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I know this is a truly lousy picture, but this is the only one I have.  Sadly, this got away from me a few years ago, but I’ve always been really bummed that I never figured out what it is.  Maybe you can help.

There’s a moving table on the back side of it — you can see an adjustment crank at the middle left of the photo — and there’s a cutter head as well.  It almost looked like a tubing notcher with the horizontal cutting head, but there’s no mechanism to use it in that fashion.

Any ideas?


15 Responses to Name This Tool

  1. tony clark says:

    I’m thinking a small shaper or maybe a benchtop horizontal milling machine. thats my best guess without better pictures.

  2. TMIB_Seattle says:

    Hard to tell from the odd angle, but it looks like it’s most likely a metal shaper. If you do a google image search you’ll find several that have a similar look to them.

    Check out http://www3.telus.net/public/aschoepp/shaper.html

  3. modernman says:

    That’s an early model flux capacitor

  4. warscout2 says:

    I name it BOB

  5. Jon O says:

    Perhaps a surface grinder?

  6. sam says:

    i don’t think it is one, but it’s very similar in appearance to a key duplicating machine…

  7. Rob says:

    I’m leaning toward horizontal mill also, but without seeing the business end, it’s hard to tell that from a surface grinder.

  8. Rob says:

    Here’s an ebay auction with a horizontal mill.


    I don’t think it’s a shaper, the working end would be more visible in the picture I think.

  9. Nick Carter says:

    Definitely (as in I’d bet you $100) a horizontal mill. I’m also 99% sure (I’d bet you $99.00) that it’s an Atlas:

    The knob on the back looks exactly the same.

    BTW, the lathes.co.uk is the first place to stop when trying to figure out what make of lathe, shaper or milling machine you have, it’s a great site.

  10. Sean O'Hara says:

    warscout2 Says: I name it BOB

    Lol, that’s awesome warscout!

  11. Nick Carter says:

    BTW, here’s a pic of my Atlas shaper – totally different form factor than a milling machine, but notice the stylistic similarity in the belt guard.

    I love my shaper. I rarely use it, but often switch it on just to watch the bits move around. It is great for surfacing hot rolled plate without dulling my precious end mills.

  12. Rob says:

    Nick Carter! That’s the exact same mill as in the auction link I posted! HA!

  13. tony clark says:

    I bow before nick carter. you posted one of my favorite reference sites.

  14. John Carroll says:

    Looks like a bench type horizontal mill with its overarm laying on the table. The ones I used had a Brown & Sharpe taper in the spindle so that in addition to their standard cutter spindle they could hold collets for drills or endmills. After WWII these things were plentiful and dirt cheap. Shops that had production jobs would have a number of these mills set up, and left set up, just to perform one simple operation.

  15. Darren J. Paul says:


    It is an Atlas MF series horizontal milling machine. I have one just like it.


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