View Full Version : Tip for gearhead mill owners

01-13-2007, 06:06 PM
I was milling a new jib for the shaper clapper slide... I had tilted the head over to 60 to do the bevels. As I was making the first cut I noticed it was puking froth from the oil vent. Well that would not do. So some quick thinking I came up with this tip... thought I would share. Took a small oil bottle and cut a hole that the vent cap fit in and another to allow tightening



And when you done you remove the fitting strengthen the mill up and pour the oil back in.


No more mess to clean up or the fear of a short from the oil getting into the switch.;)

01-13-2007, 08:58 PM
:D The bottle is a little cheesy but it works... here's tip #2.

Another thing I had noticed was that the draw bar bolt had a little bow in it and when tightened it would settle to one side. This would add a slight imbalance to the spindle. So I made a bushed washer to correctly center the bolt.

The old washer.


I turned it from 1018 and has a taper to it and drops right it.
In place centered

01-13-2007, 11:55 PM
Thanks for this tip,Tink.I always spend ages trying to center the washer,which moves as you tighten it.(sod's law:D).
it will go on my to do list as a time filler while sawing through a 5 1/4' hunk of cast iron.(cylinder material for my live steam loco.)

Your Old Dog
01-14-2007, 07:56 AM
Looks like some good ideas. Where did you cough up the spindle wrench? I've been using a channel locks to hold while tightening the draw bolt but after I had to take mine apart for the jamming problem I noticed how the toothed part of the spindle can maul the rubber gaskets on the top of the mill as they ride on the spindle. I've had no luck coming up with that configuration of a wrench.

01-14-2007, 08:54 AM
I have had my gear head for 4 years now and have never had to use a wrench to hold it. I just put the gear box in low and tighten.

01-14-2007, 10:27 AM
I use a strap wrench on mine.
Sears IIRC, rubber strap & plastic handle.

01-14-2007, 11:39 AM
Y.O.D. After having a EM walk out of the collet and dink a hunk of metal I was trying to turn into a part... cause I could not get a good grip on the spindle and could not bare the idea of using a monkey wrench on it :eek:. Looked around for a spindle wrench and could not find one. So I went about making one up... well really I made a few up to tell you the truth... (ebay one every now and then ;)). Still have a couple left. Works like a charm a good snug feel on the draw bar and have not had any trouble with EM walking. Plus when shifting from hi-lo or 1st-3rd. I use it to turn the spindle and ease the gears into mesh instead of banging the shift handle back and forth to align.

01-14-2007, 11:46 AM
Small world.

I made the very same bushing-washer for the drawbar in my Smithy last week, as well as straightening it, as it was banana shaped. Works worlds better now.

Your Old Dog
01-14-2007, 02:31 PM
Tinker, does you oil contaner fit over the oil breather bolt or is it slightly undersize so that it acts like a washer of sorts?

I'll try shifting into low gear to see if it's any easier to remove the bolt, sounds like a good low tech fix!!

01-14-2007, 03:41 PM
Y.O.D the hole in the container is sized so it fits the breather bolt like a washer. Also you need to remove that jack screw on top of the mill. I had no real luck with the shifting into low gear to counter the force of tightening or loosening the bolt. If that does not work out for you let me know. :)

01-14-2007, 07:13 PM
Where did you cough up the spindle wrench?
Y.O.D you have an RF45 right? I have an X-3 and a 23 mm. 12 point wrench fits it perfectly. I shortened it some so it will go a full circle without hitting the column so I can use the spindle to tap with.

I would think your spindle is a little bigger than the one on my X-3 so it may take a 24 or 25 mm 12 point wrench to fit it.

01-16-2007, 01:20 AM
My Smithy is made by Zay. I just got a spanner wrench and it works like a dream. I used to set the gear to low and fumble that way but now with the spanner no need to keep changing gears.

I never tilted my head but I can see that happening. Your idea is smart and I think I will make one for the time I tilt the head.

Wow aint lurnin funn

01-16-2007, 11:29 PM
I sure do like that bushing washer idea. Every now and then my powered drawbar doesn't quite engage right because the drawbar is cocked. It will eventually nudge things into position, but the bushing would make it work so much nicer.

Great idea!



01-18-2007, 12:49 AM
Bob that was another reason I made it. I'd tighten the drawbar and the washer would trap my spindle wrench. Have to loosen and tap then re tighten :mad:. Now it's no fiddling... just snug and it's centered. No more trapped wrench. :D