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Hello from Julz, new member

Ex patternmaker to the toy industry

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Julian Saunders 122/01/2020 16:52:31
7 forum posts

Hello fellow model engineers. I see that others use a Unimat 3, I bought one 40 years ago in Holland, and when returned to the UK discovered the voltage difference caused the motor to overheat, so with the help of Rex Garrod, (robot wars fame, etc) I changed the power to a 0.5kw DC motor, with speed controller, I made new toothed pulleys and swapped to toothed belts. It is now capable of reducing a 1" brass bar to 0.5" in a single pass. As for the oilite bearings on the verticle milling attachement, I had Manganese Bronze of Ipswich do a refit when I had 0.3mm end slop, they sent it back with new bearings and 0.5mm end slop, I'm sad to report, so I made a new larger head, 40.000mm turned slide, stuck in 2 big taper bearings, and put a 0.3hp 3 phase motor on, with speed control, and reverse, you can't stop it with your hand when it goes slow, drills down to 0.3mm lovely, managed to get it to 1/000mm accuracy making alloy adjustable head. I have used the machine an awful lot, have reground the bed a few times...I actually have 3 of the machines !! Used mostly for master patterns for Matchbox and Corgi, Scaledown, Border Fine Arts etc.

Neil Wyatt22/01/2020 20:55:52
17064 forum posts
690 photos
76 articles

Hullo Julz, welcome to the forum, be nice to see pics of the maxi-unimat.


Julian Saunders 122/01/2020 21:19:47
7 forum posts

Thank you, Neil, I'll get in the shed as soon as it's a bit warmer, and after I have seen the nurse on Friday !! I'll post a pic of the S/S and phosphor bronze and brass 3" rotary table i have made for it, as well. Julz

Brian H22/01/2020 22:40:15
1391 forum posts
100 photos

Hello Julz and welcome.

noel shelley22/01/2020 23:00:16
72 forum posts

Hello Julz, glad you've come to join this happy band of minstels, just play nicely ! Noel.

John Haine23/01/2020 07:54:08
2833 forum posts
141 photos


Welcome Julz. Nice to have another U3 hacker on here. Here's a photo of mine, now has a collet spindle, 3 phase motor and VFD. More photos in one of my albums, including of the Turnado - inspired hand turning tool.

Bill Chugg23/01/2020 08:36:20
979 forum posts
6 photos

Hallo Julian and welome to the forum.

Good to see another U3 user.

I have three in total, one set up as a lathe, one as a mill and one used purely for wood turning.

I have ditched the original motors in favour of variable speed D C Parvalux motors.


Julian Saunders 123/01/2020 20:26:12
7 forum posts

Bill, I was lucky enough to get the stuff for my hacks gratis...actually a swap...BSL bearings had bought out Fenner, and a skip sat outside which they allowed me to fill a Sierra with 0.5 tons of pulleys, belts etc...I then swapped half of it for the kit to upgrade mine...your outfit looks the much did the motor and controller cost for yours ? The motor for mine is as long as the lathe..I'll be taking some pics tomorrow, hopefully.

Bill Chugg23/01/2020 21:19:33
979 forum posts
6 photos

Hello Julian

I have the Parvalux 240v DC motor on mine, ii cast around £200. It is run via a bridge rectifier and variable speed pot and is fitted to the original emco motor plate.

There was a well detailed conversion on the unimat yahoo forum using a 24 volt DC scooter motor. Motors run around £20 plus around £30 for the varaible speed drive so can be done a lot cheper than my conversion.

I have a base unit with one U3 set up as a lathe and a second one set up as a mill to save swapping motors around plus I prefer the milling column out of the way during lathe work.

They are both mounted on the same board but back to back , so lathe at the front, mill at the back When finished turning and mill needed, just turn board round 180 degress and away I go. Nice and easy and save space in workshop as both mounted on a 600mm by 600mm board. Picture to follow


Edit typo.

Edited By 34046 on 23/01/2020 21:20:15

Edited By 34046 on 23/01/2020 21:21:18

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