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Old Lathe

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Ian Usmar27/12/2018 12:01:13
70 forum posts
10 photos

So can anyone help me with a little conundrum ?

Can anyone identify the attached lathe from the photo also as you will notice no Chuck, Leadscrew or Back gear? Can these be added after manufacture and I assume would need to know make etc. Its approximately 30 inches overall.

Yes I know its a lot to ask but was always taught if you don't ask you don't get !!

img_0867 (002).jpg

Benjamin Day27/12/2018 12:48:29
61 forum posts
An old Zyto lathe perhaps? As always, troll through i'll bet you almost find it lol
roy entwistle27/12/2018 12:59:59
1551 forum posts

You appear to have the brackets for the leadscrew whether you have the neccessary guts in the apron I don't know


Ian Usmar27/12/2018 14:02:44
70 forum posts
10 photos

I have looked at but every Zyto seems to have a lead screw also most seem to have a supports under the tailstock end and obviously the makes name on the maid foot. None seem to have the rail with the thread downwards, was this a fore runner of the lead screw?

Bazyle27/12/2018 14:10:30
6379 forum posts
222 photos

Start by looking at Drummond M-type. All parts readily available on ebay though there are some rip off garage traders.

The 'rail' is called a rack and was an extra cost to manufacture so came after the leadscrew on more expensive lathes. Yours probably had a worn leadscrew or halfnuts and was taken apart while the owner thought about what to do. Then life, or death, caught up.

You may find details not quite matching up with pictures on because with several models using similar parts often someone over the last 100 years might swap a bit. Even the factory would use up some parts from the older design as a new one came in making an undocumented  hybrid.

Edited By Bazyle on 27/12/2018 14:20:16

Nicholas Farr27/12/2018 14:30:55
3415 forum posts
1590 photos

Hi Ian, as Bazyle says, an M-type Drummond or Myford. The rail is a rack that the red handle is connected to via a gear wheel, which enables you to move the saddle both ways along the bed quickly, which is common on most lathes. **LINK**

Regards Nick.

Benjamin Day27/12/2018 18:31:51
61 forum posts
Oh yes, the vast majority are indeed supported beneath the tail stock! only the very small offerings were like your lathe, my apologies! It does look very much like an m type as suggested, had to Google it though!
David George 127/12/2018 19:09:02
1871 forum posts
505 photos

Hi Ian It is definitely a M Type Drummond I have one if you need any pictures have a look in my albums of pictures. Where are you based if you are not to far away you could get some help from me. I live in Notts near J28 M1.



Edited By David George 1 on 27/12/2018 19:14:40

Hopper28/12/2018 02:54:21
6623 forum posts
347 photos

Yes, def. a Drummond M-type. Appears to be made pre-Myford's takeover during WW2, judging from the flat belts and the animal horn handle on the carriage handwheel. Myford converted to V belts and used steel for that handle in short order. There should be a serial number stamped on the rear bed way at the tailstock end somewhere. The site has a list of what numbers were produced in what year.

As well as the leadscrew, missing from the picture is also the leadscrew dog-clutch, the striker bar and links that operate it, the change gears and quadrant that drive it. (On the other hand, it looks like the apron "guts" are intact as the halfnut knob is visible, so halfnut must be attached.)

To buy all those parts individually on eBay could soon add up. Whole lathes of this model seem to sell very cheap for what they are (a very good, accurate machine if in good condition) so it could be easy to over-capitalize trying to build one from too many eBay parts.

A good source of info and parts is the Drummondlathes group on Yahoo groups. A bit of an awkward format forum to use but worth the effort.

If the bed is in good condition, it could be worth pursuing a restoration to working order if cheap parts are chased down. The M type will do anything an Myford ML7 will. I've used mine over many decades to make motorbike parts and model projects and even a small dividing head, including gear cutting etc.

But give the bed a very good inspection with a straight edge and feeler gauges before spending too much money. Any more than .003" wear on the vertical surface of the front bed way is cause for concern and possible regrind. Wear is usually mostly at the lefthand end of the bed ways, about six inches in from the end. Top surfaces of the ways can get away with .005" wear before being a concern.

Edited By Hopper on 28/12/2018 02:57:26

Ian Usmar28/12/2018 06:51:06
70 forum posts
10 photos

Many thanks for all the info I suppose my next question is if ( A Big IF ) the bed is sound I have been offered it for £60 only what is in the picture. My intention would be to use it to build a 51/2" Simplex so my first item I would need would be a chuck and some tooling. If you look closely you can see the holes where the makers plate used to be.

Is it worth it ?

David George 128/12/2018 07:58:01
1871 forum posts
505 photos

Ian, do a ready to fit back plate for the M Type you then buy a chuck to suit turn on the lathe to fit chuck and drill bolt holes. I have the original chuck for my lathe and I used it at first but it transformed my lathe when I bought a new chuck. You will have to assess the spindle bearings which are adjustable, and look at the missing bits which are mostly available on the net. £60.00 seems cheap it may be worth having someone who knows lathes have a look with you two heads are better than one.


Nicholas Farr28/12/2018 08:02:36
3415 forum posts
1590 photos

Hi Ian, as far as value is concerned, only you can decide. I personally wouldn't pay much more than £40.00 tops for what's on offer. I have a complete (with exception of the guard over the change wheels) Myford version on its original stand, which I only paid £90.00 for, about 5 years ago. It will probably cost you nearly as much again, just for a decent chuck for it, just depends if you have a passion for restoration or if you want a machine for doing other work.

Regards Nick.

Hopper28/12/2018 08:22:52
6623 forum posts
347 photos

What you have there is a project in itself. Depends if you want to spend you time time and money building a Simplex or spend it restoring a lathe. Personally, I'd hold out for a complete and working lathe if I wanted to get on with Simplex building. But your priorities might be different.

Depends too on your engineering experience level. Restoring machine tools from a pile of (largely missing) parts is not really a beginner level project, hence the popularity of the cheap Chinese mini lathes amongst beginners and the more-experienced too. (Although some of them can need a bit of fiddling with to get them up to snuff too!)

The lathe as pictured will need a leadscrew before it can be used for much. The carriage handle on the M type is too high-geared to be used for turning feed etc so you really must have the leadscrew and its handwheel in place to feed the carriage when taking a cut. But even then, you will be limited to hand feed and unable to do any screwcutting, which may or may not impact a Simplex project, I would not know. Plus of course the new chuck and backplate. Don't waste your money on an original M-type chuck. They were all worn out when your father were a lad.

And if you are going to do any milling in the lathe, the one area the ML7 Myford has an advantage is bigger spindle and bearings that seem to stand up to to milling use a little better. The Drummond wiill do the job but takes longer due to lighter cuts.

The countershaft arrangment (big bracket with the pulleys attached) in your pic is an interesting one. Not original Drummond, but maybe home shopmade. The rusty handle with ratchet mechanism looks like it could be a clutch lever, operating a clutch on the larger pulley? Could be kind of neat, but also something else to get working.

Edited By Hopper on 28/12/2018 08:35:24

Ady128/12/2018 08:49:43
5161 forum posts
738 photos

Could be the best 60 quid you ever spend if you get a decent headstock and bed out of it

Then buy another complete one

As hobby lathes go they rank amongst the best

Ian Usmar28/12/2018 08:54:06
70 forum posts
10 photos

Many thanks for all your input to identifying the lathe and issues that I would have if I was to buy it. To be frank my engineering experience would rank as a beginner maybe I will go back to the seller and see if what the best price is he will take ?

Ian Usmar28/12/2018 14:59:08
70 forum posts
10 photos

So I have bitten the bullet man said £40 so reasonable. David George 1, I notice you have drip oilers could you advise me the thread size please.

Also what is my best plan of attack re cleaning etc I assume wire wool to take surface rust of and lubricate the ben then hold bar between centres an run a clock along see if any issues so what else will I need to do ??

Is there such a thing as a handbook I have 12 page booklet I downloaded is that it ??

David George 128/12/2018 15:47:03
1871 forum posts
505 photos

Hi Ian, If you look in my pictures under oiler M4 chuck removal album, there is the drawing of the adaptor and sizes.


Hopper29/12/2018 00:33:18
6623 forum posts
347 photos

Well done. Worth a punt at 40 quid.

The "FILES" section of the Yahoo Group Drummondlathes has pretty much all the information available on these old lathes. Includes a cross section of the headstock that is essential to understanding how the bearing adjustment works. Also info there on various mods members have made, including the fine feed via a small belt and pulleys added to the reversing gear stud quadrant, which is worth doing.

A test bar between centres will tell you nothing much other than tailstock alignment, which is adjustable in the tailstock base, but is just as easily determined by a test cut, saving the expense of a test bar.

Scotchbrite and WD40 are pretty handy for de-rusting. Be sure to wash all Scotchbite residue off or it will continue to abrade the working parts away under use. Wire buffing wheel in the electric drill is handy for rusty handles and castings etc but too aggressive for precision guide ways etc.

Then lube with whatever oil you have handy. Motor oil works ok. It's all I've used on my M-type for half a century or so. Hydraulic oil viscosity ISO 32 or thereabouts is the official recommended oil by Myfords etc. Commonly sold at hardware stores as air compressor oil in 1 litre/quart containers. Don't even get suckered into spending money on special slideway oil at this early stage. Absolutely not necessary.

It would be worth your while to post on the Yahoo group asking if anyone has the leadscrew and other parts you need that they would sell to you. Might take a while but someone somewhere will have them kicking around.

Ian Usmar29/12/2018 20:18:15
70 forum posts
10 photos

So I read somewhere about an old book which covers the Drummond M Type ??

not done it yet29/12/2018 21:21:17
6880 forum posts
20 photos

Amazon is a good place for finding books. There is at least one on the Drummond M, but not currently available. So might need to search for second hand...

User manuals are available.

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