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Thread: WW2 Taylor Hobson Engraving Machine Still Earning Its Keep

  1. #1
    Graeme Sharp is offline Aluminum
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    Default WW2 Taylor Hobson Engraving Machine Still Earning Its Keep

    Although its not perhaps as sophisticated as some of the machinery featured in this forum, I thought this WW2 engraving machine might bring back some memories to some of our members.
    It is a Taylor Hobson engraving machine and I "rescued" it from a forgotten corner at a dealer a few years ago. Stripped and cleaned and given a birthday with new electric contactors it is now earning its keep by turning out various plastic labels for the numerous machines and control boxes throughout the dairy where I work part time. The original 440 volt 3 phase motor is still perfroming well, though we drew the line at the 440 volt 3 phase single switch (similar to a domestic light switch) to turn it off and on. Hence the new contactors. It also has knee operated disc brake to slow and stop the spindle.

    Surprisingly, many spare parts are still available and the quality of the engarving is excellent. Note the cast in "WAR FINISH" on the top casting




    sandiapaul and sable like this.

  2. #2
    cutting oil Mac is offline Hot Rolled
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    Graeme,
    I have a Taylor Hobson, slightly younger than your machine, I was using it up until last year, but due to shortage of space, and other projects in my workshop, i feel i wont use it again, Should anyone want it it is available

  3. #3
    boslab is offline Hot Rolled
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    i have the same beasty, purchased over in good old Griphithstown [s wales] at the site of Trevethics railway, it dosent have the war finish cast in, i have a full set of manuals if you want a copy
    regards
    mark

  4. #4
    Graeme Sharp is offline Aluminum
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    Thanks for the kind offer Mark. Happily I already have a copy of the manual for the machine.
    Graeme

  5. #5
    jkilner is offline Plastic
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    Hello
    I am new to this forum and looking for an engraver capable of 1:1 in addition to reduction.
    As I work from home in a small business making miniatures it would need to be 240v
    If anyone has or knows of a suitable machine like a Taylot hobson I would be interested
    John

  6. #6
    Jim Christie is online now Stainless
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    A Picture of a different Taylor and Hobson machine working in the Pratt and Whitney engine plant in East Hartford Conn in 1942 turned up today on Shorpy
    Handle With Care: 1942 | Shorpy Historical Photo Archive
    Scroll down to see the comments where someone identified the machine .
    Regards,
    Jim

  7. #7
    zac_b is offline Plastic
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    Nice machine, Graeme! Bet the dairy has some of the nicest equipment around, if the care that goes into nameplates is any indication.

    Have to quibble with Jim, though - for some reason, the machine in that photo is a Gorton 3-U with a Taylor Hobson workhead (the adjusting screws for the swiveling table far left give it away). Not sure what the head is, though - it's working on an angled surface with no form plate, so maybe an early reciprocating impact marker? Would be kinda like a tattoo gun for metal, or the predecessor to those dot-matrix part markers?

    For jkilner, try searching for Gorton, Deckel, or Alexander pantographs - at least stateside, those are more common than Taylor Hobson.

    Best,
    -Zac

  8. #8
    CBlair is offline Diamond
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    Zac, Taylor Hobson makes metrology equipment specifically roundess testers and surface finish analyzers. I will bet this is a tranducer head and she is following a pattern to check the surface finish in specific areas. Probably hooked up to a chart recorder someplace. She has her left hand on it, perhaps to maintain a constant pressure? Or maybe just a convenient place for the photo?

    Charles

  9. #9
    Jim Christie is online now Stainless
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    Thanks Zac and Charles ,
    I guess I should have studied the pictures more closely before posting.
    I had initially been thinking it might be a Gorton when I saw it first as well since it was in the U.S.A.
    Maybe some one will add some more information here or on the Shorpy site later.
    Regards,
    Jim

  10. #10
    CBlair is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Christie View Post
    Thanks Zac and Charles ,
    I guess I should have studied the pictures more closely before posting.
    I had initially been thinking it might be a Gorton when I saw it first as well since it was in the U.S.A.
    Maybe some one will add some more information here or on the Shorpy site later.
    Regards,
    Jim
    No need for an apology Jim thanks for posting it, there are some others here who will hopefully help solve the question with more certainty. Glad you posted it and keep looking for neat stuff so I dont have to.

    Charles

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    Trboatworks's Avatar
    Trboatworks is online now Stainless
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    That is definitely a 3U but has the spindle and belting/sheaves removed.
    I am guessing the head used in place of spindle is arc engraver type like the Gorton gear shown here:

    Gorton Spitfire Etcher documentation
    Jim Christie likes this.

  12. #12
    CBlair is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trboatworks View Post
    That is definitely a 3U but has the spindle and belting/sheaves removed.
    I am guessing the head used in place of spindle is arc engraver type like the Gorton gear shown here:

    Gorton Spitfire Etcher documentation
    I think we have a winner...sounds good to me and makes sense. Thanks for finding and sharing that.

    Charles

  13. #13
    zac_b is offline Plastic
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    No apologies necessary! Just happen to have a 3-U sitting behind me, and went "huh".

    Arc engraver makes sense - I had thought those would need precise depth control to keep the arc steady, but it looks like they were actually a floating pin with electromagnetic lift.

    Not bad, 1940's, not bad.

  14. #14
    LindsayDoyle is offline Plastic
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    Can anyone here shed light on the relationships between the pantograph machines of Deckel, Gorton, Taylor-Hobson et al.? I'm curious about time lines, "borrowed" ideas, possible overlaps in engineers and engineering.

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