View Full Version : new-to-me Surface Grinder -- Need some pointers.

12-09-2013, 01:29 PM
Well the grinder is here and needless to say I'm quite excited.
Gave it the once-over and I do have some questions for any kind soul
who'd have a suggestion for me.

More machine / maintenance related than grinding really.

The belt guard isn't fully closed and chuck put on table for pictures' sake.
Chuck came in a separate box.


First thing I noticed is the chuck handle won't budge. I had to "persuade" it with a small
brass hammer.. slowly tapped it to the on position (probably took 15 minutes!).. and once there
it seems to still have some holding power. I couldn't move a piece of 2"x2"x1/2" CRS.

I expected this thing to have a drain plug or similar to change the oil inside -- or is this one
dry? I'm tempted to take it apart to clean it but I'm reading that I shouldn't do that.



The other thing I noticed is that its covered in grease.

In fact it has both oil cups and what appear to be grease fittings:


12-09-2013, 01:34 PM
Haven't gotten a good read on the condition of the ways but all the bits move
and I don't feel any 'slop'.. but it might be the gummed up grease?


The grooves in the ways are very deep.. 1/8"? seems excessive for oil.
Are these meant to be greased?!

Finally, opened the lid and found more grease coming out of the bearings. Tony's lathe site
has a CAPCO page and it reads:

"On all models the high-tensile, high-carbon spindle ran in ball journal bearings,
with protective seals and sealed-for life lubrication, and was driven by an "A" section V belt."

I have no idea what "ball journal bearings" are -- always thought it was one or the other.

Does sealed for life mean I shouldn't touch them? (ha)



Finally, just to hit my 4 pic limit, it came with this wheel mounted:


12-09-2013, 01:59 PM
Tony,we had an Eclipse mag chuck at work once,good units.IIRC once off the table,flip it over and the plate comes off the bottom with 6 screws revealing the inards.As I remember there isn't much in there except some grooves that act as ways and a cam.

Nice looking machine BTW.

12-10-2013, 07:25 AM
nobody? grease fittings vs oil cups? (do I hear crickets?)

Wierd, thanks.. I flipped 'er over, found the screws.. they go clean up through the base, through the
body, and out the top.. about 2" long or so. Eventually they came out but I couldn't get the bottom off,
I was afraid of knocking all 3 pieces loose -- I hear if you remove the top its bad news.

So I just put it back together for now. Interestingly, having been belly side up for a bit and a couple
of taps here and there to work the screws loose the lever is a little more reasonable to move. Not
perfect, but at least I don't need 2' of pipe.


12-10-2013, 10:03 AM
The grooves are deep but you still use way lube. Grease is thick enough that it would make it very hard to run the table side to side. As it is, running the table side to side can wear you slick anyway on a big surface even when it moves freely.
For the magnet, i would turn it on the side with the handle up and put some thin oil around the handle and hope it wicks in and frees it up. It should be fairly easy to turn the magnet on and off without fighting it. If you can get the bottom off there are probably other areas that would benefit from some lube.

12-10-2013, 10:08 AM
Thanks Toolguy.
So once I get this broken down and cleaned up, I should shoot some way oil into those fittings?
I wonder if a one-shot system might not be appropriate here. I don't own an oil pump for those zerk fittings.

12-10-2013, 10:17 AM
I have nothing specific on maintenance for that grinder, but generically I would expect the spindle bearings to be oiled rather than greased. High speed bearings develop more heat with grease because of internal friction, and heat is the bane of bearing life. Confusing the issue is that older machines sometimes came with zerk fittings for lubrication that were intended for oil insertion. Without a manual and the manufacturer's recommendations, subsequent owners often took these as grease points. In the absence of any actual instructions I'd be inclined to clean out the grease and use oil. Since you're always right there and the machine will probably not see heavy duty use under your ownership you can always make sure that they get a regular oil squirt. Excess will leak away but that's only an esthetic and housekeeping problem. You can make sure that they never are dry.

12-10-2013, 11:15 AM
tg nailed it on the head if it was mine i would convert a grease gun to oil and use it to flush the spindle with spirits then use spindle oil to lube it spindle oil is hard to find in less than 5 gal at a reasonable price but it is worth the piece of mind

12-10-2013, 11:20 AM
spindle oil is basicly 10 wt oil by feel but it has other additives

12-10-2013, 11:58 AM
I had that problem with my Eclipse mag chuck. It's the filler material between the pole pieces on the top plate. It swells up with age so the magnets don't want to slide properly. You have to scrape the filler back down level again. The top plate can be taken off, just don't take the magnets off the base plate as they will lose their strength without a 'keeper'.

12-10-2013, 12:25 PM
Hi Tony,

You mentioned that the chuck was boxed separately so you may already have the covers for the ends of the table as seen in the catalog photos on Tony's site - the first ones on his CAPCO page.

If you don't have these I would strongly suggest making something to cover the protruding saddle when the table is at either end. W/O the covers grinding dust will surely work its way into the dovetails and rapidly wear them.

When the grinding takes place while the table is within the saddle, the grinding force is downward against the saddle. Once the table starts to extend past the saddle it will start transferring the force upward to the dovetail as it tries to sag towards the floor. Because there is much less surface area upward, it will wear faster at the ends & only be worse W/O those covers.

Hope this makes sense & is of some help.

What type of work do you intend to do with this grinder?

12-10-2013, 01:18 PM
Grainger and other stock spindle oil in 1 gallon containers. It is cheaper than motor oil. But I am not sure what you need spindle for, the spindle is sealed ball bearing. Do you mean way lube?

Looks like the zerks run to the shaft bearings for the handles, so those would be grease.

12-10-2013, 01:22 PM
Jim, yes I have the end covers -- put the "L" shaped one on for now just to keep things contained.. but I plan a full break
down of this thing. Thanks for the heads-up though. I have no real plans for this thing other than having some fun.

So I couldn't resist, here're the results out of the box. Just a cutoff from the bin, 1" hex, about 1" long. Before/After:


I did two adjacent hex faces and the top. I did not redress before getting to the top, I assume thats why it has
a wavy pattern and the sides are perfect? Also, not sure why the edges are burnt.



DOC was about 3 tenths. step-over about 0.025"-0.030" I think.
with the wheel that came with the machine (pictured earlier) -- Its ~5" diameter.

Moral of the story: I should've learned how to rub my head and pat my stomach at the same time
like the other kids when I had the chance!

12-10-2013, 06:22 PM
3 tenths is a pretty aggressive cut on steel without coolant.

Coolant may also explain the stuck-up nature of the mag-chuck.

12-10-2013, 06:29 PM
Looks like a bit of heating at the edge. Are you sure you weren't running that wheel at 4245 rpm?


12-10-2013, 09:26 PM
Tony,the grind looks pretty good.Do it again,but this time try soaking the surface down with some WD-40 or similar and then grind.The blue edges are from heat.

12-11-2013, 08:55 AM
Had a go at my home made punch die. This is about 2" diameter, 15mm hole.
(Home-) Hardened D2.

two tenths first pass with WD-40
one tenth second pass with WD-40

I'm very new to this, but I'm very happy with the results.
Finish is hard to photograph, its somewhat "satin".

Same 46 grit wheel. Rough (fast) redress before each pass.




12-11-2013, 10:48 AM
looks good to me and sounds like you scored a really neat tool. Don't forget to take pictures of your teardown/ rebuild, it's always interesting to see how these things work inside.

Peter N
12-11-2013, 11:50 AM
3 tenths is a pretty aggressive cut on steel without coolant.

0.0003" aggressive???? I rough at 0.003" all the time and never use any coolant. Don't know what grinder you're using but 3 tenths is just a little kiss on the work.

Peter N
12-11-2013, 11:55 AM
Lubrication - looks like the Capco is similar to an old Dronsfield Eagle I used to have.
The Eagle specified grease for the spindle bearings but oil for the table ways, yours looks very similar to that.
Mind you these designs were old when Gods Dog was a puppy.

04-16-2014, 10:41 AM

PM Sent.