and a large doubled ended grinder
Virtually unknown and seldom found, the British-built "Milford" wood lathe must have been, from its general appearance, current during the 1950s and 1960s. Similar in layout and size to the well-known Harrison Jubilee and Graduate lathes, it was, like the latter machine, strongly built from cast iron ensuring that, despite its modest dimensions, it would have been a stable and vibration-free platform. However, as on so many other wood lathes, the makers scrimped by fitting headstock and tailstock spindles with No. 1 Morse centres instead of the far more robust and useful No. 2. Although not confirmed, by the appearance of their housings, the spindle bearings are likely to have been ball races (and was the spindle nose thread 1" x 8 t.p.i.?).
Of approximately 6-inch centre height and admitting 30 inches between centres, the lathe had a bowl-turning unit fitted to the left-hand face of the robust headstock-end plinth. Like most lathes of this pattern, including the Viceroy TDS and Wadkin Models RS, RU RUH, BZL, BXL and BHL-150, the plinth also held the 1425 r.p.m. electric motor that drove directly to the spindle by a single A-section V-belt. Four speeds were provided, most likely to be similar to those of the Harrison Union Jubilee at 425, 790, 1330 and 2250 r.p.m.
As the headstock-mounted maker's badge appears to be part of the casting and not screwed on (as indeed was the switch box) - it would appear the actual maker was indeed a Company called 'Milford'.
One example of the lathe found has a tag riveted to the tailstock end of the bed's front face shows that Milford must, at one time, have been part of the very large B. Elliott & Co. (BEC) group for, in addition to BEC, it proclaims "In all correspondence regarding this machine order replacement parts from your supplier of this machine". Presumably, this is a cop-out to stop BEC from bothering to deal with this minnow in their organisation (in 1966 the Company was renamed the Elliott Machine Tool Group, with B. Elliott (Machinery) Ltd. as a subsidiary).
Another machine branded Milford has emerged, an industrial-class double-ended grinder - one wonders what else they might have made. If you have, or know of, other machine tools my Milford, or know anything about the Company, the writer would be interested to hear from you..