email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Zubi Lathe - Spain


Manufactured from the late 1950s into the 1960s in Elgoibar, Spain, by Industries Mechanicas Zubi, the Zubi A1000, A1500 and A2000 lathes was a single-model - the only difference between the versions being the capacity between centres which was, of course, respectively: 1000, 1500 and 2000 mm. With a centre height of 250 mm (10") this was a heavily-built machine that weighed, in its three increasingly long beds: 1825 kg (4030 lbs), 2000 kg (4420 lbs) and 2325 kg (5140 lbs).
Braced by a series of diagonal ribs between the front and back walls, the heat-treated bed was hardened to Brinell 200 to 220 and, at 380 mm (15") wide  and exceptionally deep, a rugged affair. A detachable gap section, 273 mm ( 10.75") long, was offered as an optional extra, its fitting allowing work up to 730 mm (28.75") in diameter to be turned on a faceplate. Bed ways were of the conventional V and flat type - with the front V, following contemporary fashion, made much wider and set at a shallower angle on its outside surface than the shorter and steeper inside. The bed - on all versions - was bolted to cast iron plinths beneath headstock and tailstock with, between them, a detachable chip tray.
Of open-box construction, the headstock had a top cover formed to act as a handy tool tray, was ribbed for added stiffness on its internal surfaces and held a hardened and ground, nickel-chrome steel spindle (with a surprisingly small bore of just 41 mm/1.625") that is believed to have run in a pair of taper roller bearings at the front and a thrust race at the rear. The spindle nose was machined for a No. 5 Morse taper socket and fitted with the then still popular American long-taper nose in an L1 size.
Power came from a 6 h.p. motor held within the headstock end plinth, the drive being transmitted to the headstock gearbox my multiple V-belts; pressure lubricated, the box held hardened and ground gears running on splined shafts with an Ammeter provided for the operator to check the work rate. Three levers on the front face of the headstock - non of which appear to have had any form of lock against being accidentally nudged into engagement - changed the twelve spindle speeds that ranged in geometrical progression -so giving the usual much wider spacing between increasing speeds - from 26 to 1200 r.p.m. Electrical control of spindle stop, start and reverse was by the usual and very convenient "third-rod" system and controlled by two levers, one just outboard of the screwcutting gearbox and the other pivoting from the apron's right-hand face.
Continued below:

Continued:
Screwcutting was by a Norton-pattern quick-change gearbox, fitted with the usual sliding tumbler selector and lever controls, that turned a 40 mm (1.5625") diameter leadscrew with a 4 t.p.i. pitch (this being fitted for all markets). Unfortunately the screwcutting chart was fixed to the flat, upper surface of the gearbox where, over time, it was certain to suffer damage and wear. However, when new, the pitches and feeds it listed were: 36 Whitworth from 2 to 40 t.p.i., 36 metric from 0.25 to 12 mm and 14 modular from 0.5 to 5.5; sliding and surfacing feeds totalled 36, these running from 0.05 to 3 mm/rev sliding (longitudinally) and 0.01 to 0.9 mm/rev surfacing (across). A unusually large thread-dial indicator, pivoting from a bracket on the right-hand face of the apron, was fitted as part of the standard equipment.
Lubricated by an oil bath equipped with a level window, the apron contained gears and a clutch for the sliding and surfacing feeds that were selected and engaged by the action of a single lever. A good-sized, 3-spoke carriage handwheel was fitted, the inside of its rim moulded with finger grip grooves and the handgrip of the rotating type.
Both fitted with traditional "push" gib-strip adjustment screws, the cross slide was a full-length type with its feed screw running through a split, bronze nut adjustable to remove backlash while the top slide, able to be swivelled though 360, carried, as standard, an indexing 4-way toolpost.
Fitted with a hardened and ground No. 5 Morse taper spindle locked by a proper split-barrel clamp, the tailstock could be set over for the turning of slight tapers and was locked to the bed by two bolts that required the services of a self-hiding spanner.
Standard equipment supplied with each new machine was sparse: coolant equipment with a 0.10 h.p. motor, faceplate, drive plate, two centres, spanners for the tailstock nuts, spindle-nose and 4-way toolpost and a handbook.
Offered as extras were taper turning, a selection of the usual 3 and 4-jaw chucks, hydraulic copying, rear toolpost, fixed and travelling steadies, possibly a spindle clutch/brake unit and other items to "
...a customer's needs... "
During 1963 prices published by the makers for the three versions, including export packing FOB at a Spanish port, were: for the UK market 768,  803 and 852; for the United States $2,150, $2,250 and $2,384; for Germany DM8,600, DM9,000 and DM9,533; for France Fr10,750, Fr11,250 and Fr11,750 and for Switzerland Sf9,416, Sf9854 and Sf10,438.
Oddly, though several large directories were published in Spain during the 1960s listing that countries machine-tool makers, Zubi do not appear in any seen by the writer. Should any reader have further information, I would be interested to know.



Zubi Lathe - Spain

email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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