Timber Framers Guild

New beam boring machines: do they exist?

Posted By: mudamaker

New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/22/20 04:11 AM

Hello all,

I'm a mechanical engineer / toolmaker, and have noticed a distinct lack of new beam boring machines in my research of timberframing. I've been flirting with the idea of designing my own based on desirable qualities from the most popular beam boring machines.

This also got me to thinking: is there any interest within the timberframing community for plans or kits of a DIY beam boring machine? Or is this one of those things where you either try to find an old one, or just switch to electric?
Posted By: Will B

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/22/20 01:11 PM

Hi Mudamaker,
Yes, I think there would be interest in plans or kits if you can find stock parts to use, like from Graingers. After 40 years of courses using six of the antique machines here at Heartwood, a number of engineers/machinists/students have tried to replicate them economically without success. They end up costing more than buying an antique one.
Worth trying with a fresh set of eyes, tho.
Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/22/20 09:46 PM

I'm with Will!!!

I would love to see what you come up with for something like a Miller Falls style boring machine that has angulare adjustability. If the price point could be brought down to $350 or less, I'm confident they would more than sell. Especially to those of use that teach the craft within the traditional context...

Good Luck!!!
Posted By: Joe Wood

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/23/20 05:18 PM

It's good to see you around here again Jay!
Posted By: mudamaker

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/24/20 01:06 AM

Thanks for the response, Will B. I think I've got a few ideas that would allow for a more economical build, but would definitely require access to a milling machine, and possibly a lathe, but I'm going to try and avoid that, and see if it's possible using only a drill press.

Thanks again for your input.
Posted By: mudamaker

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/24/20 01:08 AM

Jay,

I'm flirting with the idea of roughly copying the functionality of a Miller Falls boring machine, and am thinking that I might be able to get the parts together for the $350-375 range. If there's enough interest, I'll definitely be posting the progress on here.
Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 01/24/20 05:20 PM

Hello Mudamaker,

I look forward to following along on your progress! Do post updates here on the forum for other to see your progress please. Many "just read" and don't comment so I'm confident there are at least a few of us sitting up to take notice of this topic.

As words of encouragement, I have had students in the past make both angle iron and wood versions of the Miller Falls style boring machine that worked just fine for them, though "clunky" and cumbersome in size. I'm sure if you get your hands on just basic metal working machines you could come up with something viable..Good luck!

Hi Joe,

I'm always around, yet only add my voice if of merit or use to someone. Happy New Year to you and yours Brother and I hope 2020 is a good building you for you!!!

Blessings,

j
Posted By: mudamaker

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 03/11/20 03:51 PM

Hey guys,

So I've been working on this off and on since posting on here, and had a question about aesthetics and units.

I've found out that I can make a lower-cost plan based on the metric system. Also, how important is the look of the machine over the function? I know we'd all choose wood and iron for looks, but would anyone still be interested in a lower cost new alternative that looks like it came off the space station?
Posted By: Will B

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 03/14/20 12:39 PM

Mudamaker,
I don't see why metric units have anything to do with the machine. Can you explain please? Are you thinking of the chuck? Most machines here had 1/2" shafts on the bits.
I see no problem with an all-metal machine. Maybe even better, as wooden parts will wear out faster with all the flexing and torque. That's one of the benefits of the Millers Falls and Boss.
A wooden base would be preferable, though, for warmth and comfort on the bum...
Posted By: Jay White Cloud

Re: New beam boring machines: do they exist? - 03/15/20 01:16 PM

Hello Mudamaker,

Originally Posted by mudamaker
I've found out that I can make a lower-cost plan based on the metric system.

I personally work in metric, so would see no issue with that at all. Many machines today are, and if one still chooses to work in imperial measure they can easily convert...
Originally Posted by mudamaker
how important is the look of the machine over the function?

The first thing that popped into my head when I read that was, "...form follows function..."
The "look" of something from a marketing perspective can often be important, however there are commodities (like tools) where function and ease of applied application to a given task weigh out most other aspects like aesthetics; which are actually a state of mind, and opinion...not something to be achieved perfectly for all viewers...
Originally Posted by mudamaker
I know we'd all choose wood and iron for looks, but would anyone still be interested in a lower cost new alternative that looks like it came off the space station?

If you talking about something that is 3D printed from spot welding machines, I have seen some of that work, and it is really good and rather artful in nature as well. No matter the approach to means and materials, the final outcome has to work and be cost effective. As Will pointed out the better of the still existing machines are those of Miller Falls, and Boss. I look forward to you proto type.
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