Instead of using a compact bevel-gear mechanism with a horizontal control handwheel (as used to lift the knee of many milling machines) the designer of the Scope opted for a rather crude and awkward-to use direct-screw feed with the handwheel positioned horizontally at the bottom of the column.
Power was provided by a 3-phase, 1425 r.p.m. 0.5 h.p. motor driving a 4-step V-belt pulley through a countershaft unit bolted to the base plate behind the headstock. 8 speeds were available of: 38, 50, 80, 120 r.p.m. in backgear and 190, 280, 450 and 680 r.p.m. in open drive. In addition, at extra cost, a high-speed setting could be provided - from a double pulley on motor and countershaft to give speeds of: 400, 280, 450 and 1420 r.p.m. On lifting the headstock cover to change speeds, a cam mechanism was arranged to automatically slacken both motor-to-countershaft and motor-to-headstock belts - a neat arrangement found on some other lathes including the once popular American-built Clausing Model 100.
Designed to convert the lathe into a shaping and slotting machine, the tailstock was very unusual in that not only did it have an upper section sitting on a slideway allowing it to be moved several inches across the bed (a system offered as an option on some American precision plain turning lathes), but also a barrel having the same thread and Morse taper as the headstock spindle and equipprd with a 6-inch diameter division plate with rings of 60 and 24 holes - or, on some versions, 60 and 56 holes. The top of the tailstock was machined to accept a dismountable housing to hold a cutting tool and the whole unit could be reciprocated (for shaping work) by the action of a bottom-mounted lever-feed unit. A further tailstock accessory was also available (though if it required different castings is not known) - a worm indexing gear attachment.
If you have a Scope lathe, or any literature from the maker, the writer would be pleased to hear from you - as would a scope owner in New Zealand who would like information to rebuild his machine; he can be contacted at email@example.com
* Peter Smithhurst writes (with illustrations at the bottom f the page):
In my recent efforts at downsizing, I bought a 'Scope' lathe advertised on lathes.co.uk While that might seem a counter-productive step, my days of humping big lumps of metal around are over and I wanted to return to my main love of model making. So, having disposed of various large machines, I needed some smaller-scale replacements and settled on the Scope - a very versatile machine with facilities for shaping and slotting, a built-in simple dividing attachment for radial drilling, a rise-and-fall cross-slide that allows small milling and boring operations to be carried out - while also, incidentally, increasing the turning capacity by replacing the 'T' shaped cross-slide and column with a plain cylindrical tool holder. However, I felt the machine had even more scope (no pun intended) for modification to be even more adaptable and that I shall be working on that as time allows.
Upon close inspection, one thing puzzled me - not only could the cross-slide be raised and lowered but also be angled to the centre-line axis. For boring, slotting, shaping or milling, that is a very useful attribute - yet I could see no means of setting the angle or bringing it back to zero, i.e. 90 degrees to the axis.
Having stripped the tailstock and saddle for cleaning and it was then that I noticed various unusual features: the wheel controlling the rise and fall has an adjustable central disc (Fig. 1) engraved with degree graduations - but no cursor against which to read the setting. Also, on the top face of the wheel rim, was what appeared at first sight to be a Vernier scale - but I failed to see this could function. It was while cleaning the column - with the cross-slide dovetail forming the cross-bar of a 'T' - that I noticed the feedscrew bronze nut was secured by two diametrically opposed Allen screws, one large and one small. Another puzzle - why two? Even odder, the small screw did not engage with the bronze nut - the hole went all the way through the column and nut yet the screw was only half the necessary length. Eventually daylight dawned - the smaller of the Allen screws should have worked on a small brass plug so that, when screwed in, it clamped the feedscrew in place. Thus locked, when the cross-slide assembly was rotated, the handwheel rotated with it and the supposed 'vernier scale' was, in fact an angular scale showing degrees of rotation (Fig 3). Obviously the setting needs to be read against a cursor so I made a replacement - slightly different from the original in being secured to the bottom bracket of the rise-and-fall system by an adapter fitted in the threaded hole for the oil nipple (Fig 1). To return the cross-slide to 'zero' it would seem that 'clocking it' would be the best bet.
So, the way the scale is used for angular positioning of the cross-slide is that the handwheel is rotated until the cursor reads zero on the rim's angular scale, the Allen screw A is tightened to clamp the feedscrew; the clamping bolt B slackened and the column rotated against the angular scale to allow the column to be rotated to the required position; finally, bolt B tightened again. (Fig 2)..