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boxford model aud

slow spindle speed

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anchorman24/02/2013 11:28:59
10 forum posts

I have an old ( around late 60's) Boxford model AUD . All through the winter it has run very slowly , I've put this down to the workshop being very cold overnight and the grease in the headstock slowing things down as it gets thicker . I seem to think the same thing happened last year but can't be sure.could it be the cold, or could it be the motor getting tired . Iv'e tried warming it up ,but with it being such a high mass it dose not seem to work.

Peter G. Shaw24/02/2013 11:50:17
1454 forum posts
44 photos

May I make a suggestion for the future?

Add one or more low power heaters to the machine and keep it covered during the cold weather. These will maintain the machine temperature slightly higher tham ambient.

I used to suffer from corrosion/rusting and stone cold metalwork on my lathe. Eventually, perhaps 10 years ago (total guess that!!!) I added a couple of 10W self-regulating heaters to the lathe bed. No more rusting and the lathe metalwork never feels to have that finger/hand chilling frostiness that cold metal can give.

Whats more, the heat appears to circulate all round the machine whilst there are two warm spots just where the heaters are fastened.

The downside is that although the heaters I used are 10W nominal, they actually run at 18W each. This is rather more than what I expected but on perusal of the heaters specification, is actually quite correct. It does mean though, that I have a permanent 36W drain on the electric supply.


Peter G. Shaw

_Paul_24/02/2013 12:02:29
543 forum posts
31 photos

I have a quite old 1953 model "A" and it too is in a cold workshop it never seems to actually suffer from the cold though.

It is powered by a three phase 3/4 HP Gryphon motor what yours running on?


Les Jones 124/02/2013 12:08:14
2261 forum posts
156 photos

Hi anchorman,
I would have thought that if the motor was being overloaded enough to slow it down enough for you to notice that it would get very hot. If the lathe is fitted with a starter with thermal overload trips I would also expect these to trip. You could check the motor speed with a tachometer. (For example one similar to this one.) If the motor is running at the correct speed then check for slipping belts or pullies slipping on a shaft. I would also have thought that the headstock would contain oil rather than grease. There will probably be someone that replies that KNOWS if it should be oil or grease in the headstock.


Nicholas Farr24/02/2013 14:23:03
3415 forum posts
1590 photos

Hi Anchorman, I have a BUD and it's in a cold workshop but never suffers from what you are describing. My headstock bearings are grease packed and have those screw down refillable caps. Mine was driven by 3/4 HP 3 phase motor originally but I converted it to a single phase motor, but reading the paragraph on single phase conversion in this **LINK** I choose a 1HP motor and have not suffered any of the problems mentioned in that paragraph. (it's the one right at the bottom) I agree with Les that it could be a slipping belt, often the link one that goes up to the headstock, or a pulley on the shaft, but I think that would make it's self known sooner than later.

Regards Nick.

Edited By Nicholas Farr on 24/02/2013 14:24:20

Speedy Builder524/02/2013 14:51:40
2645 forum posts
218 photos

Hi Anchorman, I have an old AUD - same problem, I just slip the belt or run at the next slower speed until it warms up. I have never cleaned out the old grease in the headstock bearings. Also, its difficult to grease the counter shaft 'inboard' bearing.. Having once said that, she's a good old bit of kit and worth every penny of the £60 I paid for it 40 years ago.

Ian S C25/02/2013 11:11:55
7468 forum posts
230 photos

My big Taiwanese lathe has a similar problem in the winter time, I'v got to run it for some time at low speed until it warms up, if its very cold it will have a hard job starting at high speeds, perhaps I should use a lighter oil in the winter. Ian S C

michael cole25/02/2013 12:34:43
165 forum posts

My late model AUD would not start on top speed on very cold days. I just use to warm it up by running it on a slow speed for 5 mins.


Tony Ray13/06/2013 12:54:05
197 forum posts
46 photos

My AUD also runs a little slow in the higher speed ranges when its very cold - you can hear it increase in rpm as it warms up.

Check also that neither of the drivebelts is slipping as they might not grip as well when cold. In my case when I had slippage it could bot be heard, I identified it by a little heat build up on the affected pulley but I think a dot of marker pen on the belt an pulley would also work.


anchorman13/06/2013 18:16:06
10 forum posts
Posted by anchorman on 24/02/2013 11:28:59:

I have an old ( around late 60's) Boxford model AUD . All through the winter it has run very slowly , I've put this down to the workshop being very cold overnight and the grease in the headstock slowing things down as it gets thicker . I seem to think the same thing happened last year but can't be sure.could it be the cold, or could it be the motor getting tired . Iv'e tried warming it up ,but with it being such a high mass it dose not seem to work.

anchorman13/06/2013 18:19:12
10 forum posts

Thanks for the replies .I think I may have traced it to the segmented belt which may be slipping because I replaced the V belt and the motor always seems to run at the same speed no matter what the spindle speed is.

Ian S C14/06/2013 13:08:38
7468 forum posts
230 photos

If you can, perhaps try puttig an incandesant light bulb inside the head of the lathe, I'm going to give that a go, think I'v got a 25W bulb some where. Ian S C

Boiler Bri16/08/2014 20:17:08
842 forum posts
199 photos

I bashed the cross slide handle on my Boxford model a, which bent the handle, the shaft is ok which supprised me?

I want to take the handle off but can not see how it's fastened on.

Does anyone know how to remove the handle from the shaft?


Bazyle16/08/2014 21:21:32
6379 forum posts
222 photos

Brian, yours could have been modified in some odd way it if isn't immediately obvious. There should be two fixings. A 'nut' on the end of the spindle in the middle of the handle which is round with a screwdriver slot so needs a screwdriver with a gap filed in the middle of the blade. Secondly there is a grub screw but it might have been replaced with a pin and filed off flush.

Nigel McBurney 117/08/2014 09:56:21
1004 forum posts
3 photos

Boxford running slow,playing about with motors and belts is NOT the solution,and a well lubricated Boxford will run in very cold conditions ,the problem is that the headstock will not rotate correctly,so do something about the spindle before the belts or motor are ruined, the lathe is pushing 50 years old and its about time the spindle was stripped the bearings washed out and fresh grease applied,its not a mangel or lawn mower its a precision spindle that requires care and maintenance. It must be in poor condition for it to nearly refuse to turn when cold, Many readers well past retirement must remember wintertime in factory workshops where a pullover plus a jersey then an overall was the norm,and the heating minimal ,the Boxford in the factory where I worked was new in the early fifties and very often ran all day probably averaging 25 to 30 hours per week ,of course in the early cold mornings nobody switched a machine on at full chat,it was switch on at a reasonable speed for a few minutes,and there were no problems with the Boxford on very cold days,when it was at least twelve years old the headstock was stripped and washed out and greased,as a precaution ,it gave good service and was an excellent machine. On machines with enclosed lubricated headstocks and gearboxes ,if they have pumped lubrication it is ok to run them slow for a while,if they rely on splash lubrication then on a cold start they should be run at a reasonable speed to ensure the oil splashes everwhere.

I think the younger generations are nowadays too used to machines /appliances which run for a specified life with no maintenance,who last used a grease gun on a car? Most small machine tools used by modellers are based on 1940/1950s designs which required regular care and a fair amount of mechanical knowledge on the part of the user,they do not run for ever.

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