Reid 618-HR Hand-operated Surface Grinder
Manufactured by the Read Brothers Company, Inc. of 140 Elliott Street, Beverly, Mass., the 18" x 6" Leach No. 11 surface grinder was, although a simple machine, of unusually high quality and incorporated a number of advanced refinements. Intended as a low-cost-to-buy and simple-to-operate machine, it would have found employment in regular production workshops as a standby unit to tackle smaller, simpler tasks - while also allowing more complex machines to work uninterrupted and not be stopped for some minor production run - or one-off. It would also have appealed to smaller repair workshops where cost was a significant factor and, when finally on the second-hand market, might be considered as a sought-after purchase by the more knowledgeable and enthusiast kind of home machinists.Pictures below are high resolution and may take time to load
Common in the UK - with examples including the popular Eagle, Capco, Herbert, Superior, the less well-known Pallas and this tiny EXE - this type of simple, small, hand-operated industrial-class grinder was also widely available in the U.S.A. with a number of makers offering models and types. However, unlike all of the English machines mentioned, with their fixed heads and rise-and-fall tables, the American-made grinders offered an interesting contrast being nearly all based on full-size power-feed models, with elevating-heads, that had been stripped of their automatic controls. Examples of the type known included the Brown & Sharpe No. 2, the Norton TS, the Grand Rapids Models Nos. 15 and 18, various models by K.O.Lee, possibly the Robot from New York and, though not really in the same general-use class, the two tiny machines by Stanford, the SG and slightly larger MG models. One exception to the general rule was the Rhode-Island-builtLeach No. 11, this being just like a British model in almost every aspect of its design.
Sold during the 1960s and early 1970s, the Reid 618 was, for its size, massively constructed with a weight of 1525 lbs - 3/4 ton. Cast in iron, the column was of box-like construction formed as one piece, the table assembly being carried on top with control by the usual two forward-facing handwheels, a third wheel being used to elevate the head - the handwheel shafts all turning on anti-friction bearings. Possible unique in its arrangement, the table was driven by a pair of timing belts, the system being obviously cheap to produce and probably using off-the-shelf parts. A further interesting design feature - certainly for this class of machine - was a table with hardened ways that ran on a series of high-precision roller bearings, the effect being an almost frictionless sliding action and a claim by the makers that an operator could: "work for hour after hour without fatigue". In fact, so smooth was the drive, that the makers incorporated a friction device, controlled by a lever towards the left-hand end of the saddle, in order to allow greater control of the movement.
Instead of a head driven in the normal way by belts from a motor held in the stand, the Reid had its built around the grinding spindle, a choice being offered of the 1 h.p. 3450 r.p.m. types by Pope, Whiton and Ex-Cello. As an option a 1.5 h.p. motor could be supplied, as could a belt-driven type by Reid themselves that used 2-step pulleys to give a choice of 3180 or 3450 r.p.m.
Lubrication of the sliding ways was taken care of by Bijur one-shot system--though as an option a fully automatic system could be installed instead. Other options included a permanently fitted diamond wheel dresser, a light unit, a power-elevated head, an elevating handwheel fitted with a vernier scale reading to 0.0001", dust-extraction equipment and, for wet grinding, a choice of spray or re-circulation systems.
Fuller details of the specification are listed in the catalogue reproduced below..