Stickland Brothers Lathe
Manufactured in the coastal town of Brighton, England, the Stickland Brothers is rare - the single, very rusty example encountered by the writer being shown below. Of the simplest kind intended for use by amateurs, the lathe would have been made in either the late 1920s or 1930s - exactly the sort of machine made in quantities by Portass in Sheffield for sale by others "makers" and distributors. However, in this case, the design exhibits no Portass trade-mark styling features and so could well be a genuine produce by a now long-disappeared company. If from the 1920s, the 3-step headstock pulley would have been driven by a round leather rope; however, the width of the V-grooves is rather wide and so points to a later date with the possibility that drive was by a narrow Z-section V-belt.
While many similar lathes had just a single plain bearing inboard of the headstock spindle nose, with the other end supported against an adjustable, hardened point, the Strickland had two conventional, plain split bearings, these able to be adjusted by clamp bolts to the rear. Oddly, the whole headstock was canted to the left, requiring the headstock spindle to stick out a long way in order to bring the chuck out over the gap in the bed; needless to say, the arrangement did nothing to promote either rigidity or accuracy.
Of typically English design, the lathe had a flat-topped bed with V-shaped edges and a carriage driven by a hand-turned leadscrew - both ends of the latter supported in bearings, this being in contrast to many models in the same class where the screw was overhung for cheapness and speed of construction; examples of the latter include the Coronet Diamond and Jewel, the first Flexispeed, Centric Micro, Corbett's Little Jim, several Portass models, the American Childs - and even the high-class Csepel from Hungary.
Just a single tool slide was fitted, this locked by a bolt passing through a curved slot on the slide's right-hand side; the slide could be swivelled, but through a very limited range - though a second tapped hole appears to have been provided on the other side of the saddle allowing the slide to be repositioned and other angle settings obtained.
Able to be set-over for the turning of slight tapers, the tailstock spindle looks likely to have been machines with a No. 1 Morse centre.
One pleasing touch was the use of relatively large, full-circle handwheels on all the feed screws, these having diamond-knurled edge faces for improved grip (just like the Centric Micro and some models of the Perris miniature lathe) - though all lacked micrometer dials.
If you have a Stickland lathe, the writer would be interested to hear about it.