Van Norman Boring Manual


Looking for parts and help as I attempt to re-condition two machines. I had used the 777 for many years and it was knocked over, while it was attached to a very heavy table, and the column is bent. Would like to replace the column as I had all the tooling I needed to do blind holes and face off sleeves in V6 outboard motors.

The machine itself is worn a bit and the tool holder is sloppy and I have to shim it every time I take the bit holder in and out but it would do pretty good work. It may have some other issues after the fall but I know the column is bent. The owners manual is adamant about never adjusting on the column preload adjustment but it would need to be gutted to get the column out. The only thing I had ever replaced on it was the triple gear. I have never used the 777s but it is a beefier machine at the tool holder and the driveshaft is of course larger diameter and hollow. It runs the column up and down very smoothly and the transmission works well. It needs a set of jaws, the ones that have the teeth and mesh with the scroll.

13606 Blackbird Road SW. Cumberland MD 21502. Phone 301-842-7095. Email: Hours: 9:00am to 5pm E.S.T. The best way to find out will be to crack your manual or flip through the aperture dial on your camera and see which apertures show up. If you get numbers like: 2.8, 3.2, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.6 then you’ve got third stops to work with. Nov 1, 2006 - Portable boring bars have been around for a long time. Now let's see. Who was first? Some say it was Van Norman, some say it was Rottler,.

Van Norman Boring Bar Manual

Van norman 944 boring bar manual

My understanding is when you replace those a new thrust washer needs to be installed and ground to get the proper fit so the jaws feed the catspaws in and out AND determines the mesh of the scroll to jaws so they feed properly. So if anyone out there has parts, advice, directions, connections, please let me hear from you. You’ve got the same problem with the Van Norman's as I've got with my Kwik-Way machines.

All of the main brands (Kwik-Way, Rottler, Van Norman) are so good that they hardly ever wear out. I’m running 6 Kwik-Way machines in my shop. The key is step up & purchase your brand of machine as others go out of business. I purchased most of my equipment from 2 who decided to give it up. This is the only way that I know of to accumulate spare parts.

John Tice 503-593-2908 Alternate 541-508-3944 & Turning Custom Cylinder Sleeves Since 1971.

I am in the process of picking one of these up. Most of the ones I find have only part of, or sometimes none of the tooling kit that originally came with these machines.

There are complete tool kits for sale on eBay, but for same cost of a machine!?!? Machines that have the complete tool kit included are priced quite high. Especially For a light weight out of date machine that can only really do one thing. At least in my extremely un-informed opinion. What makes these tool kits so valuable? Is it just the rarity of having the original tools? Or is the boring bar completely useless without it?

If I purchased just the boring bar by itself, would I be able to use the machine without the matching tool kit? I've got an old KwikWay boring bar with the tool kit. The tool kit has all of the little trinkets, like a set of 4 tool bits, very carefully packed in a cotton lined box as well as a bracket to hold them and sharpen them on a 3' diamond wheel that is mounted on the back of the motor spindle. It also came with a booklet with valve specs for engines earlier than about 1930 or so. ( Lemon, Budd and Buda come to mind).

Kinda neat to look at but the only parts you really need are the hold down brackets and the tool bits. ( this one uses round shank, brazed carbide tools-I imagine this machine when new was when carbide was also very new! There is on mine a centering arrangement with 3 fingers that you put in the end of the bar and adjust out (similar to an intramic) there are several sets to give you a range of bore sizes. You could make them in a machine shop easily enough but it would be nice to have them!

As far as the plate for W motors, it would be a little tricky to bore out a 348 or 409 motor without the plate! The deck is at an angle to the centerline of the bore- the combustion chamber is in the cylinder and the head is flat. ( if I ever get in that fix, I won't use the KwikWay, I'll use the Pratt & Whitney!).

^Very nice info, thanks! The hold down brackets, do these hold down the machine to the block deck? If so, these really arn't needed at all. I'm sure I could easily mill a plate that bolts to the deck which the boring bar which will then bolt to the plate. Do you have a picture of the tool bits used?


I'm curious how much work would be involved in making one. Maybe even one with new carbide cutters that are easily replaced instead of sharpening. Also, how different is the Kwik-Way to the Van Norman? The pictures I have found look extremely similar. The right tool box for either machine would make them both much easier to use.

The mic is something you need to set the bore dia. You also need the right cutter holders. I like the van norman better than the kwik way.

The boring bars are cheap without the tool box because it is worthless without the tool box for boring engines. Tool boxes are high because you need it to use the boring bar. When you buy one complete it cost good money and you don't have to look for the right toolbox. The right sharpening jigs are important to sharpen the cutter properly. The set of cats paws or centering fingers are needed so the whole range of the boring bar can be used. The right mounting parts makes it possible to mount and be boring a block in a couple of minutes. So yes the tool box is important!

There was a guy that had a warehouse full of automotive machine tools about an hour away from me, it is where my bar came from originally, I suspect it may have been put together out of parts, hence the wrong mic. I was there once twenty years ago, and it did look like he pieced together setups in some cases. He had a massive amount of stuff.

I believe he died, but have heard his daughter still runs it. He was high to deal with, probably daughter will be too.but it might be a possibility for accessories. The first thing you need to know is the model number of the boring bar. You then need the right tool box for that bar.

Neither kit is complete. The first picture is missing the hold down clamp and sharpening fixture and maybe some small parts. The second picture the only thing there is a sharpening fixture and some cats paws. The small little rectangles are the cats paws.

Van Norman Boring Bar

The small holes to the left might be for spare cats paw screws. The wire with the circle on it is for pulling the cutter holder out of the bar at the bottom of the bore so you don't scratch the bore when you raise the bar back up. The mic is there and two cutter holders with cutters are right above it. You use the mic to adjust the length of the cutter holder. There is a screw in the end to adjust the length.

The rest you should be able to figure out. Mark PS You also need a hone.

For engine work a boring bar is not very useful without a hone. A hone can take 30 out but takes more time. The model number is 945P.


I am unable to find anything about this specific model. Even the link to the manuals do not list it. I wonder how much different it could be? It is a Canadian model. This could have something to do with that. From what I am reading the only tools needed to actually make this function properly are the CatsPaws, Shoes where the CatsPaw mount, tool holder/cutter, and the Mic. At the cost for each of these individually, it makes sense to walk on this machine and bay a complete machine with tool kit.

Van Norman Boring Machine

List of needed parts adds up quickly. Estimated $700 for the minimum. Which is around where a complete tool kit costs. But I only see 777 and 744 models.

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