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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      VEF Lathes
      - Valsts Electro-Techniska Fabrika, Riga, Latvia -


      Possibly the only lathe indigenous to Latvia, the VEF was modelled closely on a late version of the backgeared and screwcutting pre-WW2 German  Boley Models L4 and L.E.  12 spindle speeds were available, powered by Siemens & Halske 2-speed electric motor the whole assembly, lathe and drive system, being mounted and on what appears to have been  a cast-iron stand and flat-belt drive system identical to that used on the German original.
      All examples of these lathes were manufactured in the late 1930s, with castings poured and machined in VEF factory - and then, equipped with capstan turrets and cut-off slides, used to manufacture parts for the Minox miniature camera, the product for which VEF were to become famous. How many lathe were made, and how widely distributed they were, is not known - but some found their way into local technical training and trade schools. Under Russian communist occupation, Latvians were forbidden (under criminal sanction) from owning new machine tools and so those in the schools were to provide a handy source of  permitted "old" examples for enthusiasts to "liberate" for home use. One such, owned by Latvian engineer and professional vintage motorcycle restorer Juris Ramba will hopefully feature here soon. Should any Latvian reader have another example, the writer would be very interested in hearing from you.

      Works photograph of a pre-WW2 VEF precision lathe

      For comparison - the Model L.E. by G. Boley


      VEF Lathes
      - Valsts Electro-Techniska Fabrika, Riga, Latvia -

      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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