Spent yesterday afternoon installing the latest version of the Taig lathe - there are various improvements that have been made over the years, but the most significant one is the addition of a rather neat saddle power feed system. There's a gearbox attached to the headstock which is driven from the spindle pulley, giving 3 different feed rates
- the finest gives a really fine cut but even the coarse setting gives a good finish.
The neat part of it is how the feed is engaged; the old rack and pinion saddle traverse has been replaced by a leadscrew attached to the output of the gearbox, and this engages a worm gear that is attached to the saddle traverse handwheel. As the leadscrew rotates, the handwheel freewheels, and the saddle stays put; if you grab the handwheel to stop it ritating, the saddle moves, and stops moving as soon as you release the handwheel. This arrangement also allows "normal" saddle traverse by cranking the handle, without having to switch off the power feed.
The drive from the spindle pulley uses an ordinary elastic band; if you want to reverse the drive, you simply put a half twist in the band.
Works remarkably well.