email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Rambold Lathes


Manufactured in Germany by Friedrich Rambold KG of Villengen (and marketed in the USA by the Symar Company of 5277 Jefferson Boulevard, Los Angles 16, California) the Rambold precision lathe was available in various models with centre heights from 5 to 6 inches. Typical of the company's products was the Model S.1480: designed as a very high-quality turret lathe for the production of precision parts to the finest tolerances, it had its bed and headstock cast as one rigid piece, the bed aping "precision bench lathe" practice in having a flat top with bevelled-edged side faces to locate the headstock and other fittings. In addition to capstan fittings, the Rambold could also be fitted with a compound slide-rest assembly and tailstock - under the maker's designation of "THC" - whereby it was converted into a toolmakers' miniature plain lathe. The slide rest was beautifully made, with cross and longitudinal travels of 3.375" and 4.25" respectively and large, clearly-engraved zeroing micrometer dials calibrated in 0.0005" increments.
With a hole sufficiently large to pass a bar 13/32" in diameter, the headstock spindle was hardened and ground and ran on three sealed-for-life precision ball races. The nose carried a 1.875-inch diameter thread and accepted dead-length collets with a maximum through bore of 3/8" - or up to 0.5" for second-operation work. The collets are believed to be a Type TF13 as used on some Swiss-Auto lathes by Tornos A quick-action collet closer, ruggedly constructed of hardened and ground parts, and designed to absorb industrial levels of use, was fitted as standard; it could be quickly removed and replaced by an ordinary draw-tube type that was offered as an option.
Supplied as part of the regular equipment, and mounted under the headstock on the inside of the maker's sheet metal stand, was a 2-speed, 1/2 and 3/4 h.p. motor that drove up to the 3-step headstock pulley by a V-belt; 6 spindle speeds were available, with an excellent spread:  650, 1300, 2200, 3250, 4400 and 6500 r.p.m.
Of particularly fine design and construction, the turret assembly used hardened and ground components throughout and with the 6-hole head carried on three ball races; the unit was sized to accept tooling with shanks 5/8" in diameter and the ram had a maximum stroke of 1.75 inches; the greatest clearance possible between the spindle nose and the turret face 6 inches. A lever-operated cut-off and forming slide, with a maximum travel of 1.5 inches, was part of the standard production equipment and carried both front and rear rocker-style toolposts and adjustable length stops; a useful option for this assembly was a ready-to-fit Prismatic Magnifier designed to assist in the manufacture of very small parts.
13.5-inch long, the hand-scraped bed was constructed in the form of a cantilever - the absence of a foot at the tailstock end removed the possibility of distortion as it was bolted down - and followed traditional precision bench-lathe practice in having inverted dovetail edges and a single central T-slot to accepted the fastening pins of the slides and tailstock. If a slightly longer bed had been used - or one offered as an option - the Rambold might have been much more useful machine, especially in centre-lathe form for, by the time a 3-jaw chuck was mounted (even a very slim, ring-scroll precision type), only work some 6-inches long could be fitted "between centres".
Included as part of the THC toolmakers' lathe conversion kit was a useful lever-locked tailstock with a 3-inch travel, 7/8" diameter spindle with a No. 1 Morse socket.
Constructed from 5 mm welded sheet-steel, all the stands were very heavily built and included a deep chip tray and built-in electrical controls..

A Rambold set up as a capstan lathe with a 6-station turret, cut-off slide and lever-action collet closer

Rambold arranged as a toolmaker's lathe with a screw-feed compound slide rest assembly and the possibility of mounting a tailstock

3-speed drive to the headstock spindle by an "A" section V-belt


The standard-equipment turret assembly was of particularly fine construction, hardened and ground throughout and carrying a six-hole, three-ball-bearing supported head that accepted tooling with a 5/8-inch diameter shank; the maximum turret stroke was 1.75 inches and the greatest clearance possible between the spindle nose and the turret face 6 inches. A lever-operated cut-off and forming slide with a maximum travel of 1.5 inches was part of the standard production equipment and carried both front and rear rocker-style toolposts and adjustable length stops.

The Rambold S.1480 fitted with the maker's "THC" conversion kit of compound slide rest and tailstock that turned the machine into a superb "toolmakers' miniature precision plain lathe".

A quick-action collet closer, ruggedly constructed of hardened and ground parts, and designed to absorb industrial levels of use, was fitted as standard; it could be quickly removed and replaced by an ordinary draw-tube type that was offered as an option.  The headstock spindle carried a 3-step V-belt pulley.

A compound slide and tailstock, under the maker's designation of "THC", was available to convert the machine into a toolmakers' miniature precision plain lathe.

The compound slide was beautifully made, with cross and longitudinal travels of 3.375" and 4.25" respectively and large, clearly-engraved zeroing micrometer dials calibrated in 0.0005" increments.

An ordinary draw-tube type collet closer was offered as an option.

The turret assembly was of particularly fine construction with hardened and ground components throughout and with the 6-hole head carried on three ball races; it was sized to accept tooling with a 5/8-inch diameter shank and had a maximum ram stroke of 1.75 inches. The greatest clearance possible between the spindle nose and the turret face 6 inches. A lever-operated cut-off and forming slide, with a maximum travel of 1.5 inches, was part of the standard production equipment and carried both front and rear rocker-style toolposts and adjustable length stops.

Dead-length collets as used on the Rambold

A prismatic Magnifier mounted to assist in the production of very small parts


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Rambold Lathes