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Boxford lathe gurus...

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thaiguzzi08/02/2017 02:28:28
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Posted by Nicholas Farr on 05/02/2017 08:51:05:

Hi, define "factory made" any decent machine shop should be able to make such a an attachment.

Regards Nick.

"Factory made" means made in the Boxford factory. A non std item to special order. The original question was is this a Boxford made item or aftermarket/home made? I believe it is factory made and fitted.

Hopper08/02/2017 03:30:41
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Posted by Tractor man on 28/01/2017 09:24:06:
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_Office_Research_Station

Have a butchers here, they did some cutting edge engineering by all accounts. Mick

Interesting stuff indeed. Some real Heath Robinson machinery there. It looks like a lot of the old mail sorting machines and phone switching gear relied on rows of cam operated switch gear and the like. I wonder if the Boxford headstock indexer was used for setting up long shafts with multiple cams that needed setting to correct phasing? Seems to make more sense than for indexing on a lathe that could be fitted with its own toolpost mounted dividing head etc. Probably we will never know. Those old boys are all long gone I am sure.

Michael Gilligan11/02/2017 15:07:20
9269 forum posts
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Posted by thaiguzzi on 28/01/2017 08:39:04:

20170122_155135.jpg

Hi, i'm asking for opinions and info from fellow Boxford lathe owners, past and present.

Enclosed pics of the 72 hole dividing disc/wheel and plunger engagement that came fitted to my lathe when i bought it. I have never seen another like it < etc. > Any opinions and info?

.

Now that the Boxford Gurus have had their say ... I hope that I might be permitted to comment:

  1. To my eyes, there is nothing to definitively indicate whether the sevice was built by Boxford, or by the in-house workshop ... The knurling is certainly similar to that on the factory parts, but that is not unexpected; the unfettled number-stamping, however, would surprise me on a 'factory special'.
  2. The fact that locking appears to be effected only by the index pin suggests that it was not used for gear-cutting, but more likely for drilling or scribing work.
  3. The choice of 72 divisions may relate to something horological, but my guess is that it is for 5° angular increments on a setting-dial or somesuch.
  4. A short article [recovered via IOPscience*] describes 'A goniometer for aligning large single crystals prior to cutting' ... This is just the sort of device for which such setting-dials might be required.

.

Unless the original delivery document; or a report mentioning its in-house manufacture; turns-up ... we shall presumably never know.

MichaelG.

.

[*] the Journal of Scientific Instruments (Journal of Physics E) 1968 Series 2 Volume 1

Diana M Jefkins and R E Hines

Post Office Research Department, Dollis Hill, London

Nicholas Farr11/02/2017 15:34:19
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Hi MichaelG, thagguzzi has stated that the numbers that have been stamped on were not original and that he did them himself. I agree, only documentation would prove that it was a "factory made part". In my day job, we make parts for various companies, but are badged with their own name on them when supplied to their own customers.

Regards Nick.

Michael Gilligan11/02/2017 15:46:19
9269 forum posts
399 photos
Posted by Nicholas Farr on 11/02/2017 15:34:19:

Hi MichaelG, thagguzzi has stated that the numbers that have been stamped on were not original and that he did them himself.

.

Thanks, Nick

... Sorry, I missed that important point blush

MichaelG.

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 11/02/2017 15:49:07

thaiguzzi12/02/2017 04:13:56
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166 forum posts
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Posted by Michael Gilligan on 11/02/2017 15:07:20:

Posted by thaiguzzi on 28/01/2017 08:39:04:

20170122_155135.jpg

Hi, i'm asking for opinions and info from fellow Boxford lathe owners, past and present.

Enclosed pics of the 72 hole dividing disc/wheel and plunger engagement that came fitted to my lathe when i bought it. I have never seen another like it < etc. > Any opinions and info?

.

Now that the Boxford Gurus have had their say ... I hope that I might be permitted to comment:

  1. To my eyes, there is nothing to definitively indicate whether the sevice was built by Boxford, or by the in-house workshop ... The knurling is certainly similar to that on the factory parts, but that is not unexpected; the unfettled number-stamping, however, would surprise me on a 'factory special'.
  2. The fact that locking appears to be effected only by the index pin suggests that it was not used for gear-cutting, but more likely for drilling or scribing work.
  3. The choice of 72 divisions may relate to something horological, but my guess is that it is for 5° angular increments on a setting-dial or somesuch.
  4. A short article [recovered via IOPscience*] describes 'A goniometer for aligning large single crystals prior to cutting' ... This is just the sort of device for which such setting-dials might be required.

.

Unless the original delivery document; or a report mentioning its in-house manufacture; turns-up ... we shall presumably never know.

MichaelG.

.

[*] the Journal of Scientific Instruments (Journal of Physics E) 1968 Series 2 Volume 1

Diana M Jefkins and R E Hines

Post Office Research Department, Dollis Hill, London

Thanx for that, i agree with your point no. 2, and possibly no. 3.

Yes my (badly) stamped numbers every 6 holes. Saved lots of counting. Stamped in situ. As i mentioned earlier it is a large lump of beautifully machined iron with a lovely radius each side.

MalcB12/02/2017 09:22:05
209 forum posts
22 photos

I personally do not think its an ex Boxford factory fit for several reasons:

The dimple locations in place of more positive parallel pin locaters indicate to me it was intended for nothing more than angular marking out. A research establishment would not need to do this on a lathe. They would have much better equipment for this purpose. As others have said there is/are no other signs of provision for additional machining or work holding on the lathe to supplement anything else other than this.

It would more than likely be far more beneficial to somebody who did not have other means to provide indexing, does not have a milling machine and/or just has a good bench or pillar drill.

5 degree increments would be a good single incremental denominator for home workshop engineering, to supplement many subsequent drilling operations.

I do not think Boxford would clamp a locating block on the headstock directly on a painted surface, not good practise for any machine tool maker. I do think that Boxford if they had fitted the block, they would also have painted the block.

When this lathe was produced, good indexing equipent was very expensive and beyond the economical reach of many home engineers, especially in smaller proportions.

As others have mentioned, It was not uncommen for machine tool makers to supply a pot of paint with the lathe so could easily have been done by an owner.

For somebody building up their home workshop portfolio, lots of jobs like skimming the headstock, making the index plate, the location block etc could well have been done at their workplace as "foreigners".

My comments are in no way intended to be derogatory to the owner, in fact quite the contrary as for a Boxford AUD I think its actually right up there amongst the top ones i have ever seen, ( and owned ) especially in their original paint.

Having recently been on an invited factory tour of the Boxford factory I must say there is no resemblance to the historical pictures you see of their once main line production facility that was producing the machines that most people know them for.

I also respect the comments the OP posted about the Colchesters as I also had the round header Master and sorely missed it after I had my last Boxford AUD, such that I moved the Boxford on, in favour of a bigger machine.

Edited By MalcB on 12/02/2017 09:24:35

Michael Gilligan12/02/2017 09:46:15
9269 forum posts
399 photos
Posted by MalcB on 12/02/2017 09:22:05:

... A research establishment would not need to do this on a lathe. They would have much better equipment for this purpose. ...

.

MalcB,

Although I agree with much of what you wrote; I beg to differ on that specific point ^^^

Indexing on the lathe [at one 'chucking'] can ensure concentricity ... which risks being lost when a turned piece is tansferred to another machine for 'second operation'.

A look at Schaublin's range of lathe accessories, for example, reveals that instrument makers often prefer to work this way ... My bet is that this attachment was made in-house at Dollis Hill.

MichaelG.

thaiguzzi14/02/2017 03:21:33
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Good points in both the above two posts. Thanx. Keep them coming...

Lathejack16/02/2017 20:21:28
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230 photos

Can you believe it? I, as well as others, cannot recall ever seeing a headstock dividing attachment on a Boxford lathe like the one in the photo of the Boxford belonging to Thaiguzzi, and then two turn up.

This is a Model A Boxford with an identical attachment, it arrived at our works today on one of two low loaders amongst other machine tools. The load also included a Steam Traction Engine and a Steam Roller in need of rebuilding.

image.jpg

Neil Wyatt16/02/2017 21:19:15
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Posted by Lathejack on 16/02/2017 20:21:28:

Can you believe it? I, as well as others, cannot recall ever seeing a headstock dividing attachment on a Boxford lathe like the one in the photo of the Boxford belonging to Thaiguzzi, and then two turn up.

This is a Model A Boxford with an identical attachment, it arrived at our works today on one of two low loaders amongst other machine tools. The load also included a Steam Traction Engine and a Steam Roller in need of rebuilding.

image.jpg

Well that elegantly torpedoes all the detailed reasons why it can't be a factory fit... unless that one came from Dollis Hill as well?

John Stevenson16/02/2017 21:52:33
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Unless there was an article in ME or Popular Mechanics or one of the other rags ?

Plenty of Quorns and DHT Staking Tools been built and not by any of the factories.

thaiguzzi17/02/2017 02:47:36
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Excellent!

Thanx for that.

Identical!

Enquiring minds, so i pulled the front location plunger housing off a bit. Painted behind, held on by two 1/4" BSW allen heads AND two locating dowels a very snug fit.

not done it yet17/02/2017 13:36:43
602 forum posts

Thinking here that it doesn't look like an amateur/homemade fitment.

The faced area on which it sits doesn't look too easy for the model engineer - a large chunk to fit on a mill (or could that be done by some other means?) - but I'm interested to know how, it it was.

It appears thaf different logo plates were fitted to the standard machine.

So I still opt for a factorg special, until persuaded otherwise.

The painted machined surface is surprising, mind!

Michael Gilligan17/02/2017 15:21:44
9269 forum posts
399 photos
Posted by thaiguzzi on 28/01/2017 08:39:04:

20170122_155302.jpg

.

Further to the comment by N.D.I.Y.

It is worth noting that the Dollis Hill 'Plant No.' label is fixed with screws, but the 'Spindle Lock' label is fixed with [what I presume to be] HammerDrive Rivets. ... In isolation, it doesn't prove anything, but it's interesting 'evidence' for the forensic team.

MichaelG.

MalcB17/02/2017 16:06:53
209 forum posts
22 photos

Posted by not done it yet on 17/02/2017 13:36:43:

Thinking here that it doesn't look like an amateur/homemade fitment.

The faced area on which it sits doesn't look too easy for the model engineer - a large chunk to fit on a mill (or could that be done by some other means?) - but I'm interested to know how, it it was.

It appears thaf different logo plates were fitted to the standard machine.

So I still opt for a factorg special, until persuaded otherwise.

The painted machined surface is surprising, mind!

Yes,now think deffo away from home job given two similar..

Easy job to machine the headstock with stub arbor on horizontal mill.

Now leaning towards Dollis Hill in favour of factory, but could be factory, who knows. The Holbrook lathe ( ex Dollis Hill ) to replace Boxford post recently certainly bears out they invested in decent kit there. Would have love to have seen pics of their set up.

Lathejack17/02/2017 16:37:17
187 forum posts
230 photos

Although it's not very clear on the hazy photo of the Boxford I posted, the as cast front face of the headstock has also been machined flat in the area that the plunger block is bolted, just the same as Thaiguzzis lathe.

Also on the Boxford photo I posted, just above the spindle lock label can be seen two small rivet holes, these may have secured the same Post Office label as the one on the lathe of Thaiguzzi.

Edited By Lathejack on 17/02/2017 16:40:08

Edited By Lathejack on 17/02/2017 16:45:23

Speedy Builder517/02/2017 19:29:24
1057 forum posts
75 photos

Interesting colour choice between the two sets of photos.

thaiguzzi18/02/2017 03:34:18
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Indeed, well spotted LJ. What is the small plate riveted on top of the headstock and what does it say? Mine does not have this.

Lathejack18/02/2017 09:04:42
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The small label on top of the headstock near the backgear lever is an original Boxford item that warns " STOP THE MACHINE BEFORE CHANGING GEAR"

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