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maybe OT, maybe not: Arboga EM-825 mill/drill, built in Sweden for Bridgeport (?)

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MZ

Aluminum
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I posted this question over on the Deckel etc. euro machine forum,

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...a-em-825-built-u-s-any-info-out-there-276271/

but not getting much response. Since the machine was apparently marketed through Bridgeport (according to a metal tag I found on it), the
guys over there thought someone here might know something, or about the history of the link between the companies.

I'm guessing it was built in the 1960's or so, and specifically for export to the USA, since it has:

1. inch-reading dials and leadscrews
2. that Bridgeport nameplate
3. hardware, clamps, gib adjustments and so on all have metric heads, but _inch_ threads (!?!).
4. a 115V single-phase two-speed motor (definitely original)

Item 3 is strange no matter how you look at it. Maybe the Swedes wanted to use their metric wrenches for assembly, but the US service department insisted on stocking only inch threaded fasteners?

In any case it's #4 that has me stumped. There's not much about these mill/drill machines on the web, the lathes.co.uk writeup being most of it. That said, every other example I've read about is 3 phase, typically 415V Y. The motor is integral to the head; to run on 115V single phase, this one must be radically different. It has a couple run capacitors mounted inside the column but the wiring is a deep mystery.

Arboga mainly made drill presses, evidently still does for the Jet brand; but I wrote them, and apparently nobody over 30 works there anymore.

Any illumination or speculation would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading,

Mike
 

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Just speculation:

After Textron bought BP in 1968, they had their name plastered on everything. That seemed to change in the late 70s or real early 80s. I've never seen a later model Harig grinder that said Textron. I've never seen a BP Romi lathe that mentioned Textron. Even before the LBO in 1985, you didn't see Textron on new BPs. After the LBO, BP was effectively broke and didn't do much.

My guess is that it was a joint venture similar to what they did with Romi, and not a purchase like Harig or Adcock & Shipley. I'll say 1984 as an educated guess. They started a joint venture and then when Textron sold late in the year, they pulled out, or maybe Arboga did.
JR
 
Thanks Paul, unfortunately that's showing the 3-phase circuit. The search continues...

BTW referring to the subject of that thread, I did get my Perman collet arbor out of the MT3 spindle without too much fuss. I just bored out an aluminum plate to make a split clamp for the smooth retaining ring and tightened a large Kant-Twist over it.


I had one of these, yours looks like in nice shape.
Can't offer much help but in this old thread on PM it seems like someone has scanned at least parts of the manual, see post #5, it has a wiring diagram

http://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...arboga-em825-mill-drill-arbor-removal-218597/
 
Having worked on old Volvos professionally for several years of my youth I was really surprised at first that all the fasteners were inch. They switched in '75 to metric. Not sure why, but maybe there's some reason industry used inches there? Lots of Volvos came to the U.S., not so many Arbogas.

Used to use one of these little mills daily. Not a bad little mill at all, excellent drill press. The spindle tooling with the special retainer is a bear, but I used to run MT endmill holders with no retainer and it was OK :crazy:. Boring head too. Wish I could help on the motor, but the one I used was 3 phase like (it seems) every other one in the world. I guess you tried BP? Never know...
 
I didn't know that about Volvos, interesting. Inch heads went with inch threads, though, right?

I still remember the sinking feeling when I got under the hood of my first metric Ford. Had to
bum a ride to Sears for a socket set.

As to what BP/Hardinge had on file for the Arboga, here's their reply, in full, unedited:

"Sorry, we do not have any information on this mill. Thank you, Customer Service."

Having worked on old Volvos professionally for several years of my youth I was really surprised at first that all the fasteners were inch. They switched in '75 to metric. Not sure why, but maybe there's some reason industry used inches there? Lots of Volvos came to the U.S., not so many Arbogas.

Used to use one of these little mills daily. Not a bad little mill at all, excellent drill press. The spindle tooling with the special retainer is a bear, but I used to run MT endmill holders with no retainer and it was OK :crazy:. Boring head too. Wish I could help on the motor, but the one I used was 3 phase like (it seems) every other one in the world. I guess you tried BP? Never know...
 
As to what BP/Hardinge had on file for the Arboga, here's their reply, in full, unedited:
"Sorry, we do not have any information on this mill. Thank you, Customer Service."
You sent me an eMail through the list. My reply to your address bounced. I then tried by using Reply on the eMail you sent. That too bounced.

If you want the scans you better come up with an address that accepts mail.
______________________________________________________________________

To: [email protected]
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
From: [email protected]
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 04:42:55 -0800

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

[email protected]





Final-Recipient: rfc822;[email protected]
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 5.1.1 <[email protected]> invalid recipient - Refer to Error Codes section at Cox High Speed Internet: Postmaster for more information.

To: "MZ - Practical Machinist - Largest Manufacturing Technology Forum on the Web" <[email protected]>
Subject: (Forwarded) Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
From: Arno Martens <[email protected]>
Date: Fri, 13 Dec 2013 07:45:35 -0500

To: [email protected]
Subject: Delivery Status Notification (Failure)
From: [email protected]
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:04:12 -0800

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Delivery to the following recipients failed.

[email protected]





Final-Recipient: rfc822;[email protected]
Action: failed
Status: 5.1.1
Diagnostic-Code: smtp;550 5.1.1 <[email protected]> invalid recipient - Refer to Error Codes section at Cox High Speed Internet: Postmaster for more information.

To: [email protected]
Subject: Re: Arboga US sales literature?
From: Arno Martens <[email protected]>
Date: Thu, 12 Dec 2013 20:06:50 -0500

Thu, 12 Dec 2013 17:10:05 -0600 (CST), <[email protected]>, wrote:


>Would it be possible to scan or photo the pages for me, or to lend me the book so I can scan it?
>Thanks very much,
>Mike Zucker

Hello Mike,

The Homestrand General Catalogue only devotes the right half of a page
to the EM-825.
I do have some scans of an original Arboga EM-825 catalogue, as well as
some parts pages of the E-100 drill press which used the identical gear
change innards except in a mirror image layout.

I also have scans of the Parts Manual of the U2508,, which is the
squared out castings successor of the EM model.
Not everything inside is identical.

I do not know where you got the information that your machine was
originally wired for 115 V, 1-phase as all Arbogas, from their first in
1932 were 3-phase units only, using the head stock casting as the
housing for the stator.

I would not be surprised if that was on a Homestrand name plate.

Let me know if you want the scans.
--
Cheers,
Arno
_______________________________________________________

I see in your pictures that the original speed chart is still there.
Have a look at the bottom line and compare the 1:2 ratio.
 
Hi Arno-

Yep the original Arboga "Made In Sweden" speed chart (third picture posted above) shows 1-phase, 60 Hz, 115V. The high/low speeds are indeed in the ratio of 2:1. OTOH the available gears are in the ratio of 1 : 3.3 : 4.2 : 13.9, so this is the later "wide ratio" gear box (spindle speeds 125 to 3480 RPM).

I'd be very interested in the scans you listed, except for the U2508 documents, I already have these.

If this post appears my profile _may_ be fixed; but I sent you a direct email just in case.

Thanks!

Mike




>Would it be possible to scan or photo the pages for me, or to lend me the book so I can scan it?
>Thanks very much,
>Mike Zucker

Hello Mike,

The Homestrand General Catalogue only devotes the right half of a page
to the EM-825.
I do have some scans of an original Arboga EM-825 catalogue, as well as
some parts pages of the E-100 drill press which used the identical gear
change innards except in a mirror image layout.

I also have scans of the Parts Manual of the U2508,, which is the
squared out castings successor of the EM model.
Not everything inside is identical.

I do not know where you got the information that your machine was
originally wired for 115 V, 1-phase as all Arbogas, from their first in
1932 were 3-phase units only, using the head stock casting as the
housing for the stator.

I would not be surprised if that was on a Homestrand name plate.

Let me know if you want the scans.
--
Cheers,
Arno
_______________________________________________________

I see in your pictures that the original speed chart is still there.
Have a look at the bottom line and compare the 1:2 ratio.
 
(UPDATE)

No direct hits, but enough clues have trickled in from helpful sources to assemble a partial picture. Particular thanks
to fellow PM member Arno and to Tony Griffiths at lathe.co.uk

Summary to date:

- Matching up column, table, knob, and handwheel details with various parts diagrams and catalog photos, I surmise my machine was probably built between 1962 and 1964.

- It retailed then at what is now (2013) the equivalent of US$7,000. (I did not pay that much for it... )

- Homestrand Machine was the designated importer/representative of Arboga in the USA in the 50's and 60's (at least).

- A 1954 Arboga flyer shows that the 115V/single phase/dual speed motor was a standard offering, at least in North America. (Still seeking a corresponding wiring diagram or winding specs).

- However, a correspondent formerly associated with the Canadian importer confirms that a 115V option was NOT offered by Arboga in 1969 or thereafter, despite widespread requests for it.

- I've now dug up and perused many more web ads, auctions, videos, blogs, etc. featuring EM-825's; of these (say, ~15 distinct machines, not including all the U2508's and drills) mine remains the sole 115V example.

- The metric head/inch thread fastener peculiarity was evidently common to all Arbogas, export and otherwise. Might just be a "spare parts monopoly" thing. (Like when Starrett specs a USS#14-24 clamp screw which they will replace for a mere $22, rather than a functionally equivalent 1/4-20 available from the hardware store for a nickel.)

- The Bridgeport link remains a mystery.

Thanks for all the responses; further info always appreciated. Also, if anyone with a similar machine wishes to compare, please send me a PM; I think my profile is now fixed.

Mike
 
- The metric head/inch thread fastener peculiarity was evidently common to all Arbogas, export and otherwise.
On the back page of the Homestrand catalogue it says:
Except for the bearings and switches, all components are manufactured at Arboga's own facilities to a degree of precision which has gained the company world-wide recognition.

A possible scenario. When they started in 1932 a lot of local millwrights had BSP spanners but German metric taps were the cheapest.
 
This one looks similar: Arboga
That is the successor with the squared castings (where the legs used to brake off but would make for a solid base for a home made work bench).

Biggest difference the metal centres of the fibre gears for the gear changes were now hex instead of just slotted.
 
Hi Mike,
I checked the photos of your machine. It seems that your column should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise. The cranck, the pinion rack and the 2 locking levers should be facing towards the back. Nice machine BTW.
Cheers,
Chris
 
Memory is not that good on this but I think Bridgeport took on the Arboga line in the late eighties or early ninetys. I even went to a service school on them at the factory. Good rugged drill press, just don't overload them or the fibre gears can strip. I only remember servicing one head with stripped gears so I would have to say that they are pretty durable units.
115VAC single phase is a new one on me. I'm sure they offered it if you have one but most shops have 3 phase.
Not surprised that Bridgeport Hardinge has no info on it, I think they must have trashed the whole reference library when they took over. I don't think anyone there knows anything about the line of Bridgeport machines or attachments. I'd bet a dollar to a donut that they don't know Bridgeport at one time built a surface grinder. And no, it wasn't made by Harig, it was a Bridgeport through and through. 8 x 15 and it sucked. LOL That's why they didn't sell many.

Bill
 
You are correct, the "mistake" is deliberate. In my shop the mill is backed against a wall, and a lathe partly blocks access from the right. This crank position is much more convenient.

BTW the previous owner also had it set up this way, for similar reasons. I originally tried to restore it to the back, thinking factory alignment would be restored; but even in the "intended" orientation the table required shimming to tram the spindle.

So (to me) the only downside is that column lock handle swing eats up about 3/4 inch of Y table travel. I can live with that, but changing out the ball handle lock levers for repositioning clutch style (or just hex nuts) would solve it entirely. BTW they're just 1/2-13 UNC.

Hi Mike,
I checked the photos of your machine. It seems that your column should be rotated 90 degrees anticlockwise. The cranck, the pinion rack and the 2 locking levers should be facing towards the back. Nice machine BTW.
Cheers,
Chris
 
robert-1

Memory is not that good on this but I think Bridgeport took on the Arboga line in the late eighties or early ninetys. I even went to a service school on them at the factory. Good rugged drill press, just don't overload them or the fibre gears can strip. I only remember servicing one head with stripped gears so I would have to say that they are pretty durable units.
115VAC single phase is a new one on me. I'm sure they offered it if you have one but most shops have 3 phase.
Not surprised that Bridgeport Hardinge has no info on it, I think they must have trashed the whole reference library when they took over. I don't think anyone there knows anything about the line of Bridgeport machines or attachments. I'd bet a dollar to a donut that they don't know Bridgeport at one time built a surface grinder. And no, it wasn't made by Harig, it was a Bridgeport through and through. 8 x 15 and it sucked. LOL That's why they didn't sell many.

Bill

Hi, I have just purchased an Arboga EM825 and i read your comments on the overload of the fibre gears.What is the max size hole you could drill without damage and if the bit jammed would it damage the fibre gears immediatly ie is the machine as robust as it looks.Any info or help would be greatly appreciated.Thanks.
 








 
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