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bhjones
03-03-2009, 02:48 PM
I'm going to be look at a Beaver mill on Saturday (not sure of the model). I'd like to hear from people who know this machine. I'm curious what I should look for when inspecting it, anything special or unique to this mill.

Thanks.

hardtail
03-03-2009, 05:52 PM
I'd like to see some beaver.........sounds like it would be more suited for wood.......sorry couldn't resist.........

.RC.
03-03-2009, 06:25 PM
Is it a Mk1 or a MkII machine???

Spin Doctor
03-03-2009, 06:35 PM
http://www.lathes.co.uk/beaver/

madman
03-03-2009, 09:02 PM
This was told to me Years ago by mt Machinist Master, David who was the best milling machine Operator i have ever Met. He said the Beaver (yeah the Milling Machine Guys) was one of the most reliable Machines ,Mills he ever worked on. Other milld bridgeport would require some maintenance but the Beaver Mill soldiered on. he always sid it was one of the best made I ran a Beaver mill Large Model years ago and it was smooth and ran nice. I wish i had one instead of my 1960 vintage Bridgeport serial Number 370 LOL old but still making tons of chips.

Gary Reif
03-03-2009, 11:08 PM
I own a Beaver model PAL. A very solid machine even if it may be 40 years old. I'm very happy with it in my home shop.
Gary

Ian B
03-04-2009, 12:44 AM
I have a Beaver VBRP, not the varispeed (that would have been nice, but not essential) with a 40 Int taper. They also come with 30 Int's, which is really too light for the machine.

Check the table power feed works, and check for play in the table when it's at mid travel.

Brilliant machine!

Ian

John Stevenson
03-04-2009, 04:54 AM
Nice machines, they are on a par with the Elliot's, TOS and Ajax.
Very well built.
Given that most are 3 phase the step speed model with VFD is a better bet than the varispeed given there is less to wear out and jangle around.

Later varispeeds had hydraulic control which could be messy.

About the only problem that seems to occur regularly is the rapid feed on the table, this is a step up pair of gears from the traverse box that seem to get overloaded for the ratio they have to pull and strip the dogs.
No spares and the best dodge is to replace one gear with a spacer and just use the normal range of feeds, Elliot's suffered the same problem.

.

DickDastardly40
03-04-2009, 05:06 AM
Up until a few years ago the Royal Navy had a Type 22 frigate named HMS Beaver. American sailors were always incredulous....'You got a ship called Beaver?'

Circlip
03-04-2009, 08:37 AM
An I'll bet going to the heads Really blew them.

lazlo
03-04-2009, 10:19 AM
Nice machines, they are on a par with the Elliot's, TOS and Ajax..

John, the Beaver is actually several hundred pounds lighter than the Excello, which has a much stouter knee. The TOS is much bigger/heavier than the Excello...

Bridgeport: 1900 lbs
Beaver Mk II VBRP: 2138 lbs
Lagun FTV-1: 2750 lbs
Excello 602: 2900 lbs.
TOS FNK 25: 3740 lbs

quasi
03-04-2009, 01:53 PM
I had a TOS FNK 25, very rigid and powerful mill. I found it very unergonomic for the work I do. I much prefer my Bridgeport.

Timleech
03-04-2009, 01:55 PM
John, the Beaver is actually several hundred pounds lighter than the Excello, which has a much stouter knee. The TOS is much bigger/heavier than the Excello...

Bridgeport: 1900 lbs
Beaver Mk II VBRP: 2138 lbs
Lagun FTV-1: 2750 lbs
Excello 602: 2900 lbs.
TOS FNK 25: 3740 lbs


Elliott 1250 Omnimil (with turret and horizontal spindle) 4020 lbs.
(I know cos I just moved one in, see the earlier 'damn Bridgeport' thread ;) )
ebay item 300288214066
Nice machine

Tim

bhjones
03-08-2009, 03:21 PM
Well I bought the machine. It's now sitting on pipes in my shop waiting for a clean up and for me to decide where in the shop it's going to live.

It's a VBRP with a 10x48 table. The prior owner was using R8 collets in it, but I'm not sure if it has a 30 to R8 adapter of some sort or if it's originally R8. I'll snap some pics of the quill and post them. The head sounds tight and I was able to make some cuts with it before I purchased it. Other than the expected wear of a 40+ year old machine the only things wrong with it are the loose dials and the missing table power feed.

Does anyone know of an electronic copy of the manual for this machine? Most of the controls are self explanatory, but I'm not sure how to engage the quill fine feed (perhaps it's broken). I'd also like a better explanation of the power feed for the quill.

My wife and kids were a bit surprised by it's size. This machine is replacing a Grizzly X3 which is the only vertical milling machine they've ever seen.

Loading during pickup was with a forklift. Offloading was via tilt trailer, pipe rollers and come-along, through a 12'x10' door. How you people who put machinery into basements though bulkhead doors manage is beyond me.

Thanks for everyone's comments.

John Stevenson
03-08-2009, 03:55 PM
The prior owner was using R8 collets in it, but I'm not sure if it has a 30 to R8 adapter of some sort or if it's originally R8.

Never seen a Beaver with R8, chances are it's INT30 and he just put an R8 into the spindle as the tapers are very close.

Way to check is release the R8 and withdraw about 1/2 then try to wobble it around.
If it wobbles it's INT30, if not it's R8, reason being INT 30 has no parallel part directly above the taper but relies on a longer taper than the R8.

R8 has a shorter taper and a parallel part for support.

Side note INT30, R8 and ER32 all have tapers that are very close to each other but none are directly interchangeable.

.

bhjones
03-08-2009, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the tip John.


Never seen a Beaver with R8, chances are it's INT30 and he just put an R8 into the spindle as the tapers are very close.

bhjones
03-08-2009, 04:19 PM
Does anyone reading this (with a Beaver or PAL) have the tapered locating pins to center the head? Mine are long gone and I was wondering what the taper is?

Thanks.

aboard_epsilon
03-08-2009, 04:28 PM
Never seen a Beaver with R8, chances are it's INT30 and he just put an R8 into the spindle as the tapers are very close.

Way to check is release the R8 and withdraw about 1/2 then try to wobble it around.
If it wobbles it's INT30, if not it's R8, reason being INT 30 has no parallel part directly above the taper but relies on a longer taper than the R8.

R8 has a shorter taper and a parallel part for support.

Side note INT30, R8 and ER32 all have tapers that are very close to each other but none are directly interchangeable.

.

if he's done that ..would he have damaged the the taper in anyway.

all the best.markj

bhjones
03-08-2009, 06:21 PM
Here are some photos, and more questions.

First, here is the pic of the spindle. The R8 collet did indeed move around, so 30 taper it is. I'll dig one up somewhere and test it.

http://www.5foot2.com/images/0308091613.jpg

Here's the right side of the head. I think I know what the controls are on this side, except for the level directly below the quill feed arm.

http://www.5foot2.com/images/0308091614.jpg

I'm also unclear on how to engage the quill fine feed. Here is the left side of the head.

http://www.5foot2.com/images/0308091614c.jpg

I'll close out this little photo album with a picture of my nearly complete Sheldon 0 mill. I need to paint an electrical box to make it functional. The last component to deal with is the table feed gear box. It's just a clean/inspect/paint task though.

http://www.5foot2.com/images/0220092000a.jpg

note: that super Hi-Tech vice grip hand wheel has since been replaced with a proper part.

.RC.
03-08-2009, 06:25 PM
Looks like an ISO30 spindle...

Timleech
03-08-2009, 07:23 PM
Looks like an ISO30 spindle...

I'm not so sure. Might be 40 taper with an adapter jammed into it.

Tim

lazlo
03-08-2009, 07:36 PM
I found an old Beaver VBRP catalog somewhere on the web, and I thought R8 was one of the options, as was "Beaver Quick Change" ??

But that sure looks like an ISO 30.

John Stevenson
03-08-2009, 07:40 PM
I'm not so sure. Might be 40 taper with an adapter jammed into it.

Tim

I agree with Tim because after looking at the INT30 specs the parallel part of a INT 30 is 0.692" far less than the parallel part of an R8 so unless the R8 has been cut down then contrary to what i posted earlier a full length R8 won't go into an INT 30.

Parallel part of an INT 40 is 1.000", just slightly larger than an R8 so with an adaptor they will fit.

.

lazlo
03-08-2009, 07:44 PM
I'm also unclear on how to engage the quill fine feed. Here is the left side of the head.

On the Excello, there's a knob in the center of the fine-feed wheel that you pull out to engage the fine-feed worm. Does the fine-feed wheel itself pull out? There has to be something in-line with the center of the fine-feed wheel...

John Stevenson
03-08-2009, 07:52 PM
I found an old Beaver VBRP catalog somewhere on the web, and I thought R8 was one of the options, as was "Beaver Quick Change" ??

But that sure looks like an ISO 30.

The beaver quick change was a real weird one. It was invented for the CNC with automatic tool changer [ ATC ]
Because an ATC has to have a complex mechanism to locate and orientate the tool holder so it registers on the driving dogs Beaver simplified it and did away with the dogs ;)

So it didn't rely on the taper alone for driving torque it has a longer toolholder with a hardened parallel part sticking out of the spindle. On the end of the spindle was a bearing carrier with a roller clutch.

In operation when it came to tool change it pushed down on the holder via the hydraulic tool changer which gave it a slight twist, this freed the roller clutch and the holder dropped free.

To load it stuffed the new tool up the spout, the hydraulic tool changer pulled it up and locked it via a large stack of belville washers.

As torque was applied to the tool the clutch locked it from rotating.

Worked well but being special limited you to whatever expensive and rare holders were available.

I bought an ATC Beaver for spares for mine, only cost 400, still have the head because other than the spindle it all fits mine but I sold a bit stack of holders to a guy in Ireland.

.

Robin R
03-09-2009, 01:12 AM
I have an Elga turret mill, made in Yugoslavia, that I think is something of a copy of the Beaver. The power feed on that is activated by selecting the feed rate on the left side, then engaging the power feed with the rotary knob on the upper right of the head. The little lever under the right side of the head switches between lever feed and hand wheel feed, but also starts the power feed, by switching from lever to hand wheel feed, after you have set the other controls. You need to make the power feed settings with the spindle stopped, other than actually starting the feed with the lever under the right hand side of the head. Of course if my machine isn't a copy of the beaver, these instructions might not help.

bhjones
03-09-2009, 01:24 AM
Thanks again for all the replies everyone.

I spent some time this evening looking things over. I've figured out the controls for the fine feed. As I have time this week I'll pull the table and clean all the nooks and crannies. I need to source some rubber for the ways scrapers and some oiling guns for the ways and quill (zerk type fittings). I also need to adapt a large handwheel for the knee crank (it's missing) and make handles for the x and y feed cranks (the plastic parts on the originals are shot).

Looking at the nose of the spindle, it's impossible to tell if it's all one part or if there's an adapter being used. This is going to require some more looking into.

bhjones
03-09-2009, 01:28 AM
This instructions are correct. Thanks.


I have an Elga turret mill, made in Yugoslavia, that I think is something of a copy of the Beaver. The power feed on that is activated by selecting the feed rate on the left side, then engaging the power feed with the rotary knob on the upper right of the head. The little lever under the right side of the head switches between lever feed and hand wheel feed, but also starts the power feed, by switching from lever to hand wheel feed, after you have set the other controls. You need to make the power feed settings with the spindle stopped, other than actually starting the feed with the lever under the right hand side of the head. Of course if my machine isn't a copy of the beaver, these instructions might not help.

Ian B
03-09-2009, 01:48 AM
Brett,

The black plastic handwheel on the front of the head is for fine downfeed by hand. When your hands are greasy, it's a pain to use. So I made a spider for mine:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/1003/IanBartlett/?action=view&current=Quill_Feed_Handle_02.jpg

Makes life much easier - one good spin and the quill travels 3".

The head has an oil-filled gerabox; have you found the filling hole yet? I'm still searching for it...

Ian

lazlo
03-09-2009, 01:52 AM
I've figured out the controls for the fine feed.

Out of curiosity, how do you engage the fine-feed?

bhjones
03-09-2009, 02:30 AM
That looks nice.

There's a plug on top of the head, below the pulley. I found this out when I turned the head onto it's side for transport and lots and lot of oil leaked out. The upside to this, it's kept people from tailgating me most of the way home as the oil dripped off the head.

Do you happen to have the tapered locating pins for returning the head into it's original position? Mine are long gone and I'm curious what the taper is.


Brett,

The black plastic handwheel on the front of the head is for fine downfeed by hand. When your hands are greasy, it's a pain to use. So I made a spider for mine:

http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/1003/IanBartlett/?action=view&current=Quill_Feed_Handle_02.jpg

Makes life much easier - one good spin and the quill travels 3".

The head has an oil-filled gerabox; have you found the filling hole yet? I'm still searching for it...

Ian

bhjones
03-09-2009, 02:31 AM
Out of curiosity, how do you engage the fine-feed?


the lever just below the quill arm. push it towards the head and it engages the fine feed. if the power feed is engaged (the knob above and slightly behind the quill arm) it's the clutch lever that controls the power feed as well.

http://www.5foot2.com/images/0308091614.jpg

Ian B
03-09-2009, 05:33 AM
Brett,

I'm away from home at the moment (offshore Cameroon), back in a few days - I'll check then. I don't remember removing any pins when I last tilted the head though, so maybe not...

I'll check under the pulley for the lube hole, thanks. Mine also leaked out when being transported!

I recently changed out the toothed belt that drives the backgear; easy enough job, no need to remove any spindles, just the top bearing support on the main spindle. Beaver kindly provide jacking screw holes,nicely made piece of kit.

Ian

lazlo
03-09-2009, 07:03 PM
The beaver quick change was a real weird one.

So it didn't rely on the taper alone for driving torque it has a longer toolholder with a hardened parallel part sticking out of the spindle. On the end of the spindle was a bearing carrier with a roller clutch.

As torque was applied to the tool the clutch locked it from rotating.

Thanks John -- I'm having a hard time visualizing that. It sounds like it has a one-way roller clutch, but what's the "hardened parallel part sticking out of the spindle" for?

John Stevenson
03-09-2009, 07:58 PM
Thanks John -- I'm having a hard time visualizing that. It sounds like it has a one-way roller clutch, but what's the "hardened parallel part sticking out of the spindle" for?
Actually a two way roller clutch :rolleyes: like neutral in the middle and it climbed up the ramps in either direction.
The hardened parallel part was for the roller clutch to run on.

Hang on while I do a search for the tooling I sold, I may still have a pic.


http://www.stevenson-engineers.co.uk/files/tooling.jpg

This is what came with the machine I bought for spares, I only ever saw these fitted to the ATC beavers, local firm also had a couple, simple system and made the tool changer less complex.

No idea what collets they used, this is all I got and without driving dogs they won't fit mine. Still got the head but it's cling filmed and in storage, everything except the spindle will fit mine.


.