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      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Blohm Vertical Milling Machine

      Long famous for their wide range of high-quality grinding machines, Blohm also ventured at one time into the milling machine market, the high-quality bench-mounted vertical miller shown below being built in 1951. Recently found abandoned and in a neglected condition (though obviously of recent use, as rulers adapted from digital calipers had been fitted to measure table travels), it has now been restored to full working order.
      Predating by two decades those similar and now familiar Taiwanese-built Mill-Drills such as offered by resellers Warco, Sealey, Whitecote, Excel, Ajax, NuTools, etc., the layout of the Blohm resembled that of a sturdy bench drill with a motor mounted at the back and driving forwards by a V-belt to the main spindle.
      With a longitudinal travel of 12 inches and in traverse  of 7 inches, the 18" x 8" table was unsually thick, had three strong-looking T-slots and sufficient capacity to mount reasonably heavy jobs. Good-sized micrometer zeroing dials were fitted, these being satin-chrome plated, engraved on their bevelled faces and fitted with wide knurled rings for a better grip by oily fingers. Fitted with "balanced" handles, both feed screws passed through substantial end plates, each secured by four bolts to their mounting flanges.
      Four spindle speeds were provided, the drive being from a motor that, instead of being in the open as on most other types, was enclosed and integrated neatly into the back of the miller. Electrical control was by an industrial-quality switch mounted on the right-hand face of the head. Unexpectedly, the V-belt drive was direct from motor to spindle and not, as one might have expected, through an intermediate pulley that would have considerably extended the speed range.
      Coarse setting of the head was by a handwheel, mounted to the left-hand front of the machine, that worked through bevel gears to shift it up and down the column - the arrangement ensuring that, as the head moved, it stayed in alignment with the table. Unfortunately, only a fine feed by handwheel was fitted to drive the quill, there being no quick-action, rack-and-pinion, lever-action arrangement for drilling.
      Today the Far Eastern mill/drills are still in production and remain a popular and inexpensive purchase. Also manufactured is the Swiss Fehlmann, a machine that might be considered as a fully developed - if very expensive - grandson of the Blohm. Other makes of small milling machine with the same basic layout - a fixed compound table and a head elevating on a column - include the Swedish Arboga, and Modig; the Austrian Emco; the Meddings branded UBM; the French Syderic;the American (jig boring) Linley and the tiny, unusual and interesting Precise and Servo machines; the English Rishton, Downham, Dore Westbury, Amolco and rare Rodney "Plus"; the German "Ixion", Nora and Hobbymat BFE - and the fabulous Swiss Oerlikon. In addition a number of mini jig boring, milling and drilling machines followed the same layout, these including versions of the original Wolf Jahn and developed though models by G.Boley, Leinen and BCA and other special variations on the same theme by Dixi, Boley and Hauser.
      Should any reader have a Blohm milling machine, or any literature about them, the writer would be interested to hear from you..

      As found - complete but neglected

      email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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      Blohm Vertical Milling & Drilling Machine