Vintage Star lathe.

Discussion in 'Horological Tools' started by Roy Horrorlogic, Jun 20, 2019.

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  1. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2017
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    Apologies in advance for the generality of this post.
    Whilst I have some idea about lathes and their use, I am a novice. I took the plunge yesterday and purchased a Star lathe formerly owned by a 3rd generation watchmaker who has retired due to ill health. It was not cheap. Having had a couple of conversations with him over the years, I have some confidence that this tool is serviceable. It's complete with a motor and variable speed foot switch. I'll post a couple of quick snaps. I have yet to build a base-board to mount it - awaiting suitable bolts etc.

    I have many questions but fortunately there seem to be quite a few YT tutorials. I have also ordered a reprint of a 50's book on this subject. But before I attempt to set it up and use it I have a couple of questions that someone here might be kind enough to address.

    The lathe has been stored for a few years and is generally grubby. I have considered putting the components through an ultrasonic bath however I cannot see how lubricants are (re-) introduced. I have no idea how well these lathes hold up over the years but I was encouraged to see that an identical model is still available from Cousins UK - at a staggering price. But clearly the condition of the (plain?) bearings must be critical: how to check this?

    I hope that the snaps below show enough detail to determine whether the lathe is complete - as I was told it was. There are also a few small components, gravers etc, including a couple that the original owner was adamant were very expensive according to the relative with whom I did the deal. I have no idea what they are.

    Gravers. Browsing I see that there are many gravers with interchangeable tips, which strikes me as a good idea. Could someone suggest whether they really are?

    Any indication of what I should attend to as an indispensable first consideration would be appreciated.
    Roy

    P6190315.JPG P6190316.JPG
     
  2. gmorse

    gmorse Registered User
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    Jan 7, 2011
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    Hi Roy,

    You have the beds, headstocks and tailstocks for two lathes in the first picture and they aren't interchangeable. One has the flat of the 'D' bed at the back and the other has it on the top, which is a G. Boley design. There appears to be a reasonable assortment of collets in the box, but a wider view of the whole kit would be helpful.

    A complete strip down of the headstock is advisable. If it's been kept properly lubricated in its previous life there should be little or no wear on the bearings, but dismantling it is the only way to examine them. They're usually adjustable to a limited extent anyway.

    Gravers are a personal thing, and you may have some carbide ones, which are indeed more expensive, but I can't see any at all in your pictures.

    Regards,

    Graham
     
  3. Roy Horrorlogic

    Roy Horrorlogic Registered User
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    Mar 7, 2017
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    Thank you Graham
    Here are some snaps of the complete batch. With luck they make for easier identification. Please let me know if you think there is some incompatible content as you suggested previously. Also any glaring omissions which would impose significant limits on the lathe's usefulness. In the short- (and probably long-) term I have no plans to make complex parts such as balance staffs.
    Roy

    Lathe-6200317.JPG Lathe-6200318.JPG Lathe-6200319.JPG
     
    kevin h likes this.
  4. kevin h

    kevin h Registered User

    Apr 9, 2015
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    It looks like you have 2 d-bed lathes , put them together and see what you have , making sure to keep the brands straight , then service them
     
  5. rstl99

    rstl99 Registered User
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    Oct 31, 2015
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    I also own a Star "geneva" (D-bed) lathe and like it very much. Well made piece of swiss tool kit. Actually, they are still being made and sold (Cousins in the UK sell their lathe kits).
    As indicated by others, you have a mix of two lathes in that batch. Star pieces should be stamped as such, so put that one together, get the headstock cleaned out, and you should be good to go. You have a 3 jaw chuck, a decent assortment of collets, and various bits and pieces. You'll likely find yourself on the lookout for a few more pieces to complete your kit (compare yours with the photos of Star kits on the Cousins site). Lorch 8mm are very compatible with the Star 8mm, and are quite plentiful on the used market.
    Enjoy the ride and have fun with your Star lathe.
     
  6. Moebius

    Moebius Registered User

    Jan 3, 2009
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    I have an 8mm Star as well.

    For more information, or to even send your lathe to be checked (and rehauled) you may contact M. GENTIL (it does translates as Mister Nice :D ).

    Contact
     

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