email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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British Metal-turning Lathes for
Amateur and Light Professional Use

From the late years of the 1800s until the 1970s there were well over 200 British manufacturers of small metal-turning lathes of up to 5-inch centre height and, in addition, a number of companies either copied or re-branded machines to sell as their own. Some were confined to in-factory use - examples being Rolls Royce and Roper & Wreaks - while others were inexpensive, simple lathes of almost crude construction without backgear or screwcutting and intended for use by impecunious amateurs. A number were very expensive machines of the "Plain-turning Bench Precision" type intended for use by toolmakers and in production shops, these being manufactured to a very high standard and with prices to match. A handful were ornamental turning models - an expensive  lathe usually aimed at wealthy gentleman and whose value has always been maintained thanks to ingenious and complex design, superb cosmetic finish, remarkable versatility - and beautiful appearance. While illustrations of ornamental turning lathes can be hard to find, makers of the type included Birch, Bower, Britton, Buck, Evans, Fieldhouse, Gill, Goyen, Hines, Kennen, Lukin, Milnes, Muckle, Munro, Overton, Paterson, Sibley, Smith, and Wilson.
In addition to known or recognised manufacturers, many smaller makers failed to put any branding on their machine; some examples of these being amongst the  mystery items seen here.
Amongst the better known and more commonly-found makes from pre-WW2 years (i.e. before 1939) were: Adept, Britannia, Challenger, Churchill, Drummond, ETA, EXE, Excell, Granville, Grayson, Holmes, Willimott Ideal, Mellor, Pools, Portass, Randa, Relm, Wade-CAV, Winfield and Zyto.  Post war the number of makers expanded somewhat, though as financial conditions improved after WW2 and the need for inexpensive machines dried up, few of the newcomers (together with many of the established makers) failed to survived beyond the mid 1950s. The following is thought to be a near-complete list of all who produced more than a few examples; should I have missed any out or you know others, please do let me know.


Ace
Acorntools
Adept
Allanson
Arbeluxe (Ballantine)
Arrel (Relm)
Claudius Ash
Aster
Balding Beaver
Barker
Baye
Benson
Beswick
Birch
Birmel (Mellor)
Bonds Maximus
Booth Bros.
Boxford
Breeds
Britannia
Broadway
Brown Bros.
Bryant Symons
BTM
Buck
Bunting
Butterfield
BWC
Carson/Cataract
CAV
Centrix Micro
Challenger
Churchill
Claudius Ash
CLH
Colchester Early
Colchester Bantam
Cook
Freddie Coals
Corbett's
Coronet Precision
Cowell
Cowells
Cromwell
Crostwaite
Cuthbert
CVA Precision
Dalgety
David
Denford (Viceroy)
Denham
Dignus (DEC)
Drummond
Edgar
Edwards
Eclipse
Ellis & Reeds
ETA
Evans (ornamental)
EW
Exacta
Excel
EXE

Faircut
Arthur Firth
Flexispeed
Fortis
Gale
Gamages
Gem
W.Gale
George Adams
Goodwin
Goyen
Granville
Graves
Grayson
Grindturn
Greenly
Grigg
Grose
Haighton
Haithwaite
Halifax
Halls
Harrison
Hayward
George Hatch
Hector
Hind
Hobson
Holbrook
Holmes
Holtzapffel
House
HTH
Holtzapffel
House
HTH
Hughes & Fawcett
Ideal
IME
Impetus
IXL
Jackson Rigby (JR)
Jason
Jen-son
H.C.Joyce
Keen
Keighley Lifts
Kerry
Keva
Kneller
Labormil
Lane
R.A.Lee
Leyland & Barlow
Thos. Leyland
Lineker & Winfield
Lyn
Malcar
Mancuna
Massey
Mellor
Metalmaster
Meteor
Midwinter

Milnes
Muckle
Murad
Myford
Newall Precision
Norfolk
NW
Olmar
Olympic
Patrick
Perfecto
Perris
Pfeil
Pixi
Pools
Portass
Pratt
Pultra
Raglan
Randa
Relm
Rindis
R.O.F.B.
Rollo (Scottish)
Rolls-Royce
Roper & Wreaks
Scope
Scott-Homer
Selecta (Unimat)
Senior
Simat
Smart & Brown
Spencer
Sphere
Stalwart
Startglen
Stedall
Sterling
Stewartry
Stuart
Swisten (Carstens)
Charles Taylor
T & L.M.
Truecut
T. Taylor
Turnell & Odell
Tyzack
Union
Velox
Verschoyle
Viceroy
Vidal
Wade CAV
Wakefield
Wandess
Warwick
Wilfin (Findlay)
Willimot
Winfield
Winfield & Lineker
Wizard
Woolner
York
Zyto


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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British Metal-turning Lathes for Amateur
and Light Professional Use