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Unknown - Old Lathe?


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  #1  
Old 12-14-2015, 11:20:00 PM
Travis59 Travis59 is offline
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Default Unknown - Old Lathe?

*New to Forum* This is an old engine that I found on the ranch riding one day. I have talked to a few friends about it and so far we have come up with, basically, an old small steam lathe. There are no identifying marks or numbers anywhere. I know there was more to it at one point, but this is all I have found. Having some experience with a wood lathe I have been wondering, would this engine run fast enough to actually turn wood. Anyone have any information?
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2015, 01:05:58 PM
OrgWayne OrgWayne is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Travis59 , You are in mining county right ?, any chance a mine was around there ? or a saw mill ? could have been used at these places
Wayne
Across the state
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  #3  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:03:12 PM
Pete LaBelle Pete LaBelle is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Not sure where you're getting a lathe out of this. Looks like a simple steam engine. Kinda looks like it may have had special limited use engine, not something that ran all the time. Cute though. Doesen't look all that big.

Pete
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:05:30 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

It does have a center that could have been used to turn wood. I have never seen a steam engine powered wood lathe but it certainly could be from one. I think it could turn 500 rpm being that it is small, maybe more too. What does the bottom look like?
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  #5  
Old 12-15-2015, 04:18:41 PM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

The end of the shaft does look like it wants to chuck up a piece of wood, but a direct shaft steam lathe doesn't seem right. Perhaps it was if somebody did it for a special reason, but a production unit is harder to imagine.

I leaning toward the shaft end being for some sort of a clutch mechanism.

I'll gander it would run smooth from quite slow to 250RPM or more.

---------- Post added at 02:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:15 PM ----------

That is fairly small; Bill's 500RPM or more is more likely than my guess which is common enough for bigger engines.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2015, 05:15:27 PM
Travis59 Travis59 is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

I found it beside an old road on a steep mountain side. It might have been lost while being transported. I didn't find anything else there. As far as I know there wasn't any mines or mills in that area.
Travis59

---------- Post added at 01:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:54 PM ----------

I'll get a picture of the bottom and post it as soon as my son in law gets back to show me how.

---------- Post added at 01:15 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:06 PM ----------

In the middle of the flywheel looks to me like the center drive that I have on my wood lathe. The only thing I know about steam engines is that they are old, so I am just guessing.
Travis
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2015, 05:30:05 PM
Jim Mead Jim Mead is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

The elusive steam Model T Ford starter?

Half breed engine starter?
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2015, 05:37:35 PM
StationarySteam StationarySteam is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Looks more like a one way coupling that can be engaged to something. This is a pretty small engine but still looks specific for a job. Maybe used to turn the flywheel of a much larger engine to position the piston for starting or maintenance. Like a pony engine. A lathe would never be direct drive to this type engine.
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Old 12-15-2015, 08:02:27 PM
GreasyIron GreasyIron is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

This wouldn't have needed a crank unless it had a real nasty load on the belt while stopped. A little nudge on the flywheel would get it off center.

As a starting engine, the main engine would had to been internal combustion. A large steam engine would have much more likely just had bar notches, for the same reason.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StationarySteam View Post
Looks more like a one way coupling that can be engaged to something. This is a pretty small engine but still looks specific for a job. Maybe used to turn the flywheel of a much larger engine to position the piston for starting or maintenance. Like a pony engine. A lathe would never be direct drive to this type engine.
Some type of disengagable coupling is about what I was thinking. I guess it could have powered a machine tool.
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  #10  
Old 12-16-2015, 01:41:09 AM
Travis59 Travis59 is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hazzard View Post
It does have a center that could have been used to turn wood. I have never seen a steam engine powered wood lathe but it certainly could be from one. I think it could turn 500 rpm being that it is small, maybe more too. What does the bottom look like?
Here are a couple pictures of the bottom.
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  #11  
Old 12-16-2015, 01:43:27 AM
Travis59 Travis59 is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

This thread did start out in the steam section and was moved here...???
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  #12  
Old 12-16-2015, 09:55:35 AM
happyfoot happyfoot is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

I would agree with stationary steam on this. Looks like a simple clutch coupler to me.

Steve
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  #13  
Old 12-16-2015, 10:58:46 AM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Now how about a photo of the center of the flywheel?
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  #14  
Old 12-16-2015, 12:03:02 PM
George Andreasen George Andreasen is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

It does almost look like a spur center for a wood lathe, but that little engine would have to turn at some unGodly speed for turning wood.

No matter what the original intent, it's a cute little bugger!
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Old 12-16-2015, 08:41:57 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by George Andreasen View Post
It does almost look like a spur center for a wood lathe, but that little engine would have to turn at some unGodly speed for turning wood.

No matter what the original intent, it's a cute little bugger!
Treadle lathes don't turn very fast so why would the steam engine have to?
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2015, 12:58:02 AM
Travis59 Travis59 is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Hazzard View Post
Now how about a photo of the center of the flywheel?
Here is the best picture I have at this time of the flywheel and a few more, different angles. We did measure the cylinder housing and it is 2 5/8" tall and 1 5/8" diameter.
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Old 12-19-2015, 10:49:17 AM
beezerbill beezerbill is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

This rings a bell. Something for turning bobbins? Perhaps for winding string or something onto a spool? Have to admit that thing on the end of the crank looks more like a wood lathe center than it does a one-way clutch.

Way in the past when I was a kid, I found a bunch of stubby tapered wood plugs in my great Aunt's carriage house attic. They all had marks on one side like a wood lathe center was shoved into them. According to my aunt, they were bobbin end plugs from some kind of paper or textile mill in the area that wasn't running anymore (this was in Maine). When it was running there were lots of these plugs being disposed of and she collected them for kindling.
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Old 12-19-2015, 01:38:56 PM
Bill Hazzard Bill Hazzard is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

Try searching old wood working magazines on Google books, you might find an ad showing the engine on a lathe. Of course it might not be for a lathe either but it does look like a lathe center.
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  #19  
Old 12-24-2015, 10:04:09 AM
dkamp dkamp is offline
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Default Re: Unknown - Old Lathe?

It's the headstock drive for a machine that made fenceposts.

It sat on a chassis much like a lathe... a frame with a carriage, and on the back side of the carriage was basically a horizontal milling cutter driven from the flat-belt. The milling blade rolled left-and-right along the carriage, like cutting with a lathe tool, but without the tool forces.

Roll a piece of 8-10' tree into the carriage from one end, cut it to length, elevate it to rough center, shove it against the teeth you see, do the same at the other end. Start up both, and walk the cutter from one end to the other, and you've got a round post.
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