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Thread: Burke #1 Horizontal Mill
03-15-2013, 08:47 PM #1
Burke #1 Horizontal Mill
Anyone familiar with this mill? Ser.#8373-B Looking for specs/manual. I am aware of a Yahoo Group about it. Mine may or may not have been made by U.S. American Tool Co. prior to Burke purchase.
03-15-2013, 11:12 PM #2
A sales brochure, available here:
Has specs, capacity, shipping weights, etc.
Burke/ U.S. Burke and US Machine Tool have each been incorporated and dis-corporated at least twice, are of comparable age, are hard to characterize as merger or acquisition, one of the other, sometimes appear to be more of a brand-sharing or co-marketing exercise under common ownership.
In any case, they ended up a division of Houdaille/Powermatic, then followed it into eventual oblivion,
03-16-2013, 01:32 AM #3
Thanks for the info, Regards, Mike
03-16-2013, 10:42 AM #4
As I understand it as Powermatic shut down it's operations it spun off to the DC Morrison Co. the line of Burke Mills - dcmorrison index. They supply parts and can also build you a new Burke Mill,
03-16-2013, 01:37 PM #5
I've had this one for several years now and am pleased to have it to supplement my large horizontal.
I've never found any literature beyond an ad flyer type but don't see that as a particular disadvantage. Though of industrial quality, they are very simple machines.
After unloading it, the first pic link, I partially disassembled it, revealing "all" it's few secrets, such as the sliding head counter weight hanging from a roller chain in the column.
I mounted the loose electrical control, cleaned up, painted the parts, reassembled it and made some adjustments to snug the dovetails etc. and then put it to use.
Some folks instinctively recoil from the rack and pinion feeds of the spindle head and the table X axis, as did I. That is unwarrented, as they both give great control for general metal removal and there are stops that don't quite take the place of decimal dials on feed screws but that by no means hampers their utility. You might have noticed the dial indicator above the sliding spindle head in the second pic. In addition, there is an adjustable stop under the head.
On a mill with screw feeds, ever wonder if the feed speed is near optimum but don't bother experimenting? With rack and pinion feeds, very quickly your hand control on the lever will sensitize to very close to optimum feed without thought. You can feel it, like the itch that demands an unnoticed scratch.
In the link below, "Millingboringbar", is a good example of the value of hand feed. The first cut on a round is very narrow, quickly spreading in subsequent passes, which will beneft from the "adjustable feed" that your hand will sense.
DO NOT CLIMB MILL! That is the one place that hand feed suffers by comparison to screw feed. The cutter will run across the part, (thrust the table back). Not good for part or machine. Fortunately, I discovered that while making a cut so thin, that the cutter teeth could simply bury, rather than damage the part, mill or me. The handle snapping out of my hand, could have hurt with a different hold. To me, that is no detriment. I just don't climb mill with it, kinda' like I don't step in front of speeding cars.
There are other machines in my shop that I'd let go of first. It's my go-to machine for keyways, the only reason I'll go to the distinct displeasure of end milling a keyway, is if the part can't tolerate a ramp out of the keyway. Set the depth and table stop and mill the keyway, done. I've never snapped off an 1/8" horizontal mill cutter. Something very satisfying about 18 cutting teeth per revolution, versus two fragile little flutes per rev and squinting as you hold your breath while wondering if it's safe to cut the keyway in 3 passes. After all, it's a deep sumbitch, 0.0625. that's a whopping 0.020+ per scary pass....
03-16-2013, 01:50 PM #6
I couldn't agree more, I've had it for a dozen years and for some of the small utility work, it can't be beat. I make a part that I plunge cut a 3/32 saw into a rod, and it will do that faster than any other machine I can think of. Your also spot on about the feedback thru your hand from the lever, hard to damage a cutter. I just put a power feed on the X and that helps alot. It is a simple,sturdy, machine and I would like to get any literature I can just out of curiosity and maybe to have some bearing specs. on hand. Regards, Mike
Robert Campbell Jr. liked this post
03-16-2013, 01:53 PM #7
03-16-2013, 02:03 PM #8
The good news is that at least the Timkens in the #4 were not total oddballs. Summit Racing stocks one (albeit in lower-grade) as a wheel-bearing, and a Chinese firm makes an exact fit for the other (discontinued by Timken loooong ago). With luck, your #1 won't even need new ones. My #4 did not - I was just checking.
Worst-case, it is not rocket-science to modify casting, spindle, or both to take a pair of currently available bearings.
And always-case - just two to deal with beat all Hell out of stacking up five - some with BP, not bearing-maker - mods into a BP head's quill.
03-16-2013, 02:20 PM #9
Pretty sure it has roller bearings,I saw them in a rebuild site. I also added a VFD to this mill along with a vertical milling attachment hung on the arbor support casting. VFD drives either motor.
03-16-2013, 02:30 PM #10
Very impressive! Been tossing around just such a vert. head configuration for several years. Perfect horizontal for it, what with clamping the vertical attachment to a Z sliding spindle block, superior dovetail control as opposed to finicky quill. The loss is in the fact that there is no vertical feed for tilt or nod but in my world, I don't often tilt the head of my vertical mill anyway.
03-16-2013, 02:33 PM #11
Still on the test bench when had to skeddadle to Hong Kong, but there is a 1 HP DC motor for the spindle, and a 1/4 HP R/A hollow-shaft gearmotor for dial-a-rate power traverse with their associated DC Drives awaiting some 'spare time' to hang, belt/shaft, and wire-up.
03-16-2013, 04:33 PM #12
I hate to appear to highjack this thread but I have one of these I have some questions about that I haven't gotten around to asking here. This looks like a good time since you guys are all here
My machine is actually a US Machine Tool Co #1 hand miller serial number 7469-B. I'm betting it hasn't been used in decades. It was purchased from the estate of a machinist and his son who was also a machinist as I recall said he didn't know where it came from and can't ever recall his dad using it. Honestly it was a impulse buy at an auction and I haven't used it yet. Anyway getting to the point it wasn't until after I purchased it that I realized it had a chain drive from the reduction shaft to the spindle. I had one person suggest this was an option. Thoughts? The machine still has the factory guards but the original motor was replaced with an older Craftsman 1.5HP 220 single phase.
03-16-2013, 10:17 PM #13
Bottom line is that anything 'odd' found on a U.S./Burke is just as likely to have been factory-built to original customer order optioning as to have been shop-fabbed years later - air, electrical, or hydraulic table movements included.
AFAIK, Barker was/is much the same with mills typically a 'half-size' or so smaller - serving a niche with factory options so fewer things had to be shop-fabbed.
03-17-2013, 11:23 AM #14
Mike, I like your X power feed set-up and your vertical head. Did you fab the head ? Robert, I like your compound rest crane, what brand is that 17" lathe ? Thanks bill
03-17-2013, 12:22 PM #15
Billyum- Yes, I made the vertical head, nothing special but the bearings.It is also limited to .500 shank tools, an R-8 upgrade is in its future.Regards, Mike
03-17-2013, 03:17 PM #16
Mike .....what did you use for a power feed...shoop made?, retro fit from what?....like you i added a quick detatchable screw feed on the front T slot ...FLY CUT was impossible for me on a gear....my mill is very early ,circa 1920 , & spindle runs ina 3 in solid bronze bush....an added jack shaft gives me 12 speeds from51 to abt 1900 , ( where the belt slips )...i had not heard of a VFD in 1970 ...it was my only mill for 25 years...the answer for usefulness is FULL TOOLING .....universal eng. collet chuck & acorn collets allowed some use w/ an 8-10 in angle plate & crick in the neck ,doing work usully done on a vertical..
"olde folks" has a permanent home , even tho since last summer i now have a van norman16 M.....stunbled on it at an auction for $425 ,complete & fully tooled 30 taper w/ original 7 in vise ,clean table , lightly used , ready to go ...makes up for some of the really bad choices i made way down on the learning curve
03-17-2013, 04:39 PM #17
03-17-2013, 05:03 PM #18
Bill, it's a LeBlond Regal and thanks.
Great work Mike.
"....an R-8 upgrade is in its future". Will that be boring the existing spindle, replacing it in the existing box or a complete replacement?
03-17-2013, 06:50 PM #19
Don't have enough meat left in the original spindle so I think a new one is in order. Mike