anyone seen a Smith-Drum lathe?

I was looking at a Smith-Drum lathe today. Very interesting beast. It's just a regular 15x30" or maybe 16"x30" lathe, solidly built old American iron, but this one has a twist I hadn't seen before. The ways themselves sit on ways, and you can crank the ways away from the headstock. Then there's a truly humongous faceplate that you can mount, sucker has to be 24", that the inside back rim of is machined as a large gear. There is a permanently mounted pinion gear on the headstock of this lathe, on the operator side, about 10 o'clock if you were staring right down the lathe axis towards the headstock. This gear directly drives the faceplate. I don't know about feeds and speeds, but it sure was a cool machine to look at. Looks really rare. I wonder if this was the same Smith that was part of Dean Smith & Grace lathes, which were supposed to be some of the best lathes this country ever made.

Grant Erwin Seattle Area

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Grant Erwin
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I don't know about feeds and speeds, but it sure was a

Uh----Grant--- DS&G is/was made in the UK if I remember correctly. Harold

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Harold and Susan Vordos

I've got one. Bought it years ago missing the entire apron. Took me a couple years of totally lackadaisical effort to design & fab a replacement and one of these days I'll finish the thread cutting. With other lathes on hand I've never needed to.

The faceplates I have are 28" dia IIRC. Spindle is 2 1/4-8.

Mine is a longer bed, at least 40" closed up. One hell of a lot of cast iron in it. This is a big solid machine and capable of removing a lot of metal. Mine has been used for chewing up cast iron extensively and at one point machining the wooden patterns for some cannon barrels I had cast up. Project for a long cold winter....

I'd really like any pix you can get of the one you've seen esp the gear train & apron setup. I ended up casting a new banjo and made mine a combo of change gears feeding into the QC gearbox. Allows a huge range of speeds but I did it mainly because I didn't get the reduction ratios low enough in the apron I made.

BTW my email addy is good, I check it every week or so & delete the spam, if you feel inclined to send pix and/or want to swap notes.


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Sounds a bit like our Craven lathe at work, except that that's 14' swing and also gets used with a 4hp toolpost grinder :-)

We have several DSG lathes as well (British as Harold noted). They are possibly the only lathe that one would want once one had got the HLV-EM :-)

Mark Rand RTFM

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Mark Rand

I saw one on a TV show that was so large that the operator sat on the tool post! He was there only to sight in and make sure it was aligned. A hot chair for certain!

It was turning very large spindles - Stone for old designs of portals - Gov. money/work... I mean we paid for it!

The battle ship cannon lathe was big - this could have done the turrets!


Martin H. Eastburn @ home at Lions' Lair with our computer lionslair at consolidated dot net NRA LOH & Endowment Member NRA Second Amendment Task Force Charter Founder IHMSA and NRA Metallic Silhouette maker & member

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Mark Rand wrote:

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Martin H. Eastburn

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