New Old Lathe

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New Old Lathe

Postby eclecticguy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:55 am

I've been looking for a treadle powered lathe for a while so I can build reels at fly fishing shows and exhibits without electricity. Last week I stumbled on this fantastic treadle powered watchmaker's lathe.

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1001.jpg (118.61 KiB) Viewed 1949 times


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1029.jpeg (47.6 KiB) Viewed 1949 times


It is a German Boley lathe, most likely from the late 1800s based on the triangular bed. It looks like cr@p with the plating flaking off but it is as tight as the day it was made. These lathes are quite small - this one has a swing over the bed of a little over 3 1/4". So, if I move the tool post out of the way, I can lathe file 3" disks to make reels with no problems. It came with a set of collets (not complete). They are 8mm so reasonably available if I need to find others. I will probably pickup a small 3 jaw chuck so I can center drill spool hubs, etc. The headstock has an indexing plate that I might be able to use to lay out hole patterns, etc. The treadle mechanism consists of this really big and heavy wheel:

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1011.jpeg (23.38 KiB) Viewed 1949 times


There is also an intermediate wheel that has a handcrank so it can be operated by hand or foot! The intermediate is also marked Boley but the large foot wheel is unmarked.

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1012.jpg (104.79 KiB) Viewed 1949 times


The early Kentucky reelmakers were watchmakers by profession. They most likely used lathes like this to make their reels. It is amazing how smooth the treadle mechanism works and how much momentum there is with that big wheel. More than enough to get the job done.

cheers,
Michael
My blog: www.EclecticGuy.com
The Reelsmith's Primer, reelsmithing materials, reels, lines and other items: www.EclecticAngler.com
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby fishketcha » Tue Dec 01, 2009 10:12 am

That is soooo cool! I want one! Does it do everything that you need it to do on the road? Very nice find. The plug in the receptical gives it a nice touchtoo. :)

That gets me thinking...why couldn't one convert and old tread operated sewing machine into a lathe???

Thanks for sharing your treasure.

Waayne
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby eclecticguy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:57 pm

It should do everything I need. I also bought an old Miller's Falls hand drill in awesome condition to use for drilling holes.

It is not too difficult to make a treadle lathe. It is better to start with a good headstock and go from there. A sewing machine treadle works fine but there are no parts in the machine that are useful for the lathe or head stock. I'll be bringing this up to the SuperBoo event in Maine so you can see and try it out.

cheers,
Michael
My blog: www.EclecticGuy.com
The Reelsmith's Primer, reelsmithing materials, reels, lines and other items: www.EclecticAngler.com
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby fishketcha » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:53 pm

Michael,

I happen to have one that I have no use for. Would you like it for a fair price as a backup? Dusty, but in very nice shape.

Wayne
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby eclecticguy » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:59 pm

Hey Wayne, that looks a lot like the one I bought. Email me with what you are asking for it please.

cheers,
Michael
My blog: www.EclecticGuy.com
The Reelsmith's Primer, reelsmithing materials, reels, lines and other items: www.EclecticAngler.com
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby jaydawg » Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:29 pm

eclecticguy wrote:It should do everything I need. I also bought an old Miller's Falls hand drill in awesome condition to use for drilling holes.

It is not too difficult to make a treadle lathe. It is better to start with a good headstock and go from there. A sewing machine treadle works fine but there are no parts in the machine that are useful for the lathe or head stock. I'll be bringing this up to the SuperBoo event in Maine so you can see and try it out.

cheers,
Michael


I'm in southern Maine. I'll have to see if I can make it up to SuperBoo. I'd love to see that lathe in action!
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby larry swearingen » Sat Sep 17, 2011 12:33 pm

Michael,
This little lathe may be older than you think.
See this thread on Paractical Machinist :

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/an ... ay-204315/

Larry Swearingen
Fort Wayne, IN
http://www.planingforms.webs.com
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby eclecticguy » Sun Sep 18, 2011 4:29 pm

Thanks Larry. That's a very interesting thread!

I ended up selling this little lathe last year. My intent was to use it but it was nearly impossible to find the collets I needed.

regards,
Michael
My blog: www.EclecticGuy.com
The Reelsmith's Primer, reelsmithing materials, reels, lines and other items: www.EclecticAngler.com
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby 432taylor » Sun Sep 18, 2011 5:53 pm

hi mike
could you have not made collets for that lathe ?
thank you
Richard Westerfield

p.s. post reply could use a spell, check
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Re: New Old Lathe

Postby eclecticguy » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:44 pm

Hey Richard, I could have but I simply do not have the time plus there were sone other issues like no tailstock.

Regards,
Michael
My blog: www.EclecticGuy.com
The Reelsmith's Primer, reelsmithing materials, reels, lines and other items: www.EclecticAngler.com
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