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New Tool In the Shop

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  • New Tool In the Shop

    Along the lines of how I labored this Labor Day weekend this followed my wife and I home Saturday morning.

    A Rotex RM1 horizontal mill. Also got a vertical head to go along with it, a stand for the mill and a box 'o cutters and a second arbor. The motor for the vertical head has a busted shaft and will need work. The mill was advertised in the San Diego Craigs list for $450. Since the seller couldn't find the motor for it by the time we picked it up he said how about $350? I can do that.

    The mill is filthy and grungy but everything seems to work. Some rust on the overarm and other places. The controls are stiff but move. I put a 1/2 hp (Harbor Freight, yeah, I know but it was cheap and I wanted the thing spinning) 1725 rpm motor on it and it cuts but bogs down and the motor gets very hot. I think all the shafts and the spindle need to come out for cleaning and lubeing. The other arbor was stuck in the spindle pretty good with oil turned to varnish. No rust though.

    I'm a happy camper. I was looking for a project machine and now I've got it. I don't know how far I'll take the project but it'l be fun any way I do it. Here are some more pics.

  • #2
    Nice score. It looks to be a little larger than a Benchmaster, which is a nice machine in it's own right. The horizontal/vertical combination is that much better.
    Jim H.


    • #3
      I'd take it apart for cleaning and oiling before running it much. Don't want something to seize from lack of lube.


      • #4
        Aint that just the cutest li'l thang. nice score.


        • #5
          A cover for that big pulley might not be a bad idea. If you got your arm caught in that it would do some damage.

          Have fun, and keep in mind if you strip it that old paint may have lead in it.



          • #6
            A tear down and clean up is definately in order. Goodness knows what I'll find. It seemsthe Rotex punch company is still in business in San Leandro so I'll see if they might have a manual and try to find out when this one was made. The site says a manual is available as well.

            I hadn't thought about the paint being lead based but that is something to watch for. I don't know that I'll go as far as to strip and paint but we'll see as the teardown progresses.

            The big pulley is pretty far in back when you're at the operators position. Not a good idea to grab for something on the far side though. My SB9A just behind it under the cover has no guard on the large jack shaft pulley.

            I'm glad the Tinker T&C grinder thread came up as I will now really have a need for something like that. Those milling cutters are pricey at MSC. I have Guy's plans but not the castings and was planning on doing the bar stock method. Soon as I get a round Tuit that is.


            • #7
              As long as you don't chew the paint off, lead based paint is not a problem. Wash up well before handling food or (ahem) other things.
              Jim H.


              • #8
                JC, Ahem indeed! I think the caution was brought up in case I had planned to sand blast and fill the air with fine dust. I would probably use chemical strip methods as well as scraping. I suppose a lead test kit from the home center would tell if it was lead based. Then I would treat the waste accordingly.


                • #9
                  Lead based paints are hazardous for children more so than adults. Their growing bodies mistake the lead for another mineral and they absorb it like crazy. The same amount of exposure results in 10x greater levels in a child than in one of us.

                  Sanding and sandblasting are the best ways to get it airborne, other than putting it in the gas! Wet sanding and strippers are safer but if ya just keep the kids and pregnant mom's away there's no issues.

                  Bill the Skinny Painter.


                  • #10
                    wschoenbeck, do you have a shot of the vertical head/attachment? I would like to see how it is done.

                    Nice find. I have a little Atlas that is a blast to run. And it fit into the basment easier than my Bridgeport would have.

                    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                    • #11
                      Man! What a lucky find! You take real good care of this old girl, y'u hear?


                      • #12
                        Rock, Ok I can do that. Here are two views of the vertical head. It's not made by Rotex but by another company, Fray. I'm afraid I don't have the model info in front of me. It was not on the machine when I picked it up.

                        The last pic is of the motor for head. As you can see the shaft is sheared off right at the housing. How that happened the seller didn't say. It mounts on the flat plate aft of the pulley. I may have to consult with our resident expert on motor shaft repair (His Lordship, Sir John) when it comes time to put it into service. But I'll want to get the horizontal mode working smoothly first.

                        In the second picture you can see what appears to be a crack between the second to largest step and the third step of the spindle pulley. It is not a crack but in fact two separate pulleys. The top four steps are keyed the the spindle as they rotate together. The lower two steps spin freely and do not appear to be keyed to the shaft. Don't know whats up with that. I have no idea what the pulley is supposed to look like on the motor shaft.

                        The two wires with eyelets to the right of the head are really one wire that was installed looped around the blue frame that surrounds the pulley to allow the head to be lifted into place with a hoist of some type. It's pretty heavy so I won't be lifting it into place by hand very much.


                        • #13
                          Those segregated pulleys may be part of a two speed system, just a guess, kinda like a high and low but also might take an aux. pulley that was mounted somewhere?


                          • #14
                            "A tear down and clean up is definately in order. Goodness knows what I'll find."


                            I suggest a thorough lubing and use. Just make sure the bearing are well lubed.

                            Unless you're experienced in machine rebuilding and have the proper equipment I wouldn't recommend the tear down. IMO, more damage is done to equipment by well meaning "rebuilders" than even years and years of useage.