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ZX-45 Break-in data. (including temps and amperage draw).

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  • ZX-45 Break-in data. (including temps and amperage draw).

    Hello folks. I took the advice of some of you and went ahead with a dedicated break-in process for my Bolton Tool ZX-45. It's just another ZX clone if you're not familiar with the brand.

    I left it wired for 115vac instead of rewiring it for 230vac. I will end up rewiring it for 230vac soon. From what I understand the motor is just generally happier at higher voltages, especially the start circuit.

    I measured the actual table travel on this particular ZX clone myself. I was able to get an honest 10.75 inches by 22.25 inches. Well enough! This is just some "jsyk" dope about this machine.

    This break-in process was perfomed on March 15th, 2011. I started the process at about 2pm, and completed it around 2am that night. Inside the shop it was around 100f when I started and about 80f whn I finished. I used an inline amperage meter used to test the current draw of any load. And I used a Harbor Freight "Cen-Tech" handheld pyrometer (I think it was about 6 bucks). It REALLY reminds me of one of those "phaser units" that the original Star Trek tv series characters used. The smaller, beetle-shaped phaser that easily velcro'd to Capt. Kirk's belt. I gotta tell you, that little thing is pretty handy! (the pyrometer, not the phaser gun!). Some of the things we've used it on tells interesting things! (like how our sidewalk gets to over 175f in the summer!)

    Anyhow ....

    The ZX45 has two speed ranges (a hi and a lo) marked "I" and "II" on the front panel. It has three speeds (lo medium and hi) marked "L" and "M" and "H" on the front panel. It is also reverseable, marked "FWD" and "REV" on the main power switch. The results below will be labeled as such.

    Temps were taken at three points on the mill. Position "A" was at the very rear of the drive motor, at about midway up the motor. Position "B" was taken at the 3 O'Clock postion on the motor, about halfway up. Position "C" was taken at two points on the spindle.... one right outside the spindle bearing (I recorded the highest seen temps) and the second was taken with the pyrometer pointed right up inside the spindle (chuck adaptor removed/empty spindle) and I recorded the highest seen temps at that point as well.

    F/I/L 5.0 = Forward, Low range, Low speed, five minutes into the run. Got it?

    1.) Fwd/I/L (95rpm) 20.0 minutes = motor-118/138 spindle-97/100 amps-14
    1.) Fwd/I/L (95rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-145/150 spindle-98/101 amps-14

    2.) Rev/I/L (95rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-145/150 spindle-100/103 amps-13
    2.) Rev/I/L (95rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-145/154 spindle-102/108 amps-13 (note: the mill is much quieter in Reverse at this speed).

    3.) Fwd/I/M (175rpm) 10.0 minutes = motor-150/157 spindle-100/110 amps-13
    3.) Fwd/I/M (175rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-150/160 spindle-102/112 amps-13
    (note: the mill had been running for two straight hours at this point, it was also the hottest part of the day so it was about 105f in the shop by then. For the remainder of the break-in I placed a 20" fan about two feet from the drive motor to get some air moving around it while it was breaking in everything. I waited until about 7:30pm to resume the process, by then it was only about 81f in the shop. The cooler ambient temps combined with the fan blowing across the cooling fins on the motor helped a bit. I could no longer smell the paint on the motor when it was running!).

    4.) Rev/I/M (175rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-138/140 spindle-95/100 amps-11
    4.) Rev/I/M (175rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-135/145 spindle-95/101 amps-11

    5.) Fwd/I/H (310rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-135/145 spindle-95/101 amps-11
    5.) Fwd/I/H (310rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-138/148 spindle-95/101 amps-11

    6.) Rev/I/H (310rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-136/143 spindle-92/102 amps-11
    6.) Rev/I/H (310rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-135/141 spindle-90/100 amps-11
    (Notes: Reverse is quieter and smooter sounding in all speeds so far).

    7.) Fwd/II/L (450rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-106/116 spindle-78/88 amps-10
    7.) Fwd/II/L (450rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-117/127 spindle-79/89 amps-10
    (notes: It was 11:30pm when I got to this part of the process, pretty cool in the shop, approx. 75f).

    8.) Rev/II/L (450rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-122/132 spindle-80/90 amps-10
    8.) Rev/II/L (450rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-125/135 spindle-80/90 amps-10

    9.) Fwd/II/M (850rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-125/135 spindle-84/91.5 amps-10
    9.) Fwd/II/M (850rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-126/136 spindle-83/93 amps-10

    10.) Rev/II/M (850rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-125/135 spindle-84/95 amps-10
    10.) Rev/II/M (850rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-126/136 spindle-85/95 amps-10

    11.) Fwd/II/H (1500rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-127/137 spindle-93/110 amps-10
    11.) Fwd/II/H (1500rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-125/135 spindle-94/114 amps-11
    (notes: START CIRCUIT GOT STUCK! Right when I went to start the machine for test #11 it came up to speed but was GROWLING at me very loudly. The ampmeter was NAILED and it maxes out at 20 amps. Stopping, putting the machine in REV, and then stopping, and then putting it back in FWD made it "clear" itself. It did this little trick several more times throughout the break-in (I tried it in several lower speeds and it did "it" again once or twice). A call to Bolton is in order for a replacement motor or start cap, or centrifugal switch, er?)

    12.) Rev/II/H (1500rpm) 15.0 minutes = motor-115/130 spindle-95/112 amps-11
    12.) Rev/II/H (1500rpm) 30.0 minutes = motor-122/132 spindle-130/172 amps-11
    (notes: It did that start circuit issue again. Got it to clear up. Also note the spindle temps at the end of this run ... 130 outside the bearing and 172 inside! ... yikes!)

    END.) I put the machine in I/L (fwd and rev) and the motor was drawing 10.5 amps now. It started out drawing about 14 amps when the process began. Total run time for the break-in was approx. 6.5 hours.

    Before the break-in I filled the gearbox with Chevron Rando ISO 32 to just a a teensy bit above the red dot on te window. By the end of the break-in the golden hue of the oil had discolored a bit, but not as much as expected. It foamed very little even at 1500rm. I used a bright flashlight in the window to watch the fluid behind the level indicator percolate.

    Other than the electric motor's start circuit (or perhaps it's the fwd/rev switch acting up trying to put one leg into both fwd and rev all at once ... dnno yet) the break in went well. Tedious. It's most definitely quieter in Reverse than in Forward, no matter the speed settings or speed range used. The machine runs mondo-smooth. A glass of water set on the mill table while it was running barely produced any *rings* in the glass of water's surface at all. By indications so far, this particular mill seems to be one of the *better* ones off of the boat.

    This info is most likely just trivial, but I thought some of you may find it interesting, nontheless.
    I make messes.

  • #2
    Here's the link to the thread where some of you suggested the break-in process that I used here ...


    Farny ...
    I make messes.


    • #3
      Cool. I liked the current measurements and how they actualy droped a decent amount.

      I would suspect the starter switch itself (the one inside the motor) if the start circuit is 'sticking', Not sure how easy it is to replace those.

      Usally when its the cap, the motor won't start period and no amount of mucking about 'fixes' it, other then spining the motor up by hand then turning it 'on'.

      I recommend another oil change after break in, to be done ASAP after running the mill at top speed for 1/2 hour or so (Insures the oil and crud is well mixed)

      My mill and lathe the oil is still golden clear after a year, like the day it came outta the bottle, after the 2nd oil change. (1st change was before break in (stock factory oil = tarsand), 2nd change was after break in)

      Without all the combustion debrie like a motor does, Once you get the oil clean, it STAYS clean. And while nodoubt debatable, I think having nearly pure oil really reduces wear as theres no fine particles in the oil to act as laping compound on everything else, Knocking loose even more fine particles.
      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


      • #4
        Any Oil Is Good Oil

        Having spent a good part of my life repairing machinery that nobody oiled because they didnt have the ''correct'' oil. I say ANY OIL IS GOOD OIL.


        • #5
          I found the info interesting (and maybe even useful - I hope to get an RF-45 clone of one sort or another later this year)...