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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Sypher Lathes USA

      Sypher Wood Lathes

      The writer would be pleased to hear from anyone who can provide
      additional information about the Sypher Manufacturing Company


      Based in Toledo, Ohio, the "Sypher" Manufacturing Company (later Syper-Arcon) made a variety of band saws, scroll and jig saws, bench saws, a small bench drill, a grinding head and a range of simple, small plain-turning metal and wood lathes. Even the company's top-of-the-range lathe lacked screwcutting and had only a simple compound slide rest, moved along the bed under power by a belt driving directly from the headstock to a large pulley on the end of a leadscrew. Because the apron carried a "full" nut, permanently engaged with the leadscrew (and without even the luxury of a dog-clutch to disengage the drive) there was no possibility of fitting a quick-action rack feed and, with the power drive permanently engaged, the operator was left with something of a problem as the cutting tool approached a shoulder.
      Although the headstock casting suffered from an exaggeratedly-narrow waisting below the line of the spindle the individually-adjustable, 5-degree taper bronze bearings (and the No. 1 Morse taper spindle itself) were, for an inexpensive lathe, well designed and of generous proportions.
      All Sypher lathes had a "trade-mark" design of tailstock with the two clamping bolts positioned fore and aft down the centre line of the flat-top, planed-finish bed.  The tailstock, like the headstock, was properly constructed with a No. 1 Morse taper, self-eject barrel which was locked by a decent two-part compression clamp. Whilst the Company's wood lathes had beds fabricated from steel angle sections, all the metal lathes appear to have been in cast iron - although the proportions and weight were hardly generous.
      A range of useful accessories was offered for the lathes (based no doubt on the company's stand-alone wood machines) and included a sawbench, bandsaw and vertical-milling slide.
      Unfortunately, precise dating for these lathes does not exist; however, the inclusion of both flat and V-belt drive machines in the same catalog would seem to put their date of first manufacture at some point time between 1929 and 1933..

      7-inch swing by 14-inches between centres Sypher No. 10 lathe. Fitted with a single tool slide and with carriage traverse by means of a handle on the leadscrew end, the flat-belt drive cone pulley on the headstock carried only two speeds. In the 1930s this lathe was offered, as shown, for $60.

      If you could force the children to go without shoes for a month or so, and find an extra $15, then the Sypher 7.75" x 24" No. 11 was within your reach. Although the swing was increased to a 7.75" and the capacity between centres to 24" - and a proper compound slide rest fitted with "balanced" ball handles but no micrometer dials - the owner still had to contend with the limitations imposed by a two-speed headstock.

      The No. 10 and No. 11 lathes were offered with a "fast-and-loose"
      two-speed countershaft unit - listed in the catalog as Part No. 9.


      Although the headstock casting suffered an exaggeratedly-narrow waisting below the line of the spindle the bearings (and the spindle itself) were well designed and of generous proportions. The front bearing, parallel on its outside surface, was tapered 5 degrees on its inner and could be adjusted for initial clearance by a ring, screwed to the spindle, which also acted to absorb end thrust.
      The end bearing was held between a pair of screwed rings and could be moved forwards and backwards in the casting, so altering the clearance of the front bearing; some considerable juggling of the settings must have been required to get a setting that was free-running, end-float-free and reliable.

      The double-taper headstock spindle of the Nos. 10 and 11 lathes

      Front Bearing

      Rear Bearing

      Recent photographs of what
      appears to be a Sypher No. 10

      A long-bed Sypher with a distinctly different countershaft unit

      The Automatic Feed Attachment (Part No. 26) drove from a V groove on the end of the headstock spindle to a large-diameter pulley on the end of the leadscrew.
      The ratio was such that a single revolution of the spindle produced a carriage moment of 1/64" - which would have been rather too fast for comfort.
      The dangerous slot in the combination faceplate/catchplate was designed to hold the end of a drive dog - as well as grab the operator's loose clothing.

      The milling attachment (Part No. 24) had a useful, built-in vice and attached to the cross slide with a single bolt.

      The Jig Saw Attachment (Part No. 22) had a stroke of 1.5 inches and could cut wood up to 2-inches thick. The table was 7-inches in diameter and could be tilted through 5 degrees.

      Circular Saw Attachment (Part No. 21) shown here with its cutter spindle unsupported by a tailstock centre, had a 10" x 13" table.


      Sypher Wood Lathes

      Sypher Lathes USA
      The writer would be pleased to hear from anyone who can provide additional
      information about the Sypher Manufacturing Company.


      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
      Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
      Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

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