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Raglan Capstan Lathes

Raglan Home Page   Little John Mk. 1    Factory Pictures

Raglan Wood Lathe   Raglan Loughborough Training Lathe   Accessories   Raglan Miller

Copies of both the Little John Mk. 1 & 2 and Raglan "Five-Inch" Operator's Handbooks
with Special Screwcutting Charts are available

New Variable-speed drive belts   New top slide castings

Raglan Mk. 1 Capstan: based closely on the standard "Little John" centre lathe
Available in various configurations, the version above is shown fitted with the optional power-feed turret slide; also available was a fully powered carriage together with an automatic sliding feed knock-off, actuated by a four-station rotary stop. The cross-slide was fitted with rotating, multi-position stop (the knob to change the setting can be seen just to the left of the cross-feed handle). Fitted with the normal Raglan mechanical variable-speed drive, the headstock also had, in addition, a lever-operated multi-plate clutch that allowed an almost instant stop start. The standard speed range was 290 to 1750 r.p.m but, when fitted with the double, multi-plate clutch that allowed the spindle to run either forwards or backwards a wider choice became available: with both motor and double clutch set to run forwards speeds were 95 to 585 r.p.m. and 275 to 1670 r.p.m. while reversing the motor gave forward speeds of 140 to 865 r.p.m. and a reverse range of 275 to 1670 r.p.m.
Various special versions of the lathe were offered including a
Brass Finishers' Turret Lathe, illustrated below. 
After the introduction of the "Raglan Five-inch" centre lathe the Capstan was developed into a Mk. 2 version - a machine that included elements of the new design and was further improved by the fitting of two electromagnetic clutch units to speed up the engagement of  high and low spindle speeds. 
Although most small capstan lathes are scrapped at the end of their useful life, the Raglan - being such a handy and compact lathe - survived for longer than most being handed down to  small workshops where only occasional batch work was undertaken. Even so, today they are rare.

In of the ordinary cut-off slide on the standard machine, a proper carriage was available. The example shown has hand traverse along the bed, a 4-way front toolpost and a rear toolpost for parting off or forming.

Also on the options' list was this powered carriage with drive provided by a keyed shaft and equipped with automatic knock off - the same 4 position rotating stop as used on the hand-feed carriage being fitted.

Powered turret with automatic knock-off facility

Optional power feed to the Turret Slide and Apron was through a feed-shaft driven by a two-stage V belt from the headstock spindle.

Plain version of the Mk. 1 raglan capstan with hand-operated capstan turret and a simple lever-operated cut-off slide

The rarest of all Raglan Accessories -  the Thread Chasing Attachment with its travel bar supported in a specially-cast headstock top with, in this case, rear-mounted brackets. However, another design has been discover, shown in the photographs below: this installation employed a rather heavier headstock cover, a tool holder adapted from that used on the ordinary centre lathe and a much longer, spring-loaded  toolpost support arm that was braced at its tailstock by a substantial cast-iron bracket. The arm could be moved longitudinally against spring pressure by a handle carried in the headstock top cover.

Brass Finishers Turret Lathe fitted with a universal Turret Slide. The turret, which could be swivelled and traversed across the bed, was quickly advanced by the usual capstan handle but could also be moved slowly by a handwheel on the end. 
A Thread Chasing Attachment (illustrated right and below) was also available for this lathe, enabling the rapid production of external and internal threads to be achieved with relative ease by semi-skilled machinists. Raglan termed this method of thread production "Hob & Drag". For a general explanation of how the system works, click HERE - and follow the other links.

Raglan capstan lathe with thread-chasing attachment. This particular installation appears to be a more robust design than that which appeared in the maker's publicity material

The end of the toolpost support arm was braced at its tailstock end by a substantial cast-iron bracket.

Raglan thread "masters" and associated bronze followers.

The Raglan Mk. 2 Capstan. Using many of the same conversion parts as the Mk. 1, the Mk. 2 was based on the much improved and newly-introduced  Raglan Five-inch centre lathe. Available, like its predecessor, in various configurations, that shown above has the optional power feed mechanism to both turret slide and saddle - the latter also fitted with an automatic knock-off, actuated by a four-station rotary stop. The headstock was fitted with the normal Raglan mechanical variable-speed drive but was provided, in addition, with two electro-magnetic clutches that allowed an almost instantaneous change from high to low speed and back again. Using a single-speed motor (and controlled by a simple switch on the headstock) two stepless speed ranges were available: 85 to 500 r.p.m. on the lower setting and 285 to 1750 r.p.m on the higher. See below for details of how the system worked..

A view showing, at the rear, the traditional Raglan mechanical variable-speed drive system and, inside the headstock, one of a pair of electromagnetic clutches through which the spindle was driven

One of few survivors - a Mk. 2 Raglan capstan lathe

Raglan Home Page   Little John Mk. 1    Factory Pictures

Raglan Wood Lathe   Raglan Loughborough Training Lathe   Accessories

Raglan Capstan Lathes

Copies of both the Little John Mk. 1 & 2 and Raglan "Five-Inch" Operator's Handbooks
with Special Screwcutting Charts are available

New Variable-speed drive belts   New top slide castings

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