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Machinery Photo Index
Manufactured/Badged by:
John T. Burr & Sons
Brooklyn, NY

Machine Specifications
Machine Class: Metal Working Machinery
Machine Type: Mill, Horizontal
Machine Size: 6" (maximum shaft size)
Submitted By: D.L. Felton
Machine Specifications
Description/Model: Portable Shaft Key Seater, No. 1A
Date of Manufacturer: Unknown; prob. after 1918
Serial Number:
Last Updated 2/5/2020 12:17:33 AM

Comments:
I noticed this in an on-line auction of surplus equipment from a Pacific Gas & Electric yard being decommissioned in Summer 2018. I could identify it only because I’d scanned some Burr literature not long before. I decided to bid, as I wanted to see one of these intriguing gadgets in person - they remind me of a big mechanical insect. I’m sure the auctioneers, and probably the PG&E crew, had no clue as to its identity. It was described in the auction posting as a “John T Burr and Sons Vintage Hand Crank Tool.” The faded stencil on the wooden crate had been highlighted as “KHY-SHATHR.”

The following photos show the machine as I un-crated and examined it. Since then I’ve disassembled and cleaned it, but haven’t re-assembled it yet, so have no “after” photos. I also include an illustration from one of the Burr company brochures that pretty well explains its use to cut keyways in line shafts, etc. See the company’s literature for more detailed descriptions of its operation and utility (e.g. http://www.vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=22863 .)

I assume this is a Model 1-A portable key seater with an optional MT2 drill drive, based on illustrations and descriptions in the company’s literature. The drive gears are arranged as shown for Models 1-A, 2 and 3; the general size/weight & number of cutters (5) suggest it’s a 1-A. These models are advertised as having two hand cranks, but mine has a horizontal No 2 Morse taper shaft in place of the second crank. The brochure describes this as an option:

"AIR or ELECTRIC DRILL DRIVE. Any of these tools can be furnished with saddles adapted for operation by
customer's drill running approximately 400 rpm. In some cases machines are furnished with the necessary
parts to that they may be either used by hand or drill. The cut shows a No. 1 machine arranged for operation
by drill with No. 2 Morse Taper Socket."

(Post-1918 date attribution based on absence of this model from a portable shaft key seater brochure stamped with that date; Model 1A is present in other undated literature)

Photo 1:

Comments: L: Unpacking. R: Details of maker’s tag, cutters (one still on arbor.) Different thicknesses, used in combination to make desired width cut.
Source: my camera
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Photo 2:

Comments:
Source: (from Burr flyer, no date)
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Photo 3:

Comments: L: Front of key seater, with front clamphead in place. R: Front clamphead removed to show cutterhead with saddle carrying the cutter-arbor and gearing.
Source: my camera
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Photo 4:

Comments: L: Top of crated keyseater. R: Details of saddle carrying the cutter-arbor and gearing; gibbed to cutter head to permit raising/lowering the cutter.
Source: L: West Auctions photo; R: my camera
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Photo 5:

Comments: L: Right side of machine. Chain from cutter arbor powers feed mechanism. R: Details of feed mechanism; turns feed screw into tapped hole in rear (left) clamphead to move cutterhead (center) along shaft being cut. Cutterhead moves along shaft on rollers.
Source: my camera
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