email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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TOS Zbrojovka FA Milling Machines

TOS FA3   TOS FA4   TOS FA5

TOS FN Universal Millers

An Operation Manual is available for the TOS FA2


From the late 1940s onwards, based in what was then a communist, state-controlled Czechoslovakia, the TOS/Zbrojovka/Skoda machine tool group offered a bewildering variety of products amongst which were dozens of different milling machines. However, one of the most popular and widely distributed was the FA range, consisting of the FA2 (described below), FA3, FA4 and FA5, all conventional knee-type machines with sales handled,  initially, through Elgar Machine Tools of Feltham, Middlesex and then by the much larger Selson Group.
All four sizes of the FA were available in three forms: a horizontal machine the "H"; as a "Universal", the "U" (fitted with a table able to be swung 45 in each direction from central) and as a robust vertical, the "V", that used the table and knee assembly from horizontal combined with a swivelling vertical head whose quill was driven by a fine-feed handwheel - but no quick-action drilling lever. Although all three sizes of machine shared a common layout, there was no attempt by the makers to stretch a smaller model into a larger; each was a novel construction with different main castings, table sizes, spindle speeds, motor sizes and table-feed rates. As was normal on this type of miller from all makers, the Universal was equipped, as standard, with the facility to couple a power drive to both a universal dividing head as well as various sizes of rotary table.
Over the years a number the millers developed and offered in other versions that included the FA3AH, FA3B, FA4AH, FA4B and FA5AH, FA5B; these notes concern only the earlier models.
Continued below:

TOS Zbrojovka FA 2 Vertical

Continued:
TOS FA2
Smallest in the range, the FA2V, FA2H and FA2U all had a table 200 mm wide by 1000 mm long (7
7/8" x 391/4") with three 14 mm (39/16") T-slots on a 42 mm (121/32") spacing and both a power and "rapid" feed longitudinally - the traverse and vertically being, as standard, by hand. Table drive was by a separate 370 kW (0.5 h.p.) 2770 r.p.m. motor. The rapid feed was driven from the same motor (flange mounted against the rear of the feed gearbox that was fitted at the left-hand side of the saddle) with initial drive through a pair of bevel gears and then through multi-plate clutches with overload protection - a single, spring-loaded directional lever on each axis providing the control. Travel stops were not mechanical but electrical, their activation stopping the motor.
Longitudinal travel on all types was 640 mm (25") by hand and 630 (24
3/4") under power; cross-feed travel (by hand only) varied according to the year: on the Universal and Horizontal models from 210 to 220 mm without the bracing struts and 165 to 175 mm with - while on the vertical the difference ranged from 225 to 235 mm. Vertical travel of the Vertical and Horizontal was 375 mm but reduced to 300 mm on the Universal - though a slight variation in these figures over the years is also possible. Thirteen rates of power feed were available, these appearing unchanged during the production run and ranging from 14 to 900 mm/min - the full range being: 14, 20, 28, 40, 56, 80, 112, 160, 224, 315, 450, 630 and 900.
Positive lubrication of the feed speed-change gearbox was by a piston pump, the recirculating supply also able to be directed (unfortunately not automatically but by pressing a handle), to send oil to the table feed screws and their support bearings and the sliding surfaces of table, saddle and knee - though the column surfaces of the latter, and the bearings of the table's longitudinal feed screw, were lubricated through grease nipples. The heavily loaded knee screw was lubricated by an oil bath.
Both horizontal and vertical spindles were mounted on their noses in a precision-grade, double-row roller bearing with a tapered bore that allowed a very precise adjustment to be made of the running clearance. Spindle nose fittings listed as being available included an INT 40 and No. 4 Morse - doubtless others would have been supplied to special order.
On the vertical head, which could be swivelled 45 each side of upright, the quill had a fine-feed travel of 60 mm with, instead of a screw-type adjustable depth stop, a telescopic design that was also connected to a dial indicator. In addition, for very precise work, it was possible to fit slip gauges into the stop mechanism.
Drive to both vertical and horizontal spindles came from a low-profile, 1430 r.p.m.  3 h.p. motor flange mounted against the rear of the main column with control by forward-reversing switch and "Start-Stop" push buttons -  that for "stop", when held down, bringing in an electrically applied braking effect created by a rectifier supplying direct current to the motor - the system being listed by the makers as being of the "Alnico" type. Motor overload protection was by thermal relays and the operator provided with an Ammeter to gauge how hard the machine was working.
Twelve spindle speeds were supplied, these being generated by a gearbox held within the main column and operated by two levers: one rotary the other quadrant. The speed range was identical for all three models: 63 to 2800 r.p.m. as standard but with the option of higher range that spanned 90 to 4000 r.p.m. Lubrication of the speed-change gearbox, spindle bearings and bevel drive to the vertical head was by an electrically driven gear pump.
Coolant was held in the hollow foot of the miller and supplied by an electrically-driven pump. Returning coolant and chips were drained from the table and saddle through broad channels in the knee and then into detachable pans at either side (these holding coarse separator screens), before returning to the base where the compartment was divided into a number of settling tanks.
Electrical contactors, fuses and associated hardware were grouped together in a compartment at the back of the machine, the whole assembly being mounted on a neat, slide-out tray.
Supplied as part of the standard equipment with each new machine were the following: a milling arbor, coolant equipment, a complete electrical installation to the customer's voltage requirements, a grease gun, a set of spanners and an instruction book.


TOS Zbrojovka FA 2 Universal

TOS Zbrojovka FA 2 Horizontal


TOS FA3   TOS FA4   TOS FA5

TOS FN Universal Millers

An Operation Manual is available for the TOS FA2


TOS Zbrojovka FA Milling Machines
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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