New and Improved Small Tools including a New Electric Utility Head

Posted By Tom Feltham on 10 May 2014

Posted in The Vintage Machinery Almanac

This article first appeared in Practical Engineering 1940 Vol1 No22. The information contained within the article is accurate as of 1940. This article describes developments of use to the Engineering and Industrial sectors at the time.

A New Electric Utility Head

A recent introduction of particular interest is the electric utility head. It is a product of Alfred Herbert, Ltd., of Coventry, and has been developed primarily for the use of fitters, so that articles requiring polishing or reducing in diameter can be dealt with quickly and easily without returning them to the machine shop. The machine is simple in design and is intended for mounting on a bench. The cast-iron body of the machine contains a rotor and stator unit, and a reversing switch. The spindle is mounted on ball bearings and carries a 5in. diameter three-jaw geared scroll chuck. The rotor unit is protected from grease by oil seals.

The complete machine is mounted on a cast-iron tray which is independently mounted on the bench. A special chuck key, supplied as a standard item of equipment, has a spring loaded sleeve which automatically withdraws the key from the chuck when pressure on the key is released. This eliminates the danger of the machine being set in motion with the key still in position.

The standard machine runs on 400/440 volts, 3-phase, 50 cycles A.C., but machines can be supplied suitable for any other current from 200 to 550 volts, 2- or 3-phase, 50 cycles, at an extra cost.

Low-voltage Lighting Equipment

The Midland Electric Manufacturing Co., Ltd., announce the introduction of a new range of low-voltage transformer units, under the trade name of  "Memlo", and a range of adjustable lamp fittings bearing the name, “Memlite."

The "Memlo" transformer unit comprises a double-pole switch fuse, a double wound transformer, and cartridge fuses for the secondary circuit. Even when the cover is removed it is not possible to obtain — other than deliberately—a high-voltage shock, for the reason that all high-voltage conductors are inaccessible.

Three Standard “Memlo” Transformer Unit Models

Three standard models are available to step down the voltage from 230/250 mains voltage-to 12 or 25 volts, 400/440 volts to 12 or 25 volts and 400/440 volts to 25 or 50 volts. The output available at low voltage is 50 watts in all models at either voltage.

Eight “Memlite” Lamp Fitting Models

The “Memlite" lamp fitting is made in eight models, for use on low voltage or direct from mains supply. Two- and three-arm types can be supplied and the range provides light and heavy industrial patterns.

Three different forms of base fixtures are available. The lamp fittings are made from square-section steel tube of ample dimension. All joints are of special quality steel with a rust-resistant finish, and are made for arduous service. Joints are specially designed to support the weight of the arm with its accompanying fittings without frequent adjustment being necessary.

The shades are of spun steel, vitreous enamelled, and are supported independently of the lamp holder. This lamp fitting provides efficient localised lighting, and facilitates blacking out in factories. Present conditions in industry, which demand safety of the operator (often unskilled), and efficient lighting for increasing production, should result in these new units receiving universal approval.

The units, which are highly competitive in price, are fully described and illustrated in M.E.M. List No. 252, a copy of which will be sent on request.

Protecting Blueprints with “Fex”

We have recently had an opportunity of testing a sample of "Fex," a preparation for protecting blueprints against oil, grease and water. It is marketed by Firminger and Gregory, of 1, Lonsdale Road, Kilburn, London, N.W.6, and is available in various sizes of containers from one pint at 2s. 6d. to one gallon at 15s. 6d.

“Fex" is an opaque liquid, and the method of using it is the essence of simplicity. It is merely applied to both sides of the print with a brush. When dry, the surface will be impervious to the effects of grease, oil or water. This prevents costly errors due to the misreading of drawings which have become grimy or obliterated. A further saving is effected in the number of blueprints issued, and the preparation can be used equally well for mounting blueprints on cardboard, thus prolonging the life of the print still further, and for mountain detail modifications on the original print.

In the course of tests on a number of prints we found that the preparation could be applied with very little trouble and that prints so treated remained sharp and clear, while acquiring the water and oil-resistant properties claimed.

The preparation was also found to be an excellent adhesive and could be used for a variety of purposes in addition to mounting drawings and prints on boards.