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Milling Machine Identification

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JohnM24/06/2019 08:43:06
117 forum posts
147 photos

Tried the tapping with hammer and bashing a little. These are as tough as bolts get. Just ordered some Plus Gas and if anyone has a set of flank Drive spanners and wants to come over and crack a few bolts you are welcome. If I buy a set it would cost more than the mill haha I will have to get some eventually as the ones I have are not up to the task. I am off to scour The Bay.for a couple of bargains.

Nigel Graham 224/06/2019 11:17:28
586 forum posts

It's not worth struggling with spanners that don't fit properly because they are the wrong sizes.

They will damage the fastenings so making the work even more difficult as well as spoiling it; and they risk slipping off, likely skinning your knuckles on some edge.

And that mill is more valuable than the cost of the spanners, which anyway you may need for future servicing, or to use with clamp sets compatible with what appear to be work-clamping holes in the table.

Put a wanted ad on here, specifying the spanner standards you need. If you're not sure of the standard, include the measured (not approximated by spanner) hexagon sizes across-flats so at least a potential seller can determine suitability.

The fastenings may well be BS Whitworth / Fine - same spanners but staggered in size, and most likely are if neither Metric nor inch-AF (Unified-range) spanners fit properly. The hexagon widths on BSW/F are also not simple binary fractions of inches, unlike the UN series, because they are set by fractional multiples of screw diameter.

Also look out for stockists of replacement fastenings. BSW / BSF fasteners are becoming rarer, but I think there are one or two suppliers advertising in ME and MEW for a start. Some of the suppliers or castings and materials for the larger-scale traction-engines also sell limited ranges of such fasteners.

Do you Plus Gas, as you say, not WD-40 despite its label claims; but leave it plenty of time to penetrate - try over-night for a start.

Nigel Graham 224/06/2019 11:25:40
586 forum posts

Hugh -

Yes, Plus-gas was in red as well as blue cans. In fact I think I have one of each. Their were about 4 formulae until the one called " A ", in blue cans, replaced all; then in 2014 a new one called "Fast" appeared... in a black tin!

JohnM24/06/2019 11:55:18
117 forum posts
147 photos

I have found a friend prepared to lend me his decent Spanners. £20 each is a step too far for me. I will keep one eye out for some that go for a reasonable price.

Howard Lewis24/06/2019 12:49:43
3154 forum posts
2 photos

The archetypal flank drive spanners and sockets are branded "Metrinch" They tend to feel sloppy, but do not rely on the corners of the hexagon to drive. And they will drive bolts / nuts that defeat anything else.

Machine Mart are a possible source of sets of spanners or sockets. The open ends of the combination spanners do not fill me with confidence, but the sockets and rings are superb!

Relatively expensive, but you get what you pay for, and must be more economical to do the job safely (for you and the fixings ) than ruining the machine.

With rusty fixings, sometimes holding a hammer on one flat, and hitting the opposite one, possibly then on all the other flatss, will often distort the nut and break the rust. lubrication may then enable the nut to be slackened.

Hitting a bolt on the head, axially, will sometimes do the same job, especially if penetrating oil is present, since it will "wick" into any gap that opens up, if only for a fraction of a second.

Good luck with the restoration. You could end up with a really useable machine.


Robert Butler24/06/2019 13:52:56
134 forum posts
6 photos

With Whitworth/BSF the number of spanners/sockets required to cover the sizes you are likely to need is quite small so even good quality needn't break the bank and more important likely to outlast the owner. the bonus is skinned knuckle avoidance.

Robert Butler

JohnM25/06/2019 00:08:27
117 forum posts
147 photos

Plus-Gas is on it's way and I have a few 1/4 inch spanners. Still struggling so will keep an eye out for a 1/4 Whitworth Flank spanner. I can't seem to post in classified. I presumed it was a paid option. Dropped back on the Myford Lathe restoration today. I tend to clean up the workbench or go off and do something else while I process information regarding a job I'm stuck on. I don't go fast any more.

JohnM25/06/2019 15:11:22
117 forum posts
147 photos

I have at least five bolts that don't realise how important it is that they come out. I have tried the Plus Gas and will try it overnight. Then it's no more p'ing about and time for the angle grinder and stud remover. I give them one last chance to play fair 😂

not done it yet25/06/2019 19:08:13
4509 forum posts
16 photos

When you say ‘stud remover’ you mean a proper tool for removing studs? Not cutting the off and using those (mostly horrid) extractors. Welding on another nut is much preferable to those brittle extractors which, when they break, cause even more problems.

JohnM25/06/2019 20:49:13
117 forum posts
147 photos

Yes, I of course meant a proper tool for removal. thumbs up

Edited By John Milton 2 on 25/06/2019 21:08:30

Howard Lewis25/06/2019 21:05:15
3154 forum posts
2 photos

If you are prepared to replace the bolts, Machine Mart sell bolt removers

You are unlikely to find a flank drive spanner described as "1/4 BSW" since it will be capabale of driving Whit, A/F or Metric fastenings; loose fitting but effective.

(Do not use Easyouts- the name is a total misnomer, and you may well break one in the fixing that you arte trying to remove , making things worse )

The Bolt Remover is like a socket with an internal left hand thread instead of a hexagon.

If you have the correct size socket, careful use of a manual impact driver, may shake things loose. Even better if you could use a pneumatic Impact driver. The vibration may eventually shake the rust loose.

I fear that it is possible that some of the fixings may shear off. If they do you are faced with the job of drilling,

(Left hand drills may help here ) and retapping the hole. If you do have the misfortune to drift off centre, using the mating piece as a drill jig, you may be able to recentre a drill and then drill and tap to a larger size (say 3/8 BSF for an original 1/4 BSF ) ready to fit a 3/8 Male 1/4 Female bush.



JohnM25/06/2019 21:11:38
117 forum posts
147 photos

These are on the way. they are a complete pain and I have never had so many problems removing bolts


JohnM25/06/2019 21:15:12
117 forum posts
147 photos

Next job and I have been putting this one off is removing the broken spindle. It is also locked solid and I hope this is a left hand thread or I have just been tightening it

I was going so well at the start too.

JohnM26/06/2019 15:08:11
117 forum posts
147 photos

PlusGas I honestly love you. Thanks for the tip Michael and Hugh. I wouldn't say it's easy but in some cases the bolts are just throwing in the towel now Little victories are keeping me going and giving me hope that I will see this machine completely dismantled after all.

JohnM27/06/2019 10:36:13
117 forum posts
147 photos

That's it! No more Mr nice guy. The angle grinder is out. I did warn them to be fair.

HughE27/06/2019 23:38:33
122 forum posts

Progress indeed. In some cases I spent a week adding Plus Gas every night after applying heat. Worst case I applied the old oxy act torch to them. Another trick is if you do get some movement don't try to remove it in one go, rock back a forth and it will slowly but eventually yield. Noticed that Fuzz Townsend on car SOS advocates using this trick.

On a less serious note, never give the problem bolt a hint that you are in a hurry!

JohnM28/06/2019 20:27:41
117 forum posts
147 photos

That's a good point HughE it's a schoolboy error to let on you need them to be evicted. I sort of went a little stir crazy and attacked with the angle grinder. I hope I can repair what is now somewhat broken but as above I think a whole new shaft is required anyway. I have now got it nearly all apart. Not the now and forever onwards to be called bas74rd bolts. Not knowing the terminology can someone tell me what I am searching for. I want a complete shaft and a socket that the milling head/collet will fit into.

Edited By John Milton 2 on 28/06/2019 20:28:33

JohnM30/06/2019 16:40:38
117 forum posts
147 photos

It's all apart now with one of the tapered bearings on the main shaft is being an awkward bugger. I'm looking at the price of a new one if I go Rambo on it so am just soaking it and pretending I don't care if it comes off or not. I'm cleaning off 60 years of grease and dirt and then going to re-assemble and decide which parts need oil and which need paint. I'm thinking I may drill out the existing fittings and go metric as Whitworth is not working so I'm thinking they could be pre war and either American or some other standard. Seven bolts made me lose sleep but eAuction site meant that I had the bolt remover required and all seven were out after only 30 minutes grafting. I am still trying to work out what milling head I am going to replace the original with to make this a fully working machine. I don't know which search terms to use so I'm struggling. Anyone that can give me a point in the right direction here?

I will add some photos soon but am on a mission so may take some time to reply. Thanks for reading and it's all good from here on... I hope 👌


Edited By John Milton 2 on 30/06/2019 16:41:09

Nigel Graham 230/06/2019 23:08:32
586 forum posts

Do you have a set of 55º and 60º thread-gauges? Those and a micrometer - plus of course the thread charts - will determine what fixings were used.

BSW and BSF are certainly pre-War, and so are the American equivalents, though I think the Unified version may be later. The hexagon sizes differ markedly for same thread diameters, between the two nation's specifications.

If this machine is a one-off as seems likely, you'd be very lucky to find a suitable milling-head and may have to fabricate one.

Bearings: I'd thought it possible to obtain replacements. Whoever built it would have almost certainly used stock bearings. Probably worth fitting new anyway unless the original ones can be cleaned up and are in serviceable condition. Caked-on grease is not a problem but corrosion will have destroyed them.

Hopper01/07/2019 05:19:29
4420 forum posts
94 photos

If bearings are pre-war era they could be obsolete imperial size taper-roller bearings. Modern ones are (mostly) metric. Measure the shaft size and outer race outside diameter and look them up on the Timken website etc. Don't get cheap no-name bearings. Try to get Timken, SKF etc. Sometimes adaptor sleeves etc have to be made up to fit the next nearest size modern metric bearings to old imperial machinery. Have found this on vintage sidecar wheel bearings etc .

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