivelling spindle (with a travel of 2.5", running in pre-loaded, lubricated-for-life, precision ball races) designed to take WW sized collets. The swivel is graduated in degrees, the feed screw is hardened and ground and a friction-type zeroing micrometer dial, calibrated in 0.001".

Milling Attachment in use cutting a keyway

Fixed Steady with hardened jaws - capacity 1"

Heavy Duty Compound Slide Rest Code ABLW with screw feed to both cross and top slides
Levin slide rests have been available in many different styles and with multiple combinations of features - and besides being interchangeable across the Levin range are easily adaptable to fit other makes of miniature precision lathe.
Made from Meehanite iron, the rests are can be found in both Standard and Heavy-duty (covered top slide) versions with either two screw feeds, two lever feeds or any combination of lever and screw feed on the top and bottom units - special "Triple-compound" units have also been produced, as well as double-tool slides specifically designed to improve the functionality of the Turret lathes. The ground-finish feed screws are fitted with ball thrust bearings and zeroing micrometer dials having a non-glare finish. The hardened stops on both slides consist of a long bar, which slides in the casting, for coarse settings and a locking micrometer screw protruding through the face of the end flange for fine adjustment.
With its degree graduations on a bevel surface for easy reading, the swivelling top slide  is clamped by two T bolts and carries a toolpost which can be height adjusted. The circular base of the toolpost extends over the T slot and provides a large area against which the thrust of the T bolt is taken, so eliminating any chance of the slot being "broken out".
Both lever and screw feed slides can be converted very easily from one type to the other by bolting on the appropriate parts - it is not necessary to buy a complete, new slide.  Levin accessories continued here

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

Levin Lathes - page 2
If any reader has a Levin lathe that they would like to see appear in the
Archive, the writer will be pleased to hear from you


Levin Home Page   Levin Page 3   Levin Page 4   
Levin Ball-turning Lathe

Literature is available for Levin lathes