Perton Lathe Question

Stephen Ray

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Mar 11, 2010
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I just purchased my first watchmakers lathe. I wanted to clean and lubricate it before use. I noted that the headstock shaft ran on two bronze or brass split bushings. The split is approximately 3/32" wide and filled with what I thought was dirt. So took a dental pick and removed it only to discover that it appeared not to be dirt but some type of packing material or wicking. There are oil cups at the bottom of the headstock and it appears that oil wicks up the galaries to the packing material. I realized my mistake and cut thin slivers of leather to replace what I removed. However I'm not sure it wasn't a felt material. Any idea what this material might be? I've included a photo to show the bushings.

Also the tail stock is missing the center. Any idea where to get one of these?
 

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Ralph B

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Nov 25, 2006
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May or may not help Stephen but I've just rebuilt a Myford lathe that uses a similar system for lubricating it's front bronze bearing.

The material used to wick the oil up is definitely felt.

Cheers
Ralph B.
 

Neuron

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Nov 4, 2010
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That's an interesting arrangement, with the oil ports at the HS base below the spindle bearings, so I assume there is some sort of capillary channel (with or without wicking material) to draw the oil up to the bearings...Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

If so, in your overhaul you'll have to make sure the channels work correctly, and apparently the bearing slot needs to be positioned correctly as well.

This doesn't seem t be the most foolproof oiling system. Is there any reason to prefer it to a more conventional gravity feed system?

Nick
 

Stephen Ray

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Mar 11, 2010
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Hello Nick

That is my thought too. The oil cups are located at least 1" below the bearings. The oil will have to wick up that far. Not sure why they did this. I will replace my leather strips with felt. I think I will add a bit of oil at the bearing each time I use the lathe.

Thanks Steve
 

moe1942

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Oct 25, 2010
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You will need to install wicking from the bottom of the oil passage to the wicking at the split in the bearing. I would oil all wicking before installing. Get a jump start on the lubing.
 

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