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Possible surface grinder tool gloat?

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  • #16
    Courtousy or Forrest Addy / PM forum

    Here's from Cincinnatti before they added Millicron to the name. Their techs were in the shop to overhaul the columns and head of the 35 x 36 x 192 surface grinder. This was their advice as modified by my experience.

    Whenever you remove the mag chuck you really should give the grinder a good cleaning. For removing the crud from the T slot you can't beat a screwdriver and a small brush with a little solvent. Once you get it spandy clean, go over it with a scotch brite pad and then stone the flat where the chuck goes. Wire brush the hold down hardware. Clean and wash off the bottom of tha chuck then stone it.

    Clean the coolant system going over the hoses, valve and spout. Empty the sump and remove the sludge. Clean and check out the tramp oil skimmer, the separator etc for proper operation.

    Once everything is clean, the splash guards looked over and doctored where needed, the paint refreshed, etc, it's time to put it all back.

    If you want to keep the T slot from filling with crud make a key (not a T shape) to fill the slot just short of flush with the table surface. Cut it to length to fit between the nuts leaving extra to fill the remainder of the space between the T nut and the end of the slot. Allow 0.002" clearance. Drill and tap for a jacking screw at each end and plug with a short setscrew installed with a stiff grease to hold it.

    Obtain a can of LPS 3. This is a metal preservative that actively surpresses rust. It's far more effective than grease under a surface grinder chuck. Make sure all is clean. Spray all parts, the machine table and the bottom of the chuck with LPs and assemble while the preservative is still fluid. Preassemble the T nuts and the keys. Pack any accessible space with stiff grease. Install the maag chuck. Align the chuck with the table so the stops are parallel with the table motion. Spray the table hold down hardware. Snug down the chuck and re-check. It will take a while to expel the excess preservative and grease between the chuck and table so don't be too quick about grinding the table. The next day should be adequate.

    Don't overtighten the hold down bolts. Ordinary torque for a grade 2 bolt should be adequate. It's possible to spring the table slightly from over-torquing.

    After a day or so for the chuck to settle in regrind the chuck face.

    Simple but laborious.
    First thing, if there is a way lube system, make sure it is in good working order. Unless the ways are kept "wet" you will never get accurate results.

    After installing or repositioning a grinder, chances are the chuck needs to be ground in. Make sure it is securely clamped to the table. Select a very soft grit wheel with an open bond. Warm up the spindle and "excercise" the table and saddle a few minutes to make sure the way lube is distributed throughout. Dress the wheel to clean up its face completely.

    Turn the magnet on. This will replicate any internal stresses on the chuck from its own clamping force. Ever so gingerley touch off on the chuck, and take no more than a few tenth at a time, rapidly traversing the table in both axes. Continue until the surface is cleaned up.

    Redress the wheel, and allow any heat in the chuck to dissipate. Touch off again. Smear the magnet face with a coating of Crisco vegetable shortnening !!! Yes, this is in lieu of flood coolant, which you probably dont have. Continue with a rapid final grind, with a cross feed nearly equal to the wheel width. Reverse the feed and traverse back over the magnet. Done.

    Position the back rail so it leaves approx. 1/32" gap above the table, and tighten it down. Hand-dress a relief on the back side of the wheel, so there is a little "hook". Flip the dresser on its side, and dress off the tip of the hook to make a little flate. Remove the dresser, and bring the wheel down to just above the magnet. Bring the cross-feed in until the wheel touches the rail. Slowly feed the table so the face of the wheel cleans up the rail. Feed in one-tenth as needed until the rail cleans up. You should see a nice cross-hatch pattern on the rail. Done.
    Last edited by JoeFin; 09-27-2009, 09:25 AM.


    • #17
      Originally posted by macona
      The hub looks like a pretty typical 1-1/4" hub. Sopko makes all sorts and you wont know what you have exactly until you get that one off.
      Most surface grinders use a standard taper: 3.000" TPF with a 1" large end. That's standard Sopko model 200 wheel adapter. Another common standard is 3.5" TPF, 1" large end (Clausing, Covel, etc).

      I have no idea what Lagun uses.

      But the big issue is the condition of the spindle bearings. The majority of the surface grinders and/or tool and cutter grinders you find at auction are there because the bearings are shot, and it doesn't make financial sense to put a new set of $300 bearings in an old grinder.

      Macona's surface grinder is a good example.

      If you can power the machine on, you can tell almost instantly if the bearings are in good condition. If you can't get power to it, like this one on a pallet, the best you can do is turn the grinding wheel by hand and see how crunchy the bearings are.
      Last edited by lazlo; 09-27-2009, 09:53 AM.
      "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


      • #18
        Originally posted by macona
        There is a rail that bolts to the back side. Mine is T shaped and it is ground on the machine to be parallel with the travel of the ways.
        -Ah, yes. I have seen that.

        You will also want to get a couple of the spanner wrenches if it didnt come with it.
        -What you see is what I got. No parts, no wheels (other than the mounted one) no tools. They even helpfully cut a couple of the cords for me.

        Tools are easy to make, though- I'll probably try to whip up a static balancer too.

        The cages were two pieces bonded together and came already assembled, drop in replacements.
        -This one has two strips with teeny screws holding the two together (to capture the balls.) I was considering calling up Lagun to see if they had a manual or parts diagram, or a list of what replacement parts they carry. See if they have hubs, too, though I'd wager those are probably $100+ each, new...

        Here is an adapter puller I made. Worst part is getting the swarf out of the internal threads in the adapter so the puller will screw in if it has not been removed in quite some time!
        -That's about what I figured. I have a selection of motorcycle flywheel pullers that are pretty much identical except they use a hex rather than the T-bar.

        On the swarf bit, why not mill some "thread restorer" style slots in the threads? That way, after a quick brushing, the puller will help clean it's own mating threads.

        Or maybe a cover? A threaded cap? Probably turns the wrong way, and could add balance issues...

        If you can't get power to it, like this one on a pallet, the best you can do is turn the grinding wheel by hand and see how crunchy the bearings are.
        -First thing I did when I spotted it.

        Spindle turns smoothly, no detectable-by-hand wobble or shake, no 'ratcheting' or clicking. 'Course, I won't know for sure 'til I can power it up and/or run an indicator on it, but at least it wasn't obviously and noticibly damaged.

        Though again, surface grinders are, as I said, somewhat rare up here. Two of the previous ones I saw for sale went for several thousand- one was a B&S hydraulic model with a $7K (firm!) asking price- and the Craigslist ad was taken down in about a day and a half.

        I kind of figured that if I could get this thing running for less than $1K, I'd still be ahead of the game. Heck, even the little Sanford grinder I saw, was asking $1,200.

        Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


        • #19
          Boy, these things just fall right apart, don't they?

          Got it off the truck, which was kind of a trick seeing as there was absolutely no way to put a strap on the thing, except for maybe wrapping it around the spindle, and I didn't want to do that.

          But once down, I got the table off, sort of. I probably didn't use the 'proper' technique, but it worked. As noted above, it does indeed have replaceable steel rails for ways. They were pretty gunky with old grease and a fair to middlin' trace of grinding dust, but no peening, dings or dents, at least not in the roller ways.

          In these pics, I'd already wiped down the ways and ran the roller slides through the parts washer. It's just a preliminary cleaning to assess condition, for the moment.

          The balls look okay, though up close there's some fine scratches. But again, no obvious rust, no pitting, no scoring, no dents- at least on a quick check.

          That black spot just to the right of center isn't a dent, it was a speck of grit that probably came from some of the gunk still trapped in the "race" strip.

          The ways have a fairly uniform line running down the Vee:

          It appears consistent from end to end, and it's very fine. I can't feel it with a fingertip, it doesn't catch a fingernail or "scribe" (I used a piece of aluminum welding rod filed to a point) and doesn't show when straddled with a short straightedge and lit from behind.

          I may still do as recommended and replace the balls, but I'm relieved the ways look pretty good. Actually, everything looks good, apart from being filthy-grungy. Too bad I can't just get a spray bottle of Simple Green and a pressure washer...

          Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


          • #20
            Next quick question: The ways aren't fed by this machine's "one shot lube" pump- or at least, if they are, I can't yet find a delivery passage.

            When I go to set this table back together, what sort of oil or grease should I use? Way oil? Simple axle grease?

            Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


            • #21
              Machine looks to be in decent shape.

              The table balls and cages just any good grease that won't cake/dry out/chaulk etc.I have had good luck with disc brake slider grease from the local car parts.Permatex makes it,it's thin,clear green in color and never dries(at least after five years on a T&C grinder.It also won't take much and not very often.
              I just need one more tool,just one!


              • #22
                Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                When I go to set this table back together, what sort of oil or grease should I use? Way oil? Simple axle grease?
                I'm not sure this helps, but some kind of light-weight way oil.

                My Harig has a hydro-dynamic ways, where an oil pump floats the table ways, so they have a proprietary blend of No. 1 way oil with a ton of tackifiers in it. They warn that if you try to use conventional No. 1 oil you'll have problems with stiction, and I've seen posts on PM where folks tried to use No. 2 way oil, and it was like trying to feed the table through mud.

                But for a ball-way machine, I'd guess a No. 1 way oil. I'd bet if you post on PM, someone will have the manual for it.
                "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did."


                • #23
                  Well, I don't think stiction will be too much of a problem on a ball-way machine... But looking at the pictures I took, it strikes me that most of the crud and buildup I wiped off was more swarf than grease, so I'm thinking the oil may be more correct than an actual grease.

                  I need to see if there actually is a feed line from the one-shot oiler. That and see if I can dig up a manual.

                  Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


                  • #24

                    I have a surface grinder, a tool & cutter grinder and a universal grinder - all with ball ways under table on the the "X" ways/slides. Two have rack and pinion drive, and the other a cable drive. The cross slides are all vee and flat ways with a lead-screw. All have a conventional round or dove-tail column with a screw drive.

                    As most have similar components as a gear-box, I use a good high-pressure hydraulic oil on everything - and it all works well.

                    I have no power drives on mine so I have a real incentive and interest to keep "drag" down as far as possible - and it does.

                    I run my slides through their limits and clean and re-oil them after and before use each time I use it.

                    My grinders are in a hobby shop and never ever get anything like a "commercial" load or duration of load that a "commercial" or "production" shop would.

                    Thrash, bash and hogging are not in the lexicon in my shop.

                    Treat that machine with TLC and you will be well rewarded Doc.

                    Nice find.

                    Nicer restoration though!!


                    • #25
                      An update, for anyone interested: Finally got a corner of the shop cleared away enough to start placing, levelling and reassembling this badboy.

                      Still a ways to go before I can light it up, but at least I have my pallet jack and car bay back now.

                      The vacuum/coolant tank had the Sludge From Hell in it. Took half a gallon of gasoline, followed by half a gallon of Simple green to soften what the gas couldn't dissolve, and the assistance of an 11HP pressure washer to get it clean.

                      Turns out the ballways have their own "oiler" in the form of two remote grease nipples on the back of the table. The tag says (in mild Engrish) to 'please give about ten pumps every few days' or some such, and says I should get more information from Page 17 of the manual.

                      I figure I'll use a fairly thin grease. Anyone have any recommendations?

                      Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


                      • #26
                        Do they specify grease, or oil?

                        The Nichols mills threads have gone back and forth over the same thing, and it turns out they recommend oil and not grease in the zerks.

                        Grease may be too heavy for this application. Even oil can cause some grief for you on a small surface grinder. The pressure oilers can "float" the table on the cross-slide ways. This causes no problems if you are aware of it because it will settle back in rather quickly, but it's not a good idea to oil between finishing passes.



                        • #27
                          Our Okamoto ball way grinder recomends a very lite grease. The machine came equipped with a tube of it and you were suppose to relube it every so many hours of use.


                          • #28
                            The tag only says "grease", and specifies "about ten pumps"- then refers to the manual, which I don't have.

                            I thought the same thing about the Nichols 'grease', as I have a Nichols. I was under the impression that calling that kind of heavy oil a 'grease' had dropped out of favor by the time this grinder was made (blind guess, mid eighties to early ninties) but that's just my uneducated impression.

                            The smut I mopped out of the grooves when I cleaned the raceways was kind of in between- oily but also a little pasty. Was it grease that'd disassociated, or was it oil that'd dried a little?

                            The one hint I can see is that the ends of the ballway channels have a bit of a gap to the bed casting. An oil would run out of these and drip on the floor, whereas a grease would 'fill' the channel and get up to the balls.

                            As I said, I figure I'll go for a light, thin grease. Something that won't cause too much stiction, but will still be thick enough to stick and stay.

                            Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)


                            • #29
                              Grease/ Oil

                              My Burke mill has fittings that look like grease zerks, but are for way oil. If you are going to use grease ask around for "cornhead grease" it is a good deal lighter than regular gun grease. Made for the colder weather a corn combine gets used in.

                              I would say try way oil first, if it works OK you are set, if not use grease. It is much harder to clean the grease off everything to try way oil.



                              • #30
                                Originally posted by gunbuilder
                                Doc, My Burke mill has fittings that look like grease zerks, but are for way oil.
                                -The Nichols has the same thing; zerks everywhere, but they don't all get the same gun.

                                The spindle is supposed to get a bearing grease (unless you have the "high speed" spindle, which gets an oil) while most of the rest of the table/knee gets an oil- but either way, it's applied with a grease gun through a zerk.

                                I'm kind of mixing it a bit: I modded a trigger oiler with a grease gun connector, to pump oil into the ways. Turns out it doesn't quite have the oomph to push oil into the passages very easily, so I'll have to mod a grease gun like Greg did, one of these days.

                                But for the moment, I use oil on the sliding parts (table and knee ways) but grease on the rotating parts (spindle, knee crank shaft, table handwheels, etc.)

                                For this grinder, I'm using the usual Vactra way oil in the one-shot oiler (which does the spindle vertical ways, the saddle ways, and the cross-feed screw) but as above, I'll be looking for a light, thin grease for the ballways.

                                Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)