Robert Speck Milling Machine
Built in Germany - probably during the 1950s - the Robert Speck horizontal "stub" milling machine was made in Schwenningen Neckar, a town in the south-west of Germany once promoted as "the greatest watch city in the world" and well-known for not only the manufacture of watches and clocks, but also precision machine tools and associated engineering equipment.High-resolution pictures - may take time to open
Looking not unlike the rather more versatile (though very high-speed) American Precise miller, the Speck was a very compact package - the single T-slot table being around 250 mm by 100 mm with a longitudinally travel of 128 mm. Of a very heavy build for its size, it was capable, according to users, of taking a reasonably heavy cut - however, as it had no supporting overarm, work would have been limited to slower rates of removal and, with the longitudinal feed by lever only, its main use would have been for simple production jobs rather than creative tool-making.
Flange-mounted against a side face inside the base casting, the standard-fit 3-phase motor drove the spindle though a 3-step, A-section V-belt pulley to an intermediate countershaft and then, via a 2-step pulley, to the main spindle - the whole drive assembly being guarded by a cover in cast aluminium and neatly incorporated into the body of the miller, so making the machine entirely self-contained. The range of speeds available ran from 640 through 980, 1110 to a maximum of 1570 r.p.m.
The head was moved up and down the face of the column by a screw feed with both that - and the table's in-and-out feed - fitted with bevelled-face micrometer dials able to be zeroed by handy, knurled-edge setting rings.
With its clean, smooth castings and fine cosmetic finish, the Speck miller was of the usual high-quality German design and manufacture - one wonders if the company's other small machine tools were, perhaps, more versatile?
Other simple "stub" horizontal milling machines made in Germany over many decades included one model of the JMB range, Wolf Jahn and the Rumag No.0 and No.1, while from other countries came the CST of Milan (usually found badged as "Astra") the mysterious EPEX, the Swiss Shaffner W1, Mikron, some versions of the Schaublin SV12, the English Benson, Denbigh H1, Timbell & Wight and Britannia No.10, the Swedish Hogbo and several American examples including the Burke No.0 and No.1, Carter & Hakes, Rockford No.1, Jones kit-built No.1 Plain, Baker (possibly still made in Taiwan as the Hong Da), Ames, and the Waltham "Milling Stand". In addition many makers of "bench precision" lathes offered a simple conversion to stub horizontal milling, the table being mounted outboard of the headstock's left-hand face - these makers including Pratt & Whitney, The Waltham Machine Works, Rivett, Cataract, Ames and Cowan.