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X axis on this machine?

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  • X axis on this machine?

    What is going on with the X axis on this machine? What is sticking out on either end? Only pics I have, it was listed for sale on the local Facebook market place.

    You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

  • #2
    It would appear to be hydraulic. Those look like cylinders that control table movement.

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    • #3
      It's a pneumatic feed for repetitive operations. It's not uncommon to see such arrangements on smaller horizontal mills that were used for secondary operations in production environments.

      The mill would have been set up once, then typically several thousand parts would be run across the machine before the setup was changed. It likely would have seen few (if any) setup changes over the life of the production run, or even the life of the machine itself.

      Several years ago I bought a Nichols horizontal that had a similar pneumatic feed. The company I bought it from was an old-school screw machine shop that was going to CNC for it's second-op machines. The foreman wasn't particularly happy about it, he thought it was making things too complicated. In their case I think he might have been right. The foreman gave me a shop tour, lots of great old Acme-Gridley 6- and 8-spindle machines, and some Davenports, etc. Among other things, they produced complete hydraulic fitting bodies at a rate of about one every six seconds.

      Anyhow, the pneumatic feed unit on the Nichols actually had a number of features for setting multiple feed rates and travels. The company that made that unit was still in business the last time I checked. Converting the Nichols back to a conventional leadscrew is still on my to-do list.

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      • #4
        Thanks, thought it looked like one or the other. I’m surprised on the pneumatic, everything that I have screwed around with that was pneumatic with movement like that seemed like it would have been way better off being hydraulic.

        I’ll have to dig in a little and see what those systems are.

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        • #5
          I would bet pneumatic/ hydraulic speed and damping. Straight pneumatic would be bouncy which would lead to terrible chatter.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by garyhlucas View Post
            I would bet pneumatic/ hydraulic speed and damping. Straight pneumatic would be bouncy which would lead to terrible chatter.
            That makes more sense.

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