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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Auerbach Lathes

      Very similar to Karger lathes, the Dresden-manufactured Auerbach was another high-quality German maker who, beginning in 1890, made a range of lathes including a number of beautifully constructed precision plain-turning types. The first example, shown immediately below in the colour photograph, is fitted with chase screwcutting by means of a sliding headstock spindle - the method of operation being identical to that described in detail here.
      In its first year of production the Auerbach factory employed just 20 workmen, a number that had grown to 160 by 1926 - though immediately after WW1 staff reached a record high of 220. In the early years, considering the limited size of the works, an impressively-large range of machine tools were offered including capstan lathes with either vertical revolver or standard horizontal turret heads, special machines for electric-motor armature working, ordinary sliding and screwcutting lathes from 135 to 295 mm centre height, precision plain-turning, hand-operated lathes, production revolver-turret lathes for fine optical work, a number of simple horizontal and universal milling machines and one multi-spindle boring machine.
      By 1910 a limited-liability company had been formed (G.m.b.H) and production rationalised around far fewer models allowing more economical production methods to be employed. In 1912 a revised range of vertical revolver lathes with spindle bores from 30 to 70 mm was introduced and proved immediately popular. Following the First World War (1918 onwards) the models was revised yet again and capstan lathes with vertical revolver turrets from 12 to 40 mm spindle bore and with two different shifting systems for chuck work and long bar work (through collets) were introduced. Alongside these was a range of horizontal turret lathes with spindle bores from 20 to 50 mm designed specially for chuck work and a series of very special precision capstan lathes from 20 to 100 mm spindle bore - so-called Optical-Capstan lathes - with 125 to 155 mm centre heights and intended for optical, mechanical and electrical parts made not only metal but also adaptable to turn Galalith and Bakelite (both early plastics), hard rubber, various vulcanised fibres - and even coal. These new models were built in large numbers and became the mainstay of the company's profitability during the following decade. However, the long-established precision plain lathes also continued in production - as did a range of semi-automatic and double-spindle spindle milling machines and various interesting specials including a water tap grinding machine and, for use in precision workshops, a high-speed milling machine with automatic or hand-feed control.
      Do you have an Auerbach lathe, or literature about them? If you do, the writer would be interested to hear from you..

      An Auerbach of unknown vintage fitted with sliding headstock spindle chase screw cutting. Judging from the crank handles on the compound slide rest assembly, tiny micrometer dials and general appearance it would have been manufactured circa 1900 to 1914

      Although mechanically almost unchanged from the earlier model at the top of the page, this plain-turning, sliding headstock spindle Auerbach precision plain-turning lathe is as manufactured during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Changes included much larger micrometer dials, balanced handles on the compound slide rest feed screws, an "enclosed" tailstock with a micrometer collar on its feed screws and a built-on motor-countershaft  assembly with drive by V-belts.

      Auerbach plain lathes with integrated drive systems from the lathe 1940s to early 1950s

      Probably dating from the mid 1930s, this must have been one of the Company's first attempts at an integral electrical drive system - and obviously a conversion from an earlier foot-treadle and flywheel machine model

      Although not confirmed as an Auerbach, this fine and very well equipped
      example of a sliding headstock spindle lathe does appear to be by that Company

      The modest premises of the Auerbach Company in 1890

      The Auerbach's works in 1910

      Model RNV3R
      Like the German Pittler Company Auerbach produced repetition lathes of the "Revolver" style with the capstan head disposed vertically between the bed ways

      Auerbach 3HR Revolver Turret production lathe of 1926

      The Auerbach model line up in the mid 1920 showing precision plain-turning, backgeared and screwcutting centres lathes ("Engine" lathes)., capstan lathes of both conventional and Revolver type and a small horizontal milling machine. All the lathes, even the capstan types, are shown fitted with chase screwcutting with the cutting tool supported on a long bar projecting from the rear of the headstock.

      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Auerbach Lathes