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Possible surface grinder tool gloat?

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  • Possible surface grinder tool gloat?

    I was rudely awoken at the ungodly hour of 9:00am this morning, and informed that the local Borough auction had some goodies I might be interested in. And there were, indeed, a few goodies- a giant Rockwell bandsaw (think Do-All) with built-in band welder (went for $550) a couple of small drill presses that went cheap, but both needed work, a monster planer, a jointer, that sort of thing.

    After wandering for several minutes, I found lots I might want, little I needed, and even less I figured I could afford. Then, back in a corner, I found this:



    Which even included this vacuum/coolant module:



    I've been wanting a surface grinder for a while, but they're rare as hen's teeth up here. This is only about the fourth one I've seen for sale in about three years of looking.

    But, you sharp-eyed types might notice what I noticed- those strips in the tray are the bearings the table is supposed to ride on. Why are they there? Who knows. Are the ways damaged? Who knows. Did I buy a pig in a poke? Who knows.

    I bought it anyway. $400 all up. Too much? Maybe. I hope not, of course, but I figure worst comes to worst, the 6x18" permanent mag chuck (which works) might be worth a hundred to two, the motor and spindle might be worth something, the coolant tank could be adapted to nearly anything, etc.

    Naturally I hope it doesn't come down to parting it out, but I figured at worst, I wouldn't take too horrible a soaking.

    Now, dare I ask, can anyone tell me about Republic-Lagun? All three motors (all 3Ph) have "Made in the USA" tags, but the grinder chassis says "Made in Spain". I'm vaguely familiar with Lagun, and I see that they're still in business, but I also imagine this particular machine probably dates back to the eighties. (I haven't found a date or model number tag yet.)

    Was it a good machine, a so-so machine, a merely adequate machine...? Not that I'm going to need to split tenths, I'm more just curious if there's any "known issues" with this brand or model.

    Does Lagun still carry parts? More importantly, would they still have wheel hubs- and on that same note, would this model use a hopefully-common hub similar or identical to some other brand?

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

  • #2
    The table runs on bearings? hmmm...never heard of such a thing. My old 1951 model G&L just runs on the ways.

    Comment


    • #3
      yep. he's got a ballway machine. Not sure I'd have paid that for it in that condition but he has seen it, we haven't. I would clean it immaculately and assemble it if the parts look OK. Then you can tell what you have. It may just be dirty , it may need work. Go from there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Lagun handles some good stuff,call it up-market import.

        Ball ways are fairly common,the balls and cages are probably out because somebody tried to lift the machine by the table.The ways should be hardened tool steel and replaceable.

        It could have gear rack feed or cable feed,or friction feed,regardless of which type gravity is what holds the tables on.

        Wheel arbors should be standard fare,try the usual suspects,KBC,MSC,Ebay.Machinery's should have the dope on what size taper it has.

        It still has the wheel dresser,or at least most of it,so that is a plus.

        The coolant setup is real nice,that one vacuums up the mist and reuses it.I am jealous of that feature.
        I just need one more tool,just one!

        Comment


        • #5
          The Wheel Hubs will be 1 of the 2 standards most likely.

          As for the Ball Bearings and their holders - Sorry Doc, looks like they have gone to the Big Surface Grinder in the Sky.

          Was wondering who the Chinese were knocking off when they built the Kent Surface Grinder. Where is the hydralic switch supposed to mount also? Should be right there in front of the table

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          • #6
            Adapters should be here for sure!

            http://www.wmsopko.com/adapters.htm

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by wierdscience
              Ball ways are fairly common,the balls and cages are probably out because somebody tried to lift the machine by the table.The ways should be hardened tool steel and replaceable.
              -I'm hoping you're right, that it was just a table-lift SNAFU. The 'replaceable' part sounds nice, if true, though I'd wager the replacements will cost twice what I paid- if I'm lucky.

              It still has the wheel dresser,or at least most of it,so that is a plus.
              -Which doesn't move, I don't know why.

              The coolant setup is real nice,that one vacuums up the mist and reuses it.I am jealous of that feature.
              -That was one of the things that sold me on it. I already have entirely too many grinders spewing grit into the air, and while the machine room is reasonably separated from the main shop where the welding and grinding takes place, I still worry about gunk in the air.

              Only one other surface grinder I've seen had coolant, and it had a vacuum as well. (Though I don't know if you could run both, as this one appears to do. It was set up when I saw it, for vac only.)

              If this setup will let me use it without filling the air with grit or mist or both, it'll be worth it.

              As for the Ball Bearings and their holders - Sorry Doc, looks like they have gone to the Big Surface Grinder in the Sky.
              -Not that I disagree, but why do you say that? The strips and balls are dirty, but not rusty- as above, I suspect they were popped loose when they tried to move it specifically for this auction. Assuming they haven't rusted (and I know it won't take much) is there any reason I can't just wash them off (clean solvent) wash off the ways, re-lube everything and set it all back together?

              I mean, I know a lot of surface grinders are picky, and it takes a near-perfect setup to split tenths reliably, but is there another reason they shouldn't or couldn't be reused?

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Doc,others here may disagree(nah,not here),but I view coolant as an absolute necessity on a surface grinder.Workpiece heating is the enemy of precision grinding.

                The last vaccum I saw apart it was just a centrifugal fan.It sucked up the mist and slung it onto the sides of the fan scroll after which it ran down into the reservior to start all over.Very handy feature,eliminates fog in the shop

                The ball cages can most likely be reused and the balls can be replaced cheaply with some common as dirt grade 25 bearing balls.

                Things being stuck on grinders is common,grit gets in the nooks and crannys and then dries into concrete like formations.
                I just need one more tool,just one!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Get 'er grinding

                  Doc,

                  I generally agree with the others so far.

                  Its unlikely that the ball "ways" will be worn to the extent that they will have too much of an affect on accuracy after you take a "true-ing" cut over the magnetic chuck after it is re-assembled.

                  The ball "ways" are usually two ways - one front and back - with balls "captive" in a brass/bronze strip "cage" - as yours seems to be. One way will probably be a "cut-in" "Vee" top and bottom and the other with a "vee" and a "flat".

                  The twin vee guide/way keeps the table tracking straight and supports one side of the table. The other "flat and vee" way/guide will have the vee way to keep the balls in line and a flat on the other so that the table is actually constrained laterally by just one "vee" while also running on a "flat". The principle is the same as many lathe saddles and tail-stocks except that the grinder - being under less load and having a lot less friction - runs a lot "smoother".

                  I'd fit new balls. They are quite cheap - even the higher grade ones - and readily available. It is essential that all balls in each "way" be the same. But they may be different in/for each way.

                  The "true-ing" cut will sort out and reduce or perhaps eliminate any other errors.

                  If you do have to or want to dis-mount the chuck, mark its position on the table first and put it back there. It is quite accurate. If you are "super-fussy" - take another facing cut. I've never had to.

                  Quite often surface - or many - grinding operations are more about removing "hard stuff" than they are about super accuracy or super finishes. Its all a "judgment" call.

                  You may not use any grinder very often, but when you really need it you will be very pleased that you have it.

                  A surface grinder can perform a remarkable range of what many may regard as only being able to be done on a fully-fledged tool and cutter grinder.

                  All it needs is a bit of thought and ingenuity and you have plenty of that.

                  McGyver is very good and as good as I've seen in that regard.

                  I hope it all works out as you hope for.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                    -Not that I disagree, but why do you say that? The strips and balls are dirty, but not rusty- as above, I suspect they were popped loose when they tried to move it specifically for this auction. Assuming they haven't rusted (and I know it won't take much) is there any reason I can't just wash them off (clean solvent) wash off the ways, re-lube everything and set it all back together?

                    I mean, I know a lot of surface grinders are picky, and it takes a near-perfect setup to split tenths reliably, but is there another reason they shouldn't or couldn't be reused?

                    Doc.
                    Should be able to as long as the Table was lifted (plywood supports to take weight off ball bearings) when it was moved and there are no pits or flat spots in the Balls.

                    It looked like the cages were bent up a little in the picture. But considering the cost of precision ball bearings (less then $25) why fuss with it. If the cages are bent up and restrict movement of the Balls it most likely will be transmitted into the finish of the work piece.

                    Same with "Out of Balance" Wheels, wheels with slightly enlarged arbor holes, and any other vibration in the wheel or the table. PM had a great thread on surface finish where the guy finally checked the tightness of the nut clamping the mag-chuck to the table. Finger tight - and it only took 2 trips out to the facility from the factory tech to diagnose the problem - LOL

                    Forrest also had some great information on how to dress the table befor mounting the mag-chuck and dressing the mag-chuck with the wheel.

                    And yes - Flood Coolant is a MUST - wheels won't work right without it

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'd fit new balls. They are quite cheap - even the higher grade ones - and readily available.
                      -Not a bad idea. The local bearing shop has a good selection. Tried to lift the table off, but it's got a toothed belt drive I'll have to get out of the way first. Couldn't see much of the ways, lots of gunk, hopefully it's mostly grease.

                      If you do have to or want to dis-mount the chuck, mark its position on the table first and put it back there.
                      -I'll have to clean off the table, first. I pulled the chuck, and it's pretty rusty under there. Not "ruined" rusty, but clearly more than the day or two it was outside could account for (meaning, most likely, from the coolant.)

                      The face of the chuck cleaned up nicely with a bit of WD-40 and a fine stone. There's one wheel-divot and some careless-handling dings, but otherwise in fine shape. Works well, too.

                      What are these bolts on the backside?



                      Just fixturing attachments? A place for a flexible way cover?

                      It looked like the cages were bent up a little in the picture.
                      -Sort of. The "cages" appear to be strips of teflon, and are quite flexible. They don't appear damaged, but again, I'll need to clean them off for a thorough inspection.

                      Forrest also had some great information on how to dress the table befor mounting the mag-chuck and dressing the mag-chuck with the wheel.
                      -Can you dredge up a link or two? I'm not sure what to search for other than "Forrest" and "surface grinder", and while that gave me some interesting reading, it didn't seem to show what you mentioned. Or was that on PM too?

                      Next question: In leiu of popping the wheel off at the moment, can anyone ID this hub from this pic?



                      It strikes me as very similar, if not visually identical, to the one the local college's K.O. Lee used, but of course I'm going by memory and can;'t compare them side-by-side.

                      Once I get the thing off the truck and safely ensconced in the shop, I'll yank it and get some measurements, but I was just wondering if it struck anyone as a particular brand or style.

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JoeFin

                        And yes - Flood Coolant is a MUST - wheels won't work right without it
                        No it's NOT.
                        Coolant is nice to have - if you have it, but it's not a necessity and has no bearing whatsoever on how the wheels work. The coolant clears debris and keeps the work temperature down.
                        Our toolroom runs 3 6x18 J&S 540s and none have coolant. My press toolmaker (whom I bought my 540 from) has 8 540s, and none of them run coolant. Probably 90% of the toolroom grinding on this size machine that I have seen over the past 35 years has not run coolant.

                        However, both also have a J&S 1011 (12" x 24") and these are used for 'hogging' in grinding terms - 0.005" cuts on largish plates, and in this case they do run coolant when doing long grinds.

                        Peter

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Doc Nickel
                          -Not a bad idea. The local bearing shop has a good selection. Tried to lift the table off, but it's got a toothed belt drive I'll have to get out of the way first. Couldn't see much of the ways, lots of gunk, hopefully it's mostly grease.



                          -I'll have to clean off the table, first. I pulled the chuck, and it's pretty rusty under there. Not "ruined" rusty, but clearly more than the day or two it was outside could account for (meaning, most likely, from the coolant.)

                          The face of the chuck cleaned up nicely with a bit of WD-40 and a fine stone. There's one wheel-divot and some careless-handling dings, but otherwise in fine shape. Works well, too.

                          What are these bolts on the backside?



                          Just fixturing attachments? A place for a flexible way cover?



                          -Sort of. The "cages" appear to be strips of teflon, and are quite flexible. They don't appear damaged, but again, I'll need to clean them off for a thorough inspection.



                          -Can you dredge up a link or two? I'm not sure what to search for other than "Forrest" and "surface grinder", and while that gave me some interesting reading, it didn't seem to show what you mentioned. Or was that on PM too?

                          Next question: In leiu of popping the wheel off at the moment, can anyone ID this hub from this pic?



                          It strikes me as very similar, if not visually identical, to the one the local college's K.O. Lee used, but of course I'm going by memory and can;'t compare them side-by-side.

                          Once I get the thing off the truck and safely ensconced in the shop, I'll yank it and get some measurements, but I was just wondering if it struck anyone as a particular brand or style.

                          Doc.
                          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.

                          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. The nut in the center is probably left hand. Sopko sells a puller that makes it easier to get the wheels off. You will also want to get a couple of the spanner wrenches if it didnt come with it. They have a socket end that fits the center nut and prongs to fit the hub nut.

                          Looks like you have a standard cartridge spindle. Should say on the motor end who it is. That may tell you what the taper is. I think mine is an old Pope.

                          -Jerry

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                          • #14
                            It wouldn't hurt to check on the availability of the balls and cages from the OEM. I replaced them on an Okamoto grinder and the two sets were pretty reasonable. I think the toothed belt cost a good deal more than the balls and cages were. The cages were two pieces bonded together and came already assembled, drop in replacements.

                            Take a good look at the ways to make sure there are no marks. If the table had been bouncing around or dropped, there may be peen marks from the balls. Maybe they removed them before trying to move the machine, maybe not.

                            Kevin

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Standard taper adapter

                              http://www.wmsopko.com/catalog.php3?pagelist=7-70

                              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!
                              Last edited by Glenn Wegman; 09-27-2009, 08:41 AM.

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