VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

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Trainman4602
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VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Trainman4602 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:25 pm

Hi All
Check this out. A Vertical turret lathe. Bullard, King, or Giddings & Lewis are just a few of the brands used. At DeLaval Turbine where I worked for years we had one that was 12feet in diameter.

These machine were a large part of the manufacture of steam locomotives back in the day.

Here is a video of one in action. Enjoy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsVqqtSop-0

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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Harold_V » Thu Nov 22, 2018 4:00 pm

Trainman4602 wrote:
Thu Nov 22, 2018 1:25 pm
Hi All
Check this out. A Vertical turret lathe. Bullard, King, or Giddings & Lewis are just a few of the brands used. At DeLaval Turbine where I worked for years we had one that was 12feet in diameter.
Back in the mid 60's I worked briefly at Tooele (pronounced Toowilla) Army Depot. They had one that was 24' in diameter. I never saw it operate.

Speaking of large, a fellow started a grinding and material supply business in Salt Lake City sometime in the early 70's. He numbered amongst his machines a Blanchard grinder that was powered by a 250 horse motor. I do not recall the size. His coolant sump was a pond, outside his building.

Thanks for the post, Dave.

H
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Mike Walsh » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:28 pm

When I worked for Rock Island Arsenal, I worked with VTLs... Pretty cool stuff. We machined parts for the M198/M119 Howitzers on these. The tooling was massive. We had to use the overhead cranes to load the tooling. Sometimes I wonder if I should've stayed.

Then I wouldn't be where I am today without that experience, as well as the path that life took me on.

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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by gcarsen » Thu Nov 22, 2018 5:35 pm

WOW! thank you for sharing the video.
I would love to find one that size! and that shape! sadly when you find them now days they have been pretty beat,
Grant

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SteveHGraham
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by SteveHGraham » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:01 pm

I see this machinist adheres to the usual high standards of 1940's eye protection.

Why do we want to make this part on a vertical turret lathe instead of a...whatever a normal lathe is called?
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Trainman4602
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Trainman4602 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 8:47 pm

Ease of setup it lays flat rather then trying to keep it in the chuck .
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pat1027
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by pat1027 » Thu Nov 22, 2018 9:09 pm

We have one in our shop about that size that came off a navy tender after WWII. There are only two parts turned on it but both too large to hold horizontally.

Rwilliams
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Rwilliams » Thu Nov 22, 2018 10:34 pm

I often use a 42 inch Bullard at the railroad museum where I work several days a week. The large parts from the 9.5 inch Westinghouse air pumps are very heavy which precludes easy setup on a regular engine lathe. The big VTL is government surplus and has seen little use during its long life. Each time I have to set up a part, a crowd usually gathers around to see what is going on. They are probably thinking how lucky they are that they do not have to figure out how to set up the part for whatever machine work needs to be done. The set up time is usually greater than the machine operation time.

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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by BigDumbDinosaur » Fri Nov 23, 2018 12:36 am

Saw one of those vertical turret lathes in the Boston Naval Shipyard in the 1960s while our ship was in for a refit. The faceplate was big enough in diameter to set a dinner table for six, with room left over for the waiter. American industrial might at its finest!
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Largo » Fri Nov 23, 2018 10:36 am

I can remember going to a company with my dad way back in the early 60s. They had absolutely monstrous machine tools and were well known for being able to handle the largest jobs. If they didn't already have a tool large enough for a given job, they would build one to whatever size was needed. The largest of their VLTs had its face plate set into and flush with the floor so that very large forklifts and/or overhead cranes could position parts onto it. The thing was 60' (yes, sixty feet) in diameter. In case you're wondering, the place is long gone - The Mesta Machine Works just south of Pittsburgh. They had lathes to 20' diameter and 100' centers, mills with 60 and 80' tables, etc.

One of the most impressive things they built was the Mesta 50, the largest of the forging presses in Eisenhower's Heavy Press Program in the late 50's. I've attached a brochure about this monster - it is still in production use in Cleveland.

Actually - I can't attach that file as it is too big at 638kb. I will see if I can find a site hosting it - as well as several books on the Mesta operation itself (these are huge files in the 15+ MB range) and post links.

Cheers,
Brian

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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by AnthonyDuarte » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:28 pm

Vertical lathes are a great way to turn extremely large, low-profile parts (not great for long shafts). They are sometimes used to turn railroad wheels. They wouldn't be too beneficial for much in our hobby, but they sure are cool.

Here's an interesting modern example with turning, milling, and grinding.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GKRQ0FaJWr0

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Trainman4602
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Re: VERTICAL TURRETT LATHE (CNC)? NO WAY

Post by Trainman4602 » Fri Nov 23, 2018 1:50 pm

You can machine large cylinder blocks on a 24inch machine.

If your building a 15 Inch gauge locomotive this machine would help make it easier. I myself use a horizontal mill to bore cylinder blocks that I can't chuck up in an engine lathe.
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