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Milnes R-Type Lathe
Milnes R-Type Very Early Milnes Lathe Milnes 1920s 13" Photographs
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Milnes DF-4 Lathe (Denham)
Literature is available for the Milnes R-Type lathe and other Milnes machines
Manufactured from the late 1800s until the 1920s, the 4" x 20" Milnes Model "R" (and the variants based on it) was a heavily-built and well-specified machine. Sold at a premium price it enjoyed something of a reputation as being the "Rolls-Royce" of small lathes and was bought in considerable numbers - of which many survive. The machine shown below does shows some modifications and concessions to modernity - a Dickson-type quick-set toolholder, a conversion to V-belt drive, a very low-speed drive to the leadscrew through worm gearing and an unusually long tailstock barrel - but of more interest are the original design features: the typically-English flat bed; the overarm bracing the headstock bearings, and the oil tubes on the front of the headstock, probably indicating that the bearings are wick fed from an oil sump; the extended front to the casting of the (exceptionally wide) T-slotted cross slide that enabled a substantially increase travel to be obtained); the very long saddle covering almost one-third of the bed and the deep gap and ornamental sweep of the bed under the headstock - both of which would, unfortunately, have contrived to reduced the strength of the bed in torsion. The owner has fitted drip-feed oilers to the headstock bearings, these being absolutely certain in action. However, it is likely (it being so often the case with older machines) that the subtlety of the original wick-feed design, with its spring loaded felts that allowed only oil and not dirt, into the bearings, was not fully appreciated..