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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      ETS Metaubell Lathes (Paris, France)

      Yet another seldom-found lathe from France, this time by the tablissement Metaubell of 93 Avenue Daumesnil, Paris, next to the main-line railway station the Gare de Lyon. Stamped on the maker's plate as the type "Mo 122-405", this was a machine of the most unusual configuration with one type (the Type Mo 122-405) having an extraordinarily deep main body casting, machined on its top surface with three T-slots into which was fastened the lathe bed proper. Other versions (Type Mo 122-263) lacked the T-slots and appeared to have been fitted with a fixed, bevelled-edge slideway on which could be mounted a 6-station capstan unit, cut-off slide and tailstock. Hence, the lathe was obviously intended for simple production work - though as the T-slotted top surface was so large, it might have been possible to configure the machine as a multi-function type and carry other fittings that would have allowed operations such as boring, shaping and slotting, etc., to be carried out.
      The great depth of the main housing probably contained some sort of mechanical variable-speed drive system - does the knob poking through the vertical slot in the front face of the headstock have anything to do with this?
      While intended for production work, although the provision of what seems to have been a handy foot-operated spindle brake, the placing electrical controls low down on the front of the headstock-end leg would surely have encouraged back trouble in the unfortunate operator.
      Although the full extent of the maker's range is not known, they did produce a 4-speed "speed lathe" - this consisting, like other types of just a headstock (that accepted collets) with the option of a short section of bed on which could e mounted such accessories as a full compound slide rest, a cut-off slide, hand T-rest or even a production-type capstan head. The lathe was described by the makers as:
      A universal small lathe, essential for Ebavurage (removing flash, etc.) retouching, adjusting and fitting and polishing. Control seems to have been by one headstock mounted start/stop and locked lever.


      An example of a Metaubell Lathe (a Type Mo 122-405) with T-slots on the top of its main body casting.


      A rear view of a Metaubell Lathe (a Type Mo 122-405) that shows, clearly, just how the massif main body casting was

      A Metaubell lathe (a Type Mo 122-263) arranged without with T-slots in the top face of its main body


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