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Long shot question about a Delta Rockwell 11" lathe

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  • Long shot question about a Delta Rockwell 11" lathe

    I have a Delta Rockwell 11" lathe. Recently the selector handle that controls the spindle NORMAL <> FREE <> LOCKED <> BACK GEAR stopped shifting the spindle. I looked at the old DOD maintenance manual, and it gave instructions on how to disassemble the handle controls and clean the gunk out ... I didn't read the instructions COMPLETELY. I didn't read the part where it said "do not, under any circumstances, no matter whatever else is happening, NEVER allow the shaft that the handle fits over to fall out of the back of the support unit."

    So I did.

    Here is the question: Does anybody else have a Rockwell Delta 11", and have you ever had to deal with this sort of problem? Is there any solution short of taking the headstock off of the ways and having to realign everything after reassembly?

    I know this is a long shot... probably not many people have this model of lathe, and those of you who do are probably not clumsy enough to have done this Very Stupid Thing, but I am grasping at straws... HELP

    Last edited by Dan_the_Chemist; 01-27-2022, 02:58 PM.

  • #2
    Dan, I don't have anything that will answer your question, but can you determine what is the function of the shaft, that fell out? Is it a square or a hex or spline shaft? If no one has that particular machine, it may be possible to figure out how many different combinations there are?

    Sarge41

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    • #3
      So what exactly is the problem, is it a matter of difficulty putting the shaft back in? ...or getting the orientation right? ...or did it permit some other part to fall out of position?

      ....or all of the above?
      Lynn (Huntsville, AL)

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sarge41 View Post
        Dan, I don't have anything that will answer your question, but can you determine what is the function of the shaft, that fell out? Is it a square or a hex or spline shaft? If no one has that particular machine, it may be possible to figure out how many different combinations there are?

        Sarge41
        It's a round shaft. The shaft has an offset axle that carries the gear that engages the BACK GEARS. The problem is that it fell out and fell into a deep dark hole in the headstock casting. I can find it with a bore scope and a mirror, but even if I could snag it I doubt I could stick it back in the hole in the casting...

        The maintenance manual gives a description of the process of assembling this part of the headstock. It's pretty easy IF you pretty much disassemble the whole headstock. The problem is that this little shaft is one of the first things you assemble, and the remaining shafts and gears surround it very closely.

        The space is really tight. I can't get my fingers closer than about 5" from the hole in the support casting with the headstock still in place. I've thought about 3D printing some little arm that could reach down and grasp it and insert it, but it would be a difficult design job for a one off.

        So I was hoping beyond hope that somebody would say "Oh, yeah, I had that same problem and the simple fix is ...."

        Typing with my fingers crossed is hard.


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        • #5
          Dan,
          The same thing happened to me on my Rockwell 11" lathe, but so long ago I forget how I got it going again, except that it was difficult, touchy and required a lot of tinkering to make it work ---still doesn't do like it should--not much help. Two things I suggest--get a pair of medical tongs long enough to reach the part and look at the attached file for a non-DOD manual for the 11".
          Last edited by homestead; 01-27-2022, 05:29 PM. Reason: Oh well, the file exceeded the Bboard size limit. I'll try to find the URL.

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          • #6
            Dan,
            Try this URL for the non-DOD manual for the 11". http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1141/20128.pdf
            Homestead

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            • #7
              Originally posted by homestead View Post
              Dan,
              Try this URL for the non-DOD manual for the 11". http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1141/20128.pdf
              Homestead
              And try Old Metal Working Machines:

              Old Metalworking Machines - Old Woodworking Machines (owwm.org)

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              • #8
                So it's the (part in question) round axle that the cast iron handle clamps to ?

                Can you use a magnet on a stick?

                I can take pictures of mine, but have limited experience taking the headstock apart.
                Gary


                Appearance is Everything...

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                • #9
                  Dan, I know from nothing about this particular model, but my experience in general is... If something came apart or out without disassembling everything, it will go back where it was without disassembling everything. Perhaps not as easily... but eventually. Despair not!
                  "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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                  • #10
                    Maybe, but it would help enormously if you have an anti gravity device so the bits which fell into the bottom of the headstock or other inaccessible place during dis assembly would miraculously pop back up from the hidden depths into the correct place during re assembly.
                    'It may not always be the best policy to do what is best technically, but those responsible for policy can never form a right judgement without knowledge of what is right technically' - 'Dutch' Kindelberger

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                    • #11
                      I sort of agree with mickeyf that if it fell out without help, it should go back in. That said, I hope your manual has parts diagrams so you can see if anything might have fallen off the shaft when it fell out. Shim washers, detent balls and springs come to mind. Not trying to be Debbie downer, but there are lots of ways to have your day spoiled.
                      “I know lots of people who are educated far beyond their intelligence”

                      Lewis Grizzard

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                      • #12
                        Anti-gravity seems far fetched. How about this?


                        Click image for larger version

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                        • #13
                          Turn the lathe over and all the parts you are missing will likely fall out.

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                          • #14
                            Having spent a couple of hours trying to snag the part with various tools and techniques and failed MISERABLY (it's really well entrenched) ... and taking into account the comment about "what else might have fallen off", I've started the disassembly...

                            *sigh*

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                            • #15
                              Sucks, but it's a good opportunity to clean and grease everything.
                              21" Royersford Excelsior CamelBack Drillpress Restoration
                              1943 Sidney 16x54 Lathe Restoration

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