By Ian Carney

The repair of old watches really requires a small lathe to manufacture broken wheels and staffs when replacements cannot be found.

The one displayed here was purchased in quite a poor condition although surface rusting had been minimised by its nickel plating.

It carries no maker's name which is not unusual - it is probably of British make.

The storage box was the first item made, followed by the rebuilding of the cross slide. The lathe did not have a top slide and tool post; instead a tool rest for hand turning would have been used. However, a geared cross and top slide was wanted so these were fabricated from mild steel.

Several collets, 2 shellac chucks and disc chucks were included in the original ‘cardboard box’. Other lathe tools, chucks, fittings and tail-stock drill holders have since been either acquired or manufactured.

Normally a lathe like this would have had a permanent place on a watch repairer's bench but for its new use, a semi-permanent mounting box was made. The drive motor was made moveable to accommodate changes in drive belt length. As far as possible. all electrics were concealed within the 'box'