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Watchmakers lathe

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Alan Donovan16/11/2019 18:17:33
23 forum posts
15 photos

Hello all.

I am currently reading a book on the maintenance and repair of clocks, and it is a very interesting read. However, there is reference to an 8mm watchmakers lathe with respect to the authors toolkit, but no information on what the 8mm refers too, (not that I can find anyway).

I suspect it may be something to do with the collet, but would appreciate some feedback from those who know.

If the author runs an 8mm lathe watchmakers lathe, I assume there are other sizes available. Are they specified in a similar manner?

Lastly - are watchmakers lathe collets manufactured to some form of 'engineering standard' and where could I find this information or standard.

Any help would be greatly appreciated and many thanks in advance for your replies.

Best regards, Alan.

Bob Stevenson16/11/2019 19:05:15
395 forum posts
6 photos

Watchmakers lathes are (usually) in either 6mm collet size or 8mm and were made common by the German maker 'Lorch'....however, in practice these collets are often not very interchangeable from make to make.


For clock making a larger lathe such as the old 'Pultra'(10mm) or Schaublin Swiss lathes are probably more useful.


The best way to mug up on all of this is to find a copy of 'The Watchmakers Lathe' by Donald D'Carle.  This has been reprinted a couple of dozen times and later editions include info on model makers lathes too

Edited By Bob Stevenson on 16/11/2019 19:07:16

Michael Gilligan16/11/2019 22:05:28
15712 forum posts
687 photos


Bob gives good advice yes

The 6mm, 8mm and 10mm sizes are most common, although I do have one [Boley design] with 6.5mm collets.

In all cases the measurement refers to the body diameter of the collets.

Numbers on the front of the collet refer to the bore, in tenths of a millimetre.

Beware though, there are many different threads for the draw-tube.



The tabulation on this page was published in several books, and remains a useful reference:

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 16/11/2019 22:14:56

Alan Donovan17/11/2019 16:59:37
23 forum posts
15 photos

Bob / Michael.

Many thanks for your detailed replies.

Best regards - Alan.

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