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View Full Version : Metal Lathes Little help with some info on a new to me lathe?



Jon Shank
10-19-2014, 3:59 PM
I just inherited an old Moseley Lathe Company, 36" metal working lathe. I can't seem to find a model number or anything on it at all. The box with the tooling got misplaced but I will get it eventually. Obviously a relatively light duty lathe, but I'm only intending on small hobby use anyway. Any information or links to information would be hugely appreciated since I'm just having no luck with searching it up. Some pictures attached.

Jon

Jim Ritter
10-19-2014, 8:49 PM
Can't help with info, but it looks like a nice little lathe.
Jim

Jon Shank
10-19-2014, 9:26 PM
Yeah it seems to be. Had a fair amount of surface rust on it, came right off with a little 3in1 and steel wool. Patina on it is really nice and deep, I like me a little patina on a tool. From what I've been able to find, Moseley went out of business in around 1904, so it should be at least that old. Not the motor of course, it was originally leather belt driven, but the rest including the pulleys. Oh, or the 4 jaw scroll chuck, as far as I know the scroll chucks didn't exist until later in the 1970s I think? Could be off there. I was really relieved to find the cross slides are still silky smooth and darn near no backlash at all. Pretty pleased. Now I just have to build a stand and get that lost box of tooling (misplaced during a move but still with my brother), and I'll be set to try it out. That box is supposed to have the cutter turret, and a nice set of collets, well and some cutters but those I could just pick up.

Really just wondering if there's any other info out there, like what the tiny little tail stock taper is. Head stock appears to be MT3 which was kind of a surprise, but certainly a relief. I haven't gotten the chuck off yet but it came with a drill chuck on an MT3 taper. If anybody does have any ideas, let me know.

Jon

Bruce Page
10-19-2014, 10:10 PM
That is a nice old timer. I have never heard of the maker but it looks like a quality machine. It looks like it has a fair amount of travel on the compound which is good. It’s hard to tell from the picture but the live center in the tail stock could be a #2 MT, can you remove it at all?

BTW, the self centering scroll chuck has been around since the mid 1800’s

Jon Shank
10-20-2014, 8:12 AM
Thanks Bruce, I think I was just thinking of the scroll chucks we use on wood lathes nowadays. There are always alot of mentions of what they had to use before the scroll chucks with wood gripping jaws started showing up on the scene. I haven't been around that long but it sounded like they didn't have self centering chucks until the 60s or 70s, I'd have to look it up to be more specific on the references that made me think that, but not really important, thanks for the info. The scroll chuck currently on the lathe is marked Tool Room, which if I had to guess isn't that old, but I don't know.
And yes the tail stock center self ejects and came out nice and easy and it's definitely not #2 MT. #2 is what is on my wood lathe and this is well less than half the diameter and length. I just took a quick measure off the fattest part of the taper, which doesn't even make it into the taper bore, and it's about 3/8th and narrows from there. From what little I have been able to find on this brand it sounds like they were generally very well respected but had a tendency to purposely make none standardized peices parts as compared to similar sized bench lathes which forced you to buy their brand collets etc. They seem to have been better known for watch makers lathes and maybe that was only a reference to those. From what it looks like the spindle taper is #3 MT so hopefully that is at least standard but I haven't gotten the scroll chuck off yet to make sure. Now that is frozen on pretty good. I've got some WD-40 soaking into the threads now. The jaws move so when I think it's loosened up some I'll clamp a bar in the jaws and try to spin it off, but I'm about to drive out of town this morning so I won't be looking at it again until probably the end of the week. Work, such is life.
Thanks for the input, I'm looking forward to firing it up and trying it out.

Jon

Bill George
11-10-2014, 10:02 AM
Village Press hosts a website, Here > homeshopmachinist.net/forum.php that has lots of knowledgeable people. Second only to Sawmill Creek in my opinion. You will need a tool holder of course for your cross slide. Your lathe would make a nice display item but parts are going to be hard to find and using it will be a challenge.
I had a South Bend heavy 10 at one time and now own a EMCO (made in Austria) Super 11. Very accurate and very usable.

Jon Shank
11-13-2014, 9:53 PM
Yeah, the tool holder, cutters, and the main drive belt were in a box that didn't make it along with the lathe, but I just received them yesterday actually. I got the belt, the tool post and a couple of the tool holders, along with a bunch of other stuff. A fair amount I recognize, several items I kind of get but have no idea how to use. Fortunately my brother that handed the lathe down to me runs a metal lathe for a living and is coming down for the week of thanksgiving, so I'll get a good crash course in metal turning. Nothing like first hand learning. I've got the link open and taking a look, thanks for that.

Just off the top of my head, does anyone know how to get the chuck off one of these things? It looks like it's mounted on a threaded spindle like I would have expected from my woodworking lathe, but it doesn't want to come off. I just don't want to really heave on the poor thing and end up breaking it if there is some trick to it I haven't picked up on from looking it over good. I can see internal threads inside the bore of the spindle but the chuck is on there so I can't technically see if there are any threads on the outside of the spindle, I just assume there are.

Jon

Mel Miller
11-16-2014, 5:20 PM
Moseley is better known for their watchmaker lathes, some information here:
http://www.lathes.co.uk/moseley/

The chuck is probably just stuck from being on there a long time. Some people have luck clamping a long piece of wood in the jaws and smacking it on the lathe way to break it loose. Put some penetrating oil in there first.

Scroll and self centering chucks have been around for a long time.

Post your pictures in the Antique Machinery Forum on Practical Machinist. Lots of guys on there with similar lathes. I have a Potter lathe that's similar.

Jon Shank
11-16-2014, 7:23 PM
Thanks Mel. I have seen that, matter of fact it's a browser tab I have open at the moment. Unfortunately not a whole lot of info really and one of the very few mentions I have been able to find online at all. Ahh well, fairly simple machines, I'm sure I can figure it out and my brother should be able to point me in the right directions generally speaking for metal turning.

Thanks for the thoughts on the chuck as well, that's what I was thinking, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going to break something before someone said, oooooooh, yeah there's a key in there! Semi miraculously it appears to be pretty much rust free in there so hopefully a little more oomph will get it done. And I've looked around at Practical Machinist a bit, guess it's time to register and see what they can help with. Thanks again.

Jon

Bill George
11-16-2014, 9:28 PM
The Lathe chuck threads should be Right hand. Did that UK site yield any information? Did you look for a Yahoo group on that lathe?

Look for a publication by Southbend lathe, called "How to run a Lathe" Mine is the 4th Edition published in 1941, got it from my dads stuff when he passed away. Might find a copy on eBay. Nice simple book even if your brother is coming its a good reference book as it covers the old iron. Good luck.

Don Bunce
11-16-2014, 11:35 PM
The chuck threads are right hand, otherwise the chuck would unscrew it's self in use.

Bill George
11-17-2014, 10:04 AM
The chuck threads are right hand, otherwise the chuck would unscrew it's self in use.
Yes you are correct. Screws on right or CW and lathe motor turns it CCW against the tool. Been 15 years since I had to screw on a chuck.

Jon Shank
11-18-2014, 11:49 AM
Yes, the right hand thread I expected, same as on my wood lathe. I've been watching some videos to get familiar with operations, and reading alot of info on more generalized old lathes. Thanks for the idea on the Southbend book, I'll look for it.

Jon

Jon Shank
12-18-2014, 9:52 PM
Sorry, got busy and haven't poked my head in here for a while. The chuck was indeed right thread and came off with a little extra oomph. Also haven't done anything else with the lathe in a bit, life gets in the way doesn't it? I need to build a bench to hold it and a Buffalo forge double drill press I inherited along with it and get it all hooked up and ready to go. Hopefully life (alright, let's face it, work) will cut me some slack and let me get around to it this decade. Unfortunately I just got thrown for a loop when work told me I have to either relocate or find a new place of employment so it'll probably be a while before that slack comes along. Thanks for the help folks, I'll put up some pictures when I eventually get something going.

Jon

Jim Jakosh
12-25-2014, 2:57 AM
That looks like an old lathe. That chuck on there is a 3 jaw scroll chuck and should work pretty good. It is a RH thread and I would put the t handle in the chuck and tunk it with a mallet while holding the spindle firm somehow. Did you get an extra set of reverse jaws with it for doing larger work? You'll need a tool post to fit in the T slot on the compound and a belt on it. When taking another look at it, the compound looks very different- like there is no longitudinal lead/feed screw. It looks like you lock the compound in a position and then use the compound to cut along the piece. Not too good for any thing long and that would mean the compound would have to be set right on so as not to get a taper to your cut. Or. is that wheel on the bottom one that moves the compound along the ways??? Usually the lead screw is right out front, but it might be inside and not visible.

The motor and pulley mount are critical for alignment and proper distance from the lathe. There is some adjustment in the turnbuckle but try it out clamped down before drilling the mounting holes. I have a similar mount on my 1947 Southbend lathe- the pulley looks just like the one you have.The belt was bad so I used a serpentine belt from a car for while but the Kevlar thread wore through the holes in the end of the belt so I went to a leather one with a Clipper Belt Lacer in it and it works great now.

Jim

Jon Shank
12-28-2014, 3:40 AM
Yeah Jim, that is correct, no carriage, just the compound. My brother agreed it was pretty odd. There's a locking plate under the compound so that you can set it for a precise angle, for instance at the moment I have it set at 90 degrees to the ways and it is returnable by loosening the compound and pushing it against the side of the ways and locking it back down. But that's it, no wheel/gears/etc for moving the cross slide down the bed. So it appears it will have to be fixed and then you have the 2 cross slides to make the movements plus of course the pivot between the 2 cross slides. So as I have it right now the base slide is set to be perpendicular to the ways, if the top slide is set parallel to that it will move in a cross bed/ facing movement, if it is perpendicular it will move in a parallel to the ways turning/sizing movement. The locking plate is removeable so the base slide could be set parallel to the ways and be used as a short carriage with the pivot and top slide to set angle of cutt along that axis.

Odd by today's standards and pretty limiting but seems to be fairly common for some lathes in this age range, bench lathes anyway. Other makes I've looked at from the same 1890s to 1910s era seem to be similar. From what I've found the maker went out of business around 1904 or 1906, (spotty records) and while their name was bought out by some other company they only made the specialized tooling that fits the lathes from the original company not the actual tools from what I can find.

To address some of your other points, I didn't receive an extra set of jaws but it appears if you run the jaws all the way out they can be reversed and run back in which could serve the same purpose. Actually I just ran out and pushed them all the way out of the scroll and they do indeed come off but can not be put back in reversed, they bind in the scroll almost immediately. So no, other that using the steps on the out side of the jaws to grip a recess I don't have the ability to clamp outward. And while I didn't have them yet when I received the lathe I do now have the belt and tool holder and a nice selection of tooling along with it. Unfortunately I will be a while before I can get around to building a proper bench to put in on and work on mounting it correctly. I think I've got a good handle on the mounting it will need but it will take a little experimenting once I get a bench together deep enough to mount it. Thanks for your input, anything else you can add that might be helpful would be appreciated.

Jon