SHW UF-2: Some Pictures of the Machine

(s/n 2675 at CircuitousRoot)

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Some pictures of my SHW UF-2 Omniplex Milling Machine.

I've used the photograph below several times in these Notebooks. This is not only because it's a good general view of the machine, but also because it was taken just after the machine finally made it to my shop floor. The was the end of a long and very stressful period of planning, rigging, and moving. So this isn't so much a photograph of a milling machine as a picture of a sense of relief.

In the photograph below, the Vertical Milling Head has been rotate 90 degrees counterclockwise. 2015-05-28.

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The view below is of the operator's station for the machine. Although there are some controls on the front, basically the mill is too big to operate while standing in front of it. The main controls are all gathered on the side here (all except the Table power feed engagement lever which, curiously, remains at the front).

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And from the back on the other side. The cover over the very back of the machine has been removed (revealing its red interior). This shot gives a better view of the dovetailed Overarm Support which is attached to the rotatable Top Unit (along with the Vertical Slotter, which appears at the right, and the Vertical Milling Head, which isn't shown in this photo).

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The machine has a rather intimidating electrical box: 39 inches square by 7 inches deep, full of very large fuses. Here's a photo of it taken back in 2003 at the former home of this machine - long before I conceived the crazy idea to acquire it. Three-phase comes in on the lower right, and about 30 wires go out to the mill on the lower left. It's intended to be mounted on a wall, as shown below. I'm not sure I'm willing to sacrifice that much potential shelf space, though, so I'm considering building a little cart for it to sit in unused space along the left side of the mill itself.

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With any machine tool, the tool itself is only half of the picture. It isn't unusual to spend more, over time, on the tooling for the machine than you did for the machine itself. The problem with a mill such as an SHW UF-2 is that some of the tooling wighs hundreds of pounds. So the first required auxiliary is a hoist. Fortunately, this mill came with one.

It was said by its previous owner to be military surplus, and it might well be. I wonder if the frame wasn't field-constructed, though. While very solid, it contains two infelicities which I would not have thought a manufacturer to let out the door: the upper tube bend is not properly round, and the cutout where the (silver-colored) hoist tube enters the orange main tube is flame-cut with undressed edges. But it is a marvellous hoist. In most hoists, you'd expect to ratchet up and then flip some kind of lever to ratchet down. With this hoist, you can indeed hear the click of a ratchet while hoisting, but to lower the item you just turn the handle in the opposite direction. Lowering is very, very smooth.

It's shown below, left. In the background of this photo you can see the main electrical box for the mill, still sitting in my trailer. To give a sense of scale, the trailer bed is 5 feet wide.

At right below the hoist is shown in use, lifting the main milling vise for this machine out of my trailer.

If by chance you know more about this model of hoist, I'd be quite interested in learning more. Neither the orange tubular frame nor the hoisting mechanism itself bear any manufacturer's identifying information.

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[TO DO: Photographs of the Kearney & Trecker Model K Universal Dividing Head. Photographs of some of the NMTB tooling.]

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