Lithgow Small Arms Milling Machine
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    Default Lithgow Small Arms Milling Machine

    Hi everybody.
    New to this forum so thanks for adding me.

    I have an old milling machine,that was originally from the Lithgow Small Arms Factory in NSW Australia. It is the horizontal type but has lots of attachments, such as a geared drive vertical head and a belt drive high speed head and a slotter/shaper attachment. I am trying to find out what sort of taper it would have in its vertical heads as I have nothing that goes in there. The taper looks similar to an R8 but much smaller. The machine has only a plate which reads Property of Ministry of Munitions C of A so that places it about the early 1940s. I had heard that these were made at the small arms factory but have no real information about this.

    The smaller head taper cylindrical part is about 17.5 mm and the opening (big end of the tapered bit) is about 21.5 mm.
    The other head has about 20.7 mm cylindrical part and about 27.2 opening. sorry I can't be more exact yet but will try to measure more accurately.
    Does anyone know of where I might find a listing of old obscure standards for things like this or would they have been made specifically for this machine?

    The listings of sizes I have found doesn't seem to yield any matches.

    Alternately, does anyone know of a group of enthusiasts that collect these machines or information about them?

    Thanks again
    Andrewmilling-machine-3.jpgmilling-machine-1.jpgmilling-machine-2.jpg
    Last edited by Andrewp100; 04-07-2020 at 05:54 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewp100 View Post
    Hi everybody.
    New to this forum so thanks for adding me.

    I have an old milling machine,that was originally from the Lithgow Small Arms Factory in NSW Australia. It is the horizontal type but has lots of attachments, such as a geared drive vertical head and a belt drive high speed head and a slotter/shaper attachment. I am trying to find out what sort of taper it would have in its vertical heads as I have nothing that goes in there. The taper looks similar to an R8 but much smaller. The machine has only a plate which reads Property of Ministry of Munitions C of A so that places it about the early 1940s. I had heard that these were made at the small arms factory but have no real information about this.

    The smaller head taper cylindrical part is about 17.5 mm and the opening (big end of the tapered bit) is about 21.5 mm.
    The other head has about 20.7 mm cylindrical part and about 27.2 opening. sorry I can't be more exact yet but will try to measure more accurately.
    Does anyone know of where I might find a listing of old obscure standards for things like this or would they have been made specifically for this machine?

    The listings of sizes I have found doesn't seem to yield any matches.

    Alternately, does anyone know of a group of enthusiasts that collect these machines or information about them?

    Thanks again
    Andrew
    We need pictures.

    Did you get any tooling at all with the machine? If so then pix of that as well.

    Really the possibilities are pretty wide. If we knew the machine, maybe someone could guess at the taper. If it's a copy of an Aciera, Deckel or similar, probably uses the same tooling. One could hope anyway.

    So, pix please.

    Oh and where in Oz are you? If it's Sydney, there are people there who can likely offer assistance.

    PDW

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    Andrew,

    Suggest you try Metal Work Forums also. This is an Australian forum, so you might strike gold in the form of someone who has a similar machine - it's unlikely that any of these would have been exported to the USA if they were manufactured locally.

    I agree with PDW, who posted while I was typing this, that pictures would help to determine if it is a copy of an existing overseas or in-house design.

    franco.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewp100 View Post
    The smaller head taper cylindrical part is about 17.5 mm and the opening (big end of the tapered bit) is about 21.5 mm.
    Wudda been made by folks too pragmatic to set a proprietary standard with a tough war in progress. They'd want to be able to mount existing legacy tooling made by others.

    So.. if straight-sided, your prime suspects are Morse and B&S tapers.

    If the closing action is sharper taper right at the nose, lathe collets already in common use are likely.

    The other head has about 20.7 mm cylindrical part and about 27.2 opening. sorry I can't be more exact yet but will try to measure more accurately.
    Does anyone know of where I might find a listing of old obscure standards for things like this or would they have been made specifically for this machine?
    Same again. Look first at already common MT, B&S, or collet.

    Very unlikely to have been proprietary or even "minority" off whatever was in general use in the era.

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    Ok I'll try to get some pictures
    Thanks

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    Thanks for the quick reply
    I'll try to get some pictures, just need to move somethings first.
    I am on the central coast so close enough to Sydney.
    I'll have a look at the metal work forum as well
    Thanks
    Andrew

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    Yes ,I think B&S taper is likley........but see if Morse tapers fit first...If you have a vertical drive ,then there will be a drive with it with the machine taper sticking out ,and easily measured......Im positive you will easily find dimension s of tapers if you google them.

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    Thanks for the quick replies guys

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    Another comment is that these plated machines are nearly always US made machines ,that came out 42/43......Some UK manufacturers also had local factories here in that era. Dont forget to google "machine tapers"....but note these kinds of tapers nearly always had a slotted register to assist in the drive,and if a standard drill taper is used ,you will likely score the spindle,or get the tapered item jammed in the machine spindle.

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    Thanks John.k
    It isn't a straight taper in the sense of a morse or b and s. It is more like an R8 with a steep taper near the mouth and a longer cylindrical part, although the real mating cylindrical surface is probably higher up inside, if you know what I mean. I don't have anything to measure it with at this stage. I took polyester moulds off outer part which is what I can measure. I have googled a lot of these tapers and I was thinking maybe something like a smaller version of an R* or 5C

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    I don’t recognise your mill but , that style of mill was made in several places mainly in Europe and there were several similar almost copies made in the former east block countries and more recently in Asia .
    Tony also lists several of the related brands on his Deckel page
    Deckel FP1 Milling Machines
    That is the general style that these machines are often known as in the same way Bridgeport is known for their style of mill .
    I’m wondering if the taper might be the same as one of the W series collet tapers as used on Schaublin Lathes and other machines perhaps a W20 or W25

    There is another section of this forum that covers these machines .
    https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...a-abene-mills/
    If you don’t get the answer elsewhere you could try posting a link to this thread over there maybe someone who doesn’t regularly visit the Antique section will have some answers for you .
    Regards,
    Jim

    P.S.
    I just took a quick look and this one looks much like yours here
    Alexander Master Toolmaker

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Christie View Post
    ...
    P.S.
    I just took a quick look and this one looks much like yours here
    Alexander Master Toolmaker
    If it is an Alexander mill, I will point out that I have an Alexander cutter grinder. It is a very close copy of a Deckel, right down to using the same Deckel collets as the German grinders. As was said, it is often useful to use other makers' standard tooling when you copy their machines.

    Larry

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    Larry,
    I had forgotten about the Deckel collets but noticed similar looking ones at the bottom of the Alexander page .
    I had seen Deckel collets that fit an FP2 with a 40 taper or perhaps with an adapter but I thought they may have been larger.
    My Tos FN20 has a 40 taper but I don’t have any special collets for it at the moment.

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    Thanks for your help. I am pretty sure it is an 'Alexander master toolmaker' now that I have photos of that. I have even managed to find a pdf manual so that should help heaps. I'll get out this afternoon to see if I can remove the adaptor and find the 4 Morse taper.
    I'll post some picture when I get further into it
    Thanks again

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrewp100 View Post
    Thanks for your help. I am pretty sure it is an 'Alexander master toolmaker' now that I have photos of that. I have even managed to find a pdf manual so that should help heaps. I'll get out this afternoon to see if I can remove the adaptor and find the 4 Morse taper.
    I'll post some picture when I get further into it
    Thanks again
    Yep copy of a Deckel FP1. IIRC a lot of parts interchange.

    Good bet the collets you need for the vertical head are either W-20 or W-12 collets. I have a full set of W-12 collets for my high speed vertical head so could check some dimensions for you there if you need it.

    Those are pretty good little machines as long as you can work within their movement range. I have a Romanian sort of copy but with modern 40 taper vertical and horizontal spindles plus a separately powered high speed milling head. The biggest hassle is lack of Z space once you put a rotary table, dividing head etc on the standard table. I'm in the process of working up a sketch/drawing to get a quote on some castings for the lowered table that was an optional extra. Effectively another 200mm of Z space to play in.

    Incidentally there's an all-angle toolmaker's table for those machines (well, the FP1 anyway, should fit). Sometimes they come up for sale. I have a spare one but am not interested in selling it, it's too handy as an all angle table for my boring mill.

    PDW

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDW View Post
    Yep copy of a Deckel FP1. IIRC a lot of parts interchange.

    Good bet the collets you need for the vertical head are either W-20 or W-12 collets. I have a full set of W-12 collets for my high speed vertical head so could check some dimensions for you there if you need it.

    Those are pretty good little machines as long as you can work within their movement range. I have a Romanian sort of copy but with modern 40 taper vertical and horizontal spindles plus a separately powered high speed milling head. The biggest hassle is lack of Z space once you put a rotary table, dividing head etc on the standard table. I'm in the process of working up a sketch/drawing to get a quote on some castings for the lowered table that was an optional extra. Effectively another 200mm of Z space to play in.

    Incidentally there's an all-angle toolmaker's table for those machines (well, the FP1 anyway, should fit). Sometimes they come up for sale. I have a spare one but am not interested in selling it, it's too handy as an all angle table for my boring mill.

    PDW
    Is there a W-16? The smaller one in the high speed head is about that size. I also noticed that the Alexander manual gives ' adapted for 3/4" outside diameter spring collets..." as the size and was wondering if the deckel being metric and the alexander would be actually different or is 3/4" just a rough conversion?

    Andrew

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    Here is a picture of one of the Deckel collets for my George Alexander copy of the Deckel cutter grinder. The collet body is 20 mm and the length is 120 mm. The thread is M19.6 (probably M20 if extended to knife sharp) x 2 mm buttress form.

    This collet is marked FD in a circle (F. Deckel) Ga Germany on the side and GA on the end. It is a very rare solid collet with a 1 B&S taper that fits the cutters for my Green 106 engravers. I don't know if George Alexander made an engraver that took 1 B&S shank cutters, but that GA stamp must mean something. My other Deckel collets are in common inch sizes and have no maker name.

    Larry
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails deckel-grinder.jpg  

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