Author Topic: Browne & Sharp  (Read 887 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3355
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Browne & Sharp
« on: October 21, 2020, 08:56 PM »
I am reading a history of he Browne & Sharp company. It’s a fascinating story of ingenuity and genius. Except, when the company rejected a guy named Starrett. He had a design for a combination square. The Browne & Sharp management thought the design was inferior to the super precise machinist squares they were making.

Birdhunter

Festool USA does not pre-approve the contents of this website nor endorse the application or use of any Festool product in any way other than in the manner described in the Festool Instruction Manual. To reduce the risk of serious injury and/or damage to your Festool product, always read, understand and follow all warnings and instructions in your Festool product's Instruction Manual. Although Festool strives for accuracy in the website material, the website may contain inaccuracies. Festool makes no representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness or timeliness of the material on this website or about the results to be obtained from using the website. Festool and its affiliates cannot be responsible for improper postings or your reliance on the website's material. Your use of any material contained on this website is entirely at your own risk. The content contained on this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.


Offline neilc

  • Posts: 2987
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2020, 10:25 PM »
Interesting connection!  Wow.




Offline mkasdin

  • Posts: 474
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 03:34 AM »
I am reading a history of he Browne & Sharp company. It’s a fascinating story of ingenuity and genius. Except, when the company rejected a guy named Starrett. He had a design for a combination square. The Browne & Sharp management thought the design was inferior to the super precise machinist squares they were making.
the I ordered a Browne and sharpe set of engineer squares. Exoensive and not accurate. Sent them back a week later.

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3355
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2020, 07:05 AM »
In the book I am reading, a lot of the tools were ground on a big grinder operated by very experienced workers, The grinding machines were in a "secret" part of the factory never part of tours and off limit to other workers. The grinding technology was considered highly proprietary as was the formula for the grinding wheel material.

Do you have any idea when your squares were made?
.
Birdhunter

Offline ProCarpenterRVA

  • Posts: 141
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 09:33 AM »
My grandfather was an old school German American machinist. He worked as an apprentice, journeyman, master, then he had a pattern making shop in Boston Massachusetts before he retired. During WWII he turned huge shell casing dies for the war effort. He kept a mini shop in his cellar and would work late into the night solving problems. When he sold the business he moved to the village of Kennebunkport Maine. He was a deacon at the Methodist Church and bought the golf cart concession at Cape Arundel golf course where the Bush family plays. I have a few golf cart stories

I got a Gerstner chest full of odds and ends when he passed away.

Here's a shot of my favorite of his little tools. The second one isn't Brown & Sharpe but very useful nonetheless. Great memories of the days I spent with that man.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk


Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 8147
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 11:05 AM »
The grinding machines were in a "secret" part of the factory never part of tours and off limit to other workers. The grinding technology was considered highly proprietary as was the formula for the grinding wheel material.

I have several older Browne & Sharp items...they're easily the equivalent of Starrett equipment. A very similar situation to the 70 year old MAC vs Snap-On battle.  [big grin]

I have 5 calipers of which 2 are Helios, 2 are Etalon and a Browne & Sharp. Not a Starrett caliper amongst them because the stainless they're fabricated from is too soft and they wear quickly.

The B&S grinding room thing is interesting, it's very similar to how 3M operates. 3M is a manufacturer but heavily weighted to the processing side of things. So if no-one gains entrance to the facility, then no-one knows the production process that's used inside. You can see the finished product but how did it get to the finished state?

Any time you issue a patent you're just providing bread crumbs for the competition.  [smile]

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3355
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2020, 11:26 AM »
Neat story. So many of the people in the book followed that career path. The apprentice had to pay Browne & Sharp $50 as a fee to get trained. I think that covered the 3 year program.

In the book, Browne & Sharp instituted a formal training program where the "lads" rotated through all the machine shops rather than just one area.

Many of these apprentices rose through the ranks as your grandfather did. Probably none even had any formal education. But, they did have to be able to read, write and do basic math. The program did further education.
Birdhunter

Offline BarneyD

  • Posts: 101
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #7 on: October 22, 2020, 12:00 PM »
Like Cheese said, I considered B&S to be equivalent to Starretts. One of my favorite old tools is the B&S 4" sliding square below. It's probably 50 years old but still very accurate.

 
Barney

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 3355
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #8 on: October 22, 2020, 12:58 PM »
“ Not a Starrett caliper amongst them because the stainless they're fabricated from is too soft and they wear quickly. ”

I’m too old to wear out a Starrett caliper.
Birdhunter

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 4194
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2020, 01:09 PM »
Those calipers are great -- but why is it called the "Executive Pocket Chum"?

My grandfather was an old school German American machinist. He worked as an apprentice, journeyman, master, then he had a pattern making shop in Boston Massachusetts before he retired. During WWII he turned huge shell casing dies for the war effort. He kept a mini shop in his cellar and would work late into the night solving problems. When he sold the business he moved to the village of Kennebunkport Maine. He was a deacon at the Methodist Church and bought the golf cart concession at Cape Arundel golf course where the Bush family plays. I have a few golf cart stories

I got a Gerstner chest full of odds and ends when he passed away.

Here's a shot of my favorite of his little tools. The second one isn't Brown & Sharpe but very useful nonetheless. Great memories of the days I spent with that man.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
Kapex KS 120 w/UG Cart and Extensions • CXS Set • T 18+3 w/Centrotec Installer's Set • PDC 18/4 • TID 18 • TS 75 • TSC 55 • HKC 55 w/250, 420 and 670 FSK rails • Carvex 420 w/Accessory Kit • Domino 500 Set • Domino 700 XL • OF 2200 w/Base Accessory Kit • OF 1400 • OF 1010 • MFK 700 EQ Set • LR 32 • MFS 400 w/2000, 1000, and 700 extensions • Rotex 90 • Rotex 150 • LS 130 • ETS-EC 150/5 • ETS-EC 150/3 • Pro 5 LTD • RTS 400 • RAS 115.04 • RS 2 • HL 850 • Vecturo OS 400 • AGC 18-115 • CT 26 w/BT module • CT Sys w/Long-Life Bag • CT-VA 20 • MFT/3 • STM 1800

Offline ProCarpenterRVA

  • Posts: 141
Re: Browne & Sharp
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2020, 05:11 PM »
Those calipers are great -- but why is it called the "Executive Pocket Chum"?

My grandfather was an old school German American machinist. He worked as an apprentice, journeyman, master, then he had a pattern making shop in Boston Massachusetts before he retired. During WWII he turned huge shell casing dies for the war effort. He kept a mini shop in his cellar and would work late into the night solving problems. When he sold the business he moved to the village of Kennebunkport Maine. He was a deacon at the Methodist Church and bought the golf cart concession at Cape Arundel golf course where the Bush family plays. I have a few golf cart stories

I got a Gerstner chest full of odds and ends when he passed away.

Here's a shot of my favorite of his little tools. The second one isn't Brown & Sharpe but very useful nonetheless. Great memories of the days I spent with that man.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
I think that piece was a bit of promotional advertisement from the folks at Industrial Steel Cambridge MA. They probably gave them away to the purchasing managers on sales calls... Thus... the Executive Pocket Chum.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk