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Cincinatti 2L Horizontal Mill - "Dad's Mill"

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I've had a couple other threads related to this mill, but wanted to bring it all together.

So this mill is a 1936 Cincinnati 2L horizontal with the universal table, but we'll go back a little in the history books first.

My dad grew up on a horse ranch and decided he didn't want to shovel manure anymore, so out of high-school he shifted carriers and went to work in some saddle shops. That took him a few different places making harness, building and restoring antique steamer trunks, and he worked as a props and special effects man in Hollywood for a number of years, specializing in fitted leather flying harness's. If you've ever seen 'Hook' with Robin Williams, my dad's the guy who connected the flying wires to him, and did such a good job that you couldn't see his work.

As years went on, Dad got to where he liked working on the machines more than using them, which eventually lead us to our present family business. Before I was born, we had a neighbor who had retired from making gauges for the aircraft industry (old school aerospace) by the name or Irwin A. Spalding. I don't know his full history, only that he worked for Wright aircraft for awhile and helped make plains during WW2. He had a little shop in is garage that he had done contract aerospace work with before retiring, and he taught my dad the basics of machining. Afterwards he offered to sell his tools to my dad and that was the beginning of our machine shop.

In that lot, there was a little 9" South Bend, and an 11" Delta Rockwell lathe, both outfitted for both standard toolroom work as well as turret lathe work, and with them was the Cincinnati. When we got it, it was missing the cast overarm and instead had a stubby plate steel assembly there that had a Tree vertical head attached to it. The main spindle motor had also been replaced with a 220v single phase motor so Irwin didn't need 3 phase in his shop. We got a lot of use out of that set-up until we bought our first CNC mill in 2000 and needed some room. The Cincinnati did a few jobs still including line boring some small iron frames, but ended up in storage.

Then in 2011, I had finished school, gotten married, and went to work full time. One of my afterhours tasks was consolidating our storage space down, which included setting up as many off-line machines as I could make space for, and selling the ones we really didn't need (had some redundancy after merging 3 manual shops together and adding CNC to the mix). The Cincinnati went back to work and a fellow PM'er gratefully hooked me up with an original cast over arm and arbor support. The Tree milling head had a couple issues and I decided to sell it for parts, as we had several Bridgeport mills around the shop. Had a fantastic time using the mill until around 2015 I noticed the spindle bearings were starting to get crunchy (Spindle Bearing Thread). Around the same time, we built a new shop in Conroe Texas and moved everything there over the next 5 years (kept the old shop for storage for a little while). In that time, I switched over to using our Kearney Treker 2H at work (K&T thread) and had "when-I-get-around-to-it" plans to set up the Cincinnati at home, which never happened. Eventually I decided as much as I like both mills, I didn't have the space or needs to keep both, so I decided to part with the K&T and get the Cincinnati back in shape, which is where we are at today.

I've got the Cincinnati set up beside the K&T at the moment, briefly before the K&T gets loaded up and taken to it's new home up in north Texas. In addition to just cleaning it up and changing oil, I'm taking the opportunity to freshen up the paint (before it's soaked in cutting oil again), and I'm re-doing the old Tree head's welded steel mounting bracket to clamp under the end of the overarm dovetail, and mounting a little Bridgeport M-head to it which I picked up awhile back. It's in decent shape, but missing the motor, so I needed to find another cone pulley for it (Step Pulley Thread), to graft to a C-face 1 HP single phase motor. What I'll likely do is use the single phase motor set on my M-head Bridgeport at home and use that mills 3 phase motor set on this mill. The head going on this mill is a Morse #2 taper, while the other at home is a B&S #7.

I had also started rounding up scales to put a 3 axis Acurite DRO on the K&T, but will instead put them towards this mill eventually. The newest addition is I finally got my hands on a Cincinnati planetary indexer with PTO shaft input! Had wanted one for a long time and finally found one for a good deal. A project for later will be putting together a set of gears, shafts and brackets to do helical gears on this mill. Before then, I'll need to locate a tail-stock for the indexer, but I have a generic adjustable one to use in the mean-time.

(I'm having a hard time getting photo's to load.... Got a couple sized down and adjusted to low pixel'y quality, and still "too large" to load!!!)
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
The mill today, with the new indexer nested on the table. Still need to clean and oil it and confirm it's working as it should. It came with a 3 jaw chuck, a center and reducer sleeve (stuck in the back). Still learning about it so not yet sure what spindle thread and taper it is.
20220607_183239.jpg
I imagine that the simplest 'exposed gear' arrangement will be the path I take in putting together the powered indexing gear-train. It's exciting that the change-gear cabinet in the column will actually get used as intended!
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This "Cincinnati" tag had an impression on me as a kid. Something about the flying gears was(is) just awesome to me. Had the same impression with my dad's old 53' Ford F-100, which has the old red/black emblem with gear and lightening bolt, and our old white and red Ford 8N tractor. These machines just stood out to me as the coolest of the cool. I still remember at 9 years old, looking at this mill and my dad's old lathes and asking my dad what you call the guys that ran them, and deciding that that was what I wanted to do with myself. Had some different ideas of how I would get there as I grew up, but stuck with it.
20220607_183301b.jpg
Here's the "new" vertical head that's replacing the old Tree head. I'm going to run the head with the aluminum housing turned sideways as pictured to clear the over arm, which may also be more convenient doing speed changes. This head is missing the name plate, but has a serial number stamped as M8320. I can't find a serial number database for Bridgeport heads to figure a date, just dates on the bases. Someday, I might see if I can get a new name-plate made, but it's really the same plate that is found on the J-heads, just with different speeds stamped into it.
20220607_183323b.jpg
And the old mount. I'm machining a pair of dovetail blocks that will locate and bolt it to the ram, and I'll turn down the face to fit the 2" round recess in the back of the Bridgeport head and drill new mounting holes. I'd like to make it swivel, but will save that feature for later and for now just rely on a little sloppiness in the mounting bolt holes to tram it in. I also plan to make a little cradle pallet to pick the head off with a flat deck lift cart when I'm running arbors in the main spindle. Thought about trying to make it bolt to the ram some other way so it wouldn't get in the way of the dovetail, but decided this was the simplest and most accurate way to mount it.
20220607_183340b.jpg
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
This mill will get used for a variety work. Most of the stuff we make is "small parts" that fits right into the work envelope of a mill like this. We have a couple really talented guys in the machine shop making money on our main machines, and I tend to fill in with the piddly onesy-twosy stuff that I don't want to slow them down with. I tend to take on things like new parts that need a feature added or adjusted, used part repairs, shop tools and fixturing, and equipment repairs/set-up. Anything out of the day-to-day normalcy. I tend to run the crusty old manual stuff because for the piddly work it honestly makes more sense than slowing down the production machines IMO, and a lot of our machines started our really rough and I take as many opportunities as I can to make them better. A lot of my posts make it look like I'm constantly fixing my machines, lol. I should do better about posting the "money' jobs too.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Another note in regard to the handles on the mill, you'll notice the cross travel and table travel handles have been switched. Not sure why but for a long time they were backwards with the ball crank on the knee whereas originally it would have been on the table, but if anyone ever needs to replace a missing handle, note that the hubs are made the same.

I had all three handles and their dials Nickle plated awhile back as we had a big batch of parts going to the chrome shop and I threw these pieces as well as a few vise handles from around the shop in with the batch (discounted bulk price at a discount plater). I plan to paint the ID of the cross travel wheel red, but they'll never rust again! If anyone ever has ideas to do the same, just do the Nickle, not chrome over Nickle like a car bumper, as the chrome is more likely to cut you if it cracks or delaminates, whereas the Nickle is softer and more mailable.
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
Great story and write up, nice pics too. I'm curious what kind of parts you guys make.

I'm fairly certain not you guys, but in the vicinity of 2016 I bought a Bridgeport mill from somewhere just north of Houston. I'm thinking between Humble and Conroe, but memory is fuzzy. The story sounded a bit similar to yours though, family business that relocated to that area. Pretty interesting shop. They work on rebuilding commercial sewing machines. And a lot of those sewing machines were quite vintage stuff in their own right. Well this shop would manufacture the replacement parts and rebuild those sewing machines. Something to see really, these sewing machines had to be between 50 to 100 years old, but still in use in business.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Great story and write up, nice pics too. I'm curious what kind of parts you guys make.

I'm fairly certain not you guys, but in the vicinity of 2016 I bought a Bridgeport mill from somewhere just north of Houston. I'm thinking between Humble and Conroe, but memory is fuzzy. The story sounded a bit similar to yours though, family business that relocated to that area. Pretty interesting shop. They work on rebuilding commercial sewing machines. And a lot of those sewing machines were quite vintage stuff in their own right. Well this shop would manufacture the replacement parts and rebuild those sewing machines. Something to see really, these sewing machines had to be between 50 to 100 years old, but still in use in business.
Yep, that was us! We had four old Bridgeport mills when we moved but started making room for a new VMC not long after. Did you get one with a step pulley head or the variable speed head?

My dad had a repair shop for a long time fixing leatherworking machinery, until we bought Campbell Bosworth, a manufacturing company going back to 1882, in 1999 to fix up (kinda like fixing up an old machine), and again in 2006 we bought The Randall Co. (Founded 1858) and merged them together. We import and service machinery from Italy, as well as manufacturing a line of our own which includes a couple heavy-duty harness stitches. We've been selling more factory rebuilds than brand new iron, but still make all the parts and intend to cast new frames when they're needed. It's not a huge market, but nothing works quite as well, so we'll keep building them.

Campbell Randall
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
Wow, that is amazing. I've seen you around forever too, and just never pieced it together. I got the step pulley head and love it actually. I can't recall if I saved your listing pics, or took my own, but this would have been the machine I got, and the pics from your shop:

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg

I'm ashamed to say it took me maybe 5 years to get around to servicing it. Last year I had a project in mind, and wanted to tighten up the table prior to starting the job. When I bought it, I'm guessing it was one of you guys, showed me the gib adjuster would not turn in anymore, and that the table would occasionally jump on certain cuts. So last year I did I'll say half a rebuild on the machine. During the course of that, I found the gib adjuster was bent and jammed in its bore, is why It wouldn't turn. With the table off, I was able to cut slots in the adjusting screws collar, and used a pry bar to get it unscrewed. New vs old adjuster :

11.jpg

I scraped the knee and saddle a whole lot straighter and level, though I could go a little further on that next time. I say that because I started scraping the table way surfaces straight, but stopped and assembled the machine. I have a #3 mill, that when complete, I plan to mill the Bridgeport table on it. Scraping is a whole lotta work :D, so I want machines to get me close first. Prior to all that, I had serviced the motor and head a bit, so that works very nice.

Anyway, the machine operates very nice, and is a pleasure to use. What it mostly looks like now, though I added chip protection to ways after these pics:

107.jpg 108.jpg

A thread I did on it:

As I recall you guys had at least one South Bend, maybe two ? And some other manual lathes, though it escapes me what they were. There was a line of some vintage drill presses too, some pretty cool stuff.

I'm not sure if you ever posted anything on those sewing machines, but I bet that would be a very interesting thread. I wouldn't mind seeing it in this section at all. But I'm sure it would be a big hit in the Antique section. If you already have, please link it.
 
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
Manchester, England
When I was reading the thread about you setting up a line shaft shop and re-building and installing the planer I thought “ That sounds a lot of work to me “. Maybe I‘m getting old !
I’m pleased to see that you’re only a young man with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

Regards Tyrone.
 

kenton

Hot Rolled
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Here are some pictures of the dividing head and drive gears from the Cincinnati mill at my work and the part I was making when I set it up.
 

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M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Wow, that is amazing. I've seen you around forever too, and just never pieced it together. I got the step pulley head and love it actually. I can't recall if I saved your listing pics, or took my own, but this would have been the machine I got, and the pics from your shop:

View attachment 366355 View attachment 366356 View attachment 366357

I'm ashamed to say it took me maybe 5 years to get around to servicing it. Last year I had a project in mind, and wanted to tighten up the table prior to starting the job. When I bought it, I'm guessing it was one of you guys, showed me the gib adjuster would not turn in anymore, and that the table would occasionally jump on certain cuts. So last year I did I'll say half a rebuild on the machine. During the course of that, I found the gib adjuster was bent and jammed in its bore, is why It wouldn't turn. With the table off, I was able to cut slots in the adjusting screws collar, and used a pry bar to get it unscrewed. New vs old adjuster :

View attachment 366358

I scraped the knee and saddle a whole lot straighter and level, though I could go a little further on that next time. I say that because I started scraping the table way surfaces straight, but stopped and assembled the machine. I have a #3 mill, that when complete, I plan to mill the Bridgeport table on it. Scraping is a whole lotta work :D, so I want machines to get me close first. Prior to all that, I had serviced the motor and head a bit, so that works very nice.

Anyway, the machine operates very nice, and is a pleasure to use. What it mostly looks like now, though I added chip protection to ways after these pics:

View attachment 366359 View attachment 366360

A thread I did on it:

As I recall you guys had at least one South Bend, maybe two ? And some other manual lathes, though it escapes me what they were. There was a line of some vintage drill presses too, some pretty cool stuff.

I'm not sure if you ever posted anything on those sewing machines, but I bet that would be a very interesting thread. I wouldn't mind seeing it in this section at all. But I'm sure it would be a big hit in the Antique section. If you already have, please link it.
Fantastic! That thing turned out great! 5 years isn't long either, lol. Around the time we moved, I started looking into having all our machines re-scraped and otherwise brought back 100% and was considerably humbled by what it would all cost, so I started learning scraping (I think 2016 or 2017?), but also started "choosing my battles," so I'm happy to see that that mill was treated right. I remember those adjusters being a chore. I knew we'd have to take it apart to get it moving again, but just didn't have the time. The Bijur oiler I THINK was factory, but I doubt it had ever been cleaned. At the time, that mill was the newest Bridgeport in our shop, at 1969 vintage. We've since sold all but one of the 5 manual Bridgeport mills we started with (kept a little 1941 M-head), and bought a 1990 Bridgeport with a CNC conversion. The circle of life.

I had a thread started years ago about our company, but it only got so far as a basic history and a list of machines (as the line-up was at the time). That's still on my to-do list to get that thread rolling again, or start another with more emphasis on the history and work we do. With a couple exceptions, we don't have much equipment that has history with the company. As it's changed hands over the years and gone through downsizing, most of the machines I've seen in old pictures are long gone. Of course we couldn't stay in business if all we had was mills and lathes from 1858, things change, but the Cincinnati mill at least has history with my families involvement with the company. Even as the shop gets more efficient and productive, we'll always have a need for manual machinery, so I'm happy fixing up the old stuff. In my experience, wear and damage is all reversible and age is just history. In the end features and capacity are the only thing that will limit a machines usefulness.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
When I was reading the thread about you setting up a line shaft shop and re-building and installing the planer I thought “ That sounds a lot of work to me “. Maybe I‘m getting old !
I’m pleased to see that you’re only a young man with plenty of energy and enthusiasm.

Regards Tyrone.
Well you never know what life will throw at you, but fortunately I have two little boys that like to play in the garage with me and build stuff out of Legos, so if they continue down that path, I'll at least be able to pass my end of it on to them. My dad's still alive, but battles Parkinson's. He talks like he's one good nights sleep away from coming back to work full time, but is getting progressively worse. He's thoroughly taught me the joy, value, and importance of hard work and devotion to your skillset, but he's also inadvertently taught me to have an exit-strategy that can be adjusted to fit your circumstances.
 

m-lud

Stainless
Joined
Sep 4, 2016
Location
Missouri
It is good to see a younger machinist seeing some value in what the older iron can do. It's becoming rare. The Nitch is for one off stuff or small runs.
I totally understand CNC and the new world of numbers make money but there is a lot of satisfaction in manual machining. Family businesses often don't work. Following your fathers final trade of many, says a lot.
Earlier I was wondering about your father.
It's hard to see your parents get old and lose their health.
We had mom in our home with dementia for her final three years. It was a stressful time, but she had good days.

Quote from N.B.
. He's thoroughly taught me the joy, value, and importance of hard work and devotion to your skillset, but he's also inadvertently taught me to have an exit-strategy that can be adjusted to fit your circumstances.

Those are words of a wise man.
Versatility has a lot of value in life.
 
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M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Did a little cleaning on the dividing head tonight. The chuck and center came off without too much persuasion. The chuck and spindle-nose are threaded 2"x8tpi. I haven't done any measuring, but from what I've read in other threads, the center and spindle taper would be B&S #10, correct? It looks like it (large long taper). The worm engagement lever works, switching between freewheeling and engaged, and it indexes fine. Not sure how to check if the PTO is working, or if there's a way to switch between it and manual indexing. It looks like there's supposed to be a spindle locking knob on the back that is busted off, so will need to make one of those.

I'm not finding any free manual downloads for a head like this. I've got one for the later NMTB50 spindle head, but wouldn't mind having the correct manual (parts list, maintenance, operation, etc). Does anyone know of an available manual (free or for sale) that would go with the threaded nose dividing heads?

The only tags left on the head is the "Cincinnati" tag on top and the adjustment tag on the bottom, but I did find the serial number stamped on the base to be AAK1M/509. Is there anyone that could tell me an age for this attachment?

mrpete222 has some good videos on these indexers on Youtube:

I like the plain indexing option on his head and at some point want to make the parts to add it to mine. I typically leave an 5C spin or lever-action indexer on the tables on my mills (unless it's in the way of a job of course) for simple round work tasks, which the plain indexing option would be great for. Simple things like indexing 2, 3, 4, or 6 sided work.

The 3 jaw chuck that came with the indexer looks like it'll just need a good cleaning. I have a fair amount of professionally made between centers arbors (and they're simple to make of course), but I'll need to make or find a driving plate or fork to engage them with the indexer spindle. It would be nice to be able to put collets in this indexer too, so at some point I'd like to find/make an adapter and closer tube. It looks like my Hendey's 3H collets would make good use of the spindles ID.
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
I see two 12 page brochures from 1941 that have some specs. It looks like the 10" dividing head had a #10 b & s. But the larger ones were #11 b & s..

http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=16360

And this one:

Edit: I believe this 4 page brochure is a later version:
 
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M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I see two 12 page brochures from 1941 that have some specs. It looks like the 10" dividing head had a #10 b & s. But the larger ones were #11 b & s..

http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=16360

And this one:

Edit: I believe this 4 page brochure is a later version:
Thanks! Yes it looks like the 41' brochure is the same generation. The parts and instruction diagrams out there for the later NMTB50 units still give plenty of good information. It would be handy to know if (hypothetically) later ones had a ball bearing somewhere while the earlier ones had a bronze bushing in the same spot, or if adjustment procedures changed, but I assume they were all pretty much the same except for the spindle.

B&S #10 is the same taper as one of my old line-drive project mills, so I hope to get acquainted with cutting that taper. Might put a test bar first on the list for traming and inspecting.
 

texasgeartrain

Titanium
Joined
Feb 23, 2016
Location
Houston, TX
Searching a little more today, I found the parts manual, but suspect its what you already have. It is pretty detailed though:

And the pdf:

Looking at another thread I came across this link too, which might prove handy. Index and table leads:

The pdf:

Not sure the contents, but a 119 page operators book on Ozark:
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I found an original tail stock for the dividing head. Other than some hammer marks and rust, it's in decent shape. The biggest issue is that the center piece (#293 in the attached picture) was replaced with a somewhat poorly shop-made piece and the pinion gear and knob for adjusting the vertical height on it are missing. It's functional as is, but you have to manually move it. I don't think it will be hard to replace the knob, pinion, and dovetail pieces. My only concern would be the two centers themselves. They appear to be made with the dovetail out of a solid piece, and I wonder if I can make them replaceable, or at least separate pieces that somehow attach to the dovetail. I don't see the centers wearing out too fast, but they might get a few marks-of-shame from cutters coming too close in years to come (what I assume happened to the original).

Also, what is the purpose of having two centers? Is the geometry different between them, or is it just a spare?

I'll get some pictures up of the tailstock. As it's a simple rebuild, I went ahead and got it cleaned up and painted while doing some other parts of the mill.
center.jpg
 








 
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