Obviously inspired by the South Bend 9-inch "Workshop" lathe (as first manufactured in the early 1930s), this Norwegian-built example was, it is reported, one of a batch of 30 constructed during 1940. Responsible for its production was the Norwegian Metal Gasket Factory, a concern whose main business at the time was the manufacture of metal gaskets for steam engines, the necessary bronze and metal parts being cast and machined in-house. In 1939 the ompany name was changed to The Norwegian Metal Gasket Factory and Vestlandske Art and Metallstøperi. In 1994 operations were partitioned off into a separate company, Nomek Maskinvereksted AS, who continue to this day.
While the bed, carriage assembly and tailstock of the Metallpakningsfabrikk
all look very South Bend, the headstock is entirely different with huge, 2-bolt cap bearings holding what must be a substantially larger-than-original spindle.
The apron also appears to be modified with the possibility that the power cross feed mechanism (if fitted) is controlled by a large knurled knob set concentrically with the cross-feed screw handle.
In the unlikely event that a reader might have a second example of the lathe, the writer would be very interested to hear from you.
The success of the original South Bend 9-inch, and its suitability as a general-purpose workshop lathe, can gauged from the number of copies produced including: English ones by Smart & Brown, Boxford and Ace; the Australian Hercus, Sheraton, Purcell and Parkanson (the latter the brand name of Theo. Park & Son, Engineers ,Melbourne); the Swedish Storebro and Blomqvist; the Brazillian-made Sanches Blanes, Joinville and Boffelli & Finazzi, the French UFP and from Argentine the S.R.L. San Francisco (CBA), Industria Argentina. Another copies were the mysterious NSTC (probably American, but about which nothing is known) and the Brtish "Unitol", a name more often found on the Heavy-10 South Bend but perhaps (like the Heavy-10), this was a real South Bend just rebranded with the Unitol name cast into the iron cover that guarded the belt running from motor to countershaft..