The Swiss made Schaublin lathes are highly sought after by watchmakers and precision instrument makers. I became interested in the Schaublin lathes because they meet my exacting requirements for accuracy, and their size is right for my needs.
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Schaublin of Switzerland began manufacturing machine tools in 1915. They manufactured a range of lathes and milling machines ranging in size from small watch and instrument maker’s lathes to large tool room lathes and milling machines.
Schaublin is highly regarded throughout the machine tool industry for building some of the most finely made and accurate machines in the industry. In fact, the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein was caught trying to purchase Schaublin machines for their nuclear weapons program in 1990. Fortunately the shipment was intercepted by the German government when their true destination was revealed.
Schaublin Machines SA is located in Bevilard, Switzerland. Schaublin Delemont, the now separate manufacturer of collets and work holding equipment, is located in Delemont, Switzerland.
Perhaps the most well known Schaublin machines are the model 70 and 102 plain turning lathes. These small super precision lathes have a very strong following among watch and precision instrument makers. These machines have become Schaublin’s most successful product, and over 100,000 been produced.
The 70 and 102, are named for the distance between the lathe center and the bed surface, measured in millimeters. These lathes differ from more common engine lathes in that they do not have a carriage feed. Instead they have a bed shaped similarly to a bench center. The bed has a flat top and a slot that runs through the center of the bed for most of its length. The Schaublin carriage (or cross slide) has two axes, each guided by dovetails with adjustable gibs and an Acme thread leadscrew in each axis. This is referred to as the “Screw Operated Carriage”
A large knob loosens the nut on a bolt that holds the carriage in position on the length of the bed. The carriage can then be moved along the length of the bed and the knob tightened. This serves as the coarse longitudinal adjustment. Fine adjustment is performed with leascrews. The longitudinal axis has a movement of 90mm for the standard 102 carriage and 150mm for the optional long carriage.
The upper slide is used for the longitudinal axis and the lower slide for the infeed (diametral) axis. The upper slide also pivots 360º for angled cuts, with indexing marks every degree.
The carriage is part of the reason behind the Schaublin plain lathes’ accuracy. The simple design and short movements make it easier to design an assembly with very tight tolerances. The simpler design is also easier to maintain and therefore keep accurate.
The Schaublin 70 and 102 were offered in three versions:
• tool-room lathe (TO 70, TO102), with Screw Operated Carriage and standard screw operated tailstock with 2º taper or Morse taper.
• second operation machine with lever carriage and lever operated drilling tailstock (TL 70, TL102)
• turret lathe (TR 70, TR102) with a multiple tool turret in place of the tailstock.
The Schaublin plain lathes are offered as bench mounted machines, meant to be installed on a heavy solid hardwood table top with a motor mounted behind the headstock. The 70 and 102 were also offered with a very sturdy and heavy cast iron base. The base also houses the motor.
The 70 lathe is normally always fitted with the W12 collet. The 102 lathe was offered with either a W20 or W25 collet. The “W” is the type of collet, and the number refers to the diameter of the collet shank in millimeters. These are draw-back collets and are the most suitable for tool room work. The W25 collet is comparable in size to the American R8 collet. TL and TR type lathes were frequently fitted with “F” type push collets which are not suitable for tool room work.
A very large selection of accessories is available for the Schaublin 70, and especially the 102 lathe. A vertical slide can be attached to the carriage to mount a milling head. Grinding attachments are also available. These do not have an integrated motor like the more common “tool post grinder”, instead being driven by small diameter round belts from an overhead drive. The latest milling and grinding attachments for the 102N-Mi-CF have integrated motors.
Schaublin also offered lathes based on the “engine lathe” pattern. A version of the 120 with a large leadscrew running under the bed and a carriage that can run 400mm along the length of the bed. The 102VM has a bed design that is similar to the 102, but has two triangular extensions on the sides to guide the VM carriage. The 102 can therefore use tailstocks and steady rests designed for the plain 102. The 102VM is always mounted on a cast iron base.
In the late 1970’s the 102 lathe was redesigned and designated the 102N. These newer models have a heavier “squared” construction of the bed, headstock and tailstock. The cast iron base was also updated. The carriage is nearly identical. The model 70 was not significantly changed.
The next generation, termed 102N-CF, features a frequency inverter drive for variable speed capability. These are available as both bench mount and cast iron base machines.
The latest 102N-Mi-CF features a completely new headstock that has the motor completely contained in the headstock. This model is only offered as a bench mount since the base is not needed for supporting the motor and electronics.
Larger Schaublin “engine lathes” were the 120, 125, 135, 150 and 160. These models are rare compared to the plain lathes and were very costly when new. They are extremely complex and offer most of the conveniences expected of larger tool room lathes.
The current Schaublin line also includes various CNC machines.
I use my lathes to make parts for motion picture cameras. I had been able to make small parts with tight tolerances, with care, on my Sherline 4400 miniature lathe. The Sherline is excellent for working on small parts, but it is not designed to work on larger pieces (3 inch [75mm] diameter and up), or tough materials like Stainless Steel. The largest chuck available for the sherline is 3.1 inches.
It is a commonly accepted rule of thumb that the “swing” of a lathe should be three times the largest diameter workpiece you want to cut for aluminum, brass and free machining steel, and four times that diameter for hard or tough steels. Since I wanted to produce stainless steel parts of about 3 inch diameter, I would need a lathe with a swing of about 9 inches.
I also felt I needed an approximately 1 horsepower motor. The lathe needed to have a robust construction of cast iron and steel, in order to have the rigidity I needed to work on larger parts and tougher materials.
My limitation was that it had to fit on a 36 x 60 inch workbench, and it had to be no heavier than 300 lbs (136 Kg). This limitation was created by my existing workspace, which is a 10 x 12 foot room in a 1000 square foot apartment. Not the ideal workspace, but it allowed me to put my money into the business and grow. I will hopefully be moving to a larger house in the next few months.
I mention the above because if you are a model engineer or other hobbyist and you think you cannot have a large lathe for space reasons, a Habegger or Schaublin 102 bench mount is one of the best choices you can make.
I also needed the machine to be built to do high precision work. I had little confidence that I would be able to hold the tight tolerances I needed on one of the inexpensive asian imported lathes that are commonly available in the size I need. Everyone that has used one tells me they are “rough”. Outside of those machines, there were no other precision bench lathes available in my size range except for the German Prazi/ Wabeco lathes.
My work sometimes requires tolerances of 0.0004 inch, (4/10,000ths), or 0.01mm (1/100th). It is commonly accepted in the manufacturing industry that the no-load positioning accuracy of a lathe or mill needs to be less than 1/3 of the expected tolerance in the finished part. This means that in order to produce parts to a tolerance of .0005 in, I would need a lathe that had a positioning accuracy of less than .0002 in, and preferably 0.003mm or less.
The Schaublin 102 works out perfectly for my needs. It has a 102mm center height, so the swing is 8.03 in [204mm]. The distance between centers is just under 18 in [450mm]. The lathe came equipped with a 0.8 HP 220V 3-phase AC motor. The Schaublin 102 has a modular construction. The headstock, tailstock and cross slide come off easily. When the SV 102 lathe is disassembled, there is no component of it that is more than a 2-man lift. The largest and heaviest part, the lathe bed, weighs approximately 120 lbs. The bench mount version of the Schaublin 102 weighs
Here is some detailed information about my Schaublin 102 lathe:
- SCHAUBLIN Model: 102N-80, W25, on Cast Iron base, Serial No. 30043x
- Bed: For underneath drive, type 105-15.000, Length 1 meter, cast-iron, precision ground, wt. 54kg [119 lb]
- Headstock: Closed, for underneath drive, 3 step pulley for flat belts, W25 collets, type 105-31.000, wt 26kg [57 lb]
- Collet Closer: Manually controlled lever operated quick-closing attachment for collets, type 105-30.600 wt 7.3kg [16 lb]
- Tailstock 2 Morse Taper: 102-65.500 Adjustable screw and hand wheel operated tailstock. 3.15 kg [7 lb]
- Drilling Tailstock: Star-wheel operated drilling tailstock, type 105-69.000 for W25 collets, wt 14.5kg [32 lb]
- Drive System: 1.5 Kw motor (see specs below), driving through clutch and brake (foot pedal operated), through dual V-belt pulleys with two ratios available, to countershaft (foot pedal operated) with a 3 step pulley driving an identical pulley on the lathe spindle driven by a flat belt (Habasit).
- Compound Slide: “carriage”, two types, 102-45.000 (90mm stroke) 12 kg, 102-45.150 (150mm stroke) 12.8 kg. A lever operated version 102-47.000 is also available.
- Center height: 4.015 in / 102 mm
- Swing: 8.03 in / 204mm
- Distance between centers: 17.716 in / 450 mm
- Length of the bed: 1 meter [39.37 in]. flat ways, ground cast iron. Undersides of the headstock and tailstock that mate with the bed are hand scraped.
- Spindle Bore: 28 mm / 25mm
- Bar Capacity: .75 in / 19 mm (pass through a W25 collet and the collet drawbar)
- Spindle Nose: Type W25, Major Diameter XX.Xmm (nominal XX.XX), Pitch Dia XX.XXmm, Thread Pitch X.Xmm
- Collet Type: W 25 Gr. 80-5. Max diameter through collet: 19mm [0.75 in], max diameter 25.4mm [1 in] See PDF for dimensions of collet
- Toolpost: Tripan 111 or Multifix size A quick-change toolpost. Both are Swiss made and designed for 10mm square tool bits. 3/8 in tool bits work fine.
- Weight, Basic (Lathe bed, headstock, tailstock, carriage, for bench mounting, without motor) 95 kg [210 lb]
- Weight, Bench Mount, W/ Bench: 102N-CF with 1.5kw motor and bench with Lista cabinet 320 kg [705 lb]
- Weight (including motor, drive system, Cast Iron stand): 560kg [1250 lbs]
- Type: “33,07” 380V 3 phase 2 speed, IEC size DF100L, B-3 Foot / B-14 Face mounted (Metric standard)
- Power: 1.5 / 0.6 Kw (2.0 / 0.81 HP)
- RPM: 2850 / 670 @ 50 Hz, 3420 / 800 @ 60 Hz
- Current Draw: 3.63 / 2.3 @ 380 V
- Manufacturer: RCB Elektroapparate AG, Bienwil Am See, Schweiz (Switzerland), now Smedegarrd AG
NOTE: 1 HorsePower = 0.746 KiloWatt, 1 Kw = 1.34 HP
The Teco-Westingouse Fluxmaster 100 converts my 208V AC house current into 208V 3-phase AC, and allows me to vary the speed of the motor electronically. It cost less than a rotary phase converter and does the same job, plus variable speed control.
If you have any tooling or accessories for either the Habegger or a Schaublin 102 that you would like to sell, please contact me (Jorge Diaz-Amador) using the information below.
Extra Habegger/ Schaublin machines and tooling I have for sale:
- Habegger JH 102 Lathe (Schaublin 102 clone). SOLD
- Schaublin W12 oversize “step” collets and collet closers
- Tripan 111 toolpost
I am interested in purchasing the following:
- Schaublin 102-VM, 120, 135 or 150 Leadscrew lathes. Please e-mail with description, location, condition and photo if posssible.
- J. Habegger TLDE 500 or TLDG Lathe. This is the screwcuting version of the JH 102, with a leadscrew and carrige feed.
- Swiss Tripan toolholders. I have the tool post and I am looking for the following parts. The part numbers are engraved on the actual tool holders. [the part numbers in the brackets are Shaublin’s]
“Tool holder with square opening” No. 131, [PN 102-46.325]
“Tool holder with square opening and V-Groove” No. 131b [PN 102-45.325]
“Double tool holder with square opening and V-groove” No. 132 [PN 102-46.330]
“Cutting-off blade holder with cutting-off blade” No. 135 [PN 102-46.351]
“Bush holder, dia 27mm” No. 133 [PN 102-46.310]
“Reduction bush W20” No. 133W [PN 102-46.090]
- Swiss Multiquick (know in Europe as Multifx) Tool Holder, size Aa, A or E (Sold by Schaublin or SPI). This type of toolholder has a curved, serrated interface between the tool post and holders.
- Geared screw cutting attachment for Habegger or Schaublin 102. Found one!
- W-25 Tooling: Collets, Centers, Arbors, Shanks, etc.
- Faceplates with W25 Spindle Nose (37.75 x 3.0mm Schaublin spindle thread).
- 4-Jaw, 6-Jaw or 8-Jaw chucks, or any 3-8 jaw Swiss made chucks, up to 6 inch diameter. These are usually marked “Alina”, “HR”, “J-F”, “ZW” or “Maprox” and “Swiss Made”
- Any Habegger or Schaublin tooling. Please e-mail description and send a jpeg photo if possible.
More information on Schaublin lathes:
- Schaublin lathe page on anglo-swiss-tools.co.uk (Dr. David Samways) Also supplier of used Aciera, Schaublin, Mikron and other fine Swiss lathes and mills, plus accessories.
- Schaublin lathe page on lathes.co.uk (Tony Griffiths). Also supplier for information and manuals for various lathes, and suppier of the Fenner Nu-T-Link belt.
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Last Update: 2/12/16