email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Parkinson "Parkson" Lathe

Far better known for their range of milling machines, Parkinson also manufactured, from approximately 1890 to 1918, a range of conventional centre (engine) lathes. The model shown below, with its distinctive 5-spoke apron handwheel and marked "War Finish" would have been constructed during WW1 (1914-1918).
With a centre height of 6.5 in and 6-foot long bed, this was a robust machine intended for use in a general engineering or repair shop. The makers described it as their
Anglo-American lathe'.... designed to combine the best features of the English and American types'. - and indeed it did bear a resemblance to contemporary Lodge and Shipley models (and the dainty tumbler reverse trigger was almost a carbon copy of that fitted to the American Pond). However, the bed was a traditional English type with flat-topped ways, massive 60-degree edge shears and channel-type cross bracing webs. The apron, with power feeds driven by flat belt through a separate shaft, reflected American practice of the time with rotary-handle-operated clutches for surfacing and sliding and the carriage-traverse handwheel on the left. One unusual - and most useful - features was the huge mandrel bore, a clear 2" clear all the way through, though this caused there to be insufficient room to machine the nose with a Morse taper insert (this was a standard feature, not a previous owner's  modification, and mentioned in the sales literature). As on most-pre-WW1 machine tools (and the introduction of cut-down, material-saving sizes) everything was together with heavy, Whitworth-headed bolts.
If any reader have a Parkinson lathe the writer would be interested to hear from you.

The bed of the lathe stripped and cleaned--and showing remarkably little wear or damage

Underside of the Parkson bed showing the straight cross webs formed as inverted channels


Typical of the period: long spindle bronze bearings held in what were once known as "boxes"

"Tumble-reverse" gears to alter the direction of rotation of the leadscrew


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Parkinson "Parkson" Lathe