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  • Haven't screwed up anything yet today. Of course, I haven't done anything either.

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    • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
      I'm honestly trying to compare this to some of my motorcycle crashes, and move forward with an asses and repair mentality. It's a machine, made up of man made parts. It can be fixed.....I think. I hope.....
      I just had a crazy idea for casting repair, if you have all the pieces.... try injecting some loctite into the crack(s) and clamp it up good n tight. Let it sit for a week.

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      • Originally posted by Dan Dubeau View Post
        No cert, just a guy in his garage with an overhead beam trolley crane. It was only "rated" at 1/2 ton, and the mill is 1100....
        ah, I see, I figured it was a commercial setting. Still, something F'd up....there'd be enough margin of safety that it shouldn't' have failed at 1100. Really a shame, hopefully you come up with a good plan. New casting would be ideal....but as you say probably expensive
        in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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        • How about a photo of the damage? Then you'd get lots of expert opinions on how best to deal with it. Some of them might even make sense!
          "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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          • Originally posted by nickel-city-fab View Post

            I just had a crazy idea for casting repair, if you have all the pieces.... try injecting some loctite into the crack(s) and clamp it up good n tight. Let it sit for a week.
            It's just a crack, nothing broken off. I actually thought about loctite last night too, but don't want to make my job harder should I need to braze it eventually. I've been handed something to weld, that somebody tried to jb weld before.....


            Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post

            ah, I see, I figured it was a commercial setting. Still, something F'd up....there'd be enough margin of safety that it shouldn't' have failed at 1100. Really a shame, hopefully you come up with a good plan. New casting would be ideal....but as you say probably expensive
            Yeah I figured there would have been more margin for safety too. I guess they must have been import "tons". A good reminder that anything can happen, and to keep your head screwed on straight when lifting stuff.

            The move on my end went silky smooth this afternoon so that eased my pain a bit. So far the damage is the cracked casting, a broken airline tee on the power drawbar, and it fell on and pinched the auto oiler power cord. I had a pretty good look at the casting when it was up in the air today, and it could either be a problem, or it wont. I really won't know until I push it into it's final home, and level it up. I'm going to try a run it and see approach for now. Brazing it would be a pretty big job, and done poorly could cause me more work in the long run. A machine casting is different than vise bodies, engine casings, and lawn furniture that I've brazed before. Not sure how I'd get enough heat into this casting to do a good job, but without distort everything into a pretzel. I'll cross that bridge if I have to.

            Here's a few pics of the damage. It's not that big of a crack....but it's not supposed to be there either.... My big concern is when I tighten that bolt down to the stand how it's going to react. Could be fine and never cause me an issue. Debating weather to drill out the end of it right now to keep it from migrating though. All the other corners appear to be fine.


            Not sure how this broke, maybe just from the shock?

            I had the spindle jogged down onto a block off wood, and it left a nice indent, so we'll see how the bearings sound when I fire it up. Might be ok, might need attention.


            One of my big concern is the column squareness. That joint isn't designed to take a shock like that, and I could be in for a world of pain trying to get that back to square. Replaying it in my head, I think it came down on the front first, then slammed onto the back. I won't know that until I power it up though and start jogging an indicator around, which might be tomorrow. I need to make a trip to the home depot for some wire. Thought I had enough, but am about 8' short.

            And here she is on the floor and sitting in a temporary location. I bought that little pallet jack yesterday, and wish I would have bought one years ago. Sure makes moving it around a breeze. The "leveling" feet gotta go too. Not even close to enough adjustment for my floor in the corner where it's going lol. I'll make something this week a little more suitable.



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            • Drill the crack out now while you have ready access to it.
              David Kaiser
              “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
              ― Robert A. Heinlein

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              • Hard to tell from the photo - is that cracked piece a foot that is removable from the rest of the base? Those socket cap screws suggest maybe. If yes, that certainly would make the whole thing easier. I finally MIG welded a largish casting with silicon bronze - I had asked about this process some months back, having never heard of it before. It doesn't look pretty, but that's just my welding skills. It does seem to be perfectly solid. I did not worry much about heating it up, and not at all about cooling it down.
                "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                • It the base casting with integral y axis dovetails. The capscrews above the crack are for the z column.

                  I thought about tig or mig brazing. I've done both, but honestly don't have enough experience for me to dive in head first and be able to say I won't cause more damage than I'm trying to undo. I know when job is above my head, and this might be it. I "think" it might be fine? but I'm about as sure as I was that that hoist wasn't going to let go.....

                  Here's a couple screen shots of the casting and where the crack is. Much easier to rotate a cad model around, than it is a casting lol



                  Yesterday was a long day, and I only got about 2-3 hours last night. I'm a walking zombie right now. I need to sleep on it. But I probably will drill it out tomorrow to start with. Wife just called on her way home from work, and I told her I need to buy a bigger boat to go with my new anchor lol. She said If I bought another boat it better be a house boat.

                  At the end of the day I just want a functional mill, that will do what I bought it for. I'm not about to do a full concourse restoration on a Chevy cavalier, but I do want something that be be a reliable daily driver. It's a Tormach, not a Deckel.

                  Oh, and thanks for the suggestions. I appreciate them.

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                  • +1 on finding the end of the crack then drill it out. I like to use spot-check dye penetrant for that kind of job. Such as this: https://www.mcmaster.com/dye-penetra...+dye+penetrant

                    The reason why I say that I would fix it with loctite is because that way you don't have to worry so much about distortion or warping the castings. That could be important because it looks like you have both a column mount and dovetail ways in there. Squirt your loctite in and tie the biggest ratchet strap binder you can get around the base and crank on it till the crack closes. Let the loctite cure. The repair will probably be at least as strong as the original casting.

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                    • If you have the space, I'd make a simple plate out of 1/4" steel or so and bolt it across the crack with 1/4-20 or M6 bolts. Paint it white and after a few years of chips and coolant no one would ever know.

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                      • The way I would go about fixing it would be to drill a horizontal hole in the front bottom section of the casting. Then open up the hole (clearance to crack then tapping size) to as big as you can (depending if you want to leave the head of a bolt proud or countersunk). Use a grade 8 UNF SHCS and torque it up to the max allowed. If C/S then a bit of filler and suitable weathered paint will make it invisible.

                        Geoff
                        Last edited by ammcoman2; 02-28-2021, 09:56 AM.

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                        • I like the idea of just bolting through the crack or bolting a plate across it - after all, what you want is to prevent it opening up, and either of these things should do that. If you wanted a belt and suspenders approach you could go ahead and braze or weld it first anyway and consider the bolt to be the insurance against your possibly less than professional welds.
                          "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

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                          • This did not damage the machine as it simply moved across the floor. The mill weighs 12,000 Lb's
                            4" X 100"+ long stainless channel being drilled with the left door off and the part hanging out.
                            3 Kurt vices holding them, the first part made a rapid move to position and the part hit the yellow roof column on the left, this made quite a noise and bent the part slightly.
                            This was not my doing (-: I did straighten it however.

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                            • Originally posted by Bented View Post
                              This did not damage the machine as it simply moved across the floor. The mill weighs 12,000 Lb's
                              4" X 100"+ long stainless channel being drilled with the left door off and the part hanging out.
                              3 Kurt vices holding them, the first part made a rapid move to position and the part hit the yellow roof column on the left, this made quite a noise and bent the part slightly.
                              This was not my doing (-: I did straighten it however.
                              Wow! That must have sent the boys up into the locker room for a bit and a trembling of the sphincter as well. Glad no one got hurt on that one too.

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                              • Originally posted by mattthemuppet View Post
                                If you have the space, I'd make a simple plate out of 1/4" steel or so and bolt it across the crack with 1/4-20 or M6 bolts. Paint it white and after a few years of chips and coolant no one would ever know.
                                I agree 100% with Matt. I had a mill casting with a crack in the middle front of the base casting like you have. Drilled the root of the crack and ground little "dogbone" shapes across the crack. Epoxy filled with a steel plate and 4 M6 fasteners per side. Never thought about it again and never had a problem.
                                Last edited by Knires; 03-04-2021, 11:16 AM.

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