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Hydraulic Lathe Tracer


Ultra Member
Premium Member
More for visual FYI purposes (spendy) but these have always fascinated me. Basically you make a 2D pattern which is temporarily mounted relative to the metal blank. Then then the tracer mechanism basically copies it as you traverse the work. It a bit more complicated then that because you are making successive feed passes just like regular machining & that's where the hydraulic following comes in. I guess you could say 'analog CNC' :) Good for complicated or ornate work or even multiple copies of the same thing. Keith Fenner has some vids of his in action.


Tom O

Active Member
Premium Member
At one time I had a Harrison lathe bought from Modern Tool with a tracer we used it for the radius on english wheels.


Premium Member
Keith does have some interesting vids on those pattern followers. A Cnc refit to a standard lathe would cost about the same as these followers. Steppers, controllers, computer....


Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Sait threw there tracer lathe out 5 years ago but until then machinist apprentices used it to make bt40 tool holders. I rember thinking it was pretty cool but not in any way relivant anymore

Colten Edwards

Premium Member
pretty sure that was a McDougallbay auction item recently. Sask power sold off a couple of 13x40 lathes and that was one of the items up for auction.