What's new
What's new

Are there jobs out there for a Jig Borer?

There's way, way more nice used machinery out there than homes for nice used machinery out there.

If you're going to home nice used machinery make sure it's the right used machinery as when you choose poorly the nice stuff will go to scrap when you don't have room. Experienced it a dozen times atleast.

I'm 41 and I have enough nice iron to melt down and make a battleship. I have way more space than most and I choose very carefully. No sense dedicating space to a machine that takes twice as long to do a job as more suitable machine.

And having a semi-temperature controlled shop and occasionally doing jobs that require things to +/- 1 tenth I'd firmly agree with Gregor- You need way, way more than just a machine to work reliably in sub-half thou territory.
 
every day, and twice........well you get the idea.

In 1987 we were getting our Moores audited twice a year.
I SAW with my own eyes, our 24" machine go -.0002 over twenty inches, in both directions, and square.

This was with the biggy gage dudes from Detroit.

That was with the dials.

NOT obsolete.

JMHO.

Obviously massively impressive for a leadscrew, but the same or better is acheived with a laser mapped ballscrew or glass scale feedback.

So obsolete. Not trying to rattle anyone's cage, it just is what it is.
 
Emotional attachment to equipment could be a thread in its own right.
Lessee ..... I don't know much a bout SIP's ... anything, really, but I've owned and made parts on a 2B devlieg, also called a "jigmil".

Cost $2500, but that was a steal, I have seen them currently for $5,000.

They weigh somewhere between 12,500 and 15,000 lbs, depending on where you look. Mine came with the rotary table and 2-piece angle blocks.

It has 36" of fully supported table in X. That portion of the base probably weighed 5 or 6,000 lbs alone. Y travel was 24" ? Column another 5 or 6,000 lbs ? and bar travel 12", with about the same as a retract mode for measuring (not available for machining). I have put a 3" insert cutter in the bar and machined nasty gnarly stuff at full extension with no chatter. Shocked me, in fact.

The rotary tables were famous for "bore halfway thru, spin and bore from the other end, just pick up the bluing without touching metal at the meeting point". I'm not that good but the table is extremely useful and quite accurate.

The entire machine is so much better built than anything "modern" you can find anywhere near that price that it's beyond ridiculous.

The way a devlieg works is, automatically rapid to the location, back up, feed in slowly, touch the locator, back up just enough to take pressure off the leadscrew, and clamp. Just poosh dee button. The location switches included about 2" face tenths indicators, you could read them to a half-tenth pretty easy.

You could either use the screw dials or use jig bore rods in v-troughs or make up bars of your own with pins, for larger volume jobs. I never made up bars but used both of the other methods. Measuring parts (gearbox housings, covers with several bearing bores, bearing bores at right angles, your basic gearbox-kinda stuff, just doing normal machine shop care I was always consistently under a half, usually less.

You think you can do this for $5,000 in a Haas ?

It's not sentiment. For the right work, a jigmil is nowhere near "obsolete" or an emotional attachment. They can do a hell of a job way cheaper than any other tool you'll find for anywhere near the price.

A picture is worth 10,000 words ... go ahead and tell me how a cheesy little c-frame vmc is going to work as well at cutting metal as this. It's not possible to "compensate" for the table hopping around like a bunny rabbit when you take a cut or make the feeble overhanging spindle stay square to the world with electronics, to say nothing of support for the tool and the part. It's silly.

P1010141.jpg
 
Last edited:
Lessee ..... I don't know much a bout SIP's ... anything, really, but I've owned and made parts on a 2B devlieg, also called a "jigmil".

Cost $2500, but that was a steal, I have seen them currently for $5,000.

They weigh somewhere between 12,500 and 15,000 lbs, depending on where you look. Mine came with the rotary table and 2-piece angle blocks.

It has 36" of fully supported table in X. That portion of the base probably weighed 5 or 6,000 lbs alone. Y travel was 24" ? Column another 5 or 6,000 lbs ? and bar travel 12", with about the same as a retract mode for measuring (not available for machining). I have put a 3" insert cutter in the bar and machined nasty gnarly stuff at full extension with no chatter. Shocked me, in fact.

The rotary tables were famous for "bore halfway thru, spin and bore from the other end, just pick up the bluing without touching metal at the meeting point". I'm not that good but the table is extremely useful and quite accurate.

The entire machine is so much better built than anything "modern" you can find anywhere near that price that it's beyond ridiculous.

The way a devlieg works is, automatically rapid to the location, back up, feed in slowly, touch the locator, back up just enough to take pressure off the leadscrew, and clamp. Just poosh dee button. The location switches included about 2" face tenths indicators, you could read them to a half-tenth pretty easy.

You could either use the screw dials or use jig bore rods in v-troughs or make up bars of your own with pins, for larger volume jobs. I never made up bars but used both of the other methods. Measuring parts (gearbox housings, covers with several bearing bores, bearing bores at right angles, your basic gearbox-kinda stuff, just doing normal machine shop care I was always consistently under a half, usually less.

You think you can do this for $5,000 in a Haas ?

It's not sentiment. For the right work, a jigmil is nowhere near "obsolete" or an emotional attachment. They can do a hell of a job way cheaper than any other tool you'll find for anywhere near the price.

The argument, at least on my part, was never that these machines were not mechanical marvels. They absolutely are.

The point is that technology has made it so that the same can be achieved at much lower cost.

Does the end user care if his parts were made on a cheap bolted together assembly line machine that is fully volumetrically compensated, or a half million dollar in old money mechanically accurate machine? The end results are the same, but the former brings the cost way down.

I never mentioned Haas, and I don't think anyone else did either in fairness, that's a false equivalence.
 
Lessee ..... I don't know much a bout SIP's ... anything, really, but I've owned and made parts on a 2B devlieg, also called a "jigmil".

Cost $2500, but that was a steal, I have seen them currently for $5,000.

They weigh somewhere between 12,500 and 15,000 lbs, depending on where you look. Mine came with the rotary table and 2-piece angle blocks.

It has 36" of fully supported table in X. That portion of the base probably weighed 5 or 6,000 lbs alone. Y travel was 24" ? Column another 5 or 6,000 lbs ? and bar travel 12", with about the same as a retract mode for measuring (not available for machining). I have put a 3" insert cutter in the bar and machined nasty gnarly stuff at full extension with no chatter. Shocked me, in fact.

The rotary tables were famous for "bore halfway thru, spin and bore from the other end, just pick up the bluing without touching metal at the meeting point". I'm not that good but the table is extremely useful and quite accurate.

The entire machine is so much better built than anything "modern" you can find anywhere near that price that it's beyond ridiculous.

The way a devlieg works is, automatically rapid to the location, back up, feed in slowly, touch the locator, back up just enough to take pressure off the leadscrew, and clamp. Just poosh dee button. The location switches included about 2" face tenths indicators, you could read them to a half-tenth pretty easy.

You could either use the screw dials or use jig bore rods in v-troughs or make up bars of your own with pins, for larger volume jobs. I never made up bars but used both of the other methods. Measuring parts (gearbox housings, covers with several bearing bores, bearing bores at right angles, your basic gearbox-kinda stuff, just doing normal machine shop care I was always consistently under a half, usually less.

You think you can do this for $5,000 in a Haas ?

It's not sentiment. For the right work, a jigmil is nowhere near "obsolete" or an emotional attachment. They can do a hell of a job way cheaper than any other tool you'll find for anywhere near the price.

I know what you mean. But you just proved the point I was trying to make which is what is going to be the best tool for a job within budget. Vs people who buy equipment to fulfil an emotional need within themselves to do something a certain way.

A hammer takes more skill than a nail gun but which is actually going to make real money?

I’ll use welding as an example. For I care about customer outcomes. What is going to provide the best quality for the customer. I’ll happily use welding positioner’s and automated welding machines if that was the best result for the job and customer.

But people will argue to the death over why they had to do it by hand because of the skill and the art.

People argue over the right way to sharpen a drill bit.
 
you just proved the point I was trying to make which is what is going to be the best tool for a job within budget. Vs people who buy equipment to fulfil an emotional need within themselves to do something a certain way.
Bullshit. Gregor said, several times, "obsolete". Okay Gregor, here ya go - LG600 transaxle housing, all blown up, welded all over, has bores in critical locations on all four sides, all relative to each other in distance and angularity. Need to be remachined. Tell me what you plan to do that on ?

side.jpg

ends.jpg

Doozer's sip and my devlieg, big bubbles no troubles. Watta ya got, babe ? And then we can talk price.

Obsolete my ass, and not any "emotional attachment" either. For certain types of work, manual machines are still plenty capable.
 
Bullshit. Gregor said, several times, "obsolete". Okay Gregor, here ya go - LG600 transaxle housing, all blown up, welded all over, has bores in critical locations on all four sides, all relative to each other in distance and angularity. Need to be remachined. Tell me what you plan to do that on ?

Doozer's sip and my devlieg, big bubbles no troubles. Watta ya got, babe ? And then we can talk price.

Obsolete my ass, and not any "emotional attachment" either. For certain types of work, manual machines are still plenty capable.

Ideally I'd do it on a 4ax HMC. I really don't know why you think it would be quicker or easier to do in a manual...

Since I don't have one of those, I'd have to do it in my Kearns HBM. Certainly it's not as accurate as the Devlieg, but it's pretty square and has a scale on every axis, so plenty good enough for this job. Just slow.
 
The argument, at least on my part, was never that these machines were not mechanical marvels. They absolutely are.

The point is that technology has made it so that the same can be achieved at much lower cost.
No
It cannot
That your CNC says you move a distance does not mean it moves that distance And how square is your XYZ ?
A CNC that reads 0.001mm and is about accurate to that is not cheap

How good is your angle between table and spindle centerline on your Haas???
If it is off every toollenght has a different position

Peter
 
No
It cannot
That your CNC says you move a distance does not mean it moves that distance And how square is your XYZ ?
A CNC that reads 0.001mm and is about accurate to that is not cheap

How good is your angle between table and spindle centerline on your Haas???
If it is off every toollenght has a different position

Peter
Stop talking about fucking Haas. I never brought that name up, somebody else did. We can all agree that we are not in commodity machine territory here.

No, not cheap, but cheaper. And significantly so.

Consider what a brand new Sip Genevoise, Moore, or Devlieg would cost in todays money.

Also, it is a false equivalence to talk about accuracy/squareness to 1µm, because the jig borers we are discussing were never that accurate either.

Like I said, I fully expected to catch some flak for this, but I will stand by it.
 
I thought we were talking about a cheap used jig bore. They are useful……….especially in a job shop. For manufacturing buy new computer machinery and go to town, bring a romance novel to work so you don’t go stir crazy watching all the pretty machines make your parts. I get it boys , I just don’t think some of you appreciate how ungodly solid some of these old machines are. Solid machines make tough jobs easy, they make Machinists smile, and if your not smiling what is the point.
 
Ideally I'd do it on a 4ax HMC. I really don't know why you think it would be quicker or easier to do in a manual...
Goal post move :) we just went from showing a jig bore is not obsolete to explaining how it would be quicker or easier :)

But in this case, ja, I'll take that challenge. If we were doing fifty, or twenty, or even ten, no. But one, yes I'd rather.

An important factor here will be that you consider all the hmc's I've owned to be obsolete as well ... KT 200 and 600, Cincinnati H40, definitely obsolete, yes ? The cincy doesn't even have linear interpolation, just go go go to wherever ?

So pop that welded casting up on the 2B and wonk him in. Here a tap there a tap, everywhere a screw jack tighten clamp. Done.

The only modern enclosed hmc I can talk about from experience is a grey market mazak 500. The table on that might be tight for this part - in fact it definitely would be, but that's okay, will give you an advantage in a minute.

Have you ever crawled around inside one of those to set up a part ? Normally you just do a tombstone externally. You try crawling around in that enclosure. It would take easily five times as long and there'd be blood everywhere.

Next step is actually boring the holes and seeing what you are doing. This is an expensive part - cheapest LG I saw in a quick search was ten grand. Ja, you can creep up to the part with the feedrate overide and your body twisted like a pretzel stuffed into that effing box getting in the way and blocking your vision and damn it all, ouch, wacked my head again where's the band-aids ? On a 2B you just bring the bar in by hand, as fast or slow as you want, and everything is right in front of you.

Convenience-wise, 2B over HMC is no contest.

Accuracy-wise, let's assume they are both in the same condition and eliminate that part of the imaginary comparison. Otherwise, the jigmil is probably better, unless you go makino, which would kill your cost claim.

Space-wise, 2B footprint 9' x 9' : Mazak FH4800 (couldn't find full specs on the larger one) 15' x 10' x 10'

Cost : a nice 2B could be had for 10k thirty years ago. Nowadays I've seen them for $5. Hard as hell to find prices online but two mazaks of about this size (4800 and 5800) and reasonable condition were listed at 50k and 63k. So it would appear that this statement ....

The point is that technology has made it so that the same can be achieved at much lower cost.

is not accurate in all cases. I think that's a pretty fair comparison and no, I'm not going to say "manual jig bores are better ! it's artisanal !" but for some work they aren't "obsolete", either.

There's all kinds of shops in the world, doing all kinds of things. I'm gonna stick to my guns here and say no, for some stuff old, manual machines can be easier faster and cheaper than the hotsy-totsy newiest groovy stuff. If you've got the space, for the money they go for, yeah, I'd have one. And a Moore is much smaller than a jigmil. Prettier, too. Yup, I'd use one fairly often.
 
Last edited:
Goal post move :) we just went from showing a jig bore is not obsolete to explaining how it would be quicker or easier :)

But in this case, ja, I'll take that challenge. If we were doing fifty, or twenty, or even ten, no. But one, yes I'd rather.

An important factor here will be that you consider all the hmc's I've owned to be obsolete as well ... KT 200 and 600, Cincinnati H40, definitely obsolete, yes ? The cincy doesn't even have linear interpolation, just go go go to wherever ?

So pop that welded casting up on the 2B and wonk him in. Here a tap there a tap, everywhere a screw jack tighten clamp. Done.

The only modern enclosed hmc I can talk about from experience is a grey market mazak 500. The table on that might be tight for this part - in fact it definitely would be, but that's okay, will give you an advantage in a minute.

Have you ever crawled around inside one of those to set up a part ? Normally you just do a tombstone externally. You try crawling around in that enclosure. It would take easily five times as long and there'd be blood everywhere.

Next step is actually boring the holes and seeing what you are doing. This is an expensive part - cheapest LG I saw in a quick search was ten grand. Ja, you can creep up to the part with the feedrate overide and your body twisted like a pretzel stuffed into that effing box getting in the way and blocking your vision and damn it all, ouch, wacked my head again where's the band-aids ? On a 2B you just bring the bar in by hand, as fast or slow as you want, and everything is right in front of you.

Convenience-wise, 2B over HMC is no contest.

Accuracy-wise, let's assume they are both in the same condition and eliminate that part of the imaginary comparison. Otherwise, the jigmil is probably better, unless you go makino, which would kill your cost claim.

Space-wise, 2B footprint 9' x 9' : Mazak FH4800 (couldn't find full specs on the larger one) 15' x 10' x 10'

Cost : a nice 2B could be had for 10k thirty years ago. Nowadays I've seen them for $5. Hard as hell to find prices online but two mazaks of about this size (4800 and 5800) and reasonable condition were listed at 50k and 63k. So it would appear that this statement ....



is not accurate in all cases. I think that's a pretty fair comparison and no, I'm not going to say "manual jig bores are better ! it's artisanal !" but for some work they aren't "obsolete", either.

There's all kinds of shops in the world, doing all kinds of things. I'm gonna stick to my guns here and say no, for some stuff old, manual machines can be easier faster and cheaper than the hotsy-totsy newiest groovy stuff. If you've got the space, for the money they go for, yeah, I'd have one. And a Moore is much smaller than a jigmil. Prettier, too. Yup, I'd use one fairly often.

Ignoring the real differences in how you and I would tackle this part in a HMC, you make some fair points and I think we can agree to disagree, because this is just becoming a semantics argument about what "obsolete" means.
 
You guys lamenting over jig bore virtues and capabilities for "just a few thousand bucks" need to come into reality. Beefy old CNCs built better than those old things are often free.
 
Memories. I grew up on P&W Jig Bores. My dad ran the department. Probably had 6 of them. Some were good sized. I'm sure they have been melted down now.
 
While it's nice to romanticize about the quality of Moore and Sip jig bores- and they were absolutely the finest crafted machine tools made- a CNC machining center runs circles around a jig bore. I have used Moore Jig bores, and Sips for twenty years and an array of other methods to machine my tool line. I have Devlieg Jig Mills, five Sip jig Bores, and some Moore machines. Since buying a CNC machining center, I've hardly run any of them.

Circular interpolation, and thread milling are so easy to do in a CNC. Machining a casting that has a machined OD, a machined ID and for an example a 2 5/8ths-16 thread, is so easy to do in a CNC and a struggle to do in a Jig Bore. Using a simple end mill in CNC you can rough bore, do an OD surface and get a casting from rough to ready to bore in no time. PLUS using a thread mill, the thread is easily done. With probes and tool setters, holding THIRTY tools- a person is kidding themselves to think a SIP is a viable tool.

While working on a car the other day, I realized I needed to make a very specific sized wrench to get some oil cooler lines off. Machining this tool in my CNC, using a drill and a 1/4 inch endmill, I machined a 2 3/4 inch wide, 3/4 inch thick piece of bar stock into a wrench in TEN minutes. A 33 millimeter (1.3") hex machined complete with six flats, with a circular hole 1.370 in diameter for half the thickness of the plate. To do this is a SIP jig bore would mean setting up and sizing several tools, and some tedious work. YES the SIP could do it, but I'd probably STILL be doing it instead of writing this post.

So while we can post pictures of beautiful looking old machines, and they ARE a thing of beauty, doing persnickety jobs, the fact is a CNC can do them ten to twenty times faster. Time IS money. My Jig bores are used for machining parts that don't FIT inside my machining center. There is something to be said about a machine that has FOUR FEET of daylight under the spindle, in the case of my SIP 7A, or eight feet of travel in a Devlieg. Doing end work on machine tool slides in my CNC is impossible.

Twenty three years ago, I was using a Kearney and Trecker Rotary die mill to do circular interpolation To watch a CNC machine do the same job in 1/100th of the time, with just a few lines of code, is amazing. Thread-milling a left hand thread 1- 1/2 inches long in a casting, instead of tapping it, is a wonderful thing.

Hate to break it to all of the JIG Bores are great crowd- my Sip Hydroptic machines are all sixty years old. With electric cabinets that contain probably 100 relays and motor starters, the machine has tens of microswitches. To keep these machines running today, requires a very electrically and mechanically inclined person. When your powered drawbar quits working- you're no longer able to do anything. While I have MULTIPLES of the same type of machine to compare things with, most people don't. A lot of these old machines, you're on your own at keeping them running. I don't even want to touch on the complexity of the Devlieg Jig Mills.
 
At least real deal CNC mills took the fully supported table
slideway design architecture from classic jig bores.

The best CNC mills use linear table encoders instead of
a rotary encoder on the end of the servo motor. But that
is a higher price option.

-D
 








 
Back
Top