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  1. #1
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    Default Early Wadkin RU Wood Lathe

    Those of us familiar with Wadkin machines probably know of the RU wood lathe. Big, beautiful, equipped with a sliding bed, and did I mention BIG.

    RU 1936.jpg Cut from 1936 catalogue.

    In addition to the two sizes listed above, it also came with an 18" swing.

    An early one showed up in the UK (used by an engine reconditioner).

    RU1.jpg

    It's very different. No sliding bed. Headstock mounted on bed, rather than bed hung off headstock on later models.

    RU2.jpg

    It's RU 113. As Wadkin started most models at No. 105 that makes it likely just the 9th RU off the production line

    RU 113 2659 UK.jpg

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...
    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club .

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default RU Production.

    Prior to this RU showing up, the earliest one I'd found reference to was RU 132 (tested in January, 1937) and the oldest one I have pictures of was RUA 202 (of 1944) which does have the sliding bed.

    This one, test 2659*, likely dates to 1934.

    RU 113 2659 UK.jpg

    The highest number RU I've tracked down is RU 381 of 1956, which means 277 had been built by then - that's ~12 per year. The RU is still listed in the 1958 catalogue suggesting total production reached ~300 machines.

    * The other time Test Number 2659 was used was 1925, but the style of tag (including the word "England") suggests it is later than that.

    Cheers, Vann.
    Gatherer of rusty planes tools...
    Proud member of the Wadkin Blockhead Club .

  4. #3
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    Default

    Big beasts!
    I wonder what they did with the crankshafts on what is essentially a big woodworking lathe?

  5. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hiroller View Post
    Big beasts!
    I wonder what they did with the crankshafts on what is essentially a big woodworking lathe?
    Polishing the journals maybe

  6. #5
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    Apr 2023
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    Default

    I can't see the images but I've just collected said lathe yesterday! Yes they only used it for polishing crankshafts so it's pretty filthy! Hasn't got any accessories with it but I'm planning just to fit my lathe to the bed for the time being

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