Hello all, A local (Denver) auction coming up is selling a couple of little Levin PN110 lathes. It's an optics shop, and I imagine these lathes are some kinda accurate, if in good shape. They are well past the vintage of the little guys that the watchmakers covet, but don't appear to show up as a current model at the Levin website. Does anyone here know this lathe? Got any idea how old it might be or what one should pay for one at auction? Thanks--
In the fifties I worked at Kodak in Wembley, Middx. UK. and they had a lathe that they turned the lens mount for the Kodak Sterling camera *. The lathe was a Browne and Sharpe and the plate dated it to Something like
1899 as far as my only too fallible memory serves me.
*For people this side of the ditch this was the camera that was the subject of a photographic series that called the camera 'Katy'
Sorry, I should have been clearer on the nominal vintage of these guys; they're not ancient by any means. Actually, a while ago this morning I talked with a good guy at Levin, who figures these units were probably built in about the 1960's. He provided some very useful info, e.g., if the headstock s/n starts with "10000" or higher, it's worth more than a headstock with "9999" or lower, because the higher number units can still be refurbished at the factory (for $750!). In his opinion, "if they let it go for forty or fifty bucks, buy it!" I may try to take off and go check it out. Charley
--also, he pointed out that "PN 110" is actually the name of the electronics box that goes with the lathe, not the lathe itself; fyi.
Most ANY Levin lathe would have to be in truly horrible condition to NOT be worth "forty or fifty bucks". I bought a junk 195's two-pedestal Levin for $150, and though I got a real bargain! I've been slowly fixing it up ever since. Most of the bearings were bad, as were the pulleys, some of the crossfeed screws, etc. So far I've cleaned up the bed, fixed the worn pulleys, rebuilt the headstock, lever collet closer, tailstock, and countershaft. Next have to the do various slides longitudinal, cross, and compound ... several each of some), tool posts, auto-indexing turret, and install a new DC variable speed motor. LOTS of work, but GAD , it's a pretty little thing! It's not a lot bigger than my old Unimat SL, but FAR more robust.
As you've discovered, the folks at Levin are generally friendly and helpful.
What accessories come with the lathes you contemplate buying? Be aware that parts and accessories are *VERY* expensive bought new from Levin. If the lathes in question take the common 10 mm "D" collets, then several common accessories are available new from Sherline at far lower prices.