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"fixed the die filer"

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  • "fixed the die filer"

    I finally found the solution as to the Milwaukee die filer with the loose plunger.

    Solution was to buy an Oliver Instrument filer out of the want ads! Floorstand model, nuce cast iron stand with filer and motor on a sort of cast tray.

    Needs a motor, but the plunger is in good shape and it has the overarm etc.

    I cleaned it off, but any more work will have to wait until after NAMM, most likely.

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    Congrats on the new toy! Which model is it?

    Sometimes replacement is just a better solution than repair.

    Mike Henry near Chicago


    • #3
      It's an SP-2. Needs a motor, and teh moron who took off the old one tossed the 2 step pulley also. I will have to figure out what it is.

      Seems like these must have either had very fast strokes, or else 1140 RPM motors. Even with a 1 1/4 pulley (small for a 1/2" v belt) it is 255 strokes per minute, with a faster speed also available.

      I posted at PM looking for the info, but the posting part of that board is AFU and I might not see much on it for a while.

      Looks like this

      [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 01-18-2005).]

      Keep eye on ball.
      Hashim Khan


      • #4
        I purchased exactly the same die filer from a guy in Dayton Ohio about 5 weeks ago. Found it in the want ads and paid all of $75.00 for it. Problem is, the files seem to be pricy and hard to find. You can use regular files in it but genuine parallel machine files are best. Federal File still sells them. I have about two dozen various 8" parallel machine files that I purchased off ebay. I have a lot more invested in the files than the machine now. They are all new old stock, mostly Nicholson and DoAll. I have already used the machine to produce two square holes in the Mueller No. 1 Rifle action I am working on. It was a lot easier than the tool Mueller described in his book. My machine is complete and looks original but it is not as clean as yours. I should be able to get you information on the motor and pullys but I am at work right now.

        Perk in Cincinnati


        • #5
          J Tiers - Oliver of Adrian or Oliver Instrument Company is still in business in Adrian, Michigan. Their prices are very reasonable, except for the files. That pulley will only cost about $20, I bet. They have a website and are deserving of our support - good old American company! Just a satisfied customer with 6 Oliver machines! A.T.


          • #6
   have several Oliver machines? Presumably a filing machine is one of them?

            What sort of stroke rate do they operate at?

            I have 1725 and 1140 rpm motors, but all the calculations of pulley size etc are coming out at some really high rates....unless I use a really small pulley and 1140 rpm motor.

            With the sizes I have been told, 1 1/2 inch and around 2.2, the speeds with 1725 would be 300 and 450 strokes per minute.

            Seems really fast, compared to the old Milwaukee. On the other hand, the milwaukee has a much longer stroke, 3" or so vs 1 1/2 or so for the Oliver. That could affect the speed, figuring total teeth past the work per minute...

            At 1140, it would be more reasonable, 200 and 300 (approx) with those pulleys. Those sizes come out to about the same belt length, although it looks like there is no provision for the quick speed swap capability that the Milwaukee has. It has a pulley groove setup that allows an easy no-wrench belt movement.

            Maybe Oliver would have a manual copy, and all this would be settled.....

            Thanks for the brain boost. I just figured they would be out of sight on S-B, Cinci, etc. They have been emailed...we'll see.

            [This message has been edited by J Tiers (edited 01-19-2005).]

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              J Tiers - Yes, (4) of my Oliver machines are die filers! Like an idiot, I bought a brand new S-4 bench die filer from them directly in 1994 - before I ever heard of Ebay - paid $2,200 for it!! It was new in the crate and paperwork with it indicated it may have been made in 1946. Then I found Ebay and bought what I thought was a junker S-4 (turned out to be in new condition) for $175 or so for a parts supply for the first one. Well, Oliver makes two types of overarms - one for a saw and one for a file rest, and I had both when I got the first die filer, so I put one on each and love them both! I have cut 1/4" steel plate for roof trusses in our house, all kinds of steel and brass, and filed a little too. Mostly use them instead of a band saw - take up a lot less room, and I do not have that much cutting to do. Hobby!!

              A year later, I saw an old and very large die filer, 800 lbs. heavy, called an Improved die filer by Oliver. It was on Ebay, and I bought it and trailered it down from Colorado (was going there anyway). Two years ago, I bought a second large die filer for parts for the first one - it was in Albuquerque. These big ones are 3-phase, and I do not have them moved into place yet in the garage so I can plug them in. Other two Oliver machines are drill pointers.

              Anyway, the SP-2 is what you have - it is really an S-4 on a neat (envy) cast pedestal.

              They are driven by a two-speed - 1/4 Hp motor (both GE 1750 rpm, 110 v., with 2-step pulleys) - 315 and 430 strokes per minute. I usually use mine on the higher speed for sawing. Stroke is 1-3/8", and they are rated to cut tool steel up to 1" thick. I think they are made to leak a little oil - my brand new one did - same as the second one did - to keep fines out of the gearbox (really a crankcase). They will last forever if you check the oil - instructions say you must add oil every time you use them - at the start of the day. Take out the bottom oil plug (on the left side of the crankcase and add oil thru the top plug until oil starts coming out the bottom hole. Then replace the plugs.

              I have the instruction booklet from Oliver if you need a copy. They want $20 for a copy, I think. They have all the parts available and they are probably reasonably priced. I do not have a price list. Each overarm, whether spring-loaded or simple file rest, is $220, as I recall.

              One thing about sawing or filing on them - lean the saw or file a slight bit toward the front (operator) from vertical at the top when you clamp it in. This will let it cut more on the downstroke and drag the sawblade/file less on the upstroke.

              The heavy Improved die filer is made with a hydraulic pusher on the table which pushes only when the file/saw is on the downstroke! How neat is that!! Cannot wait to see how that works!! One of these big ones sold on Ebay earlier this week for under $300, but they are top-heavy and a real pain to transport!

              I am at work, and the S-4's anr in my garage at home. Will have to answer any more of your question tomorrow! A.T.


              • #8
                Ah! Good information, thank you.

                I will be OOT until Sunday at a trade show, so no rush on more info.....I appreciate it.

                I wonder how the saw overarm differs? This one could be used for either, I would think.

                Jaws are flat, moving one is like a hook-bolt, and have a small "V" cut in them for round or triangle files.

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                • #9
                  What exactly is a "die filer" used for? or is it the obvious answer.


                  • #10
                    This thread is producing a lot of good information. I took a moment to check my machine which is exactly like the one pictured earlier in this thread. The motor is 1/4 hp, 1725 rpm, single phase. The smaller 2 step pully on the motor is a 1-1/2" by 2-1/2". The larger 2 step pully on the crankcase is a 7-1/2" by 8". I didn't take time to calculate the number of strokes per minute. Seems like I am using mine on the faster speed most of the time. Hope this helps.

                    Perk in Cincinnati


                    • #11

                      To answer your question look closely at the machine pictured in this thread. It very much resembles a jig saw except that the machine is set up with a file instead of a saw blade, and runs at much slower speeds for metal instead of wood. The file goes up and down in a reciprocating action, and the table can be adjusted to tilt in two different axis perpendicular to each other. My understanding is that they were often used to file contours or irregular shapes in punch press dies and that is why the name die filer came to be. Today, dies are usually made using the wire edm process which makes these machines somewhat obsolete in modern machine shops. As mentioned in other parts of this thread, they can also be fitted with a saw blade to make a sort of vertical hack saw. The overarm can be used to support the upper part of the file, or it can be swung away from the table to use the file supported on the bottom only. Files made for these machines are called parallel machine files. They cut on the down stroke and unlike hand files, they have no taper over their length. They come in a variety of cross section shapes for various work. The machines are very useful for any kind of work that requires filing and are normally used to file to a layout line. You can do very fine work with them. These machines are very useful for hobby machining such as model building or gunsmithing. I had been looking for one for about a year on ebay but hesitated at the prices they were going for (about $300.00). I was hoping to eventually find one in a local machine shop auction. Then I saw the one I got in the local want ads for $75.00 and snapped it up immediately.
                      I think these are the kinds of machines that people wonder about until they use one, and then wonder some more about how they ever got along without one.


                      Perk in Cincinnati


                      • #12
                        I bought an Oliver Vulcan Brazer at a trade show last week.It run on 120 volts I'm in need of informations to use it. Thanks


                        • #13
                          Here is more than you ever wanted to know about the Oliver S-4 and SP-2 Die Filers!!

                          First, the serial number on the SP-2 machine is on top of the machined surface covered by the overarm. To see it (assuming you do not have an identification plate on it), you have to remove the overarm. My two are #15003 (1980) and #15266 (1995) - so you can see why they are not shown on their website - they have fallen out of use because of more modern machines used in die making. I'll bet they still have new ones in stock. If you call Oliver with the serial number, ask for Mr. Cliff Kingsley - he can probably tell you when it was made and who the first purchaser was. They run a tight ship there!

                          Second, the motors on older S-4 and SP-2 machines were 1750 rpm 1/4Hp, which gave 313 and 428 stroke per minute speeds. Optional motor was 1160 rpm 1/6Hp. - this cost extra - probably for machines dedicated to filing only.

                          Third, the motors on my two are as follows:

                          #15003 - Westinghouse S#316P558B, Ser.MA80, Type FHT, SF 1.00 - 1725 rpm, 1/4Hp. Belt is Three Stars #4L-330, and described as a 1/2" V endless belt. Minor diameters on small pulley are 0.716" and 1.140", with the shaft being 1/2". Pulley is steel.

                          #15266 - GE STK#4351, Model SKH 390N9542, Code S, FR48, Cat #4351 - 1725 rpm, 1/4Hp. Belt and small pulley info. are identical to the above. Both of my die filers operate at the 313 and 428 stroke-per-minute rate because of the slightly slower motor.

                          The small pulley is described as follows in their parts list:

                          "Small Grooved Motor Pulley, Part #866"

                          Ask Cliff what the price is, and tell him you have the SP-2 die filer. Curiously, there is no part number or description for the large pulley!

                          I see in Oliver's brochures there are different speeds for the die filers:
                          1955 brochure - 315 and 430 with 1750 rpm motor.
                          1980 brochure - 313 and 428 with 1800 rpm motor.
                          1995 machine invoice from Oliver - 313 and 428 with 1800 rpm motor, but motor is 1725 rpm on nameplate of motor that came in the box with the machine!! (1800 rpm is bogus! really 1725 rpm)

                          Finally, it is nice to know where your machine has been! I purchased my first large die filer from an Ebay seller who said it came from a university. Well, Oliver said it was sold in 1952 to the Rocky Flats nuclear facility!! I went into the garage the night I learned that, turned the lights out and looked to see whether it was glowing in the dark!! Will check it for radiation before rebuilding!

                          Just for comparison, the large die filers have 6-speeds: 100, 125, 175, 215, 250 and 300 strokes per minute. They will cut 3" thick tool steel, and the stroke is adjustable from 0" to 5". They each have 3/4Hp 3-phase motors.

                          Die filers were used to make dies(!!). The first step in making a female die is to drill a hole in a piece of steel to pass the saw blade through. Then the rough shape of the die is cut out with the saw blade in the die filer. Then a file is put in the machine and the table is tilted slightly. The file both cleans up the outline of the die and provides a clearance toward the bottom of the die so that stamped parts will fall out after being cut. Clear as mud, huh??

                          Hope this helps. The posts on this board have been a great help to me - thanks to all!! A.T.


                          • #14

                            I know that it has been mentioned several times that die filers are often used for sawing. I have only used mine for filing. If I wanted to try sawing, what kind of a blade would I use? Is their a special sawblade, or is it just a simple as fitting it up with an ordinary hacksaw blade? Curious to know. Thanks.

                            Perk in Cincinnati


                            • #15
                              Hey ttok,

                              I'm the guy you bought the big Oliver in Albuquerque from! I have since cleared out all my stuff from that storage shed and have accquired 2 small die filers that are a lot easier to move! Hope you made out OK with it!