Unknown Vintage Milling machine
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  1. #1
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    Default Unknown Vintage Milling machine

    Just picked up a small milling machine, unfortunately I didn't get much info on it. I was told that it is a "Simplex" but haven't been able to find anything concrete online for a simplex that even looks similar. There is a few layers of repaint so I haven't been able to find any markings. Some added aluminum plates may have originally had name plates or some sort of info, but they are now aluminum.

    Does anyone have any info on this little thing? I plan to tear it all down and give it a good clean up, adjustment and repaint. I didn't get any collets with it, other then the 3/8 end mill and collet, so when I figure out what exactly it is I'll have to find some to fit.



    Last edited by Stones Cycles; 04-12-2020 at 01:54 PM.

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    Upon further investigation I have not been able to find any name or serial number on the machine. I would assume from this it would have been on a plate that is missing.

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    Could the seller have been telling you what "type" it is rather than the brand of it? Simplex rather than duplex or triplex, w/regards to spindle movement IIRC?

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    Looks like the table swivels, a defining feature of universal horizontal mills, but useless on a vertical mill. So, I wonder if the head can be mounted horizontally.

    Larry

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    It appears to have a shop-made fabricated head on a column that may be considerably older. I would ignore the head, and look for a match to the table and column assembly.

    I expect it did start life as a horizontal mill. Or parts of it did, it may be made up out of a mix of old and fabricated parts.

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    It is definately missing parts and pieces. It could very well have been a horizontal. The table does swivel. The head all seems to be the same cast quality of the bottom. It does look like it's missing a middle section, as it serves no purpose for the mill table to slide up that far with the head being so far down on the slide section

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    I'll do some digging to see if I can find a horizontal mill that matches.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stones Cycles View Post
    It is definately missing parts and pieces. It could very well have been a horizontal. The table does swivel. The head all seems to be the same cast quality of the bottom. It does look like it's missing a middle section, as it serves no purpose for the mill table to slide up that far with the head being so far down on the slide section
    Scout for fotos of a drillpress. "Wolf" was it? Made in UK, IIRC.

    I don't THINK one of those was a "parts donor". Too uncommon, USA.

    But there may have been "inspiration" off a drillpress - or a jig bore - as to adapting a head to a "universal" (table) horizontal mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stones Cycles View Post
    Just picked up a small milling machine, unfortunately I didn't get much info on it. I was told that it is a "Simplex" but haven't been able to find anything concrete online for a simplex that even looks similar. There is a few layers of repaint so I haven't been able to find any markings. Some added aluminum plates may have originally had name plates or some sort of info, but they are now aluminum.

    Does anyone have any info on this little thing? I plan to tear it all down and give it a good clean up, adjustment and repaint. I didn't get any collets with it, other then the 3/8 end mill and collet, so when I figure out what exactly it is I'll have to find some to fit.



    These pictures do look like something I saw in the past. It reminds me of Chinese made machines. If it was from Japan it would be much more valuable and so not usually found in that condition. It will likely clean up good though. I would not turn it down.

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    I had one similar to that one only mine had a octagonal spindle instead of the round one like yours. Mine said "McCalley" on the side of it. It took small collets like a 2" R8. Was my first milling machine, 25 years ago.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trueturning View Post
    I would not turn it down.
    I would. Turn it down.

    No evidence of any "dynamic" or "while in the cut" ability to move the quill. Even if that heavy head is - as it seems to be - on dovetails, no evidence of easy adjustment of the position PRIOR to the cut commencing, either.

    Pure waste of TIME, solvents, elbow grease, floorspace and power wiring vs any of a hundred more flexible options.

    Unless.. just MAYBE.. that oddly "FAT" and cylindrical-ish head..

    ...is also a hydraulic or air cylinder?

    Even so...

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    I would. Turn it down.

    No evidence of any "dynamic" or "while in the cut" ability to move the quill. Even if that heavy head is - as it seems to be - on dovetails, no evidence of easy adjustment of the position PRIOR to the cut commencing, either.

    Pure waste of TIME, solvents, elbow grease, floorspace and power wiring vs any of a hundred more flexible options.

    Unless.. just MAYBE.. that oddly "FAT" and cylindrical-ish head..

    ...is also a hydraulic or air cylinder?

    Even so...
    This was pretty cheap, I plan to do what I can with it for relatively no money. I don't get into huge machine work but a small milling will prove handy at times. I guess my next step would be tear the head apart and see what I find. It is held with a dove tail, whether that was originally to move or not I am unsure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stones Cycles View Post
    a small milling [machine] will prove handy at times.
    They can. This one - vertical spindle ONLY, and no advancing quill - is somewhat crippled.

    Don't go overboard as to the time you put into it trying to "improve" that. Plenty of other more flexible choices out there for small money that are better suited to typical needs.

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    The table looks like an old “Denbigh” horizontal mill, the top who knows, probably a frankenmill, still useable though,

    Mark

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    Is it possible the whole head can be raised and lowered on two vertical shafts in the head casting accessed through the aluminum covers? Unlikely probably. You would have noticed this I guess.

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    The half-round cut away on the vertical column is unusual. I have not found a US machine with that feature yet.
    It will be a distinct identifier if matched. Are the graduations on the dials inch or mm?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim rozen View Post
    The half-round cut away on the vertical column is unusual. I have not found a US machine with that feature yet.
    It will be a distinct identifier if matched. Are the graduations on the dials inch or mm?
    All of the threading on this machine is imperial. I would assume that would put it as an inch machine. However the dials have a bit of rust on them that needs to be cleaned up to find anything on them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wdTom View Post
    Is it possible the whole head can be raised and lowered on two vertical shafts in the head casting accessed through the aluminum covers? Unlikely probably. You would have noticed this I guess.
    Can't be raised or lowered that way. The quill is on a dovetail however that can be raised/lowered and then tightened back into place.

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    If you could raise the quill (or head) some to get some room it would help as it seems your table is already as low as it will go. If it had some more work area and can remove material with some control.... then you've got a milling machine.

    If the table/knee controls are good you might find another head(s) that gives you some more control and functionality.

    All that said... thermite has a point... if your goal is a milling machine then you'd probably be better off investing your time/money in something else. Even if you don't have a lot of money... your time is absolutely fixed and limited. If you're looking for a project and some fun restoring/rebuilding a milling machine then you've found it!!! Please start a new thread on your restoration project and provide us with plenty of pictures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCPDesigns View Post
    If you could raise the quill (or head) some to get some room it would help as it seems your table is already as low as it will go. If it had some more work area and can remove material with some control.... then you've got a milling machine.

    If the table/knee controls are good you might find another head(s) that gives you some more control and functionality.

    All that said... thermite has a point... if your goal is a milling machine then you'd probably be better off investing your time/money in something else. Even if you don't have a lot of money... your time is absolutely fixed and limited. If you're looking for a project and some fun restoring/rebuilding a milling machine then you've found it!!! Please start a new thread on your restoration project and provide us with plenty of pictures.
    For me it's a little side project when I haven't much to do. I won't be getting into too much as far as milling goes, I can likely raise it pretty far with minimal work.


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