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Jig borer heaven

L.Svedberg

Plastic
Joined
Jan 16, 2021
Made a visit to a combined machine tool manufacturer/very large precision workshop yesterday. Had to meet up with a guy to discuss and upcoming job, repair work to a large angle milling head.

He gave me a tour through the workshop, and among hundreds of lovely machines of all kinds I finally was shown the jig boring department. One DeVlieg, and no less than three SIP borers in as new condition stood in a row, doing precision work to the inhouse brand of Lidkoping grinding machines (aimed at roller bearing production, most are sold to SKF).

Needless to say, I was in total awe..!
 

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The workshop is LMV in Lidköping, Sweden. In the beginning owned and ran by SKF themselves, later on chopped off. I work in maintenance at Volvo Trucks, engine division nearby, and since our own main machining workshop was shut down a decade or so ago, LMV has been on our list of "go to" places when we are in need of precision grinding of larger parts.

Beside the jig borers, and dozens of special grinding machines, they also have two 16 metre capacity surface grinders and an equally large bed mill. Impressive stuff.
 
When I worked in Toronto, I had the good fortune to be employed by JBS, aka Jig Boring Services.
We had one 5, 6 6A's, one 7 and one 8 in the room. Coming from a three man shop with a clapped out old P&W 3 to a 6A was amazing. Half an inch a side for a roughing cut if you needed it. Bury a 1" ripper and go. 3" spade drill through a mold set for pins and bushing. Biggest problem was chip removal. Amazing machines.
The service guy showed up in white collared shirt and dress pants. Leather shoes. Climb all over the machine and leave at the end of the day, spotless. We all wore white shop coats, mine looked like I worked in a coal mine by the end of the week...
 
Hope that doesn't sound like Tommy Two Sheds, I never realized how special that place was until much later, and thought you folks would appreciate it. Certainly no one else would :)
My regret is that I never took photos of the place. It was before cell phones and I never brought my camera in. Doesn't seem to be anything online either.
 
At LMV, they are treating the jig borers with extreme care. My host showed me a small bucket standing next to one of the machines, and it was half full of fine chip. He explained that this were the chips from one full week of work in this SIP...they jokingly called the department "the dust room".

Two older gentlemen run the borers, and they recently hired a young guy in his twenties to learn the craft.

Small, square, blinding white pieces of cloth are used to wipe the tool shanks and spindle nose every time a tool is changed, and there is no compressed air in the department. The machines are I would guess from the 1950s, and still in wonderful condition. Hopefully they will stay like this for many more decades.
 
I once worked with a “ SIP “ service engineer on a reasonably old ( 1945 ) “ SIP “ jig borer. When he was getting his tools out he first removed a little roll of carpet which he placed in the well at the end of the table. “ Just to prevent any damage “ he said. I said” It’s a bit late for that “. He replied “ Well, we don’t want to make it any worse do we ? “

They operate in another world to us mere mortals.

Regards Tyrone
 
I have had the good fortune of working on a Newall and Hauser jig borer plus a Moore jig grinder. Really another world when you are on your own in a air conditioned room separate from the rest of the toolroom.

Regarding service tech's. We had a brand new Matsuura which I programmed and ran and a Makino run by someone else in a NZ toolroom. Local kiwi tech was working on the Matsuura spindle with swarf and tools everywhere and the Japanese Makino tech was in a white disposable suit with gloves and all tools neatly laid out like a surgeon.
 
The plant my Dad worked at was built in 1957 and they had an open house a year or two later; I can remember him taking us around - I was about 10. There was a brand new SIP and I can remember him telling how it had a totally separate foundation isolating it from the rest of the building, super precision, etc.. It was at the one end of the tool room, separate room all it's own with glass on the main aisle side. Even as a kid I was impressed. Twenty years or so later I transferred back to the same plant and the SIP was still sitting there - looking like new. When I retired almost 30 years later it was still there in pristine condition. I was an engineering manager and at one point my boss and I were looking at something.- we were having dimensional stability issues on printed wiring product (we made some very exotic boards). Chuck had come up as a tool maker, managed the tool room and then went into manufacturing engineering. He says - come on - and we go over to the tool room and used the SIP to take measurements. As a hack home machinist it was definitely the nicest machine I have ever had the pleasure of using - even if it was not for what the Swiss designed and built her for! As far as I know she's still there.
 
The plant my Dad worked at was built in 1957 and they had an open house a year or two later; I can remember him taking us around - I was about 10. There was a brand new SIP and I can remember him telling how it had a totally separate foundation isolating it from the rest of the building, super precision, etc.. It was at the one end of the tool room, separate room all it's own with glass on the main aisle side. Even as a kid I was impressed. Twenty years or so later I transferred back to the same plant and the SIP was still sitting there - looking like new. When I retired almost 30 years later it was still there in pristine condition. I was an engineering manager and at one point my boss and I were looking at something.- we were having dimensional stability issues on printed wiring product (we made some very exotic boards). Chuck had come up as a tool maker, managed the tool room and then went into manufacturing engineering. He says - come on - and we go over to the tool room and used the SIP to take measurements. As a hack home machinist it was definitely the nicest machine I have ever had the pleasure of using - even if it was not for what the Swiss designed and built her for! As far as I know she's still there.
They’re a work of art on several levels.

Regards Tyrone
 
I have a SIP MP5 in my shop.
A bit older machine but it is still in excellent shape.
I have very good A/C and heat and insulation in
my shop, but it is not a physics laboratory. I am
OK with that, because I am not splitting tenths,
but it is such a pleasure to use. It is pre-hydroptic
so there is a lot of cranking involved to get position
but it is still a joy to use.

-Doozer
 
I helped constructing a building for a friend of mine to accomadate his Sip/Hauser S50
That was early 90ies
Last year they upgraded the machine with new Fanuc controles New servos New drives New PLC New scales for about €150000
Before that they measured the machine
Only thing out of spec was the surface of the table
Handstoned it within specs
That is 30 years of intensive use
(I am getting old 🤑)
 








 
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