List of the top Job Shop Machines
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  1. #1
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    Default List of the top Job Shop Machines

    Greetings all

    I thought it might be interesting to submit a list of what I think are the very top quality machines for job shop work. As this is the antique forum, I thought the list should be manual operated machinery before CNC. There is still plenty of work out there for manual machinery. Building a reputation is often hard. I made up this list especially for the younger men.

    Following are my picks for the very top manual machines mostly from the 1950s, in the various categories. I have forgotten some of the names. You are invited to submit your choices with discussions.

    George the Rogue journeyman

    ----------
    Engine Lathes :
    Mid-size work : 15" X 8 or 10' = Lodge & Shipley
    Smaller : Hardinge tool room engine lathe
    Larger : American Pace Maker

    Turret Lathes :
    Medium to Large : Warner & Swasey
    Small : Hardinge Chucker

    Vertical Ram Lathe : Niles

    Vertical Turret Lathe : Bullard

    Horizontal Milling Machines : Cincinnati

    Vertical Milling Machines :
    Mid-size work : Cincinnati compound head
    Heavier : Kearney & Trecker
    Light : Bridgeport

    Horizontal Boring Mill : Giddings & Lewis

    Horizontal Jig Borer-Miller : Devlieg

    Vertical Jig Borers : Pratt & Whitney

    Shapers : Cincinnati

    Radial Arm Drills : Carleton

    Turret Drills : Burgmaster - only those made in California

    Surface Grinders : Blanchard

    Centerless Grinders : Norton

    Bandsaws : ??

    Fork Trucks : ??

    Boring Head : Davis soft steel, bought up by G & L and used for manufacturing their machines. Caution - these will ding easy, and need to be used with care, but I have seen none better.

    Dividing Head : Kearney & Trecker

    Micrometers : Brown & Sharpe

    Gage Blocks : GMC Johanson

    Optical Comparator : ??

    ----------

    add anything ?

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    Is there a need to polish the brass on the Titanic? You could call the list "my favorite machines", but the "top" machines for any job will be different for every situation.

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    Don't think you have had much experience..

    These machines are the "TOP" for almost every situation

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    Is there a need to polish the brass on the Titanic? You could call the list "my favorite machines", but the "top" machines for any job will be different for every situation.
    Agree.

    And if the OP (actually "_N_"ew P ) would do some searches I'm pretty sure this has been covered a number of times in the past. At least educate yourself to the site, drudge up a likely old one, and add to it rather than starting another pointless thread.

    smt

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    Any type of grinding machine made by " Churchill ", tool room grinding machines by " Jones & Shipman ". " Asquith " OD 1 radial arm drills. " Webster & Bennett " vertical boring machines. " Butler " planing, slotting, shaping machines.
    Any centre lathe made by " DSG", " Craven", " Lang" . Any turret lathe made by " Herbert " or " Ward ".

    I could go on but I won't. Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G&L4nahalf View Post
    Don't think you have had much experience..

    These machines are the "TOP" for almost every situation
    Is that why they are all still in production?

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephen thomas View Post
    Agree.

    And if the OP (actually "_N_"ew P ) would do some searches I'm pretty sure this has been covered a number of times in the past. At least educate yourself to the site, drudge up a likely old one, and add to it rather than starting another pointless thread.

    smt
    No.. I think you're the one needing education.. I have searched and read a few thousand posts..

    As I wrote, I had the younger men in mind.. many of them will have a different opinion than your pointless comment..

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Is that why they are all still in production?
    Better read which forum you are on.. This is the ANTIQUE FORUM

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    Quote Originally Posted by G&L4nahalf View Post
    No.. I think you're the one needing education.. I have searched and read a few thousand posts..

    As I wrote, I had the younger men in mind.. many of them will have a different opinion than your pointless comment..
    I'm a young guy. I don't have any of those machines in my shop. I manage to get by.

    The oldest machine in my shop is a Victoria gear head drill press. It works great. It's not the best.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G&L4nahalf View Post
    Better read which forum you are on.. This is the ANTIQUE FORUM
    Yeah. That's why I said it's ridiculous to call something the "top" if it's obsolete. It's just your favorite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G&L4nahalf View Post
    Better read which forum you are on.. This is the ANTIQUE FORUM
    Bazinga

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Any type of grinding machine made by " Churchill ", tool room grinding machines by " Jones & Shipman ". " Asquith " OD 1 radial arm drills. " Webster & Bennett " vertical boring machines. " Butler " planing, slotting, shaping machines.
    Any centre lathe made by " DSG", " Craven", " Lang" . Any turret lathe made by " Herbert " or " Ward ".

    I could go on but I won't. Regards Tyrone.
    + Holbrook centre lathes, Huron mills and Herbert drills, Tyrone?

    For sheer all round versatility within it's capacity 10'' Boxford lathe (SB clone)

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    I'm a young guy. I don't have any of those machines in my shop. I manage to get by.

    The oldest machine in my shop is a Victoria gear head drill press. It works great. It's not the best.
    I can guarantee that I'm younger than you and my youngest machine is probably older than your drill.

    Remember, one man's trash is another's treasure. I would love to have any of those machine listed, and most would be quite a technological step up from the machines I've got (one in particular is a real boat anchor.....).

    I'm not a machinist, and I don't have a shop, but I'm slowly moving that way.

    Not everything is CNC..... See that nasty evil obsolete shaper in the vid?
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BckZ4i1BzF0

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    You forgot Lucas

    Side note. Greatest machine in the world in 1958 is now old and worn unless stuck in the back and forgotten about (very unlikely) or rebuilt (not much more likely). And the new crop of "machinists" are trained in code. Not dials. They would have as much ability to run these productively and safely as I would banging out an interstellar space ship in the back yard.

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    Great video Matt. I run to Abilene every half decade. I'll see if I can find that place

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    I like this thread fine without the pointless comments from the peanut gallery. It is an interesting exercise and the OP has given me some machines I'll need to research. The antique forum isn't about competing with modern stuff, they'll lose in that context. To me it's about a celebration of our past achievements in this field and exploring the foundation upon which our present day machines are built.
    The Op asked for a list of the best machines prior to the soulless computer driven stuff of today. You won't see anyone decorating their upscale houses with parts from a CNC VMC like you see people (idiots?) doing with the classy and finely crafted stuff of yesteryear.

    For my small lathe I'd choose a Rivett 1030 or a Smart & Brown 1024
    Medium vertical mill would be a long table powerfeed Gorton 9J.
    Small VM, Gorton 8.5D Universal head with powerfeeds.
    Smallish T&CG, B&S #13 Universal and Tool Grinder. Will do double duty as a smallish cylindrical grinder as well.
    Small Horizontal, Nichols 8SA with toolroom table and Bellows feed.
    Small SG, B&S 618 with OTW dresser or J&S 540.
    Big SG, Thompson
    Dial test indicators, Alina.
    Small jig borer, SIP 1-H
    Bigger jig borer, SIP 5-E
    Jig grinder, Moore 3
    Bigger cylindrical grinder, Cincinnati
    Small gear hobber, Mikron 79
    Bigger gear hobber, Mikron 102
    Dividing head, Leitz Wetzlar Master optical dividing head
    Large rotary table, SIP Rotoptic 6 motor driven universal.
    Smaller RT, SIP P1-4 universal.

    Thanks for an interesting topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Yeah. That's why I said it's ridiculous to call something the "top" if it's obsolete. It's just your favorite.
    In some of the cases it is but, in some it is not ridiculous. There are more than a few older manual machine tools that have not been equaled by "modern" machine tool manufacturers. However, since finding any of these machines in pristine condition is mostly a dream, this is only a very nice exercise in favorites.

    Even in the 1960s when I was an apprentice in a top machine shop there were the "old" guys who argued about wither American or Lodge & Shipley made the "best" lathes. That goes the same for K&T vs. Cincinnati. It mattered not to me cause I had to make parts on the old "no name lathe" conversion with a 4 speed Ford Truck transmission for a gear box.

    Nice list to think reminisce about though.

    Walter

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    Hardinge DSM-59 with all the gadgets. I bought a brand new one in 1986 for $6,500.00 and wish I still had that machine. Over head cut off manual angle turning slide, Turret box tools, knurling tools, tapping head and a bar feed. You name it I had it on that machine. God I made a ton of money with that machine. You could get very creative and knock out parts like nothing. This machine alone launched a Job shop doing millions of $ by 2000. Within a year I had another and two TR lathes all brand new. Next step was the CHNC chucker. I was in the basement of my parents home for the first year. All these machines were financed by Hardinge with a hand shake at the picnic table in the back yard. Next day the paperwork would show up Fed-X and I would sign it and send it back. Tooling would start showing up UPS within a week and the machine would be on the floor so quickly it made my head spin. I remember the first one showing up with no notice and no way to get it off the truck. I was 25 years old and had the world by the balls. Yes by the balls, I'm still working seven days a week I think it has me by the balls I'm a lucky guy.

    Hardinge launched a lot of Job shops like this. I wish they still had the market they once had and I could afford to put a nice Hardinge CNC lathe on my floor. God that would be nice, I see a used CHNC in my future loved those machines.

    Ron

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    "All these machines were financed by Hardinge with a hand shake at the picnic table in the back yard."

    This was also the method of Warner and Swasy up to 1970s? and then taken up by the Japanese CNC makers

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    At the risk of getting flamed, I'll give my unqualified opinion.

    For a lathe, I'd like to see a hendey make the candidates list . A tool and gauge maker's model, or a big 12 speed gear head.

    For mills I'd add wells index and van Norman to the list.

    Steve


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