MAILTony@lathes.co.uk
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Malcar Lathe

Made during the 1950s by Wragg Brothers Ltd. Machine Tool & General Engineers, of Chapel Street in Leabrooks, Derbyshire, the 4.5" x 20" backgeared, screwcutting and gap-bed Malcar was a lathe of thoroughly conventional design but heavy construction. It is believed that the name "Malcar" originated from combining the names of the company owner's son and daughter, Malcolm and Carol. Advertised for a time during the early and mid 1950s at around 45, the lathe had a centre height almost certainly a little too great for its mass (but allowing a useful competitive advantage over the Myford ML7) and was fitted with large, cap-type phosphor bronze headstock bearings, a large ball race to take the thrust and good-sized, 6 : 1 ratio sliding-engagement backgears. Unfortunately the spindle bearing oiling arrangements were crude, with unprotected holes drilled through the bearing caps to which the owner had to apply an oil can.
Drive to the headstock was by a well-constructed (if simple) integral V-belt countershaft with a neat and effective single-cam belt tensioning arrangement. A 3-step, A-section V-pulley was used to turn the No. 2 Morse taper, 21/32" bore spindle with the belt run and backgears covered by a drop-on aluminium cover retained by short dowel pins. The 4
5/8" wide bed was given a relatively wide (but shallow), non-bridge gap as standard, though this caused (in order to allow the cutting tool to reach the faceplate) the cross slide to be mounted well to the left of the carriage centre line. Drive to the 3/4" by 8 t.p.i. leadscrew was through a tumble reverse mechanism and a set of 20 d.p. changewheels, though early versions may have been fitted with ones of a rather coarser pitch.
Hand drive to the carriage was by a 3-spoke wheel turning though reduction gears before the bed-mounted rack and, although early examples of the lathe had just a flat plate at the end of the T-slotted cross slide to support the feed screw, later versions were given a Myford like extension bracket and a longer screw that made a useful difference to the length of the slide's travel. The top slide was retained by two T-bolts secured in a circular T-slot that allowed the slide to be rotated through 360. Fitted with a No. 2 Morse taper barrel, the tailstock had a self-eject mechanism and could be set over on its base plate for the turning of shallow tapers.
If any reader has knowledge of this make, or owns a Malcar lathe or sales literature the writer would be pleased to hear from you.

"Malcar"  circa 1954

Simple but effective single cam-operated tension device on the maker's integral countershaft

MAILTony@lathes.co.uk
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Malcar Lathe