machines which I have made, am making, or intend to make, and some other stuff. If you find this site interesting, please leave a comment. I read every comment and respond to most. n.b. There is a list of my first 800 posts in my post of 17 June 2021, titled "800 Posts"

Tag: TNC lathe

TNC lathe restoration completed.


Miniature lathe mounted on an aluminium base, and hooked up to a new, variable speed motor. The pulleys were turned from aluminium.  The motor is controlled with a foot switch.  


Headstock detail, showing the thrust bearing between the chuck and headstock, oil wells, pulleys and belt. I expect that an ER16 collet chuck will be used more often than the 4 jaw chuck.

TNC Lathe restoration progress


The before picture.


Current . After cleaning, holes filled, painting, new handles, new spindle shaft, new oil reservoirs, chuck refurbished, some parts nickel plated, new base. Gibs resurfaced. It all moves smoothly, with minimal backlash.


Mounted on an aluminium base. Ready for its new motor with foot operated speed control and headstock pulley to be turned. I installed a thrust bearing between the chuck and headstock.


TNC Lathe renovation 3

SWMBO has “persuaded”me to make two sets of double gates for a Norlane renovators dream, so not too much happening in the machine shop.  Welding and cutting in our Australian summer is not fun.  The gates are ready to be hung so hopefully I might be allowed back into the play area in a couple of days.

I did get a few hours to put some colour onto the TNC lathe.  Dark green enamel sprayed with a “Badger 360” air brush.  First time.  Fun.  Not a fantastic result but OK.

I was quite impressed at how effective masking tape was, in keeping paint off machined surfaces.

This whole exercise is a practice run, so I minimise the chance of stuffing up when I paint the Beam Engine.


Spraying the tailstock.  The other hand is holding the iphone camera.


The Badger 360 in an aftermarket cleaning tank.


The lathe bed and headstock with 2 or 3 coats of topcoat. The big bolts with nuts are to keep paint out of the bearings.

TNC Lathe renovation 2

Some progress on the little lathe.

A complete disassembly, and separation of the parts to be repainted.

Some unwanted holes were filled with steel putty (similar to JB Weld), and filed flat after hardening.

Then further filing of the parts, a soaking in degreaser, and then a wipe over with acetone.

Then a coat of undercoat, from a spray can.


Can hardly see the repair

Can hardly see the repaired holes through the undercoat.

Making the larger handle, the one for the leadscrew was a learning exercise.  I planned it in brass, with a counterweight to the handle.  Drew it up on CAD, then tried to make it using the Boxford CNC.  The end result is not perfect, but it will do.

IMG_2443I discovered that it is quite difficult to turn complete balls on each end and avoid chatter.  I used a carbide cutter.  Perhaps HSS would have worked better.

First result goes in the rubbish bin.


Actually it will go into the odd brass bits bin in case it can be used for something.

I finally turned one end, then made a split collet, and turned the other end.  All done using CNC.


Did not entirely eliminate the chatter.


The partly completed workpiece, held in a taper split collet, which was held in an ER collet, which was held in my home made collet chuck.


It will just have to do.


I have a disease, and I do not know its official name, but it involves a compulsion to buy and collect lathes.  At last count, I had 9.  Varying from a 6mm Boley jewellers lathe, to a 2 tonne 400mm swing behemoth which occupies a large space in my workshop.

Well, now it is 10.

I noticed this one on Ebay, and thought that restoring it might be a nice project.  (that is, after finishing the triple expansion marine engine, the Burrell traction engine, the beam engine and the Bolton 7 horizontal engine.  Plus tidying up the workshop.  Plus selling off the remaining farm machinery.  And all of the jobs which SWMBO has lined up for me.)

It is an Australian made (I believe), TNC lathe with 6″ between centres, and a swing of about 3″ (centre about 1.5″ above the bed).  I paid the “Buy It Now” price of $A150, because I lusted after it and did not want to risk missing out in auction bidding.  Plus $A40 rather exorbitant postage, considering that it weighs only a kilo or so.

It needs mounting on a base, a new handle, a drive pulley cluster, possibly a new headstock shaft, a 3 jaw chuck, a motor, and repainting.  The paint looks original and is a horrible job.  I will give it a new colour, suggestions welcome.  The tailstock centre needs regrinding.  It is a tiny taper, about 1/4″ diameter. is not currently available so I do not have much information about the provenance, age, etc.  My guess is that it would be 1950’s 1960’s.

( is again online, thank you Tony!  The TNC was made in Australia under licence, a close copy of the Super Adept which was made in the UK.  Still not sure about the age.  The Super Adept was made as early as 1937.  The Australian TNC was listed after WW2).  The brass handles on my lathe are probably not original.

The cup of coffee is for scale.

The cup of coffee is for scale. (for sale if the price is right!)

4 jaw chuck. Not sure what the gears are for.

4 jaw chuck.  I have a nice 3 jaw TOS which will be installed.
Not sure what the gears are for or even if they belong to the lathe.


The muddy yellow-green-grey paint was revealed after an initial de-greasing.  The handles are brass.  All of the slides work, and there is no discernible wear.  The gibs are brass. One handle is broken.

The muddy yellow-grey paint was revealed after an initial de-greasing. The handles are brass. All of the slides work, and there is no discernible wear. The gibs are brass.
One handle is broken.