View Full Version : Moore jig borer for the home shop ?

11-07-2002, 06:39 PM
Would the HSM be able to use a Moore Jig borer as a milling machine ? What would be the pro s and cons ?

11-07-2002, 10:13 PM
Well, I've done light milling on an el cheapo import drill press with a cross slide table with just some modifications to keep the head from rotating on the tube from the side loads...So I'm sure you could do it on a Moore. BUT, from my Ebay watch experience Moore tools of all sorts are very desirable...you may be able to get enough for it to pick up a nice vertical mill and have some change left over. IIRC, one went for 4K from Reliable Tools about a month and a half ago (although Reliable seems to get a premium for just about every item, and there are shipping logistics). Since the Moore is such a nice machine I wouldn't want to subject it to side loading it was not designed for and take a chance damaging it or upsetting its precision. Just my opinion though.

11-07-2002, 10:37 PM
Lalatheman, I don't mean to steal your thread, but I saw a Drill/Tap machine at a used machinery shop recently. It looked a lot like the one below.


I wonder how these are for milling operation. The unit certainly looked very beefy.


Forrest Addy
11-07-2002, 10:47 PM
On a Moore jig borer the table and saddle stack up like Pringles on the knee. There's no dovetails merely V ways without retainers meaning there's nothing to restrain the table or saddle from lifting given a hard enough sideways push or lift.

So as long as you don't get rambunctious, yes you can do light milling on a Moore.

[This message has been edited by Forrest Addy (edited 11-25-2002).]

11-08-2002, 01:00 AM
Blasphemy! The tool gods will be furious... http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

11-08-2002, 10:56 AM
Allen King (the comic) was talking about his then 97 year old father. Allen had given his father a box of his (Allen's) favorite cigars in the hope that the old man would enjoy a real good smoke. Instead his father sold Allen's gift box of cigars and with the money bought a train car load of his favorites instead. http://www.thomasregister.com/olc/mooretool/about.htm this is the moore tool website, take a look at what they do, including looking at their publications then decide. As the story above suggests, I think you would be best served to sell the machine to someone that will use it and buy your dream machine with the proceeds. You might be able to swap (and get some cash too). Good luck.

11-08-2002, 04:38 PM
That set up looks like my import drill press milling project, except with an integral cross slide...The problem I found was that the head rotates on the column (Solved by using two 1/4 20 bolts in place of the set screws and making a divot in the column to receive them. Then, the table rotates on the column solved that just by gorilla torquing the clamp. And this was all taking very light cuts to smooth some hacksaw work I had done removing the pot metal air horn on a Holley with a 1/4" endmill.

Though it didn't manifest in my milling experience...an ultimate problem that would surely develop doing anything heavier than my project is that there is no positive retention of the tool...just the taper. Not too much an issue close to the work with a quarter inch end mill...but you could end up with a flycutter sticking out of your eye if it or something similar left the spindle at 3000 rpm. I assume you could fab a small ~1/4" diameter drawbar or something.

I think a competent home shop machinist could convert the drilling/tapping machine or other similar machine to light milling duty. I would start by checking out the Gingery mill book from a library and looking at the issues in a "clean sheet" type design. Then from there making appropriate mods to the machine you happen to have. False economy? It depends on the situation.

I wonder how these are for milling operation. The unit certainly looked very beefy.


Milacron of PM
11-08-2002, 07:59 PM
Having owned both Moore no. 3 and 1 1/2 jig borers, can say they work fine for light milling. Positives include the quickness of changing tooling, quick and easy Z axis adjustment, beautiful large handwheels, push button variable speed with tachometer (on the no. 3 anyway, the 1.5 is hand crank like a Bridgeport to vary speeds), wonderful quill power feed, wonderful hand quill feed handle.

Negatives include no heavy milling, no spindle reversing (tooling might unscrew), expensive and hard to find tooling, no table power feeds (although I once figured out how to make an adapter for a Bridgeport Servo table feed add on, but never actually got around to installing it), and less X axis travels.

For years the only "mills" I owned were those 2 Moore jig borers.

11-08-2002, 08:34 PM
Thanks for the insights guys,

galleryofmachines.com got me started on this thinking they had a "Lindall" jig borer for $500 saying it would be good for a home shop .
Then I saw one go on ebay last week with a .0001 readout DRO a Wallenput chuck that is adjustable while the spindal turns to thange boring diameter or create internal slots for snaprings or undercuts described in very good condition with tooling etc went for $870
I've checked several other places saw several below 500$ Don't confuse Jig borer with Jig grinder or jig mill these other two tend to be much moore expensive.
There are two auctions in my area within the next two weeks with 5 of these critters going on the block . . .
I guess those oversize handwheels are appealing too.
I have access to a good mill where work and manage to do all my mill work there (on breaks) so its usage as a mill would be minimal.

Treven Baker
11-09-2002, 08:08 PM
I have a huge old flat belt drive Pratt&Whitney Jigborer. I love it. It does some nice milling. It will mill alot heavier than a Bridgeport I think. The quill is certainly bigger. There are alot of Jigborers going for cheap because a regular CNC mill will do about as acurate of work 100 times faster so they are no longer comercially productive. If you have room it is a nice tool to have.

11-11-2002, 03:41 AM
Actually the Jig borers have gone CNC and are far more accurate than a normal mill can get. You pays your money and gets what you paid for...

One does not replace the other. Yet.

11-14-2002, 11:29 PM
I bought a Manex #2 jig bore about a year ago and I LOVE IT!! The Manex is italian jig bore made in 1961 and it is the size of a Moore #3 18" X , 12" Y, 16" Z head movement and 5" quill travel. It has power feed on the X axis and of course power feed on the quill. Handles are much more convenient to use than a bridgeport. I was looking at bridgports but even beaten ones get $1200 - $1500 around here. I gave $500 for the Manex with tooling and manuals and it was fitted with an ACURITE .0001 readout on the X-Y axis. Cost me $400 to move to my workshop and get it in but what a pleasure to use! Most of the jig bores I see around here are begging for a home because for a lot of work they have been replaced by CNCs which can work to good tolerances but much faster. The companies keep them in the corner cause they can't bear to see them go but eventually they need the space more then a machine thats rarely used. They also tend to be in good shape because they have been used by the most skilled tool makers in the plant. Mine did not have a single ding in the table after 40 years of use. There is some wear in the center of the table ways but I surfaced a 12" square of 2" thick aluminum with a 1 1/2" fly cutter and when I check it on the surface plate all parts of the surface were within .0002" And when it comes to boring holes it beats the heck out of any bridgeport I ever used. Moore tooling is a bit of a problem but it is available on Ebay and the spindle tooling is not too expensive considering the quality. Really all you need to start is 3/8", 1/2" and 5/8" collets ( Moore calls them collets but they are really like endmill holders) a drill chuck ( at least 3/8" capacity) and a boring head. Moore boring heads are nice but pricey. Other american makes are nearly as good and cheaper. I've never seen a Chinese boring head with a Moore shank. If you do a lot of boring consider a Wohlhaupter boring head, they are spendy but they are fantastic tools. I really believe that for a hobby type like my self where you don't do heavy milling a lot they are work great. And if I really need to do heavy milling I have a Nichols horizontal toolroom mill with a 40 taper spindle. I heartily recommend a jig bore if you have the room for it. Chuck

11-18-2002, 07:09 PM
All this makes me want to be gracious and offer a "mature" jibborer a home all the all the moore.

I'm reserving floorspace in the 26 X 40 shop I'm geting ready to put up for one.
Are the size numbers in reference to table size spindle diameter or chronological development or what ?

LTC Steve
11-24-2002, 03:09 PM
Hello, My father in the day owned over 30 jig borers of which the small ones were Moores. By the time I started working there was only one No. 1 left. A good machine but small and speed changes were made with belts and pulleys. In the 1950's the No.2 came out which was a totally new machine with extensive features including push button variable drive. In the 1960's the Moore No. 3 came out. It was very similar to the No. 2 but the base was new incorporating hardened and ground ways instead of cast iron ways of the No. 2. The No. 1 1/2 was a slightly smaller version of the No.3. It basically had all the features of the No.3 except it's variable speed wasn't push button with a tach. Your original question asks if these would be good home milling machines. My opinion is no for several reasons. First, they were not made to mill. Yes, they can perform milling and flycutting operations but only under light use say on soft castings found on aircraft parts. These machines were designed back in the pre readout days and were relied upon to perform pt. to pt. operations with extreme accuracy. Milling usage was kept to a minimem. Next, even today a good Used Mooore would proably be several thousand dollars. I also recall that parts and service expertise was very expensive. I've heard that other small Jig Bores like an Atlantic can be had for less than a grand. But in my opinion for what a Moore No. 3 would cost you would be better off finding a nice tight Bridgeport. My reasoning is with today's readouts the Bridgeport is accurate, more

versatile, ie. can mill angles, and just does everything well.
Also there is a vast array of attachments and accessories at good prices. Anyway who needs large handwheels and dials when you have readouts. The only advantage to the Moore is that it will bore a little better which in the homeshop usage will be of no consequence. Good Luck, Steve