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Denham Junior Mk2 Lathe Purchase

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Peter Williamson 210/11/2021 16:42:31
5 forum posts
7 photos

Hi. A new lathe owner and first post on the forum.

After a few years on the lookout for a lathe, I took a punt on a old Denham that was fairly local to me. The price seemed reasonable so bought it sight-unseen. From what little research I’ve done, it’s a Denham Junior Mk1 made in 1929 and according to the info plate, reconditioned in April 1949. It’s somewhat rough but overall it seems to work so the plan right now is to restore it into a good a working condition. Basically just go through it, clean and repair anything that needs it and give it a coat of paint.

Is there any fellow Denham owners on this list who can share their knowledge on this model? I’m also looking for any documentation: Service manuals, operating manuals, parts list etc that will help with the process.

Peter Williamson 210/11/2021 19:39:54
5 forum posts
7 photos

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John ATTLEE10/11/2021 20:34:16
21 forum posts

I expect that "AM" is Air Ministry.. I have a Denham DL6 or 7 (I can't remember which. It is quite slow and TC insert tools are not supposed to work with it. They do! Productivity is significantly improved with 2 axis DRO.

John

not done it yet11/11/2021 09:58:58
6716 forum posts
20 photos

Likely it was thoroughly worn out during the war years when it would have given sterling service for the war effort.

It may be due for another reconditioning, but likely still in fine fettle, the only drawback is the speed range - but keeping the speed down would have made it so long-lived.

Modern lubricants may allow that range to be extended, but better left as it is. Some TC cutters will work very satisfactorily - the polished ones designed for cutting aluminium at high speed are good with other metals if care is taken with their use.

That it has a separate power feed shaft (not using the lead screw for that duty) sort of demonstrates the quality of the machine.

I would say that looks like a good starter machine, although some on the forum would always recommend a new (chinese) machine. It has clearly stood the test of time. Enjoy.

Ady111/11/2021 10:02:45
avatar
5063 forum posts
734 photos

It looks like it could clean up really well

A DRO as mentioned makes life much easier with those old ladies

Edited By Ady1 on 11/11/2021 10:07:10

Peter Williamson 211/11/2021 11:39:31
5 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by John ATTLEE on 10/11/2021 20:34:16:

I expect that "AM" is Air Ministry.. I have a Denham DL6 or 7 (I can't remember which. It is quite slow and TC insert tools are not supposed to work with it. They do! Productivity is significantly improved with 2 axis DRO.

Hi John,

The guy I bought it from did say it was likely from an air base up in Lincolnshire. I'm assuming it's the low speed that's the issue with using inserts? It didn't come with any tooling so I was going to purchase some 12mm holders (the height from the post to centre looks to be 1/2". HHS would be nice but I don't have the skills yet to make them (or even a suitable grinder).

A DRO is a possibility down the road but not right now.

I've just noticed the type-o in the thread title. It should me a mk1: can a moderator change this?

Peter Williamson 211/11/2021 11:54:18
5 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 11/11/2021 09:58:58:

Modern lubricants may allow that range to be extended, but better left as it is. Some TC cutters will work very satisfactorily - the polished ones designed for cutting aluminium at high speed are good with other metals if care is taken with their use.

That it has a separate power feed shaft (not using the lead screw for that duty) sort of demonstrates the quality of the machine.

I would say that looks like a good starter machine, although some on the forum would always recommend a new (chinese) machine. It has clearly stood the test of time. Enjoy.

The gear head is what drew me to it over some of the belt drive models, more like a mini Colchester student (the only lathe I've ever operated). It all looks original going by period photos I've found. It could look quite smart with new paint. It's missing an on/off control, you just plug it in to start it which seems a bit sketchy from a safety standpoint.

Do you know anyone on the forum that has a mk1? There's so much I don't know, like how much oil it takes, what taper fitting the tail stock is, etc.. I'm also worried about breaking something that cannot be replaced when stripping it down. Having some documentation would really help. There's a little history on lathes.co.uk but not much else.

Ady111/11/2021 13:52:08
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5063 forum posts
734 photos

check your inbox

not done it yet11/11/2021 16:30:55
6716 forum posts
20 photos

I suspect there will be an oil level plug in the side of the casing. Some old machines had a sight glass/tube or two taps - one for max level (allow oil to drain until at max level) and the oil level was OK if there was oil at the lower valve (when cracked open).

I suspect the level might be just above the teeth on the smallest gear on that intermediate shaft - to allow pick-up with all three gears on that shaft. It will also be below any potential leakage points - gear change levers and shaft bearings.

I expect the large gear will pick up, and splash, plenty of oil for the bearings or the oil will be picked up by the gear in the lower section of the box, at the left side in your pic. Unless there is a separate oil-slinger or pump (unlikely). Are there any oil channels in the top cover?

Baz11/11/2021 19:56:47
705 forum posts
2 photos

Looks to be a very nice machine, don’t worry about low speeds I have an old Holbrook that is a bit challenged in the speed department and have never had a problem using tipped tools at slow speeds. Have you got any other chucks etc for the lathe, can’t quite make out from the photo what’s in the box underneath it.

Peter Williamson 212/11/2021 12:27:25
5 forum posts
7 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 11/11/2021 16:30:55:

I suspect there will be an oil level plug in the side of the casing. Some old machines had a sight glass/tube or two taps - one for max level (allow oil to drain until at max level) and the oil level was OK if there was oil at the lower valve (when cracked open).

I suspect the level might be just above the teeth on the smallest gear on that intermediate shaft - to allow pick-up with all three gears on that shaft. It will also be below any potential leakage points - gear change levers and shaft bearings.

I expect the large gear will pick up, and splash, plenty of oil for the bearings or the oil will be picked up by the gear in the lower section of the box, at the left side in your pic. Unless there is a separate oil-slinger or pump (unlikely). Are there any oil channels in the top cover?

A kind member has emailed across a manual for the mk2 which from the look of it shares a few similarities with my mk1. There seems to be no fill-to mark on this version. I think it might just be trial an error. Shell-Mex R-1 no longer made so ISO 32 to 68 I guess, I use 32 for my compressor but seems a bit thin so might try the latter.

Lubrication is splash by the gears only, no pump. The cover has some channels but some oil holes seem to sit under sides that don't, very odd. Externally there are many oiling points, flat with a sprung ball bearing inside. Is there a special oil can that fits these? Not come across this type before.

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