I have been busy with selling farm equipment in my spare time lately and have only been in the workshop to get stuff ready for sale. New starter motor and starting solenoid on the mower, for example, took a lot of time to identify the problems, source spare parts and then fit them. Another story.
So to find some material to post I decided to show some pics of a lathe restoration I did several years ago. Actually, it was two lathes, both Smart and Brown, almost identical except that one was single phase and the other was 3 phase. They had been imported from UK by the seller, a second hand dealer, and sitting in his back yard, uncovered, for 5 years. There was quite a lot of extra stuff, such as 6 cross slides, a capstan tool changer, 2 complete sets of collets, several tail stocks, several 3 and 4 jaw chucks, and all of this was interchangeable between the 2 lathes. No lead screws, but 100mm of travel on the cross slide longitudinally. I think that these lathes are termed “2nd process” or something similar. They date from the 1940’s-50’s. The shape of the base, cupboard, and headstock really appealed to me, so I decided to try to salvage them.
Amazingly, after I cleaned up the slides and beds, they were in excellent condition. Whatever they had been coated with was incredibly effective. There was minimal surface rust and no pitting at all.
The following photos are mainly the single phase machine. Both machines looked fantastic after repainting. At some stage I will have to sell both machines, because I have totally run out of space in my workshop. I just really like the design and appearance of these lathes, and although I do not use them often, they are lovely to look at. My architect wife appreciates the designs and says that whoever designed them was as concerned about form as much as function, which is unusual in machine design.