email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Abwood Milling Attachment


Abwood Tool & Engineering Co. Ltd. Of Abbey Wood, London S.E.2 , were a company well known for their range of milling machine accessories and, in later years, fine-quality grinding machines. In the early 1920s they introduced a milling attachment mounted on a 4.25" x 3" foot plate that was designed to mount on the bed of a small lathe. Although widely advertised as being especially suitable for the Drummond 3.5-inch, was possible to adapt the accessory to fit almost any similar machine - only the base needing to be altered. Instead of being a cheap and inefficient unit, this was a very well-engineered and heavy affair that that used shafts and gears instead of belts. A horizontal bar, held in a 3-jaw chuck (or fitted into the Morse taper spindle of the lathe), took the drive forwards to a pair of bevel gears that turned a long vertical shaft provided with a keyway. At the top the shaft passed through a bevel gear pair that turned the drive horizontally  - with a third pair of bevels arranged to drive the vertical cutter spindle. Like the post-WW2 and better known Rodney units, as the drive came from the lathe's headstock and passed through 1 : 1 gearing, the milling cutter had the same range of speeds as the lathe.
A coarse setting for the height of the head was provided by unlocking the front section of the unit and adjusting its position on the main casting - with a fine feed provided by a 1/2" x 10 t.p.i. threaded rod attached to the side of the spindle housing that gave a travel of about 2 inches. The distance between spindle centre line and the inside of the main casting was 7 inches and the maximum clearance between spindle nose and table the same. In 1930 the unit sold for seven guineas, another way of expressing 7 : 7s : 0d
As examples of this unit are very rare, if any reader has one the writer would be interested to know..

Abwood milling attachment from the 1920s and 1930s
The unit is shown mounted on a lathe just to the right of the gap in the bed

Abwood advertisement from 1929. A guinea was a pound and one shilling. In 1929 a skilled worked might have earned 4 : 10s : 0d for a 6-day week


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Abwood Milling Attachment