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Thread: WWII hand-powered lathe from Liberty Ship - photo

  1. #11
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    Ron in this picture also from the John W Brown liberty ship machine shop on the left side you can see a Bridgeport mill it looks to be a J head
    WWII hand-powered lathe from Liberty Ship - photo-13_ss_john_w_brown_baltimore.jpg
    the Lathe is Southbend
    WWII hand-powered lathe from Liberty Ship - photo-14_ss_john_w_brown_baltimore.jpg
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    Yes, Most ocean going ships have a lathe and drill etc just in case .On container ships you have lots of winches,electric motors,pumps and so on ,and if trouble should strike and you are mid pacific it is up to the ships engineers to remake any parts required. Burt Munro, the man immortilised in the movie,the Worlds fastest indian ,spoke of getting a job as cook on a freighter so he could use the ships machine shop to make pistons and other parts as he sailed to the US from New Zealand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jon View Post
    Here's one of those triple expansion steam engines:







    i have seen one of these engines up close, In Klaipeda ,Lithuania. They have a fishing museum at the old Fort where several boats and lots of fishing memorabilia is on display . After WW2 a lot of the libertyships were still tied up in Murmansk as it was too dangerous during the war to come back ,plus the Soviets decided that the ships were part of the deal anyway. They were cut up and their steel and equipment was put to use building a fishing fleet ,hence the steam engine on Display.

  4. #14
    Jon
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    Lathe on the USS Missouri, a Virginia-class attack submarine Iowa-class battleship. Fullsize 4,000px wide pic: https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/h...e_fullsize.jpg .






    Anyone know about the effect of sea motion on machining? Is it minimized in such a large sub? Worse above the water surface?

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    mklotz mklotz's Avatar
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    That's a monstrous lathe. I guesstimated the height of the crossfeed wheel above the deck at 28" and used that to scale the overall length of the lathe. It came out close to thirteen feet!

    The marking on the headstock says Lodge and Shipley. Their 24 x 120 would be about that length and looks very similar to the one on the ship...

    Lodge and Shipley

    Note the crank below the right end of the tailstock. I believe that's a means of moving what must be a very heavy tailstock using the lathe rack. You can see it also on the picture of the lathe on the boat.

    Here's a video of a similar size Lodge and Shipley taking a 1/4" cut in steel...



    It's all very overwhelming for us hobbyists with Unimats, Sherlines and 12 x 24 imports.

    I doubt a lathe like that would notice any ship motion. In fact, the lathe probably provides structural stiffening for the boat.
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    If [and in defense of the Navy's dependence on machine tools] ability of machine tools to perform as intended have few dependencies; steady amperage and properly mounted to a solid foundation. I can't see any reason a lathe or any machine tool couldn't hang on the wall and run correctly, except the lubrication system. Heavy turnings would be an issue, as the weight would be out of plane with the bed and feet. Also, lathes in particular, need their main gearshaft to run in it's oilbath, and splash remainder of headstock. Much the same as manual auto transmission.

    Marv is correct. The crank adjacent to tailstock is there for exactly that reason. Some use them as a feed for coarse drilling. Some have a gear rack under the ways, others use a 'jack' arrangement and ratchet teeth are cast into the bed between the ways.
    I'm a mill guy, but certain lathes really turn me on. Lodge & Shipley is one of them. Near every machine intended for industrial use has a range of features that suit them to a particular type of work. And NONE do everything well.

    And Marv, not surprising you'd find interest in the logging site. One of my favorites.
    Last edited by Toolmaker51; 10-02-2017 at 07:07 PM.
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    Breaking news for all you civilians. That lathe is not on a sub, it's on the USS Missouri BB-63 a retired battleship berthed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Which served as the location for the formal surrender of Japan at the end of WWII. BTW, it would never fit on a sub, even one of the boomers.

    I have used virtually the exact same lathe on the USS Coral Sea CVA-43 an aircraft carrier of the same vintage and a newer version on the USS Samuel Gompers AD-37 a repair ship.

    A simple & quick Google search would have revealed the correct location of the lathe.

    BTW, there is another one on the USS Alabama near New Orleans.

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    It doesn't matter the angle the machine is at when running as long as it is level to the ships floor. Movement of the ship has no bearing upon the accuracy of the machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdhatter3 View Post
    It doesn't matter the angle the machine is at when running as long as it is level to the ships floor. Movement of the ship has no bearing upon the accuracy of the machine.
    I can attest the movement of the ship has a great deal to do with the accuracy of a machine tool. As the ship flexes so does the MT making it difficult to impossible to hold necessary tolerances. Seems like a lot of civilians who have never put to sea want to put in their 2 cents worth. Bottom line they just flat out don't know what they are talking about.

  13. #20
    Jon
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Stan View Post
    Breaking news for all you civilians. That lathe is not on a sub, it's on the USS Missouri BB-63 a retired battleship berthed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
    I had the wrong USS Missouri; I just changed the text from Virginia-class attack submarine to Iowa-class battleship, thanks!

    Any idea what we have below? Was this the original machine shop, and the above was added in later years?


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