Manufactured in the heart of Glasgow (just behind the Central Train Station) at 1, Cardogan Street by the long-forgotten Scottish Precision Engineering Company, the "Meteor" wood-turning lathe must have been current during the 1950s. As no technical data for the model is to hand, one might surmise from its appearance that the centre height was around 4 inches and the capacity between centres 24 inches or so. O f simple but very robust construction - even to some eyes over-engineered for its purpose - the lathe had its headstock tailstock and end foot in cast iron with very deep bolted-on bed rails.
Protected by a heavy cover in cast iron over the headstock, drive to the headstock pulley came from a hinged, cast aluminium countershaft bolted to the underside of the bench - the arrangement mirroring that used on the Myford ML8 - with a 4-step, A-section V-pulley on the headstock being driven directly from the electric motor. Almost certainly supported in good-sized ball races, the spindle would have had a useful range of speeds, likely to have been in the region of 700, 1140, 1780 and 3000 r.p.m.
Simple, lever-released T-rests were used on the flat-topped bed with, protruding through the outer face of the headstock casting, a boss onto which clamped the maker's tilting sanding table and a bowl-turning rest.
Also of robust construction, the tailstock had a spindle whose threaded end ran through the handwheel, this being retailed in the simplest way possible by a thick washer that engaged with a grove cut into the periphery of the wheel's boss. Unfortunately the spindle was locked not by a split compression clamp, but a direct-acting screw turned by a plastic handwheel - crude, but no doubt it was adequate for its purpose.
For lathe with what must have been a limited production run - the writer has only ever seen two examples- it appears to have been a well-finished machine with no compromises as to weight or specification.
Another rare Scottish-built wood-turning lathes from the 1950s included the round-bed Rollo and rather unusual Lumsden Woodworker.
Should any reader have another example of the Meteor, the writer would be interested to hearing from you..