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Raglan Capstan MKII

My first lathe, a gift from a friend

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Andrew Chesney21/01/2022 17:22:18
7 forum posts
21 photos

Dear Folks,

I've been reading this forum, and oh my what great advice!

I have been gifted this lathe (Raglan Capstan MKII), I pick it up this week from Frimley Green and travel home to Saracens Head (Lincs)

Apart from using my friends ML7, my last experience of lathe work was at school (some 40+ years ago).

I can't seem to find a lot of information on this lathe (ordered a reprint manual from Tony at

My list of jobs: 1. clean and lubricate; 2. re-wire as there are no cables wired in; 3. work out what the boxes at rear of lathe do.

Any advice or tips appreciated.

P.S. I was going to attach photos, but I'm new to this platform and can't work it out.

Kindest regards

Gray6221/01/2022 19:36:43
1057 forum posts
16 photos

How to post pictures

Andrew Chesney21/01/2022 19:39:14
7 forum posts
21 photos

@Gray62 thank you - See my other photos too

img_2175 conv.jpeg

noel shelley21/01/2022 19:50:58
1278 forum posts
21 photos

Hi Andrew, I know nothing about a raglan but as a capstan is it 3Ph ? I know a bit about lathes in general. If you need help or advice about wiring it up I;m not far from you. When moving it bear in mind it will be very heavy and may not be very stable. Good Luck Noel

Just seen the pics, YES it will be VERY heavy and top heavy. It's got a lever operated collet chuck and the capstan looks as though it is like the myford an attachment. When collecting see if there are any collets for it, there may be many bits that are for the capstan. N

Edited By noel shelley on 21/01/2022 19:52:37

Edited By noel shelley on 21/01/2022 19:56:29

Andrew Chesney21/01/2022 19:53:41
7 forum posts
21 photos

Dear Noel,

Thank you so much for the response - apparently it's single phase.

I had four men from my local congregation to help move it for me, I think the weight is circa 320kg!

Kindest regards

Howard Lewis21/01/2022 20:53:32
6005 forum posts
14 photos

What wonderful friends to have!

It looks as if you might need to find some fittings for the Capstan, such as holders for say, Centre, Roller boxes (Leading and Trailing ), Die Box or Die Holder, Tap Holder, .

If all else fails, you could fabricate / machine some of these Each one is basically a flange with a body with a central bore to hold the particular tool.

If so, probably the first job will be to make some form of adaptor that allows a conventional 3 or 4 jaw chuck to be mounted; unless you can find someone to do the work for you.

(Have you tried contacting The Saracens Head railway group?


Andrew Chesney22/01/2022 09:13:08
7 forum posts
21 photos

@Howard - thank you. I've not heard of Saracens Head railway group. I guess it must be another location (not Lincs)?

I too was thinking how nest I can get a three-jaw chuck mounted - I have little clue currently.

Just a little daunted by this project.

Kindest regards


Howard Lewis23/01/2022 10:59:00
6005 forum posts
14 photos


Saracens Head IS a south Lincolnshire group, but they don't seem to have a website.

Maybe the Southern or Northern Federations might have contact details, if you ask

I am sure that if you start asking around Lincolnshire Model Engineering clubs, someone will have a contact..

Maybe someone on here will be able to put you in contact?

They exhibited at the now defunct Spalding Hobbies and Model Engineering Show., and occasionally have met someone who I recognise as a member, although do not know his name.

Mounting a 3 or 4 jaw chuck will require an adaptor which fits the Mandrel bore to carry the chuck.

Once you know what the bore is, a suitable adaptor can be made up (MT stub mandrels are available

(Arc EURO don't sell above 3 MT, but RDG offer a 4 MT. )

Being a Raglan, the mandrel bore may be 4 MT, as "read across" from the centre lathes..

Any info on the Lathes UK site?

Once a backplate is mounted on such an arbor, all machining should ensure that the register is square to the lathe axis, and concentric.

Capstan tooling will be automatically centred of the holder is dowelled to the Capstan head in some way and then bored / reamed from the mandrel..



Andrew Chesney23/01/2022 12:11:15
7 forum posts
21 photos

@Howard - Thank you for the wealth of information.

Kindest regards

Andrew Chesney24/01/2022 15:35:03
7 forum posts
21 photos

Dear Folks,

I have take some photos of the motor (single phase) and the two boxes at the rear of the lathe. Oh my the control box (whatever that is used for), has relays, etc. I wonder if I need to use this, or if this is for a three-phase input?

I just wonder what the general view is: (1) use existing controls or (2) bypass and re-wire? I am concerned if this control, panel NEEDS to be used for the electro-magnetic clutch, any ideas?



img_2231 conv.jpegimg_2229 conv.jpegimg_2244 conv.jpegDear Folks,

I have take some photos of the motor (single phase) and the two boxes at the rear of the lathe. Oh my the control box (whatever that is used for), has relays, etc. I wonder if I need to use this, or if this is for a threephase input?

img_2246 conv.jpeg

Brian H24/01/2022 15:51:01
2312 forum posts
112 photos

Congratulations on your new acquisition, here is a site with info on your lathe:**LINK**


Andrew Johnston24/01/2022 16:25:06
6574 forum posts
701 photos

The item with square fins, below the transformer, is a selenium rectifier, mostly likely to provide DC for the electromagnetic clutch.So you will need the panel to use the clutch.


Oily Rag27/01/2022 20:59:48
540 forum posts
184 photos


I've just noticed your posting about this Raglan Capstan machine. This looks to be a very rare powered capstan model. It has two electro magnetic clutches inside the headstock and this allows instant speed changes to be accomplished for capstan work. I have some pictures of the insides of the headstock and a diagram of the headstock arrangement. These are like no other Raglan machine and was intended purely for capstan type work.

I believe the spindle may also be the 'LOO' type with a taper register, not the threaded type nose as used by 'normal' Raglans,

The way these capstans work was to set them up for mass production of small items (bolts, nuts, studs, short turned specials) To cut a thread for instance requires a Coventry style Die Head with corresponding dies of the correct thread, the cross slide operates as a fixed chamfer and cut off slide. There is only a power shaft at the front of the bed to power the capstan.

A very desirable machine - but only if you want to produce 500 1/4" UNF studs!


noel shelley27/01/2022 22:14:32
1278 forum posts
21 photos

I have seen this machine, very clever ! 3/4hp motor with variable speed pulleys feeding 2 electro clutches, giving stepless speeds of 85 to 1750. 24v dc for the clutches. The mandrel has a lever operated collet chuck. The cross slide has 4 stops, 4 way tool post and rear tool post for parting off. The saddle has 4 stops. The capstan is six station and driven off an auxilliary shaft via change wheels. Built for Small production work, a fascinating machine. Noel.

Andrew Chesney29/01/2022 19:20:50
7 forum posts
21 photos

Martin, Andrew and Noel,

A big THANK YOU for your input.

Noel visited visited this week (what a very nice bloke), he gave me some confidence in getting this lathe up and running. I'm busy for a couple of weeks on other matters, but will then get the paraffin, rags and WD40 out to fully clean this up.

It will need re-wiring, as it has been somewhat molested.

It would be ideal to restore the paintwork too - I enjoy the "journey" of restoration.



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