Crash & burn...

by Doc Nickel

There's no reason to believe all the damage happened in a single event.

For one thing, the worm gear and shaft in the ram knuckle was missing entirely- as in no debris, no chips, no fragments. Somebody opened it up, cleaned out the chunks, and reassembled it.

There were similarly no chips or fragments of the stripped table nuts- again, those appear to have been at least blown out or swept out

Third, the spindle shows signs of a vague attempt at dressing it up- a ding has been filed down.

The head gears just rotated the head assembly, as for tramming. The machine could have been used without them. It'd be difficult to tram it accurately, but it could be done.

The table nuts were stripped- two of them badly enough the screw could simply be slipped out- but there was still one that, while badly worn, could have allowed the table to be moved, with only a relatively small loss in accuracy.

The spindle is curious, as there's simply no way for a cutter with that much wobble to produce a decent surface finish. But, it's possible whoever was using it at the time just used it for rough work. or even just as a drill press. (A drill bit would still wobble, but drills aren't necessarily highly accurate anyway.)

Regardless of the reason, most of it's fixed, I just have to squeeze in a minute or two to yank the spindle and see if that can be fixed too.

No, I haven't looked at the power feed gearbox, because I have no plans to use it. It's huge and monstrously heavy, and I'd have to buy a second VFD to run it, since it has a 3-phase motor.

I'm actually strongly considering taking the long right-hand table extension off, and fabbing a plate to bolt onto the end of the table, to which I can mount a modern Servo-style power feed. That's buy me a few extra inches of screw shaft too, that would allow me to replace the missing right-hand X-axis handwheel.


Posted on Jun 12, 2017, 3:18 AM

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