Brown and sharp no2 surface grinder question
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  1. #1
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    Default Brown and sharp no2 surface grinder question

    I have an opportunity to buy a brown and sharp no2 surface grinder for $300. From what I've see of it so far the grinder is buried in a small hole with probably 30 years of barn dust/oil on it.

    I've asked the owner to pull it out to a more well lit area where I can walk around it, is there anything specific I need to be looking at? It's doubtful that I will be able to see it run before buying either.

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    Mine was built in 1929 and they were making them for years before that. Some were driven from an overhead pulley (steam engine or electric motor down the line). Mine had an electric motor in the base. Later ones had a motorized spindle plus a smaller motor in the base for power feed. If it is a No. 2B, then it has no power feed. They are all old and likely to have a lot of wear on the table ways and spindle bearings. The price is probably about right. Weight might be about 1200 pounds. Lift the table off before moving it and that also gives you a look at the ways.

    Larry

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    For $300 its kind of hard to wrong, even if you have to scrap it you'll get something back. But you most assuredly will have to do at least a half assed clean, lube and inspection prior to operation. I wouldn't expect plug and play.

    Questions I'd be curious: What era was it made? Does it have a mag chuck and what type ? Can you spin the spindle by hand ? May not be convenient at sellers, but may want to take belts off between motor and spindle at some point see how both spin.

    Condition of ways ? won't fully be answered till you lift table.

    Are table feeds or traverse powered ? Manual ? Might have a separate hydraulic motor for hydraulics internally. Most likely 1.5 to 1hp per motor. Probably 3 phase, probably can wire for 230 or 460v.

    Try cranking hand wheels,spindle up and down, table traverse, table feed. Table feed may have a lever to open and close half nuts for engaging it. How's it feel, how much play etc.

    Is there a stone wheel on spindle ? Most grinders use a wheel hub that goes on spindle taper, not impossible to replace, but not neccessarily easy and greatly complicates things if no wheel hub. If a stone wheel is on, then hub is there. If no stone wheel, is hub and nut there ? What size wheels fit it ?

    Electrical door ? How's it look inside ?

    Any random tooling like wheel dressers, attachments and such.

    And pics, we love pics.

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    I still have to go and look at it a second time, the only markings I saw on it were brown and sharp no2 molded on to the base casting.

    So is there anything holding the table onto the machine or can I littereally just pick it up and turn it over to look at the ways? This is my first surface grinder I've considered buying, can't say I've ever closely checked one out before.

    I was able to open the front door of the grinder, there's a motor tucked inside but I couldn't stick my head in far enough to read the data plate in it. I was trying to figure out what linkage that motor had to the spindle. I doubt there are any kind of hydraulic systems in it, there was quite a mess of gears inside so I assumed it was all mechanically operated. I couldn't make out any kind of drive belt that connect the two. It's definitely not a line shaft driven machine. I wish I could get more info about its history, the guy selling it is in his late 70s maybe and this was his father's machine and beyond that knows nothing about it.

    The mag chuck on it is an electrical one, not sure on wheel size but there is a stone in it and freely turns by hand. I haven't yet messed around with the hand wheels.

    I'll see it I can't post a picture from his add, looks rough.screenshot_20190707-030930_chrome.jpg

    I'll get some more pictures mid week.

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    That looks to be a mechanical auto table. I have an old mechanical 8x24" surface grinder, works great. There's a lot that could be wrong with one of these, though...

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    The table lifts off and is quite heavy, especially with the chuck bolted on. Two man job with the chuck, I would say. The electric supply for the chuck may be doubtful after these many years. New controls are expensive, probably more than a permanent magnet chuck.

    There is a 14 foot leather belt that snakes around several pulleys on the back and up through the column to drive the spindle. There is a smaller leather belt that drives the table.

    Larry

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    can I littereally just pick it up and turn it over to look at the ways?
    You can - but getting the mag chuck off first would make it easier to do.

    Mechanical was in vogue at B&S until at least 1947 when my #4 Universal was made

    Mag chuck may be ELECTRIC - good luck with that

    The plain bearing spindles are capable of exceedingly nice adjustment - assuming they ar not worn plumb out

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    Electric chucks operated off DC voltage. If you really wanted to use it, you could jumper a car battery to it to see if it had any response, but the actual voltage range for true operation is higher. Would need something to generate that voltage, plus a throw lever potentiometer or switch to apply voltage. If I recall, may need to reverse B+ and B- to occasionally release magnet as well, to get your work off.

    Mechanical permanent mag chucks are pretty convenient to use. Pretty easy to get, but cost a few dollars.

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    I have a 1928 that I got for free as buckets of rusted parts. Brown and Sharpe No 2 Surface Grinder - the basket case

    On these guys, the drive for both table and spindle is belt. Two different ones. All the movements are mechanical - they way the table moves back and forward and the carriage in and out from a single turning motor is a joy.

    As someone once said, the are not complicated machines, just fussy. Mine is auto-table like that one - sure is great to watch. Also mine is plain spindle bearing - not sealed. If yours is the same and worn beyond saving, even those can be remade at home. I'm no expert but some patience (and a couple of years) had it going again.

    Also as someone once said "when I started this project I did not have the skills to finish it".

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    I'll check your tread out tomorrow, looks like I have to register to check out the pictures.

    What makes these grinders fussy? I imagine the number of mechanical parts is more chance to bind up with junk or break?

    Now that I know I can check out the ways by picking the table up I'll definitely be doing that. If the ways look taken care of in their past life ill take it, definitely not into taking on another project that takes up too much space and time though.

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    Hi setlab,

    Some pics here on this forum: 1928 Brown & Sharp #2 Surface Grinder - back to life ...

    With the 'fussy' thing, I didn't man these grinders are fussy, but grinders in general can be. They are exacting machines. I'm no expert at all but things like spindle play, vibrations, wheel balance, temperature and so on all play a part. I am a novice grinder hand.

    re the wear - I seen a couple of these grinders with pretty major wear still produce good parts. My carriage lived outside in the weather under grass for 10 years and still seems okay.

    So, I suspect a visual on a the ways of an 80 year old machine will likely confirm what you already know - it will be worn. But that might not make it unusable.

    It is difficult to tell from the photo but I'd be making sure all controls and so on are there. Some observations:

    * the 'lever' handle protruding out from the front of the table. I'm pretty sure it is not supposed to be like that.
    * in between the two hand wheels is a circular thingo with stops that control the amount of table movement at each end (left/right) of a pass. Can't see if everything is there.
    * there should be a type of slanting 'shield' above the hand controls that acts a hand protection. Looks like it is missing.
    * the left hand end of the table should have a kind of vertical 'grit stop' attached to reduce the dust and stuff that flings left
    * the column handwheel and the table handwheel are both missing handles.

    If you are keen on the machine, I'd download a manual from vintagemachinery.org and study a few pics and when you get back out there take a closer look.

    My feeling is you're probably up for a project there and not a plug-and-play grinder. But I could be wrong.

    Greg.

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    Thanks I'll check for the manual.

    I bought a little horizontal mill built back in the 50s from the same guy and the machine surfaces look near unused on it. May be because it is more of a hobbyists machine but I'm hoping it's because the original owner really took good care of these machines. It gives a little hope, I'll check it out Thursday.


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