Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Stark #4 9" bench lathe

Posting on this lathe just in case there's anyone else out there googling
Stark #4 9" bench lathe.
This is an oldie and one of the better quality machines I've seen.
The machined surfaces are ground, not milled and all the parts fit precisely.
The paint has chipped and chipped again and been re-painted who knows how many times, but that just adds to the charm because the paint has no effect on the quality of the parts produced on this machine.
And the basic shape of the thing is very artsy to say the least, I love it!
I picked this up on an internet auction and didn't realize until I put it in the shop that the motor is rated for 440 volt 3 phase power.
The best I can do here is 220 volt 3 phase, so for now it sits and collects dust.
The turret tailstock is in good shape as is the cross slide although it's not original, made by Wade also from Waltham. I think several of the companies in that area standardized their parts so that they could be interchanged. Kinda neat eh?
Waltham seems to have been a major source of precision machinery and must have been a cool place, if you like machining and casting and all that stuff. :-)
Tracing the history on this machine was fun.
Originally purchased and used in the toolroom of National Cash Register in Dayton Ohio,
it ended up in auction in La Verne California and how it got there is a mystery to me.
The age is unknown. Stark closed in the 1950's but I think it's older than that.
If it dates back to the 1910's or so, there's a chance it was used by one of the greatest US inventers
Charles Kettering -Wikipedia (here)
While you're there, check out what might be the worlds first cruise missle (here)


At 9/04/2008 10:48 AM, Anonymous wishnevsky said...

cool. Kevin had an even older one in tennessee. it had been set up for leather belt drive.. A stark, i mean.. I know a guy who might be able to tell you how to make a voltage converter, or phase converter, what ever they are called.

At 9/04/2008 11:12 AM, Blogger Paul said...

I could use advice on how to step up the voltage from 220 to 440, that seems to be the hangup. Probably some kind of transformer solution. 3phase is no problem.

At 2/22/2009 5:53 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Paul, I just set up one of these very same lathe's. The solution for the conversion to 3 phase is a unit called "Altivar 11". At least that's what is on mine and it allows speed control, reverse and forward. Hope this helps,

At 2/23/2009 6:13 AM, Blogger Paul said...

Thanks Mike!


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