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1943 Bamford-Chase conehead engine lathe, 14 x 36


Sep 11, 2008
Seattle, WA
Pictured below is a 1943 Bamford Chase engine lathe I recently acquired from a retired instrument maker at Univ. of WA. He owned it for 25 years. It was manufactured in Portland Oregon. Bamford Chase Machine Company was located on Quimby Street in downtown Portland. The size of the tailstock, carriage, support pillars, and head stock appear to be the same as their 16" model when comparing this machine to one pictured on the Web. I was lucky enough to get a copy of their gearhead lathe catalog from the Smithsonian collection which I will be uploading to the site, soon.

I was able to see the machine under power and test all controls and make a test cut. The tailstock taper needs to be reamed to clean up some scoring. Originally I was looking for a SB heavy 10 to 13" but none of those seem be available locally for my budget.

Machine Specifications
Drive Train: Standard conehead drive, 3.5" x 6 tpi spindle nose, non-oem 2 hp, 1725 rpm single phase motor, head stock taper: Morse 5, tailstock: Morse 3, 5" dia. Timken tapered roller bearings on the spindle, Babbit bearings on lower-cone counter shaft.
Capacity: 14" x 36. It looks closer to 15" over the bed.
Threading/feeds 2-112 via quick change gearbox.
Size 94" long, 32" wide, 3000+ lbs. Look at the size of the tailstock in the fifth picture. To provides some scale, the head-end base measures 32" wide.
Original tooling included: faceplates, taper attachment, thread dial
Other tooling included: chucks, centers, rests, tool post grinder, tool holders, belt lacer, shop-made micrometer stop and tailstock dial
Additional Bamford-Chase information at:Bamford-Chase Machine Co. - History | VintageMachinery.org

Some interesting things I've found are:
--the hand work for the numbering the of dials and tailstock
-- some sort of black varnish used on the outside of the Timken tappered roller bearings
in the headstock
-- remnants of red pain applied to the controls and oiling points
-- serial number stamped 4340 (1943, 40th unit)
-- speed plate stamped with serial number and inspector's initials.
-- unidentified stamping next to the serial number.
-- no felts in the lubrication systems, but plenty of oiling points including ball oilers
-- Babbitt bearings for lower-cone counter shaft. Each with their own oil line on the back of the lathe.
-- "M" Metal foundry mark on all primary castings

The move was done in two steps: 3 hrs to skid and move into driveway,and another four to load and unload for a 5 mile trip across Seattle. The transport was done with a rented (SunBelt Rentals) drop-deck trailer ($90/day) and an F450 ($100/day from Handy Andy).

Moving kit included 4x6's,12x12x24 fir block. 20 ton bottle jack, engine hoist (would not bother with this again, jacking was easier and safer), chain, misc chocker cable, 3-ton come along ($18/day), lag bolts, stretch wrap, sched. 80 steel pipes, 6' digging bar, 8# sledge hammer for adjusting the pipe rollers under load, and hand tools. I attached a temporary anchor( 1/2" expansion bolt + a drilled 3/8 angle iron) in the shop floor for attaching the come-along.

full slideshow
Bamford Chase Engine Lathe Slideshow by castebbins | Photobucket