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Brown & Sharpe No. ? Horizontal Milling Machine

If I had it to do, find someone via this board or Craigslist. This is the person you want:

1. Male (most likely)
2. Engineering trade of some kind (engineer, mechanic, house builder, electrician - someone with theoretical background and hands on application.)
3. College education is an asset but not a requirement (some people I know who haven't been to college have more upstairs than many who have.)
4. Fairly young perhaps as low as mid 20s up to mid 40s in age.
5. Should own a lathe prior to buying this milling machine (this proves interest in these areas)
6. Extra points given for previous ownership of a historical machine (it takes a special someone to put up with the foibles/limitations of some early machinery.)
7. Extra points for having "restored" some machine for his own or others use.
8. Single marital status helps machine time wise, but is not necessarily an asset for personal longetivity.
9. I would give extra points (and consider a discount) from anyone who makes an appointment to see the machine - and KEEPS the appointment - or calls in advance if he can't make it for some personal reason. Also extra points for someone who comes and does his business and keeps his meeting to the subject and stays a polite - but adequate length of time. Kicking iron and shmoozing is for other times - unless of course that is what you as a seller want...
10. Someone who has the "capability" to move the machine on his own - or be prepared to help him at least get it out the door.

I bought a Steam Engine/boiler from a neighbor back when I was growing up. I got the steam engine home without much trouble, but the boiler weighed all of 1500lbs and as an 18 year old I had no capability. But, I kept calling the seller and assuring him I was indeed coming back for the boiler. Ultimately the seller took pity on me and persuaded his second son(who owned a construction company) to move the boiler and deliver it to my dad's driveway. Service above and beyond the call of duty. But the seller "saw" something in me.

This is also one of those cases where unless you're determined or required to get a certain sum for the milling machine, you may want to cut the buyer a break depending on his interest level. A going business concern buying the machine to modify it for specialized singular machining operation might be willing to pay more - but it will lose a good portion of the historical value in their modifications. Meanwhile, the person who SHOULD have it and will preserve it and use it "gently" will more likely have less financial resources but their interest may carry the sale - and reduce your financial return slightly. But where do you take your greatest pleasure? It isn't, or shouldn't, always be financial return. Life is too short for such a limited outlook.

I've mentioned the steam engine. The story of my steam engine is that the engine was the seller's eldest son's - he had an interest in stationary steam. But son had been killed in a car accident before he had ever had a chance to do anything with the engine. And the engine sat out in his yard unrestored with a yellow tar bucket tipped over the top to keep rain off it. Dad (understandably) just couldn't bring himself to do anything with it. So it sat.

And along comes an 18 year old me. By the time the dad/seller and I were done, I had become more like a substitute "son" to the seller and his wife. Each time I was home from engineering college, I would stop in and say hello and catch up with the seller. He continued to "find" and give me steam related ephemera that was formerly his son's. We traded Christmas cards for MANY years afterwards until I read the man's obituary - and then I sent the wife a sympathy card from my now remote work location.

In short it was one of life's significant events. The transfer of that steam engine enriched BOTH our lives in ways larger than merely money could do. And in ways that I as the buyer will remember for my whole life and pass along with the machine when I become the seller myself. And this will happen sooner than I care to admit. We are nothing but custodians, of course.

As I said. Just something to mentally "chew" on. Your mileage (and life's macadam) may vary. And there is no Garmin for life - yet.

Joe
 
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One more quick observation....

DON'T under any circumstances "give" it away - except maybe as a donation to a museum. And maybe not even then.

I learned this from my MIL who was a breeder of Boston Terrier Dogs.

Don't give away a dog without some payment, perhaps token, to "seal" the deal. People are more likely to "abuse" a free something because "they can always get another one just like it for free." Not true necessarily, but the concept is there.

When you get something for free, you don't respect it in the same way as when you "pay" for it somehow. Even a tiny little bit. Something about that outflow of life's value that affects human perspective.

Good luck with this,
Joe
 
I don't know Joe, one of my most prized possessions is my Steptoe-Western 12X shaper that was given to me by an old machinist who knew nobody else in the area would even have a clue what to do with it. He knew his days were numbered and knew I would use the machine. What he didn't know is that I was going to totally restore it to like new condition, including a bit of scraping to get it back in near new condition. He got to see the finished result and even the cutting of a repaired bevel gear that was in process when he visited.

It's just a matter of who ends up with it. Some unscrupulous types would buy it for $100 and take it straight to the scrapyard to try to make $10. Some, like many of us here, would take it at minimal cost or free and care for it better than any museum.
 
Joe, I think I'm going to have to ask you to vet any prospective buyers I have for this machine. I had no idea they would need such a resume! :)

I'm still going to round-up what tooling and attachements I think I have for this, but it may take till after the holidays. I had less time today than I wanted so I wasn't able. I did take a closer look at my indexing attachment. I don't think it is a B&S after all. There are no manufacturer markings I could see except it is stamped 6669. Here is a photo.

Index03.jpg
 
Behind the door

BTW, there were a few things behind the door. I don't know if they all go with this machine (original) but assume some may. I will lay them all out next when I get the chance, probably after Xmas.

MillingMachine4.jpg
 
As I said. Just something to mentally "chew" on. Your mileage (and life's macadam) may vary. And there is no Garmin for life - yet.

Joe

Pretty good metaphors Joe.

There may be no Garmin for life yet, but there sure are lots of people making a killing selling Cliff's Notes.

J.D.
 
mtimperley, would you be interested in trading for a B&S 2L surface grinder?

I've been watching this thread, sort of teeter-tottering about stepping forward. I have two and one-half vertical mills, but no horizontal. A camelback DP with no backgears that might benefit from that Turner Unidrive. And three lathes, one of which will eventually be sold. And the surface grinder needs to go to make room for another machine. So a trade is optimal for me; I couldn't fit another machine in without removing one.

I fit all of Joe's parameters except number 4 -- I'm 55:( But I can offer her a nice home, with 3-phase power too. Picture of new home attached:)

I understand your desire to place this in a museum, and agree with the sentiment. But if it doesn't work out, please keep me in mind.
 

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Joe, I think I'm going to have to ask you to vet any prospective buyers I have for this machine. I had no idea they would need such a resume!

And unfortunately I've written this for an "ideal" world where 100 people in all flavors have lined up and made an offer.

Real life ain't like that necessarily. You'll get 5 craiglist expressions of interest: 2 will actually show up. One will actually "counter offer" your already discounted price.

I feel sorry for the Ebay guy who has a museum class D. Chamberlain planer. If this were in the Henry Ford Museum Industries Building everyone would "ooh and ahh" over it. Ebay guy has now made two attempts at selling it on the Bay - and lowered the start price twice - and still he can't get a nibble. The next time he lists it will probably be at $1K - and the buyer, whoever he or she is, will steal it at that price.

You know there is a downturn in the economy when museum class goods don't sell.

Joe
 
It could well be a B&S head, although it has more than a casual resemblance to my chinese clone, which (cough, cough) now sells for upwards of $500 in the larger size. But that kind of shows you the "universality" of good design. Lasted for over 100 years with little or no changes. Any one of us would tickled to be credited with that kind of a legacy.

"Good design knows no limitations - not even time."

Joe
 
That uni-drive probably sucks about half the useable HP out of that drive system!

Anyone who wanted to really run that machine, would rip it off the top of the
mill and simply belt (using the cone pulley) it up to a one, 1.5 hp three phase
motor run by a VFD. The belt would be an automotive serpentine belt.

Combination of the serpentine belt, and the removal of the varispeed drive, would
just about triple the power on tap at the spindle. That could be a nice machine
for somebody.

As for new england wireless museum, honstly I have to give them credit for saying,
"no thank you" rather than taking it, and selling if off to the scrapper.

Not at all. The Uni-Drive is not a "varispeed", just a multi speed gearbox like a Lima, Drive-All, ect. Losses would be the same as any simple spur geared transmission.
Andy
 
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I thought the lima drive was the one that had the two belts and the
varispeed sheave, like a snowmobile drive. My sloan and chace mill had one of those
(whatever kind it was) and I swear it sucked up about 90 percent of the
available power.

Still the point remains. Get RID of the extra belt, get RID of the drive, and
the machine gains effective HP at the spindle.
 
I thought the lima drive was the one that had the two belts and the
varispeed sheave, like a snowmobile drive. My sloan and chace mill had one of those
(whatever kind it was) and I swear it sucked up about 90 percent of the
available power.

Still the point remains. Get RID of the extra belt, get RID of the drive, and
the machine gains effective HP at the spindle.

Lima drives are a four-speed geared transmission. According to rumor, they used Model A Ford transmission gears- more cost effective to buy them from Ford than manufacture them yourself, I guess. Not sure if it's true or not. The Lima drives have the motor integrated into the gearbox in a direct-drive configuration, while the Drive-All and Uni-Drive have the motor mounted separately (and consequently, an additional belt). It's possible that Lima made a variable-speed unit I am unaware of, but they were best known for the four-speed boxes.
Off the top of my head, Reeves and Link-Belt were two companies that made variable speed drives, but there were others.
I think that any power gains made by the removal of the gearbox and associated belt would be very small. To me, not worth all the trouble of redesigning the whole drive system, to gain a few tenths of a HP on a hundred year old machine.
Andy
 
Not much of a re-design as it is, a simplification. Less stuff, more hp on tap, and
infinitely variable speed to boot. It's win/win/win.

For a smaller milling machine this is a no-brainer. An example of replacing the
gigantic "speed ranger" unit from a p/w mill:

pw_progress_10.jpg


The motor, and a Teco drive tucked away underneath:

pw_progress_11.jpg


The net result is variable speed with more power on tap, and a vastly
simplified drive. One knob control. The motor is one hp three phase.

pw_progress7.JPG
 
Not much of a re-design as it is, a simplification.

That is certainly one way to look at it, and I understand your reasoning. I personally don't feel that spending time, money and effort on replacing the current setup (which works just fine) would be worth the very small power gains. Tearing off something that works as it is, in order to redesign/replace it (and spend money on a VFD) doesn't strike me as a simplification. Just my opinion.
 
I wonder about that too- a nice big mill like that could swing much bigger cutters. I have a feeling that gearbox would let you set up a < 100 rpm spindle much more easily than a simple belt & vfd. I routinely set up ~50 rpm on my Nichols, with the belt on the largest reduction sheaves then I don't have to dial the vfd way down- a gearbox would help a lot.

Greg
 
Hey Y'all,
Why in the world you'd want more HP on that machine is beyond me... The one I used to run had plenty for most jobs if the right speed and feed was used.. I used mostly cutters in 6-9 in diameter range and they would cut just fine... Do the math.. it's easy to get fairly good sfm with large cutters and low spindle speeds.. Try and force HP on the machine would just shear the key.. put in a hard key and you'd get a bent spindle.. NOW that's productive.. It's a hundred year old machine and is slow by today's standards.. that's why it's obsolete and they are still not in production... With that said.. it's a neat old machine that would serve quite well someone with limited milling needs and lot's of time..
Stay safe
Calvin
 








 
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