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      GDR ( DDR, Eastern Germany)
      Unknown Watchmakers' Lathes



      The three watchmakers' lathes shown on this page are by unknown makers from the former communist-controlled East Germany (the German Democratic Republic - GDR and DDR). All exhibit unusual aspects of design, with the robust, black-finished 10 mm collet model having a bed with a narrow, flat top surface and steeply angled side faces each being machined with a full length rectangular groove to locate the slide rest and tailstock.
      Surviving in its maker's box together with a collet set, the smallest of the three had its base, headstock and tailstock cast as-one in the form of an elongated letter "U". The swivelling compound slide-rest was held on the end of a round bar that slid into the headstock casting immediately below the spindle - the latter being of the simple type running in just a front bearing with its outer end supported against and adjustable hardened-steel point. As the tailstock casting was fixed, a long-travel spindle was provided - this, lacking a screw or lever feed, being slid to and fro by hand.
      Described by its owner using the German expression "
      unbekannter feindrehstuhl " - unknown precision swivel chair - the best equipped model had a cantilever bed and its headstock supported on a round column that socketed into a base plate, the whole assembly able to be rotated. Although an uncomfortable-looking assembly of parts, the whole machine exuded an air of quality with the compound slide rest having good-sized micrometer dials and dainty handles of the "balanced" type. Hinting at designs used by, for example, the  G.Boley Company on their "Triangular" and "Bevelled-edge" models, the bed was of hexagonal section. Both tailstock and compound slide-rest were supported on a solid casting that slid onto the bed, locking being achieved by a slit along their front edge closed up by a screw clamp.
      Other small lathes made in East Germany include the Unispan, Saupe, Andra & Zwingenberger, Rudolf Kadner, SL2a, Rundex and Eisfeld

      10 mm "Unbekannter Feindrehstuhi" with its unusual bed design

      Surviving in its maker's box together with a collet set, the smallest of the three had its base, headstock and tailstock cast as-one in the form of an elongated letter "U". The swivelling compound slide-rest was held on the end of a round bar that slid into the headstock casting immediately below the spindle - the latter being of the simple type running in just a front bearing with its outer end supported against and adjustable hardened-steel point. As the tailstock casting was fixed, a long-travel spindle was provided - this, lacking a screw or lever feed, being slid to and fro by hand.

      Described by its owner using the German expression "unbekannter feindrehstuhl " - unknown precision swivel chair - the best equipped model had a cantilever bed and its headstock supported on a round column that socketed into a base plate, the whole assembly able to be rotated. Although an uncomfortable-looking assembly of parts, the whole machine exuded an air of quality with the compound slide rest having good-sized micrometer dials and dainty handles of the "balanced" type. Another variety of a design used by, for example, the  G.Boley Compnay on their "Triangular" and "Bevelled-edge" models, the bed was of hexagonal section. Both the tailstock and compound slide-rest were supported on a solid casting that slid onto the bed, locking being achieved by a slit along their front edge closed up by a screw clamp.

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