Manufactured only during the 1940s - probably from 1947 to 1949 - The Little John Woodturner looked not dissimilar to the Harrison Union Jubilee and (much heavier) Wadkin Type BZL. Made only in very limited numbers, the lathe is rare, with few survivors, and hardly any appearing on the second-hand market. As a simple wood-turning lathe this was an impressively engineered machine for it was, of course, based on the heavily-built Little John metal lathe - but stripped to its essential components and with a speed range more suitable for wood turning. The lathe had its headstock and bed cast as one piece with a centre height of 5.125-inches and a choice of between-centres capacities - 30 or 40 inches.
Constructed of heavy-gauge sheet steel, the headstock pedestal housed the underdrive 0.75 h.p. electric motor - this being mounted on a plate that could be tilted by a foot pedal to slacken the V-belt and so change the four speeds of 570, 1070, 1900 and 3500 rpm. Access to the spindle pulley was provided through a hinged top plate and to the motor by a door cut into the face of the plinth. The No. 2 Morse taper headstock spindle had a square, 6 t.p.i. nose thread (exactly like the metal lathes) and ran in Timken taper roller bearings; it was fitted with a useful brake operated by a handle that protruded through the front face of the headstock. The inner (smaller) faceplate was in cast iron but the 12-inch diameter outer, for bowl turning, was in aluminium and could hold material up to 18-inches in diameter and 5-inches thick.
Electrical control was by a no-volt release safety push-button starter, this being mounted on a substantial cast-iron plate carrying the Little John logo.
Unfortunately, neither the inboard nor outboard tool holder was fitted with a quick release to allow instant repositioning, instead a loose spanner had to be found to unclamp the locking nut. Two T-rests were provided, 6-inches and 12-inches long, both of which could be interchanged between the rests. A rack-driven carriage assembly with a light-duty compound slide rest was on the options' list, together with a saw table and the usual range of chucks and turning tools.
Unfortunately just one work's photograph of the lathe has survived - it can be seen at the bottom of the historic Raglan page here; so, if you have a Raglan "Woodturner" the writer would be interested indeed to know..