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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:16 pm 
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I've been talking to Colin lately about lathes because I want one because, reasons :lol:

So anyway I had mostly decided that as they weigh getting on for a ton that I would wait for a good one. Colin has been his usual gentlemanly self and is going to show me how to do the basics safely when I service his boiler.

Then I was at a customers house yesterday and he mentioned that he had a very large workshop in his garden. Poor chap is 86 and recovering from a stroke so not sure if he's going to use the machines he again or sell them to save the family a lot of sorting out as they won't have a clue what they are!

Anyway with his permission here are some pictures of this amateur workshop. Colin is going to love the last machine :wink:

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Apparently this was used for years just to make three small components in a camera factory so about 5" of the bed is excessively worn but the rest still has the tool marks on it!

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And finally several pictures of the same machine just as a thank you to Colin who will be wondering if he could squeeze just one more machine in!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:28 pm 
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Wow, some awesome machines there!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:38 pm 
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Indeed some nice kit there. Always sad to hear about somebody having to sell up. What was the old boy into doing, do you know?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 7:50 pm 
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Dave54 wrote:
Indeed some nice kit there. Always sad to hear about somebody having to sell up. What was the old boy into doing, do you know?


Sadly those are the pictures he asked me not to share; however it's allowable to say DB5, DB6, 850 Commando and 40' yacht. It's fair to say he was a very successful man :salute:

Those with metal lathes will know if this is true, most people seem to spend 90% of their time making other accessories to fit the lathes rather than doing any actual work :lol: :lol:

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 8:23 pm 
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Razor wrote:
Dave54 wrote:
Indeed some nice kit there. Always sad to hear about somebody having to sell up. What was the old boy into doing, do you know?


Sadly those are the pictures he asked me not to share; however it's allowable to say DB5, DB6, 850 Commando and 40' yacht. It's fair to say he was a very successful man :salute:

Those with metal lathes will know if this is true, most people seem to spend 90% of their time making other accessories to fit the lathes rather than doing any actual work :lol: :lol:


Nice! the bloke who taught me machining had a DB5. Nice car. Last I heard a few years back he was getting on for 100, and still going the local for a pint. Not in the DB though!

For sure a lathe itself is only half the kit needed!


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 01, 2016 10:12 pm 
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Col is too straight laced to admit that those pics are pure 'porn' as far as he's concerned :lol: It fits my definition anyway.

All you can hope for is that the stuff goes to someone who appreciates it and uses it in the manner it was intended. It would be tragic to see the likes go to scrap or be 'parted' for bits.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 10:28 am 
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Hi,

Many thanks Razor for posting this rather sad story. :salute:

I recently bought a Shopsmith woodworker (American) Record dust extractor; 9" angle grinder and Record square chisel mortiser from a workshop where the guy had died. My chum David is secretary of his local woodturning club and the guy had been a club member; it fell upon David to price up the workshop kit and out of interest David kindly sent me a copy of the list. I know only too well that in these circumstances vultures gather; I bought the above items at the full list price and still have them.

What a shame this elderly gentleman has suffered a stroke; he's the type of guy I always enjoy meeting to share stories; at 69 I'm now considering what would happen should anything untoward happen to me; apart from my chum David no one close known to us would have a clue as to what my kit is in the garage; the 3 phase transformer would also baffle most electricians because of it's unique winding connection method. I've admitted many times I'm a dinosaur and as such an endangered species because those of us who were taught so many years ago as true hands on apprentices are not being replaced any longer; the old skills are unfortunately dying with us because kids these days simply don't want to get their hands dirty and the over generous benefits system here in the UK is encouraging idleness; why bother working when more can be had on benefits?

At first glance I thought the tool grinder was a Denford Sharpedge but it's a true tool grinder; I've owned both a Sharpedge 16" and a Clarkson Mk2 tool grinder; the Rapidor also brings back memories because I owned one of these; I've seen over the years all manner of industrial machinery and this guy has a lovely selection to drool over. Yes Razor you little tinker I am indeed attracted to the Lorch lathe and would pay £500 just to own it as as a restoration project; the Lorch is worth more but I already have a Lorch lathe I fully restored and mine is older than the one in the picture.

Buying a lathe is relatively easy all that is needed is money but the problem comes in getting the lathe home which can be expensive; only this week I've been looking at two Boxford lathes but as usual they are located the other side of the planet. One thing worth mentioning and very important regarding these rare old Lorch lathes is that standard tooling simply will not fit; any tooling is not only rare but highly expensive to buy so although these Lorch lathes are highly desirable to people like me for the average workshop owner they could be an expensive liability; this is why I've been looking at Boxford lathes where tooling is plentiful and cheap.

Whilst talking of lathes I would never ever recommend anyone to buy a small Clarke CL300M; Bron kindly bought me one of these Clarke's a few years ago as a stop gap whilst I restored the Lorch and Graduate. The first thing I did was to destroy the flimsy circuit board and motor and judging by the many reports on the web I'm not alone in doing this. My Clarke now is much more robust as I junked the original motor and circuit board installing a brand new industrial Servo motor and countershaft; If these Clarke lathes have overload protection then on mine it was useless as I witnessed the cloud of smoke as it expired. A new circuit board alone costs in excess of £100 so a nice little earner for the lathe manufacturer.

Out of interest a little story. Whilst I was browsing Gumtree looking at lathes (yes I'm sad) I came across a request from a retired guy wanting a small lathe £500? No longer needing the Clarke I contacted the guy and offered him the Clarke at a very low £275 considering these are currently being sold at around £350 second hand but in original spec; mine is much updated and the update alone cost £200 so I thought I was being more than fair? I received a reply saying could I adjust the price a bit? I replied politely declining; to cut a long story short this guy would have bought the Clarke at £260; I've now withdrawn my deal offer and will post the Clarke at a higher price on Gumtree; it would appear this guy is more interested in knocking the price down further than in getting a really nice lathe which is already well reduced in price; if he now replies wanting the Clarke I'll refuse to sell it to him because I cannot trust such people who are so shallow.

You are right though Razor; I could squeeze in another lathe. It will be a pleasure to let you loose on my lathes when you next visit; I'm sure Bron can also rustle up a bacon buttie for you with a brew. It's never nice to learn of a well used and much loved workshop having to be broken up and sold on; many wonderful old machines end up as scrap because few understand what they are let alone know how to use them. I also agree those with lathes tend to spend a lot of time making attachments and accessories for their lathes; I tend to use my lathes to aid restoration of other lathes. I might have mentioned in the past that I love lathes. :salute:

Well said k_e; how sad if these machines end up as scrap when in fact they are better built than most modern machines; CNC has now really taken over removing the skills which took us old timers so long to learn; many lathe owners are installing DRO's because it's so difficult to read a micrometer or digital vernier caliper; everything these days is rush; rush rush; where's it all going to end; in the scrap yard? :cb

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:35 pm 
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CNC-ing may have removed the lack of skill in some areas but it has developed the need for skills in others. There is a huge skill requirement in the design of many of the parts a CNC turns out and, much like calculators have removed the 'need' for mental arithmetic (not in my opinion though) the introduction of CNC's have opened up new opportunities.

Check out some youtubes of modern CNC machines and the one-piece machined workings they produce and you'll easily appreciate how they've improved quality and productivity. Some of the 5-axis and 6-axis machines are mind-bogglingly complicated but incredibly dexterous!

But those who DO use such machines should (and probably do) have a basic backgrounding in the use and capabilities of 'ordinary' lathe working (and milling) so they have the ground-based knowledge to begin with - much as we still learn times tables and simple mathematics today.

This is the price of progress..... but if everything goes 'tits up' (socially etc) then it's people with REAL SKILLS that will dominate again :cheers:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 4:56 pm 
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Hi,

You are so right k_e and I'll admit I'm ignorant of CNC having never operated a machine with CNC installed. At Brook Motors where I worked we had many CNC machines running around the clock; I can understand the complexity of setting up such a machine for long production runs; the machine setter possessed all the skills required to the point that he could actually control the machines whilst at home. The guy's actually feeding the machines were much less skilled and it was this I was referring to. CNC is brilliant for long production runs where quality and speed are demanded; long gone are the days of rows of manual lathes with a lathe operator each; the lathes would be idle at break and dinner times and few would be run 24/7 because of the labour costs involved however CNC dramatically changed all this for the better.

I'm unable to compare CNC with manual lathes but I feel for a one off prototype the manual lathe will still take some beating in the hands of a competent turner. CNC is a totally different skill level and as you say it's truly amazing what can be produced on a modern CNC machine which I marvel at. For me in my own workshop though I enjoy using my head and hands the old way after all I'm not under any pressure to produce to a deadline or in any large quantities.

I hope I didn't sound too harsh regarding CNC because this wasn't meant in any way; I wouldn't buy a CNC lathe or indeed any CNC machine for use in my workshop just because as I say I'm a true dinosaur doing my projects for the sheer fun of it.

It's only just over four hours ago I posted the Clarke lathe for sale on Gumtree and just arriving home I've received a welcome email to say it's now sold and will be collected tomorrow evening at the full price. The buyer has given me his details and I'm sure he is getting a very nice lathe at a bargain price; I want the buyer to try the lathe before paying for it and for him to be fully happy with it; I'd much rather scrap something than sell it faulty then I can sleep at night; being honest means more to me than money.

Now do I need another Lorch or am I dreaming of a Boxford tonight? Bron's already asked of me what I would like for Christmas; what a gem my Bron is. Life can be so good. :huray:


Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 02, 2016 7:48 pm 
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You want a Myford Col, much better than a boxford ;)



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Hi,

Many thanks for your Myford suggestion Rorschach; appreciated. :salute:

I've already owned two Myfords these being a pair of very rare Model MF 36" I did a lot of restoration work on these two including having both beds ground costing well over £300. The first MF I bought from Wales hiring a van to collect it in; the lathe was described as very little worn and in excellent condition; I paid a lot of money for it plus the van hire but when I got it on my bench and started to really inspect it found it to be a load of expensive scrap; the headstock main bearing housing was broken in short it was rubbish. I installed a temporary clamp to the headstock bearing and proceeded to cut 45 cast iron gears using a new gear cutting technique I dreamt up one night; I went on to receive a top award for the AVO Wave Winder restoration I cut the gears for it being a truly unique project. In the end whilst looking at these lathes one day I thought enough is enough they aren't going to be worth anything when fully restored and to my eyes they would never rate as high class lathes so I sold them on at a loss of about £1,200. I'll never own another Myford even though many love their Myford lathe.

My Clarke lathe is now history and Pete who drove up from Nottingham is delighted with it; I'm pleased about this because I'd much rather lose money than rob anyone. My Clarke was better than the brand new Clarkes being sold because I heavily modified it so it should serve Pete well for many years; I wish him well and I can sleep at nights.

As winter draws in I'll spend more time in the garage playing with my toys; although I gave the Lorch a full and comprehensive restoration I've never really used it so I would like to get to know the Lorch better because it's a truly superb piece of quality kit; it's in mint condition and has power feeds; the compound slide and tailstock barrel have extra length travel in short it's a top quality lathe just a pity it's not British. Spares for the Lorch are not only rare but highly expensive so much so that to a Yorkshireman buying spares could result in nightmares. I need a good quality four jaw independent chuck plus other desirable items for the Lorch but I think I'll end up modifying something to fit; the headstock mandrel and tailstock barrel have strange tapers; they certainly are not Morse tapers so I'll have to do a bit of research also I don't as yet know the mandrel nose thread details; as I say though the Lorch is a beauty and I'll get to know it a lot better. :huray:

I've been looking at lots of Boxford lathes lately on both Gumtree and eBay and have come to the conclusion they are overpriced given the poor condition they are in with most of them being ex school lathes. I've still got three lathes so I'm not in a panic yet to replace the Clarke.

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 10:36 am 
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sadly there not many of these bloke in shed types around now let alone the skills to use the equipment - no doubt the reltives will not have a clue and it will all go for scrap when the time comes

A few years ago I see the destruction of 10 Harrison lathes, 2 myfords and 3 mills from a school - smashed to bits and thrown on a truck - sad times



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 11:16 am 
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I've heard of a place where when they were removing some machines they had to smash up and scrap useful "home workshop" sized kit so nobody would get further use out of it. ::b

There must have been thousands of perfectly good machines just scrapped during the 70s and 80s.

There are still a few of these small workshops about though, but they all seem to be older blokes who have them.



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:41 pm 
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Hi,

I couldn't agree more; thousands of top quality industrial rated machines scrapped many actually scrapped due to health and safety regulations as they no longer conform to current standards but they would still be OK for home workshop use.

With the introduction of cheap inverters allowing 3 phase machines to be run off the standard domestic single phase 240V supply these old machines are much better than the modern tinny machines many of which only last as long as their warranty.

Unfortunately it is also glaringly true that when dinosaurs such as I am fall from their perch they are not being replaced so we take our lifetimes skills along with us; if ever there is another world war we might as well surrender because after all we can't defend ourselves throwing McDonald's at the enemy; so much of our heavy engineering has long gone and even our mighty steel works are an endangered species; Sheffield steel is still the best steel in the world.

I'm totally biased having been brought up and trained in a time when the British Empire and Made In Great Britain meant something. I'm ignorant of what is taught these days in schools but I am very concerned that most of the decent machines appearing for sale through Gumtree and eBay are ex-school machines; I was truly saddened a few months ago when a Bradford school teacher was discussing on local radio the day's activities in that particular school; the subject being taught that day was "Indian Dance".

I go out of my way to encourage friends and visitors to our home to have a go at DIY and I show them my workshop bristling with kit. I've heard just about every excuse why someone can't do as I do; they don't have the skills; they don't have the tools; they don't have the space; they don't have the time; rather than excuses why not just say they aren't interested in having a go after all it's so easy for me because I was born possessing all the skills and having a nicely equipped workshop; still these days with so much money around it's better to get someone in then more time can be spent in front of the TV stuffing their faces. When such people say they can't they never will.

We have close friends and the husband was never really into DIY until he started to take notice of what I do; now he's well into DIY currently installing a lovely new patio and building nice stone walls; he's older than I am but he says once he gets started he really does enjoy himself and he also feels much better on himself thinking after each session he has achieved something useful. I enjoy a natter with those who use their head and hands because they tend to be interesting people.

I've been trying to buy a very large radial arm saw but unfortunately although I can afford to buy it transport is a real problem as it usually is with these big machines; I don't need such a big RAS but what a lovely restoration project it would have made over the coming winter.

Kind regards, Col.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:51 pm 
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Retired wrote:

if ever there is another world war we might as well surrender because after all we can't defend ourselves throwing McDonald's at the enemy



I'm travelling at present so can't fully comment but I think that this sentence from Colin may well be the quote of 2016 for me :salute:

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As always help on here is free, however if you think you have saved a decent sum of money why not click the link to find out about the charity we're currently supporting? A couple of quid makes a real difference.

donnas-dream-house-charity-t52110.html



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