From: Patent Tactics, George Brock-Nannestad
Martin Fisher wrote about this disc lathe, but the message looks as if there
had been preceding messages that I have not received. I shall comment anyway.
My first impression from looking at the firstcask image is that this is a
mock-up, not a real thing at all. The top plate, which looks as if it is the
only solid piece of metal in the whole construction, does have the general
proportions and/or measurements of top plates of lathes used by for instance
But my impression is not good. The spring barrel-like structure below the top
plate would be much too weak to be able to carry a 5" radius (half of a 10
inch record) past a cutting stylus when cutting. For cutting records you need
a lathe construction, and that was a well-known general mechanical
construction when Mr. Nordskog Sen. presumedly constructed this. For
cylinders you could essentially copy an ordinary lathe and for discs you
would copy a vertical lathe. There is no reason why a feedscrew could not be
built in and linked by cogwheels, chain drive, or belt drive like ordinary
lathes to do the job: an ordinary threaded rod would do and either a nut sawn
through, lubricated and weighted (so that the half-nut would not be lifted up
by the threads) would not be beyond somebody who was already putting a
turntable on a bearing. You would definitely be able to use a reproducing
soundbox as a recording soundbox, but there would be heavy low frequency
resonances. The big record companies had done a lot of experimenting before
they got to where they were in the early 1920s.
According to Sutton and Nauck the quality of the records was not good, but
from a research point of view they might be ideal. These records would be a
much better source for evaluating the construction than this image, which I
do not believe in. I am, obviously, open to any kind of evidence to the
Martin Fisher wrote:
> So I'm stuck in the past and just can't get out.
> A few observations and questions regarding Arne Nordskog's disc lathe.
> references I've found so far state that the lathe was "driven by hand"
> would seem to indicate that the TURNTABLE PLATTER was turned manually by
> crank as the cutting was done. The two pictures I've located only give a
> top view from the front and right side. These are the low resolution
> picture on the First Cask website
> http://firstcask.blogspot.com/search?q=nordskog and the picture on page 18
> of Floyd Levin's "Classic Jazz" book, available on Google Books.
> These photos lead me to believe that the only "hand driven" portion of the
> lathe is the feed screw. There is clearly a front wound spring motor
> present which probably drives the turntable. A rudimentary crank is
> up on the right side which is most likely a manulal drive for the feed
> screw. Without bottom photos it's a guess as to the linkage but it's
> relatively easy to figure the possibilities.
> Are there any other clear photos of the lathe that would offer other clues
> or allow one to see fine details. Looks to me like the
> is a Cheney vertical that was fitted for lateral cutting at an almost or
> perfect 90 degree angle to the surface. And check out the tracking angle!
> Must be at least a three inch overhang. Was this common??
> Martin Fisher