From Ron Jone of Advico (partnership) dealers and manufactures - Gear Shapers
I've enjoyed the Drummond Lathes section of your website and have long since realized that Drummond Bros played an important part in our machine-tool heritage.
Although I was very sad when I attended the Guildford auction many years ago, I was unable to find much on the company's roots - though I read of the wide range of products they had made. At the auction, some six years ago, I bought, through my company Advico (partnership), the intellectual rights, spares and machines in stock of Drummond - in the form of the Maxicut 2, 2A, 2B, 2C, 3, 3A & 3AR . We have all the original drawings and much literature. Three years ago we built two examples of a new model, the 2VAR (which is a tilting table variable-angle, steering rack generator) of a unique design by a Scotsman, Bob McCombe). In April 2008 we are introducing the Model 3Z which will, we believe, be the largest (and sadly the only) new British Gear Generator produced in the some twenty-five years since W. E. Sykes Ltd., of Staines closed down. Hopefully this new machine may stimulate orders for a reasonable production run. The machine is a natural development of the 3AR. We may well have a baby Maxicut No. 1 to introduce shortly too - styled in the same Drummond mode.
We are nevertheless a very small company, located twenty miles north-west of Birmingham, with just a handful of employees. Our main production has been for such Maxicut spares as are needed to keep them running in their industrial environment--whether in Rolls Royce Aero or a Bahrain Workshops. Although the old Commonwealth countries are generously littered with them the spares business has been very poor because, unless seriously manhandled, they just don't break down.
The writer's father was a gear-machine designer and patents' engineer for David Brown, Huddersfield, and after serving as a Leeds Pal (15th Battalion West Yorks.) in WW1 he moved to Moss Gear in Birmingham and later Alfred Wiseman. Whilst there he was designer of transmissions on hundreds of trams and trolley buses, some locomotives and tractors and recognised Fellows (USA) and Sykes (UK) as formidable designers. Around 1933, Drummonds licensing liason with Fellows gave us the No. 2 and No. 3 gear shapers. Subsequently improved as the 2A and 3A - which models, to be honest, were an improvement over their Fellows competition. I know this because at the time I was on the road for Alfred Herbert selling their British built Fellows, the 7125A (10" dia. gears) and the 6AH (20").
The Fellows 7 (of 1924 design) became the No. 2 Maxicut (Capacity 7"dia x 2" face x 6DP)whilst the Fellows 6A (of 1929 design) became the No.3 Maxicut (18" dia x 5" face x 3.5DP). Both types of Maxicut would produce Spur (straight) external gears, sprockets and splines as well as internal gears and splines. Helical gears could be produced if one had a helical guide and the requisite matching helical cutter.
Since 1969, I've sold a few thousand gear cutting machines and the Drummond Maxicut 2A & 3A ranges are still very much my favourites. We do not own any rights to the HD high production series, this is American owned - sadly only a handful were ever built , mainly for the Austin motor plant at Longbridge. Neither did we take on the Drummond Hoblique Gear Hobbers - which can be quite tricky to repair. However, what we've got, we love!
Kind wishes to all you Drummond Lathe fanatics.