A.E.W. Horizon & Viceroy
Operation and Parts Manuals are available for the AEW
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Built in East Anglia by the A.E.W. Engineering Company Ltd. of Horizon Works, Dereham Road, Costessey, Norwich, "Horizon" milling machines were manufactured from 1961 until late in the 1970s. They were sold both by the maker and also branded "Viceroy" for Denford Small Tools of Halifax, the original makers of what was, at first, called the Box-Ford lathe. The earliest sale recorded in the maker's serial number book was during January, 1964 for a machine marked 123-3P with the last, No. 998-V2PM, leaving the factory in April, 1978. Exports were recorded to Canada, Pakistan, Mexico, South Africa, U.S.A., Israel, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Germany, Holland, Singapore, Belgium, Thailand, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Norway, Mexico, Sudan, Sweden and Australia.
Three types were offered, listed as the Plain Horizontal, Universal and Vertical with all mounted on a heavy, fabricated steel base. The listings that follow show what would have appeared on a machine's data plate when new:
Universal (with a swing table 45?in each direction from central):
1U - hand table feeds in all directions
2U - table power feed unit
3U - identical to the 2U but with the addition of a continuously-running spindle clutch that could be operated from either side of the machine.
1P - hand table feeds in all directions
2P - table power feed unit
3P - identical to the 2P but with the addition of a continuously-running spindle clutch that could be operated from either side of the machine.
V1P with hand table feed
V2P with power table feeds
V1U hand feeds with universal swivelling table
V2U power table feeds with universal table
A letter M after the model indicated metric feed screws and dials; a letter E after the model indicated the fitting of a variable-speed, table power-feed unit
e.g. 40171/1PM would be a plain horizontal machine made in 1971, Serial Number 401 and fitted with hand-feed to the table movements and metric feed-screws and micrometer dials.
Heavily built and with an excellent cosmetic finish, the A.E.W. was available with either a 28" x 8" (710 mm x 200 mm) or 38" x 8" (960 mm x 200 mm) table with three T-slots, a surrounding coolant trough and drains - and, as noted above - offered in Horizontal, Vertical and Universal types, the latter with a swing table able to turn 45?each side of straight. Travel was 19" (480 mm) longitudinally, 5.5" (140 mm) in traverse and 13.5" (340 mm) vertically on the Horizontal and Vertical types and 12" (300 mm) on the Universal. All versions benefited from the inclusion of an adjustable, longitudinal-feed backlash eliminator.
From the start of production a power-feed attachment was available that gave eight rates of automatically disengaged feed from 0.7 to 5" (17.5 to 126 mm) per minute. The drive unit was basic yet robust, consisting of a 1/6 h.p. motor-gearbox unit (upgraded to a 0.33 h.p. on later models) that used simple pick-off gears running in an oil bath that had to be changed by hand - spare gears were stored on a stud positioned low down on the right-hand face of the column. From the works records around 70% of the production was equipped with power feed, though only a tiny minority had the much improved electronic variable-speed control offered in the 1970s. Table feed-screws were normally fitted with traditional, balanced handles but if required, at extra cost, full-circle handwheels could be provided.
Covered by a full-depth, swing-open cover (with safety micro-switches), the drive on the Horizontal models could be from either a single or three-phase 2 h.p. 1425 r.p.m. motor mounted on a hinged plate in the bottom of the column (the latter being bolted to a cast-iron base that doubled as a coolant tank). Available with the option of a clutch combined with the standard-fit, 3-speed oil-bath gearbox, the drive was transmitted upwards by a V-belt running over a 3-step pulley and tensioned by a jockey wheel. At the spindle the drive could be either direct, or through a lathe-like reduction gear mounted just inboard to the spindle nose; the eighteen speeds so generated ranging from 25 to 2039 r.p.m. this being sufficient to cope with both lager slab milling cutters and slitting saw.
Running on opposed, pre-loaded precision taper roller bearings, the horizontal spindle was fitted with a No. 30 INT taper - though others could be specially ordered to a customer's preference. The standard cutter arbor was in a forged, nickel-chrome molybdenum steel and took 1-inch bore cutters, though again, others could be had to special order. Braced by a box-section, cast-iron overarm locked by effective V-clamps, on early models the drop-bracket holding the end of the cutter arbor held an oil-immersed plain bearing this being changed, on later models, to a ball race.
Vertical machines omitted the based-mounted 3-speed gearbox and clutch and, with a 1 h.p. single or 3-phase motor mounted higher up in the column, employed a 4-step V-pulley that could drive either direct, or be arranged to pass through the same backgear employed on the horizontal models. As vertical milling often involves the use of smaller cutters needing high speeds, the eight provided were usefully faster than those on the other models at 80 to 3105 r.p.m. The head, with its 30 INT spindle running in ball races and an oil level window on its left-hand face, could be swivelled though 90?each side of vertical. Unfortunately there was no quill feed, either fine or rapid, an omission that, in the view of the writer, made the machine far less desirable than it could so easily have been.
Accessories included the expected 150 and 250 mm diameter rotary tables, a universal dividing attachment with tailstock, changewheels, dividing plates and a centre rest (this being an item fitted at the works), adjustable horizontal and vertical cutter guards, plain and swivel-base machine vices, a swivelling vertical head for the horizontal and universal models, a 62 mm stroke slotting attachment, a semi-universal dividing attachment with tailstock and division plates, a micrometer boring head, sets of boring tools, a boxed collet chuck and collet set and a Low-Vo light unit.
The height of the vertical model was 1700 mm (67"), maximum front to back 875 mm (34.5") and the width 875 mm (34.5"). Corresponding values for the horizontal model were: height 1520 mm (60"), width 875 mm (34.5") and front to back 1040 mm (41"). The average net weight for all models was approximately 680 kg (1500 lbs).