SMART & BROWN 1024 - should I purchase?!

Hiya all, first post here - have to say this seems a strangely 'nice' group!
Anyway onto the point. I have the opportunity to purchase a Smart & Brown
1024 lathe.
Couple of points..... I 'do' engineering on a daily basis - repair and
fabricate parts for industry - in all manner of materials -
I'm an EE by trade but got bored with it!
I need some parts fabricating from ali for ME! Basically - those firms I do
work for are running 24/7 on contract jobs and for the few that aren't -
well they want £40 per part. So I figure if I could get a lathe for sensible
money it's a better option.
Lathe I've looked at - well I've fell in love with it! Serious bit of kit
with just a couple of problems. Slides are great (as new even) but their
screws are worn - well, not the screws but the thread in the block. Due to
the heavy construction I was unable to see if the thread is actually cut
into the slide itself or into a block which is fixed to the slide. I'm
guessing the former (in every case?). I've been mulling solutions over in my
head - there is currently about 1/4 turn of play - seems a lot - can it
really be the block thread that is worn? If it is I'm thinking along the
lines of sacrificing some travel and welding some new blocks with freshly
cut threads onto the ends - if you follow!
But I'm thinking that is not the problem.
But I'm sure I'm wrong! What a quandry!
So - anyone have experience of these machines - where the fault may be
The handle to screw has 0 play (and is geared)...
Cheers for any insight!
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According to SC :
I was not familiar with this -- so I looked it up on It is a *beautiful* lathe.
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That should not be necessary. Normally, both the leadscrew and the nut into which it threads are consumable parts -- they are *expected* to wear out, so they are designed to be easy to replace. Typically, the nut is of bronze, and is attached to the underside of the slide in some manner. In the case of my 12x24" Clausing, the format of the nut is a cylinder of bronze joined to another one at right angles, making a stubby 'T'. The upright is upside down, and passes through the cross-slide, providing an oiling point in the middle of the cross-slide. It is held in by an Allen setscrew from the side of the cross-slide.
Based on my experience -- both the nut and the leadscrew wear, and probably should be replaced at the same time. My Clausing had enough wear so there was about 0.070" of backlash in a 0.100" per revolution dial. Some backlash is expected, and a good machinist learns how to work around that -- but this was sufficiently extreme in the middle of the travel that the Acme thread, which should look like this: _ _ _/ \_/ \_
actually looked like this:
and presumably the inside of the nut was equally worn -- but hard to examine.
Anyway -- this looks like an excellent machine -- and it should be possible to replace both the nut and the leadscrew to bring it back to original condition. You *might* have to make your own leadscrew and nut if you can't find ones from somewhere
From the web site which I posted above, the machine was made up until the early 1990s, and:
====================================================================== A 'Spare Parts List and Full General Arrangement Drawings Set' and an 'Operating & Maintenance Manual' are available for this model ======================================================================
which apparently needs you to create an account to access them. I would say that would be quite worthwhile.
Almost certainly a worn leadscrew and nut -- but this is not a disaster. Replacements can be made if not purchased -- possibly by using the lathe itself to perform the task.
But it is remotely possible that whatever screw secures the nut to the cross-side may be loose.
I would suggest that you go for it. It looks like a lovely machine, and I would love to have it.
Good luck, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Damn! ... Does she have a sister?? I think I'm in love :) Glenn
Reply to
Hi Scott,
The Smart & Brown 1024 is a truly beautiful machine. Spares are readily available, just do a search for smart brown 1024 spares. G and M Tools and Bracehand (both in the UK) carry lots parts, both new and used. There is also a Yahoo group and here's a pointer to a thread with scanned images of the users manual:
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I'm completely in love with my 1024, it looks great, feels great and performs great. It's my favourite machine tool and with the added Mitutoyo DRO and electronic speed control is, IMHO, hard to beat.
One thing you might like to check; it has a quirky oil pump system that has a sight glass for verifying oil flow. This window doesn't actually verify oil flow 100%, so you need to check that all drip points actually work when the lathe is running. Just remove the headstock cover and run the lathe slowly, every lubrication point should drip.
I kind of like the idea of a sight glass which seems to have almost nothing to do with actual oil flow ;)
So it's thumbs up!
Cheers, Harri
Reply to
I sure thought it might have been a typo on the name, if I see an add for ones of these I will be sure to jump fast and hard.
Reply to
wayne mak
Well, I'm glad I'm not the only one 'taken' by it;)
Having read the manuals (thanks:)) it appears to have two blocks for the slides - one is adjustable to take up play. This would be great if there was no play in the screw of course. I did check the slides at both extremes and there did appeaar to be the same play all over so maybe tweaking one of the blocks could cure it!
Reply to
I thought it might be a typo too, but looking at the description and pictures, that Smart & Brown lathe sure is Sharpe!
wayne mak wrote:
Reply to
Mike Berger

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