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      MAIL   Tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Lin Huan Lathe

      In addition to being sold as the "Select" in the USA, the useful little Lin Huan lathe was also sold under its original Taiwanese maker's name - the one shown below being identical in specification though in this case still mounted on its maker's (rather old fashioned) cast-iron legs.
      Looking to have been yet another development of the South Bend 9-inch, the lathe reflects typical details found on contemporary Taiwanese machine tools: the type of knurling used on the tailstock and screwcutting gearbox levers; the shape of the handles used on the carriage, cross-slide and top-slide feed - and even the texture of the major castings. Although information suggests that most parts are not interchangeable with the original South Bend, the complete carriage assembly was certainly styled along very similar lines with the cross and top slides appearing to be identical. One part that had been subjected to some development was the apron where the engagement mechanism for the power cross-feed was completely different - an instant-engage lever being provided in place of the wind-in-and-out star wheel - and even the leadscrew clasp-nut control altered. Unfortunately, removing the original apron-mounted worm-and-wheel reduction gearing meant that extra-fine rates of sliding feed were lost, only power cross feed enjoyed this facility, at 1/3 the leadscrew-driven longitudinal rate.
      Constructed with bed, feet and chip tray cast as-one (and supplied on a pair of stout, cast-iron legs) the Lin Huan was very heavily built, though the lack of capacity between centres - most 9-inch South Bend lathes offered rather more - must have reduced its appeal. With its rigid, box-like construction and roller-bearing supported spindle, the headstock would appear to have been an improvement on the original - unfortunately the designer unaccountably chose to use the earliest form of 9-inch tumble-reverse mechanism, one that required a bolt to be slackened before the leadscrew drive could be put into neutral or reversed. 12 spindle speeds were provided, from a rather fast bottom speed of 90 (that would have made screwcutting awkward for a beginner) to a usefully high 1800 r.p.m. For a Far Eastern belt-drive lathe of the period the high top speed was distinctly unusual, and probably allowed for by the use of grease-packed bearings.
      Presumably fitted with an internal arrangement identical to the original, the screwcutting gearbox took it's drive from a train of changewheels carried on a single instead of double-slot bracket. Although that part of the bed near the headstock was cut away to form a slight gap, the rest of the lathe - the complete carriage and rather Boxford-like No. 2 Morse taper tailstock - conformed to standard South Bend practice. On some versions a push-button electrical switch was built neatly into a housing on the front edge of the chip tray and a capacitor-start 1-phase motor appears to have been part of the standard equipment.
      If any reader has a similar Lin Huan (or Select lathe) the writer would be interested to hear from you.
      Links to South Bend 9-inch clones here

      MAIL   Tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Lin Huan Lathe
      - a developed copy of the South Bend 9-inch -
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