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R/E/P => R/E/P Archives => Brad Blackwood => Topic started by: Viitalahde on July 03, 2010, 01:23:32 pm

Title: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 03, 2010, 01:23:32 pm
OK, this is very preliminary, and I'm not even sure of getting a lathe yet.

There's one VMS-70 in Finland @ Timmion Records, and I'm not so sure there's a real market for another cutting house that could do it all. Instead, I'm thinking it'd be nice to offer cutting as a custom side service, labor of love type of a thing for people who might be seeking more of a "sound" - roots & punk people for example.

This means I would not want to invest too much in a lathe. I wouldn't mind it to be more labor intensive, as it would probably not be an everyday thing to operate. I'm not afraid of maintenance either. The main profit would be in everyday mastering for digital medium.

What choices are out there? Scully, Westrex, I see some choice in there. Prestos seem a bit pro-sumer.

And what are the side effects of getting an older lathe? I'm thinking they must be in getting clean cuts and cutting long sides. Sourcing cutting heads might be difficult too.

Getting a lathe has been haunting me for years.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 03, 2010, 02:25:33 pm
Scully's when they come to the market can generally be indeed had for less cash than but tend to be located in USA much more than Europe so I'd say the cost of the crating/shipping/duty to you would likely negate a good bit of the savings if you found one.

Earlier Neumann AM131's and AM32's can be found cheaper than VMS 6x'/70's.  The disadvantage of these systems is generally they are either set up for fixed pitch or have earlier pitch/depth computers that perform poorly so that it's harder to get higher levels and longer sides that folks using VMS-70's/80's and Zumas have a much easier time getting.

Vinylium offers the Pitchbox 98 pitch/depth computer which can be installed in earlier Neumann's - so it's indeed possible to get started with one and upgrade it.

Presto's are all fixed pitch except for the very rare 8G - but these can indeed be sourced for much more reasonable cash.  Not something you can compete against Neumann cuts with but for things like one offs and 7" masters where maximum level and fidelity isn't being required it might work fine for.

Generally any lathe that can be sourced cheaper needs a bit of work - but based on the DIY processors you've made I'm sure you're much more qualified than many others who attempt the task.

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 03, 2010, 03:22:30 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Sat, 03 July 2010 13:23

 I wouldn't mind it to be more labor intensive, as it would probably not be an everyday thing to operate.


If you don't plan on making it a main part of your business it may be more trouble than it's worth. If you get a fixer upper how will you know when it's fixed up? You'll need someone with experience tell you if it is. It would be like buying a junk A80 and getting it going without having experience with one fully in spec. Only more complicated. Not likely to come out well.

Quote:


What choices are out there?


You might be able to find a Lyric. They were high quality machines with good pitch and depth systems from what I hear. I have no experience with them. Probably with Ortofon electronics and cutter head.

Quote:


And what are the side effects of getting an older lathe?



It's like getting a cheap Ferrari.

Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 03, 2010, 03:39:01 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 03 July 2010 15:22


You might be able to find a Lyric. They were high quality machines with good pitch and depth systems from what I hear. I have no experience with them. Probably with Ortofon electronics and cutter head.



Only place I've ever heard of that had a working Lyrec lathe was Foon in Belgium - looks like a souped up Fairchild 740 from the pics(another option that might be found for reasonable cash - fixed pitch but with 3 speed motor - that hasn't been mentioned yet)

http://www.foon.be/analog%20disc-cutting.html

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 04, 2010, 03:14:43 am
Yes, I'm aware such a project might just turn into a dump of moving parts that only cut badly distorted audio. It would go by trial and error, but it's always a battle between time and money, and lately I've had more of the latter.

I've been reading the Lathe Trolls forum and I do see a lot of interesting looking lathes mentioned. Fixed pitch machines do seem a bit limiting, and I just don't know how often I'd run into their limitations in real world use. The Presto systems with changable screws for pitch alteration might be interesting.

I think I'm going to loose money instead of making it, but I'm not sure if that's going to stop this desire!



Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: dietrich on July 04, 2010, 08:34:41 am
If the VMS70 located already in Finland is working now, at a decent price and you can move it low cost across Finland to you=could be worth your time.
If the cutterhead is bad that is initial extra large cost to you.

Any techs in Finland to help you with other possible issues? You can fly Ivo over from Swiss for a weekend for the setup as well.

or Paul Gold
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 04, 2010, 10:45:57 am
Viitalahde wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 03:14

Yes, I'm aware such a project might just turn into a dump of moving parts that only cut badly distorted audio. It would go by trial and error, but it's always a battle between time and money, and lately I've had more of the latter



I say jump in with both set or don't jump. If you have more money than time then buy a working system. It will still need work. If you buy a non working lathe you will have bought a hobby. It will take up the time you don't have and end up costing more than buying a working system.

This is for a professional system. If you go with a Presto or a another simple mono cutter then you won't have much trouble.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bob Olhsson on July 04, 2010, 12:02:40 pm
FWIW: there's nothing at all wrong with a manual lathe unless you are trying to cut 35 minute LP sides!

The big expense however is going to be lots of blanks for test cuts because the learning curve is not likely to be trivial without a mentor kicking you in the pants.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 04, 2010, 01:27:43 pm
Gold wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 17:45

I say jump in with both set or don't jump. If you have more money than time then buy a working system. It will still need work. If you buy a non working lathe you will have bought a hobby. It will take up the time you don't have and end up costing more than buying a working system.


All true, and this is something I need to think out throughly. I'm a full-time ME these days, but I also consider myself as a pretty sharp business man. Screwing it up with investing in something that I haven't completely brained out is something I won't easily do.

Gold

If you go with a Presto or a another simple mono cutter then you won't have much trouble.


Are Presto's available with stereo cutter heads? I've been looking at Presto 6 or 8 series cutters.

EDIT: Apparently not without modifications, like using a Vinylium head.

dietrich wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 15:34

If the VMS70 located already in Finland is working now, at a decent price and you can move it low cost across Finland to you=could be worth your time.


I think they want to use it themselves at Timmion Cutting.

http://www.timmion.com/cutting

Quote:

Any techs in Finland to help you with other possible issues? You can fly Ivo over from Swiss for a weekend for the setup as well.

or Paul Gold


Timmion is the only current lathe owner in Finland right now. But I've been thinking of coming to the other side of the pond some time and meet up with some of you guys and perhaps sit through a couple of sessions. But it's not going to happen too soon.

Bob Olhsson wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 19:02

The big expense however is going to be lots of blanks for test cuts because the learning curve is not likely to be trivial without a mentor kicking you in the pants.


This is how I figured it to be. I've a feeling I could be a quick learner, I've always been. Especially with things that need to be done just by gut feeling.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 04, 2010, 06:17:15 pm
I did exactly what you are proposing except I had more time than money. I bought what I was told was a working system. When you played the lacquers there was sound, but beyond that it didn't work very well. I was able to get a lot of it working but I eventually hit a wall. You have more electronics experience than I had 10 years ago so would fair better. At a certain point you will need someone familiar with the systems. There will be many times when the question will be "is it supposed to do this". The answer isn't always obvious and it isn't in the manual.

Maintenance of old junk is a different head space than building stuff. The temptation of 'making it work better' before you understand why it was done the way it was done is hard to resist. It must be resisted.

As far as operation of the system, only experience can teach you. Or daily exposure to an experienced operator. You'll be fine on that end. You shave your head so there isn't hair to pull out.

It really is a commitment. It's both fun and a big headache. They go hand in hand. There is no way around it.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 04, 2010, 06:25:19 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 13:27



I think they want to use it themselves at Timmion Cutting.

http://www.timmion.com/cutting




Wow, that's an ex CBS lathe with the CBS labs pitch and depth computer. It must work too! I had a bunch of those systems but couldn't get to square one with them. They looked very nice and have some cool features like running a side and telling you how much more level you could get. I still have a box of some of the computer boards. If you know those guys and they want the parts let me know. They should go to a good home.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 05, 2010, 06:18:59 am
I'm thinking that if I ever went this route, I would probably go for a true special service. Maybe even the mono way. Then you wouldn't have to explain why you can't cut long sides loud as the basic customers would anyway have gone elsewhere.

DIY is also something I'm getting interested in, especially with cutting heads. Maybe this will just turn into an expensive hobby.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: dietrich on July 05, 2010, 07:23:41 am
you could always jump in and get the vms80 in germany that is forsale. that will make you one of the few the 80
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 05, 2010, 07:58:23 am
Well, I'm building a new room later this year and I'm looking into about a 40k investment, so getting a real lathe isn't a priority.

Somehow it makes good sense to me to get basic lathe mechanics from Presto or similar, and perhaps experiment with DIY cutting heads & amps, just on a cheapish, less-than-5k level. Have some fun, maybe cut a disc or two if someone wants and get a grasp on what's it about. If there's real market for another cutting room, then why not.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 05, 2010, 09:25:56 am
If I was going to DIY it I'd make it dual purpose. Engraving table/ cutting lathe. I think the mechanics of an engraver could be quiet and accurate enough.  If you had software that could take a live input you might be able to do automation too.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 06, 2010, 03:55:42 am
Gold wrote on Mon, 05 July 2010 16:25

If I was going to DIY it I'd make it dual purpose. Engraving table/ cutting lathe. I think the mechanics of an engraver could be quiet and accurate enough.  If you had software that could take a live input you might be able to do automation too.


Interesting idea. If it was worthy to develop a completely new kind of a lathe, software assistment and precicion mechanics from CNC engraver.. They could be really good and stuff a lot of audio on a single side.

Not that there's anything wrong with current options.

BTW, yesterday I checked what the plants I most frequently send premasters to use for cutting. Optimal Media uses a VMS82 and Flight13 has a VMS70. The VMS82 looks great, and I don't think there's too many of them around.

Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bonati on July 06, 2010, 07:22:42 pm
I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby. If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: hnewman on July 06, 2010, 09:30:09 pm
Bonati wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 19:22

I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby. If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.


Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bonati on July 06, 2010, 10:39:52 pm
hnewman wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 21:30

Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.

Never seen one in person, but I'm not into that system for a variety of reasons. The big ones being that you have to buy special blanks from the system's designer and that you have to kiss that designer's ring before he'll sell you the blanks. Long-winded, hilarious lathe trolls thread about it here.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 06, 2010, 11:15:40 pm
Quote:

title=Bonati wrote on Tue, 06 July 2010 19:22]I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby.


Yup - because there are so many places offering vinyl mastering using the best equipment out there there's definitely expectations that any master someone will provide will be able to match this quality to some degree.  So if you're going to offer it as a professional service it might be hard to find many clients that are going to want to pay a price that you can actually do better than break even on for a middle-ground product that's better than lo-fi "lathe cuts" but that still doesn't compete with Neumann VMS-70/SX-74/SAL-74/Zuma cuts.

Quote:


If the latter is the case then maybe the Vinylium dub cutter is worth a look. It's the only modern plug-n-play lathe I've seen for that application. Supported, too. I wouldn't mess with the Prestos. Beware the lathe trolls that exalt them.


The Presto 1C, 1D and Audax cutter heads that originally these came with are fluid damped and as such have poor frequency response.  

The K and J series were portables designed for the consumer market in the 1940's and get results that are lo-fi as you would imagine - but the 6N, 8D and 8N were designed for broadcast use and as such some hit 7" records from the 1950's were actually cut using these.  These Presto's used changeable feed screws for fixed pitch - and so they're not really capable of competing with a cut you get from something like the pro systems of today - but as far as transcription turntables go some of these things are in fact decent if they are in good shape.

The rare 8G (the last lathe Presto made) is a solid looking lathe to me and with a good cutter head mounted to it the performance probably could almost compete with something like an older Neumann AM131 system.

Quote:


Folks across the road have one of these vinylrecorder things up and running.   I believe they've only cut one-offs so far, but it can apparently do lacquers, they are supposed to get back to me with details once they've had one plated.


The issue with both the Vinylium Kingston Dubcutter and the Souri Vinyl Recorder is that if you use a Technics 1200/1210 as the turntable with the stock overhead systems you get way more wow, flutter and rumble than you get with a professional Neumann or Scully setup.  If they have modded their dubcutters to use something like a SP-10 or a Presto or similar then you could expect better performance in this regard.

The Vinyl Recorder comes stock with proprietary diamond styli and these afaik will cut poorly on lacquer - and the maker of the Vinyl Recorder states that this system is designed to cut on PVC and not acetate or lacquer.  Perhaps they could mod theirs though.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on July 07, 2010, 02:31:22 pm
I think theres a guy on Lathe Trolls who has a Presto portable with Stereo Vinylium head and amps. (try search) Somewhere I found a pic of a guy who built his own stereo head out of 2 Piezo tweeters. A Presto bed seems the to  way to go for a DIY head/amps setup. Shouldn't be too hard to sell if you decide to upgrade to a pro setup, I doubt you'd lose money, at least principal on the gear.

Sounds like alotta fun.

bab
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 07, 2010, 02:57:01 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 14:31

I think theres a guy on Lathe Trolls who has a Presto portable with Stereo Vinylium head and amps.


That's Flo Kaufmann's lathe.  It's a Vinylium SC-99 cutter head stuck on a modded 6N -
Info on it is here -
http://www.floka.com/lofi/portable_lathe.html

http://www.floka.com/lofi/presto_flo.jpg

Best regards,
Steve Berson

Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bonati on July 07, 2010, 03:31:20 pm
Gold wrote on Sun, 04 July 2010 18:17

Maintenance of old junk is a different head space than building stuff. The temptation of 'making it work better' before you understand why it was done the way it was done is hard to resist. It must be resisted.

The sage advice.

Quote:

It really is a commitment. It's both fun and a big headache. They go hand in hand. There is no way around it.

Sho'nuff. Lathes can't be done on the cheap, even the cheap ones. Everyone figures it out the hard way.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on July 07, 2010, 05:46:41 pm
yeah Steve, thats it, badass setup, how long a side ya think that thing cuts?

note vital equipment in background, soldering iron

http://lathetrolls.phpbbweb.com/lathetrolls-ftopic410-20.htm l

bab
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 07, 2010, 06:16:28 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 17:46

yeah Steve, thats it, badass setup, how long a side ya think that thing cuts?  



First it depends on the cutting speed, Lines Per Inch of the feed screw you are using, and the size of the plate you are cutting on -
A theoretical guide based on all these parameters that was posted by Steve Espinola is below
http://www.steveespinola.com/presto6n/lpi1.gif

- but again with fixed pitch as you go to more LPI you have to make sure that your bass and level don't cause overcuts a lot more strictly than what you can get away with when using a pitch/depth computer.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 10, 2010, 09:36:34 am
Bonati wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 02:22

I guess you just really have to decide if you're interested in cutting lacquers for production or just dubplates / random cuts as a hobby.


Cutting dubplates only could be a good thing If I stayed working in Helsinki, but I don't think it's going to make any sense from the countryside. But I reckon dubplates would be the first things I cut if I ever get a lathe.

TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 21:57

http://www.floka.com/lofi/portable_lathe.html

http://www.floka.com/lofi/presto_flo.jpg



Yes, I saw that at the Lathe Trolls forum. Very inspiring. I think I'm actually, genuinely interested in the actual mechanics & electronics of different lathes. Thus such a project could be a nice learning groove type of a thing, buying a set of working lathe mechanics and modifying them with better cutterheads - and whatever's needed.

The dubplate cutters attached to Technics turntables has always seemed suspicious to me.

I wonder how good Les Paul's lathe (that used a Cadillac flywheel) was, compared.

If I ever invested in a good Neumann lathe, am I in the right ballpark if I say I'd need to invest about 20k EUR/USD or more in it if I wanted a working system instead of a project? VMS-66 or 70 for example.



Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 10, 2010, 12:48:45 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Sat, 10 July 2010 09:36

am I in the right ballpark if I say I'd need to invest about 20k EUR/USD or more in it if I wanted a working system instead of a project? VMS-66 or 70 for example.



I'd say somewhere between $20k-30k USD for a VMS66/70 in good condition. You could get an AM132 or VMS62 Special for $15k-20k. They have the older tube pitch and depth amplifiers which work well but can't compete with a Zuma or VMS80. The audio is no different though and you'll probably be 1-2dB down on a 23 minute side.

I would keep an eye out for a Lyrec. They made the turntable motors for the Neumann from the very beginning. And they are fine motors. I would imagine that there are some hiding in and around Denmark. They are not sought after and were very well built according to Sean Davies. That's an opinion I trust. Since you are in the general area you might be able to visit the invariably old and strange guy who might sell it if the stars align.

Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on July 10, 2010, 01:15:57 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 10 July 2010 19:48

I would keep an eye out for a Lyrec.


Lyrec seems like good advice. In fact, I have someone in mind I could ask.

Damn it, I probably should try to focus and stay away from these unholy thoughts. I heard Mr. Kellogg developed corn flakes & eating them as substitute activity for keeping you away from touching yourself. Maybe there's something similar for this desire.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on July 10, 2010, 06:36:01 pm
Jaako -
Right now on the Lathetrolls' classified section there is a complete VMS80 system being offered out of Frankfurt for 25000 Euro - which relative to other recent sales for this seems to be a very good deal.  Apparently the pedigree of this lathe was Dyam in Paris, with upkeep done by Sean Davies - so it likely would be in good shape.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Greg Reierson on July 30, 2010, 02:56:17 pm
What do you guys think of the Vinylium pitch system?


GR
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 30, 2010, 07:35:15 pm
I have no direct experience with it. Those who have it seem to like it. I have seen other vinylium products and was supremely unimpressed with the build quality. PCB's with no solder mask for instance. Not cool for a production unit.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: johnR on July 31, 2010, 07:29:55 am
Gold wrote on Sat, 31 July 2010 00:35

 PCB's with no solder mask for instance. Not cool for a production unit.

FWIW, a solder mask is only needed for automated soldering in a wave machine or similar. If it's hand soldered (quite common with low production quantities) it isn't necessary as long as the PCB has been designed with adequate spacing between the uninsulated tracks. If there is a problem with lack of insulation a layer of conformal coating or insulating varnish will fix that.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on July 31, 2010, 09:31:09 am
It was uncoated copper which can and will oxidize. Fine for a prototype.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: johnR on July 31, 2010, 12:13:14 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 31 July 2010 14:31

It was uncoated copper which can and will oxidize. Fine for a prototype.

Yes, that's a problem. I'd expect a production board to be at least tin plated if there's no other coating.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bodyslam on August 01, 2010, 03:37:07 am
Greg Reierson wrote on Fri, 30 July 2010 11:56

What do you guys think of the Vinylium pitch system?


I've been using one for several years and I think it's excellent.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bob Olhsson on August 01, 2010, 11:28:21 am
TotalSonic wrote on Wed, 07 July 2010 17:16

...with fixed pitch as you go to more LPI you have to make sure that your bass and level don't cause overcuts a lot more strictly than what you can get away with when using a pitch/depth computer...
It's lots easier to eyeball over-cuts using fixed pitch. The randomness of variable pitch requires that a fudge factor be introduced that can easily cost you more in level than you can get from the combination of fixed pitch and checking the heavy modulation under the microscope.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: jason goz on August 10, 2010, 12:31:54 pm
Bob,
Are you talking about looking with the naked eye or through the eyepiece/monitor?
Jason
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bob Olhsson on August 22, 2010, 07:00:11 pm
jason goz wrote on Tue, 10 August 2010 11:31

Bob,
Are you talking about looking with the naked eye or through the eyepiece/monitor?
Jason
You find the problem areas with the naked eye and then study them closely with the microscope. A geared lathe will cut almost exactly the same thing over and over.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 13, 2010, 04:42:07 pm
Bumping this back up to the top as it seems I'm just that kind of fool who can't take their own advice...
but it's kind of the realization of what Jaako was talking about in his first post ->
So - just bought a Fairchild 523 lathe.  I'm not sure of the age (I believe late 50's or early 60's)  and in fact have never seen another one like this - but it's a precursor to their more commonly found 740.   It's definitely not as capable as a Neumann - with manual pitch (but with a decent range of 80 - 400lpi) but has a number of "pro" features such as vacuum lock down on the platter, chip pickup, 16" platter, 3 speed, and what looks to me like a decently designed overhead carriage system.  

Right now I'm just coordinating getting it moved in the next couple weeks from Windsor Ontario to my digs here in Brooklyn.  If anyone wants to do a road trip in about a week or two let me know!

After that - I need to either source a Gotham amp to get the Grampian mono cutterhead it comes with working - or find a stereo cutterhead/amps/RIAA encoder/feedback controller and then get a suspension/mount or adapter machined for this.  Anyone with a Westrex 3D or Haeco SC-2 (or similar) and or Westrex 1700 or 1574 for sale please contact me!  Also anyone with any form of documentation for any of the Fairchild lathes please contact me as well!!

Some pics below:
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/1.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/2.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/3.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/4.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/5.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/6.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/7.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/8.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/9.jpg
http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/10.jpg

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bblackwood on October 13, 2010, 04:50:38 pm
Looks like a ton of work, but I find it really intriguing...
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Dominick on October 13, 2010, 05:36:22 pm
Steve,
Where did you find the Fairchild? It looks exactly like the one my first boss Bernie Zimney cut on at Delta Recording in 1970. 3 years later we got a Scully / Westrex 3D combo from RCA and that's what I learned on.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 13, 2010, 05:51:57 pm
Dominick wrote on Wed, 13 October 2010 17:36

Steve,
Where did you find the Fairchild?


I found it on ebay.
The lathe is in Windsor Ontario, in a private home where apparently it's been in storage for 6 years.  Prior to that it was making techno dubplates for a DJ/hobbyist cutter's personal use - but the person who was doing this moved to Europe leaving his father sitting with a big piece of gear in his store room.

Quote:


It looks exactly like the one my first boss Bernie Zimney cut on at Delta Recording in 1970. 3 years later we got a Scully / Westrex 3D combo from RCA and that's what I learned on.


Very cool!  I figured if I end up offering cutting as a service using this lathe I can advertise it with the motto "Let's Party Like It's 1959"  Razz

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Peter Beckmann on October 13, 2010, 06:20:14 pm
Wow, congrats Steve. Have fun with it!

Are you planning to drive up to collect in person?


Peter
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 13, 2010, 06:48:59 pm
Peter Beckmann wrote on Wed, 13 October 2010 18:20

Wow, congrats Steve. Have fun with it!

Are you planning to drive up to collect in person?


Peter


Yup - that's the plan.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on October 14, 2010, 08:55:37 pm
Badass Steve! Congratulations. I watched that auction on ebay, and think you got it for a good price. I fully expected it to go higher.

I'll definitely refer you for the next mono project I get.

(I'm assuming you'll eventually convert it to stereo?)

bab
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on October 15, 2010, 03:37:03 pm
I hate all of you, equally.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 15, 2010, 05:16:57 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Thu, 14 October 2010 20:55

Badass Steve! Congratulations. I watched that auction on ebay, and think you got it for a good price. I fully expected it to go higher.


Thanks Mark!  I was prepared to go a little higher myself.  Considering (less shipping) this cost me the same as what my API2500 cost I felt it was worth going for even if it does in fact need some work.

Quote:


I'll definitely refer you for the next mono project I get.


Well - even doing that is at least a few months down the line as I need to:
1) pick it up and get it back to my studio
2) source and mount a 16" tone arm and make sure that playback is good at all 3 speeds (and if not spend time getting this to spec)
3) decide whether to get the Gotham amps that go with the Grampian head it comes with - or more likely just sell the head to help fund step 4
4) get a stereo cutterhead and amps for this - and have a machine shop fabricate a mount and suspension for this for me.  I had an excellent conversation today with Len Horowitz of HRS - seems getting a reconditioned Westrex 3D or Haeco SC-2, as well as a front end of RIAA encoder/feedback conroller/meters for which I could just use my own power amp with is well within my budget.  The hard part is likely getting a suspension and made created which can handle the weight and bulk of the Westrex.  Which leads to step 5
5) get everything working and calibrated - to finally get to step 6
6) cutting a bunch of lacquers and dubs to make sure I know what I'm doing with this particular system - prior to:
7) offering a cutting service for others.

So - this more of something that I expect to have going at some point in 2011 than any time more immediate.

Anyway - all the folks I know offering cutting here in NYC are using Neumann systems - so, even though this system really is only appropriate for shorter sides, I still think being able to offer something with a slightly different sound and a more "retro" vibe than what else is out there might interest some potential clients.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 15, 2010, 05:58:00 pm
Viitalahde wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 15:37

I hate all of you, equally.


That's good - cause we've all been hating on you building a beautiful new studio out in the wilderness!   Very Happy

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 15, 2010, 09:19:57 pm
Don't forget to include aspirin in the budget.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 15, 2010, 09:27:42 pm
Gold wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:19

Don't forget to include aspirin in the budget.


I greatly prefer caiparinhas in the summer, pale ales in the fall, single malts in the winter, and v&t's in the spring to deal with these kinds of headaches - and yes - there is room in the budget for this Very Happy

btw - any suggestions on vacuums?  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bonati on October 15, 2010, 09:45:36 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 17:16

even though this system really is only appropriate for shorter sides, I still think being able to offer something with a slightly different sound and a more "retro" vibe than what else is out there might interest some potential clients.

Ha!  Dude, having any kind of lathe in your studio is a "retro vibe", even one of the cutting edge 1970's Neumanns. Smug
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 15, 2010, 10:07:20 pm
Bonati wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:45

TotalSonic wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 17:16

even though this system really is only appropriate for shorter sides, I still think being able to offer something with a slightly different sound and a more "retro" vibe than what else is out there might interest some potential clients.

Ha!  Dude, having any kind of lathe in your studio is a "retro vibe", even one of the cutting edge 1970's Neumanns. Smug



Hee hee - you're right! - although guess for me "cutting edge" would be a VMS-80/82 - all of 10 years later - and 30 years ago.  Smile

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: dietrich on October 16, 2010, 08:23:51 am
Steve, you could of sold a kidney to buy the vms80 in germany. you would of left us vms66/70 guys in the dust.
Are the other vms80/82 on east coast just sterling and masterdisk?
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 16, 2010, 10:12:00 am
dietrich wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 08:23


Are the other vms80/82 on east coast just sterling and masterdisk?



And Westside.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 16, 2010, 10:15:33 am
TotalSonic wrote on Fri, 15 October 2010 21:27


btw - any suggestions on vacuums?  



Nothing off the shelf. You'll have to build something. It might be time to set up a McMaster-Carr and a Grainger account.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 16, 2010, 05:53:00 pm
Thanks to Oliver Read's excellent book "The Recording and Reproduction of Sound" (available for download as a pdf - along with tons of other great stuff at - http://www.tubebooks.org/technical_books_online.htm ) - which includes a good bit of easily understandable intro on disk recording - I was able to find a few pages of info on my lathe:

http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/fairchild523.pdf

Introduced in 1952 -
and turns out it is capable of continuously variable pitch! Very Happy

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 16, 2010, 06:01:20 pm
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 17:53


and turns out it is capable of continuously variable pitch! Very Happy



But not 45rpm.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 16, 2010, 06:07:21 pm
dietrich wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 08:23

Steve, you could of sold a kidney to buy the vms80 in germany. you would of left us vms66/70 guys in the dust.


Well - my original dream was to be the one who brought back DMM to a commerical music facility in North America - and rumor has it the VMS-82 at the Exchange is just stuck in a small room there and rarely gets used - but alas, this would have cost in the hundreds of thousands - let alone continuing high cost of copper blanks and diamond styli -

Anyway - I would indeed love to have a VMS-70/80 or even a VMS-66/62/AM-132 - but I make it a rule never to go into debt for audio equipment.  I figure this project to have immediate costs of around $5k - followed by about another $6 - 8k to bring it to completion - and then if things are going well maybe some point down the road I can toss an additional $8k or so to see if I can get automatic pitch control added for it.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 16, 2010, 06:09:05 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 18:01

TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 17:53


and turns out it is capable of continuously variable pitch! Very Happy



But not 45rpm.



But mine apparently is 3 speed (as per seller and pics) - don't know if this was added in a slightly later edition or by someone modding it - but looks to me like the former.

http://www.totalsonic.net/fairchild/5.jpg

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 16, 2010, 06:51:58 pm
Ahh, it probably is a second gear and worm step down for 45. It has a single synchronous motor that it uses for both pitch and turntable drive. The pitch uses a planetary drive like a Scully. The Lyrec motor on the Neumann is a multitap synchronous motor.

I don't think the speed is very accurate on it. It says it uses a 51:1 step down with a 1500 rpm motor. Unless my math and thinking are wrong (which it quite possibly is) this gives you a speed of 29.41 rpm for 33 1/3 rpm.

Edit: Strange because a 45:1 ratio would give you 33.33. I must be doing something stupid. Please, someone correct my math.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 16, 2010, 11:27:00 pm
Gold wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 18:51

Ahh, it probably is a second gear and worm step down for 45. It has a single synchronous motor that it uses for both pitch and turntable drive. The pitch uses a planetary drive like a Scully. The Lyrec motor on the Neumann is a multitap synchronous motor.

I don't think the speed is very accurate on it. It says it uses a 51:1 step down with a 1500 rpm motor. Unless my math and thinking are wrong (which it quite possibly is) this gives you a speed of 29.41 rpm for 33 1/3 rpm.

Edit: Strange because a 45:1 ratio would give you 33.33. I must be doing something stupid. Please, someone correct my math.


ummmm - actually on the first page of the pdf it says 1800rpm with a 54:1 ratio for the stepdown - which according to my calculator gives you 33-1/3

Anyway - I'd still say all bets are off until I actually get it and can test it for speed, stability and rumble.  My guess is - yes - it's probably going to need work - and yes - there's probably going to be some pain to deal with before the work is done.  

Luckily the stereotypically Hebrew characteristic of always expecting the worst so you end up happy when things are even a little bit better than terrible is a good one to have when taking on a project like this!   Very Happy

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Andrew Hamilton on October 17, 2010, 12:58:25 am
Hearkens back to the 500 Ohm transmission protocol...    

At +/- 2 dB from 30-8,000 cycles, it's yet another reason the hype about SACD was over-rated.     Laughing




Enjoy,
    Andrew








Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 17, 2010, 01:24:10 am
Andrew Hamilton wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 00:58

Hearkens back to the 500 Ohm transmission protocol...    

At +/- 2 dB from 30-8,000 cycles, it's yet another reason the hype about SACD was over-rated.     Laughing



You can say that again!   Very Happy
Luckily the cutter head described in that pdf is not the one I plan to use with this lathe.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 17, 2010, 09:43:58 am
TotalSonic wrote on Sat, 16 October 2010 23:27


ummmm - actually on the first page of the pdf it says 1800rpm with a 54:1 ratio for the stepdown - which according to my calculator gives you 33-1/3


Damn, I usually did okay in reading comprehension.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: dietrich on October 17, 2010, 10:48:20 am
1-you have some beefy friends to get it from street up to your place?
2-will you have to build a platform to reduce vibrations?
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on October 17, 2010, 06:26:53 pm
dietrich wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 10:48

1-you have some beefy friends to get it from street up to your place?


Figure I'm going to have to call a commercial moving service to get a few non-middle aged backs to haul it up the 2 flights of stairs to my studio as this is a walkup building circa 1900 (no elevator of any kind).  I've gotten an MCI JH110 and the B&W 802's up here - but figure this will need a little more heft and care.

Quote:


2-will you have to build a platform to reduce vibrations?


Yes, I will.  Any advice anyone wants to contribute regarding this is appreciated!

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Andrew Hamilton on October 18, 2010, 11:45:58 am
TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 01:24

Andrew Hamilton wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 00:58

Hearkens back to the 500 Ohm transmission protocol...    

At +/- 2 dB from 30-8,000 cycles, it's yet another reason the hype about SACD was over-rated.     Laughing



You can say that again!   Very Happy
Luckily the cutter head described in that pdf is not the one I plan to use with this lathe.

Best regards,
Steve Berson



The info I see on the Grampian with Gotham fb amp is 30-15,000 cps.   Much better than 8k by a long shot...   Even if you keep it Grampin.'

I saw the video of the Hamilton Mastering (Argentina) engineer using a similar Fairchild, but it appeared to have a belt drive to advance the head.   A motor sat up on a shelf, and I was not under the impression that this was his homebrew vacuum.

 http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.yout ube.com/watch%3Fv%3DjF0NX9B0rwA

Keep us posted.

What about moving aside the swarf?


Oh, yes... Just a head's up....  According to their lit, it appears that the timing of the Fairchild might be "absolete."  


index.php/fa/15659/0/

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=absolete


(Mmm, but Monsieur, I only bust zee chops, how you say?  It's a sweet lathe from a hep era.  Does anyone have a Fairchild camera?  I'd like to get one to take snapshots of my console settings.   Here's a Vintage Fairchild 35mm camera lens that appears only molested by time.

http://cgi.ebay.com/FAIRCHILD-1-3-8-INCH-35mm-F-3-5-LENS-ASS EMBLY-No-3788-/390251044688?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=i tem5adcc65f50)


Cheers,
    Andrew
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Gold on October 19, 2010, 12:23:14 am
TotalSonic wrote on Sun, 17 October 2010 18:26



Yes, I will.  Any advice anyone wants to contribute regarding this is appreciated!



You need an "inertia base". An active system is way expensive and overkill. Putting it in 500lbs of sand would probably be good enough.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on November 15, 2010, 12:55:50 am
some nice Fairchild cutting amps just sold on ebay for $50K

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rt=nc& nma=true&item=250722093940&si=fApVGSI%252BD6QN91%252 B%252Bw%252FUpJeTMHGU%253D&viewitem=&sspagename=ADME %3AB%3AWNA%3AUS%3A1123#ht_1797wt_1141

bab
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Allen Corneau on November 15, 2010, 10:35:00 am
Damn, $57K for two line amps?!?

Shocked
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: dcollins on November 15, 2010, 01:51:16 pm
Allen Corneau wrote on Mon, 15 November 2010 07:35

Damn, $57K for two line amps?!?



They are 30W power amps, but it's the text on the auction that makes it all worthwhile.

Memories of Joly loudspeakers.

DC
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Viitalahde on November 15, 2010, 01:59:07 pm
Must have gone to asian audiophiles. Somewhere, a pair of big horns just got a little.. Bigger?
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: Bob Olhsson on November 15, 2010, 07:32:20 pm
I wonder if that's the same one that I saw as a kid in Detroit. I can't remember which studio it was at.
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on December 15, 2010, 04:53:59 pm
Bumping this back to the top as I finally took a road trip this past weekend courtesy of my friend Keith who has a mini-van and was extremely generous to help me drive up to Windsor Ontario and back to Brooklyn to pick up the Fairchild 523 lathe I had purchased on ebay.  

It turns out that the previous owner was Richie Hawtin! (famous among ravers and electronic dance music enthusiasts for his 90's minimalist techno - and more recently for his productions as "Plastikman" - and in fact featured on the cover of this months' EM) - who was using it to cut dub plates for his own DJ sets. Richard has been living in Berlin and touring most of the time - so he stopped using this lathe to make dubplates about 6 years ago, and just had it in storage at his Dad's place in Windsor. His Dad wanted the work shop space back (Richie keeps collecting 80's era arcade games that take up space as well - saw a vintage Pac Man there) and Richie initially told him to "just scrap it." Luckily for me his Dad bothered with putting it up for auction instead!

The drive back home was slightly adventurous in that we got hit with a snow storm in Ohio & Michigan - but luckily my friend grew up in Syracuse NY so was used to driving in this stuff.  We made stops in Cleveland the way there and in Clarion PA on the way back - with whiskey and pub& diner food to warm us up at these pit stops.  Unfortunately because of the weather we decided to let discretion rule over tourism so didn't get to make a planned stop at the Rock'n'Roll Hall of Fame - but guess I can do this next time I'm ever up there.  

The movers got it up the 2 flights of stairs (the building my studio is in was built circa 1900 and has no elevator) without incident except for a scratch on one of the wooden cases sides (not really a big deal as I figure I'm going to eventually repaint it back to something like the original black anyway).

Plugged it in and did a few basic tests yesterday. All 3 speeds of the turntable motor are working, motor is reasonably quiet, pitch control and carriage control is working, even the lamps on the microscope and controls are all good.
Turns out this lathe is truly continuously variable pitch (instead of discrete steps that I worried it would be) - so theoretically it could be converted to automatic pitch (although probably really difficult to do - we'll see).
It came with the chip jar and all the hoses to hook this up and for the platter lock down to the vacuum as well - and doing a quick test this with just my regular vacuum cleaner all the connections seemed to work ok. So just need to get a decent vacuum for this (any suggestions on one - especially one that runs relatively quiet - is appreciated!).

This thing has awesome torque too - it kicks in to full speed after about a second - no need to give it a push like you do on the older Neumann's - and you can push your hand hard against it and didn't seem to slow down. Smile

Next up is that I need to add a tonearm and do some tests for wow, flutter, speed accuracy and rumble.  Right now the best bang for buck solution I think I've found are the new Rek-O-Kut Transcribe arms for just under $600 - http://www.esotericsound.com/ArmsAndHeadshells.htm (although for $150 more I can get their S-260 MK II arm which includes fluid damping - which should make it able to play more difficult passages as well as minimize high freq resonances more - but don't know whether this is actually desirable on a tone arm which I will likely be checking cuts on more than using for archival transcriptions).

After that the to do list is: an isolation platform, vacuum, stereo cutter head, suspension/mount for cutter head (most likely will need to get custom machined), stereo front end (RIAA encoder/feedback controller/meters) or dedicated cutting amps.  If this is of interest to folks here I'll post my progress on this as it happens.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: pmx on December 28, 2010, 09:57:57 am
i'd love to hear more about it steve, keep us posted!
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on December 28, 2010, 01:01:45 pm
pmx wrote on Tue, 28 December 2010 09:57

i'd love to hear more about it steve, keep us posted!


Will do.  At this point I'm stuck in sunny Southern California as my flight back to NYC got delayed by 3 days due to the blizzard.  After that I've got a pretty decent work load to get back to - but I hope to get things moving on the lathe starting the middle of January.

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bigaudioblowhard on December 28, 2010, 03:22:36 pm
Cool band playing the 30th in Hollywood Steve, if ya wanna go, I'll buy ya a drink!
Steve is also posting about his new rig on Lathe Trolls, for those who wanna follow closely.


bab
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on December 28, 2010, 10:44:34 pm
bigaudioblowhard wrote on Tue, 28 December 2010 15:22

Cool band playing the 30th in Hollywood Steve, if ya wanna go, I'll buy ya a drink!
Steve is also posting about his new rig on Lathe Trolls, for those who wanna follow closely.


bab


Well - my flight is at 9:00pm on the 30th out of San Diego - so I greatly appreciate the invite but I'll have to take a rain check on that one!  I usually end up coming out here about once or twice a year though - and while usually all the time is taken up with hanging out with my wife's family I'll definitely be in touch before the next time out to see if I could swing a hangout time.  

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: SafeandSound on December 30, 2010, 06:31:47 am
That sounds like a continuing and exciting adventure, nice story !

All the best for 2011 with the new equipment Steve.

Barry
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bblackwood on January 12, 2011, 06:21:50 pm
Hey Steve, can you start a new thread about your lathe and give us an update?

I'm curious to see this thing come to life...
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: TotalSonic on January 12, 2011, 07:03:14 pm
bblackwood wrote on Wed, 12 January 2011 18:21

Hey Steve, can you start a new thread about your lathe and give us an update?

I'm curious to see this thing come to life...


Will do.  Right now no progress to report just yet as at this point I'm just finishing the tail end of a slight back log of orders from the start of this year and have a gig this Sunday (playing cello with a 20 piece rock orchestra doing a set of David Bowie classics at LPR in the Village) which I've had some rehearsals take up some time as well - and also waiting for a couple checks to clear before purchasing the first round of needed gear (tone arm, vacuum, variac) - which should all happen next week.   In the meantime I also need to find a day to give the feedscrew and bearings a good cleaning and oiling.  

Alan Graves, a Presto lathe enthusiast who used to restore lathes (an occupation which he is now retired from) and who runs the Presto History website at http://www.televar.com/grshome/Presto.htm - contacted me as he was the one who actually fixed this lathe up some 15 years ago - and he very generously forwarded me both the operating manual for this along with the original platter to vacuum tube connector.

Still considering options for what stereo head and cutter amps to ultimately get for this - but am going to be making some more inquiries for some options starting next week as well.

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs023.snc6/165328_1648603466603_1582454067_31517321_389128_n.jpg

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Title: Re: Lathes, more manual & labor intensive (=cheaper)
Post by: bblackwood on January 12, 2011, 07:13:21 pm
Cool, thanks.

Following this one with great interest.