The Meriden "Improved Forming Slide" The aim of this slide was to provide a range of adjustments which would accommodate sufficient travel to apply a forming tool (on the 20 inch lathe) to metal a little over 5 inches in diameter. The device consisted of a saddle (S) which fitted the lathe bed and formed with a pin (X) around which the upper slideway (W) could hinge. The hinging movement was controlled by a worm (N) and wheel (O) gearing controlled by the handle (M); two rods (A and B) locked the setting. The tool slide movement was controlled by the handle (D). In the region of the tool holders ((G, H and I) movements were provided between the plates (E) and (F) so that tools could be set to cut the correct diameter at each end of a job whilst a radial movement was allowed around the screw (G). Screws (K) and (L) were to adjust the setting of the rear tool post. Once the job had been correctly set (with, no doubt the usual empirical experimentation) and the setting locked , the piece-rate workers allowed to get their brutal hands on it.
Single-movement, plain-forming, lever-operated Tool Slide with rack & pinion drive.
Auxiliary Tool Holder (note the elevation of the slide) An unusually constructed rear tool holder was mounted on two posts; a series of special fittings was available to take advantage of the unit's easy adjustment. Note the screwed construction of the front T slot; once a commonly used method it is still a relatively quick and easy way of producing a T-slotted assembly with simple materials and a minimum of tools.
Still manufactured in the 21st Century for the use of turners who need a simple, reliable and inexpensive way of producing short runs of identical items, the tailstock-mounted indexing capstan toolholder was first available in late Victorian times. The Meriden company referred to theirs (in 1907) as the "Almond Turret" - possibly the name of a propriety unit popular at the time …
Like most "plain" lathes of the day, the Meriden could be set up to do ordinary production work with a capstan unit and a cut-off/forming slide.