email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Brown & Sharp
No. 0 Omniversal Milling Machine

B & S Surface Grinders   A complete Data Pack is available for the Omniversal

Omniversal Page 2

With a plate showing US Patent relating to various parts of the machine - especially 2,077,408 granted on 20th April, 1937 - the Omniversal would have been designed during the mid 1930, manufactured from late in that decade - and was to be made in both early and late forms, though relatively few in number. By mid 1952 one hundred and ninety eight of the original version had been made (to Serial Number 198) with production continuing into the early 1960s. Reflecting, in its basic layout, the design of the popular "Universal" miller as made for example by Deckel, Thiel, Mikron, Maho, this type of machine usually had the facility to mount different heads - horizontal, standard vertical, high-speed vertical and slotting - in combination with a variety of tables - plain, plain-tilting and compound swivelling. The heads could be driven backwards and forwards across the top of the main column to provide an in-out feed, while the tables bolted to a flat, vertical T-slotted table equipped with power longitudinal and vertical feeds. By juggling the choice of heads and tables, and utilising other accessories, a skilled technician was seldom defeated in his attempts to produce the most complex of milled and drilled components - and all to a very high standard of accuracy. However, the B & S was a rather different and, in many ways, a more complicated machine - indeed almost a technical tour de force and intended solely for use in toolrooms and on experimental work. Equipped, as were all the ordinary Universal types, with a wide rise-and-fall vertical table with a travel (by hand only in this case through bevel gears and a large-diameter feed screw) of 15". However, there the similarity ended for the Omniversal did not, as on competing machines, mount on its vertical table a variety of other table types (plain, swivelling, swivelling & tilting, etc), but had just one that was permanently fitted type - this consisting of a substantial swivelling knee with - arranged like a conventional miller - a saddle that carried a 34" x 9" table able to be swivelled 50 each side of zero - scales and verniers enabling setting to within 2 seconds of arc, The only notable disadvantage of this arrangement was the lack of a for-and-aft tilting movement - though in terms of useable functionality was the equal of, if not superior to, the other types. The knee was carried on large diameter rollers running on hardened ways with a side-to-side travel of 17" with locking, in the vertical position, by dual levers, one at each side, with side-to-side clamping by nuts. Fitted with the usual transverse and longitudinal travels (each able to be moved by hand or under power), the table carried three 11/16" T-slots and had the same 17" of longitudinal travel as the knee - so giving a total of 34" of horizontal movement. Automatic knock-off stops were fitted of course to each powered axis, these being of the quick-release type and equipped with fine-thread thumbscrew adjusters. However, reflecting the machine's use as a precision rather than production miller, transverse feed was just 6", this being reduced to 5.75" when using power. Knee swivel, to a maximum of 60 each side of horizontal, was by means of a removable hand-crank - this engaging with keys duplicated on the left and right hand sides of the casting. By using a combination of scales and verniers an operator was able to set the knee's inclination to within 2 seconds of arc. If the operator required the  knee to be in its central position, or set with the table absolutely horizontal, taper lock pins were provided that that also interlocked, in the former case, to prevent an accidental engagement of the feed mechanism.
Continued below:

Brown & Sharpe No. 0 Omniversal as advertised during the early 1960s

Continued:
On the early models power for the table feeds came from an all-anti-friction bearing equipped gearbox driven from the main spindle. The sixteen rates of feed -  from 0.5" to 18.25" per minute -  were independent of those selected for the spindle and protected by an overload clutch that automatically reengaged when the load was removed. Changes of feed rate were made by a single rotating lever fitted with a direct-reading dial at the left-hand side of the miller - one revolution in either direction giving the next higher or lower speed. It was possible, should the job have demanded it, for the table, knee slide and saddle feeds to be used simultaneously. On the later machines the table feed was both simplified and improved by the fitting of a variable-speed, electronically-controlled 1/2 h.p. (360W) motor fitted to the left-hand end of the knee; control was by a small dial with feed rates marked from 1/2" to 15" (19 to 379 mm) per minute. Feed selection and engagement was by levers arranged in the usual directional sense. For jobs such as fly cutting feed rates below 1/2" per minute were also available, this arrangement negating the need for a feed-reducing attachment. Longitudinal hand feeds of the table and knee were by "balanced" handles equipped with large-diameter, bevelled-faced micrometer dials beautifully engraved with white digits on a black background - the wide spacing showing reading of 0.001".
Handles for the vertical and traverse feed were of the full-circle type with a rather elegant slenderness that added to the miller's aesthetic appeal.  Fitted to the left-hand end of the table feed-screw, the whole handle and dial assembly was transferable, if required, to the opposite end. Lubrication of the table driving mechanism was by a hand pump - the feed also being directed to the various sliding ways. The result of all the various adjustments available was that work could positioned precisely longitudinally, vertically, transversely and set angularly to two minutes of arc in the vertical and horizontal planes and, in all positions, fed by power using the table and knee horizontal movement and the saddle's transverse feed. Hence, as with most of the other Universal types it was seldom necessary to employ additional fixtures or fittings to obtain the required feed angles.
While most competing universal millers from other makers were constructed as dual-purpose vertical and horizontal machines the Brown & Sharpe was constructed primarily as a very rigid horizontal type with two solid steel round over arms holding a pair of aluminium alloy "drop bracket" cutter-arbor supports. Light but strong the arbor supports were fitted with adjustable bronze bushes lubricated from a large reservoir at the top through a manually-operated, spring-closed valve.
Although other makers offered a variety of vertical heads, some driven from the horizontal spindle and others self-powered, on the Omniversal only two appear to have been offered: a slotting type driven from the horizontal spindle and a small vertical mounted on the end of a round steel bar that passed through the left-hand face of the main column towards the top face. Gear driven from the rear of the main horizontal spindle, the vertical head could also be withdrawn and socketed into either of the overarm holes, its arm being the same diameter as the arbor support bars. In all mounting positions the drive system remained the same. When drawn forward into its ordinary working position (or mounted in the alternative locations) the head was supported by a special 3-hole yolk that clamped over the two other support bars. Able to be moved parallel to the overarms through a range of 13.375" when in its ordinary working position, when mounted in the overarm holes this was reduced to a rather less useful 5.75". The head could be swivelled through 360 with setting, using scales and verniers, to within 2 minutes of arc. Fitted with a No. 9 Brown & Sharp taper the spindle was held in a quill with a rather short 2" of travel controlled by a quick-feed lever - there being no fine-feed handwheel.
Driven by a single-speed 2 h.p. 3-phase motor the main spindle was bored through 21/32", carried a National Standard Nose (NMTB) Size 40, ran in taper roller bearings and was provided with 18 spindle speeds that spanned 40 to 1530 r.p.m. Geared to the horizontal spindle at a ratio of approximately 2 : 1 the vertical head had a speed range from 76 to 2900 r.p.m. with control by a dial-type change on the left-hand face of the column where one revolution of the handle in either direction selected the next higher or lower speed. To aid speed changes, a jog button was fitted on the column's rear face, just to the left of the speed-change dial and within easy reach.
It was possible (though a highly unlikely requirement) to drive both horizontal and vertical spindles simultaneously, the latter being engaged and disengaged by a lever control.
The No. 0 Omniversal occupied a space around 72" front to back, 63" left to right, stood nearly 61" tall and weighed 4350 lbs (1.9 tons)..

Early-model No. 0 Omniversal as manufactured from the late 1930s until 1952

The "table" consisted of a substantial swivelling knee with - arranged like a conventional miller - a saddle that carried a 34" x 9" table able to be swivelled 50 each side of zero - scales and verniers enabling setting to within 2 seconds of arc,

Power for the table feeds came from a separate variable-speed, electronically-controlled 1/2 h.p. (360W) motor fitted to the left-hand end of the knee; control was by a small dial with feed rates marked from 1/2" to 15" (19 to 379 mm) per minute.

While competing makers offered a variety of vertical heads, some driven from the horizontal spindle and others self-powered, on the Omniversal only a single type was offered: a small head was mounted on the end of a round steel bar that passed through the left-hand face of the main column towards the top face.

Vertical head mounted in one of the sockets normally occupied by a horizontal overarm



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

Brown & Sharp
No. 0 Omniversal Milling Machine

B & S Surface Grinders   A Data Pack is available for the Omniversal

Omniversal Page 2