What kind of lathe has V-flat ways rails with 80 degree V angle?

I came upon a steady rest designed for ways that consist of one 80-degree V and one flat. Does anybody know what make and model of
lathe this could be for? (It isn't Clausing 5900 - that's a 70 degree V-flat.)
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

It's not a SB 10L. All three Vs appear to be around 92 degrees, just checking it quickly.
--
Ed Huntress

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Yes, my recollection is that all SB lathes use 90-degree Vees.
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

I thought so too until I put one of my steel protractors on them a little while ago. I couldn't fit my vernier protractor in there, so I had to use a sliding-leg protractor with no degree marks. It definitely looked sharper than 90 degrees.
But I was working half in the dark -- my light fixture just went out. <g>
I'll take a closer look this weekend.
--
Ed Huntress

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The square end of a steel rule is a nearly light-tight fit in the internal vee of my SB 10L micrometer stop. jsw
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2013 16:18:34 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"

I'll transfer the angle to a vernier protractor and see. If I hadn't gotten the same result on all three, I'd chalk it up to making a bad fit.
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On 14/06/13 16:29, Joe Gwinn wrote:

Not a Harrison M300 as that has 75 degree V ways from my quick check. Posting a picture would help as the style would help determine if it old or new.
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Hmm. I will remeasure the Vee angle. These measurements are a bit clumsy to make, and errors are a danger. I think I'll try some variation of the two rods (different diameter penetrates to different depth in the V) approach.
I will also take some pictures and measure some dimensions.
I found no casting numbers anywhere. The only numbers found are the numbers 68 and a star, both hand-stamped into the machined flat adjacent to the Vee groove. I interpret the 68 as meaning that the rest was made in 1968, and the star as indicating who made it, or perhaps what part of the manufacturer's line it went with.
Joe Gwinn
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You could trim a small piece of sheet metal to nearly the correct angle, press the straighter edge against one side of the internal vee and scribe a line parallel to the other side.
Measure it, construct a more precise sheet metal template at the suspected angle with a vernier protractor, and see if it fits light-tight.
Can you tell that I have many years of experience making precise measurements with office supplies and rinsed-out soda cans? jsw
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On Sat, 15 Jun 2013 12:53:04 -0400, "Jim Wilkins"
I checked my SB again, with some light this time. <g> It is 90 degrees, not 92. Apparently the protractor was slipping as I tightened the nut.
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Following up to my own post, I performed the rods measurement using five different test rods.
Details: Clamped the rest upside down in a vice, so the base is on top. Cleaned machined surfaces with acetone and a razor blade. Clamped a magnetic base to the flat, with arm and digital indicator over the Vee groove, with indicator probe moving vertically and more or less perpendicular to the plane of the flat. Installed the 0.500" rod and zeroed the indicator. Took indicator measurements on five rods, being 5/8, 1/2, 13/32/ 23/64, and 5/16 inch diameter. Fitted a line to the data, and also used a formula on measuring tapers using discs of various diameters from Machinery's Handbook (27th edition, page 715, in Angles and Tapers).
The consensus answer is 79.7 degrees included angle; one assumes that the target was 80 degrees. One would assume that people don't sweat getting Vee-groove angles exact on steady rests.
This measurement is likely accurate enough to exclude the 75 degrees of Harrison lathes.
By the way, after I cleaned and inspected everything, I think I misread the hand-stamped number. I had read it as 68, but I now think it's actually 89, as in 1989.
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I'm not criticizing you, but here is a good place to mention this:
I was trained in analytical chemistry, where the goal is to find and eliminate error sources and make one very accurate measurement with the limited sample and time available. Later as an electronic test engineer I practiced solving real-world examples, guided by a former Keithley Instruments genius Ph.D. of the ponytail, sandals and VW bus persuasion.
Two useful principles I picked up were that scattered data warns of a procedural error and shouldn't be blindly averaged in, and to keep track of the accuracy limit of each measurement. We converted accuracy limits into parts per thousand to make correlating different types of measurement easier.
For example if you measure with a 1" dial indicator the best you can achieve is one part per thousand, half a tick at either end. If your readings range over 0.1" your accuracy is at best ten parts per thousand, or 1%, and the final result shouldn't have more digits than the least accurate measurement validates.
A good sanity check of your height vs width measurements is to see if they converge to zero at the bottom.
jsw
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The plotted data is quite straight. The standard deviation of errors (deviations from the fitted line) for the five data points is 0.000,431 inches, which is reasonable, as the resolution of the indicator is 0.000,5", and only 5 measurements were made.
If one assumes a uniform distribution of errors over a 0.0005 inch range, the expected standard deviation if one made many measurements would be Sqrt[(0.0005^2)/12]= 0.0001443 inches, so the measured fitting error is about three times that from indicator resolution alone. This is most likely due to the accumulation of small errors, such as the indicator axis not exactly perpendicular to the plane of the flat on the rest base, and the low number of measurements.
But more to the point, it isn't obvious that added accuracy will tell us anything more, as the ultimate intent is to tell which manufacturer made the lathe for this stead rest.

The digital indicator has a rectangular LCD as its display, with 0.000,5 as the least significant digit. It is a Mitutoyo code 575-123 "absolute digital indicator", bought used.

It won't go to zero because the indicator was arbitrarily zeroed on the 1/2 inch rod. The point of the V is not accessible, because the V-groove has the typical slotted bottom where the Vee point would have been.
PrecisionmachinisT makes the point that it's better to have the included angle be slightly too small, as the jaws will spread slightly and yield a firm fit, versus the wobble if the V is slightly too obtuse, so the 0.3 degree delta may have been intentional. The old lathe makes made these kinds of tweaks all the time.
Joe Gwinn
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Could be, a kinematic fit may be good enough for the steady rest since it doesn't slide and wear.
The bottom of my South Bend steady was scraped and frosted but the micrometer stop's vee groove finish would be unimpressive on a Chinese part.
jsw
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There are some scraping marks on this steady rest as well. But they don't look like someone worked on it all day.
If you recall, I got a 70-degree included angle conical mill bit for making Vee grooves to fit the Clausing. The resulting grooved blocks are quite stable on the ways, not being in the least wobbly.
Joe Gwinn
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wrote:

A kinematic fit refers point or line contact, the minimun needed to prevent wobble. A 3-leg stool is a good example. Unlike a large-area contact they wear quickly and may deform under heavy load. jsw
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True, and often used in precision instruments. A common variant is elastic kinematic mounts, where the line and point contacts are flexures versus rolling or sliding.
The problem with non-flexure kinematic mounts is their sensitivity to wear, which is why they are rare in machine tools. Scrape-to-fit methods yield area contact (this being defined in practice by the number of contact bumps per square inch). Such surfaces are orders of magnitude more wear tolerant than the point and line contact of rolling-element kinematic mounts.
Coming back to steady rests, the mystery rest does show signs of having been scraped a bit. This may have been frosting (for oil retention) or for looks, or for real - it's hard to say.
Joe Gwinn
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79.7 degrees internal will likely flex enough to comform perfectly with an 80 degrees external once all is torqued down.
At 80.3 degrees, it would never conform regardless of how hard you tighten things.

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