W.H.Nichols Precision Bench Lathe
One of a number of precision bench lathes as manufactured in the U.S.A. by various makers*, the W.H.Nichols is amongst the least common. Produced by the same Waltham-based Company that made the unusual, high-class Nichols milling machine, the lathe had a swing of 7" (3.5" centre height) and was some 32.25" long. Supported on Stark-like feet, the bed was of the usual flat-topped, bevelled-edged type with a central T-slot to clamp down headstock, carriage and tailstock and with a T-slot running down the length of the back to mount accessories. However, there the familiar ended for, instead of the usual 3-step headstock pulley positioned between precision plain bearings, the Nichols employed a 2-step overhung pulley with the spindle well supported in three Class 7 ball races. Even more unusual for this type of lathe, the spindle nose was the rarely-used D1-2 type with the inside machined to take direct fitting 4PN collets - only Pratt & Whitney using the same arrangement on some of its precision lathes. The compound slide fitted to the lathe below is not original, it came from a Hardinge.
If any reader has a W.H.Nichols lathe, the writer would be interested to hear from you
*Levin, Bottum, American Watch Tool Company, B.C.Ames, Bottum, Hjorth, Potter, Pratt & Whitney, Rivett, Wade, Waltham Machine Works, Wade, Pratt & Whitney, Rivett, Cataract, Hardinge, Elgin, Remington, Sloan & Chace, W.H.Nichols and (though now very rare) Frederick Pearce, Ballou & Whitcombe, , Sawyer Watch Tool Co., Engineering Appliances and Fenn-Sadler the "Cosa Corporation of New York" and UND