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Covel No 1 surface grinder to join the Battle Shaper

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  • Covel No 1 surface grinder to join the Battle Shaper

    A few days ago I stumbled across a Covel surface grinder... This one seems to be of about the same era as the 1908 Cincinnatti 27" shaper I fixed up a year ago (the battle shaper). The shaper is a Covel No. 1 It has seen better days, and then it saw hard times, and then it got covered in black goo and dust and ick...

    But I think I can do something with it. The table actually moves back and forth fairly easily, the Y crank moved the table back and forth nicely, the Z axis moves with a bit of ooomph, and the motors were said to have been working when it was shoved to the back of the shop. So.... I decided to let it fill the surface grinder shaped hole in my shop.

    A little dickering and I bought the beast for less than scrap metal price - with delivery !!!

    I can't even find references to it on Google. Anybody know anything about such an old Covel? Will I have to buy special hand-flaked obsidian grinding wheels ? Are the dials marked in cubits ? Got a URL ???

    So my first thought - the sea-foam color of the shaper was a "hit" (until I repainted it darker green). Any suggestions for the Covel? Covel coral? Grinder green? Machine mauve?

    Dan

  • #2
    Originally posted by Dan_the_Chemist View Post
    I can't even find references to it on Google. Anybody know anything about such an old Covel? Will I have to buy special hand-flaked obsidian grinding wheels ? Are the dials marked in cubits ? Got a URL ???
    -Are you sure it's not a Covel Type 15? I'm certainly no expert on them, but I was given to understand that the 15 was the first grinder Covel made.

    If it IS a Type 15, I rebuilt one a couple years ago: Still not an expert, but I might be able to answer a few questions.

    Dials are in thousandths, just like all other old American-made machines. The original spindle, if it hasn't been modified, takes a long-obsolete taper for hubs. I'll presume it has a hub and so should be able to be used, but forget the idea of any replacements. They don't exist.

    The stock hub wants a 2-1/2" wheel, but the common fix is to press on an adapter ring to use ubiquitous 3" bore wheels. Mine was so modified when I got it.

    The one big drawback to the Covel is the thing was designed like a knee mill, and as such, the ways are poorly protected from grit. Mine was worn badly when I got it- not unusably, but there was definite wear. Expect the machine to be similarly worn, unless exceptionally well cared for. Doesn't make it unusable, but worth watching.

    Table action will never be as slick as a roller-bearing table. Try a thinner oil to reduce "stiction", and eat your Wheaties.

    Doc.
    Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

    Comment


    • #3
      Doc mentions using a thinner oil for the table on a plan ways machine.
      I have a Boyar Shultz that I use ATF on the table ways, and Vactra 2
      on the column. The ATF makes the table move much easier.
      Also regarding your Covel being a knee type architecture, he is right
      that it will wear out quickly from grit and gravity doing what it does.
      I would not consider purchasing a machine like this. I know they
      evolved to a better type of construction in later years, but I believe
      this is a fatal flaw, and not worth messing with.

      --Doozer
      DZER

      Comment


      • #4
        Congrats, it doesn’t even matter if it’s old and worn, it’s a doorway to somthing new.
        Regarding the colour, I’ve heared about this colour, it’s quite rare, difficult to match, apparently an assault on some folks sensitive underbelly,...I think it’s called grey, I find it soothing yet inspiring confidence.
        There are variations sometimes coupled with strong things like “battleship” ( inspiring don’t you think) or even a feminine version “dove” either way you won’t go wrong with either, if you suffer a bump on the head and loose your colour vision you can at least find it, whereas the “battleshaper” may be lost without trace, occasionally bumping into it by accident.
        Mark

        Comment


        • #5
          I bet this cleaned up, will work better than any home brewed unit you try to build.
          Even just grinding angles on HSS toolbits, they can become hugely handy. .

          Comment


          • #6
            Pics or it did not happen.....
            CNC machines only go through the motions

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
              Pics or it did not happen.....
              Yer wish is my command.

              It's a Covel Hanchett No.1, from the town of Big Rapids Mich.

              According to Vintage Machinery, Hanchett of Big Rapids bought the Covel saw and knife fitting machine company around 1944 to 1945. It later seems to have renamed, sold, or gone out of business around the late 50's.

              http://vintagemachinery.org/mfgindex...l.aspx?id=2115

              The base can be read with a little persistence - COVEL HANCHETT CO BIG RAPIDS MICH NO.1 USA



              As you can see it's a knee machine. The grinding head sits on top of a round post, and there is a big Z axis wheel.



              The X of the table is connected to a large hand wheel. What you can't see so easily is that there is also a motor that runs the X axis. It's on the far side in this view. The Y axis has a mechanism that is tripped by the adjustable stops on the table limits and that reverses the X axis feed and ratches the Y axis forward one click.

              Believe or not all that rust on the dial and hand crank seems to be fresh surface rust. It actually turns fairly nicely.



              The spindle is on a gizmo that sits on top of the round part of the column. Oh boy, another antique motor, although this won't rival Old Sparky. The GE boss on the end ought to look pretty when it's cleaned up. Goodness knows what kind of taper is on the spindle. Well, I'll find out.



              Anyway... it looks like surface grinder to me, but almost all of the references I have found to the "Covel Hanchett" company talks about saw and knife sharpening and/or fitting machines. Is this some sort of such a machine?

              The Covel Cruiser adventure begins this upcoming weekend.

              Dan

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by 754 View Post
                I bet this cleaned up, will work better than any home brewed unit you try to build.
                Even just grinding angles on HSS toolbits, they can become hugely handy. .
                That was my thought. I had been watching people make DIY surface grinders, and they seemed to have a lot of problems. I am hoping that scraping the ways* will bring this back to snuff. If not, I can buy some 45 mm linear rails and upgrade the X axis ...

                And it was SCRAP METAL price. If I totally botch it up I can get my original cost out of it.

                Dan

                (* This is the point where I learn that one doesn't scrape the ways on a surface grinder.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Oh, nope, that's nothing at all like the Covel I had.

                  Doesn't look like there's anything even related between them, so... entirely different company, then?

                  Doc.
                  Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The shop you bought it from didn't have the manual? No info, did they buy it used?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Doc Nickel View Post
                      -Are you sure it's not a Covel Type 15? I'm certainly no expert on them, but I was given to understand that the 15 was the first grinder Covel made.

                      If it IS a Type 15, I rebuilt one a couple years ago: Still not an expert, but I might be able to answer a few questions.

                      Dials are in thousandths, just like all other old American-made machines. The original spindle, if it hasn't been modified, takes a long-obsolete taper for hubs. I'll presume it has a hub and so should be able to be used, but forget the idea of any replacements. They don't exist.

                      The stock hub wants a 2-1/2" wheel, but the common fix is to press on an adapter ring to use ubiquitous 3" bore wheels. Mine was so modified when I got it.

                      The one big drawback to the Covel is the thing was designed like a knee mill, and as such, the ways are poorly protected from grit. Mine was worn badly when I got it- not unusably, but there was definite wear. Expect the machine to be similarly worn, unless exceptionally well cared for. Doesn't make it unusable, but worth watching.

                      Table action will never be as slick as a roller-bearing table. Try a thinner oil to reduce "stiction", and eat your Wheaties.

                      Doc.
                      That is some beautiful work there Doc. Kudos!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by reggie_obe View Post
                        The shop you bought it from didn't have the manual? No info, did they buy it used?
                        Apparently the last time it had been used was in the early 1990's. Eventually they realized they couldn't use it without a major rebuild and retooling. Just not worth it to them.

                        Unfortunately the shop manager was sure the manual is around "somewhere". He saw it just a few months ago while they were moving stuff around. He promised faithfully to send it to me when they find it. I didn't push hard to find the manual because I was sure a few minutes with Google would turn up the information I needed. I hadn't expected this total lack of information. I'll call him up and offer a six pack for the manual.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It looks like it may be saw related..
                          Except, i don't think it would need a powered table, and it would need a quick up and down mechanism if it were for saw teeth.
                          So you should be good. ...nice..
                          Once you have a surface grinder or use one often, it very handy to have..

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Back in the 70's I worked at Mac Engineering & Equipment in Benton Harbor. There where 7 or 8 men that I worked with that had worked at Covel, I think they closed up in the middle 60's. I have a Model 15 that's in peaces ready for paint, at my last job we had a newer Covel grinder and a comparitor that worked well.

                            Jon

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Not related but...
                              I own a Covel cylindrical grinder 5x12".
                              It is a really nice machine.
                              It has an oil pressure lubricated wheel spindle
                              and a 12" wheel. Also hydraulic table drive.

                              --Doozer
                              DZER

                              Comment

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