email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Murad Bormilathe
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Literature is available for Murad machine tools

The Murad Bormilathe (provisional Patent 18077/59) was first produced in the late 1950s and manufactured until the late 1960s. It was certainly an unusual machine; the headstock and No. 3 Morse taper tailstock each being mounted on independent vertical slides and capable of adjustment to give a centre height of between 3.5 and 7 inches. The lathe, which was backgeared and screwcutting with cast-iron clasp nuts to the 0.75" diameter, Acme-form leadscrew, could accommodate just 10" between centres and, by replacing the cross slide with a 7" x 8.375" boring table, could also be used for horizontal milling - the milling arbor being helped by a 3 Morse taper in the spindle nose complete with drive slots. Few accessories were available but included a saw-bench attachment and various sizes of faceplate.
Running in pre-loaded angular-contact bearings (with no obvious means of lubrications and so presumably grease-filled "for life") the spindle had a bore of 0.78"; The electric motor, a special "Bronson" unit (built in the Murad factory) was made for the Bormilathe and featured a swinging bracket on the end designed to keep the belt tension correct as the headstock was elevated. It was available as either a standard single-speed model or (at considerable extra cost) with an integral gearbox with three ratios of 1:1, 1:2 and 1:3; with this type fitted, and in conjunction with belt changes and backgear, a total of  twelve spindle speeds were available between 44 and 1750 r.p.m. With the motor set to the 1:1 ratio spindle speeds were 132, 328, 700 and 1750 rpm; at 2:1 the speeds became 66, 164, 350 and 875 rpm and at 3:1 they changed to 44, 109, 233 and 583 rpm. The expensive Bronson motor was also offered by the Murad Company as a separate item to drive other small machine tools.
A Bormilathe was taken on the Sir Vivian Fuchs's Trans-Antarctic Expedition and numbers were employed in the workshops of the UK Atomic Energy Authority and various universities. The Royal navy also used them and it confirmed that during the 1960s the frigate HMS Scarborough was so equipped.
Mr Wadia Murad was, by all accounts, an interesting person, widely gifted in engineering matters and with several inventions to his name. His original factory was in Watford and his second (with permission granted from the Ministry of Supply in 1946) in Stocklake, Aylesbury; from there a final move was made to an industrial development area in remote Sheppy. During the Second World war he laid down plans for a Murad car, roughly along the lines of a large English Humber with an engine of Murad's own design and execution - of which only one example was built. By the late 1970s a combination of industrial recession and a particular downturn in the market for small capstan lathes led Murad to advertise his concern for sale in October 1980. Unfortunately there were no takers and the company closed. When the Sheppey factory was being cleared in the early 1980s the prototype car and boxes of parts and plans came to light. Fortunately the plans were saved from the demolition men's fire by, literally, the snatch of a hand and secured for safe keeping.
Murad also made two versions of a conventional  5-inch centre height lathe that was fitted with car-type "Thinwall" white-metal bearing shells in the headstock -  the Cadet and Antarctica. However, the Company was perhaps best known for a range of small, compact but strongly-built capstan lathes. Those who have owned both the Bormilathe and conventional Murad lathes comment upon the superiority of the latter in terms of detailing and finish - the Bormilathe being decidedly crude in comparison.
If anyone has an example of the conventional 5-inch lathe, or a Murad Capstan, the writer would be interested to hear from you..

Murad Bormilathe. Heavily art-worked, this catalogue picture disguises the fact that the finish left a lot to be desired

The apron used a single-sided leadscrew clasp nut, held in dovetail ways, with an opposing thrust pad

Drive from leadscrew to headstock was transmitted by a Woodruff key - the screws merely held the nut in position; the same principle was applied to the tailstock and milling table

End view of the Bormilathe with the gear-guard covers removed

The 17/8" diameter x 8 t.p.i spindle nose was slotted to provide a positive drive to the horizontal milling arbor.

Mr. Edgar T. Westbury, at the time Editor of the "Model Engineer" Magazine, shown operating a Bormilathe at the National Models Exhibition in London, January, 1960. In line with contemporary practice the display lathe would have been given a superior cosmetic finish for the show.

Machining a car brake drum

Milling the edge of a steel plate

Turning a taper with the tailstock column set over

Screwcutting a backplate

Set up for horizontal milling with the T-slotted boring table in place

Machining a follow-on press tool for the manufacture of a tag washer. The punch plate, stripper and die were dowelled together and machined as a unit. The process involved using the Bormilathe for drilling, reaming, boring and end milling

Thread cutting between centres

Milling slots in an angle plate

Although the "Hanmmerite" paint finish does nothing to flatter the appearance of this Bormilathe the finish of the lathe was poor with noticeably rough castings.

A particularly fine and original Murad. In the hands of one English owner for 55 years and now in the custody of Mr. Murad nephew in the United States

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools for Sale & Wanted
Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books   Accessories

Murad Bormilathe
Murad Home Page   Murad Antarctica Lathe   Murad CADET   
Murad Capstan   Bronson Motor  Memories of Murad   
Murad Factory   Murad Car   Other Products

Literature is available for Murad machine tools