My old die filer
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  1. #1
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    Default My old die filer

    Posting this here to see if anyone can identify it or has any further info. All I have for ID is the dealer's plate as shown. Anyway, it's in working condition except for a slow leak on the bottom seal of the ram.






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    Looks like the one I have; a Harvey Butterfly.

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    Agreed, it is a Butterfly. I have one as well.

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    Yes, that's a Harvey Butterfly, rebadged to be sold by a UK machinery dealer. I have a two page brochure on them, but there's no date on it. I suspect that it's 1940's or 1950's?

    Quote from the brochure: "Named Butterfly, because it is as noiseless in its running, as a butterfly is in its flying"

    There were several different overarm/support kits available. Yours has the File Roller Support and Finger Rest setup, which looks completely original.

    A nearly identical copy of the Harvey Butterfly was also sold by Oliver of Adrian (aka Oliver Instrument Co.). I have one of those. It's identical to yours, except that it has a cross-hatch pattern of grooves in the table top surface. The badge is Oliver Instrument Co., with no model number.

    Oliver, of course, has made a long line of die filers of different models, over a span of nearly 100 years. The question I've asked on this forum, which we haven't resolved is: What's the business relationship between Harvey and Oliver? Did Harvey develop the Butterfly model and, for a while, Oliver was buying it from them and selling it under the Oliver name? Or did Oliver originally develop the design and then sell it off to Harvey? Was Harvey a spin off company from Oliver?

    I get the impression that my Oliver machine is a decade or two older than the Harveys that I've seen, and the Harvey brochure. But I don't know.

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    Wow, thanks for the great info. Mine is more like a frog than a butterfly, as when I turn it on it hops about on the bench. Is it normal for these to run badly out of balance? It is quiet though for sure apart from the noise it makes moving about.

    Is there a chance I could maybe get a scan of the documentation you have for it?

    EDIT: I found the scans already posted here - thanks for that!

    Pete.
    Last edited by Peter.; 01-24-2011 at 08:26 PM. Reason: added content

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    Also, can you explain the purpose of the finger rest please? I had assumed it was an attachment for stopping the work from lifting when using conventional files.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter. View Post
    Also, can you explain the purpose of the finger rest please? I had assumed it was an attachment for stopping the work from lifting when using conventional files.
    Give the man a ceegar! You assumed correctly. But it is not just for conventional files, but all files used in the machine.

    The finger-rest is adjusted over the piece being filed to prevent the file from pulling it from the table top on the up stroke. Parallel files, the type of file used in die filers, are cut "backward", meaning that if you hold the uncut tang portion in your hand, you would have to push the file to get it to cut. Therefore, when installing a file into a die filer, the tang goes into the clamp on the overarm, while the other end attaches to the pitman.

    Thus, in operation, the file cuts on the downward stoke, applying the pressure of the cut towards the table. Nevertheless, there is still sufficient frictional force on the back side of the file teeth to lift a workpiece from off the table on the return. The finger prevents this "sucking" action.

    You do not want, if at all possible, to file a part without the finger in place. These little puppies WILL pull up a part, and slam it down, repeatedly, on the hapless phalange the always finds it's way betwixt the piece part and the table.

    I know from experience. It ain't pleasant.

    By the way Peter, that is an adorable little filer. I rarely use my Oliver, but when I do, I am always wondering what I would do without it. Die filers are damned handy tools to have around.

    J.D.

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    In return for the great info I've gained here I've taken the scans put up by reggie_obe, made them a bit more readable and made a pdf out of them.

    Harvey Butterfly instructions and parts list

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdleach View Post
    ... Parallel files, the type of file used in die filers, are cut "backward", meaning that if you hold the uncut tang portion in your hand, you would have to push the file to get it to cut. Therefore, when installing a file into a die filer, the tang goes into the clamp on the overarm, while the other end attaches to the pitman....
    Machine files cut toward the tang, so the tang goes into the chuck on the ram. If you use a parallel hand file in a machine, then you fix it in the ram with the tang pointing up. It is customary to cut off and round the tang end first, as a safety measure. If you use a hack saw blade, mount it so the teeth cut on the down stroke, like the files. And yes, the file will still catch on the work and lift it against the stop finger.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    Machine files cut toward the tang, so the tang goes into the chuck on the ram. If you use a parallel hand file in a machine, then you fix it in the ram with the tang pointing up. It is customary to cut off and round the tang end first, as a safety measure. If you use a hack saw blade, mount it so the teeth cut on the down stroke, like the files. And yes, the file will still catch on the work and lift it against the stop finger.

    Larry
    Arrgghhh! Your right, don't know what I was thinking. Tang on the bottom, end on the overarm clamp, cut on the downstroke. Must have been tired last night, was an 11 hour day.

    Sorry 'bout that, criminal misinformation.

    Larry also brings up other, novel and useful, ways a die filer can be employed. They also make a dandy scroll saw for cutting intricate work in both metal and wood.

    Interesting about the oil leakage. It seems I have read that other owners of, at least the Olivers, have experienced seeping filers. Mine has leaked for years. Since it is mounted on a pedestal and has a tray with a lip on which the filer itself sits, I have never bothered with resealing the case. I have just sopped up the slick, and refilled whenever I needed to use the machine. Of course, the oil drenched tray, case, and pedestal are in a near perfect state of preservation after years of seepage. And the files, which are sitting beside the case in the tray, never get rusty either.

    J.D.

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    They list an oil pan in the parts list. Maybe leakage is normal and you just have to replenish it?

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    Search through old threads here for some useful and interesting info on other ways to rig die filers and use them. Some have put variable speed controls on them, which seems useful.

    I've mounted a block of wood on a shaft, glued sanpaper to it, and sanded inside little areas that were too hard to get at any other way. I think I picked up that idea from one of the old threads here.

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    Peter. would be great if you'd place a link for your enhanced scans, in the manuals thread: http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...ls-etc-151257/ and the primary manuals and brochures subforum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter. View Post
    They list an oil pan in the parts list. Maybe leakage is normal and you just have to replenish it?
    I am sure I do not know, Peter. I've never had my filer apart to find out. I would think though, that the manufacturer wouldn't want to have a slimy tool, as that could be perceived as being of poor quality.

    By the time these filers were made, the 1930's and later, the "once through" oiling concept and practice for gearing/power transmission was generally out of favor, replaced by contained systems that recycled the lubricant.

    My gut feeling is that a seal or gasket has failed. Your filer appears to be old enough, along with mine, to possibly have either a slinger and/or leather seal. Slingers, which are used in conjunction with leathers, are prone to some seepage even when in optimum condition. However, over the years, these systems can suffer from dried out leather, and dirt/sludge build-up that causes the slinger to cease rotating and forcing the oil back into the case (in operation, a slinger system has a fan-like washer on the output shaft that propels the oil back into the case when the machine is running, while a leather seal just outboard of the slinger prevents any remaining oil not "slung", from escaping).

    J.D.

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    Hmm....

    Just examined the parts sheet for this thing, and do not see any form of seal or gaskets listed. Maybe it doesn't have a seal after all. Surely though, there would be gaskets between the housing and cover plate, and the housing and input shaft casting. I can see not having seal on the vertical driving shaft, as the apron prevents the ingress of dirt, and any splashed oil would have a tendency to run down and back into the housing.

    J.D.

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    I'm going to strip mine anyhow so I'll let you know what I find inside.

    Pete.

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    My "Oliver Butterfly" doesn't seem to leak much. I have it filled with (if I remember correctly) DTE Medium. I notice that the manual calls for 30 wt. I doubt that it makes a whole lot of difference.

    I don't tend to use the Butterfly as much as my other two Olivers (an S4 and an HD). My Butterfly is missing the whole overarm assembly. I usually keep it set up with a short stubby fairly heavy round file, and use it for rough quick enlargement of holes in thin aluminum plates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Johnson View Post
    My "Oliver Butterfly" doesn't se
    At Oliver there's boxes & boxes of old papers & photos dating back to when Mr Oliver was a child. In all this accumulation I've never seen any connection to Butterfly. Of course this doesn't answer the question of whether the chicken came before the egg. I'm just not convinced that there's any connection on our end.



    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...1&d=1296043987
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails oliver-ad-010.jpg  

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    This might not answer the questions of Oliver's relationship with Harvey but I noticed some similarities between my Atlas Die Filer and my Butterfly. The Atlas was given to me a few years ago (Thanks Flute Maker) and I was hoping the overhead arm would fit my Oliver. It did, but the arm is too long so that the sprung clamp doesn't align with the file center. I had both machines apart in an attempt to make it work. There were no gaskets in either BTW. Some parts were interchangeable, but the key parts to create my Frankenfiler weren't. I gave up and kept both set up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_0475.jpg   100_0478.jpg  

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    Here's a couple of quick shots of my "Oliver Butterfly", taken a few minutes ago (after I dusted it off!). I think you can see the similarities to the Harvey machines. And the Oliver badge looks old, not recent. I'm guessing that it's 1930's or 1940's, whereas the Harvey literature seems to be 1950's and 1960's. So, was this a predecessor? Or what?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_0843b.jpg   img_0844b.jpg   img_0845b.jpg   img_0846b.jpg  


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