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Meteror II Screw cutting lathe

Hand finished bed and slide

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Geoff Mathews03/12/2020 11:49:25
14 forum posts
1 photos

I have a Meteor II screw cutting lathe. I was astonished to find that the bed and slide are hand finished. This is confirmed as a feature of these lathes in literature supplied by Tony Griffiths. I would like to hear from anyone who has one of these lathes - perhaps circa 1968. I am also looking for a fixed steady, and a travelling steady to use with this lathe and would be grateful in help with finding these items. Thanks Geoff.

Bob Stevenson03/12/2020 12:21:51
464 forum posts
7 photos

Am I right in thinking that the Meteor is actually a 'Flexispeed' lathe, or model thereof? At Epping Forest Horology Club we have people who own flexi's with various degrees of success........unfortunately we are currently shut down!

The Flexi is basically identical to a Cowells, of which it is a forunner. Cowells certainly do make rests albeit very expensive but they would probably fit meteor. If you can find pix on the Cowells website,..unfortunately not easy! you might be able to fabricate your own rests from gauge plate etc as they must be quite small.

Neil A03/12/2020 13:38:34
78 forum posts

I don't think the fixed steady for the Cowell will fit, the Cowell has a 1.75" centre height against the 2.00" of the Flexispeed Meteor 2.

Years ago I did start making a fixed steady from a piece of 1/2" steel plate, but never finished it as I acquired another machine. I still have the unfinished parts in a draw.

I did manage to make a screwcutting setup, this was based on the design in L.C. Mason's book "Building a Small Lathe". I used his idea for the locating pins in the gears.The Flexispeed arrangement did not allow me to cut some pitches that I needed. I cut my own gears from aluminium plate on the Flexispeed itself using a single point cutter in a clockwheel style cutting frame. 24DP from my notes, it was about 40 years ago now.

Funnily enough, I pulled the Flexispeed out about a month ago to cut some threaded adaptors in brass, 3/8 x 16 BSW, 1/2 x 26 Whitworth form and 5/8 x 27UNS. The leadscrew was kept engaged and the lathe pulled round by hand both for the cut and reversing, the slowest motor speed is far too fast. I also pulled it round by hand for parting off, takes a bit of time but far less "exciting".


Bob Stevenson03/12/2020 14:16:21
464 forum posts
7 photos

.....the manual might be handy!

david bennett 803/12/2020 21:46:33
24 forum posts

I understood from Tony's website only the Flexispeed Major had the hand finishing to the bed etc. I too would be astonished if it applied to the Meteor11


James Alford04/12/2020 07:23:28
412 forum posts
74 photos

Geoff: I have one of these lathes, alebit without the screw-cutting gears. I have only used it to make things like spacers for a distributor so far, and some additional tooling for the machine, but I am very pleased with it.

Bob: have you used that link to the manul? I stumbled across last night by coincidence and found that it has several manuals available, but every one has exactly the same series of posts around it and none of the other links on the page works. I have not tried to download the manual as I am pretty sure that it is a dodgy site and would treat it caution.



Geoff Mathews04/12/2020 11:06:43
14 forum posts
1 photos

The 10/6/1968 and 24/8/1965 retail price lists supplied by Tony Griffiths, say "and now with hand finished bed & carriage".

I was surprised to find this information.

The part number of the fixed steady I am looking for is A.210 - £1. 8s. 6d, in 1968.

Geoff Mathews07/12/2020 15:04:28
14 forum posts
1 photos

I would like to contact John Carruthers regarding my search for a fixed steady for a Flexispeed lathe - what is the best way of doing this?

Bob Stevenson07/12/2020 15:13:24
464 forum posts
7 photos

I've missed the connection there,....Who is John Carruthers?

Geoff Mathews07/12/2020 15:48:29
14 forum posts
1 photos

John Carruthers published an album titled "Flexispeed Meteor II" March 27th 2015. It contains a picture of what appears to be a Flexispeed fixed steady. I would like to check with him if I am correct in believing that it is a steady of the type that I am searching for - and if he can suggest where I can find such an item.

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