email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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"Olympic" Lathe


Manufactured by either Mr. Freddie Coals, at his machine tool factory just off the North Circular Road in London, or by the Burnett Machine Tool Company of Mytongate in Hull (makers of the very similar Granville "Star") the "Olympic" lathe was marketed by the once well-known Rex Hacksaw & Tool Company of Wembley, Middlesex. It was, essentially, an improved version of the Granville Senior, sold for some years in the early 1950s by Corbett's (Lathes) Ltd. of Nottingham.
With a 4-inch centre height (thought to have actually been 4.25") the Olympic was offered with a choice of between-centres capacities: 21.5", 24" and 36" that gave overall bed length of 38.5", 48.5" and 53" respectively.
Flat-topped and 4.5-inches wide, the bed used the same carriage guiding principle as the Myford ML7, with narrow vertical ways and the thrust taken not on the full length of the saddle, but instead on a short vertical face on its underside. Other aspects of the lathe were also ML7: the tailstock was virtual copy, as was the apron and the T-slotted cross slide. The headstock was, however, rather better and fitted with a hardened and ground 0.82" bore spindle running in Skefco tapered roller races with its nose bored No. 3 Morse taper, threaded 1
3/8" x 8 t.p.i. and backed by a 1.437" register--not quite up to South Bend 9-inch or Boxford standards, but close.
12 spindle speeds were provided, from 40 to 1800 r.p.m, obtained by the use of a very heavy, all-cast-iron countershaft bolted to the back of the bed. The 1425 r.p.m. 0.5 h.p. motor carried a double-diameter pulley and there were three direct-drive speeds to the headstock and a 6:1 ratio, full-width backgear.
Screwcutting was by changewheels (with the option of a Boxford-like gearbox that must have been identical to that offered for the Granville "Star" lathe) with 14 included in a set that also contained a 127 metric transposing wheel. The drive passed through an ordinary tumble-reverse mechanism - fitted with an easy-to-grip Myford-type acorn-shaped plastic knob on the end of its spring-plunger indent operating lever.
Looking very like the unit fitted to the Granville senior, the carriage assembly had 8.5-inch long saddle wings, a full-length, T-slotted cross slide with 6 inches of travel (rather than the 5" of the Myford ML7) and a 180 swivel top slide with a degree scale graduated at intervals of 1. The micrometer dials zeroed and were marked in intervals of 0.001".
A full range of the accessories was offered including a set of draw-tube Crawford C3 collets from 1/16th to 1/2" with a nose-piece adaptor and spindle thread cover; Burnerd 3 and 4-jaw chucks;  plain and swivelling milling slides together with a proper machine vice; fixed and travelling steadies and a cabinet stand.
Complete with motor and countershaft, the Olympic weighed from 230 to 250 lbs.



email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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"Olympic" Lathe