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For Sale: Wade 8A Lathe

Halcohead

Stainless
Joined
Apr 10, 2005
Location
Bay Area, Ca
Selling my Wade 8A lathe, see the craigslist posting here:


Happy to provide a discount for PM members (feel free to contact me via craigslist or PM). I'd really like to see this machine find a good home. It's a super cool lathe that I wish I could justify keeping, but it should go somewhere it will get used and appreciated.
 
The lever tailstock and turret are both non-catalog options that I've only seen on machines ordered by the military or government.

The Wade "Thread Lock" spindle is a tough one, especially because tooling from other Wade machines (if you can even find it) sometimes doesn't fit. The threads on the lock rings don't seem to have been timed to a master jig, but to each individual machine, so often tooling transferred from other machines won't tighten properly. Some Thread Lock spindles have tapped holes in the face, like the A2-3 they're based on, but yours does not seem to. What is the serial number of your machine?

Steve Nalesnik (the last active owner of Wade) maintained that the system was dangerous, perhaps because of the tightening issue. So making new tooling using available D1-3 back plates with enough material to thread for the lock ring is probably the best solution.

Someone disassembled the original micrometer carriage stop on your machine, but the mic head may still be present on that shop made stop rod that's mounted to the QC gearbox.

It looks like a great starting point for someone who wants an 8A and doesn't mind fabricating some spindle tooling.
 
Pretty sweet. Low hrs if the hr meter is to be believed and quite a few accessories. Very reasonable asking price too.

Andy wrote: "The threads on the lock rings don't seem to have been timed to a master jig, but to each individual machine, so often tooling transferred from other machines won't tighten properly."

I've run into that problem too. Switching tooling from the 8a to the 94 is a bit of a pita. But it's all fixable - the stops for the lock ring are removable and can be relocated or just removed. I suspect the factory hadn't figured out how to easily time and synchronize the thread starts on the spindle, lock ring and the tooling plate. A master jig would certainly have simplified the fitting, so long as all the spindle thread starts were the same. Any idea when Wade introduced the threadlock spindle on the 8a?

The mic head looks the same as on mine. I'm wondering why it was relocated.

Halco - the spindle bore is 1.250" and the motor hp is 1.5. Good luck with your sale - I wish it were closer to me.
 
8W. Andy has some FS, NOS and some used, IIRC.

They're the same OD and taper angle as a 5C. The spindle key location is different, the 8W is longer and uses a buttress thread, but many owners (myself included) have modified the spindle to accept 5Cs.

The Royal 5C collets you used to have :-) ended up in my 8a collet rack and have a slightly longer nose than most 5Cs, matching the 8W nose.
 
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Most of the NOS collets I have now are 32nd and 64th sizes. I do have used ones in varying condition. I have a couple of the Morse No. 2 center collets as well.

The Thread Lock spindle seems to have showed up in the mid-600s on the 8A. I can't pin down an exact date, as the records were thrown out, but probably early-mid 50s. After the war was over 8A production slowed way down, to the point where they were probably only selling 15-20 lathes each year. So the introduction of the spindle change may have been fairly gradual.
 
8W. Andy has some FS, NOS and some used, IIRC.

They're the same OD and taper angle as a 5C. The spindle key location is different, the 8W is longer and uses a buttress thread, but many owners (myself included) have modified the spindle to accept 5Cs.

The Royal 5C collets you used to have :-) ended up in my 8a collet rack and have a slightly longer nose than most 5Cs, matching the 8W nose.

Wonder why they didn't just go w/ 5C, like many other makers did, rather than develop a closely identical collet system?
 
Wonder why they didn't just go w/ 5C, like many other makers did, rather than develop a closely identical collet system?
I think, at that time, the only maker using 5C was Hardinge. Wade developed their collet dimensions around the same time Hardinge did... I'm honestly not sure who was first. I suspect it was just a fashion/symptom of the times to have your own proprietary spindle tooling. Standardization didn't really get going in a serious way until the 30s.

Wade did offer 5C spindles in the Model 94 turret lathes, but I've never seen an 8A with one done at the factory. One of the things I got from the Wade leftovers I purchased was a 5C drawbar tap.

Wades collets are theoretically superior to Hardinge due to the buttress threads... I've seen a few stripped 5C drawbars over the years.
 
Thanks for all the thoughts yall. I’m glad to hear I’m not way off on price. Unfortunately there’s just a small market for machines like this.

Andy, thanks for explaining the lack of spindle tooling timing, that explains a lot. When I machined the lock ring I was wondering whether and how the factory had timed the spindle threads to eachother.

You’re right about the military history of this lathe, I’m told it came out of one of the Mare Island Shipyard instrument shops. Definitely has military tags. I think the s/n is 707, forgot to record that earlier.

Interestingly, the turret is just adapted from their turret lathes. They made a bed profile adapter that is clearly removable, allowing the turret to be remounted to one of their turret lathes. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn this turret had never been used.

I adapted my Rivett 1030F to use 5C direct in the spindle, this adaptation would be much easier since it only requires drawbar and key mods. Making the spindle sleeve for the Rivett was finicky.

I don’t hate the Wade spindle nose (other than its obscurity). It seems like if well executed it is a quick, positive tooling retention, and self ejecting, unlike A series and cam locks. Definitely better than a simple threaded spindle. But I’m sure there were plenty of people over the years who misunderstood it or misused it. Someone suggested I weld over the existing spindle then remachine it to a South Bend spindle, lol. What a terrible idea.

I wish I had a couple 6” D1-3” chucks that I could adapt to it to sweeten the deal. I would enjoy the project of adapting the spindle tooling, but can’t justify buying some new stuff for a machine I won’t use.
 
Considering what SB Heavy Tens go for these days, I think that's a very reasonable price.

The lack of tapped holes in the spindle is limiting, for sure. Wade made a deadlength collet system that uses those holes too.

Interesting idea to adapt the spindle to a D1-3. As I recall, the spindle is hard enough to require carbide tooling. If you ever do that, I'd be interested in the details.

If it's any help, I have a backplate with lockring that I'd part with. It now has a 5" Bison 3 jaw mounted to it that I don't use anymore - it could be separated from the backplate.
 
I picked up this lathe from @Halcohead a few days ago. I started a thread to track my progress bringing her back to running condition here:

 
Selling my Wade 8A lathe, see the craigslist posting here:


Happy to provide a discount for PM members (feel free to contact me via craigslist or PM). I'd really like to see this machine find a good home. It's a super cool lathe that I wish I could justify keeping, but it should go somewhere it will get used and appreciated.
S I'd you sell it?
 








 
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