Saturday, 20 October 2018

Time to breath some life into the old girl...

Now let's put it this way: Richard the Rhino is quite a different beast than Martha the old Matra was. Where the Matra lathe was an epitome of German engineering, the Rhino/Coronet lathe is much more simple and crude.

But in order to experience that the first task was to swap out the old 3-phase motor for a single-phase one. (In case you wonder, yes it's omnidirectional and I will add a switch for that, but one thing after the other.)

Luckily I had purchased the new motor before I even picked up the lathe, as I somewhat suspected that with all the rust on the outside the old motor would most likely be shot anyway. What we have here is a genuine Soviet era (1987, if the name-plate is to be believed), Polish-made, 1.5kW, 1400RPM single phase motor and in all honesty: it's really well made. 

Talking about rust, this picture should give you an idea about the before and after...

Rummaging through my boxes, I found an unused B18 chuck and together with a new MT2 arbor that replaced the somewhat shoddy chucks that came with the lathe.

First task make a reducing sleeve for the QCTP, as what was on there wasn't going to cut it... at all.

One interesting thing: Most lathes come with a vast array of gears for thread cutting. The old Coronet/Rhino only has four, which can be arranged in three different combinations to cut both imperial and (some) metric threads. Getting them off was an entirely different matter, as with pretty much everything else on this lathe they were a bit rusty. 

After some cleaning it turns out, that these are actually painted red. 

... and a proper billet lamp-mount, so I can actually see what I am doing on the lathe.

So after working with the old girl, what's the verdict, I hear you ask? Well she's a different beast compared to the Matra. Probably hardly any use before me, so after some adjustments everything feels really tight and snug. On the other side, most bits are rather crude and made in a simple, yet efficient way. But the biggest change for me are the much lower speeds. The matra ran at around maximum 1700-1800rpm, whereas this one does 1043rpm, which means a lot less heat and a lot slower working pace. I think we'll become very good friends over the coming months and years...

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