Antique Gear Cutter Question
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    Default Antique Gear Cutter Question

    Hello,
    I work with my grandpa at his machine shop. He is not an internet person and cannot find anything on this gear cutter we have. He wants to sell it, but i cant find anything on it really, except a post on here from almost 16 years ago. I dont know where to sell antique machines at. I was wondering if anyone could give any info on this machine, and what a good price for it would be. Thanks in advance!


    img_2344.jpgimg_2348.jpg[/ATTACH]img_2347.jpg

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    The Maxwell Manning & Moore tag was likely the dealer that sold it new. Cincinnati was the company that built it, but I THINK it's a different Cincinnati than the other more common companies that built milling machines, lathes, and grinding machines. Maxwell Manning & Moore sold a lot of machinery between 1900 and the 1930's to give you a reference for age. I'd be inclined to think this one was closer to the 1900's side.

    How does it get it's power? I think I see an electric motor over the edge there, but that can also give an idea of age. If the motor was fairly integrated into the machine it was likely newer. If the motor was an add-on after a life of overhead line-shaft drive, it's older. Sometimes you get some anomalies though such as our 16" Hendey lathe from 1909 that had a built in electric motor. It was also sold by Maxwell Manning & Moore.

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    That's a classic machine! Looks like it will cut a fairly large gear, too.

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    Yes, he said the motor was an addon after the fact its an old westinghouse motor. He made a base plate for the whole machine/motor to mount on because it wasnt attached in anyway and had to be lined up right anytime we moved it. We had a printing company that used old machines, and they couldn't find the gears anywhere. we just happened to have it for this machine, and made them for a few years. They went out of business though, and we haven't used it since. The earliest date I can make out on the actual machine is 1908. other than that I know it still works like the day it was built and is one hell of a machine. Takes a while to cut them, but they have always been accurate and never had complaints.

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    My question would be, does this machine have all the change gears and the chart that goes with them? If these are present then the machine has a little more value. But still no much more than scrap. Machines like this aren't going to be used in industry. Hobbyist are the most likely people to buy it. Right here in the antiques forum is where the most interest will be. Where in VA is it?
    Ben

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    There are many ways to make gears. Nowadays, you can either have it cut in a CNC mill with a 4th axis in quantities of 1 to 100, or outsource it to a company with dedicated gear broaching/cutting machines that can make 100 to 1,000,000.

    If you just need one or two gears, or need to make them on a regular basis but in low numbers and don't want to tie up the CNC, you can also set up to make them on a vertical or horizontal mill. The advantage of old gear cutting machines like yours, is that they are quicker to set up than a manual mill and still do just as accurate work, and are often semi-automatic in that you could leave it running while you do something else a short distance away.

    The disadvantage is that it's a machine that ONLY does gears and might not see work on a regular basis. So consequentially, it might not go for top dollar and you'll have to find a shop that wants to dedicate some floor space to it. Transport is another issue as the limited market means that the guys who could use it could be on the wrong side of the country, but it's limited usefulness makes it hard to justify shipping. That's the boat I'm in as I'd love to get an old gear-cutter, but not for the cost of shipping involved.

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    Contact Don Shaduck and ask him. He is a Gear machinist and an expert:
    Gear Works, Inc.
    Machine shop
    Website
    Directions
    76 Pearl St, Springfield, VT 05156
    (802) 885-5039

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben View Post
    My question would be, does this machine have all the change gears and the chart that goes with them? If these are present then the machine has a little more value. But still no much more than scrap. Machines like this aren't going to be used in industry. Hobbyist are the most likely people to buy it. Where in VA is it?
    Ben
    Yeah i know it isnt gonna get use in an industrial level. Hobbyists is more what I figured too. I told him it would take a good while to sell most likely if at all. It has evrything and then stuff he collected over the years that he uses for it. as far as a chart goes I didnt see one but i could ask him. Were located in charles city about 15 minutes from Richmond.

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    Charles City a little too close.
    Ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    There are many ways to make gears. Nowadays, you can either have it cut in a CNC mill with a 4th axis in quantities of 1 to 100, or outsource it to a company with dedicated gear broaching/cutting machines that can make 100 to 1,000,000.

    If you just need one or two gears, or need to make them on a regular basis but in low numbers and don't want to tie up the CNC, you can also set up to make them on a vertical or horizontal mill. The advantage of old gear cutting machines like yours, is that they are quicker to set up than a manual mill and still do just as accurate work, and are often semi-automatic in that you could leave it running while you do something else a short distance away.

    The disadvantage is that it's a machine that ONLY does gears and might not see work on a regular basis. So consequentially, it might not go for top dollar and you'll have to find a shop that wants to dedicate some floor space to it. Transport is another issue as the limited market means that the guys who could use it could be on the wrong side of the country, but it's limited usefulness makes it hard to justify shipping. That's the boat I'm in as I'd love to get an old gear-cutter, but not for the cost of shipping involved.
    Yeah we got a Fanuc EDM machine for our gears. We used that for a few years also but then it became where we had no work for it so same with the gear cutter we sold that. It was a LOT easier to sell that obviously. Shipping is another thing I was worried about as well. As far as the old gear cutter goes, yes we'd set it up and let it run and it would just be in the background cutting through splines while we were running the other CNC lathe and mills

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Contact Don Shaduck and ask him. He is a Gear machinist and an expert:
    Gear Works, Inc.
    Machine shop
    Website
    Directions
    76 Pearl St, Springfield, VT 05156
    (802) 885-5039
    Nice! I appreciate the info! I will definitely give him a shout and see if I cant figure something out.

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    I can personally deliver it anywhere in VA/NC area. We transported in our work truck to the new shop when we moved. I know i can move it but it would pretty much have to be the VA/NC area. You would have to have a way to unload it also.

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    Likely newer than the 1906 model without the overarm support.
    cincinnatti-gear-cutting-machine-company-1.jpgcincinnati-gear-cutter.jpg
    You gear cutter does not show the outboard support. It is used for large diameter gears.
    There should also be a rim support that attaches to the column. It is used to reduce vibration and promotes smooth cutting.
    This gearcutter is of the "Automatic" type in that once started it will run unattended and shut off after the last gear tooth is formed.
    It will only cut spur gears.

    Here is something a bit larger.
    automatic-gearcutters.jpg

    I bought a B&S automatic gearcutter that had been owned by McDonnell Douglas/Boeing for $400.
    About the same vintage as yours. Manuals for settings and the change gears included.
    Your machine should/may have a set of arbors with sleeves
    John

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    Sad to say but unless you have an unusual situation, I wouldn't even pay scrap price. They take up the same amount of space as a hobber, the teeth they cut are not the right shape, the spacing is not as good, and you need seven cutters to do the full range where one hob will do any number of teeth : better, faster, and cheaper.

    It's a technology whose time has passed.

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    You’re correct that the hobs are faster and generate the proper tooth profile but you can make a fairly large gear with a cheap (relative to a hob) cutter with these. If you need the occasional largish pinion or odd replacement gear these are handy. I wouldn’t want to buy or rent a 3 or 4 DP hob to make one gear. As you note if I had to choose one or the other fully tooled up, I would pick the Hobber but these do have a place.

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    Cincinnati Gear Cutting Machine

    Here is a link above to a thread I posted about mine. I set it up to cut a couple gears that a friend of mine wanted to make. They got cut in half and welded to a part to give motion on a plate lifter. One gear made 2 180 degree sections. Worked fine for that.
    The guy I got it from also used it to cut ratchets. It set next to a big Newark involute gear cutter. Indexing chart was the same between the 2 machines. The Newark actually actually went to a gear shop that was going to use it to rough cut gears to finish on their hobber. Saving wear and tear on the bigger hobs I assume.
    I do have an indexing chart.
    I haven’t used mine for several gears and will probably let mine go at some point.
    Any gears I have cut I have done on my hobber for some time.
    In the thread I state mine is rated up to a 4 pitch gear. I would hazard a guess the the this one is the same.
    Last edited by kevin johnson; 10-05-2021 at 06:17 AM. Reason: Additional information

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    One other way to look at this is it's a bit like a plainer or shaper. Both of which have been largely "replaced" by faster more accurate ways of making intricate cuts or flat surfaces, but the cost of tooling and the cost of the machine itself kinda generates a market of it's own as there are jobs out there that need to be done, but can't justify the new or more accurate way. Shapers for example have a very low market value and the cutters are dirt cheap and a shaper you can broach some intricate keyways. The better faster way to do them is with an EDM... but not everyone has or can justify obtaining an EDM and there are times that outsourcing the job isn't practical or cost effective (such as for repairs or inhouse jobs).

    It's not saying that these old-school machines are going to cut circles around the better methods, just that on the right floor they still have practical value more than just a neat antique. As time goes on, the better more modern machines get older and more affordable and trickle down into the market, but gear hobs don't seem to be getting much cheaper, and CNC/electronics don't age well.

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    Thanks for all your help. He is just gonna throw the actual machine itself in the scrap bin.It seems like more trouble than its worth. However We do have a lot of cutters and tools for it if anyone is interested in any of it shoot me an offer and maybe we can work something out. If you have a similar machine or any of these cutters will work on something you have. The picture is attached

    img_2372.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by DeSelle View Post
    I wouldn’t want to buy or rent a 3 or 4 DP hob to make one gear.
    3 or 4 pitch is big ? Get you a hob for a couple hundred dollars. You'd pay about the same for a single cutter from Ash.

    Seriously, if you have one sitting in the corner already ? Great. But buy one and move it ? You're going to lose money.

    The ones that will do bevels, maybe. That's a really weird market and you might be able to make money with one of these.

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    and a shaper you can broach some intricate keyways.
    To finish making the point you started.....

    With cheap tooling
    a shaper can plane gear teeth, too.

    Shaper can generate them too, as a PM'r used to demonstrate.



    smt


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