On Sunday 28th May 2006, I took the plunge and purchased a Boxford
AUD lathe, sight unseen from eBay UK for the princely
sum of £720, which I considered a very good price. Machines which appeared
to be in much poorer condition than mine, purchased through a dealer, are twice
that. These pages are here to document the lathe and my trials and tribulations
using it, and also to provide any useful information I can to existing or prospective
Boxford AUD owners. I am not attempting to restore the machine to ex-factory
spec or condition, just get it to the point of being a useful model engieering
lathe - so I won't necessarily be putting eveything I find right - or using
original parts - after market parts will do me just fine.
The machine I purchased is serial number AUD - 11 - 23630, which
dates it to the end of 1968 (23638 was the first machine made in 1969) - I hope
the guys and girls making the machine weren't too much in the christmas spirit
when they put it together. I was only 7 years old when this machine rolled off
the production line.
This machine is fitted with a quick change toolpost - which only
became standard equipment from serial number 28500 - produced in 1972,
so this must be a retrofit item.
It has the Norton gearbox and is an imperial units machine.
It is fitted with a T-slotted cross slide, which I believe was a
It also has the optional saddle limit switch fitted
The original start / stop switches have been covered over. The recesses
have had cork put in them and the open ends on the outside have been
sealed with screw caps, which look like they came off pop (soda for
any U.S readers) bottles! Also
note that the original switch plate has been mounted upside down - to
prevent the lumps on the back fouling the retrofitted contactor and
thermal overload unit which sits behind it which, by the way, is a three
phase contactor. The contactor is noisy (it buzzes) - probably due to
the iron laminations rattling.
The No-Volt release (red and green buttons) are also a retrofit
- the switches are mounted in a galvanised box, which in turn is mounted
on a plywood plate.
If you look carefully at the bed just under the chuck, you can see
I have an original Boxford micrometer saddle stop - very nice !
You can't see it on this photograph, but the guard plate on the
back of the headstock is missing. I need to make one before I use the
machine in anger, to prevent me getting my fingers caught in the headstock
All in all, not a badly specified machine, and in very reasonable