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Lathe Auto-drive Gearbox - Dominion - oil change and running

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Dustynorm

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#1

If anyone needs more information on the Auto-drive, let me know, I'll be putting together more videos on this subject in future.

Thanks,

Dusty
 

francist

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#2
Nice looking old lathe -- love the colour!
It's great to see the old machines back in fit and form. Regardless of whether they run absolutely perfectly, it's nice to see them run. The likes of them will not pass this way again.

-frank
 

Martin W

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#3
Hi Dusty
Nice lathe and drive unit. What year is that old Dominion lathe?
Cheers
Martin
 

Dustynorm

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Nice looking old lathe -- love the colour!
It's great to see the old machines back in fit and form. Regardless of whether they run absolutely perfectly, it's nice to see them run. The likes of them will not pass this way again.

-frank
Thanks Frank

Safety Green, it's not for everyone, but it was painted green before I stripped all of the paint off. It runs fairly well, but there are some quirks for sure. I bought the lathe to help with restoration of some of the other old machinery I have and will probably accumulate in future also.

Dusty,
 

benmychree

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#5
That original oil looks like steam cylinder oil, it comes in black and thick as new. I don't think it would be appropriate for a transmission such as that. Often used in antique car transmissions and rear axles, to say nothing of internal lubrication of steam engines.
 

Dustynorm

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Hi Dusty
Nice lathe and drive unit. What year is that old Dominion lathe?
Cheers
Martin
I've been doing some research, and by the name on the Lathe (John Bertram and Sons Company Ltd., Dundas Ontario) it is post 1901, the exact date I don't know, but somewhere around that timeline. The Auto-drive unit is Dominion (Walkerville, Ontario), which is a little later, but no date on this yet, I'm still researching this. There is so little information available for this lathe, probably becuase it is a lesser known brand.

What is pretty neat about this lathe for me is that it was made in the city I used to work in, and that city is only about 25 minutes away. The building still stands, and has a museum on the lowest floor with a lathe nearly identical to the one I have.

For reference, I've shown an image of what the lathe looked like when I picked it up.

Museum.PNG Bertram Overall - Copy.jpg

Thanks,

Dusty
 

Dustynorm

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That original oil looks like steam cylinder oil, it comes in black and thick as new. I don't think it would be appropriate for a transmission such as that. Often used in antique car transmissions and rear axles, to say nothing of internal lubrication of steam engines.
That's interesting, I wonder if that might be why is smelled burned? Not something I would expect from a device with no combustion process occurring.

The most recent owner used it for the occasional wood-turning, so I don't think it was used often at all, but it seems to be running well still. I think it's interesting enough to warrant taking the cap off to have a look inside sometime. I assume a very simple operation of shifting gears, but i'd like to see how it works anyway.

That's great insight, thank you.
 

benmychree

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That's interesting, I wonder if that might be why is smelled burned? Not something I would expect from a device with no combustion process occurring.

The most recent owner used it for the occasional wood-turning, so I don't think it was used often at all, but it seems to be running well still. I think it's interesting enough to warrant taking the cap off to have a look inside sometime. I assume a very simple operation of shifting gears, but i'd like to see how it works anyway.

That's great insight, thank you.
Steam cylinder oil does have a definite smell about it ------
 

francist

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#9
Looks like they (John Bertram) made some real woppers too....
1540756324929.png

-frank
 

Dustynorm

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Yes sir, the lathe I own is the smallest they made apparently (#5), the base weight of 1200lbs. It likes to stay in one place.

Pretty amazing the size of some of these things, that must be 10,000lbs or more. If I removed ALL of my tools I could fit this big lathe in my shop....
 

Dustynorm

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Today I've been working on a design for replacing the new-ish hex nut with one to look more like the original which would have come with the machine. The test one I made functions very well, however it is too long and I don't want the bolt to show through the end, so I'll make a new one about 1/2" shorter.

20181028_172922.jpg

The new one will be a little more refine also.

Tip, if you boil steel in vinegar, it will react and etch the steel within 2 minutes, it makes the steel look more aged so that it looks like it belongs.
 

Dustynorm

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Here is an update on the progress, I had some interest in the lathe and I thought I should share in video form in hopes that it's a little more interesting.

Progress Update and Projects

Take care,

Dusty
 
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