santa clausing!

santa wasn’t able to fit the 300 pound clausing lathe into the sleigh but………… i should be heading up to seattle to take possession of an old 1940’s 10 inch clausing lathe that i bought in the last month. i am excited to have a lathe to be able to fabricate and turn down parts for bicycles. i have found myself wishing that i had it all set up as i could make all sorts of accessories and clamps for my bikes. stem clamps, seat post clamps, even chaingaurds for cyclo cross bikes are all on the drafting table and just piling up before i get the lathe to the shop. it all adds up to my goals to be more efficient and produce more hand-built bikes in 2010. i don’t want to be a huge factory churning out bikes but i do want to be able to make the same level of bikes more efficiently in the coming years. maybe it will start with a lathe today and soon it will be nano technology and robots. just kidding. the line has to be drawn somewhere. ever since i get a little horizontal mill a couple years ago to miter all my tubing on, i have seen the benefit of using machines to make bicycle construction more repeatable and accurate while maintaining a level of craftmanship and traditional style.  most machines built during the second world war are better quality than what is available today plus they are better to look at in the shop than a new boxy lathe built in china. this is the same aesthetic that makes me love the lines on an old studebaker lark or a schwinn black phantom.

3 Responses to “santa clausing!”

  1. Deflux Says:

    Wow she is a beauty! This should give you more time to make the interesting bits more interesting on your bikes – no a bad thing making the small things easier. I’m saving up for an old Myford Super 7, even the names sound great on these old machines!

  2. matt Franklin Says:

    Ira – That’s my lathe! Did you get this picture from the metalworking drop box web site? How weird that I live in Portland too. Have you got a copy of the manual for it? If you need one, I can get you scans of mine. Enjoy your Clausing!


  3. Clifton Jamison Says:

    This is identical to our shop lathe that’s been sitting for a long time.I plan on refurbishing it,and get it into working order.I have photos and will try to post.yours is in great shape

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