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Pool "3-inch Special"
also sold badged "Gamages" in the UK
and "Pexto" in the USA

Pool Home Page   Pool 4-inch Major   Pool Milling Machine

Literature for Pool Lathes is available


In addition to their standard  backgeared and screwcutting 4" x 17" lathe, The Pools Tool Co. also offered a  heavier version fitted with power cross feed and the machine featured on this page, their "3-inch Special". However, this was not a lathe manufactured specially for Pool, but a badge-engineered version of the RandA and available in two versions: the smaller had 12" between centres and  a cantilever bed on a single foot| while the larger (still with a 3-inch centre height) had a capacity of 20 inches and a foot under the tailstock end of the bed. Both were gap-bed, backgeared and screwcutting and sourced through the London firm of Ross and Alexander, that Company listing the sort-bed version as the Model A and the long-bed as the Model B. In addition to supplying the Pool Tool Company, Ross and Alexander also branded the machines for sale through large UK retailers and mail-order companies such as Tyzack and Gamages. There was also an interesting "cross-fertilisation" amongst many UK-based manufacturers of small lathes with examples of Zyto lathes being badged as RandA and some models as both Winfield and Grayson - obviously to fill a gap in their respective makers' rather narrow model ranges. Interestingly, the Winfield-badged RandA was fitted with a tumble-reverse drive to the leadscrew, a useful feature missing (so far as is known) from all other versions. The lathe was also sold in the USA, badged as the "Pexto" by the Peck, Stow and Wilcox Company of Southington, Connecticut, USA. To further confuse matters, the Model B (or at least some versions of it) were, until 1935, built in Sheffield by Charles Portass and Company.
Pool advertised their lathe as the "
3-inch Special", though with some sales literature showing a lathe marked "'38 Pool Special" - presumably a reference to 1938, the year when an improved model with a separate backgeared headstock and changewheel guarding became available. Three examples marked "38" have come to light, one a long bed the other two short.
While the 4-inch Major sold for 24 Guineas (in reality 25 : 4s : 0d - a Guinea being a pound and a shilling) and the Special 13 : 7s : 6d, the 3-inch was a very more modest 6 : 19s : 6d in short-bed form and 7 : 15s : 0d as a long bed - prices that were, at the time, just a little less than two weeks' wages for a skilled man.  The "Special" was available with either 3-step flat-belt or V-belt drive, in the former case with a neat, self-contained but expensive (3 : 3s : 0d) countershaft not dissimilar to that used on the 4-inch special..

Maker's post card as issued circa 1939

Later version 3-inch Pool Special with the pair of leadscrew clasp nuts operated by a snail-cam cam mechanism.

The first lathes had their single-sided leadscrew nut engaged by a snap-action lever

Last version: the "Pools 38 Special" with V-belt drive and backgear and changewheel guards

Earlier Pools 3" Special as built by Ross & Alexander of London


The same machine as the "3-inch Special" above  - a Randa Type A

The very rare Pool '38 Special by Randa (with the seldom-found V-belt drive). The top part of the countershaft is original - as it the period motor

With a little ingenuity (and a spacer at the tailstock end of the leadscrew) it's possible to arrange a compounded drive to the leadscrew - so giving a much finer feed and consequently better surface finishes

Spacer to allow the leadscrew-mounted gear to mesh with the compounded changewheel train

'38 Pool Special (Randa) in its short-bed 3" x 12" form


Pool Home Page   Pool 4-inch Major   Pool Milling Machine

Literature for Pool Lathes is available

Pool 3-inch "Special"
also sold badged "Gamages" in the UK
and "Pexto" in the USA


E-Mail Tony@lathes.co.uk 
Home    Machine Tool Archive    Machine Tools For Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Machine Tool Catalogues   Belts   Accessories   Books