* UNIMAT STORIES PAGE *
I promised to put up a page with your stories, well here it is Enjoy
Where can I start ? I guess here will do !
In 1972 my uncle decided to come in to business with me ...I had been in business for myself for 7 years repairing watches & clocks & doing all right .Watches were still king (mechanicals ) so I said OK but your'e not using my Lorch or my IME ... Well he went & bought a UNIMAT **** A what ,I said ? So he started the clock repairing.in earnest & the unimat (that should be in capitals) worked & worked.. Even I was allowed to use her .. It is a she after all and so life went on ! Uncle Dave & Dad passed away ,my sons didn' follow the trade ( I told them there's no money in it ) and THEN came the resurgence !! I've got clocks begging to be repaired all over & gee I miss my Dad & Uncle but the UNIMAT S/L lives on ... So there really is a GOD in heaven because I found your site & it's nice to know where I can get spares & an understanding ear to listen to me gripe about the old days...OLD DAYS BE DAMNED We're still goin strong , lady Unimat and I So I'll wish you well Doug and hope to be in contact again , soon . Regards From
Ken, Queensland Australia
It's been said, save the best for last, what the hey, here it is first!
Many thanks to all who shared their stories!
Have enjoyed your site and just wanted to let you know. I started out years ago with the, with what we know today as the SL1000, and have progressed up to the Super 11.
Still have my original which my wife got for me from Wards for 139.95 back in 62, I think. How time filies.
Anyway, I can not tell you how much fun I have had with that lathe and it will always be very dear to my heart.
My father got his Unimat in 1963... He still uses it everyday, He just turned 90. I would like 2 sets of Belts, he hasn't used a real set in many years. He's on his third motor, . I'm glad I found your Site and thanks for the help...
I have been searching for a source for the drive belts for a Unimat SL 1000!
It was my dad's machine, he died suddenly last year. I ran across it in his hobby "closet" when helping my mother sort through everything, and a flood of memories came rushing back. His work kept him locked up in a stressful
world he couldn't talk about - military contract work with Boeing - but I remember how content his hours were at home in front of his mini lathe turning out magical little pieces.
I can understand now, a little better, the place he went while working with this little tool.
I fit into your story of unimat. I have looked for one for years. Today at a swap meet I found it. Its a DB200, complete in the original box. It has all the original purchase papers with it and the manuals. Original price with vise,tool bits,milling table,live center was $174.10. It is in excellent shape but can use a new set of belts which I would like to order from you.
Gordon , USA
I live in Japan and I own an SL-1000 model bought in the US in around 1970, when I worked in US. I use it occasionally today, most of the time simple jobs like drilling, though.
I found your web page recently and I am surprised and glad to know that UNIMATs are still used and loved. I appreciate your efforts to put together this wonderful, informative web site.
Here at JPL we use a Unimat Model DB 200 in our cable fabrication lab. I am in the process of doing some PM on it and while most of the stuff I need I see on your site, I am still in need of a "Dead Center" for the tailstock spindle. Best regards,
Guy , USA
I was stunned when they ( belts & manual ) arrived in yesterdays' mail. I couldn't put the manual down all evening. And my wife will have a tough time pulling me out of the shop most of the rest of the week. Thanks!
The belts did arrive yesterday, and the unimat spins like the cat again. Thanks for the service.
Whenever I can do something for you, please let me know. Do not forget that I live in a metric country with best regards.
If you have Unimat story to share, E-mail me & I'll post it here. Have Fun, Doug
I have an old Unimat SL1000 from my teen days (I am now 45). I pulled it out the other day after being in storage for well over 25 years. Good thing I was meticulous about oiling up the parts before storing it each time. It was in mint shape......... well almost mint shape...... I had taken the belts off when I stored it like a good boy, but it didn't matter. After I put them on and spun it up, the smaller belt snapped after about 10 seconds. Luckily I was prepared and had a set of new replacement belts stored away. I changed that one out and the big one snapped 20 seconds later. No problem. I have a new one for that too....... replaced it....... 30 seconds later..... snap again..... OK, I was being too optimistic to think that the new (or old) belts would still be any good after all these years....... So, it sounds like I can get two sets of belts from you, Thanks.
I bought my Unimat before I went into the Army, that was 1965, so the DB200 is older than the sum of the ages of my two kids. It is in great shape but the belts are getting spongy. Glad I found your website .
Please have a look at these other pages of interest at my Unimat site:
THE UNIMAT MANUAL ARRIVED TODAY AND MANY THANKS..........YOUR PACKAGING WAS GREAT.........I GOT THIS FOR MY SON WHO JUST TOOK ALL OF HIS DAD'S CLOCK REPAIR EQUIPMENT TO HIS HOUSE AND HIS DAD HAD 2 UNIMATS WITH SO MANY DIFFERENT PARTS BUT HE NEVER HAD THE MANUAL AND LEARNED TO USE JUST WHAT
PARTS HE NEEDED...........I KNOW HIS DAD WOULD BE SO PLEASED THAT HIS SON IS CONTINUING THE WORK THAT HE USE TO DO.
THANK YOU AGAIN............VIOLET USA
Good evening, Doug,
I thought I would pass along a a suggestion on another Unimat part that is sorely needed.
I just spent $212.00 to have a Unimat SL motor repaired by an industrial electric motor repair shop. A lot of money, but worth it to keep my little SL going. The part that cost so much was the brushes which had worn down to nothing. Brushes for the SL motor are non-existent so they had to mill down some oversized brushes. As brushes are easy-to- machine blocks of carbon, I am wondering if this is something you could provide to us Unimat lovers.
Good evening Doug:
After waiting for what seemed forever, your wonderful belts arrived here in Ottawa Canada. They are GREAT I could hardly wait to try them out. My two DB 200 have never run so smooth (one for turning and one for light milling only the turning unit is fitted with your belts), I really was amazed I almost had to look at the chuck to confirm that the machine was running.
I have been using my two Unimates almost every day to manufacture broken or misplaced microscope parts for my company (OPTICKS' ) business of repairing or restoring optical instruments. Your belts will make my work a hundred times easier. It is my intention to order a another standard set of your DB belts as soon as I can get to the bank. I only wish that you were able to accept credit card payments, but as a small home based business I completely understand why not. In addition I followed your links to a Unimat chat line. Model building and Amateur Astronomy are my other passions and I am slowly working through a wonderful book called "Steam and Stirling engines you can build" their are a number of engines that can be made on a DB200 Unimat. The hardest part of the whole thing is finding the material or the kits to make units on the wonderful Unimats.
Again thank you for a great product and look for my next order. Barry, Canada
Thank you for your prompt acknowledgement. I trained in engineering starting 50 years ago but didn't follow that career path. I've had a Unimat SL since 1970, the current model since '75, have most of the accessories, and still have three of the original larger drive belts. They are a great little lathe, although I supplemented its capability with a larger EMCO 8.4 lathe in '77. With your belts I'll be able to continue making those little components that my wife wishes I wouldn't because they tend to keep household goods in working order rather than having to pay for a new item! Good fun though. Kind regards John, New Zealand
Thanks for the work that you have put into your website. When I did a search for Unimat I did not expect this much information nor to find the parts I need to get this machine running. I am rebuilding a SL 1000 with the U100 motor for my 80 year old father who is a retired fabricator. He has full size machines (lathe and mill, etc) but wants to spend less time at the shop and more time in his garage with small machines. This unimat will be great for him and his small projects. This will be a Fathers Day gift for him. I placed an order today through Paypal and I hope you have the parts in stock.
I have a question that maybe you can answer. Problem: After cleaning and repacking the spindle bearings the spindle run-out is .0005", which is very good. But the 3 jaw chuck wobbles at about .003" after disassemly, cleaning ,lubrication and reassembly. The chuck is tight fitting (no slop) and the jaws are assembled in the correct location as numbered. Question: is this common or is there something I can do to reduce this run-out?
Thanks for your website and I look forward to getting this little machine running. Phil.
I got my first Unimat in 1972 (a wedding present from my wife, no less!) and it is still going strong. I have most attachments, but not the WW spindle or thread chasing gear.
I picked up a second machine in 1995 (bare bones) and now I don't have to change over from lathe to mill! :-) I still use them often.
I ran across your site doing a search on Unimat.
I have my Dad's Unimat from about 1964 with a lot of the available accessories. My Dad used it to turn armatures on small electric motors he repaired. I used it as a kid and loved it. I am now re-building it to be as good as new. Probably will be back to you for some bearings and belts once I get into the project.....
Are you aware of any site with a Unimat user's group?
Check out these Unimat user groups.
Thanks for your help! Dennis, USA
I remember when I was a young boy my father having a Unimat lathe which he used for making parts for repairing and rebuilding optical surveying instruments. Unfortunatley that lathe is long-gone. So I bought an old Unimat off of eBay for myself - it's the orignal cast iron model with grey paint. I have to admit I don't really know how to use it properly. Is there a book (or class) you can recommend that would teach me everything I need to know about operating this lathe? Thanks!
Jim , USA
Run-out tollerances for the Unimat DB/SL.
These are acceptable tolerances.
Spindle run-out .0005"
Three jaw chuck run-out .003"
Drill chuck .002" / .005"
i wouldn't subject you with all this but your 'endearment to unimat' pages inspired me.
i received a neighborhood back alley apprenticeship in metalworking from a fellow italian motorcycle enthusiast who has a garage filled with a three phase generator, engine lathe, vertical and horizontal mills, a hob, surface grinder, and a holy monster drill press (will bore 3" crs with feed) all of it '40's era iron 24hr rating capacity. a do all band saw and a fedal machining center with haas servo control. lucky me.
then the kids were born and comed became my corporate umbrella. during nine years of reading meters i had a stop at a clock repair shop on dempster. old watthour meter buried behind the workbenches. i inquired about his dusty unimat... no way would he part with it but maybe something was in storage... months of pestering and it finally turned up. back then a single income meter reader family was traversing the 'salad years' (raising arizona) so the watch repairman let me buy it on time (strictly intended) unbenownst to my long suffering spousal unit.
my kids pinewood derby cars were tough to beat due to that little osterreich workpony.
but it still needed a tailstock and i never could figure out how to weld the ends of the orange drive belts together.
that's where you came in. i thank you very much.