Thursday, May 26, 2011

Antique Blanchard Pictures

Here are some pictures of the Antique Blanchard Grinder from 1919, which we have been restoring to put on display. These pictures were taken immediately after the 92 Blanchard arrived at F.P. Miller Co. in Jackson, MI. This machine is so old that women were not even allowed to vote in the United States when it was originally built!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Antique Blanchard Restoration

As most of you know, we remanufacture a lot of Blanchard rotary surface grinders during any given year. Currently we are undertaking the restoration of a very unusual Blanchard in our shop. It is a #16-26 Blanchard, serial number 893, which was manufactured in 1919. We have had it under power and it actually runs like a clock! We will be blogging about this machine over the next few months as our team of Blanchard techs restore this antique to its original state and then place it in our shop as a show piece. You can check out photos of the Blanchard as we progress on our Facebook page.
-Craig Ward

Friday, May 13, 2011


    Welcome to F P Miller Co’s blog. We’re hoping this new medium will give our customers another avenue to get to know us and to communicate with us about machine tools and services related to them. We welcome your questions and will do our best to find answers.

Steve Miller President

#18 Blanchard vs. #20/22 Blanchard-its your call

We receive many calls from customers who have old #18 Blanchard grinders that have finally given up the ghost. The most common question that comes in is "should we rebuild this grinder or purchase a rebuilt machine. Well over the years we have tried to persuade them to move toward a newer style #20 or #22 model Blanchard. From our standpoint the #18 machines, although rugged as a cowboy on the range, is better suited once worn out for the scrap yard.

Basically the main differences in the #18 and the #20/22 are described by the following points.

  1. #18 soft bed ways, #20-22 hardened and ground replaceable ways.
  2. #18 normally has three bearings in the main spindle and a tapered shaft for the grinding wheel mount.
  3. The #20/22 has two bearings and a straight shaft for mounting wheel mount.

To address the first point, on the #18 once the machine has been totally disassembled, the base must be put up on a mill to mill the cast iron way surfaces. The #20/22 bed ways upon disassembly can be removed and reground or if necessary completely replaced. Because the ground and hardened ways run with an oil lubrication system, they are longer lasting and wear much better than the cast iron ways which need grease lubrication. Point number two is the main spindle, #20/22 use Timken Class #3 precision bearings. Often when disassembled the #18 tapered wheel hub has damage around the key way and even on quite a few it is cracked which is un-repairable.

The final and most telling point is that the #20/22 machines do not have web bases, which are aggravating to clean out on a weekly base. The newer base style allows you to dump the coolant out the back (D-style) sweep the sludge out of the base automatically (K style) or at least have a tub style easy access base to clean out (No letter designation). The actual cost to fully rebuild the #18 is close to the price of a rebuilt #20/22 and at the end of the day you still have a soft way machine with tapered mount and webs in the base.
Craig Ward

Spring Update from Jim Miller

They say that no one should stay complacent. To succeed in today's business climate each of us needs to explore different markets, different ideas, different opportunities, and different modes of communication.
Thus brings me to this new (old) way of networking called "blogging". I am not sure what I can or what I cannot put on a "blog" but being the open-minded individual that I claim to be; here we go.
We are very busy at F.P. Miller Co. in all areas of our business. We are presently rebuilding six Blanchard Vertical Grinders. Three have already been spoken for (sold).

Our used CNC inventory is the lowest since buying CNC's. We are desperately looking to buy good "used" CNC machinery. Please help us out if you know of anyone evening thinking about selling some unproductive machinery.

We are also looking for air compressors to buy. Rotary Screw and Reciprocating from 10 Hp to 250 Hp and these must be air-cooled and in running condition.
Please forward these messages on to whoever you feel might benefit. To get to know more about our company, please visit our website