Re: Another tool ID needed XII

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writes:

I cannot put an earlier date on metal lathes but I do recall that at the Geddy House foundary at Colonial Williamsburg, VA they have, or had, a metal lathe. Given CW's extensive historical crafts research that would have made them available in 1770...
John
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John Grossbohlin wrote:

It depends on what you mean by 'metal lathe'. If you mean a lathe used to turn metal, then they go back at least to the 15th century. However those looked just like heavy duty wood lathes. Up to the end of the 19th century a lot of metal turning was still done on lathes that looked like that, often turned by a foot treadle.
If you mean a lathe that looks like what we think of as a metal lathe, with lead screw, crossfeed tool holder, apron, change gears, etc., then you're talking about something that evolved throughout most of the 19th century and continues to evolve today.
--RC
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On 5 Oct 2004 15:49:23 GMT, Bruce Barnett

No. but what's "ancient" ?
Given a quick look, I (and most others with an interest) can quite easily date a lather from about 1890 onwards, just by looking. There were a whole range of innovations, both in features to be used, and in techniques for how lathes were made.
If you have any interest in the history of engineering or machine tools, find a copy of LTC Rolt's classic "Tools for the Job".
--
Smert' spamionam

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I've seen #147 at rural auctions numerous times, and it has always been described as a tool to use on heavy chains to "un-kink" or straighten stubborn chain links. The two pointy finger-like extensions are supposedly placed over the holes in the adjacent kinked chain links and the tool's flat surface (the base the tool is standing on in your photo) is hit with a hammer, the blow forcing the links to straighten. Never used one or saw one in action, but enough auctioneers have described the item's use as above, that I tend to believe them.
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