View Full Version : Fray All Angle Head - Thompson Grinder Base

Bob Bueling
05-11-2004, 03:47 PM
Anyone heard of these. Just purchased. Search on the internet found this site (I've emailed the web builder):


According to this site, the units were built between the '30s and the '50s. If so, mine is in VERY good condition.

This looks very much like the head:


The lable here shows a model "Type 4". Mine says "Type D".

The base has a seperate motor that drives the table horizontal drive as well as a removable horizontal arbor. Casting on the door in the base say "The Thompson Grinder Co. Springfield Ohio" I can't find any other info on the base. Internet search for Thompson Grinder only yields huge grinding tables.

Anyone have any links or info. The fine quill feed seems to not engage (may be operator error/ignorance) and would like to find docs or instructions before I try to dismantle it.


05-11-2004, 04:38 PM
I guess I have seen one, and see actual pictures of others.There are a few of them out there.
The one I saw, is sitting in my garage next to my Bridgeport. Doesn't get used much, but it was my first mill and a gift from a friend.
Mine says type 4, and nothing that I have seen says anything about a grinding company.
Mine doesn't have the horizontal attachment or power feeds.
David from jax

Bob Bueling
05-11-2004, 06:25 PM

Does your's have the Fray base like in the pictures?

I wonder if the differance between "Type-4" and "Type-D" is that the D was for using on someone else's base.


05-11-2004, 07:49 PM
Here are some pictures of a machine located in Northern Ohio.




05-11-2004, 07:53 PM
See the blank spot behind the lamp flexible cord? That is where my handle is for moving that axis. His is located in the rear of the machine.
More later.
David from jax

05-11-2004, 11:47 PM
Mine has a Fray base, with all the angles that that implies. It will do things that a Bridgeport only dreams about.
Does your head have the backgears in it? They made several styles, with and without the backgears. Some are higher speeds than others.
The drawbar took me for a loop. It had been broken and remade. The new one they put some threaded rod sticking out the top,and somebody put a nut on it. Nut would just strip off, so they would put another one on it. When I got it, I couldn't figure out how to make it work right, and got ahold of a couple of other Fray owners (that took a while to find!!) who finally got me straight.
David from jax

Bob Bueling
05-12-2004, 01:34 PM
Here's some pictures of my new toy.

From the front right after we wheeled it with much effort across the street into my cluttered garage:

The spindle drive motor was a 230v and was replaced with a 115v unit by the previous owner.

Here's the head unit itself:

Here's a quarter view that showes the reversable table drive motor (lower right) that in another life powered the conveyor belt at a grocery check stand. The drive shaft for the horizontal arbor is partialy hidden by the chuck.


Here's a left front quarter view that shows the horizontal arbor mount a bit better. The large shaft that the head mounts on appears to be able to be moved in and out and there is some sort of mount on the back end (Upper left corner of the picture) that I think would be brought to the front to support the horizontal arbor. It seems to only have a hard point on it without a bearing which either would require a lot of grease or a bearing on the arbor that isn't there.


Here's the only markings on the base, it's the door for the storage. There are many end mills, several slot mills (as big as 6 inches in diameter and one inch wide) and several collets of different sizes on shelves inside behind this door.


Here's a pic of the front-back way showing the surface rust. I've since sprayed it with with Tri-Flow, but I need to learn what the proper care and feeding is.


Here's a rear view showing the horizontal table drive (belt driven) and the horizontal arbor drive (at the top of the photo, chain driven). Also a better picture of the grocery stand motor.


Here's a pic of the lable plate on the head:


For $150.00 for everything, I don't think I could go any better in my dreams.

I just got an email from Tony Griffiths [tony@lathes.co.uk] and he has one 22 page Fray pub that may be of help. I think I'll order it ($38.00 plus shipping from England). Maybe it'll help with figuring out the fine quill feed problem.

Thanks for any info and help you guys have!


05-13-2004, 06:45 AM
If I ever find a Bridgeport head, I will take the Fray head off mine. It is a #30 taper and I have limited tooling for it. I have all kinds of neat stuff for a Bridgeport head.
I like the Fray base. To quote somebody on the old PM board a while back... they said "it has more moves than a huchie dancer".
I got mine for $150 less than you paid for yours, so they don't seem to be high dollar mills. I started out just storing it for a guy who was running out of shop space, but when he got a bigger shop, he told me to just keep it.
David from jax