This is for those that appreciate fine iron regardless of race, creed, or color.
This is a 1962 SIP No.1H Jig Borer that I rebuilt about 15 years ago. I picked it up at a government auction for $500. New, this machine would have sold for about 80K. Having spent the last 31 years working in the National Laboratory research system, I've seen a lot of good equipment sent out to salvage, and I was hopeful that this was a diamond in the rough.
The Swiss made SIP Jig Borer is the Rolls-Royce of Jig Borers. A Jig Borer is an extremely accurate milling, drilling, and boring machine. When new, this machine had a guaranteed positional accuracy of 40 millionths of an inch throughout the entire work envelope (8”x8”x12¼”). It uses a quartz veneer optical system for positioning that you read through the yellow tinted windows on the front of the machine. There is a precision microscope built into the head that you use to locate the work-piece being machined. It has a separate motor that blows cool air on the spindle assembly to prevent any thermal expansion/movement. The cool air is also blown into the front optical housing. Tim Taylor probably wouldn't have liked this machine very much because the spindle is only 1/3 hp. These machines are used only for miniature high precision work.
It had a few missing parts, but I was fortunate that Sandia's precision machine shop has a SIP exactly like this one and I was able to clone up the missing pieces. Other than having about 20 coats of paint and some ugly but light surface rust, the machine was in fairly good shape. The sealed table ways were rust free thanks to a good coat of oil. I completely disassembled the machine, cleaned & reassembled. I re-flaked the worktable by hand. When I had it complete, I was anxious to verify the machines accuracy, I machined a 16 hole pattern into a 8"x12"x1" piece of tooling plate and had it inspected on our Zeiss High-Precision Coordinate Measuring Machine. The inspection report showed a total "True Position" variation of 35 millionths in the 16 hole pattern - well within the original machine specifications. With the advent of the modern CNC machine, these machines have pretty much become dinosaurs. They're just as accurate but not nearly as fast.
It took about a year to complete. I traded this machine to a local machine shop for my Turret mill and lathe, plus some accessories. The machine shop probably got the better end of the deal but for a total outlay of about $750 and a lot of work, I was happy.
I get a kick looking at these old pictures. My garage was actually empty once!