Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

Early Milnes 3.5" Lathes Circa 1890-1912

Milnes R-Type  Very Early Milnes Lathe   Milnes 1920s   Milnes 13" Photographs

Milnes Home Page   Milnes Milling Machine   Milnes Planer   Milnes DF-4 Lathe (Denham)

Literature for antique Milnes lathes is available

A Milnes treadle lathe from circa 1900-1910 - and as illustrated in a book published during 1912. With a choice of 3" and 41/2 " centre heights this model could swing (in its especially deep gap) 11" and 18" in diameter respectively. The spindle, driven by a light "gut" round leather rope, was hardened, with conical bearing surfaces and ran in hardened steel bushes - so mimicking contemporary watch-lathe practice. In all other respects it followed contemporary design with, for example, a carriage traverse gear acting directly on the bed rack and controlled by a crank handle - the whole assembly providing a usefully rapid return - but not intended for the operator to attempt fine feeds. The saddle was T-slotted, to allow for the mounting of boring jobs and the usual simple Willis patent toolholder fitted to the top slide - with both it and the cross slide bereft of micrometer dials.
Drive to the very coarse-pitch leadscrew was through a tumble-reverse mechanism with the usual generous set of screwcutting changewheels provided, the very large gears being necessary to obtain a fine carriage feed.

The Mines 3.5-inch centre height lathe as advertised during 1912 -
but manufactured in this form from the early 1890s

A beautifully original treadle-powered gap-bed, backgeared and screwcutting 4.5" x 30" Milnes lathe from the lathe 1800s. This example has survived complete with the counterweight-tensioned maker's overhead drive system (to run high-speed milling and grinding spindle held in the toolpost); a range of original accessories and a complete set of screwcutting changewheels stored in the correct pyramid stand.
One unusual feature is the power cross-feed drive, this being by a train of exposed gears driven from the leadscrew by a pair of bevel gears. To engage the drive, a simple metal-to-metal cone clutch is incorporated in the lowest gear of the train and engaged by turning the red-painted capstan handwheel shown in the photograph.