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Limatic Model C13 Filing and Sawing Machine


Built until the 1970s and boasting an advanced specification, the Limatic Model C13 was a modern interpretation of the long-established  filing and sawing machine. Weighing a considerable 430 kg and equipped with a large 420 x 450 mm table that could be swivelled through 15 in four directions, the C13 had a saw blade and file stroke travel that could be adjusted between 0 and 136 mm (0 and 5.375 inches). Driven by a 2-speed 700/1400 r.p.m. 0.8/1.0 h.p. motor, the stroke rate could be set at any point between 60 to 360 per minute and the maximum thickness of work able to be accommodated was 100 mm (4 inches). To improve long-term reliability the makers noted that the "four base bushes" - possibly those supporting the drive pulleys and reciprocating vertical shaft - were lubricated by a centralised, pumped oil supply. Supplied as standard with each new machine was a complete electrical installation, a set of six files, six file centring sleeves, six saw blades, two saw blade holders, six saw blade guides, an air-blowing attachment, an oil pump for the centralised lubrication system, a set of five spanners and the operating instructions.
Those craftsmen with experience of "filing and sawing machines" will know that they are not what the layman thinks them to be - a rough-and-ready method of removing metal - but the exact opposite. While they were not intended for use in general workshops, they did find a valuable niche in better-equipped toolrooms where an expensive, and a top-class example (sometimes referred to as a die filer) could, in the hands of an experienced operator, produce almost miraculously-accurate results. Usually equipped with a tilting, square or rectangular table, almost any angle could be filed and many models would also double as a "fretsaw" for cutting out patterns and templates for use on copy lathes and milling machines. While some types were very simple and capable of only limited work, others such as the 1920s Beichle and its English-market model the Excel, were fearfully complex and would not only tackle relatively light work making tools, jigs, patterns, templates, embossing tools and moulds, etc. but also 1:1 copy milling, die sinking and basic turning, boring, milling and shaping - a number of accessories being available to assist with the latter operations. One well-known maker of die filers was the German precision machine tool company Thiel; their two Produro models, the 111 for small work and the 115 for larger, being beautifully constructed, long-lived and popular examples.
So useful was the filing machine considered that some makers of high-class American bench precision lathes of the early 20th century, such as the Pratt & Whitney and Waltham, offered them as bolt-on attachments - the Waltham having the luxury of a round table that, while remaining angled and at just one setting of the job, could be rotated for one complete turn in the horizontal plane, making it possible to file a square corner, with a clearance angle at each side. The Waltham lathe filing attachment was also available as a complete machine for bench mounting, driven by a round leather "rope" running over a 3-step pulley..

Limatic C13 with the cover removed to show the variable-speed drive system


email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Limatic Model C13 Filing and Sawing Machine