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  1. #1
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    Default A Visit to Eccentric Engineering

    I was in Melbourne a bit over a week ago and Piers had arranged a visit to catch up with Gary Sneesby at Eccentric in Moorabbin. I had spoken with Gary years ago when I purchased my Diamond tool holder and had corresponded via email over the intervening years but we had never met so I was looking forward to our meeting and to see the machines and equipment used in the manufacture of the holders and the other neat bits of gear Gary makes.

    Piers had driven down from Castlemaine and picked me up en-route in North Melbourne. On arrival at Gary's we were greeted by a recent acquisition, the workshop runabout and lunch picker upper, a delightful Messerschmitt KR200. As Gary suggested, could you find a more eccentric vehicle?

    IMG_20180810_095843958 (Large).jpg DSC_9722 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_095910611 (Large).jpg

    They were made by Messerschmitt after the war during the ban on aircraft manufacture and then when the ban was lifted in '56, production was taken over by Fahrzeug und Maschinenbau Gmbh Regensburg (FMR) until the early sixties. Powered by a Sachs two stroke, it should prove to be an economical means of transport.

    The delights continued though I nearly missed a few. Under a sheet near the door was a beautiful little Schaublin 70 along with a pair of Schaublin watchmaker's drill presses. The lathe was made in the early Seventies and I imagine the drills were a similar vintage though I have been unable to find an image of the same drills in any of my catalogues or those online. Plenty similar but not the same with the twin counterweights. The lathe was setup with one of Gary's Turnado tables. The compound in Piers' hand was fitted with a tiny Tripan post and holder. If it wasn't for Piers peeking under the sheet this slice of Switzerland may have been overlooked.

    DSC_9828 (Large).jpg DSC_9827 (Large).jpg DSC_9843 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_115613242 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_115843808_HDR (Large).jpg



    I never realized that the holders were investment cast 4140. In Gary's hand is a wax pattern. I'm not sure if when Des Burke first started making the Diamond tool if it was forged or cast?

    DSC_9851 (Large).jpg

    Most of the workshop's machines have been set up for repetitive work and some of those machines are indeed repetitive machines such as the beautiful Pittler revolver lathe, the Weiler capstan and the Burgmaster turret drills ( Here's Tom Lipton using a small Burgmaster -
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4FEmIIi_90 ) Gary showed us the Burgmaster working, truly impressive.

    IMG_20180810_110613840 (Large).jpg DSC_9774 (Large).jpg DSC_9775 (Large).jpg DSC_9778 (Large).jpg


    DSC_9779 (Large).jpg DSC_9781 (Large).jpg DSC_9822 (Large).jpg DSC_9811 (Large).jpg DSC_9813 (Large).jpg DSC_9818 (Large).jpg

    IMG_20180810_112800233 (Large).jpg

    On the Burgmaster's table can be seen an oversize version of the Acute tool sharpener's parallelogram grinding arm. Gary built this originally for use as a positioner on his now gone Hercus 4A gear head drill. Here are some photos of it on that drill and in Gary's hands -

    IMG_2604 (Large).jpg IMG_2606 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_112738434 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_112743238 (Large).jpg

    The Hercus No.1 is used for cutting the tool holder's HSS bits to the required angle and length. The ball handles on the grinder's table travel stops aren't standard Hercus issue, they are Des Burke additions. Piers now owns Des' Colchester and on the wall behind the lathe is a rail on which is mounted a collection of tool holders for the Colchester's toolpost designed by Des. They all feature that same ball handle.

    DSC_9788 (Large).jpg DSC_9789 (Large).jpg DSC_9790 (Large).jpg IMG_20180811_160103076 (Large).jpg IMG_20180811_160855788 (Large).jpg

    Gary uses an abundance of jigs. The Nichols mill is setup to machine sharpening guides. Behind the Nichols and the two Schaublin 53s are shelves of cleverly designed and beautifully made jigs. The 53s are big but squat like the 13.


    IMG_20180810_120404054 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_120136766 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_120227692 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_120245148 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_120304591 (Large).jpg DSC_9844 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_120419183_LL (Large).jpg

    I had a go at using the Turnado now I want one.

    IMG_20180810_132453179 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_132559310 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_132819720 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_132744154 (Large).jpg IMG_20180810_133237297 (Large).jpg

    And then there was this, the real deal Ifanger retractable threading tool. I could come to terms with it because it's too big for my little lathe. Certainly simpler than a Multifix!

    IMG_20180810_132937087 (Large).jpg

    Thank you again Piers and Gary.

    Bob.

  2. #2
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    That little Schaublin looks almost new

  3. #3
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    I'm glad you liked the Turnado Bob. I want one too! Do you think the setup would be fairly quick on the Hercus slotted cross-slide?
    Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by eskimo View Post
    That little Schaublin looks almost new
    Just well looked after Richard.

  5. #5
    BobL is offline Member: Blue and white apron brigade
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    Thanks Bob - great reporting - I'm going to be drooling over these pics for a few hours

  6. #6
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    Chris,

    The table has a dovetail spigot enabing its mounting on the ML7's cross slide. Easy enough for us to make one to suit a Hercus.

    IMG_20180810_132711705_BURST000_COVER_TOP (Large).jpg

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobL View Post
    Thanks Bob - great reporting - I'm going to be drooling over these pics for a few hours
    There are more photos Bob. After a lecture from my wife about formatting which bypassed me and several reloads of photos I called it quits. I should have taken even more photos. Behind the Hercus drill was an Austrian Anderle Steyr hydraulic copy shaper begging to be photographed.

    Capture.JPG

    Maybe a touch less exotic but extremely desirable was this beautiful little Waldown tapping drill -

    IMG_20180810_114040612 (Large).jpg

  8. #8
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    Thanks Bob. I just watched Gary's video again. It's a clever piece of kit. I'm surprised he doesn't offer spigots to suit the Hercus. But as you say, they are easy enough to make.
    Chris

  9. #9
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    It really is a great workshop and Gary is a great guy.
    I it’s a hard call for me between the Pitter lathe, the shaper and his small type S borer.

  10. #10
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    Fantastic thread Bob and as usual brilliant photography. I'm a big fan of Garys products and have met him on a couple of occasions (though He wont have a clue who I am) and found him to be a very likeable gentleman.
    I had always wondered what his workshop was like and now I know.
    Many thanks for the pics and thanks to Piers for organising the walk through machining paradise.

    Phil

  11. #11
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    i dont have a Waldown tapping drill

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jack620 View Post
    I'm glad you liked the Turnado Bob. I want one too! Do you think the setup would be fairly quick on the Hercus slotted cross-slide?
    Chris,

    You might have one before me. I had to make the choice between the Acute kit and the Turnado. I'm getting the Acute as a birthday present from my dear Wife.

    Bob.

  13. #13
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    That's great Bob. Does your wife know she's giving it to you?
    Chris

  14. #14
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    On this occasion, yes. She paid for it.

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