Brown and Sharpe No 2 Light Type mill, any owners' opinions?
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  1. #1
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    Question Brown and Sharpe No 2 Light Type mill, any owners' opinions?

    Definitely an antique, or at least historic...

    brown-sharpe-no-2-light.jpg

    I've seen a for-sale ad for this mill a couple of hours' drive away, for a reasonable price ($500 US, roughly) - it has a good set of accessories, vertical (non-quill-feed) head, dividing head and spiral milling gearbox etc., the arbor drop support's with it and it looks as though under 80? years of grime it might be in good shape(ish), at least nothing appears to be broken, anyone have or know these?

    It's the universal with swinging table and looks like it's spent Some Time cutting helical gears, the open rear-mounted motor suggests to me that it's probably from the 20's or 30's as does the lack of the feed dial on the knee.

    Is it likely to have power feeds in all directions, rapids etc.? Is it all one motor for spindle, feeds and suds pump (making it easy to tack a VFD onto)or would one that early have a separate feed motor? The picture isn't too clear, and I'd like to have an idea of its capabilities before taking a day making the round-trip to check it over, in case it won't do what I want of it...

    Obviously it's getting on for a century old, other than wear and tear are there any faults this model's prone to to watch out for and if possible test for?

    It would look Quite Appropriate cleaned up and sat opposite my Holbrook...

    Thanks for any help
    Dave H. (who likes the cut of its jib...)
    Last edited by Hopefuldave; 09-14-2015 at 04:09 PM. Reason: oops

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    If you buy it, you'll be stealing it., especially with the dividing head AND the vertical head. These are very good machines and nowhere near as old as you suggest... more like the late 1930s or even later. (I can't tell with everything piled on)... but it is more than likely a lend-lease machine and dates from the 40s. It will have power feed in all directions.

    I'm not certain what you mean by the "open" motor. The earliest version of this machine with the double overarms and NMTB tapers had a single motor built into the back and was driven by a silent chain. It should have a 40 taper spindle. I can't tell which vertical head it is — there are several types but it will have either a 7 or 9 B&S taper. It may have the rapid return... that was optional. If it is similar to my 2A (the heavy version) the circulating oil system and coolant system are all driven from the main motor. B&S did change to separate motors for the knee and coolant pumps, but I believe that was after WWII.

    It is a lineal descendent of the B&S "constant speed" machines built as far back as 1904. If there is no feed dial on the knee that is because someone removed it.

    This may have been B&S's most popular machine. Thousands were built and used all over the world. When you find the Serial Number we can probably say when it was built. I have all the dimensions if you need them. Weight, with the motor, is 2,950 lbs.

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    There are several threads on this style of milling machine on this forum if you do some searching but it may take some time to find the ideal one for you .
    Here is a link to a video that gives an overview of a rebuild on one that will give you an idea what they look like apart.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-sfBZWdyPA

    I had posted the link in this older thread.

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...s-220v-262343/

    Mink had a couple of threads about this machine if you search his profile you may find the thread where he had pictures of his apart also.

    Regards
    Jim

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    I have a much older one, runs good and within .002" easy.

    $500 is a steal. There could easily be another number in front of that.

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    Is it all one motor for spindle, feeds and suds pump?
    There are light types with a motor on right side of knee for feeds/rapids

    Scan of Universal from 1953 version of Practical Treatise on Milling and Milling Machines by B&S. Plain similar, but no swivel table.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bs-lt-u.jpg  

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    Thanks gents, the feedback's much appreciated! Jim, I think the No2 in the YouTube video looks a bit different, is that the heavy or just a later version of the no2 light? It appears to have a separate power feed motor and I suspect that the knee (and more) is different,.it looks broader.
    I.have what I think Ida later ops and maintainence manual (poor scan of a poor Xerox), any idea whether there's an older one I could download somewhere?

    Thanks again,
    Dave H. (the other one)

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    Somewhere on this site someone had the date that B&S changed from the single motor and added the motor to the knee. I think they also added an electric motor driven coolant pump at the same time. I think it was 1947... but don't take that to the bank. Like any older machine, there are potential problems depending on how much abuse the poor thing has received. Generally, if they received even reasonable care, they are bullet proof. The real deciding factor with the machine you show is that it has the virtually-impossible-to-find accessories which, in itself, suggests to me that it has been treated kindly.

    jp

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    Dave,
    I have owned one for many years very much like the one you
    are looking at. Do purchase it if you have the space to keep
    it. Mine is not the only mill I have but it sure does earn it's
    keep in my shop. I cut gears with with mine pretty often. Also
    have used it for deep slotting and other milling jobs that would
    be more difficult on the Bridgeport. That price is well below the
    machines value. Some pics of work they are capable of.
    spaeth
    mvc-096s.jpg mvc-024s.jpgmvc-028s.jpgmvc-091s.jpgdscn0367.jpg

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    Thanks Spaeth,
    that looks very much like it, but clean - I'm getting vibes that say I should buy it if I can (even if it's a bit big for my shop, which is full of motorbikes and a sturdy lathe), got to wait a few weeks for payday though and count my pennies, and hope no one else gets in first!

    I'm still interested to know what power feeds it has (assuming they work...) and whether it has rapids on 'em (I have some restricted movement in my shoulders, cranking handles can get tiring!), and maybe you could tell me the spindle speed range, and whether the vertical head (if you have one) is 1:1 or geared up like some of the K&T mills?

    It's been suggested that it's probably WW2 vintage, and this model seems to be surprisingly common here in the UK from ads on EvilBay, far more than K&T etc. around.

    Dave H. (the other one)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopefuldave View Post
    Thanks Spaeth,
    that looks very much like it, but clean - I'm getting vibes that say I should buy it if I can (even if it's a bit big for my shop, which is full of motorbikes and a sturdy lathe), got to wait a few weeks for payday though and count my pennies, and hope no one else gets in first!
    I'd buy it in your position. I have an Elliott/Victoria U2 mill with power feeds on all axes and I was using it 2 days ago to cut gears. It makes a really good companion to a vertical mill, much more rigid than my B/port and proper geared power feeds. The biggest hassle in vertical mode is the lack of a quill, but there are solutions to that. I have a spare B/port J head I may mount one of these days.

    PDW

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    Going by the 1939 B&S Catalog... the illustration looks almost exactly like the machine under consideration (at least as far as I can tell from the photos:

    Power feed:
    Longitudinal, 28 inches
    Transverse, 10 inches
    Vertical, 15 inches

    There are several versions of the vertical head attachment. I can't tell from that photo which it is but that will determine the speed ratio. The main spindle will have a 40 taper. Generally, the high speed vertical milling attachments have B&S tapers and are geared up.

    The catalog doesn't mention rapid return but I know, from another question I just received, that one built in 1942 does have it — so this one probably does also.

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    Dave,
    The spindle has 20 speeds ranging from 40 to 1300.
    There are 16 feed rates in inches per minute 1/2 to 8-1/4.
    Plenty of both for all kinds of work. All three movements
    have power feed. I don't think the one your looking at has
    rapid traverse. Another photo of my machine shows a motor
    on the right side of the knee. That is for the rapids. Also
    hard to see but to the left of the handwheel for the in and out
    travel there is a push from the bottom switch to engage the
    rapids. They are selected from a lever on the right of the
    same handwheel. I think the vertical head spindle speed is
    geared up a bit. Also as mentioned by another there is no
    quill feed on those heads.
    spaeth
    dscn1659.jpg

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    The rapid traverse on the earlier machines was entirely mechanical. I'm reasonably certain it was introduced quite early because I've read Springfield Armory correspondence that talks about buying new milling machines with it in 1913 to expedite manufacture of the new, M1913 saber. Exactly what those machines were isn't specified so I can't say for certain that they were B&S but the interior photos of the Armory shops I've seen show a lot of B&S milling machines.

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    Hi Dave. I am now the owner of this exact machine. Did you ever buy it? I've rebuilt the head, rewound the motor, released the stuck table, am halfway through cleaning it. I've nearly finished rebuilding the dividing head (just clean and paint), got all the functions working and begun preparing to scrape in the slides. It's quite worn, but runs well. It has all the gears for the dividing head (bar two that I've made) and multiple copies of the diving plates. I'd be very grateful to hear from you. I also have Holbrooks! A B17 and a D18. All the best. Ian

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    I can confirm there is no rapid traverse on this machine. It was made late 30s, I believe.


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