Brown & Sharpe 618/818 Micromaster vs.Techmaster. Differences?
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    Default Brown & Sharpe 618/818 Micromaster vs.Techmaster. Differences?

    Hello, was looking at possibly purchasing a B&S surface grinder, they are reputed to be a good, if smaller grinding machine. Doing a little research, it appears that they've had a few lines along the way, 618's, 818's, series I and II, models that end with a PH. Does anyone have some thoughts on these, and the differences between the models? One thing I came across is the Series I has a cast base, and the series II is welded. No idea what the PH stands for though, which I saw when looking at the repro manuals available on Fleabay.

    With some models of manual lathes, it is known that often times the older models are 'better' than later produced ones, I was wondering if the same thing held true for this brand and machine type, or have technological improvements from the 60's to the I guess 90's(?) when these were made make the later models actually more desirable? Anyone who has knowledge or even thoughts on this are encourage to chime in.

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    the micro master grinders were operated with hydraulic shuttle valves,no electronics involved in the table or spindle motions. The techmaster grinders were kind of one step in between the micro master hydraulic machines and the later CNC driven machines. They used PLC's (programable logic control) and proximity sensors to control the table motions via solenoid/pilot valve hydraulics. Did Brown & Sharpe ever build any junk ?

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    I've got a 6x18 micromaster that has been used during it's 50 year life and certainly not a show queen. Still holds a few tenths easily across the chuck with some careful use (I guess there isn't, or shouldn't be, any other type of grinder use) Hydraulic system still working great and spindle is good as well. All I did when I brought it into the shop was a thorough clean, replaced the hydraulic filters, replaced the hydraulic fluid, replaced the spindle drive o-rings and dusted the chuck top and bottom.

    This machine uses it's hydraulic pump to oil the ways so if the pump was damaged or oil flow was restricted to ways I'd be hesitant to buy the machine due to potential wear.

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    QT: [Did Brown & Sharpe ever build any junk ? in grinders all are world class IMHO]
    Most of the #2 wore out clunkers can be scraped to out class most any new machine.

    The Micromaster with having the long travel only going left and right , and the cross a heavy unit scraped all by itself made the Micromaster one of the most accurate surface grinders IMHO.
    I used to grind parts 3 x 24" that could ring together
    I had a chance to buy an 824 in new condition 4 years ago for $5000 but was too busy to do so and let it pass.

    Most had the belts drive spindle that were smoother but could stall from belt slippage when hogging... and a few had a motorized spindle..The motorized spindle ones may have been a special order.

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    Not sure if they were special order, but my 818 series II has a direct drive 3 HP spindle. It is a sweet machine.

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    The 8-24 I use at work is also direct drive.

    Dave

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    I too have a 1966 B&S Micromaster 618. I changed the oil, replaced all the Bijur metering valves, went through and did a thorough cleaning (not that it was that bad) dusted the table and the chuck. It operates perfectly.
    If you can find a Micromaster in good shape, buy it. They are becoming hard to find and the quality is superb.

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