Boley 4LE

  1. Keith 66 Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Essex UK
    Today i picked up a Boley 4LE lathe, a scrappy mate acquired it a couple of years ago & its been sitting around since then. Last week he said, "Its been hanging around too long i might as well weigh it in".
    It is such a finely made thing i couldnt see it scrapped so bought it on the spot.
    Got it home this morning. Its 2" longer than a Myford super 7 but considerably heavier. Box of bits with it, collet chuck with 30 Hardinge collets, fixed & travelling steadies & a full set of changewheels including the 127 tooth one for metric or imp conversion.
    I have seen a lot of machines but the build quality of this is simply superb. Think i shall be doing a proper nice job of this one. Interestingly it has a little copper plate just below the name that says SR 1954 presumably its first owner.
    Boley Lathe.jpg
     
  2. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

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    Very nice. Looks very familiar too.

    Its the lathe my smart and brown M is based on.

    Not surprised its solid and well built if mines anything to go by.


    IMG_20171022_203249.jpg
     
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  3. Pete.

    Pete. Member

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    That's a lovely lathe Keith. Did you get all the changewheels?
     
  4. MattF

    MattF Member

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    Skipped reading his post? "Full set of changewheels" was mentioned. :D
     
  5. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

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    Nice solid wee lathes these Boleys :thumbup:
     
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  6. penfold

    penfold Ambassador plenipotentiary

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    Boleys are pretty high end lathes, nice save and nicely bought.
     
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  7. Keith 66 Member

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    1,662
    Essex UK
    Been out in the shed having a preliminary clean up & shufti.
    Its obviously had a hard life! There is a fair chunk out of the compound slide where its been driven into the chuck a few times. The bed has two sets of ways, the outer pair carry the saddle, the inner pair carry the tailstock. The leadscrew lives underneath where swarf cant fall on it. All the contols have a smooth & crisp feel to them. I put a ground steel bar across the ways & shone a powerful torch under it, then got the feeler gauges out. At the outer end the centre ways are about 1.5 thou lower & it shows about 4 thou wear on the outer ways right at the chuck end The 3 jaw chuck is buggered its jaws are so splayed its basically scrap. No 4 jaw. On the plus side there are 30 hardinge collets that are in good nick. The headstock bearings show no play at all. There is a tiny amount of backlash on the cross & compound slides, Better than most new lathes.
    Considering its obvious hard life it has survived very well. Now what to do? is it worth having the bed reground?, be fun lining the leadscrew mounts up! Might get it running first & see how it performs. Well worth a proper job i feel.
     
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  8. Pete.

    Pete. Member

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    Bring it to next week's scraping course and the students can each take turns buggering it up I mean scraping it into alignment :D
     
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  9. Hood

    Hood Forum Supporter

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    That is exactly what I would do, no point in doing anything until you know what it actually needs.
     
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  10. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

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    There you might be lucky. Looking at the image it looks very similar in its engagement to mine. In which case it will be an easy job to shim up the half nut and blank to match.
     
  11. bigegg

    bigegg I drink and I know things. Its what I do.

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    I had one of those a few years ago.
    No collets with it, and the face plate was seized onto the spindle.

    There is no locking mechanism for the head and I finally had to cut the faceplate off - after breaking the banjo :-(

    I ended up selling it to buy a Holbrook and for the £120 I got for it (with all the changewheels), I wish I'd put it in the loft because I still regret getting rid.

    Put me down as first dibs if you ever want rid?
     
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  12. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

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    Had similar isuea with my 4 jaw had to get inventive. IMG_20170813_210327.jpg
     
  13. bigegg

    bigegg I drink and I know things. Its what I do.

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    6,630
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    Tried it.
    Snapped a piece of 3x2

    I spent a month googling and trying more and more desperate methods.
    I even welded a piece of 25mm shs to the face plate.
    The heat didn't loosen it.

    One of the issues is that there is a gearbox built into the headstock for the back gear, so locking the backend of the spindle strains the gears.
     
  14. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

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    Time to fit a tool in the post and cut it off then. That's wherw the s&b differed back gear mounted behind with a cam to engage
     
  15. Keith 66 Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Essex UK
    Work on the Boley commenced today, I have removed the back of the cabinet to gain access to the motor mounts & made a replacement mounting plate for the new motor, Found a good article on the dewhurst reversing switch & it looks like the motor i have will be reversible. Plan A is to run it up & see how well it runs & how accurate it is, Then if it warrants it its paint time.
    End of the compound slide is badly chewed where some klutz has run it into the chuck, There is enough overhang that i can actually afford to machine a bit off the end which will get rid of that bit!
    Pictures coming soon.

    Night shift scraping paint, its been repainted, just lightly blown over, paint comes off real easy. Original colour was olive green. Interesting discovery on the front of the headstock are the Faded letters in white paint
    R.K.C.A
    2611
    Just a feeling but im thinking ex army lathe? Explains the simple angle iron & steel plate welded bench its on Plus the fubared end on the compound slide with squaddies using it!
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2018
  16. Keith 66 Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Essex UK
    Strip down continues, Took the cross slide off & there is little wear to its screw & nut, not surprising as the nut is about
    1 3/4" long Doesnt seen to be much wear to the sliding surfaces. change wheel banjo assembly & Headstock came off last night, It is clamped to the bed with two cam clamps. lot of gunk & crap under there. Turns out that the headstock & bed were originally scraped to fit & the marks can clearly be seen. Next job is to Pop it back on & measure runout on the spindle. If thats ok I may be talking to slideway surfaces re a bed grind.
    I am never going to make money on this machine but it doesnt stand me in much dough so im treating it as a learning exercise In fine engineering!
     
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  17. Keith 66 Member

    Messages:
    1,662
    Essex UK
    Cleaned the bed & headstock mating surfaces & remounted the headstock, ran a clock on it. Seems to be about 3 thou variation on the register face but on the inside of the spindle taper there is less than one thou, same on the outside just in front of the register. I can live with that! test bar in collet runs true. Here are a few pics.
    Front of headstock showing old lettering.
    DSC_0012 Boley old letters.jpg

    Clocking the nose.
    DSC_0021Boley nose.jpg

    Cross slide & screw
    DSC_0024.JPG
    Compound slide damage
    DSC_0025 Compound slide damage.jpg
    Ouch! This has obviously happened more than once. Dont suppose there is a lot i can do with this, any ideas welcomed.
     
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  18. eLuSiVeMiTe

    eLuSiVeMiTe Forum Supporter

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    9,664
    Location:
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    Screenshot_2018-10-03-19-36-37.png
    Near identical.
    Had similar crash damage on my compound. Left it alone after checking for high spots.
     
  19. MattF

    MattF Member

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    9,917
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    Call it character & leave it be. :D
     
  20. Pete.

    Pete. Member

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    8,589
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    Kent, UK
    Nothing you can do with that except make it flat on the way. Apart from being ugly it won't affect the operation of the machine. You might want to check the swivel isn't bent though.
     
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