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Mini Lathe

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Peter Andrews 322/02/2020 23:21:23
24 forum posts
72 photos

I went on the hunt for a small lathe so I could turn my own anvil that fits in the top of the Record Auto vice No 74.

I have sold 10 thus far after restoring them and all profit I give to the PTSD Veterans Charity as they need it more than I do.

I have been restoring them after watching YouTube restorations on my many in patient holidays in Hospitals, currently running at about 30 days a year.

The amount that have them missing is running about 40% and a lot of those are rotten.

So it made sense as the diameter of the bar needed is 40mm bored down to 20mm and total length approx 40mm.

Anyway I saw this on Facebook Market Place just down the road from me and the guy accepted £80 for it.

I do not know if this was a good price but it was one I was more than happy to pay, as it was his Fathers who had passed and he was down sizing.

It took me about a week to strip, restore and re- assemble.

I had a few bits left over despite taking 30 photo's.

Let me know what you think guys as to be honest there are a few things I would like to improve on.

I also noticed that when I stripped out the lathe Chuck (Which was full of grot) The spline which is supposed to be welded in has all 3 welds sheared!

Luckily when it's all put back together the backing plate holds it firm.

But it really does feel like its full of sand when unwinding/winding the chuck.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend or whats left of it.


Paul Lousick22/02/2020 23:58:16
1367 forum posts
531 photos

If the chuck is too worn and not repairable, you could fit another one. But still a bargain at £80 .


Brian Sweeting23/02/2020 00:15:13
413 forum posts
1 photos

That looks like a bargain there Peter.

With my safety hat on I would suggest putting the on/off switch to the front of the lathe. It's easier to reach than stretching over a spinning machine.

Hopper23/02/2020 07:04:12
4379 forum posts
92 photos

Looks very smart.

The chuck looks suspiciously like the Crown brand chuck on my old 1930s Drummond. So you won't get parts for that. But a coating of wheel bearing grease on the crown wheel (the large bevel gear) inside and the three pinions that the chuck key drives will help smooth it out a bit. Dont grease the exterior scroll the jaws engage with as it will attract swarf. Thin oil works best there and on on the jaw slideways.

Any clue as to what brand lathe it is?

Peter Andrews 323/02/2020 13:22:46
24 forum posts
72 photos

Thanks guys.

Yes I never even thought about the safety switch.

I would like to find another chuck as this one is sadly broken.

The center shaft that the Crown wheel goes over should be attached to the chuck body, (I believe) Unfortunately it isn't and it fell out along with the crown wheel when I took it apart.

I could see where it had sheared, and it fully explained why it struggled to move freely with the chuck key.

I am not sure where I would get one to exchange with, so much Chinese trash floating around eBay etc for the £40.

I would also like to change the tool post out as it will wind in but not so clever at winding out.

Well it was/is fun doing this project, and I just really need to concentrate on getting a decent size shed erected, so I can work during the winter.

At the moment with the sole exception of using grinding and polishing wheels, I do everything in my Kitchen.

Might explain why I am not married.

Have a great Sunday guys and thanks for the support.


SillyOldDuffer23/02/2020 13:45:06
5605 forum posts
1153 photos
Posted by Paul Lousick on 22/02/2020 23:58:16:

If the chuck is too worn and not repairable, you could fit another one. But still a bargain at £80 .


I suggest getting a new chuck should be a priority - that one is too big for the lathe! Although it fits the spindle, the chuck completely bridges the gap and goes on to cramp the toolpost. A fat chuck that limits the size of work the lathe can take on.

Not a problem if only short pieces are to be turned, but I'd open it up. Sort of slim line thing sold for Sherline lathes Just an example: make sure before buying a replacement chuck that it will fit the spindle or backplate of your particular machine - several different incompatible fittings available!



Peter Andrews 323/02/2020 14:53:49
24 forum posts
72 photos

Thanks Paul.

I need to get my head round it as it's all new to me.

The chuck is 3" so would you suggest I drop down to 2.5"?

I will take it off and upload some pictures just in case there is something I am missing.

I do not have a clue as to price, but quality must be a priority yes?


Bazyle23/02/2020 20:57:19
5130 forum posts
199 photos

The chuck is far forward because the headstock has been remade, it would originally have been part of the main casting probably. Perhaps you can re-position it.
This chuck was discussed on another thread recently but may still be longer than you want.

You mentioned left over bits! If you can post a photo perhaps we can identify them. (we rather like guessing what bits are for).

I googled Record vice no 74. I noticed some have holes at the side just under the anvil which the advert says are 'valve holders'. Can anyone explain why they would have wanted to hold valves like that?

Michael Gilligan23/02/2020 21:27:50
15442 forum posts
666 photos
Posted by Bazyle on 23/02/2020 20:57:19:


I googled Record vice no 74. I noticed some have holes at the side just under the anvil which the advert says are 'valve holders'. Can anyone explain why they would have wanted to hold valves like that?


All will be revealed: **LINK**


old mart23/02/2020 21:42:46
1512 forum posts
136 photos

Absolutely right about the chuck, one of the slimline chucks could save you 1 1/2" assuming that fitting it is feasible. A lot of the time you could make extra space by removing the tailstock.

If it was mine, I would think of the larger four jaw in the photo by S O D, it could be fixed to the faceplate easier. Also, a four jaw, while more difficult to set up, offers more versatility than a three jaw.  

A four jaw chuck can be drilled through from front to back without interfering with the mechanism if the holes are in the area between the jaws. this would make it easy to mount to the backplate.

Edited By old mart on 23/02/2020 21:52:50

Edited By old mart on 23/02/2020 21:57:33

Peter Andrews 323/02/2020 21:58:22
24 forum posts
72 photos

I was lucky enough to win only last week on eBay an original in the box never been used one just last week.

It had been in the possession of this guys Grand parents since the late 30's which was when the 1st variant came out. (1936)

These had more writing on them and the cast was excellent.

Then as the war came on the casts were pitted and of poor quality.

The bolt for the pipe vice was dropped until all you had left was Record 74.

I was informed that there was a seperate bolt on that went into these holes so you could grind the valves.

I just had a count up and I have 9 x 74's laying around including the one in the box which I am keeping.

I sometimes get sellers lowing the price when I tell them what I am doing with them and have got them as low as £20.

The most expensive is the new one at £100.

I have sold 6 thus far on average £130 but I do spend a lot of money and time on them

I found a guy in Belfast who will make me a pipe jaw that he inserts a small round magnet into so it won't fall out of the later models with no bolt on the side.

He also makes me a set of smooth jaws and the originals are vicious at least!

He charges me £25 for the 3 items.

I use paragon paint @ £35 a liter.

I completely strip them down and use the bench wire wheel until I get every bit of crud off.

When prepped I use 2 coats of red oxide and then 3 coats of the Paragon Enamel.

I am only going to use the original Red top coat from now on as the greens are slow sellers.

My last 2 have gone to serving members of the armed forces who own classic cars.

They just want them in their workshop!

Interestingly enough the 74 which weights 10.50 kg has a big brother.

A Record 75 which is 22.40 kg and Paragon record Blue in colour.

Now these in poor condition are fetching up to £150 for some reason.

Having fallen out my loft on Friday 13th July 2018 and busting both arms my nose and a few ribs, I am a bit limited to what I can lift.

So imagine the 40 plus kg 25 I have and spare me a thought lol.

Thanks again


Edited By Peter Andrews 3 on 23/02/2020 21:59:49

Peter Andrews 323/02/2020 22:16:42
24 forum posts
72 photos

Bazyle that exact chuck is on eBay for £39 atm.

Tomorrow I will strip that chuck down and lay it all out and take some pictures to upload.

Need to be careful as the more I spend the less the charity will get so I need to do it right the 1st time.

I am not Familiar with terminology so Head stock I presume is the part the lathe chuck slides into?

For the purpose of making the round Anvil for the vice I can get away with sliding the drill chuck back or take it off.

I have a 300mm length of 40mm steel that I was going to cut down on the Kennedy.

Once I have it cut to size and turned I will see if I have the equipment to heat it up to harden it.

I just realised it's mild steel and not 316 or greater stainless or toughened as needed.

But I am a learner.

I have a blow torch that will hopefully deal with it as in the big gas bottle ones used for roofing, and setting light to your neighbors fence by mistake kind of one!

I think I dip it in oil after to cool it but do not want to jump that far ahead as I only finished the lathe on Thursday.

I really like this forum as we all seem to sing with the same Hymn sheet


Peter Andrews 324/02/2020 18:21:01
24 forum posts
72 photos

OK looking at the head I could move it to the rear about 1 inch.

There is another hole at the bottom of the trench positioned underneath the belt run.

It just clears when running up but umm, I think it may distract me.

I only have a pillar drill and grinders in my arsenal at the moment.

Whatt's the overall verdict folks?

Thanks again


Peter Andrews 324/02/2020 18:36:54
24 forum posts
72 photos

Sorry to jump about from lathe back to Record vice 74.

Someone was asking as to why the valve guide holes are at that angle?

Apparently its a separate holder that slips into those 2 holes and the cylinder head then attaches to the holder. So basically it's for the fitting of a cylinder head clamp.

Apparently rocking horse poop to find one.

Howard Lewis24/02/2020 18:43:02
3127 forum posts
2 photos

The lathe is functioning, so you can use it to make the bits needed to improve performance / useability!

Only strip it down for the upgrades when you are sure that you have made all the parts needed to do the job.

When you reposition the Headstock. do make sure that it is aligned correctly, and not sitting at an angle to the bed in either plane. Otherwise it will turn unwanted tapers! So you will need something to act as an alignment bar, a DTI and a base for it.

Once you have the Headstock end sorted, you can align the Tailstock with the Headstock, for the same reason!

Every job seems to spawn at least one more!

If you are newbie, find a Model Engineering Club near you, and join. Face to face advice, with someone with more knowledge beside you, is even better than reading how to do it.

Where are you located?

PS  If the lathe is American or British manufacture, the leadscrews and hardware is most likely Imperial.

But with an old machine that has been modified, you cannot be too sure, so check, rather than assume!

Someone could have made it a hybrid


Edited By Howard Lewis on 24/02/2020 18:45:32

Bazyle24/02/2020 18:49:10
5130 forum posts
199 photos

You haven't said where you are but it might help to contact your local Model Engineering Society or Men's Shed.

The headstock is the U shaped bit on the left that holds the mandrel or spindle that holds the chuck.

Hardening metal is a bit more complicated. Just heating up and cooling is actually used to soften metal. Heating up to dull red and dropping in water hardens certain steels but can then make them brittle which would be dangerous for an anvil and the shock of dropping in water can even cause them to crack. You then have to reheat the hard metal to a lower temperature and let it cool. The temperatures matter. Generally a bit advanced.
However mild steel doesn't harden and might be better as a safety consideration. What you can do with it is heat up to well under red hot and drop into a bucket of old oil. This can give it a nice black finish which will last until someone hits it with a hammer.

Peter Andrews 324/02/2020 18:49:47
24 forum posts
72 photos

Hi Howard and thanks for the speedy reply.

I live in Morden Surrey.

Yes agree with you that for the moment the lathe is fit for the intended purpose.

I can always remove the drill chuck I suppose if needed.

The last Lathe I used prior to this was massive, and I used to turn out Road Sweeper parts for Johnson Brothers in Dorking.

Funny how after all this time (46 years) that I can still remember roughly how to use it.

The old boy who used to own it made miniture gun carriages like they had in the Crimea.

His work was of an excellent standard.



Peter Andrews 324/02/2020 18:54:50
24 forum posts
72 photos

I wonder if this little lathe will turn 316 stainless?

Or I might just keep the mild steel and polish it up.

Thus far the people that have bought them have all said they want to add to a collection they have, or to make their man cave look cool.

The bottom line is I am enjoying myself and staying positive.

Location is SM4 5RJ

I am looking for events I can travel to over the summer as I like that sort of thing.

Makes a change from Military ones.

Might just meet up with some of you!



Howard Lewis25/02/2020 17:17:47
3127 forum posts
2 photos

There are Model Engineering Clubs in Malden, (Thames Ditton ) Sutton and Leatherhead, in Surrey, according to Google.

If it is not too far to travel, would advise joining one.


Peter Andrews 325/02/2020 17:41:04
24 forum posts
72 photos

Thanks Howard.

Just for information, I recently purchased a straight grinder as I wanted something with a bit more grunt than my Dremmel, but not so big and clumsy as a Angle grinder.

The big name makes are like £200 plus, so when I saw one on Amazon for £27 it seemed a no brainer, especially when it had a few 5* reviews.

So out I go to wire brush the Kennedy Hacksaw and the 1st thing I noticed it vibrated a lot.

Within 30 seconds it got very warm.

45 seconds it was sounding quite ill.

1 min and the thing started to melt lol.

Smoke was billowing out of it so I un plugged it and threw it into the grass.

1 hr later I put it in the fridge to cool it down so I could send it back.

Amazon have done the decent thing and withdrawn the product but only when sold seperately.

All the ones that come with tools and extras are still selling.

Just in case anyone is thinking of getting one of these, here is the link,

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