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Johann Weisser Lathes
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Backgeared and screwcutting Weisser of 1896. This lathe has a number of interesting features including the design of headstock spindle - with the end thrust taken on an outboard plate - a feature that all makers dropped just a few years later. Whilst the carriage still has its crudely exposed gears for power sliding and surfacing speeds the drive arrangement is surprisingly up-to-date with an "open-frame" electric motor carried on a cast-in plate at the rear of the headstock-end leg. The motor is geared down to run a countershaft - again built in as part of the structure - though its guard is, as ever, perfunctory. This must have been one of the earliest uses of a screwcutting gearbox on a Weisser, the type looking like a Norton quick-change, as invented in America. There was no tumble reverse fitted to the changewheel drive to the gearbox, instead a rod was provide, running the length of the bed, that operated a simple dog-clutch to stop and start the cut. There is a good chance that the system worked both when screwcutting and using the power sliding feed.

Mind your toes

Another 1898 Weisser of a very similar pattern to that above--but fitted to a treadle stand

A simple horizontal milling with power feed to the table from 1896

1898 precision lathe on self-contained "trumpet" treadle stand. For lightweight lathes this was a popular arrangement and also used by, amongst others, Pittler
Photographs of this Weisser can be seen here.

A particularly well-specified capstan lathe from 1919 with clutched drive, all-geared headstock with centralised spindle-speed control, power sliding to the turret head and carriage and a hand-operated capstan feed in addition to the gravity bar feed unit.

A beautifully built and very heavy precision toolroom lathe as manufactured from 1920 to 1932. This lathe featured a very deep and heavy bed; concentric levers giving centralised control of the spindle speeds; third-shaft control of the spindle and what seems to have been an arrangement to provide automatic disengage to the carriage drive

A small capstan Weisser with an integrated drive system from the early 1920s

A heavily-built general-purpose lathe from 1940 with distinctively American lines . However, the threaded headstock spindle shows that it lacks that most essential USA development of the 1930s, the rigid and safe "American long-nose taper" fitting

1925 to 1949 A well-specified small capstan lathe with chase screwcutting and 12-position carriage stops that worked for movements both towards and away from the headstock. The motor protruding from the front, and the large boss supporting the spindle-speed change lever must both have come between the operator and his efficient operation of the lathe.

With the appearance of a machine that could have been made before 1910, this Weisser 8" x 42" (205 mm x 1100 mm) gap-bed backgeared and screwcutting lathe shown above and below was described by its makers as a "Type EE Non Plus Ultra". Flat-topped, the V-edged bed had a removable gap section that, when lifted out, enabled work up to 25-inches (630 mm) to be turned. The spindle, which ran in plain bronze bearings retained by screwed rings, carried a 3-step cone pulley and a 2.125-inch diameter, 4 t.p.i thread; a conventional backgear assembly was fitted with the gears engaged by being rotated on an eccentric shaft. 
Of 1
3/8-inch diameter and 4 t.p.i. the Acme-form, leadscrew was driven through changewheels engaged by a rather unusual "double-arm" tumble-reverse lever. The carriage was of proportionately heavy build with the saddle carrying two traverse T-slots across the right hand wings and a full-length one at the left of the cross slide. The 137-mm travel top slide could be swivelled 40-degrees either side of central and both compound slide-rest feed screws had micrometer dials with graduations market at intervals of 0.02 mm. Fitted with power feed driven from the usual type of worm-and wheel arrangement within the apron the cross slide had a travel of 245 mm Like many lathes of the time the carriage handwheel was geared directly to the bed-mounted rack; this gave gearing set at far to high a ratio and, with just one revolution providing a feed of 126 mm, it was awkward to use as a means of advancing the tool.

Today, few early machines survive with their original countershafts intact but this Weisser is complete with its correct drive system for wall or ceiling mounting. The large but "light-duty" faceplate-cum-four-jaw chuck was a popular contemporary fitting.

Johann Weisser Home Page

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


Johann Weisser Lathes - Page 2

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