Dating south bend lathe


The lathe is an ancient tool, dating at least to ancient Egypt and known to be used in Assyria, India and ancient Greece.The lathe was very important to the Industrial Revolution.One person would turn the wood work piece with a rope while the other used a sharp tool to cut shapes in the wood.Ancient Rome improved the Egyptian design with the addition of a turning bow.

A lathe may or may not have legs, which sit on the floor and elevate the lathe bed to a working height.An important early lathe in the UK was the horizontal boring machine that was installed in 1772 in the Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.It was horse-powered and allowed for the production of much more accurate and stronger cannon used with success in the American Revolutionary War in the late 18th century.One of the key characteristics of this machine was that the workpiece was turning as opposed to the tool, making it technically a lathe (see attached drawing).Henry Maudslay who later developed many improvements to the lathe worked at the Royal Arsenal from 1783 being exposed to this machine in the Verbruggen workshop.A lathe may be small and sit on a workbench or table, not requiring a stand.

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