Not an Astoba, Hommel or Unispan with a more lathe-like base plate, but a version built in Poland. Examples found have badges that differ, some being labelled Oswiecim (Auschwitz) and others from a technical college in the town of Bytom , in southern Poland - the likelihood being that they were made in one central plant and the machines badged for each individual college. Manufactured during the early to mid 1980s, in then-communist controlled Poland, like the original West German version, this was a small machine with a 85 mm centre height, a clearance over the cross slide of 45 mm and taking 258 mm between centres. The carriage traverse was 190 mm and that of the cross slide 130 mm.
Driven by a 0.3 kW motor, the 15 mm bore, No. 2 Morse taper spindle had 14 spindle speeds that spanned a useful 123 to 2610 r.p.m. With the vertical attachment mounted the maximum clearance between spindle nose and bed was 98 mm, the head having a travel of 262 mm; the makers stipulated a maximum drilling capacity of 10 mm. Bench mounted, the machine took up, as a lathe, a space of 805 mm long by 280 mm high and 520 mm deep front to back; with the milling and drilling attachment in place it stood 1150 high and weighed 76 kg.
The lathe was, it is reported, manufactured specifically for the "Workshop School, Ministry of Education" and intended for a educational programme, similar to an engineering apprentice, in a Government "Special Needs" school: Zasadnicza Szkola Zawodowa Tow. Salezjanskiego w Oswiecimiu. (Basic Vocational School of Salesian Society in Oswiecim)
Reports indicate that this was intended to find some way of making the children "useful" to the regime. However, the writer would imagine that greater value for money could have been obtained by providing a greater number of simple, conventional lathes, such as the "SL2a" made in East Germany
Should any reader be able to provide further pictures of this interesting multi-function machine - the writer would be delighted to hear from you..