Nichols Horizontal Mill
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    Default Nichols Horizontal Mill

    Hi Guys,

    I just picked up a Nichols Horizontal mill. I did not get a key but I hot wired it temporarily to run. I would like to get a key. I don't know if they are all the same cut or not but if I can at least figure out what blank it uses I am sure I can pick the cylinder and make a key. If any of you who own one can get a copy of your key made and send it to me I would gladly pay the cost and postage.


    nichols-mill.jpgmill-key.jpg

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    Any reputable lock smith should be able to do something like this and rekey it to what works for a couple bucks.

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    I have a Nichols with a vertical head and what not like yours. I don’t know what that key/lock is for?

    Is it some lock for the electrical cabinet? If so it is probably something the previous owner/company put on to prevent people from sticking their hands in and getting electrocuted. I would probably figure out a way to remove the lock in entirety.

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    I would probably figure out a way to remove the lock in entirety.
    -This. The 'lock' is not factory, and was almost certainly installed and wired by a previous factory, in order to disable it as needed for worker safety.

    Just replace it with a typical locking E-stop type button of sufficient amperage tolerance and call it good.

    Good score, by the way- toolroom table, vertical head, and almost certainly the head's drive collar- which if it were missing, is virtually unobtainium these days.

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DocsMachine View Post
    -This. The 'lock' is not factory, and was almost certainly installed and wired by a previous factory, in order to disable it as needed for worker safety.

    Just replace it with a typical locking E-stop type button of sufficient amperage tolerance and call it good.

    Good score, by the way- toolroom table, vertical head, and almost certainly the head's drive collar- which if it were missing, is virtually unobtainium these days.

    Doc.
    It is not for a cabinet. If you look at the photo you will see the control panel. The lock is a factory item. It controls the selenoid that starts and switches between forward and reverses for the motor. Beside it's hole is a factory E-stop button so no need for a second one. As I said in my OP I have already hot wired around it. I just prefer to do things right when possible so would like to have an eom style key. I do have the factory vertical head drive collar so I guess I obtained the unobtainum. I do have to make a short draw bar but thats no big deal.

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    It is not for a cabinet. If you look at the photo you will see the control panel. The lock is a factory item.
    -Never said it was for the cabinet.

    It may be factory, then, but it's a factory option. My point is that it's unnecessary in a home shop or one- or two-man small job shop.

    The key was only there so that if the machine were out of use for some reason- and a given factory might have dozens, if not literally hundreds of these machines, not all of which would be in use in any given product run- it could be "locked out" so an inattentive (or mischievous) employee couldn't start it up.

    If it's just you, in a home shop or small job shop, and you don't have small kids poking around the workplace, I still say it's unnecessary.

    If you still want to keep it, it would likely be easier and cheaper to just replace it with a new keyed switch. There's a ton of them on eBay starting at about ten bucks.

    Doc.

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    Doc,
    I don't want to be confrontational or make any enemy's here and I assume you are a fine fellow. However, I don't understand why you continue to give unwanted advice. I specifically mentioned in my OP that I had hot wired the machine. I did this to hopefully not have guys chiming in about ways to avoid the need for a key. You clearly did not get the message. Anyone who can't wire around a key switch should not be on this forum.

    You were wrong about whether the key switch was factory and you were wrong in assuming I did not get the drive collar. Don't tell me what I need or don't need in my shop. I have multiple mills and multiple lathes and if I want to try to get a key so I can retain the factory control panel that is my business. Perhaps you like to do things half ass but I avoid that unless there is no other reasonable way.

    I asked for a response from anyone who might have a key. Since you don't have one, there was no reason for you to chime in in the first place. Before you respond in the future it will be better for all members if you carefully read posts and study any photos.

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    It's unlikely that anybody had a key. There were many different control panels for semi-automatic Nichols operations and most of them were not factory. It is extremely unlikely your panel is a factory option because the basic machine model you've got (the toolmaker model) was not one intended for this usage, and the vast majority of Nichols mills have a simple drum switch to control forward/reverse, usually mounted on the back side of the column.

    Now, Mr. "I don't want to be confrontational", you need to work on your Internet communication skills, because that posting came across like three slaps in the face, highly insulting, and just about guaranteed to put you on the collective ignore list. Doc was not being a prick. I can't say the same for you in this conversation.

    Oh, and you need to up your reading comprehension, too. Doc did not say you didn't get the vertical head mounting collar. That mistake was in your mind because you were too busy pumping testosterone into your keyboard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    Doc, I don't understand why you continue to give unwanted advice.
    -No offense taken. You'll have to dig harder than that to get under my skin.

    I just tend to wonder how long you've been on the internet- less than an hour? - if you believe you will only get the precisely exact information you desire, and only that information, when posting a question to a high-traffic bulletin board.

    I specifically mentioned in my OP that I had hot wired the machine. I did this to hopefully not have guys chiming in about ways to avoid the need for a key.
    -And I, for one, did not miss that detail. My response was the simple suggestion that perhaps such a key-switch is not entirely necessary- and, in my continued opinion, isn't worth the effort of having to go through the trouble to re-key.

    My second response did, in fact, note that if you did, in fact, still want a keyed switch, that replacements- albeit perhaps not factory-identical replacements- can be had for a pittance. Certainly less than it'd cost to have an existing unit rekeyed.

    You were wrong about whether the key switch was factory and you were wrong in assuming I did not get the drive collar.
    -On the former, Nichols supplied milling machines in many thousands of different configurations, and most were used, sold, used again and resold, likely getting further altered each time. Mine in particular, arrived with badges from two different companies, and showed evidence of having been repainted at least three times.

    Yours has been repainted at least twice- neither color showing was a factory tone- and it's also the first one I've ever seen with a key lock. This one, for example, has an identical control box, but no key.

    On the latter, if you'll reread my initial reply, I specifically expressed that you probably had the drive collar, which I assumed since the head was still mounted.

    I asked for a response from anyone who might have a key.
    -I have an old bus-stop locker, what's the chances you have a key that fits that?

    That's not hyperbole, that's basically what you're asking. Regardless of whether you believe me, key switches were not common options on these machines, and even if they were, your machine is likely about sixty years old. The key to your machine was likely tossed when the last factory that thing was in, was bought out, closed down and sold off, forty years ago.

    If you wish to keep a key switch? My advice is to buy a modern replacement. The chances someone has a spare key to a similar switch are basically nonexistent.

    Since you don't have one, there was no reason for you to chime in in the first place.
    -True on the first half, but I do have some passing knowledge of Nichols mills, and given that slim knowledge, I can be very close to certain that what you're asking is a fool's errand. You might as well ask to speak with the first person to ever operate your exact machine.

    Before you respond in the future it will be better for all members if you carefully read posts and study any photos.
    Kettle!, cried the Pot. How Black thou art!



    Doc.

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    My world won't end if no one has such a key. As I said in my OP I can pick the lock and make a key. On multiple times I have filed out a key from a piece of sheet aluminum for desk drawers and tool box locks, etc. It is just easier if one was available.

    Doc, personally I usually don't chime in on PM just to give rookie advice that does not answer someone's question (unless a poster says they are inexperienced) as I trust that members here are mostly professionals who would know how to rewire or bypass a simple switch. Such chatter is more welcome at a hobby machinist site.

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    12345678910

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    Doc, personally I usually don't chime in on PM just to give rookie advice that does not answer someone's question[.]
    -Neither do I, point in fact.

    However, this is more of a case of you not wanting to hear the actual answer, which is that no such key exists. As I mentioned, I have some small knowledge of Nichols, and know that, at best, perhaps only half a dozen members here own one, and chances are very, very good that exactly none of them have or even came with, a key switch.

    As such, any reply to your question could only be one of two options: To tell you as much, that no key was going to be available, or to ignore your sanctimonious ass and leave you to stew in your own juices.

    I tend to prefer to be a helpful sort, and as one of the board's authorities on the Nichols mill, offered what I considered valid advice.

    What you do with it or what orifice you jam it into, is entirely up to you.

    Doc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    Hi Guys,

    I just picked up a Nichols Horizontal mill. I did not get a key but I hot wired it temporarily to run. I would like to get a key. I don't know if they are all the same cut or not but if I can at least figure out what blank it uses I am sure I can pick the cylinder and make a key. If any of you who own one can get a copy of your key made and send it to me I would gladly pay the cost and postage.


    nichols-mill.jpgmill-key.jpg
    Seemed a simple request has turned into a pissin' match?

    Be that as it may ... as a congenital packrat with half a century of "Facilities Management" additional duty.. and/or "I lost the key to my [desk | toolbox | the lick-wire cabinet | chastity belt | cash box | key-cabinet.... | wotever ]

    .. odds-are if you sent me the lock one of a couple hundred keys here would even FIT ....as-is..

    That said? It would still be an OLD lock on an OLD switch ... that had to have been cycled every time the mill was actually put to work....

    Which may have been a LOT of cycles, not to mention dirt, corrosion, "etc"

    Round-trip postage cost would probably be better spent on a brand-new keyed switch with all the "usual" new cycle-count LIFE left in it?

    Or even an UNkeyed switch?

    Use the PM email feature if you want me to try the "lost tribe of orphaned keys" on it.

    Too old to shag. Can't remember WHY I'd want to masturbate if even I still could... may as well play with keys?

    I don't otherwise give a damn WHY you want what you want.

    It ain't my mill! More's the pity.



    BTW: Whole lot more that just "six" Nichols mills out in PM-land.

    Six-TEEN, easily, sixTY, maybe... is probably closer to the mark.

    A sliding-head Nichols - ESPECIALLY with the vertical head add-on - can pack a lot more usefulness into a DAMNED small footprint than.. to name one.. my impoverished Burke B100-4...



    And not everybody does a "lookie what I HAVE!" show-and-tell, after all.

    Some just use them to.. wudja believe it? "mill" s**t.

    Go figure...


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    termite, your bully ID "termite" is done!
    like I told you, I am not going to tolerate, termite the the troll to continue to post, without clarification!
    Your bully days are over, use one of your other fake IDs clown!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    Doc,
    I don't want to be confrontational or make any enemy's here and I assume you are a fine fellow. However, I don't understand why you continue to give unwanted advice. I specifically mentioned in my OP that I had hot wired the machine. I did this to hopefully not have guys chiming in about ways to avoid the need for a key. You clearly did not get the message. Anyone who can't wire around a key switch should not be on this forum.

    You were wrong about whether the key switch was factory and you were wrong in assuming I did not get the drive collar. Don't tell me what I need or don't need in my shop. I have multiple mills and multiple lathes and if I want to try to get a key so I can retain the factory control panel that is my business. Perhaps you like to do things half ass but I avoid that unless there is no other reasonable way.

    I asked for a response from anyone who might have a key. Since you don't have one, there was no reason for you to chime in in the first place. Before you respond in the future it will be better for all members if you carefully read posts and study any photos.
    You may not want to be confrontational but you certainly need to work on your reading and comprehension skills.

    For example Doc NEVER said or assumed you didn't get the factory drive collar, he said tht if you did then you were lucky as they're virtually unobtanium. That's a totally innocuous and correct statement. You were lucky - the collar wasn't separated from the head and lost.

    Now I could go through the rest of your post and parse it for similar errors on your part buy frankly I can't be bothered. You're coming across as a bit of a confrontational prick frankly.

    This is a public forum. If you want to take issue with free advice, you better have good blood pressure meds.

    PDW

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    For those who come after me the key blank is a very common one known as a "Y11" The lock cylinder is fairly easy to disassemble and file the key blank to work in it. According to the Nichols wiring diagram blue print I found dated 7/30/1965 the Allen Bradley control panel with the key switch was use on machine #806b, 8095 and all machines there after. Here is a photo of a machine with a very similar keyed control panel Nichols Horizontal Hand Miller page 5 I have uploaded the wiring diagram/blue print to VintageMachinery.org | Welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    For those who come after me the key blank is a very common one known as a "Y11" The lock cylinder is fairly easy to disassemble and file the key blank to work in it. According to the Nichols wiring diagram blue print I found dated 7/30/1965 the Allen Bradley control panel with the key switch was use on machine #806b, 8095 and all machines there after. Here is a photo of a machine with a very similar keyed control panel Nichols Horizontal Hand Miller page 5 I have uploaded the wiring diagram/blue print to VintageMachinery.org | Welcome
    Very Interesting

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    Quote Originally Posted by donie View Post
    termite, your bully ID "termite" is done!
    like I told you, I am not going to tolerate,....
    *sigh*

    Clowns...

    So go see the local sheriff. Find a friendly local Judge.

    Get a search warrant.
    Form a Posse. The one with an "o".
    Start searching.
    Put up a REWARD, even..

    IF/AS/WHEN ....you find the mortal remains of your brains?

    Discipline them!!!
    .. and HARSHLY ... for your overly-generous "tolerance".

    No concern of MINE what Walla-Walla-Whining-Wild-Turkey, the COVID-orphaned drama-queen "tolerates", is it?

    That's up to Walla Walla County animal control is it not?

    Have a care!

    They may put your eggs with a Turkey foster parent to reduce the risk they go addled ......and hatch into cameras .....with bald heads ....and purple-Turkey tail-feathers.... claiming to be doing "hydraulic work"?

    ..or some comparably silly delusion...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Superbowl View Post
    For those who come after me the key blank is a very common one known as a "Y11" The lock cylinder is fairly easy to disassemble and file the key blank to work in it. According to the Nichols wiring diagram blue print I found dated 7/30/1965 the Allen Bradley control panel with the key switch was use on machine #806b, 8095 and all machines there after. Here is a photo of a machine with a very similar keyed control panel Nichols Horizontal Hand Miller page 5 I have uploaded the wiring diagram/blue print to VintageMachinery.org | Welcome
    So your New to the internet?


    Good luck with your Attitude

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    I have a production Nichols mill with a small control panel that controls the air-over-hydraulic system in the X-axis. Mine doesnt have a lock, so unfortunately I can't help you there.

    But if you ever decide to sell that vertical head, let me know. I use my Nichols quite a lot and there are several operations that would be ideal for.

    Best of luck in your search for a key


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