Early machine cutting

cammel laird

This shows a workshop at Cammel Laird in Sheffield around 1915 in which women are cutting files on simple 'slideback' machines. It is apparent from the picture that they are working on half-round files with tapered points as they are controlling the angle of the file blanks with their left hands and are modulating the cutter force by adjusting the handwheel on the top of the machines with their right hands. These machines have a sloping 'V' shaped bed on which sits a round-bottomed workholder.This arrangement allows the angle of the file blank to be changed to produce rows of teeth on the rounded back of the file.

The machines use a cam to raise the cutting chisel against the force of a spring and then release it quickly to cut the tooth. The machine bed is automatically indexed along after each cut.

  This work is Copyright to Ian W. Wright 2003. You may use it for your own private purposes but reproduction by any means or its use for commercial gain is strictly forbidden without the written permission of the author.