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Brasshouse Pitch Circle Drilling Machine - anyone heard of this company?

Peter S

Active member
Last year I saw a Brasshouse drilling machine listed in an auction. It was a good size machine equipped with multi-spindle head and a rotary table mounted to a Y axis. This was all original I think.

I have a 1970 catalogue from a Machine Tool Show in New Zealand, it lists a Brasshouse IDM, 1 1/2" capacity in mild steel, 9" quill stroke.

"Machine incorporates an electro-pneumatic auto workcycle and is equally suitable for drilling, reaming, spotfacing or tapping. (Having automatic spindle reverse)"

This, along with several other production machines, e.g. nice Index lathes, 4-spindle gang style Herbert drill etc. went for scrap :(. I saved a work light and a some tooling from an Index already on the scrappies truck.

Anyway - has anyone heard of Brasshouse?

Brasshouse drill 04.jpg Brasshouse drill 06.jpg Brasshouse drill 11.jpg Brasshouse drill 12.jpg Brasshouse drill 09.jpg
 

Jim Christie

New member
Peter,
I never heard of Brasshouse before but have seen similar setups.
That looks like a solid drilling machine by its self.
I did notice the Ettco tag on the multiple drilling head and have seen similar drilling heads before in pictures.
I see Vintage machinery has some Ettco history here,
ETTCO Tool Co., Inc. - History | VintageMachinery.org.
I looked at some of the listings here ,
ETTCO Tool Co., Inc. - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org
but didn't see exactly the one in your picture
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/11309/24327.pdf
They also made a similar type of rotary table
http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/11309/24327.pdf
I wondered if the drilling machine its self may have been made in the U.K.
This link from Tony's site turned up a similar styled Pollard machine and at some point in time Pollard was selling the Ettco tapping heads and perhaps other accessories made presumably under license in the U.K.
Pollard Corona Drills
Speculating on my part but perhaps Brasshouse was a trade name made by someone else for sale by another party or a clone of something else made in an former east block country , India or Taiwan at some point .
Jim
 

Peter S

Active member
Thanks Jim & Asquith,

It sounds like you have nailed it.

Strangely enough, the only Brasshouse I could find on Google was an area or building in Birmingham, not a firm.

I just noticed, there are two motors on the top of the machine. I wonder if the rear motor was used to raise or lower the entire head. It seems to be mounted on ways.

Quite a few electrical parts inside the column.


Brasshouse drill 02.jpg Brasshouse drill 01.jpg Brasshouse drill 10.jpg Brasshouse drill 07.jpg Brasshouse drill 05.jpg
 

Jim Christie

New member
I think there is good chance that the back motor would have been used to move the head up and down .
Since some of that type of machine could also be used for tapping and reaming it may have needed a more complex action some movement with the quill and some with the head.

As an aside I noticed in this picture
Brasshouse Pitch Circle Drilling Machine - anyone heard of this company?
the white unit that appears to be a Herbert multiple head drill.
File:Im194804AE-AlfredHerbert.jpg - Graces Guide
My father had one that had come with two or 3 heads of different capacities but only one head remained when he had it.

File:Im195011AE-Herbert.jpg - Graces Guide



Jim
 
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Asquith

New member
I can now add a bit more: In 1937 Peter Brasshouse Ltd were taken open by a London firm, Arnott & Harrison, who made machine tools (and cars at one point!). They opened another factory in Aldridge, Staffordshire, which closed in 1969 with the loss of 150 jobs.

Arnott & Harrison were taken over in 1968 by F. Pratt Engineering of Halifax, who made machine tools and chucks. They became Pratt Burnerd.
 

Peter S

Active member
As an aside I noticed in this picture the white unit that appears to be a Herbert multiple head drill.
File:Im194804AE-AlfredHerbert.jpg - Graces Guide
My father had one that had come with two or 3 heads of different capacities but only one head remained when he had it. Jim

Jim,

Yes you are right, it's a 4 head Herbert. I think it went for scrap, along with quite a few other machines. Each machine had a reserve of about $250. Any that didn't attract a bid went for scrap.

Much as I like drilling machines, I had no room for the Herbert.

I have seen a few Herbert gang-type machines for sale over the years, a few photos below.

It seems you could get them spaced close together or wider apart.
Some drill heads have power feed, others don't.
Some have the ordinary 4-speed motor, others have a high-low gear as well to give 8 speeds.
Probably other options too.

1567125538a.jpg 1567125560.jpg 395326928.jpg Herbert 03a.jpg 755621395a.jpg
 
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Jim Christie

New member
Thanks Peter,
The heads on that white Herbert are much like the one my father had with the power feed and had a #3 or #4 MT.
The other head that had been on his machine had no power feed and a # 2 MT. spindle and may still be in someone's home shop near hear .
The one my father had last I knew was still in use in an excavation contractor's repair shop.
Jim
 
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