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High Speed Drilling Machine Refurbishment

Herbert Type B

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Brytech26/11/2017 16:25:59
12 forum posts
2 photos

About 15 years ago when visiting a local scrap merchant which also dealt in machine tools I came across 2 Herbert Type B machines for sale at ridiculously low prices. Unable to resist a bargain, I think that I purchased both for about a tenner for the two, I took them home with the intention of restoring them & putting them to good use in the workshop. However, as happened with a lot of things, work & family pressures deflected me from my course & it is only now, after retiring, that I can see my way clear to doing something about them in the coming weeks or months.

I have seen in the albums that member Ian Parkin posted in 2015 when he uploaded a series of photos of the restoration of a Pollard 9FX machine which appears to be identical in every way to the Herbert Type B. I believe that it was also re-badged & sold under the name plate of several other manufacturers. Has anyone else either got a similar machine or has had one in the past? I am interested in the work that Ian did to his machine but cannot find any forum posting devoted to it. I have Emailed today but being a Sunday I don’t expect to hear from them immediately.

Any information will be gratefully received.

Kind regards,


Ian Parkin26/11/2017 16:36:01
703 forum posts
181 photos

What do you want to know?

Brytech26/11/2017 16:46:06
12 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Ian,

That was quick. I’m primarily interested in the electrics. I guess that that the original components are no longer available & probably less than desirable in this modern age. Did you use an inverter? I have a 3 phase connection available for it in the workshop so single to 3 phase isn’t an issue. Where did you obtain the switchgear etc from please? Also sources for the flat belts etc.

Kind regards,


Ian Parkin26/11/2017 16:52:14
703 forum posts
181 photos

Mine had a single phase motor on but i put a small 3 phase on and an inverter for the variable speed facility.

Switchgear is a mains isolator and start /stop button and pot for speed. Easily available from any electrical shop

Belts are easily available just search for flat belts 12mm wide from memory

I had to make the 2 bigger pulleys they always seem to be missing. So with these you get 6 speed variable speed from 10hz to 100 hp. It works well at 18,000 rpm

Brytech26/11/2017 17:06:30
12 forum posts
2 photos

Thanks Ian,

Can you give me the diameters of the pulleys please? I believe that I am missing the bigger ones also.


Ian Parkin27/11/2017 08:33:05
703 forum posts
181 photos

my spare pulleys are 80mm and 150mm

45mm smaller one on the machine

Brytech27/11/2017 08:52:32
12 forum posts
2 photos

Many thanks for your help with this Ian.


wilson logan 113/08/2019 10:38:58
15 forum posts
10 photos

Hi Chaps,

I want to order belts for my twin Herbert B's.

Does anyone know the belt length? Mine came fitted with abrasive belts (ewww) like you get on a Dynafile.




Brytech13/08/2019 13:40:15
12 forum posts
2 photos

Hi Wilson,

Although its nearly 2 years since creating the post, my machines are not yet fully refurbed. I have so far disassembled both, cleaned, paint-stripped, filled & repainted both sets of castings. However, I am yet to reassemble both machines & get them running. Consequently, I am approaching the stage where I will be investigating the length of belts that will be needed.

If you have the machines complete then calculating the required belt length will not be difficult. As a starting point you could use the formula of: - Belt length = (0.5 x motor pulley circumference) + (0.5 x driven pulley circumference) + (2.0 x center distance) as a starting point. Also bear in mind that you may need more than one belt length to allow the use of all the different pulleys available.

Kind regards,


David Fouracre07/02/2020 17:08:54
4 forum posts

Hi Alan

I've come late to this topic, but might be able to help. I used to own The Tool Box in Colyton, and picked up a Model B about 7 years ago which I decided to keep for my own use - 0-gauge model railways. However, it only had one of the three interchangeable motor pulleys. I actually found a contact for Alfred Herbert, who quoted me around £125 plus VAT for the largest (fastest spindle speed) pulley, and the belts were about £25-30 for each size.

I decided to solve the problem in another way. I turned up the middle and larger crowned motor pulleys from aluminium multi-step pulleys, including the internal taper to match the taper on the motor shaft. They are only single-step, whereas the originals were two-step, but they give me three speeds. As far as belts were concerned, on the recommendation of one of my customers I dealt with a very helpful firm in Gloucestershire - I think it might have been - who supplied two belts for each of the two larger pulleys, and the total bill was only around £20 - they had to order in the belts specially. Both belts are 10mm wide x 1mm thick; the middle length is marked T150 740 (i.e. 740mm long) and the longer is T150 835.

My machine has a single-phase motor, and was a bit sluggish to start up, so I replaced the capacitor and now it's fine. I completely rewired the switchgear as it was a little battle-weary. I also fitted the spindle with a previously unused Albrecht 5/32" keyless chuck. Lovely!

Hope this is of some help. If you need photos or any other information do give me a shout.


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