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Hafco AL900A lathe, is anyone able to identify what it really is?

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Downunder Bob

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Lathe Identified!:eagerness:View attachment 271055
I am pretty well satisfied I have now identified the original manufacturer of the lathe. After much internet searching it would appear to be an early version of the Shenwai SW-900B.
It appears the company is long gone, sometime around 30 years ago.:(
They made 2 versions of the SW-900, mine with the vertical headstock control face and the SW-900 with the stepped headstock control face.
Mine does not have the light, on/off switch and green button above the threading ratio selector handles but in all other respects is obviously the same unit.
On the back of mine is a large "SW" sticker, which I think clinches it!

See attached photos.

,View attachment 271051View attachment 271052

In the photo of the grey lathe one that was auctioned in America, there is a very strange device in the tool holder, any ideas what that is?
But just as puzzling, what is the tailstock doing between the saddle and head stock?

View attachment 271053
View attachment 271054
Well hunted down, we'll have to call you sherlock. with such skills you should have been able to find out that the strange device is in fact a ball turner, with it you can make a perfectly spherical ball end on a shaft. It looks a bit frail to me, the ones that I have used were much more robust than that one. But they do work.
 

pdentrem

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When I saw that SW decal, I had a feeling I had seen it before!
 

dgrev

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Pierre.

It does make you wonder just how many lathes they produced in their time. Someone told me it could be a Shin Shun, but that turned out to be a dead end.
Luckily the Aussie shop that sold it did not notice or forgot to remove the SW sticker when they rebadged the lathe!
Otherwise I have found no stampings or any other identifying markings.

Bob.

It was quicker to ask than web search. I did wonder if it was a ball cutter. But seemed way too fragile to me for that job, especially given the radius of the track.

Regards
Doug
 

Downunder Bob

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Hey Doug, Hows it going, You've gone quiet, everything OK?
 

dgrev

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Hello Bob

Sorry for disappearing, I got entangled with some non-lathe jobs. One of which was a brushless 100A heavy duty alternator that was in a system with a total of 5 faults. Been going round and round in circles fault finding.

Anyway, that is solved as of today, so hopefully I can get back on track.

Whilst fighting the alternator, I did do a side job. I have an old American WW2 voltage regulator that needs installing in a vehicle but it was missing the 2 back nuts that retain the conduit terminators.
They can't be had.
So I decided I would sacrifice a couple of old plumbing fittings and bore then internally thread them to the 18 tpi Yank thread. These fittings may be an example of the specific to WW2 production threads that nobody now knows the reasoning as to why they were used.
I did not have an internal threading bar (one is on its way) so used an internal boring bar set at a weird angle on the compound slide, was going so
well but due to the angle of the bar I touched the far side shoulder of the job and snapped the tip off the carbide tool being a fraction of a second late in disconnecting the carriage half nut .
The other end of the tip was already broken and there was no spares with the lathe.
So that brought proceedings to a halt. It all sits in place as is so that I do not lose the set up.
One problem I was encountering was taper due to flexing of the bar. So was going to make 2 thou increment passes from then on to get
the final fit, won't happen now till I get the new tips. See photo.
20180718_171414a.jpg

I do realise that setting the compound at IIRC 40° or so back the opposite way is quite wrong, but I was trying to get the tip point
perpendicular to the job and be able to replicate roughly the 29° recommended feed angle used for external threading.
I don't doubt I have it all wrong. But the thread is not critical and does feel quite nice when I screw the terminator into it until the
taper causes it to bind.
20180718_171444a.jpg

Regards
Doug
 

Downunder Bob

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Doug, no problem, I just worry when some one just disappears without warning. As long as you're still fighting the good fight. That little threading job looks good, you're just running out of clearance, pity you don't have a proper internal threading bar. Mind you that job is only in brass you could quite easily use a HSS cutter. You could easily make one, just weld (arc) a small piece of HSS to the end of a suitable bar, grind it up and you're good to go.

Still set your compound to the angle you want, and swivel the toolpost so the bar is square to the job, and finish the job. You can also reuse broken bits of carbide, by silver soldering them to a suitable steel shank. Back in the day before inset tool holders existed that's how all carbide tools were made. You just need a silicon carbide, (green) or diamond, grinding wheel to sharpen it.
 

Downunder Bob

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G'day Doug, haven't heard from you in a while. Hope all is ok. I've been away a bit travelling around this great country, so didn't notice you weren't around.
 

sixball

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I just joined this site yesterday. I have been searching for information on my lathe and I have found more on this thread than anyplace on the internet, especially from all the work you have done setting up and adjusting your Hafco. I may also have another piece of this puzzle. My lathe is a Shenwai SW 900B made in 1985. It has a red SW logo on the name plate similar to the yellow one on your machine. It also has a sticker with the Shenwai name and a JET logo. I'll try to post a picture tomorrow. Also the Grizzly DF1237G is the same machine. Grizzly doesn't show the DF1237G on their parts page any more but I have bought some parts for the G1003 that fit. I have had mine for several years but am cleaning it setting it up properly and making few repairs. The info here is a great help, Thank you for posting it. Tom
This one is not mine
IMG_2765.jpg
g1.jpg
 

sixball

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Here is a picture of mine with a red SW on the main face plate similar the yellow one yours along with SHENAWI. Next to that is what appears to be an adhesive metal sticker with both SHENWAI and an older style JET logo. It seems that the difference in yours, mine , and the Grizzly is the switch plate. There is even a difference in the two Shenwais.
.
190111_0001.jpg
 

dgrev

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Hello All (especially Bob).
I thought it was time to re-visit the lathe and see if I could improve on things now that it has had some months to settle in (with a limited amount of use).
I noticed that the tailstock seemed out due to a spring when I tried to use the live centre on a 6" piece of bar. So did the razor blade adjustment as per Bob's instructions. It was quite a bit out which surprised me.
So it was back to using the dial indicator on the saddle and checking each end of the bar until I was satisfied that the taper I attained last time of 0.001" per inch had not changed. As before, with the headstock, it is very difficult to align due to the 4 allen head bolts having such an exaggerated effect on the alignment as they are cinched down. But I got the run out to 0.0015" in 6". Very chuffed with that.
 

dgrev

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All
Next job was to do something about the thread gear data plate. The previous owner appears to have hung the chuck key on the thread gear levers and ruined the data plate in the process. About 8 hours work at pixel level gave me the artwork for a new plate.
I have 2 types of sticker material, 1 is silver the other is clear. Have not decided whether I will stick the clear on a piece of thin alloy or just use the silver sticker material. Regardless I will apply a layer of clear to protect the information. Details are in a previous post on this thread, but I use a laser printer (or photocopy machine) to print onto the sticker material as the medium is thermal set whereas regular printer ink smudges. See photos.
287842
287848
 

dgrev

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I also did another data diagram to attach to the cover to the left of the spindle gear cover as a reminder of the gear configuration for metric as to imperial for threading.
288043

I am still on the hunt for the remaining missing gear. The Grizzly site has been continuously showing it as out of stock ever since I bought this lathe. Sigh.....
What I have allows me to do the common metric threads so I should be ok, but it would be nice to have the full set.

Regards
Doug
 

dgrev

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Hello Tom.

Good to know there is another Shen Wai out there. You mention you bought some parts from Grizzly that fitted. What parts were those please?

Regards
Doug
 

sixball

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I have not put the gear I bought in yet but they look the same. It is one of the gears in the gear box on the back shaft that runs the lead screw. In the Shenwai parts list there are 3 gears with the same number. It is a double gear with 16 and 32 teeth. For the Grizzly G1003 the parts list shows what look like the same 3 gears but with two different numbers. I ordered one of each. They are the same except one has a bushing so it can be used on a smaller shaft. The Grizzly DF1237G is the same as ours but Grizzly doesn't show it in their parts lists. They seem to be running out of other parts too. I thing a lot of the parts are the same but there is no standard number that could be used for cross reference. It is likely a plan.
I am just finishing getting my Mill/Drill going and getting back to the lathe. I need to tear it down far enough to change the gear and do a deep cleaning. Your posts above will be a great help.
 

john.k

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A guy I used to do work for bought one of these about mid 80s,he s still got it ,and I doubt its done more than 10 hrs running in all those years......I tried to buy it about 20 yrs ago,but hes made of money,and simply wont sell anything....easy enough to understand when he owned every farm in his street,and been selling out to developers at around $1 m each.........now he s got fancy houses all round ,and his cows still c****p on the roadway.......as he says......they gotta go somewhere.
 

dgrev

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John. It will make a great buy one day. Hopefully considering your environment, it is well oiled. Doug
 

Downunder Bob

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I also did another data diagram to attach to the cover to the left of the spindle gear cover as a reminder of the gear configuration for metric as to imperial for threading.
View attachment 288043
I am still on the hunt for the remaining missing gear. The Grizzly site has been continuously showing it as out of stock ever since I bought this lathe. Sigh.....
What I have allows me to do the common metric threads so I should be ok, but it would be nice to have the full set.

Regards
Doug
G'day Doug, It's been a while, good to see your getting that lathe sorted, Your replacement charts look good. I look forward to seeing it sometime, Don't know when I'll get to visit the hill but it might even be later this year.
 

dgrev

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Hello Bob.

I get back to it as I can. Other stuff takes priority. But the main ratio data plate was really annoying me as it was so hard to read when I did want to do a job with the lathe.

Regards
Doug
 

sixball

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A guy I used to do work for bought one of these about mid 80s,he s still got it ,and I doubt its done more than 10 hrs running in all those years......I tried to buy it about 20 yrs ago,but hes made of money,and simply wont sell anything....easy enough to understand when he owned every farm in his street,and been selling out to developers at around $1 m each.........now he s got fancy houses all round ,and his cows still c****p on the roadway.......as he says......they gotta go somewhere.
Do you think he might have the owners manual? That would be a great thing to have a copy of posted here.
 

dgrev

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Me too, me too! Shen Wai manuals seem to be unobtainium.....
 

john.k

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I dunno.......if you ve ever seen his workshop,you wouldnt have great expectations......he used to run trucks ,and evry intersting broken piece the drivers brought in used to sit on the lunch table,untill it could hold no more ,and was put outside and a "new" table sourced from kerbside cleanup.One time a driver was flaming flies with a spraycan of oil and the table caught fire.,and spread to the huge stacks of paperwork going back to the sixties.....the shed was saved,tho......Now ,he volunteers as a busdriver for pensioner outings,driving groups ten years younger than him around on day trips......but I will ask.
 

sixball

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John, Thanks. My shop might look like that to others but I mostly know which pile things are in. That said I think I have the book for my Shinwai somewhere. I may have put it in a special place. :oops:
 

Punchy636

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Hi Dgrev,
Trying to look for info on my lathe, and i came across this forum, looks like i have the exact same lathe as you, although i have no idea how to use it. Do you have a link for the manuals that you found for it still on hand at all?

Regards, Trent.
 

dgrev

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Trent

Looks good.

Wonder how the forward/reverse lever got snapped off?

I do not have links for any Shenwai manuals unfortunately they seem to be unobtainium.

I have downloaded numerous manuals for other lathes. By snippet here and a snippet there, I can get most of the information as
there is a lot of commonality.

No idea where they came from, but I will list the file names and if you do a google search you can hopefully find them.

If that fails get back to me and I will try and attach them here, but don't know if the forum will reject them due to size?

enco 12x36 510-2583 Lathe Manual.pdf
Manual_Jet-Lathe-1024P(S)-&-1236P(S).pdf
PL300 _cz1224_1237.pdf
276-62754-B441.pdf
AL960B L237D - Instruction Manual.pdf
Enco Manual 110-2034.pdf
m1112_m .pdf - may help to put "Shopfox" in search parameters also.

Regards
Doug
 
Last edited:

sixball

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It's been a while but I have news. Yesterday while looking for something else in my shop I found the Operating Instructions book for my Shinwai SW-900B. It is smaller than I remembered 5"X 7" and 12 pages,14 counting the electrical diagram. Some of the illustrations will probably not be readable if I just enlarge and copy it but if there is interest here I'll spend some time on it and see if I can post a good copy here. I has some very helpful information. A least it was helpful to me.
 

sixball

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OK, Doug, I'll start working on it. I was looking at it last night when I posted and some of the figures and writing is so small that I think I will have to completely remake some of the pages. I'll take it to a professional print shop in town today and see if they can enlarge it. I'll get it here as soon as I can. I recounted and It's 16 pages with the spec page and table of contents.
 

dgrev

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Sixball. As much as I would like a copy of the manual, I don't want you to be spending lots of money on this.
From what I have seen, a 16 page lathe manual (other brands) usually doesn't have much in depth info. Just all the normal warnings etc. that are in all manuals from all brands.
Unless that is, SW did things differently?
Regards
Doug
 
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