email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Rambaudi Milling Machines

Early-models Page Continued Here

Operation and Parts Manuals are available
for a number of Rambaudi milling machines

Rambaudi V2 and V3   Rambaudi UR60 & UR60F   
Rambaudi Series M

Founded immediately after the end of WW2, in 1945, and based in Rivoli, near Turin, the Rambaudi Company specialised in high quality, conventional milling machines for industrial use. While not as extensive a range as that offered by the larger manufacturers such as Cincinnati, from the early 1950s onwards the number of models grew quickly to encompass a useful variety of types including ordinary horizontal, vertical, specialised and (the subject of this article) ram-head Bridgeport-like models.
Unfortunately, by October 2009 the Company was bankrupt and in 2010 the remaining assets were acquired by the massive Taiwanese
Fair Friend Group. Today Rambaudi are still trading and concentrate on the design and manufacture of 5-axis CNC machining centres. It is possible that, following the takeover, that some machines were re-badged and carried identification proclaiming "MANEX made in Italy".
Introduced during 1955, the various ram-head types (of all years) were identified by either the suffix "2" (Types V2, VR-2, VRG-2 and VSR-2) or "3" (Types V3, VR-3, VRG-3 and VSR-3) - the latter group being more heavily constructed with larger motors, overarms and headstocks and longer tables. In 1968 (with more than 3000 examples of the VR types manufactured and half exported to the United states) an updated model was introduced, the V Series. Although of a similar layout to the VR, the two versions made, the V2 and V3 differed in almost every detail from the earlier machines and are described separately. Other types of ram-head Rambaudi included the last versions made, the M3, M3P, MG3-P, MG3, MS3, MS3-P, M0 and MU and the M-2, M-3, MS-2, MS-3, FCR-3 and a number of variants based on those designs.
Bottom of the range, the VR-2 and VR-3 had their head-carrying ram fixed to slide in and out only - whereas the VRG-2 and VRG-3 were arranged with the ram on a rotating base (just like every Bridgeport Series 1), so adding greatly to their versatility and functionality but, of course, adding to the number of surfaces between cutting tool and the main machine body. With the unexplained exception of the similar but larger Model FCR-3, machines with an "S" in their type description (VSR-2 and VSR-3) were combination vertical/horizontal types fitted with a motor and 12-speed gearbox within the main column that drove a horizontal milling spindle. The opposite end of the dovetail ram to that mounting the vertical head was pressed into service as an overarm to hold one or more drop brackets that supported a horizontal milling arbor.

Accessories

For all types of Rambaudi ram-head millers, where items were not supplied as standard, a range of extras was offered including: a self-contained power vertical rapid feed (usually at the rate of 31" per minute); a horizontal grinding attachment (with a vertically disposed wheel) complete with magnetic chuck, table-mounted shields and even a wheel-balancing spindle; a 600 x 300 mm universal swivelling and tilting table able to be moved through 30 each way in traverse and 15 each way longitudinally; rectangular and round raiser blocks to raise the ram; a "universal" swivelling table; a 6-speed slotting attachment driven from the horizontal spindle with the stroke adjustable between 0 and 3.2" and rates from 32 to 410 per minute; a 6-inch centre height universal dividing head (with tailstock and an optional gear train driven from the table feed screw to allow spiral milling); a 24-division indexing head; horizontal and vertical rotary tables; a right-angle drive attachment; fixed and swivel-base machine vices; high-precision optical table-travel readers; length-rod and DTI holders; a centring microscope; a handy 3x1 rectangular magnifying class on an articulated arm; collet chucks, shell-mill holders and precision drill chucks and boring heads; collet sets to fit the various spindle noses and a number of hydraulic copying attachments.
Types VR-2, VRG-2 and VSR-2
If the writer's reference source is complete, three sizes of table were available on these models: a 42" x 10" for the VR-2 only and a choice of 47.75 x 10", 47.75" x 11.75" and 55" x 11.75" for the other two - though for some years of production the longest was not listed. While the 10-inch wide tables had three 9/16" T-slots on 2.5" spacing, the 11.75-inch had four of the same size and disposition. Longitudinal travel on the two longer tables by hand or under power (hand being by a single, forwards facing handwheel working through bevel gears) was 35.5" but limited to 29.5" on the shortest. The single forward-facing table control was an arrangement that operators used to table-end handle found strange at first acquaintance, but soon accepted as very convenient.
Hand-driven cross and vertical travel was identical on all versions at 11" and 16.75" respectively (power feed in these directions was not available). Driven by a 0.7 h.p. motor through an oil-bath gearbox located on the left-hand side of the knee, twelve rates of longitudinal table feed were available spanning 0.4375" to 19.625" per minute. Selection of feed rates was by a combination of a short lever and a front-facing dial on the motor-gearbox unit with engagement by a second, longer lever - pressing it down from its central (neutral) position engaged the feed (and started the spindle) while lifting it up (against spring pressure) caused the rapid feed, at a rate of either 80 or (depending upon the year of manufacture) 100" per minute, to engage. All versions could be fitted, at extra cost, with a self-contained rapid vertical feed - but this was not available for the other feed directions.
Table feed screws were hardened and ground with that for the longitudinal drive running in an oil bath and made in two short sections, left and right and spring loaded against each other. The screws, around 3" in diameter, engaged against a long, semi-circular nut (a helicoidal rack) fastened to the underside of the table - this ingenious and beautifully constructed arrangement (adjustable to eliminate backlash) giving a huge surface area to slow down the rate of wear. Of conventional design, the cross-feed screw ran through two opposed bronze nuts, this arrangement also being adjustable to eliminate play. Lubrication of the table and knee ways was by a hand-operated single-shot oil pump positioned to the right of the saddle.
Continued below:

The Rambaudi factory as it appeared  in the 1970s

A casting being induction hardened

Rambaudi milling machine castings in the stress relieving pit

Rambaudi VR2 - non-rotating ram version

Types VR-2, VRG-2 and VSR-2 continued:
Fitted on the end of a ram having 16" of travel driven by rack-and-pinion gearing, the vertical head (with its main casting in Meehanite iron) could be swivelled through 90 each side of vertical by a crank handle working through worm-and-wheel gearing. It was locked to the ram not by the usual four bolts, but by a split ring formed with a conical periphery - the vertical position being obtained by a tapered pin of hardened and ground steel fitted at the 3 o'clock position on the head's right-hand side. Apart from the basic VR2, with a maximum clearance between spindle nose and table of 18 inches, all other models had 20", less, of course the length of the collet chuck or cutter being used.
Normally driven by a 2-speed, 2 h.p./3 h.p. 1450/2800 r.p.m. motor, sixteen spindle speeds were provided from 65 to 4750 r.p.m. - the high range being by an A-section V-belt running over a 4-step pulley and the low range through a lathe-like backgear using hardened and ground gears. However, an alternative specification was also offered of a single-speed motor and eight speeds with a maximum of 2750 r.p.m., the difference being accounted for by the design of  spindle assembly - the high-speed version running in non-adjustable, high-precision SKF ball races the lower-speed type (more robust and intended for faster rates of metal removal) using adjustable Timken taper roller bearings. A manual spindle brake and screw-in lock (operated by a T-shaped handle on the left-hand front of the head) was fitted as part of the standard equipment (to enable the collet draw-bar to be tightened or released) with an electromagnetic brake offered as an option - a red push-button control bringing the spindle to a halt and holding it locked.
Hardened and ground (with precision-ground helical rack teeth) the quill held a nickel-chrome spindle (also hardened and ground) that could be moved through its 5" of travel by a quick-action lever for drilling, a handwheel through worm-and-wheel gearing for fine feeds or a choice of three rates of power up and down feed of 0.015", 0.003" and 0.006" per minute. Feeds could be disengaged by either the control handle or set to release automatically (to within a setting of 0.001") when the slide block fitted to the front mounted vertical ruler and micrometer-dial assembly contacted the top or bottom of its housing. To protect against overload a slipping clutch was fitted to the power feed, the disengagement load being adjustable by the operator. On the first models produced it is thought that the vertical spindle fitting was an American Standard (ASME), later changed (to allow easier access to common tooling and collet chucks), to a Bridgeport-type R8 spindle or, optionally on machines from the early 1960s, an N30. Other fittings listed over the years included the IS030, ISA30 and ISA40 - and it is likely that for different market areas alternatives would also have been offered. On the VSR horizontal spindle models a similar mixture was offered, but less the inadequate (for horizontal milling) R8.
Lubrication of the entire head - bearings and gears - was by the daily introduction of a small quantity of oil though a filler at the top of the assembly, this having to be drained every few days through a plug at the bottom of the housing.
Continued below:

Rambaudi VR-3 - non-rotating ram version

Continued:
Types VR-3, VRG-3 and VSR-3
Identical to the VR2 models in their general design and construction (and using the same knee assembly) the VR3 Series had a more robust main column, a longer, deeper and hence stronger dovetail overarm and a heavier-duty vertical head (for some years of production the option might have been offered of a longer table). The standard version, the VR-3, had its head-carrying ram fixed to slide in and out only whereas the VRG-3 and VSR-3 were arranged with the ram on a rotating base (just like every Bridgeport Series 1), adding greatly to their versatility and functionality. With the unexplained exception of the similar but larger FCR-3, Rambaudi machines with an "S" in their type description (VSR-3) were combination types fitted with a motor and 12-speed gearbox within the main column that drove a horizontal milling spindle. The opposite end of the ram to that holding the vertical head was pressed into service as an overarm to hold one or more drop brackets that supported a horizontal milling arbor.
If the writer's reference source is complete, two table sizes were listed: 48" x 12" and 55" x 12", each with four 9/16" T-slots on 2.5" spacing. Longitudinal travel using power or hand feed on the shorter table (hand being by a single, forwards facing handwheel working through bevel gears) was 36" and 43" on the longer - with hand-driven cross and vertical travel identical on all versions at 11" and 16.75" respectively (power feeds in these directions was not available). Driven by a 0.7 h.p. motor through an oil-bath gearbox located on the left-hand side of the knee, twelve rates of longitudinal table feed were available spanning 0.4375" to 19.625" on early models and from 0.5" to 21.75" per minute on later. Selection of feed rates was by a combination of a short lever and a front-facing dial on the front of the motor-gearbox with engagement by a second, longer lever - pressing it down from its central (neutral) position engaged the feed (and started the spindle) while lifting it up (against spring pressure) caused the rapid feed, at a rate of either 80 or (depending upon the year of manufacture) 100" per minute to engage. At extra cost a self-contained power rapid feed could be fitted to all versions. Table feed screws were hardened and ground with that for the longitudinal drive running in an oil bath and made in two short sections, left and right and spring loaded against each other. The screws, around 3" in diameter, engaged against a long, semi-circular nut (a helicoidal rack) fastened to the underside of the table - this ingenious and beautifully constructed arrangement (adjustable to eliminate backlash) giving a huge surface area to slow down the rate of wear. Of conventional design, the cross-feed screw ran through two opposed bronze nuts, this arrangement also being adjustable to eliminate play.
Lubrication of the table and knee ways was by a hand-operated single-shot oil pump positioned to the right of the saddle.
Continued below:

Rambaudi VRG-3 combination vertical and horizontal - note the heavier construction of the vertical head

Continued: Types VR-3, VRG-3 and VSR-3
Fitted on the end of a ram having 16" of travel driven by rack-and-pinion gearing, the head could be swivelled through 90 each side of vertical by a crank handle working through worm-and-wheel gearing. It was locked to the ram not by the expected four bolts but with a split ring formed with a conical periphery, the vertical position being obtained by a tapered pin of hardened and ground steel fitted at the 3 o'clock position on the head's right-hand side. All versions had a maximum clearance between bare spindle nose and table of 20 inches.
Considerably beefed up in comparison with the VR-2 models, the vertical head on the 3-Series models was normally driven by a 2-speed, 3 h.p./4 h.p. 1450/2800 r.p.m. motor that gave twelve speeds from 48 to 2000 r.p.m. - the high range being by B-section V-belt over a 3-step pulley and the low through a lathe-like backgear using hardened and ground gears. A manual spindle brake and screw-in lock (operated by a T-shaped handle on the left-hand front of the head) was fitted as part of the standard equipment (to enable the collet draw-bar to be tightened or released) with an electromagnetic brake offered as an option - a red push-button control bringing the spindle to a halt and holding it locked.
Hardened and ground (with precision-ground helical rack teeth) the quill held a nickel-chrome spindle (also hardened and ground) that could be moved through its 5 inches of travel by a quick-action lever for drilling, a handwheel through worm-and-wheel gearing for fine feed or a choice of three rates of power up and down feed of 0.015", 0.003" and 0.0056" per minute. Feeds could be disengaged by either the control handle or set to release automatically (to within a setting of 0.001") when the slide block fitted to the front mounted vertical ruler and micrometer-dial assembly contacted the top or bottom of its housing. To protect against overload a slipping clutch was fitted to the power feed, the disengagement load being adjustable by the operator. On the first models produced it is thought that the standard vertical spindle fitting was an American Standard (ASME 1"3/4) with the later option of the ISA-40 - though it is likely that for different market areas alternatives would have been offered.
On the VSR models the horizontal spindle was offered with a choice of either an ISA-50 or an ASME 2"3/4 nose.
Lubrication of the entire head - bearings and gears - was by the daily introduction of a small quantity of oil though a filler at the top of the assembly, this having to be drained every few days through a plug at the bottom of the housing.
Continued here: Types VR-3, VRG-3 and VSR-3

Rambaudi VSR-2 combination vertical and horizontal fitted with hydraulic copy equipment

Rambaudi Early-models Continued Here

Rambaudi V2 and V3   Rambaudi UR60 & UR60F   
Rambaudi Series M

Operation and Parts Manuals are available
for a number of Rambaudi milling machines

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