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Farnham spar mills

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  • Farnham spar mills

    I have been working in a spar mill in Wellington, Kansas for the last 10 years and I am operating conventional machines that were built in the 1940's.
    I would love to find some old pictures and or manuals for Farnham twist and pad mills.
    While these machines are old, they still hold +/- .010 tolerances or better.
    Our future plans are to phase these machines out within 2-5 years and I would really like to get some history from the people who ran them in their hey-day.

    May the swarf be with you,
    paddedroom

  • #2
    One source of info may be books from WWII regarding aircraft production. I've found pamphlets that were training guides to various machining and metal forming operations from that era. ebay and Abebooks.com have been good sources.

    As an aside....I've attended a couple of auctions where large spar mills were sold. As I recall the machines were 1940's vintage with travels in the 50 foot+/- range.

    Typically, the winning bid was around $100, with some not getting any bids at all. Keep in mind this was long before the recent run up in scrap prices.

    One time I asked a rigger how much it would cost to have one disassembled and delivered to my shop (just curiosity, no space or use for one). A minimum of $5K to load one onto my truck.

    Two weeks ago I got a quick walk thru tour of an ultra modern spar making facility. Lots of carbon fiber lay up involved. They're still busy installing a new German CNC spar mill that must have cost in the millions. Just preparing the pad for it took more than a month.

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