Lorch KD50 Miniature Precision Lathe
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Marketed as a very special model, the tiny and rare KD50 had a centre height of just 50 mm - making it the smallest of the Lorch precision bench lathes. Available in just one bed length of 400 mm, with a between centres capacity of 185 mm, the spindle had a bore of 8 mm and carried collets with a maximum through bore of 5 mm and a non-through of 7 mm. The bed of the lathe was formed into a large box-like casting behind the headstock on the back of which was built a very substantial countershaft unit. Fortunately the designer resisted the temptation to make the drive line too compact and spaced the motor a reasonable distance away from the headstock, the result being a smooth drive that worked effectively without excessive belt tension. With a 1400 rpm motor on a separate swing bracket at the back, spindle speeds of: 324, 490, 725, 1040, 1560, 2320 rpm were available. As an option a 2800 rpm motor could be fitted, doubling the speeds, whilst a few examples have been found with 2-speed motors giving twelve speeds in a much more effective range. Today, if the lathe still has its 3-phase motor, a variable-speed phase inverter would be the ideal solution and allow an owner to get the very best from the system.
Nearly always found as a toolmaker's model with collets retained in the headstock by a draw bar, a screw-feed compound slide rest, screw-feed tailstock and a hand T-rest, the KD50 could also be supplied - despite its miniature proportions - for production use with lever operation of the collet closer, cross and top slide and tailstock..