Sherwood Wood Lathe
Manufactured by James Inns (Engineers) of Hallcroft Works, Main Street in Bulwell, Nottingham, the little (and now rare) Sherwood wood-turning lathe was built into the 1980s. Although the Company was believed to have been founded just after the end of WW2, they were little known outside their local area and appear to have been almost a cottage industry with a limited though well-made range of products. One of their lathes was also badged, during the late 1940s, by the Derby firm of Radford, this model being fitted as standard with a saw bench.
Two versions were offered, the SR and SL, both based on iron castings for the main components and a steel bar as the bed. Each was divided into two sub ranges, the SL3A and SL/3B having 3-speed headstocks with respectively 24" and 36" between centres and the SL/4A and SL4B with the same length capacities but fitted with 4-speed drive. Driven by the recommended 1425 r.p.m. 1/4 h.p. motor, the 3-speed version ran at 712, 1425 and 2850 r.p.m. and the 4-speed at 570, 1068, 1900 and 3562 r.p.m. Likewise, the Model SR could be had as the 3-speed SR/3A and SR3B with 24" and 36" between centres, or as the SR/4A and SR/4B which were identical save for the fitting of 4-step headstock pulleys. The only difference between the lathes appears to have been the arrangement of the headstock spindle: both were carried in demountable plummer blocks (probably by Picadore) that held a Ransome, Hoffman Pollard ball race with the right-hand end of the spindle threaded 3/4" 10 t.p.i. Whitworth and with an internal 3/8" UNF thread - or at extra cost a No. 1 Morse taper. On the Model SR the left-hand end of the spindle was threaded 3/4" left-hand 10 t.p.i. (to take bowl-turning faceplates) and on the SL turned down to 1/2" diameter and fitted with two collars retailed 1/2" B.S.F. thread to take 1/2" bore accessories. Later models, built from 1981 onwards, were fitted with a more heavily built headstock fitted with larger diameter ball races - though the spindle specification remained unchanged.
Constructed from a length of commercially-available 1 .25" diameter steel bar, the bed was scribed with a datum line to help owners line up the tailstock and other fittings. The fit of the bar into the headstock was deliberately left on the light side, enabling it to be removed easily and an optional bowl-turning rest, fitted to a 360-degree swivel base, to be put into position for bowl turning.
Fitted with either an internal; 3/8" UNF thread (to match that in the headstock) or at extra cost a more useful No. 1 Morse taper, the tailstock had a screw-driven spindle. All models of the Sherwood were equipped as standard with a 3|" backplate, one wood drive centre, a tailstock centre, the bench-bowl-turning rest and a stub bar to fit in the headstock when the main bed bar was removed for bowl work.