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Macrome tools


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Dell26/09/2020 10:53:28
49 forum posts
13 photos

Hi all

has anyone got any information on Macrome tools, all I can find out is that they were in business around the second ww in possibly Wolverhampton and or Alcester and there is a road in Wolverhampton with same name not sure if road named after company or vice versa, the reason for asking is I have just purchased a BA tap & die set and I am wondering about the quality although vintage tools mostly seem to be good quality and a lot of this sort of thing used to be made for the armed forces

thanks Dell

not done it yet26/09/2020 11:24:20
5790 forum posts
20 photos

Try google. Several interesting hits. Likely not a lot about the quality, which might be inapplicable after this time - could be good, bad or average - and could also be ‘well used’ with some items worn out.

Try them and see for yourself? Then tell us?

Hopper26/09/2020 11:48:24
5404 forum posts
131 photos

They should be better than most other brands according to Macromes advertising here **LINK**

Looks like their patented process made tool she'll harder.

Michael Gilligan26/09/2020 12:07:07
17666 forum posts
811 photos

Strangely enough ... Espacenet found this patent when I searched for ‘Macrome’ : **LINK**

... the Macrome process gets a mention in the closing paragraph


Dell26/09/2020 13:10:05
49 forum posts
13 photos

I did a google search but not much came up obviously I asked the wrong question

SillyOldDuffer26/09/2020 15:06:38
7041 forum posts
1549 photos

Grace's Guide as per Hopper's answer is a good place to start. I think more info is available if you subscribe, but from what's public the earliest mention of Macrome in 'Engineering' is 1929, and the latest is 1959. Mentions the firm moved to Wolverhampton in 1949, so the road must be named after them.

The 1929 entry is about their patent process for hardening tool steel, but the firm also made hand tools. Later they seem to have specialised in the tool toughening side of the business, offering to toughen any tool offered by customers. The purpose was to make tools last longer, and Macrome look to have got at least 20 years profit out of it.

Specialising in hardening tool steel may have been what did for them. In 1929 a process for improving tool-life would have sold like hot cakes. By 1959 tool-steels were standardised and industry was well into carbide.

What makes a tap and die set 'quality'? As all but the very worst examples cut accurate threads, 'quality' must refer to how long the tools stay serviceable. A cheap set might not be sharp to start with and is likely to blunt quickly. Also likely to be brittle rather than tough. A 'quality' set would fix theses issues in order to last longer doing exactly the same job. Reliability matters most in a busy workshop; taps and dies don't need to be wonderful in mine! I'm still using a cheap carbon steel BA set bought circa 1970. Maybe does 3 or 4 threads a year, sometimes none.

Work and neglect destroy quality. Not much difference between cheap and quality tools once they're knackered. Only the condition of Dell's set matters and it could be anything from as-new to worn out. How well are threads cut? Brass is a good test of sharpness; taps and dies that struggle to cut clean threads in brass, still work well on mild-steel. Good threads in brass are excellent news, if the set can't cope with mild-steel, it's done for.


Dell26/09/2020 18:26:22
49 forum posts
13 photos

Thanks for replies the set will only be for cleaning threads in mainly brass clock parts and the occasional replacement screw making , I know the risk in buying second hand but unless you pay big money nowadays or new they are mostly rubbish so I thought for sixty pounds it was worth the risk, It is a full original set in wood box, I also looked at another set but it had bits missing and it didn’t look in as good condition but it was LaL, only time will tell, but I have been in vintage/ classic vehicle restoration for 50 years but had never heard of Macrome before.


woody128/09/2020 20:17:49
91 forum posts
21 photos

I have no information to give, I was however given a tonne of end mills recentl a lot of them still waxed, all say macrome on them.


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