Willard lathe tool

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Willard lathe tool

Post by Gog32 » Fri Jan 04, 2019 10:34 am

Hello all,
this is my first post on this site and I am seeking information about a swan-neck tool-holder I recently acquired.
It is marked "Willard NO.OF-S" and is 7" overall length, 2 ½" deep at the cutting end and ¾" thick.
As can be seen in the images,the method of securing a replaceable tool 'tip' is different from most others.
I have looked under references to USA-made Willard lathes, which seemed to be in their heyday around the 1920's, but have been unable to find anything remotely like this tool holder.
If anyone out there has any information I should be very interested to know what size and shape of cutter is carried by this holder.
I don't think I'll use it on my SB Heavy 10, but would like to try it out on my shaper and benefit from the swan-neck configuration.



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Re: Willard lathe tool

Post by BadDog » Fri Jan 04, 2019 2:38 pm

I don't know, but I'll wing it...

It looks of a style that was designed to flex during a cut to prevent "hogging", though usually they were designed to flex down-and-away, and that one looks like it would do the opposite. Just a guess, but maybe it's design was to let it push a bit to retain more constant pressure? Doesn't seem like a good idea, but maybe in the day of flat belt cone heads and carbon steel tool bits it had it's place.

Regarding the mount, it reminds me of 2 types of tools.

One is the form tools where a disk is made, usually with a v-thread form, and the top-rake surface ground in. As it wears and gets dull, you regrind the rake, and rotate into position on center line.

The other uses a tool that is a circle that has multiple working stations along the circumference, each indexed by the pin on the back. The ones I'm thinking of have different purposes for each, but in the day of carbon steel tools with more rapid wear, maybe each was the same and it was an attempt at a result similar to what we do today with indexable carbide tooling. As one wore, switch to the next. Replacements made in house on the then common tool room machines.

So putting it together, you could have the same or different form tools at each station and rotate into use as needed somewhat like a turret. And the curl with it's slight gap would allow more constant pressure than might be available otherwise with hand feeding, or maybe for tapering pressure when infeed stops. No idea why that would be good, maybe finish where tolerance isn't critical? Or maybe it mounted a form knurl?

At least that's what I think when I look at the design.
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Re: Willard lathe tool

Post by pete » Fri Jan 04, 2019 3:56 pm

I think BadDog nailed it. Somewhere in the past and likely in a very old tool catalog I've seen something like that. There's been a few items like it where the exact tool tip used was proprietary to the manufacturer. Those were mostly threading tools like BadDog also mentioned. Resharpening was usually and only needed on one edge or face. The more I look at that tool the more I think it was meant to be used upside down to how the picture orientation is? Or maybe for use in a back tool post? Only guessing though. Did Willard make shapers? It's not impossible it was designed for a shaper if they did. But the tool would then flex into the cut and not out of it so that's likely not it. Some of the old guys on the PM Antiques forum might be able to identify it maybe.

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Re: Willard lathe tool

Post by Downwindtracker2 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 8:46 pm

Some shaper tools have a dog leg .
A man of foolish pursuits, '91 BusyBee DF1224g lathe,'01 Advance RF-45 mill/drill,'68 Delta Toolmaker surface grinder,Miller250 mig,'83 8" Baldor grinder, plus sawdustmakers

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