My SHEPARD LATHE I bought from the
owner to save for history and to
demonstrate, it is the largest treadle I've
ever seen, and a gap bed at that.
The pin striping is mostly missing, reproduce the treadle
A Big PROJECT TO RESTORE and  fabricate the missing parts.
H.L.Shepard was formed in 1875, in 1898 the name was changed to Shepard Lathe
co. This lathe is clearly marked H.L.Shepard,in big fat 1860-1870 letters. They
continued to make lathes until 1921
H.L. Shepard
& CO Treadle
Metal Lathe
From a
  Serf. was the
note to webmaster....add to lathe history page for Putnam

Peter of this board is the resident Putnam expert. He has a collection of Putnam machines second only to some major
national museums and is not afraid to share his knowledge. He's located in the heart of Putnam country near Fitchburg,
MA so he has perhaps a leg up in this regard.

As to dating a lathe, tough without a pix. Most Putnams were quite ornate, even late in their period before Manning,
Maxwell & Moore. But earlier is better (of course.) Between Peter, Robert Lang and myself, I expect we can get within 5
years on when a lathe was built.

What we today think of as an "antique" lathe was first observed at an 1853 Worcester Mechanics Association Exhibition
when Thayer, Houghton & Company showed up with a lathe that stylistically "knocked their socks off." It made quite a
stir and was widely copied. However, it has been noted that Putnams, T,H&Co, Shepard, Lathe & Co., Parrit Blaisdell
and even Wood, Light & Co. all shared the same foundries and perhaps even the same machinists. And around the Civil
War, there were business alliances between makers to include Putnam, Thayer & Houghton a.k.a. New York Steam Engine
Co. a.k.a New Haven Manufacturing Co. There even were "familial" connections between the makers with people such as
Martin Lathe having married a daughter of Salomon Putnam.

No question that Worcester and Fitchburg Massachusetts were the "silicon valley" of their day and were head and
shoulders beyond most other machine makers for a good 20 years centered on the American Civil War. And like our
computers, they each borrowed heavily on what their competitor was doing.
Shepard lathe  
( from an sold on e bay page )
Excellent example of the type machinery first bought to the ventura county for use in the
farms and businesses in the area,
H.L.Shepard was formed in 1875,in 1898 the name was changed to Shepard Lathe co.
this lathe is clearly marked H.L.Shepard,they continued to make lathes until
1921,comes with three jaw and two jaw chucks,and a steady rest,,,800.00 call randy at
805-644-2022 after 8am and before 6pm

Reply to: [?]
Date: 2008-10-07, 12:49PM PDT

info from....Quinebaug Valley Engineers  Assoc. website
4th Annual Consignment  Auction

Zagray Homestead Farm Museum



LARRY DUDEK 860-376-2306


By Dave McClary                        


Last June, QVEA received the donation of an antique lathe from Joe Perko, Jr.

The lathe was made by Shepard, Lathe & Co. of Worcester, MA in the time

period 1853 to 1864. R. R. Shepard, M. Lathe and E. Morse formed the

company as a successor to S. C. Coombs & C0. In addition to lathes, they made a range of planers. When Shepard left
in 1864, the company became Lathe & Morse. This engine lathe has an elegance of detail that is no longer seen due to
the competitive need for cost control in the manufacturing industry. For example, there are acorn headed bolts holding
the bearing caps in place that show the centers used when they were made individually on a lathe. At that time, today
‘s ASME standards for bolt sizes and thread form had not been adopted. These

bolts are actually machine screws, size 30 - 16. That is the same standard to which the familiar 10 - 24 small screw is
made today but seldom seen in sizes larger than no. 12. Size 30 was the largest and was 0.4526 inch in diameter and
made with either 14 or 16 tpi. Does anyone have a tap for making a threaded hole that size? A table of these sizes was
found in a 1945 Marine Engineer’s Handbook. The lathe has a 14 inch swing and a 5 foot bed length. Features
subsequently discontinued by most makers include a gear driven feed screw on the back of the bed, a belt driven lead
screw on the front of the bed and a rise and fall tool rest for adjusting tool height. A heavy weight is suspended from
the rest as it is pivoted at the front and a simple jackscrew at the rear is used for adjustment of tool height. The spindle
is threaded for attaching a chuck or faceplate. It does not have a through hole but carries a dead center with a
nonstandard taper. The tail stock dead center has the same taper but has a quarter inch pin instead of a tapered point
for supporting the piece being turned. Of the feed screw drive gears, only one, plus an idler and a non-original stub
shaft gear have survived until this time, ten others are now missing. A hand stamped plate on the head stock shows
that threads from 5 to 40 tpi could be made. It is noted that the feed screw cannot be reversed on the lathe although this
could be accomplished with the overhead belt drive system if desired. The feed screw is connected to the carriage only
for thread cutting operations. The belt driven lead screw drives the carriage through a pair of right and left handed worm
gears that can be slid into engagement or positioned so that neither is

engaged. A knob on the carriage apron controls this feature. A previous owner had fabricated a metal motor drive stand
that incorporates well made wooden pulleys on a shaft supported in line shaft bearing hangers.

It is planned to mount a small motor and set this up to drive the lathe. There was no rust and the lathe was in excellent
condition, having been cleaned of most oily dirt by Joe. It makes a valuable addition to our museum.


By Dave McClary

The accompanying article about the Shepard, Lathe & Co. mentions the now obsolete screw threads found.

It was in 1864 that William Sellers, a major Philadelphia machine maker and inventor,
made a presentation to the Franklin Institute, a forerunner of the ASME, on a proposed standard for screw thread form
and hex sizes. The Civil War played a part in focusing on the problem of non-standard parts. At that time, one
commonly used standard was the English Whitworth threads standardized in 1841. This thread form had a 55-degree
angle and rounded tops and bottoms, a difficult configuration to make and measure.

A committee was formed to review Seller’s proposal of using a 60-degree angle and flat tops and bottoms. It was
subsequently adopted a few months later. But it took some time for it to be put into wide use. The U. S. Army and
Navy bureaus accepted it and promoted its adoption, which helped to speed its acceptance by manufacturers.        

Initially known as the Sellers or Franklin Institute threads, it is now known as the United States Standard commonly
designated as NC or NF forcoarse or fine threads. The overall objective of this new standard was to achieve
interchangeability regardless of the
manufacturer of fasteners.

H L Shepard metal lathe (late 1800s) antique.
( from the sold on e bay page, Bought by me this time)
This is a antique metal lathe manufactured by H L Shepard. Name cast in frame reads H L Shepard.
CINN, O. From research this lathe dates from around 1860 - 1890. The lathe was once owned by my
great grandfather passed thru generations to me. It has been inside all its life. The lathe has surface rust
and some dirt. However all part are free and move (stiff). It does have a complete set of change gears
still with it. All part and pieces look to be in good shape except for one gear on the end of a spindel. (see
pics) This lathe appears to have been driven by a pulley and belt system.
Above end view of legs of  my
Above side  view of legs of  my
hepard-Lathe-note-orig-paintred--pinstripingon a hoist
ready to be  loaded into my  ford mini van winstar of
126000 mi.
Above side  view of legs of  my
hepard-Lathe-note-orig-paintred--pinstripingon a hoist
ready to be  loaded into my  ford mini van winstar of
126000 mi.
Reference info for the webmaster below.
Illustrations above  Shepard lathe catalog page, from James
Beggs & co. catalog 9 dey st. New York circ. 1880s-1890s