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bench mount watch lathe

novicetimekeeper

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Jul 26, 2015
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I know little about watch lathes, I have not used a lathe for over 40 years and the last I used was a Ward 7.

I have been offered a small watch lathe, I don't have pictures at the mo but it it little, has a rest for a graving tool like you have on a wood turning lathe, the rest is about 35 mm wide. I imagine it needs collets, as it doesn't have a chuck, it has that end with the belt pulleys and it has the tail end at the other end of a short bed. It has a hand crank wheel that can be moved out of the way, presumably to attach a motor.

The whole thing has a clamp to fit to a bench.

It has no name on it, but looking at it and pictures on the net it looks like the Lorch designs.

I'm sorry I can't show you a pic, but I'm asking for a bit of advice.

Presumably what I need if it is going to be useful is a set of collets. I see them advertised with metric sizes, 6mm, 8mm etc. Is this the diameter of the part that fits in the lathe (headstock?)

I will see the thing again, do I just measure the hole that end? It has a countersink which presumably takes the rest of the collet.

If it is a very old piece of kit does that make it very hard to get collets? Are they all metric or are there imperial collets?

Sorry to be such a dunce.
 

gmorse

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Jan 7, 2011
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Hi Nick,

The first question is, what will you use a watchmaker's lathe for? They're quite good for watches, (the clue's in the name), but almost useless for clock tasks.

If it hasn't any collets, there are two likely possibilities, it's either a 6mm or an 8mm, (that's the internal diameter of the headstock spindle past the cone at the business end and hence the outside diameter of the parallel part of the collets, with clearance). The 6mm size was largely superseded by the 8mm, but there are still a lot about. The trouble is, finding a decent set of the most useful sizes isn't easy, and they can be damaged in various ways that isn't necessarily apparent without testing them in the lathe itself. I have a Lorch 6mm which I find very satisfactory for most watch tasks, but the size is the main limitation.

If you want to discuss it further, please PM or email me.

Regards,

Graham
 

novicetimekeeper

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Thanks Graham, have sent you an email.