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All things Beaver Mill

An open thread for anyone owning or working on. a Beaver Mill

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Robert James 313/01/2017 01:24:53
18 forum posts

Hi readers! I have started this thread for anything related to the Beaver Mills. If you have a question post it here, we won't accuse you of hijacking a thread. If you have a Beaver Mill and want to post pictures go for it. Thinking of buying one and have questions ask thm here. I'm on the road but with my next post I'll post some pictures. along with my model and serial numbers. Know something special about these Mills that is a little known fact chime in. Know someone who built these mills see if you can get them to chime in. As the title says this thread is all about the Beaver Mills. Thanks and enjoy!

Guy Holmes06/05/2017 20:26:45
3 forum posts

Hi, I'm new to all this I hate computers, I've been in engineering for 25 and always had a mill at home but always a chocolate machine so last year I bought a proper one as I call it, as I googled and came across this site I read the threads on beavers and a guy called robonthemoor saying how he was going to look at one in Leicester (where I am) and when he posted the pictures I realised the machine I bought was the one he based his thread on, whoops treading on toes and all that. It is an excellent machine but it came with its issues, I had to convert the whole machine from 415v to 240v that was everything, main drive, knee lift and on and on and on, it's up and running and I think it's far more sturdy than the Bridgeport. The seller at miles-Platts said it was a BT40 so I bought some tooling only for it to turn out to be an int40, I could do with a manual for the drive if anyone knows where I could get one.👍🏻

Bob McDougall15/05/2017 20:45:27
45 forum posts
280 photos

Hi, I have just bought a Beaver VBRP no. 3094/1. Guy, I would be interested on how you have done the motor conversion. The manual appears to show the windings in star configuration so I am hoping I can turn into delta for my 3 phase 240V inverter. If this isn't possible I wonder if a variable speed motor and speed controller of some kind might an option.

The Beaver previous owner said he had changed the spindle bearings many years ago and they felt solid. But when the head at 90 degrees there appears to be some play. Someone who knows more about this is having a look tomorrow. I would be interested in the large user manual if a copy is available.

My day job is in electronics so I'm planning to CNC the mill , Ive had one of the small aluminium cnc2030 machines and done some wood and stone so looking forward to getting the Beaver into metal.

Guy Holmes17/05/2017 18:50:41
3 forum posts

When I converted the machine I basically stripped out every wire and switch, the only thing left was the 240 transformer and the 24v dc setup for the air and hydraulic setup, I started by replacing all the motors for single phase which was easy as they were all standard metric fittings and went in from there, the variable speed setup on mine is hydraulic centrifugal belt system much like the Bridgeport but with hydraulic cylinders controlling the belt placement, if you want pictures Bob I can send them to you if it helps ?

Bob McDougall18/05/2017 00:16:01
45 forum posts
280 photos

Guy, yes I am tempted to just strip the wiring completely and I i think I will replace with modern double insulated . its a 50 yr old machine, mice and rats . No idea what a centrifugal belt system is but Im young.Not sure if mine has a 240V transformer? I will post results. as far as Im aware it has all 3 motors in all, all are 3 phase 440v , main head 2 HP, coolant pump and X axis drive.

The coolant pump is easily replaced with a 12V DC , The X axis I will change when I cnc it, the head 2HP is the one I need to try to find the star point, I have put the head over 90 degrees, and will pull the motor head offf next.

My visiting expert confirmed the spindle had excessive play, the beaver instruction manual had a page which explained how to adjust the pre-load. , remove the quill nurled oilspigot, at the top of the quill , put an alan key through and loosen the top ring on the spindle, then leaving the alan key in turn the bottom of the spindle clockwise to tighten the pre-load. , I didnt try that.

I dropped the quill last night and tried to tighten the top nut but it didnt make any difference to the spindle play 1/8 inch turn didnt make much difference. I will post some pics now I understand how to use Albums ! Doh.

Had a finger accident when removing the quill ,the down leaver has a spring which spun the quill lever when the quill left the gear catch. I will post some pics

Robert James 318/05/2017 13:32:16
18 forum posts

I have had many things taking up my time and have not been able to work on my mill. I know the head needs attention. I would love to see your pictures. My head is bound up it does not feed manually or under power milling has to be done by raising the table.

Russ B18/05/2017 16:14:10
615 forum posts
26 photos

Bob and Guy, I have a copy of the manual, I've sent you a private message with my contact details.



Bob McDougall18/05/2017 23:48:23
45 forum posts
280 photos

Play in the spindle, Yes that would be because the upper bearing (middle?) was like it was filled with jelly beans. I dropped the spindle this morning. Watched bridgeport spindle removal , but the Beaver was slightly different, ,With the quill at its normal fully up position. the locking ring on the Quill end had two square recesses. each had a grub screw going vertically up into the quill which I loosened then unscrewed the ring anticlockwise. I locked the quill with the downfeed lock clamp. I had to use a screwdriver and small hammer to get the ring moving. Its a very fine thread and was maybe 20 turns, then the ring dropped slightly but didnt fall off. I thought I hadnt unscrewed it fully but I had.

Then like the bridgeport video I used the drawbar top tube to tap down , I just tapped the top of the drawbar and the spindle slowly dropped out , bearings and all, the drawbar went below the top and I had to use an extension, as it is now, ive dropped the spindle onto a wooden block on the two main bearings visible. I put my hands on the bottom one, felt ok, the top one wobbled like drunken sailor . There might be another bearing even further up , but I lost heart .When I bought this machine I looked the man in the eye and said, Is there anything I need to do to it . No.

So I need a new set of spindle bearings, any recomendations ? Much appreciated. img_0484.jpg

Hopper19/05/2017 00:23:45
6404 forum posts
334 photos

No need to lose heart. Bearings are a consumable item like brake pads and clutch plates in cars. Cheap enough and not too difficult to replace. So you should replace all of them while you have it apart. Best recommendation is to use good name brand bearings, not cheapo no-name bearings off the net or a discount store. They are too much of an unknown quantity. Try to get a good brand of bearings such as SKF, Timken, FAG or similar, or even the Japanese Naachi are very good. Your old bearings should have the standard code numbers on them that are the same across all brands, so you just look for bearings with that same number.

Mark Rand19/05/2017 00:28:58
1274 forum posts
28 photos

For the main bearings, I went for:-


For the top bearing I went for:-


You might as well replace all the bearings at the same time. The cost is quite reasonable.

I had ended up replacing all the bearings in the motor, quill and head in the course of my rebuild, but my machine hadn't been treated kindly.

I've got two 10" blanks cut to make a pair of poly-V pulleys to replace the originals, where a previous owner used a crowbar to move the belt, but I haven't got around to that just yet.

Guy Holmes19/05/2017 07:47:10
3 forum posts

My machine is totally different to all the pictures I find online, mine is the mill 5 model, the only thing I keep being told is it's newer than most and weighs just over 2 tons, the head on my machine is 400 kilos on its own and the bearings are around 120mm outside diameter. Anyone any wiser???

john fletcher 119/05/2017 09:23:08
794 forum posts

Most motors can be refigured from star to delta, at the terminal block. If that is not possible you will have to dismantle the motor and locate a largish lump often at the non drive end, it will need cutting open and three extra leads brought out to the terminal box. Any rewind shop will do this for you for an hours pay, once done then use an inverter. There has been several very good article on this site converting motors from star to delta, with good clear pictures and other details. I've found coolant pumps can be easily converted to run on 240 volt single phase using a 4 micro farad capacitor, again it needs to be reconnected.I have altered pump motors for my friends, and all it needed to do was to alter the links in the terminal box a ten minute job.John

Bob McDougall20/05/2017 12:24:50
45 forum posts
280 photos
Mark, thanks for the link, I note they are 15 degree bearings. My spindle bearings are marked FAG 7207B TVP 42T EL GERMANY . They come up as 40 degree angle . Also not sure if they were a matched pair , cant find an exact reference to the 42T EL marking. It sounds like a big difference between the angles.

Edited By Bob McDougall on 20/05/2017 12:25:58

Bob McDougall27/05/2017 01:10:27
45 forum posts
280 photos

VBRP motor 2HP 240V conversion not possible

Newman motor 1 The motor did not have a junction box and I hoped to find the star point by distmanteling but all I could see was lots of shellac and cloth tape.

Beaver VBRP motor

to dismantel I dropped the head 90 degrees, and undid the three retaining hex bolts which allowed the motor and triple pulley wheels to come out as one. The wires had to be cut. to split the motor casing the bearings are held by a plate inside both shells so I had to undo every nut and screw visible before the back came off. I couldnt get the key out of the shaft but it did fit through the housing, the front housing was on a lip and only came off by knocking it out after removing the rotor from the rear.

Cant find the star point so will re-assemble and sell as whole and buy a 1HP 180V DC ex-treadmill motor for £50 on ebay and a 8A 180V DC controller for £50 . But I need to fix the bearings first,

The spindle bearings which first took me here , Ive had the spindle looked at (thank you ) and it has some high spots like a bearing was put on crooked, now smoothed off with a stone. so Im optomistic.

John Stevenson27/05/2017 07:04:16
5068 forum posts
3 photos
Bob save your money and hassle and take that stator to a decent motor rewinder and they can easily find the star point and bring it out safe ly in minutes
Bob McDougall27/05/2017 22:24:46
45 forum posts
280 photos

John i cant find any way to disagree, so yes i will , there is a rewinder 30 mins away, but the dc motor looks so lovely, and as a tinkerer i want to re-create. but you are right , I bet the rewinder will have it done in 5 minutes for £20.

Bob McDougall02/06/2017 17:40:50
45 forum posts
280 photos

Received the new spindle bearings today, nice to see they have a spec sheet. Watching you tube bridgeport spindle bearing replacement I noticed the bearings are thick side inward, DB style. Mine were thick side out when I removed them as my video shows ,DF style. I assume they were put in wrong and hence the looseness but I'm only going off that one video.

Also found someone who worked at Newman motors to have a look at mine to see if the star point appears .


Mark Rand22/08/2017 22:56:37
1274 forum posts
28 photos

When I replaced the bearings on my beaver spindle, I had (stupidly) assumed that the damage to the originals was mostly due to water ingress. Over time I'd got annoyed by the drumming noise from the head at top speed and assumed it was due to a previous a***h*le owner changing the speed with a crowbar on the belt rather than loosening the motor clamp. I'd recently noticed that vertical movement of the quill was slightly stiffer with the spindle in some positions.

Today I needed to do some milling and distracted myself by putting an electric dial gauge (available at an Interweb auction site near you) on the side of the extended and clamped quill while rotating the spindle by hand. I measured 2.1 tenths of side to side movement on the quill every revolution. Might not sound much, but the quill is a fairly solid lump of metal...

I took the quill out and measured the runout at The top end of the spindle. Five Thou!

This caused me to remove the spindle from the quill and spend most of the day with a 2"x2.5" steel bar as a beam, two 10" G cramps for holding and bending and a couple of V-blocks for support. I left the bearings on the spindle because I'd risked enough damage by tapping the spindle out of the quill (whacking with a PLASTIC dead blow hammer).

After several hours I got the total deflection down from 5 thou to half a thou and called it good enough. re-assembly was much easier than disassembly due to warming the quill up to 120°C in the oven. It just slips on over the bearings when warmed up.

After putting the assembly back in the mill there was still some movement at the end of the quill as the spindle rotated. 10 micro inchescheeky. The mill, with spindle, isn't noticeably louder than just the belts and pulleys alone at top speed, so I'm happy that I've got that irritation fixed. There are a couple of 8" dia lumps of aluminium waiting for me to turn into Poly-V pulleys once I've convinced myself that the tiny belt the calculations suggest can really transmit 2hp.

Tomorrow I might even get back to the job I meant to do today.smiley

Peter_H28/06/2018 18:45:53
39 forum posts
20 photos

Bob McDougall : Did you ever find a definitive answer to whether the pair of 7207 bearings are fitted DB - thick side inward, or DF - thin side inward in the Beaver quill?. Also, if you had the 7206 angular contact bearing for the top (third) bearing and not the earlier deep groove, do you recall how it was fitted?. Ie, which way round and how it was seated and preloaded. Looking at what drawings I can find I can't really make any sense of it. I've almost reached the stage of removing and disassembling the spindle assembly, it's gnawing at me that much. It needs a new felt seal anyway so I may just strip it and draw up the parts if nobody knows the answers.


Bob McDougall07/07/2018 00:58:34
45 forum posts
280 photos

Hi Peter, I replaced the spindle bearings deep side in . but as you say there is very little confirmed data about the correct method. The upper bearing was a straight ball with no tilt . I have since sold the beaver as it was too large for me and bought a Downham mini jig borer for light precision milling. hope that helps.

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