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Bonnet for Mills Jewel hi top

Postby pauljt71 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:41 am

Hi folks,

The ongoing restoration of my Machines it’s going well. I have managed to locate replacement backdoors but I am still struggling to find a source for a hightop bonnet. Can anyone point me in the direction of either someone that manufactures them as replacement parts or a supplier/dealer of spare parts that may be able to help.
Many thanks

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Re: Bonnet for mills Jewel hi top

Postby badpenny » Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:38 pm

Hi Paul ......

No good news from me I'm afraid, but I'll tell you what I know. You may already be aware but there are many others out there also in your position.

Finding a back bonnet in UK seems to be a matter of being in the right place at the right time, unless there is another reader out there who is sitting on a nest of them all and isn't getting around to digging them out.
The problem with buying one sight unseen whether from a fellow collector in UK or a dealer in Americaland is they make look right. However until you offer it up and prove it fits you may well be in for disappointment. They do vary, and if it has come from a clone or is genuine but your machine is a clone then it's a fair likely hood it won't.
Two of us have been researching into having a batch cast.
Unlike Back doors and Cash Boxes, this is proving to be a proper Faff!
Doors and boxes are bent mild steel which is cheap to get and easy to manufacture. Bonnets are Aluminium/Alloy and cast. This is expensive and a specialist job.
The Bonnet itself is made of at least 4 pieces. The Shell, a mild steel reinforcement strap rivetted in place and two steel pins which the securing brackets pivot onto.
Currently a single bonnet appearing for sale usually goes for between £60 - £100+. We're being quoted a fair whack more than that, before any mark up that would make it worth doing.
Then there is the issue "Which model do you replicate?" and how many of them will bounce back because it didn't fit?
I'm not giving up, but I'm not sure about the way forward. GRP would be cheaper and easier but I wouldn't be impressed as a collector.
There's clearly a market but from what I can see the solution is a bit of a kerfuffle.

BP :-(

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Re: Bonnet for mills Jewel hi top

Postby treefrog » Fri Mar 06, 2020 9:40 am

As mentioned when you previously posted you will struggle on the hunt for the right hood, but you may get lucky. Anyway as BP says, there are many variations and not only that, I have had two machines with same part numbers where the hoods do not swap perfectly. I reckon Mills may have used sets of castings as a group which were perfect matches together and these were replaced over time with slight variations. In terms of reproducing, there are loads of repros out there, both old and new. Dave Berten at Mr Slots in US is doing repro castings as sets. I suspect he sells as a set for reason explained.

On the note of reproductions, I recall at least two sets of molds coming up for sale in the US for Hi Tops, see below. In my opinion still not worthwhile as I would not want repro items anyway.
8D589871-1F9A-4A1C-B134-ED32F38B7595.jpeg (46.64 KiB) Viewed 174 times
Jewell models are far more difficult to find as less common and popular. I have a number of casting sets excluding hoods. I have sold or used all my spare hoods and only have a single one for a different model.

Good luck

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