email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Tyme Avon, Cub, Gem & SL750 Wood Lathes

Tyme Lathes Continued   Tyme SL 750

Manuals are available for the AvonCub  and  Gem  lathes

Drive belts also available - buy ones for the Cub here and for the Avon here

Founded by Roy Seeley, a precision engineer who had taken redundancy from Bristol Aircraft at Filton, Bristol, the Tyme Company's first lathe was introduced during 1976 as the "Model 17/37" and possibly, though not confirmed, as the "Model 17/67" Sold as kit of parts for home assembly, it was without motor or any other electrical equipment and can be recognised by the two wing nuts used to secure the spindle drive-belt cover and the pair of square tubes used as the basis of its bed. Some appear to have been adapted or modified to carry the standard Tyne solid-steel square-section bed rails - though details on this point are uncertain. Of rather crude construction, the tailstock of the most economically-possible type to produce, its No. 1 Morse taper spindle screwing directly into the casting of the main body. Five spindle speeds were provided that, when using the recommended 1425 r.p.m. motor were: 530, 730, 1600, 2300 and 3325 r.p.m. While it is possible that the 17/37 was offered in a ready-to-run state (one has been found with proper Tyme badging and speed charts), the first built-up machine advertised as being equipped for immediate use was the "Cub", this being announced at the 1978 Wembley Wood-working Exhibition and followed, a year later, by the "Avon". These lathes were equipped with new, realistically-priced British-made single-phase motors equipped with safety NVOR switchgear.
It is known that two Avon versions with very long beds admitting 72 inches between centres and fitted with 1.5 h.p. motors were made. Braced by a pair of intermediate castings to stop the bed rails sagging, these were sold to a company in Basingstoke making stems for standard lamps.
Typical of the simpler, lighter wood-turning lathes made in the UK, the Tyme brand was eventually to be bought by Mahdu Dumani at Harlow, in Essex, then trading under the Multico banner and also the owner of the rights to the well-known and robust Harrison Graduate lathe. Production of the Tyme machines was put out to a sub-contractor, with all the production apparently sold for export. it being reported that Mahdu was sick and tired of the highly-critical, pernickety UK market.
As far as is known, five models were to be  offered by Tyme: the original 17/67, Cub, Avon,
SL-750 and Gem - the Cub and Avon being relatively common and the others, especially the SL-750, rare.
Tyme Avon
Well built in steel, cast-iron and aluminium the 5.5-inch centre height Avon could be had as the Model ATL300 with 24" (610 mm) between centres, the ATL301 with 36" (915 mm) or the ATL301 that admitted 48" (1220 mm) in bed lengths of 40", 52" and 62" (1016, 1320 and 1575 mm). Made economically from two off-the-shelf solid steel square-section bars, the bed was arranged so the front bar was set with its top surface horizontal while that at the rear had an edge facing upwards to provide a location for headstock tool rest and tailstock - this design being in contrast to the solid round bars used successfully by a number of other wood-lathe makers, notably those lathes made in Sheffield by Sorby and record Tools, the latter originally badged as "Coronet". Though inexpensively built, the Avon bed was easily able to cope with all work within the machine's capacity. Power came from a 0.75 h.p., 1425 r.p.m. 1-phase motor flange mounted against the rear section of the head's end face that drove directly to the spindle using a 4-step Polly-V pulley. Equipped with a push-button, no-volt release starter, the motor gave four speeds of 470, 750, 1150 and 2000 r.p.m. For bowl turning the headstock was arranged (like that on the Coronet Major) to swivel forwards through 90, in which position work up to 19.5" (495 mm) in diameter could be turned on the (rather small) 4-inch faceplate over the bench surface; if turned through 180 so that work overhung the end of the bench, jobs up to 24-inches (610 mm) in diameter could be handled - though at this size some care would have been needed.
Robustly built, the headstock had a No. 2 Morse taper spindle running in deep-groove, sealed-for-life ball bearings and carried a nose threaded 2 mm x 25 mm - though the makers did offer the option of a Whitworth 3/4" x 16 t.p.i. Supplied with each new Avon lathe was a 3/4 h.p electric motor and switchgear (a 1 h.p. was listed as an extra-cost option), a 2-prong drive centre, a solid No. 2 Morse taper tailstock centre and a double-support, 10-inch toolrest.
Accessories included the usual tailstock chucks and rotating centres, a 3-point steady rest, a disc-sanding attachment, a centre ejector/thread protector for the spindle, a large-capacity bowl-turning rest, a free-standing, bolt-to-the-bench chisel rest and a second bed clamp to hold the second stem of three extra-long, 500 mm (20"), 700 mm (28") and 900 mm (36") T-rests. In addition to the standard 250 mm (10-inch) T-rest, two others could be supplied: 120 mm (4.75") and 300 mm (12"). 
Tyme Cub
Smaller and cheaper than the Avon (and judging by the numbers on the used marked almost certainly the best seller in the range) the 4.-inch centre height Cub was a cut-price model that still used an all-steel, cast-iron and aluminium construction and the square-section steel-bar bed of the Avon. The swing over the tool-rest support bracket was 5 inches (125 mm) and the bowl- turning capacity 15 inches (380 mm) with the headstock swung through 90 to face foward. The standard capacity between centres was 19.5 inches (500 mm) but also available were models that gave 29.5 inches (750 mm) and 39 inches (1000 mm) - the simple bed rails allowing almost any length to be constructed providing that some form of intermediated foot (or feet) could be arranged to keep things from flexing.
Power came from a 0.5 h.p. 1-phase 1425 r.p.m. motor arranged, as on the Avon, driving direct to the spindle over Poly-V pulleys that gave four speeds of 480, 800, 150 and 2000 r.p.m. However, at extra cost, the makers offered both a more powerful 3/4 h.p. 1425 r.p.m. motor and a 2800 r.p.m. unit that gave speeds of 950, 1500, 2500 and 3800 r.p.m., this being intended to make the lathe for suitable for tuning very small diameters. The spindle carried, as standard, a nose threaded 2 mm x 20 mm (or, optionally, 3/4" x 16 t.p.i.) with, like the tailstock, a No. 1 Morse taper socket.
Tyme Gem
A tiny, late-comer to the Tyme range, the 12 kg "Gem" was designed for Roy by Jim (Smith?) an ex-Southern TV cameraman who made lace bobbins and pencils. by the million. The lathe had a centre height of just 2" (50 mm) and a between-centres capacity of 220 mm (8.7"). Square-section steels bars were used for its bed - in this case 20" x 3/4" - together with the usual Tyme trade-mark construction in steel, and aluminium. Small, but robustly built, the headstock had a spindle supported in deep-groove, sealed-for-life ball bearings with a No. 1 Morse taper socket and the usual Tyme 2 mm x 25 mm nose thread  Instead of stepped Poly-V pulleys the drive on the Gem was by a single V-pulley with speed changes made simply turning a knob on the control box of the infinitely variable-speed, 150W motor. As the Gem was intended for very small-diameter work, the spindle speeds were set necessarily high - approximately 1140 to 5000 r.p.m. Unfortunately, production had to be halted when Parvalux in Bournemouth ceased production of the special motor used and nothing similar could be found. Email was unheard of in those days and it took six weeks to receive a reply, in the negative, from another motor maker, Papst Motoren GmbH,  in Germany. It is suspected that around 200 Gem lathes were built - and are now a sought-after model.
Not sure if you have an Avon or a Cub ? (it's difficult to tell if the badges are missing). Just measure the centre height, the distance from the top of the bed to the centre of the spindle; the Cub is 4 inches and the Avon 5.5 inches. Another clear identification feature is that on the cub the headstock sits directly on the bed rails - on the Avon the bed rails are socketed into a separate casting upon which the headstock sits.
Tyme SL750 (pictures here)
Judging by their extreme paucity on the used marked, the Tyme SL 750 with its 125 mm (5-inch) centre height and 750 mm (30 inches) between centres capacity, must be the hardest of all the Tyme lathes to find. The largest machine made by the company, it followed normal Tyme practice in having the motor bolted to the back face of the headstock - but inboard (instead of cantilevered outwards) and with drive to an overhung pulley, rather than to one set between the spindle bearings. In this more rigid position the standard-fit 0.5 h.p. single-phase motor did reduce the size of faceplate that could be fitted and, as a further disadvantage, unlike the Coronet or Tyme Avon and Cub models, the SL 750 lacked a swivel headstock for large-diameter bowl turning (and was limited to just three speeds of 590, 1000 and 2500 r.p.m.). Fitted with a No. 1 Morse taper - as was the tailstock - the headstock spindle had, as standard, 2 mm x 25 mm nose thread - though the makers did offer the option of a Whitworth 3/4" x 16 t.p.i. The use of No. 1 Morse centres when the Avon had No. 2 was something of an aberration and difficult to understand - in addition, when all other Tyme lathes had twin-bar beds that assured an accurate headstock to tailstock alignment, that on the SL-750 was a single bar of round steel - the designer possibly inspired by the same economical fitting found on the long-established and very popular Coronet Major, Minor and Minorette models. Unfortunately, the tall tailstock was locked to the bed by a split along its underside nipped up by a clamping screw - the arrangement ensuring that the user was forced to waste time checking, very carefully, that things were set correctly for between-centres work.
A number of accessories were offered, these including a second bed clamp to hold the second stem of two extra-long, 400 mm (16") and 650 mm (26") T-rests. In addition to the standard 200 mm (8-inch) T-rest, three other rests could be supplied: 120 mm (4.75"), 250 mm (10") and 300 mm (12"). Other items included a centre ejector/thread protector for the spindle, a curved bowl-turning rest, tailstock chuck and rotating centre..

Tyne "Cub" woodturning lathe

Cub Poly-V drive system

Tyme Lathes Continued   Tyme SL 750

Manuals are available for the AvonCub  and  Gem  lathes
Drive belts also available - buy ones for the Cub here and for the Avon here

Tyme Wood Lathes

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
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