Help with Moseley Watchmakers Lathe

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by gocush, May 13, 2017.

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  1. gocush

    gocush Registered User

    Jun 24, 2016
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    I recently picked up a Moseley Watchmakers lathe to do pivot work on clocks.

    Problem 1. The spindle draw rod does not draw the collet in tight to secure it. There is approx. 3/16 inch clearance between the black rod handle and the left threaded end of the spindle when the rod is threaded all the way into the collet, as indicated by the blue arrow. For illustration, I have inserted a couple of 5/16 inch washers onto the draw-rod to fill the gap temporarily, but this doesn't center the rod in the tube. This does draw the collet into the spindle as shown in the last photo. So, is there a missing part like the black plastic collar on my Sherline mill draw-bolt, or even an "oversized nut" that screws onto the threads at the left end of the spindle end - by the blue arrow?

    Problem 2. The collets that came with are all too small for clock work , sizes 3-16 designed for watches. I find several 8mm collets for sale on e-.... that are identified by size #, I need to know what the size # means. Can someone point me to a conversion chart. Or are the size numbers equal to metric kilometers? ( #3= .03mm, #16=1.6 mm)?

    Question 3. How to remove the collets, once tightened into the spindle. Do I slightly unscrew the black handle and then poke a push rod through the draw rod tube and tap against the inside of the collet? I don't want to damage the collets.

    Thanks
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. Steven Thornberry

    Steven Thornberry User Administrator
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    I have moved this thread to the Horological Tools forum.
     
  3. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    1. That drawbar does not look to be original to the lathe. Can you measure the overall length of one of your collets? I'm wondering if you have WW collets or the longer Moseley 8mm collets. If you have a WW lathe and drawbar and longer moseley collets, then your washer trick is the workaround. But, since you need to buy more collets anyway, we should make sure you buy the right ones. Let's see if we can figure out what lathe and collets you have now.
    2. Collet sizes are indeed just tenths of a millimeter. So, a #30 collet is 3.0mm.
    3. I hold the pulley and unscrew the drawbar, then give the back of the drawbar a slight tap, which will push the collet forward to where you can pull it out.
     
  4. gocush

    gocush Registered User

    Jun 24, 2016
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    Thanks Dave,
    Upon closer inspection, I find that the nine collets that I have are from a variety of mfg ( Boley, Peerless, Wolf ...., 1 Moseley, etc). Each has a different length. The shortest is a Boley and it fits, ie it draws up snug with no washer shims. Even the Moseley collet is too long. This leads me to concur that my draw bar (measuring 78mm is not original, and longer than the original. See photos.


    Looking online I did find photos and schematics of original Moseley lathes. None of them showed any kind of shim like the washers I pictured. That would indicate that the varying factor is indeed the length of the collets, and/or draw rod.

    Looking online I see several varieties of collets for sale. If the Boleys are all the same length (33.9mm), I'm inclined to buy those. The other option is to replace the draw rod. Not sure if one is available.
    [​IMG][​IMG] [​IMG] Collets left to right - Boley, Peerless, Moseley. All appear to have the same threads.

    Next question: All the collets that I have, including the Moseley, have a keyway slot in the side of them. I thought there might be a matching key machined into the inside spindle but none is there. Can you tell me about the reason for the key slot in the collets?

    Thanks for your invaluable assistance.
     
  5. Dave Coatsworth

    Dave Coatsworth Super Moderator
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    Feb 11, 2005
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    Does the Peerless collet draw up snug? This would confirm that you have an 8mm WW standard set-up. If the Peerless does fit, you should be safe buying any 8mm WW Standard collets. Otherwise, you may indeed have to stick with the Boley, even though it should also be WW standard.

    I believe Moseley made both WW standard lathes and their own 'standard' lathes. Everything about the collets is the same except the length.

    There should indeed be a key inside your spindle that matches the keyway in the collet. Many are missing. Easy enough to replace using a taper pin the next time you take your lathe apart.
     
  6. gocush

    gocush Registered User

    Jun 24, 2016
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    Of the nine collets that I have, 6 snug up and 3 don't. (I evidently was only looking at the longer ones when I ran across this issue.)
    The Peerless and Boley DO snug up.

    The Moseley and 2 others do not snug up as they are too long. The names of these other 2 are VERY worn so I can only guess at "_ERBYS RE" then WW

    So, it sound like the Peerless or Boley or any 8mm WW Standard collets should work.

    Very helpful. Thanks
     
  7. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi gocush,

    That would be "Derbyshire" and "Webster Whitcomb" I expect.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  8. Dick Feldman

    Dick Feldman Registered User

    Sep 1, 2000
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    gocush,

    Not to rain on anyone's parade but…
    You mentioned you have a Sherline mill. That mill is a wonderful machine and is well adapted to clock work.
    Have you ever thought about owning a Sherline lathe?
    Like you, I started with a Sherline mill and for many years did not have a lathe. On one of my swapping endeavors, I became the proud owner of a Unimat lathe. I quickly found the Unimat proper and quite accurate in its own right. I also found a few minuses. Every time I found it necessary to switch from the lathe to the mill or vice a versa, I was building adaptors to make the two only somewhat compatible. I had a lot of duplicate tooling simply because adapting one to the other was too big a pain. Because Unimat lathes are no longer built, I also found the price of any tooling to be greatly inflated. There seems to be a camp of Unimat collectors which drives up the price of anything with that name.
    After fighting the two systems for about a year, I finally decided to purchase a lathe to match my mill.
    I was able to sell the Unimat for approximately 80% of the price of a new Sherline lathe.
    Now, any tooling will switch from mill to lathe without any adaptation. Having the two with a common, interchangeable system compliments both machines.
    Sherline WW collets, Sherline collets, scrolling chucks, fly cutters, end mills, centers, etc. are part of each and both machines. There is plenty of new or almost new used Sherline tooling available at a reasonable price. As an added bonus, the Sherline lathe is much more accurate than the Unimat.
    I do not really regret owning the first lathe. I learned a lot with it and had good time learning. Because of the collector situation, I was able to sell the first lathe for much more than I thought it was worth. It was a stepping stone toward the goal of having a match between the mill and lathe.

    Just a thought.

    Best Regards,

    Dick
     
  9. Firegriff

    Firegriff Registered User
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    When using the washers I would put a brass one on last to protect the threads on the lathe.
     
  10. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    I think Dick's very concise post is more than "Just a thought". For anyone starting our or planning on expanding it is excellent advice.

    I too started out with a Unimat and a lot of accessories as a hobby machinist. I have nothing bad to say about it since it got me going, but I wouldn't put it in the same class as the Sherline.

    Please consider wisely.

    David
     
  11. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    May 31, 2005
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    First, as others have indicated, a watchmakers lathe is designed for watches and not clocks. Personally, I started out attempting to use a watchmakers lathe for clock work, but quickly moved on when experiencing many unresolved issues.

    Again as others have mentioned, the only difference between Moseley Collets that have the same appearance as WW collets is the length. I have attached a photo of one of my Moseley Lathes with a factory drawbar. Both Moseley and WW collets are used by machining back the locking shoulder in front of the draw bar handle and adding a brass spacer. The spacer is removed when using WW collets. Both are used without issue.

    It would appear that the draw bar in your photo`s has a handle made of plastic with the plastic engaging the rear spindle locking surface. If so, this poses a safety issue in that plastic will give at the wrong time causing the work piece or tool to come loose.

    If you are indeed using plastic as a draw bolt or drawbar bushing on a Sherline with far more torque and stress, it is not a factory item and should be discontinued for the reasons above.

    Jerry Kieffer
     
  12. gocush

    gocush Registered User

    Jun 24, 2016
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    Thanks for all the education. I'm seeing the real advantage of sticking with the Sherline due to crossover of tooling and other reasons inspite of the initial cost. I may try what several of you have gone through - trading up.

    Jerry, if I understand you correctly, you are saying that Sherline does NOT use a plastic bushing on their drawbars. Perhaps they have changed since you purchased but my headstock as well as every tool I've purchased from them comes from the factory with a steel drawbar and black plastic collar, as shown in this photo of a new flywheel.

    Thanks everyone.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jerry Kieffer

    Jerry Kieffer Registered User
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    May 31, 2005
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    I have most everything I need and have not ordered anything for awhile. The last item I ordered that was supplied with a drawbar bolt was about a year ago and it came with a black oxide bushing or washer. I looked up the 3052 fly cutter parts list and they list the draw bar as part # 30882 and is described as a "Bolt/washer- Oxide".

    However you have what you have, so that cannot be disputed. Any draw bar that I personally would receive that had a plastic bushing, would be replaced with a Metal bushing before use. (For the reasons mentioned)

    Good Luck
    Jerry Kieffer
     
  14. PWfanatik

    PWfanatik Registered User
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    There are also adjustable drawbars available, consisting of the female threaded rod and a knurled round piece with set screws to hold the knob of the drawbar in place... search for this on the auction web sites out there...
     
  15. wefalck

    wefalck Registered User

    Mar 29, 2011
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    But beware that these adjustable draw-bars from Chinese sources may have a metric M7 thread and not the 6.85x mm thread as on the collets.

    Sometimes suitable draw-bars, also modern ones, pop up on ebay etc. If they are too long, you can shorten them. It may also a good investment to buy a draw-bar tap. These, for the different makes, such as Boley, Lorch, etc., have become available again.
     
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