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Thiel 3 filing machine

Larry's filing machine

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Machine Tool Manuals - A Library

Electronic versions of out of print and hard to find machine tool manuals

Larry Coleman 111/09/2014 08:15:53
102 forum posts
59 photos

Hi everyone

New kid on the block and a model engineer. I am a toolmaker and I have been told I am now a dinasor.

I have a workshop at my home and collect old machinery,and currently manufacturing copper model steam boilers.

I have just recently aquired a filing machine, a Thiel 3 which is a toolmakers dream. I used filing machines on many accassions when I have worked in my trade but this machine is the best I have ever used in 50 years. But I can not find any manual and I believe this baby is very rare.

I will take all steps to preserve this machine and will, will it to a museam. This machine is in perfect condition and is a free standing filer without the band saw.

My request is if any one in the world has any information on this machine would you please contact me via PM

Please help me document and save this beautiful work of machinery art.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will send pictures by email.


E-mail address removed toi save you from spammers, use Forum PM to contact. JB

Edited By JasonB on 11/09/2014 16:03:18

frank brown13/09/2014 20:13:44
436 forum posts
5 photos

this is a good site and they seem to stock something :-


Larry Coleman 121/09/2014 13:53:08
102 forum posts
59 photos


Not real sure how to work this site. The problem here is operator failure at my end.

By the way, what is a PM?

Sorry for late reply John had a short stay in hospital.

I tried to send a message to you with pic's.


ronan walsh21/09/2014 15:12:20
546 forum posts
32 photos

Who is telling you you are a dinosaur larry ? Some know all college kid ? Anyway, any chance of a picture of your machine ? I was going to make the filing machine from the free plans on here , but i don't know if i'd have much use for it.

Michael Gilligan21/09/2014 15:46:16
18994 forum posts
945 photos
Posted by Larry Coleman 1 on 21/09/2014 13:53:08:

By the way, what is a PM?



PM is Personal Message, and can be sent via "Message member" link at the bottom of anyone's post.

Next time you are logged-in, you should [presumably] see a note under your name at upper-right of the forum page, to indicate that you have a new message [which John has sent you].

You can also access messages by clicking the "Inbox" link on the green bar at the top of the page.

Hope that helps.


Edited By Michael Gilligan on 21/09/2014 15:47:19

daveb22/09/2014 02:32:26
626 forum posts
10 photos

Larry, welcome. It's nice to know someone else likes old machinery. I have an Excel filing machine which appears to be very similar. It's fairly simple to make up clamps and roller guides so you can use bandsaw blades. Parallel machine files in the larger sizes are quite a rare find nowadays, they come up at auction occasionally and you can get a bargain if no one else recognizes what they are. I bought some new (small) machine files from the Federal File Co in the USA a few years ago, not cheap but excellent service. I now adapt standard files to fit. I have a user manual for my machine but other than weight, dimensions and a drawing of the machine it contains little useful information.

Not really much help, just a bit of encouragement.


Michael Gilligan22/09/2014 07:45:17
18994 forum posts
945 photos


It's good to see some pics in your Album yes

... Looks a fine machine !!


Larry Coleman 122/09/2014 22:02:50
102 forum posts
59 photos

Nice to meet you chaps.

I have finally got some pic's up for you all so I uploaded some pictures of my new press I rescued from the scrap metal merchants. Its a Walbank 60 ton and it is down at the moment but It will rise again to punch out boiler plates for model steam engines. My vision is to make dies to produce cheap boiler plates to supply them to people who want to engage in the hobby who do not have the knowledge or workshop to make them. Apparently people who start to make steam engines and steam traction engines only about 10% actually complete their model so I hope I can help these people get there. And I am not doing it for money!!!!!. I have just completed all the dies for the Foden steam truck boiler.

As a toolmaker I believe that we all have an obligation to pass on our knowledge & experiance to the younger generation as my mentors did to me and I worked with some of the best.

My appretise master did his trade in the luftwofer factory in Germany and was the man who developed the machine for aluminium propellors.

As a boy of 15 I spent a lot of time with a man by the name of Bob ford working on steam boilers. Bob was Frank Whitles assistant when they developed the jet engine in the UK in WW2. A truly great man and I still have some of his books. The rest of his library is in the power house museam in Sydney.

I worked in research with Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's aircraft mechanic Charly Bromfield who was a great man to talk about steel and how to use it. His knowledge was unbelievable.

In my early days of my trade I built the first prototype of the back scattered electron microscope for Infra tube products which discovered the dust mite and was the most powerful microscope of its time.

I remember all the people very well and if I can be of any assistance to any one just ask. I have had three heart attacks and I want to pass on my knowledge if I can.

The small shaper in my album is the machine that made the first turbine for dental drills and I will insure this machine goes to a museam. By the way that small turbine in my album is a axial flow jet turbine I am developing for my model DC10 which is somthing I was told could not be done. It is still a work in progress and run at 120,000 RPM.

Anyway lads if I can help anyone in any way please ask, money is not an issue.


Michael Gilligan23/09/2014 07:41:51
18994 forum posts
945 photos


I don't want to take this Theil Filing Machine thread off-topic, but; I would be very interested to know more about your experiences with the Electron Microscope project and with the Dental Turbines.

Perhaps you could start another thread ?

Many of us have lots to learn from guys like you !!


Larry Coleman 124/09/2014 22:08:53
102 forum posts
59 photos

Anyway lads I have sent of heaps of messages and I hope they make it to you.


Larry Coleman 124/09/2014 22:23:29
102 forum posts
59 photos

Anyway lads I have sent of heaps of messages and I hope they make it to you.


Nick Kempley 115/05/2018 22:31:48
9 forum posts

Hi Larry,

I don't know if you ever got the PM you were looking for, even if you didn't I'm hoping you can help me. I have recently acquired a pile of rusty bits of the same machine; at least as far as I can see: the speed label on mine actual reads 'Thiel Filing and Sawing machine size 3' where your speed plate says 'Thiel 13' and indeed under the paint on the panel on the base '13' was cast in and then ground off.

To the main point: because it is in bits some of the construction is unclear:

There is a bowden cable which clearly attaches at one end to the weight controlled by the lever through the front panel; where does the other end go?

The ratchet for automatic feed/relief drives a chain sprocket; there is no obvious terminations of the chain. Where do they go; one possibly goes to a lug on the same weight, but no clue for the other end.

The countershaft bearings are held in adjustable gimbles, but there are no bearings. Are they races held in cases or just plain steel or bronze lined?

Most of the rest I think, probably wrongly, I've worked out! Even though it is rusty most parts are coming free and moving freely after a little work. The biggest problem so far is the table height adjustment - the pinion and its wheel are missing, removing the column reveals why - several teeth have been stripped off. Current remedy plan is to build up the missing part and cut new teeth and make a new pinion and fit a suitable handwheel. The drive manual handwheel and stroke adjustment knob are also missing. Replacements will not be difficult, but a good close up picture would enable a better copy if you have one.

The motor pinion is in poor shape, but I have the original to copy in either Tufnol with a steel core or all out of aluminium - the original appears to be rubber with steel flanges! The hold down parts are all missing as well, but not a problem to fabricate, if not as elegant as the original.

Any help much appreciated.


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