By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Watchmaker's lathe

Lorch 6mm

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
steamdave13/08/2020 14:26:07
455 forum posts
35 photos

Quite a number of years ago I came by a watchmaker's lathe. At the time, I knew nothing about it, but after giving it another looking at recently, I have discovered it is a Lorch.



Looking at the sight, it is actually a Lorch Schmidt 'Geneva' pattern 6mm lathe.

Unfortunately, what is pictured is all that I have. What the small brass 'pulley' is I have no idea, except that it is not really a pulley because it is fixed and at an angle to the lathe axis.

Originally I intended to try and make a few bits and pieces for it, but that is another job that will become a squaretuit as opposed to a roundtuit.

Just posting this out of interest to the watchmaking fraternity here.

The Emerald Isle

Michael Gilligan13/08/2020 17:32:08
16190 forum posts
706 photos

What you have there, Dave, is a ‘safety pulley’

There are variations on the theme; but the general idea is that the additional pulley makes the drive wrap less and therefore lets it slip before damage is caused by a dig-in.

That version would be used for between-centres work with a bow.


Rod Renshaw13/08/2020 17:49:43
149 forum posts

+1, it's a safety pulley. For clarity, I would like to add that it goes on the headstock end of the lathe and as Michael says it is used when turning work between centres. The work is held between 2 (usually female ) centres and it has a small pulley ( called a ferrule) mounted on it. The drive belt, whether from a bow or a motor, goes around the safety pulley , which rotates freely, and just brushes the ferrule. By adjusting the position of the safety pulley the drive belt wraps around the ferrule to a greater or lesser degree and provides a greater or lesser drive to the work - useful for very delicate work.


Andy Carlson13/08/2020 17:52:18
289 forum posts
123 photos

I have a Lorch 6mm. I don't have that little brass bit dangling from the (for want of a betfter word) tailstock.

Mine came for a not unreasonable sum of money and with a decent set of collets. It gets used when I need to turn really small things using a hand graver and/or needle files... which when modelling in 2mm scale does happen fairly often.

The 6mm lathe is usually regarded as less desirable than an 8mm. Mine does the job I bought it to do so I'm quite happy that I didn't hang on for that unmissable 8mm lathe bargain that hasn't happened yet.

Being used to, err... normal... lathes I've found the Lorch tailstock and its associated bits rather alien and have used it very little. I really should read up on how a watchmaker's lathe is supposed to be used some time.

Ideally you need the base, but it holds the headstock rather like a vice would, so you could just stick it in a vice and arrange some sort of rubber band and motor to make it go round.

Michael Gilligan13/08/2020 18:18:48
16190 forum posts
706 photos

Here’s one of those many variations on the theme: **LINK**


IanT13/08/2020 19:39:23
1581 forum posts
145 photos

You might find Don Gordon's ME articles "High Precision, Low Cost" very useful Dave.

He recommended using (slightly scaled up) watchmakers methods for small scale modelling and a safety pulley was one of the devices he described...

PM me if you would like to read them...


All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest