We originally had a single 5" Raglan Littlejohn lathe. This was taken over by the company when we moved the factory from our home to the new factory estate in Luton at the start of 1983. A second replacement Littlejohn lathe was acquired in the early 1990's, although it sat in the stores in the factory for a long time.
The first Ward 2A came through a friend (actually one of our suppliers, a guy called Raj but whose name was actually Charlie, we think) who phoned us on our mobile phone one morning as we were on the way into work, to say that if we wanted a lathe for £100, there was one being scrapped in his factory estate by another company. We changed route very quickly !! On arrival at the factory estate we found the Ward outside on the road about to be hauled away by a scrap dealer, but we were able to satisfy everyone by making an offer on the lathe out of which the scrappie got a drink for his troubles (he had already taken the bar feeds for nothing, so wasn't doing too badly)
The deal was made, and a big Elliott power feed drill was thrown in with the lathe for the same money, which wasn't a bad deal! Raj stored the two machines for us while we sorted out some space. We ended up dismantling the two to move them through the house into the workshop, although the second Ward was unloaded off the trailer in one piece.
A shot of the old saddle drive thrust bearings on the left, and the modern equivalent on the right, ex-stock at our local bearing suppliers! The photo does not show that all the old balls had severely rusted away, and had all jammed in their brass retainer/spacer.
A rather untidy shot from the rear saddle end, showing most of the features and fittings of the 2A machine. The six turret travel adjusting screws are almost the first thing closest to the camera at the end of the turret slide, the large two-speed motor hangs off to the right, with its terminal box right out of shot and taking up three inches of precious space, The suds (coolant) pump sits in the tray at right foreground, the operator controls are all on the left, the two-speed saddle power feed change knob with the drive shaft protruding through it are at the left lower foreground. The bronze control lever just below left centre is the engagement lever for the auto-tripping of the power turret slide feed when the internal travel stops come to the end of their travel.
A shot from the bar feed end, showing the operator controls and in particular the power feed arrangement for the turret slide. The larger pulley drives a shaft which runs along the front of the bed and behind the front saddle to the turret saddle. The drive enables one of two speeds to be selected for automatic operation of the turret feed mechanism. The two knobs at the top of the picture are for the forward and reverse selection and the speed change. The gear box selector lever is on the right of the head stock, the front saddle control wheels are easily visible. The splined turret slide feed shaft can be seen in the background above the control wheels, running behind the four-way tool post.
A front shot of the innards of the power feed gear box which was seized solid with rust, probably caused by water from soluble oil or from storage out in the rain. The power shaft from the front pulley comes in from the left hand side, passes through the worm gear in the base and into a gear selector (not visible) inside the box. The round knob showing on the right lower of the picture enables one of two speeds for the slide to be selected. This is then fed back to the worm in the picture which drives the (removed) vertical worm shaft up to the turret feed gear and shaft at the top right. The cover laying in the bottom left of the shot is still covered in rust from the inside. The turret feed shaft housing lays to its left directly below the gears.
The power feed gear box cover before being cleaned up. The solid rust particles in the left recess are what remained after we dug out the vertical shaft assembly. The two controls at the right lower edge are the engagement paddle (left) and the auto or manual release trip (right, with a forked end) There are no gaskets, and the lubrication was by oil gun.
Just a quick shot to show the 6" X 3" timbers (1 at the back, 2 at the front) that the machine sits on. The terminal box for the motor was a real pain, sticking out three inches or so where we could have done without it! The motor is a British Thompson-Houston 2-speed type rated at 3hp continuously.
View of the business end of the lathe. The collet chuck with its operating lever snaking up out of shot is centre, the four-way tool post is left (this is a removable part, a standard single tool can be fitted on the front slide) the rear tool post is removed but the mounting slot is clearly visible just to the right and below the collet chuck. The whitish object on the extreme left is a tool post holder in the turret, with the clamping nut on top.
View of the collet chuck from the operator's position, the turret is just in shot on the right, front slide in the middle, power feed pulley off to the left, speed and reversing levers on top of the head stock. The coolant feed pipe runs up the face of the head stock and the swivelling nozzle is just visible at the top of the shot. The straight piece of metal just off to the right is not part of the lathe! The turret position nearest the camera has a piece of steel inserted to act as a stop for the bar feed.
Four-way tool post, taken off after the front slide lead screw was found to be bent after damage by the previous owner(s) The turret slide power feed shaft runs behind it, with the front saddle indexable stops just visible to the right of the tool post.