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Capco Surface Grinder

Capco Grinder Rebuild

Similar to the better-known Eagle (and rather less common Superior and Herbert types) the Capco was built from the 1940s until, it is believed, the early 1960s. Not to be confused with the American grinder maker, Capital Tool Manufacturing Company of Maryland, the English machine was manufactured by Caplin Engineering Co. Ltd. of Beaconsfield Road, Willesden, London N.W.10. At least three standard versions were manufactured: a Mk. 1 produced until approximately 1952 that had a rectangular top to the spindle housing; a Mk. 2 with a rounded, detachable spindle housing and a very rare model (possibly built to special order only) with a heavier supporting casting for the Y-feed and a shorter table with its drive handle arranged at 90 (instead of being angled) and an external drive rack. The early version was offered as the Models 1 and 2 - the only difference between them being the length of the table - as was the Mk. 2, though this could also be had as the Model 4, a machine identical in size to the Model 3 but fitted with a table running on roller bearings instead of plain ways and possibly of a rather greater size, perhaps 25" x 7".
Cast in iron, the column held a 3/4 h.p. 1400 r.p.m electric motor mounted on a hinged plate for adjustment of the belt tension - a clever one-bolt system being used with the bolt's head protruding through the right-hand face of the machine.
On all models the high-tensile, high-carbon spindle ran in ball journal bearings, with protective seals and sealed-for life lubrication, and was driven by an "A" section V belt.
On the standard machines two sizes of table were offered (though other have been found) with working surfaces of: 14" x 6" (356 x 152 mm) and 18" x6" (457 x 152 mm) - both fitted with three T-slots. Adjustable stops were fitted and the table's working finish ground using its under-bearing surfaces as a location; the maker's guaranteeing an accuracy of 0.001" end to end. The maximum clearance beneath the standard-fit 8-inch diameter grinding wheel was 8" (203 mm) with the knee having some 9.5" (241 mm) of vertical travel. Micrometer dials on the cross and vertical feeds were engraved around the circumference of the large diameter handwheels (to show a travel of 0.0001") , while that for the longitudinal travel - being of less consequence -  was on a much smaller dial.
Most unusually for the maker of a simple, hand-operated surface grinder, Caplin Engineering offered a number of useful accessories that allowed other types of grinding to be carried out including an end-mill sharpening jig that could be mounted horizontally or vertically; a side-and-face cutter holder, a tool-steel cut-off attachment for the back of the spindle (for the No. 2 Model only) and a self-contained, powered cylindrical grinding unit.
A series of interesting and very well produced videos covering a complete rebuild of a Capco grinder can be seen here (check the links to the right of this listing Parts 1, 2 and 3)..

Capco No. 2 Mk. 1 Table 14" x 6". This machine is shown with the
optional tool-steel cut-off attachment mounted at the rear of the spindle

Capco No. 3 Mk. 1 Table 18" x 6"

Capco Mk. 2 Model No. 2 - table 14" x 6"

Capco Mk. 2 Model No. 3 - table 18" x 6"

With suitable attachments the Capco could also be used to undertake
some elementary tool and cutter grinding - shown here sharpening end mills

Sharpening a side and face cutter

Sharpening a slab milling cutter

Tool-steel cut-off attachment

A most unusual accessory for the makers of a simple hand-operated surface grinder to offer: a powered cylindrical grinding attachment

A rare version of the Capco (possibly built to special order only) with a heavier supporting casting for the Y-feed, a shorter table with its drive handle arranged at 90 (instead of being angled) and an external drive rack.


Capco Grinder Rebuild

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Capco Surface Grinder