Unimat SL and DB lathes: unused, boxed examples publication titled: “First Junior Instructions for using The Emco Unimat Universal Machine Tool”. EMCO Hobby Machine Instruction Manuals and Spare Part Lists. Below are links to instruction manuals for various machines. Unimat 3. Spare Parts List. unimat,lathe,belts, manual, book emco, edelstaal,parts, db, sl, unimat 3, mini lathe, db, sl
UK-market badge from the Elliott era American-market badge. Although tiny, it was perfectly capable of decent work, available mnaual a wide range of accessories and was light enough to be lifted on and off the workbench with one strong hand. The original model stayed in production untilwith a run of aroundexamples, at uhimat point it was replaced by the Unimat 3, an entirely conventional-looking lathe and one not nearly as adaptable to so many different uses. Eventually to be distributed world-wide – with importers using a variety of badges on the headstock – the first known advertisement for what was to become known as the DB in the USA, and SL in Europe, has been traced to page 60 in the October, issue of Model Railroader Magazine and placed by the original American importer Plasticast of Chicago, Illinois and Palo Alto, California.
The crude pictures accompanying the text showed not the very first model, but the slightly modified Mk. Maual may be that an earlier model was advertised in manyal but a search by the writer’s German contacts through hobby literature of that year has drawn a blank.
However, with post-WW2 production difficulties and material shortages still hampering all industries, it’s possible that this first type was never publicised at all, but just offered locally in Austria. The earliest discovered European mention of the lathe was in the February edition of the popular English magazine ” Practical Mechanics ” – an early German-language of the full catalogue is here.
In the UK the lathe was marketed first by J.
EMCO-UNIMAT Model SL Operating Manual
Although this model carried a badge with the designation “SL” in recent years some of Elliott’s original advertising literature has caused confusion – they unwisely invented a model designation ” Unimat 9 ” nine machine in one when really they should just have listed it using ” Emco Unimat SL “. Distribution then moved to an organisation called Emco-Luxalmost certainly a tie up between a long-established German-owned European tool distributor and Maier.
Finally, with an expanding range of products, and a move into CNC machine tools, Maier grasped the nettle and brought the marketing and distribution in-house. However, as might be expected with such a popular little lathe, Sears Roebuck and Co. Rather late in the day, on August 1,a United States patent No. However, there are four known copies of the Unimat: While the Rowic appears to have been so well made uniamt and so similar to the original – that it may well have been manufactured using replicas of the proper factory dies, the other two, from countries under unimar control at the time, were significantly different.
Emco Unimat lathes
One especially interesting Unimat-based lathe has also been found, a home-made version – seen here. Black crackle finished Emco Unimat Mk. It may be that an earlier model was advertised in – but a search by the writer’s German contacts through hobby literature of that year has drawn a blank – hence this is likely to have been not just the first American, but the first ever advertisement emc the Unimat Continued: Although an almost continuous series of small and larger changes altered many details of the lathe’s construction and appearance, the general arrangement of all models was identical: To discover which model you have found, invert the machine and look at the underside of the bed: To distinguish between the lighter and heaver ZAMAK versions unless you have both togther and can pick them up examine the area where the milling post comes through – on the lighter version there are six bracing ribs around the hole and on the heavier just one round boss in the middle of a rib towards the front; on a light base five of the six ribs have round bosses while the 6th, towards the tailstock, does not.
The heavier manusl, having a much higher zinc content hence the weightmeant that it could be subjected to “plastic cold flow” if left under constant stress. Owners have seen this phenomena exhibited in a Unimat left in the vertical mode for many years where the hole in the base was so deformed that the column was no longer truly vertical.
Could the change to the lighter, higher-aluminium content base have been due to this or, much more likely, cost savings? A central leadscrew was used to drive the carriage up and down the bed rails. Although at first the unimt had no form of lock, later models were given a clamp bolt at the rear that also acted as a form of adjustment to the sliding fit.
The cross slide followed the same design and, just like the English Drummond Little Goliath of 25 years earlier, ran on two bars instead of conventional machined ways. The headstock could be swivelled on its mounting and, fastened to its end face and so rotating with itwas an aluminium bracket that carried the motor and on most versions an additional speed-reduction pulley. By reversing the pulleys, and rearranging the belt runs, 11 speeds of approximately to r.
With its unique headstock design, ingenious drive system and clever accessory mountings, everything points to the lathe being designed from the outset as a multi-purpose machine that could be gradually equipped with a range of profitable extras.
The aim had been to allow its use as a metal or wood lathe, miller, drill press, polisher, grinder, jig saw, saw bench, wood planer or jointer, sander or even – with the headstock detached from the bed and fitted with a grip – as a hand drill. The conversion process from one mode to another was generally well thought out – and simple to execute: As a note of interest there were at least two designs of vertical column and methods of locking them in place: On earlier examples the hole was drilled though the shaft and a different type of locking bolt used.
In order to provide a vertical feed, the 12 mm threaded headstock spindle and its bearings were mounted within a cylindrical “cartridge”, with a rack, formed along its rear surface, engaged unimxt a splined bar inserted into a hole bored through the top face of the headstock.
The first kind splined drive-bar used to move the cartridge was fitted with a very short, plain handle but later a black knob was added and finally the handle retaining the ballwas lengthened. To excite the anoraks amongst us, some six variations on the handle have so far come to light. Although the exterior dimensions of the cartridge were one of the few things to remain unchanged throughout production, its contents did not.
The first example used a crude system, similar to that employed in a bicycle hub, with crowded loose balls contained between cones with the single-groove drive pulley held in place overhung, at the left-hand end of the cartridge by an M nut, the adjustment of which was used to set the bearing pre-load. The outside face of the front cone was ground to an abutment flange for items screwed onto the manusl nose – although this arrangement may have emo problems with the bearing adjustment, with heavier interrupted cuts tending to tighten the cone and reduce clearances.
Later arrangements were more sensible and robust, with the use of two single-row, emcp sealed-for-life ball races NSK Bearings part number E with wavy “Belville” manula providing the thrust.
An alternative precision cartridge, the “Clockmaker’s Sleeve Order No. As a point of interest, the spindle from this unit was also used in the Toolpost Grinder part number VS that Emco offered for their larger V7, V8 and V10 lathes. In order to form a chronological sequence, and so help owners categorise their lathe, the various changes to the cast-iron models in so far as they have been discovered will be listed as “Mk.
It must be emphasised that the manufacturer did not use these, nor were the alterations given any publicity at the time. It is also possible that the lathes inspected may have been upgraded or modified – and it is entirely possible that some of the following conclusions are incorrect. Despite being intended as a mass-production unit evidence from these specimens shows that, at first no doubt because of the still-severe economic conditions at the timethe Emco factory would have had a limited number of automatic production machines and a good deal of hand-work went into each example.
There is also an indication that little time or material was wasted with, for example, the castings having an indifferent cosmetic finish and wrongly unumat and partially-bored centres holes corrected – but with the initial damage to the component ignored.
As it would have provided the easiest and most reliable route into production the first version like nearly ever other amateur lathe of the timehad its base and other major castings in iron. Unique to the first one or two years of production the base’s other main identifying features were its middle section, formed into a manuxl chip tray with a flattish bottomraised ridges running along the front and back walls and the boring of the casting at both ends to accept two solid-steel, mm diameter bed bars each retained by a horizontal grub-screw.
That section of the base on umimat the headstock fitted was rectangular in shape, with a flat front, and bored to accept a large “inverted-cone” that allowed the headstock to be rotated or quickly detached.
A pin, screwed in through the left-hand face of the casting, engaged against the cone, and drew the headstock down and locked it in place. Unfortunately there was no provision for aligning the headstock, other than manuxl the tailstock ram with manuall centre and pushing it into the spindle hole – while simultaneously tightening the locking screw.
There were several serious oversights on this first model including a lack of provision to lock either the saddle or the cross slide to their respective bars and feed-screws with a ‘right-hand” thread’ – giving that annoyingly counterintuitive situation where turning a handle to the right produced a moment towards, instead of away from, the operator. One feature found on some early models the writer’s own example being so equipped was a tiny oil hole drilled vertically through the front wall of the carriage by which means the end of the cross-feed screw, where it passed through the casting, could be lubricated.
The smaller turned-parts on were probably made on a “Swiss Auto” – and ideal machine for making quantities of precision miniature components – with the plain-steel, mm diameter handwheels having a pleasing diamond knurl around their outer edge, tiny micrometer dials engraved into the inner boss and straight pins for hand-grips.
It is likely that more than one kind of handwheel was fitted on the production line, with some being of a slightly different diameter to others. In comparison with later machines the drive pulleys exhibited several significant differences: Manufactured in fully-machined cast aluminium they had deep ‘V’ grooves and were mounted in the reverse direction and with the pair used on the motor and idler stud at mmlarger in diameter. The original belts were ,anual the form of coiled-steel wire “springs”, not an ideal material to run against aluminium.
The motor bracket, later a neat die-cast affair, was a rather rough aluminium casting with only the holes machined. From the start of production the motor bracket came with an idler pulley – but machines have been found without this fitting possibly to ease the fitting of a particular accessory and hence only 6 instead of 11 speeds.
A eemco offering was a “slow-speed” bracket with two idler pulleys designed to allow much lower revolution and so make more effective use of the “chase-type” screwcutting attachment.
Constructed as a one piece casting, the first tailstock had a manua, spindle-retaining nut, just inboard of the handwheel, and a very pronounced rearward cantilever to maximize the machine’s limited between-centres’ capacity.
Because of its construction, and the fact that the bed bars were socketed into the base casting, it was necessary to dismantle the entire lathe if the tailstock had to be removed. An examination of the castings used on early lathes show them to have an inferior finish to later ones, though no doubt their material quality was entirely satisfactory.
The vertical pillar was The hand-grip used to convert the headstock into a drill was quite rounded, perhaps a little smaller than the latter cast-iron production version–but much more comfortable to use. Made in Holland by Motoren Eindhoven the ball-bearing, 40 watts, r.
EMCO-UNIMAT Model SL Operating Manual pdf – CNC Manual
In order no doubt to give the unit a “machine-tool” or “technical” appearance it was finished, apart from the black-varnished field-lamination area, in an attractive crackle-black paint to match the lathe.
To check if a motor has plain bearings look for a small hole in the protruding bearing mamual at each end. The hole leads to a felt washer that wicks just oil, less any dirt, into the sintered-bronze bearings. American machines all appear to have been delivered in a rather splendid fitted wooden box – while European customers, apart from those sold during the mid to late s, had to be content with finest-quality cardboard.
Most of the first boxes had nicely bevelled vertical corners, until at some point during SL productionthis was stopped, probably as an economy measure. Accessory boxes of mnaual time were very distinctive with a turquoise or teal blue-and-white label with “Emco” spelled out in a diagonal line, a ‘circle M’ logo and “Made in Austria” printed underneath in small letters. Having established the lathe in production, Maier set about both improving production methods which necessitated changes to the machine’s constructionand ironing out some of the design deficiencies that were becoming apparent as owners began to explore the limits of its potential.
The very common Die-cast Unimat SL Some examples of this version have also been found with saddle and cross-slide locking screws the latter with a small brass plug pushed against the right-hand cross-slide bar but such fittings appear not to have been standard until at least the Mk. It may well be that some owners, frustrated by the absence of a carriage lock on their early machines, could have fitted their own – so it is impossible to be categorical on this point.
The tiny instruction book issued with this model was marked as being the 2nd edition and was originally typed on an A4 sheet, reduced to A5 and bound in grey card.
The tailstock cantilever was reduced and the casting became a two-piece affair with the upper and lower sections clamped to the bed rails by a single Allen bolt. Although the 2 and 2A had a carriage lock at the back the cross slide generally did not – that improvement appearing as standard on the 2B. The feed-screws on these models were changed to a left-hand thread, so allowing a “normal” feel – where turning the screw to the right resulted in a deeper cut; a far better arrangement than the “cack-handed” originals that did the opposite.
The handwheels, now larger at mm in diameter, were made slightly thinner and given a knurled rim and a locking nut on the end of their feedscrew, instead of through the wheel’s boss. Again, with over-lapping production, it possible that these handwheels may have been seen first on the last examples of the previous type.
Arranged by the simple and effective means of splitting the right-hand half of the casting from front to back, the cross-slide clamp used an M6 socket -headed screw set positioned at the front between feed screw and the right-hand 8 mm-diameter cross slide bar to squeeze the parts together.
However, this was not the first type of lock and some earlier versions have been found with a cruder system where, on the right-hand side front of the casting, an mm wide tapped boss was incorporated that took an M6 x 8 mm grub screw bearing directly onto the way bar.
So as not to mark the bar, a small brass button was used on the end of the screw. Although the system worked well enough, it did not have the clamping power of the later type and would probably not have stood up well to the demands of heavier milling cuts. As a further confusion, some early machines of the Mk 2 and 2A type have manuwl found with two locking screws on the cross slide, one at the front and another other at the back.
Improvements were also made to the headstock, emmco the spindle being given a register flange and the 2-step pulley made reversible on its mounting – so providing an increase in the number of speeds. The 3-jaw chuck unimah the drill chuck emcoo with this lathe were identical to the ones supplied earlier, with the ring-scroll portion of the 3-jaw the part gripped to turn the scroll being diamond knurled and drilled with 6 Tommy-bar unimag.
The entire body of the drill chuck was also given a distinctive and effective diamond-knurl finish. It is likely that the Mk. For the American market the 2A Instruction book was published by “American Edelstaal” in New York and was a considerable improvement over the original.
Although some of the original illustrations were used, the robin’s-egg blue paper and a different font, properly typeset and justified, made all the difference. This example also has a locking screw on the cross slide. Upon first assembly the base casting and headstock were jigged and a small vertical slot cut across the junction of their front faces.