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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      George Hatch Lathes


      George Hatch, founded in 1862, was an engineering tool supply company based at 3, 20 and 21 Queenhithe, Upper Thames Street, London, EC4. In addition to offering a very wide range of tools and materials for engineering and woodworking shops, traction engine makers and foundries, they also either manufactured (or commissioned others to supply), a range of lathes. Models offered varied from simple but well-made plain-turning types for light-duty workshop and amateur use, to heavier 7 and 8-inch models equipped with backgear, screwcutting and power feeds.  Incredibly, their simple plain-turning lathe, obviously designed in the closing years of the 19th century, was still listed, despite its obvious limitations, some 40 years later in engineering suppliers' catalogues of the late 1930s. It was shown as being available in two version (both using the same length of bed) as either a 31/2" x 20" machine (252 lbs) or in a rather more substantial 41/2" x 18" (300 lbs) form mounted on stronger legs and with the flywheel increased in weight but not diameter. The bed ways were a single flat and V and the lathe was supplied as standard with a single adjustable T-holder with two lengths of rest; the non-graduated swivelling compound slide illustrated below was an extra and would have accounted for a substantial extra cost over that of the basic lathe.
      Running in a single bearing, the 3/8" bore headstock spindle had its left-hand end formed into a centre and supported against an adjustable, hardened pad - a popular design widely adopted on small lathes from the mid 19th century onwards. A choice of light-duty round-leather "gut" or flat-belt drive was offered (the lathe illustrated has the former) with gut available only for treadle drive. The flat-belt drive used either the same treadle system or, more effectively, with power from a countershaft fitted with self-aligning bearings supported on extension arms cast into the top rear face of the bed legs. Well engineered, the treadle system used a full-width axle running in bearings in both left and right-hand legs and an extra-long foot-plate that could be operated by either leg.
      Other George Hatch models included simple capstan, chasing, brass-workers' and special-purpose lathes and a variety of associated engineering equipment. If you have a George Hatch lathe the writer would be pleased to hear from you..

      George Hatch 31/2" and 4 1/2" plain-turning lathe

      George Hatch 41/2" centre height, light-duty hand-operated turret lathe with 7/8" bore ball-bearing spindle and a choice of 4 or 6-hole capstan head. The turret travel was 7 inches and the maximum capacity between spindle and turret 20". A lever-action collet closer and  compound slide rest were also available.

      Designed for the simplest of production processes, the George Hatch hollow-mandrel, single-speed bench lathe was fitted as standard with its collet closer and compound slide rest operated by lever feeds. The maximum collet capacity was 1 inch, the top slide could be swivelled through 180?and both feeds were fitted with screw-adjustable stops.


      A circa 1890 George Hatch lathe, around 7" x 40" with a straight bed, backgear and screwcutting and intended for general workshop use. Pointers to its age include exposed gears on the apron, crank handles fitted to feet screws, a coarse-pitch leadscrew, spindle end thrust taken by a plate mounted on posts outboard of the left-hand spindle bearings, very coarse-pitch backgears and changewheels (on cheaper lathes these were often left "as-cast") Power cross feed appears to have been driven from a shaft down the back of the bed.


      George Hatch Lathes
      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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