email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Denford Viceroy Lathes
Also labelled: "Enterprise"
   
Viceroy Wood Lathes   Viceroy Milling Machines  Viceroy Shaper

Viceroy Shaper   Viceroy Synchro, 280 & Enterprise Lathes 

T.D.S.-1.L.S., T.D.S.5.G.B., T.D.S.3.M.W. Educator & Type 250

Handbooks and Parts Manuals are available for Viceroy Metal Lathes,
Viceroy Wood Lathes  and Viceroy (AEW) Milling Machines and
other Viceroy Publications

"Denford Small Tools" was founded in Brighouse by (so far as is known) Horace Denford in the years before World War Two and is still trading today. Original products included a range of engineering inspection and measuring equipment and tool holders together with, no doubt, sub-contract work for the many local machine-tool companies. It is believed that Denford moved at least part of their operation to Box Tree Mills in Wheatley, Halifax, in the closing years of WW2 - the building having being occupied between 1942 and 1944 by a manufacturer of ships' telephone equipment , Arthur Graham & Son, who had been bombed out of their Woolwich premises. Having set up in the Box Mill plant a new company "Denford Machine Tools" was created and manufacture started of two small precision bench lathes branded "Box-Ford". These machine, for which there must have been a limited market at a suggested price of 175 (when a backgeared and screwcutting ML7 was around 60) nevertheless had a production run hinted by the factory at in excess of 400 units. This early effort was quickly followed by an improved copy of the American South Bend "9-inch", a design that was to make the company so well known. In 1952 Denford sold out to Harrison and moved his operation (commonly known by the initials D.S.T.) to the Brighouse site the company occupies today.  Having given up control to Harrison Denford must have set out to sell in the same (and growing) market segment - education. With an accelerating program of building during the late 1940s and 1950s England's secondary and further education service was being re-housed in purpose-built premises, with fully-equipped workshops, and the "Viceroy" was obviously aimed at this market segment. The lathe was carefully designed to address the shortcomings that limited the appeal of a Boxford as a training lathe: not only was it more robustly built but, more importantly, concentrated on safety and incorporated features that ensured there was as little chance as possible of young fingers getting involved with drive belts, changewheels or the inside of screwcutting gearboxes. Boxford were, of course, forced to follow suite and, to meet the challenge, introduced their UD (underdrive) series of lathes and then a Mk. 2 underdrive with a number of minor improvements including a single-lever-operated backgear.
Continued below:

Mk. 1 Viceroy T.D.S .1/1-G.B. lathe of the early 1950s fitted with a full screwcutting gearbox and a separate power-shaft for sliding and surfacing feeds

Continued:
Widely used by the Denford's Small Tools Department, "Viceroy" was a marketing name that, by the end of the 1950s, was being attached to a number of different metal and wood turning lathes, edge-tool sharpening equipment, double-ended grinders and polishers, disc and belt-sanding machines, bench and pillar drills, drill sharpening machines, a metal shaper (originally the "Royal"), as well as two milling machines made for them by the A.E.W. Company in Norfolk. Wood lathes were offered in both between-centres and bowl-turning types and, in some cases, were adaptations of lower-specification metal lathes - the T.D.S.1.L.S. lathe being an example when, fitted with wood-turning equipment (including a  very heavily-built out-board bowl-turning attachment) it became part of the "Educator" range as the Model T.D.S.3.M.W. and advertised as a combined metal and wood lathe. Later models included the more advanced
Synchro, 280 & Enterprise and the rather confusingly named T.D.S.-1.L.S., T.D.S.5.G.B., T.D.S.3.M.W. Educator & Type 250. All the metal lathes were of 5-inch or (later) 5.5-inch  centre height and, without exception, carried on neat underdrive stands. Only two bed lengths were offered, giving either 24" or 40" (600 mm or 1000 mm) between centres, the latter carrying the letter "L" as a suffix to its model number (or labelled as the Type 2/1) and being very rare.  Although hardly things of beauty  (and with some strange constructional details including being held together with a mixture of BSW, BSF, UNC and BA fasteners) these  were very strongly-built, compact lathes designed, with great success, to appeal to the educational market as it existed in the 1950s and 1960. Although modelled closely on the general layout of a Boxford (with which it is sometimes confused) the Viceroy featured several significant improvements: a compact and safe underdrive stand, a more massive bed, 6.5 inches wide with larger V-ways and integral feet; a separate power-shaft for sliding and surfacing speeds with the leadscrew used for screwcutting only; a totally enclosed oil-bath screwcutting gearbox (which could be operated with the lathe running); single-lever engagement of backgear and a useful spindle lock for removing chucks (both features eventually to be fitted to the Mk. 2 Underdrive Boxfords); a rigid, doubled-walled apron (with an oil sump on the power cross-feed model) and, as a useful finishing touch, a tailstock barrel carrying a No. 3 Morse taper. The headstock spindle, like that on the Boxford, ran in taper roller bearings and had the same 1.5" x 8 t.p.i threaded nose but with a fractionally larger bore of 13/16". The headstock was unusual in that (on backgeared versions) the final drive was not direct by belt but geared down slightly by passing through a supplementary gear arrangement in the headstock, making the lathe rather noisier than it should have been - and providing yet one more thing to wear out or go wrong.
From thoroughly well-specified metal lathes to both simple wood-turning and combination wood-turning and inexpensive plain-turning metal lathes the company generally used the same basic casting for bed, tailstock and elements of both headstock and carriage - thus saving both a great deal of money and simplifying the provision of spares. Although the lathes altered in detail over the years from any one era the aim was always  to make the design as modular and interchangeable as possible. The T.D.S.-4 and T.D.S.-5.B.G. were both entry-level models with the No. 4 having just belt drive and the No. 5B.G. the addition of  backgear. Lathes restricted to screwcutting by changewheels were listed variously as the T.D.S. 1/1 G.B. for inch screwcutting and T.D.S. 1/2 P.C.S. when built to an all metric specification (both these types were also equipped with power sliding and surfacing driven by a separate power shaft below and parallel to the leadscrew. Top-of-the-range models, the T.D.S.-1/1-G.B and T.D.S. 2/2-G.B. were fitted, in addition, with a full screwcutting and feeds gearbox. Some lesser models were also, of course, sold less the power cross feed fitting and lacked the power shaft. An important part of the gearbox screwcutting arrangements, and vital to extend the threading range, was a set of extra 14DP changewheels, mounted on a stud behind the gear-train quadrant, and stamped: A = 16t, B = 18t, C = 22t, D = 24t, E = 26t, F = 27t and G = 35t.
All models were mounted on underdrive cabinet stands that took up a minimum amount of room - just 17" or 18" deep front to back and around 54" long in standard bed-length form. A  0.75 h.p. 3-phase motor was standard, with the option of 1.5 h.p. when used industrially rather than educationally with, in the case of T.D.S.1/1-G.B and T.D.S.2/1 G.B. (and in conjunction with its single-lever-engaged backgear) eight spindle speeds from of: 75, 110, 175, 250, 400, 570, 900 and 1300 rpm to 1400 r.p.m. On  Mk. 2  models the speeds became: 60, 85, 135, 200, 410, 570, 930 and 1350 rpm. Surprisingly, for a lathe intended to teach the basic of turning, the bottom speeds of  60 rpm was still too fast for screwcutting and, if this had been reduced to below 40 r.p.m., it would have made the machine much more suitable for its intended customers. In conjunction with an 8 t.p.i. leadscrew the screwcutting gearbox provided 48 threads from 4 to 224 t.p.i and 26 power feeds, the longitudinal rate varying from 0.0014" to 0.0118" and the cross from 0.0005" to 0.0046". On the Mk. 2 these rates were changed to become: sliding feeds 0.0014" to 0.08" and surfacing 0.0005" to 0.3".
Robustly constructed, with the usual set-over facility for turning shallow tapers, all tailstocks used a No. 3 Morse taper (the competing Boxford was always limited to a No. 2) with around 3" of travel and, unusually for a lathe of this size, a spindle bored through 13/16" that passed clear through the casting and handwheel.
With the carriage and tailstock reflecting the "round" lines common in the 1930s and 1940s - but headstock and screwcutting gearbox with a distinctly more modern angular look - the original style of the Viceroy was interesting  However, by the 1960s, the range had distinctly old-fashioned air about it and, to keep it looking fresh, Denford introduced a Mk. 2 version. Although some mechanical changes were made (and the speed ranges altered)  it seems that the real extent of the re-design was to dust off the original blueprints, replace every curved line with a straight one and make new patterns. However, an easier-to-use improved oil-bath power-feed apron incorporating an adjustable automatic knock-off was introduced - though the widespread use of plastic-coated metal handles secured by just spring-dowel pins was not so praiseworthy. In later years various models of these newer machines became available, from plain-turning to more highly-developed and generously-specified 280 and "Synchro" models fitted with manual or electrically-operated variable-speed drive.
Viceroy machine tools were rarely advertised in other than the educational press and are still little known, even in their country of origin; consequently, the market under-values them and, if you want a neat, strong, very compact lathe with a generous capacity at a bargain price - a Denford Viceroy may be the machine to look for ..

Mk. 1 Viceroy T.D.S.-1 with screwcutting by changewheels and hand-powered cross feed

Mk. 1 Viceroy T.D.S.4.B.G. and T.D.S.4. plain-turning training lathes - respectively with and without  backgear

Mk. 2 Viceroy T.D.S.1/1   5.5" x 24" This distinctive machine was Viceroy's final conventional lathe which, although styled in an up-to-date fashion (and of an improved detailed specification including an automatic knock-off for the carriage sliding feed), closely followed the mechanical details of previous designs with many parts being interchangeable. Various specifications were available, from plain-turning to highly-specified 280 and "Synchro" models fitted with manual or electrically-operated variable-speed drive.

A rear view of the headstock showing the "single-lever" backgear mechanism, the drive out to the changewheels and the micro-switch (top) that stopped the lathe if the changewheel cover was opened - though most schools took the additional precaution of bolting them closed - just in case).
A tip: if you ever change the link drive belt: before fitting it thoroughly clean out the tunnel though which it runs and, even then, to stop contamination by grease, wrap the new belt in tape which can be removed once in place. Don't remove the old belt first - join the new one to it and pull through.

Plain apron as fitted to the Mk. 1 Viceroy T.D.S.4.B.G. and T.DS.4 plain-turning training lathes .

Mk. 1 D.S.T. Viceroy T.D.S.1/1-G.B. carriage detail. Note the distinctive 3-position lever to select the power sliding and surfacing feeds

Besides the usual range of accessories including chucks, metric conversion gears, fixed and travelling steadies, toolposts, large faceplates, toolpost grinders, boring tables, and collets, etc., the Viceroy was also available with the rather unusual taper turning and copy unit illustrated below.
The taper turning part worked in the normal manner and for copying, a master of the item to be reproduced was substituted for the swivelling taper plate. Copying was limited to a "climb" angle of 32 degrees inclusive. This is the same as moving from zero diameter to 6
13/16" diameter per foot.

The main motor drove a small suds pump in the back of the cabinet and up to an intermediate countershaft held in an ingeniously-simple yet adjustable housing. The final drive was by link belting.

Carriage of a late-model Mk. 2 Viceroy lathe with pictograms engraved on a aluminium facia plate

Mk. 2 Viceroy T.D.S. lathe showing the neat storage for the extra changewheels, an important part of the gearbox screwcutting arrangements, and vital to extend the threading range. The 14DP gears were stamped: A = 16t, B = 18t, C = 22t, D = 24t, E = 26t, F = 27t and G = 35t.
In the middle of the gear train can be seen the sliding gear that was used to change between threads and fine feeds and, at 11 o'clock, the spindle locking mechanism. Note the cut-off tumble-reverse lever with its spring indent working against the outside face of the headstock - it was thus locked away safely inside the changewheel guard, away from curious fingers.

Tumble-reverse mechanism with the usual Denford safety feature of a release pin that could only be reached when the changewheel cover, with a microswitch-operated electrical stop, was opened

Viceroy Wood Lathes   Viceroy Milling Machines  Viceroy Shaper

Viceroy Shaper   Viceroy Synchro, 280 & Enterprise Lathes 

T.D.S.-1.L.S., T.D.S.5.G.B., T.D.S.3.M.W. Educator & Type 250

Handbooks and Parts Manuals are available for Viceroy Metal Lathes,
Viceroy Wood Lathes  and Viceroy (AEW) Milling Machines and
other Viceroy Publications


Denford Viceroy Lathes
Also labelled: "Enterprise"
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories