Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Noise in my Workhorse mill power feed unit

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Noise in my Workhorse mill power feed unit

    I have Workhorse AL-235A X-axis power feed unit on my Bridgeport, purchased in 1995 and used regularly since then. Yesterday it developed a loud clanking noise as the motor speed winds down when I put the lever back in neutral after a fast traverse (it doesn't have a "brake device in motor" as does the Al-250 of that era). I will be taking it down today to fix if possible, but it is likely that I will need to get a new one. I did pull the gear off the shaft and both it and the pinion gear are in good shape, but I expected that anyway as the nature of the noise makes it evident that it isn't from that area.

    I want to stay away from high-priced units like the Servo. My Workhorse, made in Taiwan, has lasted well, and it appears that the Align, also I believe made in Taiwan, is the same unit, upgraded as the PF-ALIGN-500P-X (AL500P). There are really cheapie Chinesie units on Amazon, but I'm skeptical of them. Reviews state that they don't fit right, plus who knows how long they will last...

    I do want the motor to quick-stop when I go to neutral so I can quickly change directions without clashing the forward/reverse gear dog, which I've been doing for years without apparent problems, unless this problem now actually results from me clashing the mechanism thousands of times (is this the "brake device in motor"?).

    Any recent experiences, comments?
    Central Virginia, USA

  • #2
    The Servo and clones suffer from the motor not winding down fast enough
    and the dog clutch crashing. Always have.
    When Servo designed their import line (made in a low cost country)
    they used a magnetic friction clutch rather than a dog clutch.
    That fixed the problem and they reverse MUCH nicer.
    They are called Servo DYNAMO line of power feeds.
    And yes China sells rip off of them too.
    Easily identified by a control knob in place of the control lever.

    --Doozer
    DZER

    Comment


    • #3
      Sounds to me like perhaps the dog clutch isn't completely disengaging. That can happen when there is sufficient wear on the cam. Does it happen in both directions, or just one?
      Southwest Utah

      Comment


      • #4
        The good news is that there is nothing seriously wrong with my power feed. I took it apart, checked it out thoroughly, and lubricated it. It is amazingly well built. All my crashing of the forward/reverse lever over the years with the motor still running near top speed has done zero harm to the mechanism. The two pawls that mesh together below the pinion show no wear; only a bit of shininess on the engaging corners. The brushes, operating cam, plastic gear and spiral pinion, etc., are all in excellent shape. I'm impressed with how good it looks after all these years of abuse.

        The noise is still there and yes, chip, it is only in one direction. But it isn't the clutch dog. It is disengaging entirely. What I believe is happening is that the bottom of the bottom cover, a squarish piece of plastic, has become concave with age, and when the mechanism is disengaged the metal mount of the large plastic gear sits and spins on the plastic case, amplifying gear noise. And it looks to me that as the cam and follower mechanism wear the dog will sit farther down when not engaged.

        Doozer, my power feed does not have any sort of brake. According to my user guide, the AL-250 (the upgrade model from 1995) has an electrical brake; I suspect this is likely a counter-EMF brake in the motor, and that is somewhat verified by looking at the wiring diagram on the newer model, the Align AL-500. My power feed takes a full nine seconds to wind down. I believe you are saying that while the Servo et al. has this brake, they were troublesome so were replaced in the upgraded "DYNAMO" models with a magnetic friction clutch?

        Since the Align AL-500 does indeed have a brake, even though it is perhaps insufficient in a production environment, it might be worthwhile to go ahead and upgrade. Descriptions and reviews say it is a lot quieter, and I suspect that my 27-year-old power feed will crap out sometime in the near future.

        That said, any recommendations on a replacement?
        Central Virginia, USA

        Comment


        • #5
          Oh, late to the party,
          but I recall back when I got a (very used) servo, there was a lot of end play in things.
          I replaced a number of the shim washers, and it's been fine ever since. I think the
          symptom that led me to take it apart was wear evident on the lower plastic gear cap.

          fwiw.

          t
          also doesn't wait for it to spin down.
          rusting in Seattle

          Comment


          • #6
            I've just about talked myself into getting an Align AL-500 if that unit has a brake that will make the motor spin down in a second or two, not the nine plus seconds mine takes. And BTW, when I took my Workhorse apart I found Align markings inside. So I would feel safe buying one based on that and on positive comments about the Align earlier.

            Tobias: Are you saying that your old Servo takes some time to spin down and you don't wait for it to spin down before reversing? How long does it take?

            So my question, still to be answered:

            Do the AL-500s have a braking action that quickly spins the motor down?
            Central Virginia, USA

            Comment


            • #7
              I'll check mine. I've had it for a long time so I don't know exactly which model it is. It does spin down pretty quick even from rapid. I'll go time it, but I think its 2 seconds or less.
              Last edited by chipmaker4130; 06-17-2022, 10:36 AM.
              Southwest Utah

              Comment


              • #8
                OK, I have the AL500S. From rapid it takes just under 4sec to stop. From any useable cutting speed it stops in less than a second.
                Southwest Utah

                Comment


                • #9
                  chip, thanks for taking the time to look! That spin down speed sounds good.

                  But the plot thickens. Yesterday I was simply happy to discover my old power feed was still OK. Today I want to replace it! I'm glad other people can't talk me into things as well as I can myself.😁

                  The AL-500 X feed is available for as little as $330 with $16 shipping. Now I see the Servo Dynamo feed X-axis is available for $359, shipping unknown (either free or I have to check out to find out what it is).

                  So which should it be? It is pretty well established that the Align is a good product; the Servo Dynamo is also made in Taiwan and I have consistently had good experiences with stuff made there.

                  Any experiences and advice about the Servo Dynamo product?
                  Central Virginia, USA

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I want to put one on the tailstock of my big lathe.
                    Power drilling, don't cha know !

                    -D
                    DZER

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ...Today I want to replace it! I'm glad other people can't talk me into things as well as I can myself.😁
                      Of all the enablers I've known through my life that could lead me astray I am BY FAR the best... or worst....
                      Chilliwack BC, Canada

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                        I want to put one on the tailstock of my big lathe.
                        Power drilling, don't cha know !

                        -D
                        You, Sir, are now on my list of enablers!

                        It's a darn slick idea though.....
                        Chilliwack BC, Canada

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                          I want to put one on the tailstock of my big lathe.
                          Power drilling, don't cha know !

                          -D
                          Hold on, Doozer! If things work out I'll have a good used one to sell you. And for you, a special price!
                          Central Virginia, USA

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by DaveD44 View Post
                            . . .The AL-500 X feed is available for as little as $330 with $16 shipping. Now I see the Servo Dynamo feed X-axis is available for $359. . .
                            So which should it be?. . .
                            Servo has always had the name recognition, but I've worked my Align hard for over 15 years. Just looked yesterday and all the gearing is still pristine. The only thing to fail was the rubber cap over the rapid button and that can be easily replaced. Don't know about the Servo, but my Align came with an extra driven gear in a cover on the bottom. Not having owned or used a Servo brand, I'd guess you would be equally happy with either one. BUT.. That is only if Align is still made in Taiwan and not mainland china.
                            Southwest Utah

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Doozer View Post
                              I want to put one on the tailstock of my big lathe.
                              Power drilling, don't cha know !

                              -D
                              I always drill from the tool post, I truly dislike tailstock drilling, entirely to much handle turning.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X