Meet Herbert

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
That's a monster of a metalwork lathe.

Are woodworking lathes not up to the job ?
Not as accurate, or as stable, especially boring out. This is how we got the shells so thin.

BTW, before anyone asks - apprentice is 6' 2", but he's kneeling down to clean out the machine.
 

MrInsanePolack

Platinum Member
Now that's cool. I love machines, the way you can take a bunch of parts and get them all to work in unison to achieve a goal. Aside from killer drums, I bet Herbert has made some cool stuff in his life. How old is that thing?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Now that's cool. I love machines, the way you can take a bunch of parts and get them all to work in unison to achieve a goal. Aside from killer drums, I bet Herbert has made some cool stuff in his life. How old is that thing?
indeed! Early 50's shipyard lathe, but significantly modified. We're not completely sure, but weight is in the order of 4 ton plus. The chuck alone weighs 500lb!
 

larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Ok so I guess I'll ask....how and why is it a Herbert?

Interesting to me Andy. How many people have a picture of the machine that their drums were made on?
 

opentune

Platinum Member
Cool machine. Love it. Looks like it made airplane parts one time.
No doubt sad to sell, but maybe it gets a new life.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Ok so I guess I'll ask....how and why is it a Herbert?
It's a Herbert model 9B lathe :)

Interesting to me Andy. How many people have a picture of the machine that their drums were made on?
True, & that's why I'm collating an album of images to publish, so anyone with an interest can download & retain before I take everything offline (website, etc)

Other than drums, what else can that machine make or be used for?
Essentially, anything large diameter & short. Probably circa 40 years ago, this lathe was cut down to make the bed shorter. I don't know it's original length, but based on it's swing (yes, that's really the correct term), I'd guess at around 20ft plus.

Cool machine. Love it. Looks like it made airplane parts one time.
No doubt sad to sell, but maybe it gets a new life.
Dean's hoping it will get a useful new life. It would be cool to think it would go on to turn solid shells, but that's very unlikely. We can't think of a UK builder who would have the capacity to use it, & international shipping isn't a viable cost option. That said, a lathe of this size & length is rare, & it's fully customised for wood machining. It might be old, but it's built "proper", and in perfect working order.
 

Jeff Almeyda

Senior Consultant
That machine could go on for decades, that's how robustly built they were back then.

Thank you Herbert for my awesome drums, I hope you find a good home.
 

AzHeat

Platinum Member
That’s a very impressive piece of equipment. I was wondering what type of lathe you used to thin down the Guru shells. Wasn’t expecting Herbert! Way bigger and more respectable than expected. Would look great next to Gretsch’s drill press!
 

KamaK

Platinum Member
Every single Guru drum ever made was turned on this lathe. Sadly, now being sold. Big old bus of a machine, easily capable of turning solid shells to 28" diameter.
So wait... There's a Guru out there with a 28" BD?
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
That machine could go on for decades, that's how robustly built they were back then.

Thank you Herbert for my awesome drums, I hope you find a good home.
Sooo much better built than almost all modern stuff. It might not look pretty, but it's designed for big forces 24/7 whilst maintaining accuracy.
P.S. Look at the boring bar - weighs 40lb+ on it's own :)

That’s a very impressive piece of equipment. I was wondering what type of lathe you used to thin down the Guru shells. Wasn’t expecting Herbert! Way bigger and more respectable than expected. Would look great next to Gretsch’s drill press!
Oh ye of little faith ;) You need absolute stability to turn big solid shells to thin section. One tiny wobble at speed on a 24" bass drum, & it's firewood. Dean turned 3mm (1/8") thick 24" black walnut & old mahogany stave shells on this. I'm not aware that's ever been done. We've even gone down to 2mm. Segmented is tricky enough at that thickness, but stave, that's close to miraculous!

So wait... There's a Guru out there with a 28" BD?
No - 26" max, but the machine had the capability, probably 30" at a push.
 
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larryace

"Uncle Larry"
Andy, do tell us where we can download this album when it's ready please.

My latest Gurus are absolutely stunning.
 

Andy

Administrator
Staff member
Andy, do tell us where we can download this album when it's ready please.

My latest Gurus are absolutely stunning.
I'm not completely sure yet Larry, but most likely on the Guru Facebook page, as I'm closing down the website soon. I'll post a link in the forum once it's up.
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
indeed! Early 50's shipyard lathe, but significantly modified. We're not completely sure, but weight is in the order of 4 ton plus. The chuck alone weighs 500lb!
Andy, you missed your chance at starting a nice legend that grows over time. Here's my suggested edit:


"indeed! Early 50's shipyard lathe, but significantly modified. We're not completely sure, but weight is in the order of 4 ton plus. The chuck alone weighs 500lb! That said, there was one time when Dean and I realized the machine needed to be moved a few inches. Dean grabbed one end of the beast and I grabbed the other. A few loud grunts later, the machine was perfectly placed."
 

8Mile

Platinum Member
Wow Andy and Dean moved Herbert with bare hands?

Holy crap that is legendary.
Right? Also, if I was doing it, I would down-play it in an unconvincing way to add realism. "I mean, it's only two tons each, and if you do the physics, it works out to even a little bit less than that because levers. So it's not nearly as impressive as you may think."
 
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