Little-known and until recently a long-forgotten make, the heavily-built but cheaply-constructed 3.5" x 13" plain-turning Velox round-bed lathe was made in England from around 1900 until at least the 1920s. As the lathe carried no maker's identification or numbers it may well have been marketed by dealers with their own insignia, but a search through contemporary literature has revealed, to date, no advertisements, only a single mention in the "The Simple Lathe" published by Cassell.
Just over 30-inches long, and standing 15.5-inches high, it was based on a solid bar bed with early versions having a light-duty "gut-rope" 3-speed drive but later models, although restricted to two speeds, being able to handle more power through flat-belt pulleys. The base section of the headstock (like that on the Round Bed Drummond), was bored through to accept the bed; it carried a 0.5-inch bore spindle, screwed 7/8" Whitworth, running in plain parallel bearings closed down by screws positioned at the rear. Other than arranging the headstock pulley flanges to bear against the inside of one or other of the headstock bearings, there was no way of adjusting for spindle end thrust.
A very unusual feature of the Velox was the provision of a carriage steady bar at the back of the bed. Instead of being carried, as would have been usual, in extensions to the headstock and tailstock-end feet, it was fitted into separate clamps that (with the simple 3/4-inch diameter, 10 t.p.i Whitworth-form feed screw disengaged) could be could be rotated around the bed to allow the carriage to be tilted over and used for milling. There was a noticeable absence of bronze bushes and bearings on the machine, with even the feedscrew being made to run directly in the cast iron of a socket extending forwards from the front face of the carriage.
A single tool slide was provided, carried on a post that socketed into a boss formed at the front of the carriage; hence it was simultaneously adjustable for both height and swivel. On early machines the domed toolslide was cast with an integral, single-slot toolpost, an arrangement that undoubtedly led to economy of production - though at the expense of making the machine much less versatile that it should have been. Later versions were equipped with a conventional slide that had a flat top and a toolpost secured by a stud and nut.
"Crude" is the only description suitable for the tailstock: there was no location for alignment with the headstock and the No. 1 Morse taper barrel, locked by the pressure of an ordinary bolt, was formed as a single piece and simple screwed into the casting. As the barrel advanced and retreated it also turned. Horrid.
Velox also made a 3.25" x 10" flat-bed lathe of the simplest kind advertised as the "Plain Bench Lathe". This simple machine consisted of a 24-inch long bed with integral feet, a two-step, flat-belt drive headstock with a 3/4" Whitworth thread, a tailstock and hand T rest.
In 1946, the Coronet Company of Derby (who were to become well-known for the woodworking lathes), introduced four small precision lathes one of which, the "Jewel", bore (apart from the headstock) a remarkable resemblance to the Velox.
A Velox Photo Essay an be found here