American Tool Works lathe, 1912 14" High-Duty "Larktide"

Serial # 352.55 "Inspected by J.S."

70" overall length, estimated weight 2500 lbs

The headstock provides 8 spindle rpms in ratios relative to the input shaft ranging from 1:1 to 1:(32 1/4). The center shifter has three positions, the left and right engaging high or low gears through to the spindle transmission. The lever's center position freewheels the input shaft and releases a wooden brake shoe to press against one of gear units on the backgear shaft. The brake's function is to stop the spindle rotation and ensure it remains stopped. ATW shipped this model lathe configured for line shaft operation or with a dedicated motor according to the buyer's choice.

My lathe came equipped with a motor mount which was substantially customized at some point in the past. I have an ATW manual which suggests the dedicated motor configurations employed a gear train from the motor to the input shaft. When I got the lathe, it was equipped with fiber gears (mostly in poor shape) mounted with a most of an original bracket. Since the geartrain was a mess, I opted to remove all of it and use a v-belt instead. With an 1800 rpm motor installed, the headstock requires a reduction between 3:1 and 3.5:1 down to the input shaft to keep the spindle speeds reasonably close to spec.

With the vfd providing braking, the old mechanical brake is unnecessary so the next step is to remove it and use the space for an oil pump, filter, sightglass with distribution manifold and drips onto the headstock gear units. This model lathe is strictly splash oiled and tends to be messy when enough oil is inside for the lubrication to be effective.

Bourn & Koch's production records indicate this serial # was a 14" lathe, but unfortunately did not include the originial purchaser or other information about the lathe.