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Multimachine "Concrete" Lathe
Open Source Project

Part of the Open Source project and meant for use in Developing Countries, the Multimachine is a re-design of an almost forgotten World War 1 shell-making lathe - a machine that brought the inventor, Lucian Yeomans, America's highest engineering award, the Franklin Prize. Click here for a pdf download of the design and constructional details.
Using the plans it's possible to construct a multi-function machine tool based on a lathe small enough to use on a bench, or as large as a railroad car, or even bigger. Instead of custom-made and expensive parts, the  design incorporates a number of money and time-saving suggestions as to elements that can be included in its construction including: engine cylinder blocks, straight steel rods or pipes from junked hydraulic cylinder and piston assemblies, automobile or truck wheel hubs, wood, scrap steel, nuts and bolts, etc.

The basic machine

WW1 shell-turning lathe with a concrete frame designed by Lucien Yeomans and made in Chicago by the Amalgamated machinery Corporation.
A cast concrete assembly was provided with oversize cavities where the metal parts would go. The machined metal elements having been fitted in place, they were secured by pouring a non-shrinking low-melting point alloy over them. Using this method it was possible to assemble a 10-ton lathe in 7.5 hours when conventional methods might take up to 6 months. Entirely successful, his machines went on to turn out turned out millions of highly accurate shells.
A full article on the methods used is here

A modern version of the Lucien Yeomans lathe