Do you have a LYN lathe ? If so the writer would be
very interested to hear from you
Very little is known about the "Lyn" lathe, only that they were in production during the late 1940s (1948 is a confirmed date) and probably into the mid 1950s. So far, two models have been identified, the A1, shown on this page, and the TB60, shown lower down Page 2. Both carried a rather fine round or rectangular etched brass plate stating, against a black background: The LYN Lathe , Armitage Engineer, Kirkheaton, Huddersfield" and sometimes: The Lyn Lathe (Super) H Armitage (Machine Tools) Ltd. Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, England. Serial ***** Type A1 and The Lyn Lathe (Super) H Armitage (Machine Tools) Ltd. Kirkheaton, Huddersfield, England. Serial ***** Type TB60
Backgeared and screwcutting, with a centre height of 3.2" and a capacity between centres of 15.5", the Lyn A1 was of entirely conventional construction - and typical of the period for a light machine designed for amateur use - though it stood out for its smooth castings and a good quality, dark-green finish. The bed was fitted with a gap as standard and, while dovetail-edged sides guided the saddle (which, like more expensive lathes had extension wings left and right) the tailstock bore against the square vertical inner faces of the gap between the front and back bed ways. The apron was fitted with double clasp nuts closed down on to the 8 t.p.i leadscrew by a lever tipped with a red plastic knob. The carriage hand drive was properly engineered and passed through reduction gearing to give the correct "handed" action (and improve leverage and slow the feed) with the thrust taken against a bed-mounted rack. The cross slide was not, like so many English lathes of the time, fitted with T slots but of plain section; however, a good-sized, robustly constructed T-slotted boring table was, unusually, included with the standard equipment (and can be seen in the pictures below). The top slide had one unusual feature: a small tray was cast into its top surface to hold the special T-handled key used to tighten the square-headed toolpost nuts. Whilst the toolpost was of the simple "clog-heeled" type (that trapped the turning tool against the top surface of the top slide) it did have a separate hole to mount a round-section boring tool.
Of "open construction", the headstock was and located on the bed by a machined tenon with screws passing through the front of the bed to push it back against the inner vertical way (in the manner also employed on the Myford series 7 lathes). The 3-speed, V-belt drive No. 2 Morse taper spindle ran in generously-sized, half-split bronze bearing (lubricated through small flip-top, direct-feed oil cups) with a ball race at the left-hand face to absorb end thrust. The backgear was carried on an eccentric shaft at the rear of the headstock with the spindle bullwheel locked to the drive pulley by a quickly released, spring-loaded pin.
Screwcutting was by changewheels (two x 20, 25, 30, 35, 38, 40, 45, 50, 55, and 60t) with the drive passing through a tumble-reverse mechanism - though this, unfortunately, was not fitted with a spring-loaded indent; instead, like the popular South Bend 9-inch lathe, the operator was required to slacken a nut so that the unit could swung up and down to engage the appropriate gear for left or right-hand traverse of the carriage. In common with many other cheaper lathes of the time and, in keeping with the then prevailing assumption that you were responsible for your own actions, no guarding was fitted to the backgear, drive belt or changewheels.
Although lighter lathes usually made do with a No. 1 Morse taper tailstock (adequate only for the lightest sort of work), that on the Lyn was a No. 2 and hence much more useful for the wide variety of tasks undertaken by the typical amateur. The tailstock was bolted to the bed by a simple clamp, the through-bolt of which required the services of a loose, self-hiding spanner (though the TB60 was improved by the incorporation of a handle-operated eccentric cross-shaft and draw-bolt).
A simple vertical bracket (with the motor bolted to its rear face), the maker's countershaft was intended to be mounted separately behind the headstock; no form of belt-tensioning was provided but by using a long V-belt at modest tension it was possible to move this from pulley to pulley without too much difficulty - yet still obtain a drive with enough grip for all normal work.
Incredibly, even though aimed at the model-engineering market, no mention of the machine, nor any advertisement for it, appeared in "Model Engineer", a magazine then bought by all serious home hobbyists from aspirant to expert.
If you have a Lyn lathe the writer would be interested to hear from you.