Lathe overhead gear

Do people still use overhead gear on lathes for driving cutters on the cross slide, or have small electric motors made this redundant?
The only "modern" pictures I can find of such equipment are associated with ornamental turning lathes, plus a series of articles by JMW Wild in old issues of Model Engineer.
As my lathe(s) are pre 1930s Lorch-Schmidt models with round leather rope drive, it seems historically appropriate to use some form of over head gear. Googling did not seem to turn up much in the way of information, so if anyone has any pointers to good photographs of overhead drive gear (or knows of some surplus to requirements), I would be interested to know.
Alan
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Alan Bain wrote:

One of the eminent clockmakers has published some information on their version. Wild, I think.http://www.j-m-w.co.uk/ shown in a small photo on page two of "tools"
There is some good info in one of the Machinists Bedside Reader books by Lautard, as well. Good read, anyways!
Both of the above, are modernised versions. An electric motor, and some belts and pulleys for the clockmaking one, while Lautard's uses a motor mounted overhead, and with the weight of the motor as a balance to keep tension on the belt.
I suppose, if you were sticking to a theme, you might mount the overhead, and run a belt to it from a motor on the floor or from some other convenient place, but the reason you don't see many a round, is... electric motors, for the most part, I think.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Thanks for the pointer -- this looks very similar to what he described in some very old MEs.

That sounds interesting -- is the book: (Amazon.com product link shortened) />/
Alan Bain
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Alan Bain wrote:

I expect so.
Look to www.lautard.com , for a bit more info.
When you dig around his site, be aware that many of the plans that he sells are in fact sourced from the UK, so you may well be able to get them for less, buying locally (relatively, anyway) I am pretty certain that Camden Books, over your side of the pond, retails out the Lautard books. I know that I have seen them in the adverts in Model Egineer, and similar Brit magazines.
Cheers Trevor Jones
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Alan Bain wrote:

Alan, Trevor has already pointed you to Malcolm Wilde and Lautard.... you can also find some info in DeCarles Watchmaker's Lathe book....(albeit applicable to smaller machines than you have I suspect .. but the principle is the same).
As to the question ... the answwer is "yes"... people do still use overheads. As you might imagine (given my email address and nickname) we have a range of watch and clock machines. If I am making replacement gears for a watch I use my old faithful Lorch 8mm with a 'homebrew' transfer pulley to the same general layout as the original factory units. You ask whether the transfer pulleys( or overgead gear as you have written) as available. Again .. the answer is "yes" BUT at a helluva price for the original kit for old lathes. They were so rarely used that even if they were bought they invariably became separated and 'lost'. Now they attract a premium for the 'collector' (so that they can sit on a shelf and look pretty). They are not difficult to fabricate yourself though if you want to stick with traditional methods.... but also as Trevor pointed out they are rarely used because you can modify such as a Dremel as a toolpost mounted drive just as easily and end up with something which is just as accurate and also has independant speed control (obviously the dremel would only work for light work such as watches and clocks ... even some clock-work might be too much for it. Generally today we use a modified Unimat3 bolted to the bridgeport table for light work, and of course the Bridgie with it's own dividing gear for heavier stuff.
Ian
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Not cheap, but I've always fancied one of these:
http://www.hemingwaykits.com/acatalog/The_Quick_Step_Mill__.html
Anyone got any experience with it
-- Myford Mat ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Myford Matt's Profile: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/member.php?uf19 View this thread: http://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?tv293
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Me too - had a good look at one at an ME exhibition many years ago, soon after they first came out; seemed a solid piece of kit, came within a gnat's whisker of buying one then. Only held off to see if the ER collets were the same size as the set I had. They weren't (mine are ER25, the mill uses smaller ones) but the urge died down and hasn't (yet) come back strong enough to get one.
I think having in the meantime made a GHT universal dividing head took away a lot of the potential uses.
Sorry if that doesn't exactly respond to your question, no direct experience of using it.
David
--
David Littlewood

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On Sun, 28 Oct 2007 08:22:21 -0500, Myford Matt

    Yes...I've had one for about five years. I only use mine occasionally but it's quick to fix and very effective in what it does. However, be warned, they're not cheap. I seem to remember the thick end of 1000 disappeared in exchange for the complete de-luxe outfit. I had to use up two birthdays, a Christmas and a week-ends paper-hanging credit to get 'er indoors to agree back then.
    Since getting the Quick-Step I've come by a decent mill, so some of the need has gone..but for light milling - axially or radially- on the Myford, it's excellent. --
Chris Edwards (in deepest Dorset) "....there *must* be an easier way!"
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I think that one or two of these items came from a G P Potts. I have, somewhere, the smaller drilling and grinding spindle which- I guess was made in Troutbeck. There was also castings. My other spindle affair was given away to a watchmaker friend and I think that it was modified.
This raises a bit of memory and a suggestion that this appeared in the Woking Precision Models catalogue. Two addresses were in Oundle and South Queensferry. Surprisingly, the Woking business was taken over by HemingwayKits but the Potts items do not appear to be listed.
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That item would be 1,322.25 Canadian dollars at today's exchange rate! Gasp! Choke! That's all I paid for a Taiwan vertical milling machine 15 years ago!
Steve R.
--
Reply address munged to bugger up spammers



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