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Holbrook 10B

Info about these lathes.

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RRMBK25/02/2017 23:20:51
151 forum posts
18 photos

A few years ago I bought a Holbrook 10B 10" swing 20" centres lathe, believed to have been bought new aroung 1983/4; to replace my ageing south bend underdrive. The south bend was a very good lathe but this is even better, much more rigid, metric & imperial gearbox, metric & imperial direct reading dials . However Tony's lathes web site doesn't make any reference to this model, the Holbrook forum seem to take the view that they dont exist , so what is the story behind them? I seem to recall them being advertised or featured in ME in the 1980's but certainly weren't within my budget then! Mine is number 18 and I bought a vertical slide( the only accessory mine didnt have ) from a guy who was selling one numbered in the 20's if i recall. So anybody know anything? how many were built, were they a flop? if so it must have been price because the quality is great. The best bit for me is that the nose is exactly as per the south bend so all my chucks collets etc fitted directly on.

Hopefully somebody can shed some light .

Kind regards

peak426/02/2017 01:35:02
avatar
1545 forum posts
165 photos

Maybe not listed o Tony's main page, but he has copies of a manual for them

And also HERE, not sure what the difference is.

Bill

Edited By peak4 on 26/02/2017 01:38:02

RRMBK26/02/2017 10:52:50
151 forum posts
18 photos

Thanks Bill.

I do have the original manual, and one of the reasons for the originl post, was because it is a bit vague about lubrication of the main headstock bearings, and I was hoping someone else out there may have found an easy solution.

daveb26/02/2017 11:28:53
626 forum posts
10 photos

I remember these being advertised, early 80s. Looked very nice but was well out of my reach at that time.

Clive Foster26/02/2017 12:21:44
2889 forum posts
104 photos

As I understand it Richard Anderson, last sales manger for Holbrook, obtained the rights to the Holbrook name and commissioned a couple of batches of these machines. If I recall our conversation correctly his aim was "Boxford done right." This would have been around the time Boxford were disengaging from the home user market as they couldn't make the price / performance / production equation work with their scale of business.

Particularly as the Asian imports were very attractively priced and better specified than the ME 10 and Model Engineers, being practical folk were willing to overlook the common known deficiencies in build and assembly in favour of the low price. Given that the basic geometry was usually decent purchasers frequently accepted these early imports as being a machined kit supplied assembled figuring that saving a couple of hundred pounds or more was well worth the effort of serious fettling.

Mr Anderson said that he felt that there was an, admittedly small, market for a well made machine at a little above Boxford prices but stronger and better specified. In SouthBend terms Heavy 10 against 9" workshop I guess. In practice the market was probably too small for a viable business and, I think somewhere in the region of 20 to 40 were made. I guess it was too expensive for most potential outright purchasers and most of the market would have been folk like me looking for a fuss free upgrade from an ageing SouthBend or Boxford. I never managed to get the cash together either. Loan or credit card for that sort of hobby purchase was not the way I was bought up.

Clive.

Bikepete27/02/2017 10:14:18
237 forum posts
34 photos

Always liked the look of Holbrook lathes - so I was curious and did a Google images search for "Holbrook 10B" - but nothing at all comes up. Surprising as usually there's at least a picture or two from a machine tool dealer for just about any machine you search for. But perhaps not so unexpected if there were only 20-40 10Bs made. Did find an old Ebay auction page for one, but the pictures have long since expired.

So just to satisfy my curiosity, would anyone have a picture of a 10B they could post here, or a link to where one can be found?

Or maybe RRMBK would be kind enough to take a photo of his/her's?

Cheers, Pete

RRMBK27/02/2017 10:32:28
151 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Pete.

I will try and post a photo but it will be a fortnight or so as I am off on the piste tomorrow, and as I have never posted a photo before it should be an interesting experience!! The old e.bay listing is the guy I got the vertical slide from.

I was as intrigued as you as to why virtually nothing comes up on the internet, hence my posting. I do have the original sales details and I bought it from a guy who had got it from the original owner but just passed it pretty much straight on.

Clive- thank you , that info is very interesting and probably explains why it seems that so few were actually produced. Having had an excellent south bend toolroom under drive before this, and given that the boxford is cloned from the SB; I can certainly confirm that these really are - " Boxford done right" It really is a joy to use.

Bikepete27/02/2017 17:07:37
237 forum posts
34 photos

Many thanks RRMBK, will look forward to that! If you have any problems posting the pic let me know and I'll try to assist

RRMBK11/03/2017 13:04:02
151 forum posts
18 photos

Hi Pete. I have created an album entitled Holbrook 10B . hopefully you can access it and get a look at the lathe.Enjoy.

Kind regards

Brian .

Bikepete11/03/2017 17:38:49
237 forum posts
34 photos

Hi Brian, many thanks for posting those! Very interesting indeed.

I've taken the liberty of embedding one of your pics here for the casual viewer (who might not click a link):

Looks reassuringly solid, as you might expect from Holbrook. Hope it serves you well!

Cheers! Peter

Rod Crowte29/01/2018 14:50:27
5 forum posts
2 photos

Hi RRMBK,>>

I have just come across this thread. I note your posts were nearly a year ago so I don`t know>>

how relevant my response will be. I too am the proud owner of a 10B. I bought it new in the early 80`s >>

I believe, and as I was living in the Channel Islands at the time, Richard Anderson drove across on>>

the ferry with it weighing down the back of his estate car to deliver and help me install it.>>

A wonderfully accurate machine which is a pleasure to use. Having moved to the US some years ago>>

it has been sitting sadly unused in the garage until I can get a permanent setup and source a suitable>>

US voltage motor for it.>>

I was not aware that they were numbered, now I am intrigued, where would I find that number ?>>

I have attached a photo. (I think....)>>

Best Regards,>>

Rod

>>

holbrook 10.jpg

Nick Kempley 117/05/2018 21:00:02
avatar
9 forum posts

Sorry for the late arrival. The 10B was designed by Dick, who was originally the chief engineer, later under Herberts ownership to become general manager, of the Holbrook subsidiary. The machine was made in India under Dick's supervision and to strict standards. Shortly before his demise I acquired the remains of Dick's bits and pieces. These seem to include some odd parts, nothing major, for the 10B, since they don't belong to any other model. If, as I suspect it does, the 10B follows normal Holbrook practice the number will be on the top far right of the bed between the saddle V and the tailstock flat.

There was an even later model, designed with Dick's guidance, when he licenced the name to a company in Peterborough. It was designated A10. I know a couple of people claim to have seen the machine, but it seems unlikely that more than a couple of prototypes were ever made. I have a brochure for this one, but that's all.

Nick

Rod Crowte18/05/2018 02:07:52
5 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Nick,

Interesting background, thank you for that information - I suppose I am surprised it was made in India - the quality and accuracy is definitely there in the machine, but it must have been complicated to oversee, and build the shipping costs into the price also. I will look where you suggest for the number - just to clarify, are you saying that you would expect the number to be on the inside of the bed to the rear, below where the tailstock would normally sit ? It will be a few days before I am back home in order to have a look.

Regards,

Rod

Nick Kempley 118/05/2018 02:34:41
avatar
9 forum posts

Hi Rod,

The number would normally be on the top machined surface towards the front, in a depressed area between the front V and the flat for the tailstock. I can't be sure that's where it is on the 10B since I've not seen one in the flesh, but that's where every other model has it, except the very early machines which didn't have the V, flat, V, flat bed form, even on those it is in that general area.

Yes I never got the impression Dick made a lot of money out of the project by the time he'd paid for all the travel. I suspect the parts I have were quality control samples, or prototype parts rather than intentional spares.

Nick

Rod Crowte18/05/2018 23:11:00
5 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Nick,

Thanks for your reply, I will have a look next week when I get home - I`m now really interested to find out. I`ll also have a look at the Invoice, it just may be mentioned on that.

Best Regards,

Rod

Nick Kempley 119/05/2018 00:18:50
avatar
9 forum posts

Hi Rod,

Good luck with the search. I'm afraid I have no idea what format the number might be in. Up until the mid sixties the number was a 4 or 5 digit number, never getting up to 11,000 as far as I'm aware. Even the earliest known machines use 4 digits, so they probably started at 1,000 sometime in the late 19th century. After that they moved to a Herbert inspired two part number, typically 4XX-XX, where I believe the first part is some form of batch number and the second part the number within the batch. What system Dick adopted is unknown to me.

Nick

Nick Kempley 119/05/2018 00:18:51
avatar
9 forum posts

Hi Rod,

Good luck with the search. I'm afraid I have no idea what format the number might be in. Up until the mid sixties the number was a 4 or 5 digit number, never getting up to 11,000 as far as I'm aware. Even the earliest known machines use 4 digits, so they probably started at 1,000 sometime in the late 19th century. After that they moved to a Herbert inspired two part number, typically 4XX-XX, where I believe the first part is some form of batch number and the second part the number within the batch. What system Dick adopted is unknown to me.

Nick

Rod Crowte04/06/2018 04:56:51
5 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Nick,

Looks like it is number 35 - stamped exactly where you suggested, maybe HM is Holbrook Machine or something similar. I have attached a photo I think.

Regards,

Rod

Nick Kempley 104/06/2018 07:54:43
avatar
9 forum posts

Thanks Rod,

I suspect he didn't start at 1; perhaps 10, but it means yours is at least the 25th machine. I would be surprised if he ordered batches of more than 10, so in the second batch and hopefully therefore after minor glitches had been ironed out from user feedback.

On original Holbrooks, letters in a circle next to the number would be the inspector's initials, but I've no idea if this is true of these machines.

I'm afraid the photo didn't make it....

Good luck, Nick

Rod Crowte04/06/2018 18:00:28
5 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Nick,

Thanks for that - I`d had forgotten how I posted the previous picture at the end of my post, so I put it in an "Album". It should appear if you can click on the "2 photos" link under the " 4 forum posts" link under my name.

Regards, Rod

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