By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Help needed to identify a surface grinder

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Paul L16/10/2020 15:52:56
33 forum posts
15 photos

Today i became the proud owner of this fantastic specimen. Now all I have to do is identify it and find out what bits are missing!

Any help appreciated. there are more pictures in my album. (sorry i cant get them the right way up!)20201016_142136.jpg


Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/10/2020 20:02:41

Edited By SillyOldDuffer on 16/10/2020 20:03:35

Oldiron16/10/2020 16:33:14
558 forum posts
22 photos

Sorry no idea. By the looks of it it has been modified as a drill press. The whole motor/spindle assembly appears to be missing. It will not be an easy task finding bits for it. I hope someone can identify it for you.


Rik Shaw16/10/2020 17:21:27
1369 forum posts
373 photos

I think what you might have there is a lash up between a bench drill, a milling machine and an eclipse magnetic chuck. Heath Robinson would have been proud of it but goodness knows what was going through the mind of the person who conceived of it. He seems to have aimed at making it machine portable as well - pity one of the wheels has fallen of !


Baz16/10/2020 17:32:43
487 forum posts

M.O.S is that ministry of supply, if so probably Second World War and rented? Absolutely no idea of what make it is but like Oldiron says motor and spindle missing for a start.

Oily Rag16/10/2020 17:36:35
179 forum posts
88 photos

By the fact the base has a MOS plate (Ministry Of Supply) dates that area of the machine to 1939 to 1959. Note that the MoS took over the powers of the Ministry of Aircraft Production (MAP) in 1946 as it was a separate entity until then. The MoS was thereon responsible for all provisioning all services (with the exception of the Admiralty I think). They were also heavily involved in the A and H bomb programmes.

As Rik has said it looks like an amalgam of bits that were never meant to be amalgamated! The plate (both of them) holding the upper part of the pillar drill does not give any confidence that it could accurately deliver high precision. I suppose the miller parts could be salvaged as a half decent horizontal mill - but it would take some effort.

Out of curiosity what does the max speed plate have stamped on it - surely no one ran a vertically cupped wheel in the drill chuck!!!

mgnbuk16/10/2020 17:42:07
842 forum posts
61 photos

The Ministry of Supply (MoS) was a department of the UK Government formed in 1939 to co-ordinate the supply of equipment to all three British armed forces

The Ministry of Supply was abolished in late 1959

Above from Wikipedia., so that is guaranteed to be older than I am !

If there is no evidence of filler on the castings under that scabby coat of blue paint it is likely to be "War Finish", where such nicities were dispensed with - most WF machines I have seen had a small plaque stating that they were rough for that reason.

Can't help with a maker, though I have a recollection of seeing something similar around 30 years ago at the Vickers tank factory in Leeds (formerly ROF Leeds at Crossgates). It was surplus to requirements, but there was mechanism to allow me to buy it.

It shouldn't be too difficult to come up with a replacement horizontal spindle to return it to grinding duties - a bit of plagiarism of a similar sized machine's bearing & spindle arrangment would save having to design one from scratch.

Good luck !

Nigel B.

Brian H16/10/2020 18:00:48
1854 forum posts
106 photos

I'm afraid that I cannot identify the grinder but I note that the there is a cut out to accept a motor.

I have a tool & cutter grinder made by Union where the original 3ph motor has been replace by a Machine Mart DE 1 ph grinder and it works OK. It may be possible to do something similar.


not done it yet16/10/2020 19:17:16
5123 forum posts
20 photos

It looks as though there is little table lift? So likely a special grinder for a fairly specific task.

Surprised that they rented items? Would that be significant after the war?

Buy a head off a machine with a really worn out bed, is my suggestion.

I nearly took a chance on a £75 machine (which was likely scrapped due to no interest) just to investigate the possibilities of a cheap starter-machine. I would have made a lesser offer, mind (as it was a very long way to consider picking it up), as it was in a really potentially sorry state.

Paul L17/10/2020 09:26:17
33 forum posts
15 photos

Thank you all for you comments.

The original machine came out of a Rolls Royce tool room, since then the head was removed and the drill press added. the guy I bought it off is keeping the drill press part. I paid £100 for it and that includes him delivering it (I'm guessing, but I reckon the base its on weighs about 200k)

The table moves freely in X Y and Z and I think the Z lift is about 6". ill know more once it arrives and i may be able to find some more labels to help identify it.

If i cant find original parts i think ill either make a new head for it or as NDIY and BrianH say salvage something from a donor machine.

I'm going to trawl through the grinder section at now!

Thanks to S O D for rotating the pics!


not done it yet17/10/2020 10:48:48
5123 forum posts
20 photos

If the mag chuck is operational, that alone is worth more than the £100!

Paul L18/10/2020 10:47:14
33 forum posts
15 photos
Posted by not done it yet on 17/10/2020 10:48:48:

If the mag chuck is operational, that alone is worth more than the £100!

Yes the Chuck works fine but need the surface rust cleaning off.

not done it yet18/10/2020 12:23:12
5123 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Paul L on 18/10/2020 10:47:14

Yes the Chuck works fine but need the surface rust cleaning off.

That’s good. Best thing for that is a very light skim with a surface grinder.🙂 I suppose it can wait until the egg hatches?

Howard Lewis20/10/2020 22:02:30
3755 forum posts
3 photos

The paint colour suggests that the machine was from a R-R aero engine division factory.

Oil engine division machines were Industrial Green. But any that were made for aero division were painted that shade of blue.

The M o S plate suggests that it is a machine of some antiquity, and likely to be British rather than American and certainly not Teutonic in origin.

Probably, almost all the threads will all be Whitworth and BSF.

Which is precious little help in identifying the machine and what replacement parts are needed.


Paul L28/10/2020 15:38:57
33 forum posts
15 photos

Its finally arrived today. the main body of the machine is an oil resevoir with a sight glass included (I suppose it may have been for suds?)

There is also a makers mark in the casting on the side as in the picture below. anyone recognise this? i though maybe GE

Any help appreciated.20201028_145828.jpg

Paul L01/11/2020 09:30:58
33 forum posts
15 photos

We have a winner! Many thanks to Mark F for letting me know that I am the proud owner of an IDP GF3 Industrial Grinding Machine (well most of one anyway).

IDP (Impregnated Diamond Products) were a Gloucester based company that seemed to disappear in the 1960's. there are some references in Graces Industrial History LINK and there is a reference in the National Archive LINK

There is a grinder for sale on ebay in the USA. Whilst I cannot buy that one, I have been in touch with the vendor who has kindly offered to send me some more photos.

The grinding head seems to consist of a motor with an extended armature which the wheel is attached to. is this a normal method of driving a wheel?


s-l1600.jpgs-l1600 1.jpg

Edited By Paul L on 01/11/2020 09:31:47 for Speelung mistakes

Edited By Paul L on 01/11/2020 09:32:53

PETER ROACH18/11/2020 23:51:26
31 forum posts
13 photos


I to have one of these and had given up hope of finding others with one. Mine came from a clearance of the laboratory at Morgan Advanced Materials in Stourport on Seven over 10 years ago. No idea how long it had been there. Like you I tracked IDP to Gloucester but could find no further details. Will post some pictures.


Michael Gilligan19/11/2020 06:58:18
16612 forum posts
723 photos

One small step ...


states that :

Saint-Gobain relocated from the old Van Moppes IDP premises in Tuffley, Gloucester



Which, in a matter of minutes, gets us to :

Edited By Michael Gilligan on 19/11/2020 07:02:12

not done it yet19/11/2020 07:26:49
5123 forum posts
20 photos
Posted by Paul L on 28/10/2020 15:38:57:

Its finally arrived today. the main body of the machine is an oil resevoir with a sight glass included (I suppose it may have been for suds?)

There is also a makers mark in the casting on the side as in the picture below. anyone recognise this? i though maybe GE

More likely hydraulically driven, if an oil reservoir?

Direct drive, with the grinding wheel on the motor shaft is unusual. But just means it is a specially built product?

Separate motors are simply the cheaper means of design, I would suggest?

edited to add that a 2 pole motor would be a simple means of getting a working machine - the only problem might be the drive end bearing quality?

Edited By not done it yet on 19/11/2020 07:32:12

Michael Gilligan19/11/2020 07:41:12
16612 forum posts
723 photos


I thought I recognised that base

We briefly discussed another Frankenmachine in 2015



PETER ROACH19/11/2020 11:33:37
31 forum posts
13 photos

More pictures in the AlbumFront view

All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "For Sale" Ads
Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest