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Johann Weisser Lathes
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Weisser Precision Bench Lathes   Weisser Lathes 1920s   
Weisser Lathe 1940/50s   Weisser Miller   Weisser Factory Tour
Weisser DW (1950s)   Weisser Precision Lathe 1874

In Germany there were two machine-tool companies with the name Weisser:  Eugen Weisser from Heilbronn and the subject of these pages,  Johann Georg Weisser of  St.Georgen in the Black Forest (also listed as J.G.Weisser Söhne and founded in 1856). Still in business, the Company's origins can be traced back to 1830 when Jacob Weisser operated, in Langenschiltach, a postal station and blacksmiths shop. From the earliest days Jacob and his son Johann Georg, together with two employees, manufactured small bench lathes and bench vices, In 1842 a move was made 4 km away to St. Georgen, a small town conveniently situated on a new post road, where a larger smithy was built. As the new road brought increased economic activity, the local trades - mainly clock-making - saw an increase in business and hence an expanding demand for hand and machine tools of all kinds. With demand now beyond the capacity of his modest workshop by 1855 Johann Georg Weisser had established himself in a new and much larger factory - which still stands as the home of J.G. Weisser Söhne. Products eventually included a range of presses, shapers, grinding machines and a number of popular milling machines. Until around 1957 their lathe range consisted of conventional centre, bench precision in small and larger sizes and capstan lathes - but from then on, cleverly foreseeing the future, concentrated their efforts on machines using various forms of electronic control. Today, based at Bundesstrasse 1, Saint Georgen, Baden, they remain part of the hugely successful German machine-tool industry manufacturing a range CNC machine tools with many built specially for the automobile industry.
If you have a Weisser lathe, or additional information about the company, the writer would be interested to hear from you.

Certainly not state-of-the-art, even for 1830, this simple plain-turning lathe was one of Weisser's first. The bed construction is iron-reinforced wood

A surviving example of what my be an early Weisser lathe. However, this type of lathe was once common in Black Forest clockmaking workshops - so could well be by another maker, though the complex, all-metal tailstock probably rules out it being a home-constructed job

Could this be a later, steel-bed Weisser?

Weisser factory, 1880

The Weisser factory, 1912

Weisser capstan lathe of 1873

Long-bed Weisser lathe ready for delivery in 1876. Note the extra foot in the middle of the bed, the two early-type fixed-steadies (they had drop-in sections of various depths) and the bevel-gear leadscrew reverse (as used on American Atlas 10-inch lathes for many years). Not only were the changewheels and headstock backgears unguarded (as on many other contemporary machine tools) the unusual - and dangerously exposed - gearing on the apron had almost become a Weisser trade mark. This lathe appears to lack the usual hand-operated rack-and-pinion gearing to propel the carriage up and down the bed and instead is fitted with just power feed.

Also from 1876 this Weisser is of lower centre height than the example above but appears to have a bed of around the same length. Instead of  bevel-gear reverse to the leadscrew a conventional tumble-reverse assembly was incorporated in the changewheel drive. With an absence of guards over gears and belts, and the crude bell chuck with its protruding screws, in today's terms this lathe was a nasty accident waiting to happen.

This page continued here

Johann Weisser Lathes

Weisser Precision Bench Lathes   Weisser Lathes 1920s   
Weisser Lathe 1940/50s   Weisser Miller   Weisser Factory Tour
Weisser DW (1950s)   Weisser Precision Lathe 1874


E-MAIL   Tony@lathes.co.uk
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