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Unusual YORK Lathe

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Martin King 201/05/2016 18:20:38
1017 forum posts
460 photos

Hi all,

Just finished refurbishing this little YORK lathe which proved a bit problematic.

I knew I had a problem with a chipped tooth on the bullwheel which Brian Wood fixed for me very nicely indeed by inserting ywo very small silver steel pins and shaping them for which I am most grateful.

The real problem was the the cracked headstock had a badly botched attempt at a welded repair which had not penetrated the crack at all and was just blobs of weld.

I shimmed the adjuster bolts and tightened them down after cleaning and degreasing. Then I set the bed on the mill and carefully milled 4 seats (2 on each bearing), then centre drilled, then tappng size for M3 as deep as I could go, then clearance to just the start of the crack. Used Loctite and screwed the scap screws down tight but not super tight and job appears to be a good 'un!

First time I have attempted something like this and its a good confidence builder.

Seems quite a nice little lathe and I really like the tiny grindstone at the front even if the belt is nowhere near tight enough.

Quite a few accessories which was a bonus.

york 1.jpg

york 2.jpg

york 5.jpg

york 6.jpgyork 11.jpg

Roger Williams 201/05/2016 18:59:51
351 forum posts
4 photos

Lovely job there, a credit to you.

NJH01/05/2016 19:04:30
2314 forum posts
139 photos


I don't know if you've come across this but Tony at ( is asking anyone who has one of these machines to contact him. I understand that he is a bit short of info. on this make and is anxious to fill in any gaps!


Chris Evans 601/05/2016 21:14:11
2067 forum posts

A simple job to make a jockey wheel to tension the grinder belt if another belt is hard to get.

MW01/05/2016 21:16:03
2051 forum posts
51 photos

This body looks a bit like a granville one too, i wonder if they were making beds in the same place once upon a time.

Rainbows01/05/2016 23:24:59
647 forum posts
225 photos

Is the backear original? Note that your lathe is very similar to the current one on the site except for the addition of a back gear. Could be a later mod or a kit supplied by york.

Martin King 202/05/2016 06:37:05
1017 forum posts
460 photos

Pretty sure the back gear is a later modification.There does not seem to be any way of locking it either in or out of position?

Brian Wood02/05/2016 09:59:45
2579 forum posts
39 photos

Hello Martin,

That is a nice looking job, well done with the headstock bearing repairs, especially neat.

If you have the patience and can measure the gaps reliably, a refinement would be to face down some washers to make packers for the bearing gaps so that the bolts have something to close down on.

Failures of that sort were a common source of death to Myford ML4 lathes and the earlier models of the same bearing pattern.

Regards Brian

MW03/05/2016 02:37:27
2051 forum posts
51 photos
Posted by Martin King 2 on 02/05/2016 06:37:05:

Pretty sure the back gear is a later modification.There does not seem to be any way of locking it either in or out of position?

Perhaps but i think the actual operation of the mechanism is hidden from view in those photos, The back gears operate on their own separate shaft which simply pivots on and off so that they can either be swung clear or have the bolt nipped up to allow the shaft to mesh with the gears, it would have to be designed this way in order to allow for fine adjustment of the quality of the mesh. I can see why you'd think parts of it are homemade but the gears themselves look original to me, they have the distinctive aged surface, either that or they've been taken from another machine.

A backgear is also a more common feature on older lathes, this was a way of allowing for users who wanted more than a simple selection of speeds, some of which did not suffice for large diameter turning work, so a simple compound gear train produces the reduction needed, and quite convenient to setup.

This feature seems to have died away on modern home use lathes, perhaps it was too labor intensive to meet demand so they stopped it, nothing really wrong with it and nothing has really "stolen" the provision it makes for slow turning by superseding it. So whys it gone? My own machine still has a gear mechanism in the headstock but the reasons for this are for screw cutting and not plain turning.

For all that jabber it's still a fine looking thing though and handy at that, with it's counter shaft able to encorporate a grinding wheel too, i'd quite happily compromise the originality for some of the tasteful changes which quite rightly a user is free to do, thats what its all about.

Michael W

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