email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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Shizuoka Milling Machines
Types VH & VHR Vertical & Horizontal Turret Type

Shizuoka Types SV and SP Vertical & Horizontal


Founded in 1937 as a specialist manufacture of machine tools including millers, lathes, planing and boring machines, Sizuoka Tekkosho Ltd. was based at 58 Toyohara-Cho,  Shizuoka-SH1, in Japan. By the late 1950s a number of milling machines were in production, including a range of very useful turret and conventional knee-type machines. The turret versions were built as four models: the simple ram-type "VH" vertical (non-swing head); the "VHR" turret vertical (swing head), the "VHR-G" turret vertical (the "G" suffix on all types denoting the addition of a horizontal spindle) and the VHRU-G, a turret vertical with horizontal spindle and a table able to be swung 45 each side of central - so turning it into a "universal" type. Each model was offered in three versions, each with an individual specification - though all had power down feed to the spindle. The types were strangely named with basic machines having longer model numbers than the better equipped: the basic VH-AST had all hand-operated table travels; the VH-AS added table longitudinal power feed while the VHR-A also included a rapid and rise and fall to the knee. Identical set-ups were available, respectively, on the VHR, as the VHR-AST, VHR-AS and VHR-A and on the VHR-G as the VHR-GST, VHR-GS and VHR-G - the three latter specifications also applying to the "Universal" VHRU-G. 
Modelled on Bridgeport lines and manufactured from the late 1950s until the 1970s, the millers appear to have been built in early and late styles, the former with an overarm and vertical head of rounded appearance and the latter with almost all castings replaced by ones of more angular appearance. However, despite these changes, the mechanical specification remained virtually identical, only the travel of the ram being very slightly different and the weight of the newer machines around 220 lbs (100 kg) greater.
Enjoying a comprehensive specification and excellent detailing, the millers were obviously intended to appeal to customers needing a versatile machine that could be employed for either light production or in a repair workshop. Most useful of all was the VHR-G, this having both a swinging, turret-mounted head and a horizontal spindle - and so able to perform just as well as either a proper vertical or tough horizontal machine. Change from one type to another was easily done by rotating the head to bring either the vertical head or the two horizontal arbor supports to the front - this arrangement meaning of course that, unlike the Bridgeport, the Shizuoka lacked the facility to mount a slotting head on the back of its ram. A similar but much smaller machine of equal versatility - and ideal for the amateur workshop - was sold on the English market as the Elliott Omnimill 00).
Of good quality and well-built, all Shizuoka millers (of all types and sizes) were claimed by the makers to have main castings in a Meehanite iron of high tensile strength; vertical and horizontal spindles and their intermediate shafts in nickel-chrome steel, heat-treated with induction-hardened noses and splines and ground-finished; transmission gears in a nickel-chrome steel, heat treated, finished on German MAAG gear grinders and run in easily-drained oil baths while spindle bearings - horizontal and vertical - were of the high-precision type (Japanese class H or P) and
"...assembled under scrupulously clean and careful conditions".
Vertical Head and Drive
Carried on a swivel base with 360 of rotation, the box-section overarm could be slid backwards and forwards by a rack-and-pinion drive though a range of around 21" (535 mm) - with the centre line of the vertical head able to be moved a maximum of 26 3/8" (670 mm) from the inside face of the column. Clearance between spindle nose and table varied from 0 to 227/8" - though the latter could be increased by the use of packing blocks between the column and overarm base. Drive to the head was by a V-belt running over 4-step pulleys, the power coming from a 2 h.p. (1.5 kW) 2-speed motor that, combined with the standard-fit backgear, gave sixteen speeds spanning a most useful 75 to 3600 r.p.m. on a 60 Hz supply (though slower of course on 50 Hz) - actual spindle speeds being, 110, 145, 170, 220, 250, 320, 480,  and 550 r.p.m. in backgear and 800, 1100, 1220, 1600, 1800, 2450 and 3600 in open drive. Able to be swivelled through 90 each side of vertical (by means of worm-and-wheel gearing), the head held an NST40 spindle with 5.5" (140 mm) of travel under the control of either hand feed - from both a quick-action drilling lever and fine-feed handwheel - or power, with the three rates of feed set of 0.0014", 0.0028" and 0.0056" (0.035, 0.07, 0.14 mm) per revolution with adjustable automatic stops provided for both up and down travel.
Horizontal Spindle Drive
Driven by a 5 h.p. (3.7 kW) 3-phase motor, the horizontal spindle had an NST40 socket end and nine speeds of: 78, 109, 155, 227, 315, 447, 612, 850 and 1200 r.p.m. - though later models had the range altered so that the highest speed became 1400 r.p.m. The drive passed through a speed-change gearbox controlled from the right-hand face of the column by a single, capstan-handled control fitted with a direct-reading dial. From the centre line of the spindle the minimum clearance to the table was 13/16" (30 mm) and the maximum 1815/16" (480 mm).
Continued below:

Left-hand side on an early model VHR-G with its "rounded" styling from the 1950s. The "G" version had both vertical and horizontal spindles


Continued:
Knee and Table
Although the standard table - at 43.25" x 11" - was entirely adequate for the machine's working capacity, as a special-order option the makers offered another of the same width but extended in length to 51.25" (1300 mm). Both sizes could carry a load of up to 500 kg (1/2 ton) and had three 5/8" (16 mm) T-slots on a 23/8" (60 mm ) spacing. Travel was also the same in both cases -  29.5" (750 mm) of longitudinal, 12" (300 mm) in traverse and 17.75" (450 mm) vertically.
Driven by its own 1 h.p. (0.75 kW) motor, the table had twelve rates of power longitudinal feed that varied from 0.60" to 29" per minute on a 60 Hz supply (15 to 700 mm/min) and from 0.5 to 24" (12 to 560 mm) on 50 Hz. Although the versions with power-feed were not listed has having shorter travels, the likelihood is that they would have been slightly truncated. While power cross feed was not fitted as standard, it was listed as an extra-cost option.
Knee lift was by hand, though with the provision on some models of a time-saving power rise and fall (though no normal power lift was offered), this being driven by a separate 1/2 h.p. (0.4 kW) 3-phase motor.
Some versions were fitted as standard with a backlash eliminator on the table's longitudinal feed screw to allow "climb" milling - while on others it appears to have been an optional extra - and all models had a cross feed screw that could be adjusted so as to eliminate backlash. Protection against overloading and accidental overrunning of the feeds was provided by a shear pin for the longitudinal feed together with adjustable, automatic knock-off stops, while the knee was fitted with limit switches at the upper and lower ends of its travel. In addition, the usual thermal overload relays and No-volt switches and fuses were incorporated in the electrical system - this being controlled by a front-mounted box to the right of the knee with (according to the particular export market) various push-buttons and rotary switches.
Lubrication
In addition to the gearbox oil sump, lubrication was provided by two plunger pumps whose handles protruded from the right-hand face of the saddle and knee -  a one-shot system whose success depended, unfortunately, upon either the operator's conscience, memory, or both. From the pumps oil was directed to the sliding surfaces of the column, saddle and knee as well as the various bearings and table feed screws.
Coolant was held in the machine's foot and delivered by a 0.075 kW (1/10 h.p.) pump to a distribution head pivoting from the left-hand face of the column.
Standard Equipment and Accessories
Supplied as standard with each new miller was: coolant equipment, a horizontal cutter-holding arbor, base levelling screws, a set of spanners, oil gun, tool box, inspection certificate and a copy of the maker's instruction book. Additional equipment included a fixed-quill vertical head to mount on the socket of the horizontal spindle, a variety of cutters including stub-arbor types and contemporary optical readers for the table and knee travels.
Weights varied across the range with the lightest of the early and basic VH being around 1850 kg and the heaviest of the late-model, full-equipped VHR-G types at 2200 kg (4850 lbs)..

Right-hand side on an early model VHR-G

Early VHR-G set up for horizontal milling

Late model VHR-G with its more angular styling from the 1960s

Model VH-G ram-type vertical--this cheaper version lacked the turret assembly

Lathe model VH-G  set up for horizontal milling


Shizuoka Types SV and SP Vertical & Horizontal

Shizuoka Milling Machines
Types VH & VHR Vertical & Horizontal Turret Type
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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