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Left handed lathe.

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Anthony Knights01/02/2020 10:53:15
622 forum posts
242 photos

Because the majority of the population is right handed, I assume this is the reason every lathe I know of has the headstock on the left. If the majority of people were left handed, would lathes have the headstock on the right? Also, would a "normal" screw thread be left handed?

Bob Stevenson01/02/2020 10:58:31
579 forum posts
7 photos

There's a cultural influence too and there was, in the past, a considerable German interest in keeping the headstock to the right hand side, indeed many German users of watchmakers and 'precision' lathes still do so....still others, mainly German, use watch lathes with the tailstock to their chest and several makers still make lathes like this for fine work.

mechman4801/02/2020 11:41:15
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2947 forum posts
468 photos

I'm right handed but I have used a left handed monkey wrench ...devil face 20

Geo.

not done it yet01/02/2020 11:56:00
6749 forum posts
20 photos

I’ve got a left-handed digi caliper - and I am right handed. Just so much easier to measure items while in the lathe chuck.

Lots of machinery was historically always made right handed. I doubt if many pairs of scissors were left handed until fairly recently? I know that circular sock knitting machines were all right-handed, until someone started making some for lefties within the last ten years.

The armies didn’t want infantry with guns, or spears, or bows, being used cack handed!

Dave Halford01/02/2020 12:04:20
2015 forum posts
23 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 01/02/2020 11:56:00:

I doubt if many pairs of scissors were left handed until fairly recently?

Had a pair of those in the 70's, hard to use for a 'righty'.

Speedy Builder501/02/2020 12:30:00
2594 forum posts
208 photos

handy if you have to thread up to a shoulder

Bill Phinn01/02/2020 12:56:13
739 forum posts
103 photos

Until the age of 21 I was right-handed. Since then, owing to an accident, I have had to be left-handed.

Some things that would be more convenient for me on your left-handed lathe:

sliding the tailstock along the bed and probably all other manipulations of the tailstock apart from inserting or removing drills etc.;

Cranking the compound-slide handle.

Some things that would be less, not more, convenient on your left-hand lathe:

locking and unlocking a typical jawed chuck;

Inserting and removing drills etc. into and from the tailstock quill;

Accessing gears or other things inside the gearbox casing;

Operating the on-off switches, speed-control dials, quick-change gearbox levers et al.

It's not lathes where I really feel the need of a left-handed machine, but mills and drills, since cranking a right-located handwheel to raise and lower the head, cranking the x-axis handwheel on a milling table having a single [always right-positioned?] handwheel, and lowering the quill [coarse feed on a mini-mill] are genuinely troublesome for me, especially the first two of these.

Nigel McBurney 101/02/2020 13:40:58
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999 forum posts
3 photos

Did left hand position of the headstock originate from wood turning where it was convenient for the right handed majority to steady the wood turning chisel in the left hand and control and push to the left with the right hand.

50 odd years ago i spent a month in a German factory learning about a product to be transferred to a uk factory,in their toolroom they had bench vices wih a fixed rear jaw (closest to the operator0 and square headed hammers

IanH01/02/2020 14:21:03
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117 forum posts
67 photos

If you look here...

**LINK**

you will see President Tito of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia using what is clearly a left handed Myford Lathe.....

I spotted this a few year ago when visiting Brijuni, Tito's summer residence. This photo is a part of a large photographic archive displayed on the island. The back to front lathe caught my eye, but on closer inspection I realised that in the photo he is wearing his watch on the wrong wrist, so I concluded that this photo is in fact printed back to front and the left handed Myford a mirage!

I helpfully pointed this out to the guide who was very sceptical until I was able to show that in every other photo where his watch was visible, he wore it on the other wrist. Strangely the guide did not seem too pleased that I had pointed this out and I was ushered out of the room. Clearly the message didn't get through to the web site designer.

Ian

Bill Phinn01/02/2020 14:36:46
739 forum posts
103 photos

Interesting stuff, Ian.

The clincher is that the "Made in England" on the side of the lathe reads in reverse.

Georgineer01/02/2020 16:29:28
568 forum posts
32 photos
Posted by IanH on 01/02/2020 14:21:03:...in the photo he is wearing his watch on the wrong wrist, so I concluded that this photo is in fact printed back to front...

Ian - in every photo of me, I am wearing my watch on the wrong wrist. Does that mean I was printed back to front? My wife says that would explain a lot.

Papplewick Pumping Station has a lathe in the workshop - pre-war German I believe. I was told when visiting that, although its headstock is on the left, all its controls operate in the opposite way to usual, which is the nearest I have seen to a left-hand lathe.

That's as bad as the monstrosities sold as left-hand scissors, which are actually right-hand ones with a deeply moulded left-hand grip, so are no use to anybody. After a lifetime using right-hand scissors I simply can't get on with the left-hand ones, though left-hand calipers were a revelation. I do have a small number of left-hand pencils. Yes, really!

George B.

Enough!01/02/2020 16:39:42
1719 forum posts
1 photos

I suppose a left handed lathe would have to rotate in the opposite direction .... and screw-on chucks would have to have the opposite thread?

martin perman01/02/2020 16:58:32
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2042 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by mechman48 on 01/02/2020 11:41:15:

I'm right handed but I have used a left handed monkey wrench ...devil face 20

Geo.

A friend of mine collected over 600 hundred adjustable spanners over the years, all different and from all over the world, and he had a left handed one, as a left hander myself life has been a pain, particularly with electric hand tools, that has to be endured but then we are supposed to be more artistic and creative.

Martin P

Enough!01/02/2020 17:05:08
1719 forum posts
1 photos

I didn't even know there are left-handed monkeys (let alone that they use wrenches). What a great source of information this forum is!

wink

Mike Poole01/02/2020 17:05:38
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Moderator
3308 forum posts
73 photos

Left handed people simply have their brain in upside down.

Mike

Nick Clarke 301/02/2020 17:15:23
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1397 forum posts
61 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 01/02/2020 11:56:00:

The armies didn’t want infantry with guns, or spears, or bows, being used cack handed!

I am cross lateral - ie left eye dominant but right handed. when I was younger I always used Exacta or Exa cameras because the winder was on the left - a right handed camera such a Nikon found me poking my eye out when winding on.

I don't shoot anymore but when I did I used to frighten people trying to use a right handed shotgun sighting with my left eye - I appeared to be shooting round a corner and it worried those next to me where exactly it was pointed!!

martin perman01/02/2020 17:15:32
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2042 forum posts
86 photos

Obviously the view point of a righthander smiley

martin perman01/02/2020 17:24:12
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2042 forum posts
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When in the ATC we had .303 rifles whose bolt was on the right side, when I used one I sighted with my left eye,stock in my left shoulder and right hant supporting the barrel, all well until I had to reload as passing my arm and hand over the top to operare the bolt was not easy.

Martin p

old mart01/02/2020 20:40:27
3728 forum posts
233 photos

I am left handed, but only use my left hand exclusively for writing, otherwise it is whichever hand is more convenient. The only thing which I think is essential if you are left handed are scissors. One day I will buy one of the left handed digital calipers, but only because they are easier for anyone using a lathe. I feel sorry for anyone, right or lefthanded who cannot manage 95% of things with either hand.

martin perman01/02/2020 21:06:14
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2042 forum posts
86 photos
Posted by old mart on 01/02/2020 20:40:27:

I am left handed, but only use my left hand exclusively for writing, otherwise it is whichever hand is more convenient. The only thing which I think is essential if you are left handed are scissors. One day I will buy one of the left handed digital calipers, but only because they are easier for anyone using a lathe. I feel sorry for anyone, right or lefthanded who cannot manage 95% of things with either hand.

To answer your last comment I can hold tools but dont have a lot of coordination, put a knife in my right hand and I become dangerous smiley

Martin P

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