Brainard #5 Milling Machine
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  1. #1
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    Default Brainard #5 Milling Machine

    So...
    I picked up another project... It started here:
    Help identify small horizontal mill
    So now my bleeding heart is waiting for the freight truck. Luckily since it's practically a micro-mill, shipping wasn't too bad. Once it arrives, I'll get some new pictures.

    I got it as it's the right size for my little shop at home. It's missing the spindle parts, but was fairly priced, so best case I'm looking to recreate the old step-pulley drive and run it off of the line-shaft system I'm putting together. Worst case, I can redesign a practical spindle for it. Given the number of projects I have going right now, I won't be starting on this one until I can get some other stuff done, but I wanted to start the research/planning process. I'd appreciate any help I can get from any other #5 owners out there.

    Starting with what I know about the mill: It's a Brainard #5 horizontal mill made sometime between 1871 and 1899. The missing parts are long gone, and there are not many mills like it around to borrow parts or information from. Vintagemachinery.org has a Brainard catalog with a couple paragraphs about this mill and one small picture. It says that this mill was designed for light duty brass work, such as for electrical components, so there never was an over-arm support or a back-gear.

    The spindle had a cone pulley drive with five steps and the catalog gives good information for what RPM was needed to drive the machine. With that I'll do some math to figure what the speeds were and dimensions of the missing cone pulleys. The spindle rode in bronze bearings which are still in the head-stock, so all that really needs to be made is a cone pulley and a spindle. I'll get some figures by scaling the cone pulley in the catalog picture and see if there might be a cone pulley set from another machine like an old lathe that could be adapted. IMO the spindle would be easy to produce from some kind of tool steel. Ideally I'll grind the bearing surfaces and tool register to be concentric. I'm guessing Brown and Sharpe #7 would be an appropriate tool taper, and it's one I'm well stocked in end-mills and misc. holders, I'll just need to piece together another set of collets.

    The knee, while not on the machine, seems to all be there with the exception of one bolt-on gib to hold the knee to the column, one ball crank, and the vertical adusting wheel and screw. All of which should be easy to replace. Some pictures online of similar mills show a power feed mechanism that hung off of the back of the spindle, but I'm not certain that this one had it as the table doesn't seem to have had it's half of that system, so hand-feed only.

    The side door is missing which is sad, but I'll make something out of a plate of steel to fill the hole. Perhaps one day as 3D printing and casting technology get more economical and easy to work with, I can model up a raised letter door and replace it. This picture is not of my mill but was posted in the prior thread.
    brainard-no.5-18.jpg

    I'm already in the process of building some smaller overhead clutch jack-shafts for my tool-and-cutter-grinder and bench grinder, and I think this mill would use a similar size bearing/clutch set so I'll make one for it while I'm at it. The clutch I'm making for my Whitcomb Blaisdell lathe will have a reversing clutch so I might do the same with this mill too. Of course, I could simplify the drive with a DC motor or VFD driven AC motor hanging off the side of the column, and that might get it cutting chips sooner... but that's not as fun as playing with leather belts hanging from the ceiling. Also I'm not trying to DIY a little home-shop-machinist bench mill so much as complete a piece of history that could then be useful, which will involve some DIY by a machinist in a home shop. Semantics is everything.

    The previous owner did find these pictures of the same model of mill on a different forum. Not sure who owns it but they're good reference for a complete machine.
    tapatalk_1613828808809.jpg
    tapatalk_1613828801584.jpg
    More pictures coming when the machine arrives.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 0116211624a_hdr.jpg  

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Starting with what I know about the mill: It's a Brainard #5 horizontal mill made sometime between 1871 and 1899.
    This is what I said in the other thread after seeing pictures of the other parts.
    "It is the Small Hand Milling Machine and not the No.5.
    The hand mill used most of the same castings as the No.5.
    The hand mill was a production mill.
    You have the original knee, saddle and part of the table, but all have been modified.
    This never had a long T slotted table.
    On top of the small table would have been a lever operated riser and a vise on top of the riser.
    The knee would have been raised and lowered by a lever too."

    The knee, saddle and table are different on this mill than on the No.5 mill.
    The knee on this mill has had part of the dovetail way machined off or broken off (the side the gib would be on).

    Send me your email and I can send a large scan of the catalog page of this mill.

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Lang View Post
    This is what I said in the other thread after seeing pictures of the other parts.
    "It is the Small Hand Milling Machine and not the No.5.
    The hand mill used most of the same castings as the No.5.
    The hand mill was a production mill.
    You have the original knee, saddle and part of the table, but all have been modified.
    This never had a long T slotted table.
    On top of the small table would have been a lever operated riser and a vise on top of the riser.
    The knee would have been raised and lowered by a lever too."

    The knee, saddle and table are different on this mill than on the No.5 mill.
    The knee on this mill has had part of the dovetail way machined off or broken off (the side the gib would be on).

    Send me your email and I can send a large scan of the catalog page of this mill.

    Rob
    Thanks! message sent!

    Sorry I mis-read that. In all my googling, the #5 has been the closest model, so I'd be glad to see any scans of the actual machine so I can keep as much of the design original as possible.

    Looking at the parts that are missing on this mill, I get the impression that a prior owner may have tried to update the mill, perhaps thinking to change the spindle to integrate a tread-mill motor or something. Perhaps the old parts were modified or scrapped before they gave up on it or otherwise lost interest? It's all speculation on my part, but if possible I'd like to at least know what it used to be, and then IF I were to "update" it in some way (the table surface and vertical movement parts for example), I could do so in a way that didn't permanently change the machine.

    Concerning the knee, if part of the knee is broken off, from the pictures I think that enough is there to make up the missing side and bolt it into the casting.

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    brainard-hand-mill.jpg
    Big thanks to Robert Lang! This looks to be exactly what the mill is. No model number, just "Small Hand Milling Machine"

    So this mill would have 4" travel vertically and Longitudinally that would be controlled via lever (I assume as some sort of cam/lever) pushing on the sliding components. Both have limit rods. The longitudinal travel rod looks like it was modified to be a screw feed. The knee cross travel would be screw feed and has 2 1/2" of travel. Not a big window, but it's enough with the right work-holding configuration. I imagine this mill could be set up for cutting small gears or similar work.
    (pics from the other thread)
    0121211134.jpg
    0121211135.jpg
    0121211134a.jpg
    0121211135b.jpg

    Tracking shows the ETA as Monday. We'll see as it seems that freight/parcel services are still catching up from the snow storms last week.

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    Sorry, the catalog scan didn't re-size correctly.

    brainard-hand-mill-small.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post

    So this mill would have 4" travel vertically and Longitudinally that would be controlled via lever (I assume as some sort of cam/lever) pushing on the sliding components. Both have limit rods. The longitudinal travel rod looks like it was modified to be a screw feed.
    (pics from the other thread)
    0121211134.jpg
    0121211134a.jpg
    I think both levers would be gear and rack operation.
    You can see four holes in the front column ways for a rack.
    It also looks like there is a recessed pocket in the saddle table ways for a rack.
    That lever would have a large diameter gear on it.

    Rob

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    Hey Rob I'm the one that sold him the mill. It appears that the other half of the dovetail was bolted on to the side of the knee but it didn't come with the mill so that is something that is going to have to be made. It didn't appear to be broken off

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    The Brainard has arrived!
    20210301_181647.jpg
    We'll start with the knee. The missing dovetail looks to be a simple bolt-on replacement. I imagine that the gib strip would be a separate adjustable piece so that the dovetail can bolt on solid. One piece that IS broken off is boss the vertical depth-stop rod. The rod would thread into the base casting and slip through the boss with am nuts on either side. I'm going to see if I can have the boss bolt to the replacement dovetail piece, then I don't have to mess with splicing it into the knee.
    20210301_181815.jpg
    20210301_181826.jpg
    As far as the vertical rise goes, there for sure was a gear rack bolted to the column. The shadow of it being there is clear enough that I'll be able to measure the pitch and width for the replacement. I removed an unoriginal piece that looks like a prior owner trying to make a screw adjustment vertical rise. It was hiding a fine thread hole in the casting (the added bit wasn't threaded but but turned to fit over the threads). If this mill was built anything like my Whitcomb Blaisdell lathe which also came out of Massachusetts old industrial sector, then the fine thread in the knee casting was to accept a bearing hub for the gear rack pinion gear. At least that's how the apron was constructed in the WB lathe. Those pieces will all be easy to reproduce. The part I'm not certain about is that there is also a raised boss on the base casting that looks like it was for a vertical adjusting screw like on other small Brainard mills. Not sure how that would connect to the gear/lever vertical adjustment mechanism, and there's already a depth rod on the right side of the column. Perhaps the base casting was machined the same as the #5 style mill, but it was assembled to be the production mill?
    20210301_181718.jpg
    20210301_181704.jpg

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    20210301_181844.jpg
    The saddle cross travel is all there. The only thing I might change is that it originally just had a square nub for a loose crank to turn and someone turned it down to pin a ball crank on. I might go back to the square drive as I imagine that the removable crank enabled the other movement levers to move without you busting your knuckles.
    20210301_181937.jpg
    20210301_181957.jpg
    The table movement still isn't clear. The top of the saddle appears to be cut out to accept a gear rack, but I imagine it would quickly fill up with chips and be difficult to clean as you can't just brush them out the side. The gear rack would need to be bellow the top surface of the dovetail to clear the table sliding back and forth. The table doesn't have any cut out for a pinion gear to interact with the gear rack (other than a small hole in the middle). Given that the gear rack isn't centered over the saddle, but off to the side, perhaps the missing portion of the table had the pinion gear and lever off to the side and had some kind of cover to keep chips out of the gear? According to the catalog photo however, the pinion and lever were centered with the table. The cut out in the middle of the table where the screw can be seen is just a cast relief. I imagine that it's only purpose is to give space for the tables depth stop rod to go, without having to bore a long hole through the table. The current table movement screw does thread into one side of the table, but I think it was meant to have a jam nut there and it could be adjusted in and out, as well as having adjustable stops on either side of the boss on the right side of the saddle.

    There's also a broken portion of the chip gutter, but this can be built up via brazing or at least reinforced bondo or epoxy.

    Not sure from the catalog pictures of the original vise was integrated into the table, or if there was surface to work with, but I think making the top of the table with a T-slot or at least an array of threaded holes would be best. For my uses, It would be helpful to be able to change the vise orientation and change it out for an indexer as needed.
    20210301_181726.jpg
    20210301_181736.jpg
    Completing the spindle is fairly straight forward. The front bearing diameter backlash is adjustable and the dust cover on the outside would go over a flange on the end of the spindle, with adjustable spanner nuts on the other side to set the spindles front-to-back backlash, the rear bearing of the spindle just floats. The missing cone pulley would be the most difficult to replace IMO as it's size would make it expensive to turn form a solid piece of steel. Unless I can find a similar five speed pulley to adapt, I think casting a replacement would be cheapest.

    The ways and flat surfaces are all pretty pitted and rusty. I think re-scrapping it all will definitely be on the list of things to do, but Likely much later down the road. Once I have the spindle replaced, I can start by scraping the face of the knee to be truly perpendicular to the spindle and build it from there. No serial numbers found yet, but given the mills age I wouldn't be surprised if it never had a serial number.

    This mill will be a fun project, but as I said before I'll need to finish some other stuff first, so I'll have lots of time to consider how to fill in the blanks, and be on the look-out for cone pulleys. You can see on the side of the column where someone had mounted a motor previously. While it is a practical option, I'd really rather go with the overhead drive set-up, so I'll need some time to get all the pulleys and hangers acquired and hung.

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    If you decide to put gear rack back on it, I have a few different pieces of various sizes and I may have some gears to go with it. I would give it to you for just the cost of shipping.

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