New Toy: A Deckel Mill

A workmate of mine recently showed me a link to a mill for sale on It was a funny looking sort of a thing… antiquated and didn’t look to have the capability of the good old Bridgeport (well, ok, fine… Taiwanese Bridgeport clones) that I was looking for.

But then a word caught my eye… “Deckel.”

I’d never seen or used a Deckel before, but am an avid reader of the online ramblings of the now unfortunately passed away Rober Bastow (“Teenut”) from Teenut had a Deckel in is home machine shop and swore by it. Turns out there’s a lot more to these machines than initially meets the eye.

So I, uh… I bought it.

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So, here it is in all its glory. The first thing you’ll notice is that the head is tiny. Unlike the ubiquitous mill design I’m so used to seeing, this one has its 2HP motor down near the floor, behind it. There’s a big belt drive that leads halfway up and into the base. In the base, there’s gearing to adjust the spindle speed and also for the power feeds on the Z and Y axis.

The next thing you’ll notice about this mill the unusual table arrangement. The T-slotted work table has no movement- it’s fixed and mounted vertically off a separate bed for the Y-axis. This particular machine has a universal table which means that it tilts in two axes in between the main table and the Y-bed. Furthermore, the universal mount can be loosened and slid along the Y in addition to the Y feed, effectively doubling the amount of Y movement available. The X axis is in the head itself.

The serial number 11990 means this one was made in 1936-1937.

There’s a cute little cutting speed chart on the side of the head.

The mill is a combination vertical/horizontal mill- Note the horizontal spindle behind the vertical one. Presumably, you need to rotate the vertical spindle out of the way to use it. According to Teenut, “Tail end of both spindles runs in pre-loaded ABEC 9 angular contact bearings while the front end is a hardened and ground cone running in a bronze bush with forced oil feed. These types of bearings can be readily adjusted (axially) to give virtually zero end and side play.”

Here’s a better shot of the horizontal spindle and the X axis bed.

Another nice touch: Each axis has, in addition to the usual micrometer dials, a linear scale that shows where you are. Good for forgetful people like me.

Now all I need is a 3-phase converter…

Not really related: My old man scored this power hacksaw recently. Needs a new blade, though.

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