Anybody want a grinder or two (or fifty :-)

Ebay:- Get them while they're hot
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item 0237880071
Mark Rand RTFM

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On Tue, 06 May 2008 18:21:49 +0100, Mark Rand

Fifty?? 'kin 'ell , thats a lot of dust flying around! Could do with a dust extractor for mine.
Pe
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Peter/Mark
I'm still "thinking" about a smallish surface grinder would one of these be a good general machine? I had thought about a little manual Eagle or something similar. These 540s seem to be a bit variable in price how much should I think of paying for an average one.
Regards
Keith
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On Tue, 6 May 2008 11:29:44 -0700 (PDT), jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

Keith, The 540s are an excellent machine, pretty much the archetypal british surface grinder. Once upon a time if you had a Bridgeport, a Colchester, and a J&S 540 you had a toolroom.
Price varies with age condition and accessories as always. An optidress is nice to have but only if you need to dress wheels for form grinding. Much more useful is a 'pick feed' where you will get an automatic downfeed and shut off of the wheelhead in minute increments, and the 540 will grind to a tenth of a thou quite easily.
Machines with a sealed for life ball bearing spindle (factory option extra ££) are preferable to the standard plain bearing machine, although these are still very good. You can usually tell the ball bearing wheelhead machines by the flat surface on the spindle housing and lack of a sightglass for the oil level. Machines with a power rise & fall for the wheelhead also come a bit dearer.
As for price? Well some very early models (I think these were first built during the War) still make a couple of hundred quid, whereas a dealer will sell a late 70's/early 80's model for £3-4K. Mine is a 1980 model with power rise & fall, and ball bearing head, and I paid a little under a grand for it, but from people I knew and had previously put an awful lot of business with.
I believe that both Mark Rand (who has a J&S 1400) and Mark Jones (who has the full works on his 540) both got very good deals on their machines, much cheaper than mine I think, so it may be a matter of being in the right place at the right time.
*Added bit* I just had a quick look at some online dealer pages, and it seems the price of 540s has gone through the roof since I looked last year! Just take a look here: http://www.andmar.co.uk/grinding_machines.html On that basis alone, I think the £450 starting price on e-bay is a bargain.
Peter
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Peter, buying a machine from Andmar is the same as buying a new machine from J&S.Andmar rebuild these to the same or better spec than new so it`s not a good comparison with one of theirs and something on Ebay which could be clapped out. I think the Ebay one is an old round button model with the buttons/ contactors replaced.The later models had large square buttons and the latest ones have a seperate electrical cabinet bolted on the side.
Mark.
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On Tue, 6 May 2008 12:17:00 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@ems-fife.co.uk"

I can easily believe that Mark, as their reputation is excellent. However, their prices seem an order of magnitude higher - several £K- than when I looked at their website back in September.
Perhaps the quality of stock just got better?
Peter
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On Tue, 6 May 2008 12:17:00 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@ems-fife.co.uk"

Based on the fact that my 1959 one is round button and that one is 1955, One must assume that the contactor panel has been replaced at some time in the last 40 years. I don't think that, in itself, is a problem. May even mean that it has been loved and looked after:-)
It specifically doesn't have power rise and fall to the wheelhead. OTOH the J&S 540's do have hydraulic table feed and automatic cross (front-to-back) feed. Both things that the Dronsfield Eagle doesn't have, being manual.
Specific differences between the J&S 540 and 1400 are:-
540 18"x6"x11" nominal envelope 7" wheels Internal hydraulic tank and pump conventional V slides cross (front-back) slide footprint 65"x33" weight 3/4 ton total power 1 1/2hp
1400 24"x8"x11" nominal footprint 8" wheels external hydraulic tank and pump ball slide cross slide footprint 93"x42" weight 1 1/4 ton total power 2 1/2hp
The 1400's often seem to go for about the same or less than the 540's. But the 540 is probably a better citizen in the average home shop, since it's smaller, lighter, uses less electric and doesn't have the external 12 gallon oil tank.
When I got mine, I had made work an offer on a little Herbert 5"x10" manual grinder. The factory manager quoted me the price that he would have got from the scrappies and I thought it was ok. It was only when they posted me the invoice for payment a couple of months later that I realised they'd sold me the 1400. When I told them about it, they were willing to sell me the little machine for the same price if it was going to cause me problems. I told them that I's redesign my new workshop to fit the bigger grinder :-)
Re the Ebay one. I wouldn't have paid £450 before I got mine. But now I know how useful they can be I might be tempted.
Mark Rand RTFM
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Not all 540`s have power cross feed.A point to bear in mind if buying one unseen.
Mark.
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I`ve already posted this,hope it doesn`t come up twice. Not all 540`s have automatic cross feed.Something to watch for.
Mark.
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Mark
Thanks for spending the time to produce such a detailed and very helpful reply. I will have to think harder about the layout of my "shed" after I have reduced some of the current duplication. I guess from what you and Peter have said that it will, to a certain extent, depend on my luck (time and place) in finding a reasonable machine when I finally reach into my pocket. I am starting to think, seeing some of the dealer prices, that I might have missed the boat, I have a feeling that these were much cheaper a while ago. Too much thinking and not enough doing again.
Thanks, as always, to everyone for your comments and opinions I do find them very helpful. Yet again, my problem seems to be defining exactly what I want to do in this shack, shed, store, workshop or whatever it is that I am rapidly filling up. As you guys identify "real" machines for me to think about my initially "adequate" space shrinks alarmingly, guess I'll have to talk to JS about the secret of his unfillable space. I have concluded that I am at the point of changing from "collecting and making use what was available" to "creating exactly what I want" - and I thought this hobby got easier with experience??? Are you sure you guys are good examples? My wife thinks I have got into "bad company".
Regards
Keith
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On Wed, 7 May 2008 01:37:38 -0700 (PDT), jontom snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

We ain't Bad Company
We's _much_ worse than them :-)
Mark Rand RTFM
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On or around Wed, 07 May 2008 12:59:19 +0100, Mark Rand

yeah, you could have wandered into the Shedde.
--
Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 19:57:44 +0100, Peter Neill

And I had money on Mark posting to point out that with a Colchester, Bridgeport and a J&S you had a workshop, not a toolroom.
He must be getting soft in his old age <bg>
Charles
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 20:37:55 +0100, Charles Ping

And if you have a small workshop with all that stuff in it, you haven't got much toolroom...
Regards, Tony
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wrote:

My workshop to a tee<G>
Peter
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You`re wish is granted Charles. What you have with these three machines is neither workshop or toolroom but a full skip.
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Peter
Thanks for taking the time to provide such an informative reply. I guess I now understand why I have been "thinking" about a grinder rather than buying a small manual one. It certainly sounds as if a 540 would be a more useful machine if I can find room for one and of course locate a decent (affordable??) machine. I have been thinking about reducing the number of lathes I currently store (no time!!) so may be able to find the room. You have raised concerns though as I don't feel qualified to run a "toolroom" as I've only just made the move from "shed" to "workshop" in my own mind. :-))
Thanks again, fine food for thought.
Regards
Keith
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 19:16:11 +0100, Peter Neill

I've got a dust extractor here you could have for next to bu**er all. It's 3-phase, but looks as though the motor could easily be swapped. It's been sitting outside for a month or so but should be sortable. I pinched the articulated arm off it to put on another extractor.
Tim
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 20:51:47 +0100, Tim Leech

Thanks Tim, I'll e-mail you tomorrow.
Peter
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On Tue, 06 May 2008 18:21:49 +0100, Mark Rand
Not too hot I hope...
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