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david

Some Of My Watch Lathes

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I honestly don't know how many lathes I have. About 5 years ago it was over 70. Counting Turns and Jacot lathes I am sure the number is well over 100. Some of the real expensive ones such as the larger size Derbyshire and Levin instrument lathes, a double pedestal Boley production Lathe and several more Levin WW (8mm and 10mm) lathes were not in the pictures. I also have two Sincere lathes. One I bought brand new years ago and another I purchased recently that is going to have to be restored.  If I have time I will post pictures of these at a later date. 

I have been collecting these for the past 45 years and have no interest in selling them; at least not for several more years.

david 

Edited by david

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Stuart,

A lot of people buy these machines thinking that if they stay with an old school designer label brand lathe they can't go wrong. Often this does not work out as the purchaser does not have the necessary machinery and skill set to put the lathes back into original factory specifications. This could include designing components, turning, milling, lapping, surface grinding, spindle grinding, hand scraping and inspection procedures. Just removing the old paint and refinishing a machine opens up an expensive can of worms. This is usually beyond the budget and skill set of most watchmakers. The second problem then arises which is finding the necessary accessories in good condition in order to make the machinery actually perform usable work. 

To the best of my knowledge the only companies left making small machines are Horotec, Levin, Derbyshire, Star, Bergeon and Sincere. The Derbyshire and Levin lathes are, in my view, the best of the lot (50 millionths spindle runout). The Star, Bergeon and Sincere are cone bearing lathes and, once adjusted, all work in a satisfactory manner. Of the remaining  three, the Sincere is the most  affordable. 

Buying a used machine requires a considerable investment of skill, effort and equipment .Here is a picture of a Levin drill press that I helped my friend Tom Mc Allister restore.

david

Assembled.png

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15 hours ago, david said:

Stuart,

A lot of people buy these machines thinking that if they stay with an old school designer label brand lathe they can't go wrong. Often this does not work out as the purchaser does not have the necessary machinery and skill set to put the lathes back into original factory specifications. This could include designing components, turning, milling, lapping, surface grinding, spindle grinding, hand scraping and inspection procedures. Just removing the old paint and refinishing a machine opens up an expensive can of worms. This is usually beyond the budget and skill set of most watchmakers. The second problem then arises which is finding the necessary accessories in good condition in order to make the machinery actually perform usable work.

Buying a used machine requires a considerable investment of skill, effort and equipment

david

 

I would personally love if you started a thread on how to restore these old lathes.

I own a BTM lathe that I was given some 30 years ago when I was 13 which could do with a strip down and service before I start to use it and would love a thread covering the basics on cleaning and restoring lathes like this.

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Tmuir,

I have only seen pictures of the BTM lathe and have not seen the actual lathe. I looks almost exactly like a Geneva style Boley but I don't know if the companies were connected in any way. 

Mark Lovick has a video on Youtube showing the disassembly and assembly  of his Sincere lathe. I think the video was about changing the drive belt but also shows how to take the machine apart and put it back together.

david 

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On 12/16/2016 at 12:57 AM, david said:

Stuart,

A lot of people buy these machines thinking that if they stay with an old school designer label brand lathe they can't go wrong. Often this does not work out as the purchaser does not have the necessary machinery and skill set to put the lathes back into original factory specifications. This could include designing components, turning, milling, lapping, surface grinding, spindle grinding, hand scraping and inspection procedures. Just removing the old paint and refinishing a machine opens up an expensive can of worms. This is usually beyond the budget and skill set of most watchmakers. The second problem then arises which is finding the necessary accessories in good condition in order to make the machinery actually perform usable work. 

To the best of my knowledge the only companies left making small machines are Horotec, Levin, Derbyshire, Star, Bergeon and Sincere. The Derbyshire and Levin lathes are, in my view, the best of the lot (50 millionths spindle runout). The Star, Bergeon and Sincere are cone bearing lathes and, once adjusted, all work in a satisfactory manner. Of the remaining  three, the Sincere is the most  affordable. 

Buying a used machine requires a considerable investment of skill, effort and equipment .Here is a picture of a Levin drill press that I helped my friend Tom Mc Allister restore.

david

Thanks for your advice David. I had been considering a used but recent looking Star lathe which was up for £500 as a slightly more expensive solution to a vintage gamble, and your post almost pushed me into doing that... but it sold earlier today.  Will keep hunting with your thoughts in mind.

Stuart

Edited by jdm
Please don't include pictures in quoting

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Stuart,

Take a look at this before making a final decision. A basic package can be purchased from Sincere for far less than this more complete set. I purchased one years ago and have been very happy with it. Both Colin Andrews (The Great British Watch Company) and Mark Lovick (Watch Repair Channel) have these machines. I am happy with mine and I have not heard any bad reviews on this equipment.

david

s-l1600.jpg

Edited by david

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i purchased it all from sincereclocks on ebay roughly 8 months ago, i cannot remember the price but it has gone since i originally looked a year before . i wish i could spend more time on it , hopefully i would get some time over the holidays...

 

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That is an awesome!! I'm trying to find a lathe too. I recently ran into a problem with screws for an invicta watch that were stripped and missing some length. I thought to myself if I had a lathe I would have just made four new screws. If any one knows of a lathe for a beginner let me know. Thanks Jeremy.

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On 12/15/2016 at 10:36 PM, david said:

I have been collecting these for the past 45 years and have no interest in selling them; at least not for several more years.

I see that you have many lathes that seem to pretty much the same (last pic in the first set), any reason why? 

I understand that sophisticated tools have an engineering beauty that goes well beyond common uses object, like -for example- watches. At the same time, the pleasure of collecting items (in a large quantity) which are meant to make other objects, escapes my comprehension.

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15 minutes ago, Jeremy said:

If any one knows of a lathe for a beginner let me know.

Buying new, the most likely candidate is the "sincere" Chinese lathe mentioned and pictured above.

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The sincere lathe can be found on ebay.com but not ebay uk, although it appears they will ship to the UK. Sadly, it looks like £500 for the lathe, £250 for a set of collets plus shipping and duty, which is going to take this over £1000...

Will keep hunting :-(

 

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