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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 271051 View 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
 
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