Niles Tool Works Vertical Boring Mill Addition

Heritage Tool Works was built originally with the thought of expansion. Its front was fastened with screws so that it could be removed and the structure lengthened. This was because IMI had offered that, at some point in the future, they would donate a Niles Tool Works vertical boring mill that was housed in one of their buildings in McCordsville, IN, to the Pioneer Engineers Club. That time arrived in the fall of 2017. Niles Tool Works was at one time the largest machine tool manufacturing company in the world, producing the most immense machines of the era. This particular machine, which, when hauled, weighed in on the scales at 26,000 lbs, was actually one of the smaller machines that this company made. It was likely built somewhere around 1880-1890s. Dale Sorber, Mark Dieckmann, and Wes Tracy have spent many weekends figuring out how to dismantle and remove this extremely large machine from its place of rest for many decades and then put it back together. Work is ongoing. Check back for updates!

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original condition

A visit to size up the situation - it was basically being used as coat rack at IMI 2/9/14



Mark and Wes cleaning out years of dusty build-up. Dale behind the camera. 12/16/17

table 1    table 2  

table 3    table 5

table 4    shaft

Getting the table free from the shaft - a difficult puzzle 1-7-18 to 2-18-18

Using an external motor and belting to lower the work-head crossmember to the table 2-18-18. Click here for video: NTW in motion.mp4


Dale on top of the world - we win! Dale's great grandfather worked at Niles Tool Works in Hamilton, OH, so this project is pretty special to him. 2-25-18

out of the pit    moving 1

move 2    move 3

move 4    move 5

move 6    coat rack

Moving it out of the building, and IMI gets a new coat rack 3-18-18

Poindexters    Davis towing

Poindexter hauled it to the grounds, and Davis Towing got it off the trailer and onto another trailer for temporary storage. Thank you, Poindexter and Davis Towing, for donating your services! 3-31-18

new pit    building_pit

pit details 1   pit details 2

concrete    concrete 2

A new pit and concrete pad - thank you, IMI, for donating the concrete - and the mill, of course! 8-9 to 8-30-18

setting 1    setting 2

setting 3    setting 4

Setting it on its new pad of concrete and over the pit 10-20-18

framing 1    framing 2

framing 3    framing 4

Building the extension onto Heritage Tool Works 11-4-18 to 12-12-18

Turning the main shaft on the Lodge & Shipley lathe from Fraley Implement 2-23-19  Click here for video: Turning shaft.mp4

rebuild 1    rebuild 2

rebuild 3    rebuild 4

rebuild 5    rebuild 6

rebuild 7    rebuild 8

rebuild 9    rebuild 10

rebuild 11    rebuild 12

rebuild 13    rebuild 16    rebuild 15    rebuild 19

A lot of special tooling had to be fabricated for disassembly and reassembly 2-24-19 to 3-31-19 

Table turning 3-24-19. Click here for video: Table turning.mp4

Vertical motion 3-24-19. Click here for video: Vertical motion.mp4

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