Mystery Machine, Lathe? Shaper? Tobacco Pipe Maker?

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
I think this would be a wood shop machine, but I'm just not sure. 2 of these machines showed up in this mornings scrap pile, and I'm trying to figure out what they are, and if they are worth saving. One of the machines had a roughed out tobacco pipe in it, but in looking at all the cutter heads I'm not sure if this machine was just used by previous owner to make pipes, or it had another purpose originally. No makers marks, or data tags. It was flat belt driven and one pulley is the free running pulley, and other fixed. My right foot is in lower corner of the pallet of cutter heads to show size and range of cutters.

Anyone know what this is?
 

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dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Last pic. The long handle moves carriage to/away from spindle. There is a crossslide type arrangement, but very short travel.

---------- Post added at 07:33:56 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:32:47 PM ----------

Last pic again.
 

Power

Active member
Dgirl, you come up with some of the most unusual stuff.
They look like an assortment of molding or wood trim cutters.
Ways are shiny, seem to show recent use.
 
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Bill Hazzard

Active member
They look like some kind of production wood working machines to me and could probably make many different things including pipes. Unless you had a specific use for them then I would say that they are not worth saving.
 

beezerbill

Subscriber
Totally worth saving! If for no other reason then trying to figure out what they did. Two ways to look at them - either they are worthless junk or they are a really interesting puzzle! I would opt for the latter - it's problems like this that keep the mind working.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Went by the yard again this morning and got some better pics, and a better idea how these might work. The jaws that hold the workpiece are on a plate that can be turned left/right, and I presume locked down, I see no provision to turn that plate while working. The jaws are on a common screw shaft, 1 end RH thread, the other LH thread, so that when turned the jaws move in/out together. The cross slide has no feed either, you would just loosen screws, move it to get the offset, then lock it down again. The only "feed" is the lever that would push workpiece into the cutters.

One machine has the boring head looking piece and may have a carbide cutter (the shiny piece in pic). The other cutters are all HSS, most have a radiused cutting profile on OD. The larger flat cutters all have the HSS blades at an angle, I think these would be used in facing type cutting. Last pic shows the jaws that previous owner made, the freshly turned tobacco pipe was held by the stem in those jaws. Some of the cutters had cardboard pieces pressed into blades with numbers on them, not sure if its a profile number or to indicate radius the blades are ground to.

Tobacco pipe may not have anything to do with these machines and was just clamped in jaws:shrug:? The pallet of cutters may not go with this machine, they just happen to fit it:shrug:? Nobody recognized the seller of the scrap, and there were other woodshop related items in his load, the rest of the stuff was obvious junk, these appear to have been better taken care of.
 

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OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
I'd call them Horizontal Boring Mills myself, instead of a lathe.

2nd op work boring and or chamfering parts for mass production.

Pretty Cool whatever you want to call them.

I'd Love to add them to my pile of shtuff.

:salute:
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
It just might be a pipe maker, or at least a machine that could be used to make pipes. Did a google image search and found 1 pic showing a similar type machine making pipes. About 2/3's of the way down this page is a closeup pic showing the jaws and boring head.
https://www.fero-usa.com/fero-history

Here is one in use on a pipe making video.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63yQhZXVhoM

And another one! Still not sure of proper name, maybe Frazing/Fraising machine? Not that google has a whole lot of hits on either of those search terms. These pics make me think the cutters do belong with the machines.
http://www.pipemakersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=9432
 
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Thaumaturge

In Memory Of
I think you nailed it with the pipe making lathe, but I think that separate pallet of big cutters are perhaps for turning rope capstan and pully molds for making them for boats and ships. If you look at the shape they would cut in wood it would seem to be negative shapes of rope capstans. Otherwise... for cutting wooden bowls?
Doc
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
I picked up the 2 machines and the pallet of cutters this morning, until I am sure the cutters do not belong I am hesitant to separate them, and the metal art group has been drooling on them:uhoh:.

Sent an email and some pics off to a pipe maker, hoping I get a reply.
 

tdmidget

New member
The dust certainly suggests that something like pipes were made or attempted. Te brand new belts suggest that it wasn't done for long, I can't see much use on them. The machines themselves appear easily stout enough for metal working. They are not lathes, the workpiece does not rotate. Not shapers as a shaper strokes a single point tool. I think Otto is probably right, they are single operation milling machines.
 

beezerbill

Subscriber
Here's a totally off-the-wall thought on the fly cutter like things. Suppose they were used to shape the pipe bowls in some rapid production fashion? The cutters would be spun in one machine (the one with the deepest gap under the spindle nose) and the pipe bowl stock fed into and rotated against the spinning cutter by either the other machine (unlikely) or some other rotating work holder (more likely). In this way the bowl can be shaped rather quickly. Also not the safest operation, but common enough in the days of open flat belts. Would have to keep the cutters wicked sharp for this to work well. The question is do the largest cutters fit into either of the machines, and do the shapes in the cutters look reasonable for any sort of pipe? If "no" to either of these than perhaps the cutters are from some other machine, like one for shaping molding or something.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Yes, the largest cutters will fit both machines, my best guess at the moment is those would be used to "face" the top of the bowl so it is flat, to do so the cross slide would be utilized to offset the workpiece, but I'm just guessing. The smaller cutters all appear to have the cutting surface on the outside diameter, again the only way I see them working would be by using the cross slide to offset workpiece.

Flat belts and spinning knife blades, osha would have a conniption fit with these:eek:

The pipe that was chucked into one of these machines was pretty well done, I would say it was at the stage of just needing sanding and finishing, whether it was formed on this machine is unknown.
 

dalmatiangirl61

Subscriber
Spoke with a pipe maker this morning, he said the cutters do not go with the machines, and although he was "very" interested in them, he did not know what they were called. He said they were made in Italy in the 20's-30's, not many left, and not worth much more than scrap. All in all he left me with that smoke being blown you know where feeling............

Check out this video, the cutters ARE for pipe making, just used in another machine, probably a lathe with some custom attachments, skip to 5:15 mark unless you are more interested in the subject
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QtZl7f0lJ3E&feature=youtu.be

After watching it again, first step looks like a different machine, second step looks like same machine with a different attachment.
 

OTTO-Sawyer

Subscriber
I'd contact the guys in the video and see if they are interested in them.

Even cutting wood, cutters don't last forever and I'm sure they could make you a pretty generous offer on them and still save themselves a boat-load of money over having new ones made.

:salute:
 
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