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G.Boley Precision Milling Machines
of the 1920s & 1930s

Boley Millers Page 2   Boley Home Page

Besides watch and clockmakers' lathes and accessories, watch and instrument-making tools and special machines for watchmaking factories (such as forming machines), G.Boley were also responsible for a range of very high quality precision milling machines of which the smaller ones (similar in design to the Leinen the Models 80 and 80a) were copied in Britan during the late 1930s as the first the "Ultra" and then the "Excel" and B.C.A.


Boley UFR Precision Universal Mill and Jig driller from the 1930s

This special miller was fitted with built-in rotary table in the form of a compound slide with travels of  200 mm along the X axis of the table and 140 and 120 mm on the slide itself. Designed to help with radius milling the technique was to adjust the centre of the radius, by using a zero stop under the spindle, then set the X axis to the radius size. The z-axis (on the head) was also adjustable, in 25 mm steps, by loosing the milling-head beam and inserting measuring slip blocks under two rests, one on each column arm. The milling head had travel of 50 mm.

A slightly later version of the Boley UFR thought to have been made in 1939


1920s Precision bench miller using a modified lathe headstock of 90 mm centre height from the Boley No. 4 precision plain-turning bench lathe. The machine was supplied with both screw and lever feed to the X and Y axis feeds.

Boley precision bench miller with a bracket to adapt it to vertical milling
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Boley also made a range of ordinary workshop and production milling machines - though details are scarce

Boley Form Machines (Formfräsmaschinen) No. 1501 and 1502

Extremely rare, even in their country of origin, these two models of Boley forming machine were listed in a 1912 Hahn & Kolb catalogue. They were intended for use in the watchmaking industry and used sheet-metal forms as templates to create small and highly accurate dies and tooling for use in production processes. As can be seen, they used elements of a WW-pattern watchmakers' lathe mounted on a swivelling bracket with the height-and-lengthways adjustable cutting head driven from a flat-belt pulley through an universally-jointed shaft.
Two versions were made, each in four sizes: the upper of the two illustrated below was made as the No. 1501 and 1502 whilst the lower, with its inclinable centres, as the 1503 and 1504.

Boley Form Machines (Formfräsmaschinen) No. 1503 and 1504

G.Boley precision jig-boring and drilling machine

This machine was a development of a late 1880s design by Wolf Jahn, a German company noted for its high-quality watchmakers' lathes and associated tools. The concept - a swan-necked column carrying a slide-mounted head above a compound table topped with a rotary table - was then taken up by Leinen, another maker of precision watch-making equipment, who by the late 1920s, had developed it as their Model "80" or, with a plain compound table, as the "80a". Although these were smaller machines than later versions - the table was only 6-inches (150 mm) in diameter, the hole through the spindle 0.314-inch (8 mm) and the distance from column's inner face to spindle centre just 5 inches (130 mm) - it was now in a form clearly recognisable as the immediate forbear of the later English-made Ultra, Excel and B.C.A. versions. During the 1930s further improvements were made by Leinen, including the use of heavier castings and a head that could be inclined and driven by a feed-screw; this version also being advertised as the Leinen, Boley & Leinen and "BFL". Sales catalogues for the brands were identical (but for the name on their cover pages) though the Boley part of the name should not be confused with G.Boley, an entirely separate company. However G.Boley did make their own version of the machine, shown above and below, though this is a model far less frequently encountered than the Leinen BFL. Appearing to have a slightly heavier overall built than the Leinen, the G. Boley had much larger micrometer dials on the compound and rotary tables - while the latter had its "wheel" guarded by a neat sheet-steel cover, a feature lacking on the equivalent Leinen.


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email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
Machine Tool Manuals   Catalogues   Belts   Books  Accessories

G.Boley Precision Milling Machines
of the 1920s & 1930s