Older Screw Machine selection
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  1. #1
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    Default Older Screw Machine selection

    Good afternoon.
    I am getting closer to retirement and hopefully lots of shop time. Plus honey do lists of course. There is an online auction coming up with a variety of screw machines.and so far no interest. Machines include Belcher A10's Tornos T4's and R10's, B&S 00, no 2 squarebase, No 2 ultramatic.

    My question is thus. If I was to get just one machine out of this list, which one would be the best for learning and playing with during retirement. Not money making, just fun. If the shop was big enough I would buy one of each..

    Also any idea of weight on these jewels, that would also play into bidding as far as trailer truck combo I would take for the trip.

    There is also listed a whole bunch of cams, not sure which machine they go to, will probably bid on those as well.

    Thanks

    Marshall

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    The first question I would ask myself is why do I want a screw machine.
    They do one thing well and that is make wheelbarrows or semi-trucks full of the same part very, very fast.
    For sure they are slicker than shit to watch run but setup and tooling eat a lot of money.
    One can buy a lot of cams way cheap but very doubtful those cams are the ones you need.
    Will you have a use or will eventually be a big paperweight or boat anchor?
    I truly love these guys here and in the bigger versions as a serious machine tool but I'd never buy one.
    Bob

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    If you have one, you then need a product to make with it, or it is a waste of space. The product needs to be a volume product, but it need not be high dollar per each, depending on production rate.

    Otherwise it is like owning a 50 cal MG, you can't afford to shoot it, and it costs money to own.

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    The Bechler and Tornos are of no use to you,every job needs a set of cams. Not 100% true to say you can't knife and fork it but pretty close and with your lack of experience (I assume) you are on a loser.
    With the Brown & Sharpe types you can certainly do a lash up but you will need lots of tooling.

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    Aw come on now.....Step up and buy a multi spindle, preferably an 8 spindle.

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    There are some very nice B&S hand screw machines based on the cam driven designs, something like a conventional turret lathe but outfitted with the cam machine slides; so you get the nice bar feed, slide geometries, spindle control and so on.

    I had occasion to move a B&S #00, was an easy rigging job. Given how handy a conventional turret lathe is for small and even not-so-small quantities I wouldn't get an automatic unless I was in a position to have repeat jobs in the 100's+ part counts, for the cam investment to pay off.

    My little Wade 7's prev owner made little brass gizmos by the hundreds- a can of them came with the machine. OTOH he drafted the kids to run jobs and at one point had the machine off its base and sitting on the kitchen table lol

  10. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Henderson View Post
    Good afternoon.
    I am getting closer to retirement and hopefully lots of shop time. Plus honey do lists of course. There is an online auction coming up with a variety of screw machines.and so far no interest. Machines include Belcher A10's Tornos T4's and R10's, B&S 00, no 2 squarebase, No 2 ultramatic.

    My question is thus. If I was to get just one machine out of this list, which one would be the best for learning and playing with during retirement. Not money making, just fun. If the shop was big enough I would buy one of each..

    Also any idea of weight on these jewels, that would also play into bidding as far as trailer truck combo I would take for the trip.

    There is also listed a whole bunch of cams, not sure which machine they go to, will probably bid on those as well.

    Thanks

    Marshall
    The B&S #2 ultramatic is a good choice .But not much good for anything except production work.About 2000 lb

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    Quote Originally Posted by mc3608 View Post
    The B&S #2 ultramatic is a good choice .But not much good for anything except production work.About 2000 lb
    2000 lbs would-be for a 00, the ultra is going to be double that.

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    If I just wanted to play with a turret at my leisure but occasionally make something useful, I'd go for a tool-room class lathe with turret and production cross-slide. You can tool them up a lot cheaper, although they're manually operated.

    If all I wanted to do was watch the process in automation, buy the smallest cheapest half-working automatic you can find and plug it in. Maybe find one that's still tooled up from it's last run?

    I'd love to own and shoot a WW2 Browning BAR rifle, but I'd have to be a Billionaire before I'd willingly put that much lead downrange just for kicks and giggles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    I'd love to own and shoot a WW2 Browning BAR rifle, but I'd have to be a Billionaire before I'd willingly put that much lead downrange just for kicks and giggles.
    Set up qty (1) mulspindle to crank out the brass, Qty (1) to make the boolits.

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    Thanks for all the comments.
    I agree that one of these machines takes up shop space, has NO redeeming value unless it is set up for making tons of parts, the learning curve is steep, cams are expensive, etc., etc., etc...........In short I really should run away.

    However, I looking for projects in retirement that will let me learn new things and keep my brain busy. Probably going to pass on this auction,but will keep my eyes open for one later.

    Marshall

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    Put in a low bid, if you do not ,and someone else gets it for less than scrap price you will kick yourself for years. Put in the low bid, MAYBE up it once, but DO NOT get in a bidding war with anyone, they probably work for the auctioneer.

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  18. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall Henderson View Post
    Thanks for all the comments.
    I agree that one of these machines takes up shop space, has NO redeeming value unless it is set up for making tons of parts, the learning curve is steep, cams are expensive, etc., etc., etc...........In short I really should run away.

    However, I looking for projects in retirement that will let me learn new things and keep my brain busy. Probably going to pass on this auction,but will keep my eyes open for one later.

    Marshall
    A acquaintance of mine has a Job Shop outside Detroit that has about a dozen B&S #2 Ultramatic's. He does contract work for the auto industry. The typical order for parts produced on these machines is 1,000,000 pieces or more. He showed me brake bleeders he was making for Ford & GM. He said the typical machine would turn out a finished bleeder in 2.8 seconds. Unless you need that volume and speed I would suggest you look for something like a tool room or turret lathe.

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    Back in 1982 I rescued a No.11/2 Cincinnati universal,with all trimmings,from a tin shed in the Fens near Cambridge. In another adjoining shed were two huge Pittler autos-very nice but know b....r all about autos! Probably still there!


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