NUCLEAR TOOL ROOM LATHES
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  1. #1
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    IT HAS BEEN MY GOOD FORTUNE TO EITHER OWN OR HAVE HAD DIRECT CONTACT WITH A DIVERSE GROUP OF TOOL ROOM LATHES COMMISSIONED BY US FEDERAL FACILITIES ENGAGED IN POWER PRODUCTION, RESEARCH, OR WEAPONS PRODUCTION WITH A FOCAL POINT OF FISSIONABLE, RADIOACTIVE MATERIAL. BOTH DOMESTIC AND EUROPEAN MACHINES ARE REPRESENTED. THE CAZENEUVE HBX 360 NOTED IN EARLIER LINKS BEGAN SERVICE IN THE SAVANNAH RIVER NUCLEAR REPOSITORY. I HOPE TO HAVE RETROFIT OF THIS UNIT FINISHED BY YEARS END. BY FAR THE MOST INTERESTING MACHINE IS THE NEBEL MODEL 1308 OBTAINED FROM HANFORD ENERGY WORKS. THIS 46 YEAR OLD GEM HAS FEATURES WHICH EVEN BY TODAY'S STANDARDS MAY BE CONSIDERED
    EXOTIC, EVEN LEADING EDGE. I HAVE POSTED A COPY OF THE MACHINE MANUAL SUPPLIED AT DELIVERY. I WELCOME COMMENTS FROM PARTIES WITH ANY KNOWLEDGE OF NEBEL TOOL ROOM LATHES OR NUCLEAR FACILITY EXPERIENCE. MANY THANKS - LINK TO WEBSHOTS

  2. #2
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    The Nebel is interesting but please stop typing in ALL CAPS. Quite annoying.

  3. #3
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    A favorite of the National Labs, including Hanford, the three operated by the University of California (Lawrence Berkeley, Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore, in order of their founding), Oak Ridge, Brookhaven, and perhaps others, also for machining of nuclear materials, has been, and likely still is, the venerable Monarch 10EE, and its larger siblings, the Monarch 13EE and EE1000.

    Lawrence Livermore National Lab has a 10EE setup in a clean room, and is manually operated for the machining of Pu test coupons, and a photo of this particular machine was featured in a recent annual report of that Lab.

    One of the very first 10EEs off the production line, S/N 1 or S/N 3, I can't remember which, was supplied to Brookhaven in 1938. That machine would be seventy years old today, if it still existed, which it may. A machine like it is in the collection of the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

  4. #4
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    Jholland1

    About the Nebel,can you post pictures of the whole machine?

    On the nucklear tooroom lathes; was there any Schaublins,Hembrugs,Weilers used?

  5. #5
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    Thank you gentlemen for comments.
    I have owned only one EE series Monarch lathe, a highly modified pegboard 10 EE semiautomatic. This machine was in use at the Ketport naval facility. The electrohydraulics found on machines of 1970's vintage were complex and messy. This was the case with this unit and it was reduced to components.
    I have an album dedicated to the Nebel precision lathe. I will add additional images of the drive system and possibly a video of the spindle in action. The drive is centered on the Cleveland Variator torque convertor. Cleveland gear continues to produce this product today. The Variator is totally enclosed. Power application is smooth and seamless up to 3500 spindle rpm.
    URL for Cleveland Variator http://www.clevelandgear.com/variators.htm

    Webshots link-

  6. #6
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    Below is the Nebel brochure from my files.


  7. #7
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    That Nebel is interesting, I have not seen one in the Hanford area. Does it have any tags on it?
    My 1951 Monarch EE has several, one is Hanford Energy Works.
    Do you know what area it is from? There have been a few Nebel lathes on the net over the years.
    Looking at the feed range in the info Milacron provided, the fine feed of .002" is rather coarse for some operations, where the later Monarch ee has .0005".

  8. #8
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    The nebel is also similar to my Okuma LK-P which also uses a Cleveland Variator. for a similar spped range with backgear. My variator, at least, is not particularly quiet. Maybe it once was. I ight have posted a pic on the forum some time ago. It's a bit more massive than a 10EE. About 4000lbs. I think the finest feed is .001.

    regards,

    Jon P.

  9. #9
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    I saw the Pevner Okuma--and may have bid on it, I can't recall--when it was still in the old shop New Hampshire: I'd like to see more pictures and discussion of it. Kind regards, Jon.

    As to the Nebel, that, of course, was made by the Cincinatti manufacturer who took over Rahn-Larmon circa 1940.

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    Many thanks to Milacron for retrieval of rare document referencing Nebel lathes. Machine parameters noted in the sales prospectus differ from those found on the Hanford Nebel in my possession in several key aspects:
    a. the spindle nose on Hanford Nebel is D1-4
    b. the headstock housing in prospectus shows a "spine" missing on Hanford Nebel
    c. Hanford Nebel has a fourth spline shaft 3 position "knob" which correlates with additional set of reduction feed gears permitting
    d. the ability to feed at .0005 in per rev [new photos posted]
    e. the model 1510 Nebel noted on above prospectus has mysteriously morphed into a model 1611 noted throught the 40 page users manual available on my Webshots page
    f. electrical control elements and access panel are robust on Hanford Nebel


    The discrepancies in features between prospectus and those on Hanford Nebel are fortuitous and support my belief that machine tool features, with respect to a narrow range of toolroom devices, are in fact driven by deep pocket federal agencies by their ability to specify design and performance requirements.
    The Hanford Nebel may or may not represent a last valiant effort for a company to remain a viable enterprise. It most certainly manifests
    American craftsmanship at the highest level prior to the decline of domestic machine tool
    production.
    I have a couple more vignettes regarding Handford lathes - one regarding a LeBlond Dual Drive, the other A 10 EE. I will soon post

  11. #11
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    Holland, any more about those Hanford lathes?

  12. #12
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    Exxon Nuclear had an EE and two Harrison tool room lathes, the the Harrisons were not used much.
    Never heard of a Hardinge HLVH out there, everything else from Axelson to Rivett though.

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    BOB and the Hanford Dual Drive
    This is the story of "Bob" and the Hanford LeBlond Dual Drive.
    Around 1980 I got a call from my hospital requesting my evaluation and care of an injured individual. In the hospital emergency room I met "Bob", a sixty something machinist with obvious injuries. As I repaired the damage Bob explained the sequence. A workpiece on a lathe fractured sending an arc of fragments thru the shop. Over the next few weeks I monitored Bob's progress with visits to his rented shop, a sad affair indeed. The turning machines consisted of a 1930's Monarch and 1950 Logan. The Monarch was the tighter of the two. A well used Bridgeport was in a corner. A surface grinder in pieces, jigs and workholding fixtures, a diesel smudgepot for heat, lots of unidentifiable bits everywhere. Some nights Bob slept in the shop with the shop dog, other nights in a tiny adjacent travel trailer.
    The next several years found me paying an occasional visit to Bob. I was impressed with the work quality produced on his shop antiquities. Then one day there was a dramatic event- piles of unidentifiable stuff were bulldozed even higher to make room for a wunderous machine-a toolroom lathe obtained from Hanford Energy Works. Closer examination revealed a LeBlond with trapezoidal slanted headstock characteristic of the Dual Drive. This however, was no ordinary LeBlond. Adjacent to what customarily would be the gearshift lever was a 6 inch tachometer with 3000 rpm upper limit. Machine swing of 16 -17 inches and 30 inch centers were conventional as was the tailstock. Behind the headstock was a huge US Motors Varidrive of a size more suited for a 30 horsepower machine than 7.5 hp. Bob indicated that General Electric Corp had this machine factory modified for Hanford use. He estimated a $100,000 price tab- I agreed. He had obtained it on sealed bid sale. This was Bob's baby. Ways were removed, ground, shimmed, refit. The Varidrive was overhauled. Bushings, seals, bearings, whatever was needed to return to factory specs. Time and circumstance caught up with Bob. Strokes, Parkinsons, dementia. The LeBlond sat on a dealers floor for years, an object of scorn when purchasing agents were told a 40 year old used machine would cost twice what a new asian import sold for. But for a few years in the winter of life, Bob, retired Boeing machinist, combat veteran of North Africa, honest to a fault, had a metal working companion that never let him down.

  14. #14
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    JHOLLAND1

    Enjoye Bob's story. The story ending was well told.

  15. #15
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    Thanks, Holland, good story.

  16. #16
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    Very interesting, thanks for sharing the story. Regards Tyrone.

  17. #17
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    I have many machines from Hanford. A cincinnati tool grinder, Moore jigborer, Monarch EE lathe, Levin lathe, Johnson band saw, all kinds of tooling, gages and attachments. Even a super accurate flow test system that I adapted to flow cylinder heads.


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