email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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SAUPE LATHES
Saupe Page 2 - Late Model Precision   Saupe Mini-Turn MD200


Sold through the state-controlled WMW-Export Company Saupe lathes were made by Gerhard Saupe KG of 705 Leipzig, Oststrabe 49, who were described as a "Semi-state Enterprise". Located in what was then the totalitarian, communist-controlled GDR the firm was probably no more independent than the rest of the country - yet despite this handicap a long tradition of fine-quality metal working persisted and a firm like Saupe could easily meet the quality standards expected in the West. In addition,, because of low wages and a poor exchange rate, the machines were able to be offered at bargain-basement prices. A number of Saupe models were made, including the Mini-Turn MD200, a version of the better-known Hobbymat MD65 though without that lathe's multi-speed drive system and lacking a power feed to the carriage.
Both early and late versions of the precision were made with, shown towards the top of this page, the DMT 160, a plain-turning, precision lathe of 80 mm centre height and a capacity between centres of approximately 280 mm. The 600 mm-long and 90 mm wide V-way bed and its feet were cast as one, with a reversing switch held inside the headstock-end foot; the ways were hand-scraped to "gauge" tolerances and the makers claimed complete interchangeability and perfect accuracy of mounting for the very wide range of optional extras..
With a 15 mm-bore, the headstock spindle was hardened and ground and ran in a tapered and adjustable bronze bush at the front and a plain cylindrical bearing at the rear; end thrust was taken not by a ball race, but against hardened steel washers. The end of the spindle was, very usefully, formed with both a No. 2 Morse taper and shorter, steeper taper into which collets could be drawn by either a hand-screw tube or quick-action lever assembly - the latter allowing collets to be opened and closed with the lathe running and so adapted for some production processes. The maximum through capacity of the collets was  9 mm and the largest non-draw-through size that could be held 12 mm. Although the spindle end was not threaded, it was possible to mount ordinary 3 and 4-jaw chucks on a backplate that was held in place by a demountable, internally-threaded "safety collar". Fool-proof and easily-checked drip-feed lubricators were fitted to the headstock and were meant to be filled with a special oil "LP 2070".
Like most precision lathe makers, Saupe offered the compound slide rest in various forms with a choice of two screw feeds, lever feed to the cross or top slide in combination with a screw feed on the other axis, lever feed to both slides, a cross slide with two lever-feed top slides and a plain cut-off slide; a special and rather unusual lever-feed vertical slide, designed for cutting bar stock was also listed. All the slides were equipped with mounting points for dial-test indicators and the 1 mm-pitch screws of the precision screw-feed slide were hardened and ground.  A hand T-rest was also offered, mounted on a neat, quickly-adjustable base.
Three designs of tailstock were listed: one with an ordinary screw feed, one lever-(both with their barrel fully supported at any point in its travel in traditional precision-lathe style) and the other a special 4-position "turret "model with a drawbar collet assembly that also accepted collets from 1 to 4 mm in steps of 0.5 mm. The barrel could also be had as a simple hand-pushed type designed to assist in the drilling of very small holes.
Heavily-built, the countershaft was a self-contained unit that bolted to the bench behind the lathe and drove  with standard V-belts. 3-step pulleys, fitted to the motor spindle and at both ends of the countershaft gave, in conjunction with the standard 0.4 kW 1400 rpm motor, 9 speeds of: 560, 710, 900, 1120, 1400, 1800, 2240, 2800 and 3550 rpm.
Offered as a complete machine, ready assembled, or as a kit of parts that could be arranged as desired by the customer; the basic unit consisted of the bed, headstock, countershaft unit together with a 3-phase motor  for a total of 262 (at 1970's prices); to this could be added a choice of components, of which the following are typical examples (all at early 1970's prices): screw-operated compound slide rest 104; lever-operated compound slide 104,; lever-operated tailstock 65; screw-operated tailstock 65; special Drilling Tailstock 114; lever-operated cut-off slide 54; lever-operated vertical cut-ff slide 42; hand support 9.50; quick-action collet attachment; collet set 1 mm to 12 mm in 0.5 mm steps 60.; chuck backplate, safety collar and a 3-jaw chuck 27. Thus, a basic lathe ready to run with a countershaft and motor, bed, headstock, tailstock, screw-feed compound slide rest and a set of collets together with a holder would have been approximately 570; a figure put into context by the 194 asked for a Myford Super 7 in 1972. Interestingly, the Myford almost tripled in price during that inflation-racked (socialist-governed) decade to become 578 by 1978.
Finished in that typical East German shade of "vita" hammer-texture green, with motor, countershaft, compound slide rest and tailstock approximately  the lathe weighed approximately 74 Kg.
The writer would be interested to hear from any reader with a fine-condition, early Saupe - or experience of using any version..

Early-model Saupe DMT160 lathe fitted for ordinary precision turning with both the compound slide rest and tailstock of the screw-driven type.

For production work the Saupe DMT160 could be fitted with a range of collet openers, slides rests and a tailstock all operated by quick-action lever feeds.

Early Saupe for sale on eBay, June 2018

The very different late-model Saupe with its impressive array of accessories

The quick-action collet attachment accepted collets from 1 mm to 12 mm in 0.5 mm steps .

The basic Saupe DMT 160 precision plain-turning lathe consisted of the bed, headstock, countershaft unit together with its 3-phase motor (262 at 1970's prices); to this could be added the usual choice of various kinds of compound slide rests, tailstocks, collet attachments and special fittings.
An important addition was the addition of a speed-regulating countershaft - this being a heavily-built, self-contained unit that bolted to the bench behind the lathe and drove the lathe through standard V belts. With 3-step pulleys fitted to the motor spindle and at both ends of the countershaft, this gave, in conjunction with the standard 0.4 kW 1400 rpm motor, 9 speeds of: 560, 710, 900, 1120, 1400, 1800, 2240, 2800 and 3550 rpm.

Screw-feed precision compound slide rest

Screw-feed cross slide with lever-feed top slide

A rather unusual combination with a lever feed cross slide carrying two swivelling lever-feed top slides.

Lever-action cross and top slides with a rear toolpost mounted on  a T-slotted raiser block and dial-test indicators held in the special maker's holders.

Simple cut-off or "forming" slide.

The unusual "vertical" slide designed  for cutting bar stock.

Quickly-adjustable T hand-rest

Saupe even offered a range of collet-mounted drive-dogs for between-centres work.

4-position "Special Drilling " tailstock with an end that accepted collets from 1 to 4 mm in steps of 0.5 mm. The barrel (its guideways were hardened., ground and lapped) was a simple "push" hand-operated type specially designed to make the drilling of small holes as easy as possible.

The ordinary tailstock could be either screw or lever-operated model and had its barrel, in traditional precision-lathe style, fully supported at any point in its travel

Lever-action version of the standard tailstock spindle equipped with a collet drawbar assembly using the same collets as the headstock.

Although the headstock spindle end was not threaded it was possible to mount ordinary 3 and 4-jaw chucks on a backplate that was held in place by a demountable, internally-threaded "safety collar".

Saupe Page 2 - Late Model   Saupe Miniturn MD200

SAUPE LATHES
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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