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Any other Barker lathe owners out there?

New Barker lathe owner looking for contacts

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John Coates28/10/2009 08:22:58
558 forum posts
28 photos
I have recently purchased a 1947 Barker 5" x 24" lathe. I am interested to locate and correspond with other owners to learn more about my lathe and what was standard (don't think mine is) and what modifications can be done
So far I have looked at and there must be two or three others around judging by the photos in Tony's article about the lathe (one of them is mine)
I got it because I need to do some fabrication for some motorcycle projects and thought it would be cheaper in the long run to learn how to use a lathe and make my own parts 
Plus - once you've got a lathe and can use a lathe, you've always got a lathe in case something else comes along, right?
regards, John
John Coates03/11/2009 19:00:24
558 forum posts
28 photos
Well there's at least one other person out there with one
Thanks Pat - you've given me hope
Mark Millward 107/05/2013 23:34:31
13 forum posts

I have just got myself a nice one of these but am having problems working out the gearing from the belt drive through the gears. Would anyone have a workshop manual I could get a copy of or a scan etc . I have a suspicion it may not be all there.

Thanks Mark

John Coates08/05/2013 20:24:39
558 forum posts
28 photos

Hi Mark

The change wheels should be: 20, 24, 32, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48, 48, 52, 54, 56, 60, 80 (note the two 48 wheels).

There should 8 speed wheels from 25 to 75 rising by 5's. There should be two large knurled spacers secured by grub screws to hold two speed wheels onto each shaft

I have spreadsheets for imperial and metric threads which I can send you if you drop me a personal message (PM)

They are very nice machines


Ben Philpott26/10/2016 08:23:14
3 forum posts
Hi guys, sorry about bringing up a 3 year old post but I just purchased a barker lathe last night and other than and here, there appears to be no more info available on them, does anyone here have more info,manuals and so on? Also I'm pretty sure I dated mine to February 1947 but would like see if that was right, stamped 2470/420. Thankyou, Ben
Lambton26/10/2016 16:14:56
694 forum posts
2 photos


Have a look at this site. **LINK**


John Coates26/10/2016 17:26:59
558 forum posts
28 photos
Hi Ben

I know one other owner and the guy I bought my second Barker from. None of us have manuals. I have spread sheets for the screw cutting chart on the machine and also a metric chart with the error % for each thread. Just drop me a PM with your email address.

Anything else just ask

Speedy Builder526/10/2016 17:30:05
2642 forum posts
217 photos

Its interesting that you can swivel the headstock for taper turning. Why would this be seen as a better idea than using the top slide?

NJH26/10/2016 17:50:10
2314 forum posts
139 photos

At a guess it would be possible to produce a longer taper than would be possible using the top slide - of course the problem then would be supporting the end of the work.


not done it yet26/10/2016 18:15:43
6876 forum posts
20 photos

would this be seen as a better idea than using the top slide?

lathesdotco explain this. ''Under power' is nearly always better than hand feeding. Certainly easier!

Bazyle26/10/2016 18:27:48
6379 forum posts
222 photos

You can use a swivelled head for making tapered pipe threads ordishing the ends of bars to make them stand upright. I've seen instructions somewhere for doing this to ensure clock pillars sit square on the plates.

Since the Lathes site mentions selling one to Harrow school has anyone tried contacting them to see if they still have it and any supporting documentation?

Paul Cheeseman 109/06/2020 10:53:57
2 forum posts

I’ve just bought a 5” Barker lathe which is fitted with a Carter hydraulic variable gearbox. It is reputed to have started life at Terrys Chocolate factory in York. It is in good condition for its age with all the wheels for screw cutting plus unused wheels for changing the speed as these are not needed with the automatic box. There is next to no wear on the bars which form the bed although there is quite a bit of backlash on the saddle and cross slide which I’m hoping to resolve. It is my first lathe and while a bit old and quirky I’m hoping it will give me something to develop my skills on.

Does anyone on this forum have experience Or any tips with these lathes or the Carter gearbox? Does anyone have any documentation for them (I.e. lubrication spec etc)?

ega09/06/2020 13:54:31
2565 forum posts
203 photos

Paul Cheeseman 1:

I have alerted a Barker-owning friend.

If you can figure out how to do so, it would be good to see photos, particularly of the gearbox. No doubt Tony at would also be interested.

Ady109/06/2020 16:22:38
5160 forum posts
738 photos

Detailed photos of stuff like a working gearbox would be pretty rare and interesting

Perhaps you could do a swap with Tony, a bunch of photos for his site for a Lathe manual if he has one kinda thing


Edited By Ady1 on 09/06/2020 16:23:33

John Coates09/06/2020 17:55:09
558 forum posts
28 photos

I've had mine for 10 years now - and bought a second for spares wink which came with the thread dial indicator as well (bonus)

Have converted mine to 3 phase via an inverter which does away with the speed wheels and gives infinite speed control. Bored out a quick change tool post from RDG to go on the top slide.

I broke the saddle lock crying so have to use a G clamp until I either swap over the saddle from the spare or make a new clamping fixture. I have toyed with the idea of welding and stitching the cast iron around the original clamp

I've never found a manual for one. Now I've got two the prospect of a full strip, clean, repair and restore is a distinct possibility when retirement arrives



Edited By John Coates on 09/06/2020 17:55:48

Paul Cheeseman 109/06/2020 18:51:53
2 forum posts

Many thanks. I’ll upload some pictures of the lathe and send some to Tony’s site. The lock for the Cast iron tail stock on mine has cracked. It’s been turned round and a machine screw drilled and tapped in. A hexagon key has been brazed onto the machine screw. Hence the screw can be tightened onto the front slide bar to lock the tail stock. It works ok although runs the risk of marking the slide bar. Like you I’m thinking of having it welded but wonder if it is worth the effort as it may just crack at another point.

derek mitchell09/07/2022 13:16:18
1 forum posts

Another Barker lathe owner here its a 36" model with suds tray and cabinets. It still has the guards.

Joe Brown 119/07/2022 19:57:56
1 forum posts

Good evening. I’m thinking at having a look at one of these. Is there any means of adjustment if the bars are worn?

How are people finding them in terms of surface finish achievable and depth of cut over a conventional bedded lathe?


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