Last year, I got to visit East Texas Machine Works to develop this September ’09 cover story about the shop’s approach to machining big parts for oil field and other industries. While I was there, Randy Swisher, the company’s VP, showed me a huge marine propulsion housing that the shop would soon be machining on its MAG Giddings & Lewis RT 1600 horizontal boring mill. That steel housing required boring operations for three bores measuring 14.9, 18.5 and 64 inches. The shop had ordered Wohlhaupter’s off-the-shelf ALU-LINE boring tools to do the job.
Although I didn’t get to see this housing being machined during my visit, Karl Hochuli, Wohlhaupter’s president, sent this video to me of the various boring operations being performed on the housing. I think it’s neat not only to see the accurate 64-inch boring operations, but also to see how the RT 1600’s quill extends more than 3 feet to reach the 14.9-inch bore nestled near the middle of the housing.
Karl notes that the ALU-LINE boring tools are available in diameters as big as 128 inches. He said the monster tool displayed at his IMTS booth stopped almost everyone that walked by it. I’m not surprised.