Sunday, 8 April 2012

Emco Maximat V10 Rebuild / Repair / Refurb

It has been several years in the making but I have finally gotten to the point where I have accumulated enough machinery to start some metal working on a semi-serious level. The tool that started this off was a lathe. It's funny but a small lathe commands much higher prices than a large lathe due to the convenience factor and the ease at which one can find space for the lathe. I had been searching for a good quality little lathe for about 10 years but it has either been an issue with living arrangements or a matter of extremely high cost that has prevented me from getting one. About 2.5 years ago, a friend of mine bought 2 lathes in an auction. Although he only intended on using the large one, he got the second as a curiosity piece. When I saw it I asked if he would be interested in a trade and I walked off with it in exchange for a set of folding scaffolding. This is what it looked like in it's initial state:

Initial Assessment
It had been badly treated however the ways were straight and did not seem worn. The gib strips were not worn either and so it seemed like the fundamental things were ok. I set to work cleaning and painting the table, then did a primary clean on the lathe and after the initial clean, it still looked like this:

I didn't worry about re-painting at this point but instead began to ispect it closely to check for damage that was hidden under the grime. I turned up some broken gears, sheared roll pins and a cracked toolpost collar.

Repairs Begin 
I asked my friend if he could machine a collar for me which he did. I then blued it and attached the scale so that it matched the original. The results speak for themselves:

The new collar is made from steel rather than cast iron so it should never break again.

Damage to the gears had occured by someone trying to change gears while the lathe was running. The result was sheared teeth, sheared roll pins and metal filings in the oil. I had to disassemble the Norton box and get the gears off. I ordered the gears from the USA and when they arrived I had them machined to size by my friend who gave me the lathe. Fortunately, I had some spare 45 tooth gears to replace the broken nylon gear. These often broken on V10 lathes and were designed to be the weak link and to break if the lathe was crashed, thus saving the steel gears. I replaced mine with steel gears but only tightened the arm that holds the gear lightly. If the lathe is crashed the force should throw out the arm and result in no damage.

There is a brake on the apron that is tightened to hold the carriage in place. This was sheared, welded, sheared again and then re-welded again. I considered this a weakpoint so I just cut it out, machined a block to fit in and and made a free floating brake instead. This can be seen in the assembled pictures.

Emco V10 lathes have a funny switch arrangement similar to a cassette deck. These are notorious for binding and being a pain. Mine was no different. I checked all sliding surfaces and filed some smooth and applied a light machine oil to stop them from binding. I sourced some bakalite and made a new switch for the lathe since the original was missing. I used a belt grinder and files since I had no mill at the time.

Many of the bearings were rough and so I ordered the necessary sizes from the USA and replaced them all. Here is some advice when fixing machines... If in doubt, change it out! The last thing you want is to assemble the machine and have a bearing or roll pin fail. This requires dismantling and often damage to your freshly painted machine. I left nothing to chance!

Painting Over Hammerite
I have heard that hammerite is difficult to paint over. When I disassembled the lathe, I degreased all surfaces. After degreasing, I washed the parts. Some even in the dishwasher...

After this I sanded all the surfaces and cleaned again with thinners. I did not remove the Hammerite paint but merely scuffed the surface. I then primed the surfaces and painted with an enamel paint. I have mentioned in the past how lousy Norwegian service is. This was a prime example. I went to 2 shops in serach of Hammerite paint that matched the lathe. Both shops said it was no longer available and that Hammerite had discontinued the paint. I then rang the Hammerite rep and he said he would get back to me... on 3 different occasions. I gave up and bought a bright green paint and a good quality brush. I chose a brush application because of the thicker coat of the paint per application. I taped off all surfaces that were to be kept clean and began priming and painting.

After I had allowed the paint to cure for a week, I began re-assembly. I allowed a long time for curing to ensure the enamel was nice and hard. I then went through all the gears, changing them and making adjustments to the change paddles. This was necessary as I had to remove the paddles, heat them and straighten them because someone had bent them in the past. The gears were engaged by flipping a selector paddle, then wedging it with a stick. Necessity being the mother of all inventions I guess. They could have just fixed it properly but then what would I have done in my spare time then? This is the final result of the all the work. Late nights and weekends totalled about 3 months of spare time to get the machine going again.

The brake I made can be seen above. This was a simple fix to a re-curring issue on the lathe.

So that's it. That was my refurb on the Austrian made Maximat V10 lathe. These are a great little lathe and run very quiet. They don't handle heavy handedness so if you find one, check for damage. If you don't have spare time to fix it, don't buy it. Parts are rare and most work will have to be done by you. If you do go ahead, you will have a great little lathe for small projects.


  1. Is there anyway to buy one of your collars for the vise?

    1. I want one too!!

      Elia A. Sinaiko, Ph.D.
      609 Commercial Street
      Provincetown, MA - 02657

      Phone: (508) 487-1421
      Cell: (646) 732-6228

  2. Very nice work. If you are not already aware of it, there is a very good Yahoo forum, "emcoV10lathe", where I got a lot of info and help on my V10 repairs. My machine does not look as nice as yours, but I opted only to get it functional and did not worry about the paint. It's been a really nice machine to use.

  3. Hello Eddy, I may be able to machine some collars up. If I manage to I'll put some info up on the blog regarding purchase.

    lens42, I am part of that group and have been for about 2 years. The problem is that although helpful, parts are very rare so you are left with making them yourself since most members are enthusiasts and not looking to part out their machines.

  4. Are the bearings in the Lathe head pressed in?? I'm changing the bearings in mine and they just fell out!

  5. Very beautiful job. I just got a V10 myself and want to restore it as well. I found the V10 manual on scribed but it says it is private. is there any way I can get a copy of the pdf? My email is eigenheerc at hot mail dot com