Imported by Graham Engineering of Birmingham during the 1970s, this vertical milling and co-ordinate machine was typical of what might be called the generic Taiwanese type and sold in the United Kingdom afixed with a number of different badges including Sealey, Warco, NoTools, Pinnacle and Naerok.
At first two sizes were offered, a "Minor" version and a much heavier "Major", the latter having a longer table, a much thicker base casting, a greater throat, a head with an extra four inches or so of elevation and proper machined steel handles in place of the die-cast or plastic on the Minor. In later years, most suppliers listed only the smaller machine - which was a shame, as the larger model could tackle such jobs as facing smaller cylinder heads and was able to remove metal at a much faster rate. It was, however, rather over-kill for a home workshop and sales must have been disappointing
While most of the Naerok and Draper versions had a bevel-gear driven elevation of the head that maintained alignment throughout the lift, on the "Alpine" the head was lifted by a crank handle whose gear ran directly against a rack free to rotate between its top and bottom holders--the result being that, once unclamped and moved up or down, the head was free to swing around the column and so lose its alignment. Although this might seem to be a fault, in reality, it hardly matters, the long quill travel is, more often than not, sufficient to complete jobs without the need to elevate or lower the head.
In addition to the elevating head, the quill, which held a No. 3 Morse taper spindle, could be moved by either a handwheel fine-feed control (working through worm-and-wheel gearing with each division on the micrometer dial being 0.025 mm or imperial equivalent) or by a 3-spoke, quick-action capstan handle. Power came from a rear-mounted motor, these being of 0.75, 1 or 1.25 h.p. running at 1400 r.p.m., with drive by an "A" section V-belt to an intermediate, self-aligning, 3 or 4-step jockey pulley. From there another "A" section V-belt turned the matching front pulley - the arrangement giving a very useful range of either nine or twelve speeds - the former spanning 260 to 2100 and the latter (on later models) somewhat more useful from 90 to 2150 r.p.m.
Although inexpensive, of relatively crude construction and with a less-than-perfect cosmetic finish, this type of vertical miller and co-ordinate drilling machine is a most useful addition to any workshop, especially if you are playing with the repair of motorcycles and cars. Able to mill to tolerable accuracy with either large or small cutters, it becomes especially handy when used as a coordinate drill, the spindle speeds being both high and low enough to cope with drill bits of small and large diameter - drilling a 1/4" diameter hole into free-cutting steel needing around 2,300 r.p.m. while a hole 1.5" in diameter needs around 357 r.p.m. With a vice bolted securely to the table, the slides can be manoeuvred easily - to bring the workpiece exactly into place - and then locked.
The writer has a similar generic Taiwanese miller in his home workshop and would not, under any circumstances, be without it..