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Makers of "Bench Precision" Lathes

- defined as: plain-turning (non-screwcutting), high-precision lathes intended

for toolmaking and light production work -

 

Almost all makes of what are commonly refered to as "Precision Bench Lathes" can be divided into three types,
each sharing the same bed - and often headstock - but designed for different operations.

(a) toolroom: fitted with screw-feed cross and top slides, a screw-feed tailstock spindle and often a headstock collet system with
a simple draw-tube to hold them in place, this type being intended for one-off jobs of a simple nature
(b) second-operation: set up for fixed operations as part of a production process where quickness
of operation was important. These versions were equipped with lever feeds to the slide-rest assembly and
tailstock and a quick-action lever closer to hold collets in the headstock
(c) production: fitted, instead of a slide-rest assembly and tailstock, with a bed-mounted 6-station
indexing capstan unit and a lever-operated cut-off slide with front and back toolposts (in the USA referred to as
"forming slide") and a lever-operated collet closer.
Sometimes each version shared the same stand and drive system, but those from more established and successful makers were often
offered in a variety of different configurations designed for specific proposes. In addition, several variations of the stand or drive were
listed to meet even more detailed requirements - for example, the Swiss Schaublin company offered their 102 models in an almost bewildering variety
of choices and combinations including standard V-belt drive, infinitely-variable speed units, speed-reducing mechanisms for extra slow r.p.m.,
combined brake and clutches to reduce slowing down and speeding up times, mechanical reversing systems to save motors from burning
out and a number of special control devices to make life easier for the operator including pedal and knee-operated reversing switches – and
swing-out chairs….Versions designed and built especially for use in watch, clock and instrument factories were also listed together with others intended
for much heavier-duty tasks in ordinary workshops.
Headstocks, too, were often available in a number of different versions with, for example, the English Smart & Brown Company
listing, for their Model “L” lathes, the types PLH, PRH, PSH, PDH, PGH and PFH - each produced in four models, A, B, C and D
to suit a particular production process and equipped with the most appropriate drive system, spindle speed range and
collet capacity. Amongst other makers, Schaublin and Mikron also listed a wide range of options: the latter providing
a choice of over thirteen different types (with some, like the large-bore versions, listed in four additional varieties)
and Schaublin over twenty - with some of these appearing never to have been listed in the maker's sales catalogues.
Most headstocks on bench precision lathes were driven directly by a smooth-running flat-belt driven but, occasionally,
ones are found with a conventional backgear system or even - most desired and sought-after of all - with epicyclic
reduction gearing neatly encased within the diameter of the largest spindle pulley. Links on lathes.co.uk

America
http://www.lathes.co.uk/ames
http://www.lathes.co.uk/bottum
http://www.lathes.co.uk/cataract
http://www.lathes.co.uk/derbyshire
http://www.lathes.co.uk/elgin
http://www.lathes.co.uk/hardinge
http://www.lathes.co.uk/hjorth
http://www.lathes.co.uk/levin
http://www.lathes.co.uk/w.w.oliver
http://www.lathes.co.uk/pearce
http://www.lathes.co.uk/potter
http://www.lathes.co.uk/pratt & whitney
http://www.lathes.co.uk/remington
http://www.lathes.co.uk/rivett
http://www.lathes.co.uk/sloan & chace
http://www.lathes.co.uk/stark
http://www.lathes.co.uk/UND
http://www.lathes.co.uk/vannorman
http://www.lathes.co.uk/wade
http://www.lathes.co.uk/waltham

Of other known US makers few details survive,
these including: Ballou (sometimes found badged as
 "Waterhouse Electric & Mfg. Co.), Ballou & Whitcombe, Moseley (Elgin),
Engineering Appliance Co. (Jamestown, N.Y.), Sawyer Watch Tool Co.,
Fenn-Sadler. and the "Cosa Corporation of New York"

England
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Allanson
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Benson
http://www.lathes.co.uk/BWC
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Beswick (C.H. Joyce)
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Cromwell
http://www.lathes.co.uk/CVA
http://www.lathes.co.uk/George-Adams
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Holbrook
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Pultra
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Smart & Brown Model L
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Vidal
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Woodhouse-Mitchell

France
http://www.lathes.co.uk/ARE
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Codima
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Crouzet/page3.html
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Jenny
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Precis
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Prudor
http://www.lathes.co.uk/SOMBV
http://www.lathes.co.uk/strube

Germany
http://www.lathes.co.uk/Lorch (Lorch Schmidt)
http://www.lathes.co.uk/auerbach
http://www.lathes.co.uk/benzinger
http://www.lathes.co.uk/boley
http://www.lathes.co.uk/hommel
http://www.lathes.co.uk/karger
http://www.lathes.co.uk/kuhlmann
http://www.lathes.co.uk/leinen/page3.html
http://www.lathes.co.uk/pittler
http://www.lathes.co.uk/rambold
http://www.lathes.co.uk/rebmann
http://www.lathes.co.uk/saacke
http://www.lathes.co.uk/saupe
http://www.lathes.co.uk/see (FSB)
http://www.lathes.co.uk/scherzinger
http://www.lathes.co.uk/schlitt
http://www.lathes.co.uk/traub
http://www.lathes.co.uk/unispan
http://www.lathes.co.uk/weiler/page3.html
http://www.lathes.co.uk/weisser
http://www.lathes.co.uk/wolfjahn/page4.html

Hungry
http://www.lathes.co.uk/csepel

Japan
http://www.lathes.co.uk/eguro
http://www.lathes.co.uk/riken
http://www.lathes.co.uk/toyo

Switzerland
http://www.lathes.co.uk/agathon
http://www.lathes.co.uk/brequet
http://www.lathes.co.uk/carstens (branded "Swisten" in the UK)
http://www.lathes.co.uk/dan (Christen)
http://www.lathes.co.uk/habegger
http://www.lathes.co.uk/juvenia
http://www.lathes.co.uk/mikron
http://www.lathes.co.uk/schaublin
http://www.lathes.co.uk/simonet

Unknown
http://www.lathes.co.uk/stb