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Brown and Sharpe 510 Surface Grinder

Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Happy New Year All
I have the opportunity to acquire a Brown and Sharpe 510 Surface grinder.
it is a manual machine as many should know, but I have never owned a Surface Grinder before, so my question is is it a good ground level grinder or will I just want to upgrade soon after using? And is it a good value for the money? It is stated it works and all parts are moving and it has been in storage for 10 years, sitting in an old closed shop.
The offer was $770 then $500 now it is please make offer don't want to scrap...
I believe these machine are large and heavy with a limited market, so I may be able to make a really good deal..?? And save it from the scrap yard...
It is close to me and available, two key features in obtaining large vintage machinery as far as I am concerned.
Any input would be appreciated.
BrownandSharpe1.jpgBrownandSharpe2.jpgBrownandSharpe3.jpgBrownandSharpe4.jpg
 

implmex

Titanium
Joined
Jun 23, 2002
Location
Vancouver BC Canada
Hi Trex Fabrication:
Everything depends on what you hope to use it for.

As a general principle, if you will mostly grind plates parallel, a hand grinder is not a good choice.
You will be far better off with a hydraulic grinder with power crossfeed, and even better power downfeed too.

On the other hand, if you will do smaller, more intricate grinding and want to run a spin fixture for tool and cylindrical grinding, a hand grinder is a good choice.

Moving on to the brand:
In my opinion, the brand matters less than the condition, although there are some that will argue passionately for their favourites, and really trash the ones they don't like.
I happen to like Harigs for small work, and I don't like KO Lee and Chevalier (I've driven both and was unimpressed).

If you are a shop doing production grinding, a big, stout machine will make you more productive...the nature of your question leads me to believe this is not going to be your requirement for a good while, if ever.

Brown and Sharpe is a premier brand...whether THIS Brown and Sharpe is still a good grinder depends on how beat up it is.
The design looks very much like the predecessor to the MicroMaster series which remains a very well regarded machine...solid, accurate and user friendly.

One thing I do not like about this example is the lever crank for moving the table...I prefer a big handwheel, and I find the slower traverse rate of a handwheel machine more comfortable to use, but others like the crank better...horses for courses.

This machine looks like it was built in the fifties or sixties...it will be a high miler for sure.
That's not a show stopper if it's still in usable condition, and "usable" depends on what you intend to do with it.
When it was brand new, I'll bet this machine could grind to half a tenth (0.00005") and hold a tenth or two flatness across its whole traverse area.
Obviously it will not do that anymore unless it's very well rebuilt...it's a solid enough machine to justify the effort if you care to, but it's a LOT of work (or a LOT of cash if you farm out the rebuild).

But if your needs are more modest, you may not have to do anything to it...just plug it in and run it.
Unless the spindle is thrashed, I'll betcha you can grind a 3" x 3" x 1" block parallel and flat within 0.0005" even if it's pretty worn.
For a lot of guys and a lot of jobs, that's plenty good enough.

Cheers

Marcus
Implant Mechanix • Design & Innovation > HOME
Vancouver Wire EDM -- Wire EDM Machining
 

Brandenberger

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Happy New Year All
I have the opportunity to acquire a Brown and Sharpe 510 Surface grinder.
it is a manual machine as many should know, but I have never owned a Surface Grinder before, so my question is is it a good ground level grinder or will I just want to upgrade soon after using? And is it a good value for the money? It is stated it works and all parts are moving and it has been in storage for 10 years, sitting in an old closed shop.
The offer was $770 then $500 now it is please make offer don't want to scrap...
I believe these machine are large and heavy with a limited market, so I may be able to make a really good deal..?? And save it from the scrap yard...
It is close to me and available, two key features in obtaining large vintage machinery as far as I am concerned.
Any input would be appreciated.
View attachment 338398View attachment 338399View attachment 338400View attachment 338401

Hi,
I have the same machine, probably similar vintage. Where are you in NJ? I'm in northern.

The key questions you should answer before buying this type of machine are

- are the spindle bearings ok?
- are the roller-ways ok and the rollers ok?
- is the lubrication system actually working?
- is the mag chuck usable?

After sitting for 10 years, you should probably assume that the lubrication system is at least partially plugged, if not completely. Mine certainly was. That means some effort to fix it, getting access to the bijur meter fittings inside the base casting, and possibly cleaning up the pump, replacing filter, etc.

The roller-ways can be very nice, or the rollers might be worn and the ways worn/damaged. The best way to answer this is to take the table off, inspect the rollers and the ways. You can do this pretty easily by releasing the steel band that drives the table and then just lifting it off (with help, or remove the magchuck first).

If the magchuck turns on and off and releases parts when off, that's good. If it doesn't turn on strongly or off relatively completely, that takes some effort to fix.

If the spindle bearings sound good running (quiet, no grinding, vibration, etc.) that's a good sign. Take the wheel off and see how much runout there is on the spindle taper. The bearings on these machines are high precision and certainly hundreds of dollars to replace.

Finally, the spindle might be direct drive or round section (o-ring type) belts. I'm betting on the latter given the age. If these belts are in good shape, great. If not, they need replacing.

I mention all of this because it makes the difference between a machine that you can use and get very good results on, versus one that not or require many hours of effort to address.

These B&S 510 / 612 machines are quite plentiful around the NJ area, I've seen perhaps a dozen for sale over time at auctions, many in very good shape, and most selling for a few hundred dollars. So I'd suggest being careful to get one in good shape unless you want a project or you aren't looking for a precision machine and are just going to use it as-is.

If I had it to do over again I would be pickier (many of the above items I needed to fix on the one I bought, for next to nothing). I would also would probably want a 612 rather than a 510.
Mine has fine downfeed (the one you have pictured doesn't, I don't think) which is a nice feature.

-Phil
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
Marcus nailed it to the letter.
It is all about its current condition.
In like-new one of the finest grinders, wore out not worth free(except for parting out)
if you chance it hand-spin the spindle a number of times before you fire up to speed.
Oh. look under and see the underside is not rusted from setting long.
I once saw a Thompson SG that sold for a higher price at auction that the ways were deep pitted rust.
 

Brandenberger

Cast Iron
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
One other note on moving the machine-- the column (~400lbs or more) sits on V and flat ways on the
main casting. The only think holding the column in place is the leadscrew and gravity. So when moving you really want to ensure that the column is strapped to down to the main casting somehow to give it more support, if the machine would be subject to any tilting or tipping.

The main casting is held to the steel base with 3 bolts from inside the cabinet.

The recommended way to lift is bars through the steel base cabinet and ropes that keep the machine straight and upright (the manual shows this).

The table ought to be removed for transit to avoid Brinnelling the ways with the rollers, or at least strapped down so it won't bounce in transit.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Thank you for all your replies and Great information.
Greatly appreciated!!
I will have to weigh out my options and make a decision.
As with more information comes more knowledge, but not always a clear choice.
If after I see the machine and find it is in good shape, should I go for it?
If it is not in good shape the answer is clear.
but if the before mentioned, should I get this manual machine or have buyers remorse to have an auto feed of some sort?
One thing is clear, my name is Joe and I am tool junkie.
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2021
Hi,
I have the same machine, probably similar vintage. Where are you in NJ? I'm in northern.

The key questions you should answer before buying this type of machine are

- are the spindle bearings ok?
- are the roller-ways ok and the rollers ok?
- is the lubrication system actually working?
- is the mag chuck usable?

After sitting for 10 years, you should probably assume that the lubrication system is at least partially plugged, if not completely. Mine certainly was. That means some effort to fix it, getting access to the bijur meter fittings inside the base casting, and possibly cleaning up the pump, replacing filter, etc.

The roller-ways can be very nice, or the rollers might be worn and the ways worn/damaged. The best way to answer this is to take the table off, inspect the rollers and the ways. You can do this pretty easily by releasing the steel band that drives the table and then just lifting it off (with help, or remove the magchuck first).

If the magchuck turns on and off and releases parts when off, that's good. If it doesn't turn on strongly or off relatively completely, that takes some effort to fix.

If the spindle bearings sound good running (quiet, no grinding, vibration, etc.) that's a good sign. Take the wheel off and see how much runout there is on the spindle taper. The bearings on these machines are high precision and certainly hundreds of dollars to replace.

Finally, the spindle might be direct drive or round section (o-ring type) belts. I'm betting on the latter given the age. If these belts are in good shape, great. If not, they need replacing.

I mention all of this because it makes the difference between a machine that you can use and get very good results on, versus one that not or require many hours of effort to address.

These B&S 510 / 612 machines are quite plentiful around the NJ area, I've seen perhaps a dozen for sale over time at auctions, many in very good shape, and most selling for a few hundred dollars. So I'd suggest being careful to get one in good shape unless you want a project or you aren't looking for a precision machine and are just going to use it as-is.

If I had it to do over again I would be pickier (many of the above items I needed to fix on the one I bought, for next to nothing). I would also would probably want a 612 rather than a 510.
Mine has fine downfeed (the one you have pictured doesn't, I don't think) which is a nice feature.

-Phil

Thanks for the input.
by the way, I am in Hammonton, the machine is in Mt Laural.
 

michiganbuck

Diamond
Joined
Jun 28, 2012
Location
Mt Clemens, Michigan 48035
If you look under and see ways rusted if hand turning the spindle and it feels dry or gravely walk away, being still wired in is a good thing that it may have been n use at shop closing.
a coin toss that it is good or bad with not a try out.
 

rrrgcy

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 5, 2013
Location
South Florida
Your grinder does look very clean.
If it isn’t quite right how easy a fix to get it to its true potential?
Like you I quickly wanted a grinder but small shop/funds w little to commit I made it simple to get something like yours. I jumped right on a local all manual 1953-ish grinder 618 inexpensively but on first at-shop-use it ran .013” right to left after chuck regrind. Bad. Didn’t start from the bottom but first tried the upper ways and with the hand scraping and six months effort part time i made .0003” results that was good enough for me. Mine had no roller bearings just steel ways on ways. Oh, and I had to buy a long reference granite plate in its long case - it’s a lot of lifting and laying blue and hand cutting! It’s hard to tell when looking at any machine how it’ll actually perform aside from running it to see if it’ll meet your expectations. Doubtful that if it doesn’t the seller will allow you to first regrind the chuck and keep trying different things to see what adjustments/corrections show that B&S’s true potential. And as a new grinder hand it takes time and some experience to suss out technique and ability to maximize a result, never mind excellent surface finish. So is it you or the machine? Time will tell. I bought mine on sight powered up but no testing. I took the balanced motor out for rewiring and testing, all good there at least. On faith it worked out w about six months hand-restoring (fun) but also a bit disappointing because I wished it was perfect from get-go. But I wouldn’t be without a surface grinder as it really expands your work.

About wheels and hustling them by hand back-and-forth for hours over several jobs: I like the immediate at-will control. I don’t like sweating. I now suffer some right elbow tendinitis for the first time ever in my life so be prepared if you’re over 50 and doing grinding to such a possible crappy eventuality. Yup, twisting a hand wheel can give you a bum elbow because that tendon runs from your wrist and your wristie thing is doing a lot!! I’ve avoided any grinding work and laid off from it for over six months as a result. But these smaller grinders sure are easy to move, ãre simple, cheap, and take up almost no room. They’re easy to lube and clean. Dead simple. You can likely resell yours to a knife maker hobbyist locally, at worst, should it not quite meet your expectations.
 
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