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Mystery Horizontal Mini Milling Machine (Northern Illinois Machinists LMG-3) made in USA?

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9t8z28

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#1
I was on craigslist and I found a small supposedly USA made mini milling machine. The tag on it says its made by Northern Illinois Machinists and the model number is a LMG-3. I have never heard of them and googled the name and came up with nothing. It looks like its a vertical milling machine but the Y-axis handwheel is a crank. It looks to me like it is some kind of a surface grinder?
Has anyone ever heard of this company or know anything about it or can you tell me anything about from looking at the pictures?
I am not sure if its allowed but here is the link. https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/d/small-horizontal-milling/6662951956.html
I saved and posted some of the 12 photos he has posted on craigslist. I am interested in this machine and wonder if its worth $450. It comes with a rotary table that looks to be a Palmgren and it appears as though the surface is flaked by a Biax type scraper. and it also comes with a small dividing head.
Thanks
Brandon

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Superburban

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#2
Looks like it may have started life as a surface grinder. If I was still in the area, I would definitely go look.

Interesting that the model number has the periods. L.M.G.-3-, and seems a high serial number for an unknown company. Gotta be an interesting story there.

I would buy it, but I'm a sucker for old machines.

I bet Google will be busy with everyone trying to find any info they can. I've tried every combo I can think of, and will keep looking for a bit.
 

markba633csi

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#3
It looks similar to a Barker, somewhat of a dedicated machine to do certain repetitive jobs in a production capacity but not the best choice for a hobby machine I would say. A small benchtop vertical mill would offer more versatility I think (drilling, for example)
mark
 

9t8z28

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#4
I got an email into him. Hopefully I hear back from him tomorrow and I can go look at it tomorrow. I’ll post back here with what I find out. Thanks for looking. I think the rotary table, if it was maintanined is at least worth half of what he is asking although I do already have a 6” RT.
Looks like it may have started life as a surface grinder. If I was still in the area, I would definitely go look.

Interesting that the model number has the periods. L.M.G.-3-, and seems a high serial number for an unknown company. Gotta be an interesting story there.

I would buy it, but I'm a sucker for old machines.

I bet Google will be busy with everyone trying to find any info they can. I've tried every combo I can think of, and will keep looking for a bit.
 
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9t8z28

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#5
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction with Barker. I have never heard of Barker and just doing a quick Google search shows that they are very similar to each other.
I do already have a bench mill and bench lathe but it would be nice if it was sturdy enough to do some light duty milling that my bench mill can do but not well.

It looks similar to a Barker, somewhat of a dedicated machine to do certain repetitive jobs in a production capacity but not the best choice for a hobby machine I would say. A small benchtop vertical mill would offer more versatility I think (drilling, for example)
mark
 

Cooter Brown

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#6
I see these style horizontal mills all the time.... But this one has a very funny Y axis...

this is a Burke
BX6327_01.jpg

no name on this one
BX6099_01.jpg
 

BaronJ

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#7
Hi Guys,

I think that LMG is definitely a small surface grinder.
 

markba633csi

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#8
That big blue one is a Burke also, I believe it's a #2 or #3- Someone here bought one of those recently
The one you were looking at doesn't seem to have a provision for an overarm or if it does it's missing- that really limits you. Also I don't think it was used for grinding; the pulley ratios look wrong for that. Probably used for milling keyways and splines, etc.
 

Eddyde

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#9
I would buy that in a minute. Looks like it could be set up to grind or mill.
 

projectnut

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#10
I believe the second machine in the pictures is a US Machine Tools #1 horizontal mill. They were built through the 1940's and were very popular in Defense Department plants throughout WWII. US Machine Tools was later bought out by Burke. The early Burke #1 was almost identical.

The lever on the left side of the table is the X axis handle. They were used in production to make small parts so the table had to be able to move quickly in either direction. There is a similar handle to raise and lower the milling head to accommodate taller parts.

My machine is an earlier version that uses a crank handle for raising and lowering the table, and a wood handle lever arm for the X axis rather than the hand wheels. It isn't as pretty as the one in the picture, but it still owns its keep. It was originally purchased for a machine shop at the company I worked for. When it was retired one of the engineers bought it for his violin and cello making business. I bought it about 20 years ago from his son.

DSCF8062.JPG
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9t8z28

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#12
I am starting to think that as well or at the least I think it is capable of being used as a surface grinder as long as I make the right changes, if possible
Hi Guys,

I think that LMG is definitely a small surface grinder.
 

9t8z28

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#13
I am waiting to hear back from the seller to see if I can look at it today and hopefully buy it. He did respond this morning. He said he doesn’t know much about it which in some ways is a good thing. I’m definitely interested in setting it up as a grinder or to mill keyways and such. My mill doesnt handle 3” or larger slitting saws very well and hopefully this machine can do that. He also said that it doesn’t seem like it has been used very much but then again he said he doesn’t know much about how it works so ....
I would buy that in a minute. Looks like it could be set up to grind or mill.
 

BaronJ

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#14
Hi Guys,

Just guessing, but I think that the wheel collets may be missing and someone has discovered that 5C ones fit the spindle. It is also missing the wheel guard. It would be mounted using the two holes next to the spindle, there should be a pinch screw somewhere to nip the mounting rods.

Can't really see much else.
 

9t8z28

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#15
That is an awesome machine and never knew these existed. It looks very sturdy and well-built. Do you know if Burke allowed or relabeled the names on their machines ? I am thinking this machine might be a variation of one of these but scaled down but then again it seems like some of the parts like the column and made opposite of all of the Burkes I have seen so far.
On this machine I do not see a way of raising the table like some of them do, kinda like a knee on a Bridgeport. It looks as though you can only move the spindle up and down on the column
I believe the second machine in the pictures is a US Machine Tools #1 horizontal mill. They were built through the 1940's and were very popular in Defense Department plants throughout WWII. US Machine Tools was later bought out by Burke. The early Burke #1 was almost identical.

The lever on the left side of the table is the X axis handle. They were used in production to make small parts so the table had to be able to move quickly in either direction. There is a similar handle to raise and lower the milling head to accommodate taller parts.

My machine is an earlier version that uses a crank handle for raising and lowering the table, and a wood handle lever arm for the X axis rather than the hand wheels. It isn't as pretty as the one in the picture, but it still owns its keep. It was originally purchased for a machine shop at the company I worked for. When it was retired one of the engineers bought it for his violin and cello making business. I bought it about 20 years ago from his son.

View attachment 273889 View attachment 273890
 

projectnut

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#16
That is an awesome machine and never knew these existed. It looks very sturdy and well-built. Do you know if Burke allowed or relabeled the names on their machines ? I am thinking this machine might be a variation of one of these but scaled down but then again it seems like some of the parts like the column and made opposite of all of the Burkes I have seen so far.
On this machine I do not see a way of raising the table like some of them do, kinda like a knee on a Bridgeport. It looks as though you can only move the spindle up and down on the column
If it is an adaptation of a surface grinder the handle at the top of the column should have a dial with graduations of .0001". The dial for the Y control handle should have graduations of .001" or .002". As Mark said this machine does not have the pulley ratio for grinding. Grinders of this era were fixed at 3,600 rpm + or- a few rpm.

Some of the smaller benchtop horizontal mills didn't have an over arm. There is currently a Burke #1 and a Goodell Pratt on eBay that don't have over arms. The Goodell Pratt table is at a fixed height with the head being able to be raised and lowered by the crank at the back of the machine. Given the age of the machine you are looking at I believe it is and always was a horizontal mill. I also googled "antique bench top horizontal milling machine" and found several images of similar size machines without an over arm.

Burke:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Early-Burke-Horizontal-Milling-Machine-No-1/292670008749?hash=item44247dedad:g:I2MAAOSwk1NbaAx0&_pgn=1&_sacat=0&_nkw=horizontal+milling+machine&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0|0

Goodell Pratt:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Goodell-Pratt-No-644-Miller-Horizontal-Bench-Top-Milling-Machine-refurb/202311081530?hash=item2f1aae1e3a:g:eek:X0AAOSwUQlavQYP:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!53711!US!-1&_pgn=2&_sacat=0&_nkw=horizontal+milling+machine&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0|0

I don't believe the collets are 5C. They may be 2S or 3C, both of which I believe go up to 9/16". The 5C collets need a bore large enough to handle a collet that will accept 1 1/8" stock. Looking at the picture of the collet in hand I can't believe the body is big enough to accept 1 1/8" stock. Also note the arbor which is .750" where the cutters fit, but probably no larger than .500" where it enters the collet.
 
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benmychree

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#18
Definitely not a grinder; this is a production mill for small parts with repedetive operations such as cutting flats or slots, they have the hand lever table feed for fast operation, the same idea as is used in hand screw machines.
 

Nammar

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#19
My guess is that its a tool and cutter grinder, with some bits missing.
 

Cooter Brown

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#20
I have a Burke #4 horizontal mill and the design is very similar.
 

Cadillac

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#21
I can’t see it being a horizontal mill. The head doesn’t have the rigidity that a horizontal has. Just a guess but that sure looks like a tool and cutter grinder. Head looks like it’ll swivel. The one accessory pictured is a indexer which would be used in grinding. The table and functions look exactly like my t&c grinder. Mystery is spindle attachments? Accepts a collet or spindle. My bet is t&c grinder.
 

9t8z28

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#22
I think I see what you mean by the head swiveling. It does look as if it has the capability to swivel. If it didn’t have the capability to swivel I would expect there to be a joint there but I might be totally wrong because I’ve never seen one of these in person before. I hope it’s a T&CG !
The good news is that I am going to go take a look at it but the owner is not available until Wednesday. Hopefully no one sneaks in an appointment with this guy and snatches it up before me.
I can’t see it being a horizontal mill. The head doesn’t have the rigidity that a horizontal has. Just a guess but that sure looks like a tool and cutter grinder. Head looks like it’ll swivel. The one accessory pictured is a indexer which would be used in grinding. The table and functions look exactly like my t&c grinder. Mystery is spindle attachments? Accepts a collet or spindle. My bet is t&c grinder.
 

9t8z28

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#23
Oh, gotcha. And you know what, I now see where the arm for the spindle mounts. Right on top of what looks to be a lathe compound.
It looks like a lathe compound.....
 

9t8z28

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#24
What is the typical rpm of a surface grinder today ? I will Google search the words you used and see if I can find any like this one.
I agree with you about the collets. They do appear to be brown and sharpe #7 collets. I can’t see how a 5C would come close to fitting at all.
He does show an over arm in the pictures on craigslist, or what he is referring to a over arm. It’s slotted so it looks like it allows the head to be adjusted up and down. I asked the owner a few questions about travel of each axis and this is what he said :

“Hi Brandon this is (****), the guy selling the horizontal mill. Just got back and saw your emails. I think the travel on the x axis with the rack feed is about 11 inches of usable travel. I think the table is 16 inches long. The y travel has micrometer feed with acme screw it has somewhere around 6 in of travel. The z axis ( vertical) is about six inches of travel”

If it is an adaptation of a surface grinder the handle at the top of the column should have a dial with graduations of .0001". The dial for the Y control handle should have graduations of .001" or .002". As Mark said this machine does not have the pulley ratio for grinding. Grinders of this era were fixed at 3,600 rpm + or- a few rpm.

Some of the smaller benchtop horizontal mills didn't have an over arm. There is currently a Burke #1 and a Goodell Pratt on eBay that don't have over arms. The Goodell Pratt table is at a fixed height with the head being able to be raised and lowered by the crank at the back of the machine. Given the age of the machine you are looking at I believe it is and always was a horizontal mill. I also googled "antique bench top horizontal milling machine" and found several images of similar size machines without an over arm.

Burke:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Early-Burke-Horizontal-Milling-Machine-No-1/292670008749?hash=item44247dedad:g:I2MAAOSwk1NbaAx0&_pgn=1&_sacat=0&_nkw=horizontal+milling+machine&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0|0

Goodell Pratt:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Goodell-Pratt-No-644-Miller-Horizontal-Bench-Top-Milling-Machine-refurb/202311081530?hash=item2f1aae1e3a:g:eek:X0AAOSwUQlavQYP:sc:FedExHomeDelivery!53711!US!-1&_pgn=2&_sacat=0&_nkw=horizontal+milling+machine&_from=R40&rt=nc&LH_TitleDesc=0|0

I don't believe the collets are 5C. They may be 2S or 3C, both of which I believe go up to 9/16". The 5C collets need a bore large enough to handle a collet that will accept 1 1/8" stock. Looking at the picture of the collet in hand I can't believe the body is big enough to accept 1 1/8" stock. Also note the arbor which is .750" where the cutters fit, but probably no larger than .500" where it enters the collet.
 

9t8z28

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#25
If I were to attempt to use this as a surface grinder, is it possible to make an arbor for a grinding wheel and use it in the spindle collet?
 

projectnut

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#26
I can’t see it being a horizontal mill. The head doesn’t have the rigidity that a horizontal has. Just a guess but that sure looks like a tool and cutter grinder. Head looks like it’ll swivel. The one accessory pictured is a indexer which would be used in grinding. The table and functions look exactly like my t&c grinder. Mystery is spindle attachments? Accepts a collet or spindle. My bet is t&c grinder.
All horizontal mills I am aware of can accept either a spindle or collets. My US Machine Tool mill has a B&S #9 taper. It came with several B&S #9 collets to hold end mills and slitting saw arbors.
 

9t8z28

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#29
I did click, and look. I guess I just focused on the handle. Never seen any mill with one, but with the descriptions, it makes sense.
 

Cadillac

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#30
Yeah after seeing them pieces it’s definately a mill. :p I think of a overhead arm to support the arbor spindle on a horizontal.
I would still think it could be used as a t&c grinder. Adapt a wheel to a homebrew arbor. Shouldnt be hard runout can be taken care of with dressing stone. Grinding wheels usually have a 3600rpm limit. So if you can spin that thing at least 3k you should be alright.
 
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