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Author Topic: Worlds oldest CNC lathe?  (Read 6117 times)

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Worlds oldest CNC lathe?
« on: February 05, 2008, 07:32:55 PM »
As best we can tell this lathe was built in Maine about 1892. We use it at the Boothbay Railway Village shop to turn railroad wheels. We recently did a 're-tread' job on 2 wheel sets for the Conway Senic RR.

The wheels are held between centers- remember these things are 34-36" diameter, 4ft 8 1/2" between flanges, over 5 1/3 ft long. weigh over a ton.

The wheel profile is a complicated set of tapers and fillets, so I set up 2 old cross slide on top of each other and powered them with 900 oz-in steppers. I did a Mach wizard to do the tread profile.

The two guys operating it have never see a CNC machine before, in fact, they are both stuck somewhere back about 1890 in their interests. Note the intense concentration on the screen while running it with the Shuttle Pro.

In the background is a boiler we are building, the first locomotive boiler built in Maine since 1905.

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: Worlds oldest CNC lathe?
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2008, 07:38:00 PM »
Thats great stuff Ron. Wouldn't the original builders of the lathe be proud? I bet they would.

;D If you could see the things I have in my head, you would be laughing too. ;D

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Re: Worlds oldest CNC lathe?
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2008, 06:09:36 PM »
fantastic,   imagine the original turners turning the cast profiles back then at that diameter with circa 1900 steels, yikes!. i have a job enough with modern cerametals.  great show really love the old machines, that lathe looks like its got some grunt when upto speed..

Offline Monty

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Re: Worlds oldest CNC lathe?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2008, 11:43:12 PM »

I can feel those guys concentrating.  :D

Looks like a shop tour would be quite an experience.