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  1. #1
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    Default Ice cream maker rebuild

    Thought y'all might be interesting in this set of pictures and discussion on how I went about rebuilding an ice cream maker head. Was a lot of work/hours but I had fun doing it and learned a few things along the way. That said this is certainly not the only way to go about it.
    At the end I have a few questions about bevel gears. edit make that in post #23
    This is what I started with, a 20 qt machine. I picked it up about a week ago along with a new bucket for a relative’s 15 qt machine. It’s made in Ohio by some real nice Amish folks, worth the visit.


    I’ll walk through this project in approximately the order I did it including some adjustments and improvements to the rest of the machine.
    I noticed the bucket had some gaps where the hinge bracket bolts on as a result of the holes being drilled and not clearanced so the wood can move with changing moisture content. Simple solution to slot the holes which conveniently enough needed to be done for other reasons, we’ll get to that.

    Last edited by Grigg; 05-27-2015 at 09:27 AM.

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    Then I addressed the hinge bracket itself, the ears/threaded bosses were noticeably not in line with each other. This is perhaps not the best picture to illustrate the extent of the problem…

    First I was able to just tweak the ears

    Now square to the shaft bore, much better.

    The second ear though I was able to get it tweaked parallel but not to share the same centerline with the first ear. Best I could do was cut it off and weld it back on. I must have forgotten to take pictures of the setup, a piece of about 1” channel to use as a crude V-block, which worked quite well. (I did tack it on once without a good jig and had to cut it off for the second try) I was also careful to weld it back on an equal distance from the shaft centerline, which was not quite a clean measurement.


    Also related to the hinge bracket are the bolts which were poorly machined (held by the head in a 3 jaw chuck and not centered at the end). I started with new bolts and also undercut the heads so they would fully seat, not by binding on the uncut portion. For turning the ends I drilled and tapped a short piece of rod, much like the bosses they fit in, to keep them from unscrewing while turning I used a boring tool from the back side with the lathe in reverse. (With light enough cuts I’m sure it would have worked turning more conventionally, the backwards thing is still a good trick to know about. )
    Old left, new right. Oh, and I rounded the heads so they’d look nice.

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    Next was a necessary little project. They don’t drill and tap the overflow hole because some folks might want them in a different location, I decided where I wanted it and drilled it 7/8, followed by pipe reamer and ¾” NPT tap. They use Thompson’s Water Seal Clear on the bucket so I put some of that in the new hole. Also modified a pex pipe fitting I had laying around to easily slip a 5/8” heater hose on for the drain.

    To keep an ice cube from plugging the drain they suggested a piece of screen, and even gave me one which I used on the 15 qt bucket. For this one I already had some stainless screen and found a few scraps laying around to press a nice little dome in it. TIG welded the loose ends so they’re not sharp mostly, also looks tidy.


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    Now for the real machine work. The gear housing as I got it had 3 or 4 aspects of it machined. The hinge holes were drilled, the shaft hole drilled, thrust surface for pinion was machined, and 3 holes drilled and tapped for the cover. Other than that all the other mating and wear surfaces were just “as cast”
    The cover was an easy setup, tap it around and indicate for best average and face to clean up, not worried about the bore yet. Also faced the thrust surface for one driven gear, and removed about 1/16” or so because I wanted to install a bushing later.


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    Then the housing, first was figure out how to set it up. I tried to reference the shaft bore but it was something like 1/16” over 4” out of square with the hinge and natural centerline of the casting. It was not quite parallel with the mating surface either (where the cover attaches) Finding that I made the decision to ignore the shaft hole (which was also well oversize) and reference off the hinge holes which luckily enough were nicely square with the natural centerline (long ways) of the casting. First though I reamed the two ~5/8” holes to mostly clean up and to be in line with each other, which they weren’t quite. (the new hinge bolts were turned to fit these oversize holes)
    A pin in the hinge holes is sitting on a V-block which gives alignment that way, and the jack adjusted for best average of the casting the other way. Later it gets another clamp. Also a couple wood wedges take up the slop between V-block and the hinge wings, but not enough to spring them.


    Here I have taken a light cut on the outsides of the hinge wings for three reasons. To establish the new centerline, to clean them up square to the hinge pin a little bit, and to allow them to fit between the stainless hinge bracket ears. (they were previously sprung into place and it did not move very easy) Also with an end mill I skimmed the thrust surface for the pinion which was not square to the old shaft bore nor was it square to my newly established centerlines. Additionally I took off as little as possible to flatten the mating surface, seen here with the fly cutter.

    The toughest part of this setup was turning the spigot where the inner driven gear runs. I did it with a simple boring head and a 3” long brazed carbide boring bar. The bar was ground mostly flat and square on the bottom end to allow spotting the bottom surface to establish a flat plane square to the spigot. Unfortunately I did not have a facing head so the bottom was done with care to come to the same depth every time and by stepping in about 0.025” at a time. The bar was turned around and the outer edge finished, it was actually convenient to have the rough cast surface in the center, less to cut and allowed me to use the boring bar I had, would have been too wide to clean the entire bottom. This was also difficuilt because I didn't have anything at all to measure the diameter (down in a hole), not even a small pair of spring calipers, and I already had a pre made bushing on hand. Was able to just sneak up on it and get it right, test fitting with the bushing.

    Done with that part…
    Last edited by Grigg; 05-27-2015 at 06:39 AM.

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    Darn, I thought you had exciting news on Blue Bell Creameries coming back to life!!!

    It's just an old hand operated or motor operated ice cream maker. I will say you did a cool job there.

    Thanks for sharing

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    Next up are the gears. I opted for the stainless steel gears over the zinc alloy ones, they too are completely and entirely unmachined, just cast finish and a little grinding to remove sprues and such.
    The two driven gears have a pilot and bore that register one to the other, this was a good fit already as cast and not really any extra metal available to machine and improve it. So these surfaces became reference surfaces as is. I also tried my best to reference the gear teeth as cast, taking a best average sort of so the gear appeared to run true. I'd never really indicated in a gear like this, much less one that had nothing machined or really good to reference.
    The first gear I have chucked on this pilot and skimmed the back side to clean up, as well as bored the inside to fit the bushing I had on hand that also fits the newly turned spigot. I also cleaned up a small portion of the OD just in front of the gear teeth, and the points of those teeth incase I needed to grip or indicate it later, but turned out I didn't need to. Later I make a thrust washer to fit\run on the back side.


    This is the second driven gear. In the first setup (not shown) I gripped it by the large diameter and indicated the gear in again best I could guess... In that setup I machined the tips of the teeth so I'd have something to grip on here and also skimmed the smaller inner surface that once turned around I can indicate from, also as seen here.
    Then machined to clean up the shoulder and mostly clean up large OD that pilots the gear.

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    At some point I was going to bore the shaft hole in the main casting and I needed to reference it from the hinge center line so the dog couplings would run true. Here I am measuring the center to center of shaft and the hinge pins, which comes out to 0.460", this I suspect should have been 1/2" but I decided to leave well enough alone, it'll function as is, and I'd had my share of fun with those hinge ears already.


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    Ok, now back to the cover that bolts to the main casting. My plan was to keep the main casting setup and bolt the cover to it, and using the same centerline as the spigot I'd bore the cover... but it wasn't nearly that easy.
    First problem is the bolt holes were no where near square to the mating surface.

    They were all over the place and more than 1/16" out of square over 1 inch..

    The solution was to drill them out and install Heli-Coils. First though I had to figure out where to drill them, and could I improve the situation any by fudging the locations one way or another. (they appeared to have no real layout; somewhat random locations)
    I turned a short socket head cap screw true to it's threads and used it as a sort of locating button. Screwed in snug I indicated the head at nearly the casting surface and noted those coordinates. (this step not shown)
    Second I tried to get a better idea how much they leaned. Screwed a tap in each hole and indicated true two places on the tap 3/4" apart, as seen below.


    With these three "centers" for each bolt hole I did some calculations, differences in locations on the two tap measurements and subtracted or added to the apparent location at the surface to get an idea where the center of the taped hole was in about the center of the hole depth. A best average location considering the lean and such. Then those best guess hole locations I looked at in comparison to the center of the casting and also compared the existing holes in the cover when the cover was placed nicely over the main casting... And factored the Heli-Coil tap drill size and how much I needed or wanted to remove all the old threads. A whole lot of measuring and head scratching and guesstimating and I had my 3 new bolt hole locations, here on my temporary note pad/scale cover. The one hole I was able to put on centerline some random radius from center, and the other two also reasonably random still, not the same height above and below centerline...


    Then used an end mill to bore the holes to size for the 3/8-16 Heli-Coil, and taped them.

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    Grigg:

    Thanks for the interesting thread about your ice cream freezer. Seems like you took what was usually a sloppy and loose kind of thing and turned it into precision machine work as best you could. Now the big question is: what will you drive your ice cream freezer with ? Some folks set up their freezers with restored hit-and-miss gasoline engines on a four-wheeled wagon. With as fine a job as you have done machining and improving on your ice cream freezer, what kind of engine will you drive it with to keep in step with the caliber of work you put into the freezer ?

    There is an ice cream company in Omaha, NE that has a small gold mine. They have a row of lineshaft driven wood-tub ice cream freezers churning away in their store, and make "custom flavors" of ice cream. I think their ice cream freezers were made in Massachusetts. Nothing so finely machined as yours.

    At Hanford Mills Museum, ice cream is made on July 4th. To make the ice cream, ice is drawn from the underground ice house (pond ice cut the previous February on the mill pond, and buried in sawdust from the Hanford Mills sawmill). The freezer is some newly built version of an oldtime ice cream freezer of the largest size. It is driven by a small steam engine (about a 4" x 6" engine) which is belted down to turn the freezer at the correct speed. It makes good ice cream.

    As I recall, the Hanford Mills ice cream freezer may be a White Mountains freezer, green wooden tub, and cast iron mechanism. It clanks when it runs, and seems like a loose proposition even when it was new. You took the ice cream freezer to a new level with the fine machine work you did.

    Do the Amish folks who made your ice cream freezer make ice-chipping machines ? This is our other stumbling block on July 4th. When I was a kid in the 50's, there were ice trucks that cruised the streets of Brooklyn on weekends. While everyone by then had refrigerators, the ice trucks came down residential streets on summer weekends to sell cake ice to people having family parties and barbecues. If you bought a 50 lb cake of ice, the ice truck driver would ask if you wanted it whole, split, or chipped. The ice trucks all had a simple ice chipper driven by maybe a 3 or 5 HP Briggs and Stratton Engine. The ice chippers were made by a firm in Long Island City, NY called Stimmel Brothers. The chippers worked handily and quickly chipped a 25 lb or 50 lb cake of ice in nothing flat.

    During the week, the ice trucks with their chippers made the rounds of places like fish markets, seafood restaurants, and similar where large amounts of crushed ice were needed each day. I've been looking for one of those old ice chipping machines for a few years now. It is like the ice trucks and Stimmel Brothers machine works all fell off the planet and left no further word. If the ice cream freezer was a rough piece of work, an ice chipper was probably even simpler. A cast iron housing with a hopper top, a couple of plain bearings in the side plates, and some kind of rotating set of teeth. We find ourselves chipping ice with ice picks and hand tools and a tiny hand-cranked ice chipper at Hanford Mills. It would be nice to have an old time ice chipper to belt off the same steam engine which drives the ice cream freezer.

    One of my neighbors has an old portable steam engine and boiler, along with a menagerie of hit and miss gasoline engines. He also drives his ice cream freezer with the steam engine, and, of course, blows the steam whistle when it is time for ice cream. Just as at Hanford Mills, there is as much fun and enjoyment in running the freezer and showing off the steam plant as in eating the ice cream. I am sure you and your family will have a lot of enjoyment with your reworked ice cream freezer.

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    OK, now the cover for the last time...
    The clearance holes for the 3/8" bolts were 1/2", which seemed way to sloppy for me. Also they did not use washers so the shoulder under the bolt head sort of fell into the hole and dictated cover location, which may or may not have been true to the gears. I wanted the newly Heli-Coiled bolt holes and bolt shanks to fit snug and do a reasonably good job of locating the cover. Not perfect but a good enough solution short of using dowel pins, counterbore in the large diameter and so on..
    First I reamed the 1/2" drilled holes out to 0.505" (I had the reamer already), then turned some bronze plugs for 0.0005" press fit along with some green Loctite. They were left long on top to clean up later.



    Then lined up the cover by eye and feel with the main casting and new hole locations, bolted two ears down and added a clamp. Then bored the 3/8" hole for the third ear, milled/spot faced the ear to clean up, and lightly chamfered the hole.



    This process I repeated 3 times and finally, finally, I was ready to bolt the cover on and bore the hole for the driven gear (and its new bushing).


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    Nice job on the main casting, Grigg. You had all the standard issues of fixturing a rough casting, plus had to clean up the previous machining.

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    One more setup for the main casting, this time to bore the shaft hole. Previously I measured the hinge bracket centerline offset so I'd know part of the location. Also remember I carefully welded the second hinge ear on the bracket and equal distance from the shaft center line. And I had skimmed the outside of the main casting hinge wings equal distance from center.
    And prior to tearing down the first setup I thought to lightly spot a place either end of the casting on the centerline, sort of like a connect the dots layout line if I ever needed it again.
    That came in real handy because this last setup I could do on the layout table with an angle plate, the height gauge, and those two center spots.
    Then the angle plate only needed to be indicated parallel with the table, and I suppose close would have been close enough, the nominal 1/2" offest from hinge wings to shaft center wouldn't have thrown location off much if not quite perfect lined up on the machine... I did indicate it in carefully, and also checked the vertical surface of the angle plate with the spindle travel, all was OK.


    Here's perhaps another little tip might be useful to someone. The grease hole makes for an interrupted cut and to try for a good finish and true diameter throughout I screwed a bolt in to plug the hole, makes for a less interrupted cut.


    Now this hole is nearly 3" long and I couldn't fit the large boring head in between the hinge wings, and a few inch longer bar would be a little too wobbly I thought. And any small boring head I had wouldn't take a large enough sturdy bar either.
    Luckily enough I had a 3/4" boring bar I had made many years ago, been real handy on several occasions. I took it out and figured I'd use it to rough out the hole, get it cutting all the way around and then figure out a way to use and end mill close to finish size, and or drill and ream.
    But the little boring bar cut so nice and perfect I decided just to keep using it not worth the risk of messing up the job with an end mill or a drill that might want to grab or what have you. In my apprenticeship running a horizontal boring mill among other machines I got real comfortable loosening the set screw and sliding a boring tool out for the next cut and some very fine finish cuts too. This job was real easy, (and a lot more fun than that bolt hole fiasco the night before, even if that worked out OK) I started and finished with the same bar, used a micrometer to roughly set the cutter for the first few passes (took about 0.090" out of the diameter to true up the shaft hole). Then for the last couple cuts I set up an indicator, moved the bar over to it, measured the bore, adjusted the cutter, and moved back to location for another pass.


    It left the most perfect finish in the bore, and I was able to finish to 1.000" within less than 0.0005", which was my goal; should I ever need to replace the bushing I could get a store bought one.

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    Thanks for the comments guys, and Joe I much enjoyed one of your stories yet again, I'll get to those questions tomorrow.

    For now one last set of pictures and I'll pick up the rest of the process tomorrow.
    Made a new bushing for the shaft, reamed carefully to final size with a nice adjustable reamer (lempco, my favorite kind)



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    Grigg,

    Beautiful work. Amazing what we will sometimes do for our own amusement.

    Could you make any money selling reworked ice cream machines at $1000 each?

    Would you want to do another?

    Paul

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    By far the coolest thing that I have seen done in the name of ice cream makers was at the Rib-Off last year when I seen a guy that had two makers hooked up to a hit-n-miss. Now THAT was cool right there - I don't care who'yarr!


    --------------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Moving along, finally the simple stuff.
    Bronze thrust washer for the back side of the inner driven gear, fits around the now turned spigot in the main casting. Turned, bored, and faced it and then parted it off a little heavy because parting rarely works as planned. However this one parted off a pretty as you please, I could have parted it to size... to get to final thickness I faced the remainder of the stock flat and put some double stick tape on, stuck the washer on, touched off and removed the difference in the thickness.


    How to remove the washer that is now solidly stuck, and not damage it? A good method is to warm it a little with the torch and then nudge, shear, it off with the back side of a tool and the cross feed.

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    I forgot the part about figuring the thickness for that thrust washer. I had faced the inner surface of the main casting 2.625” deep, and I knew the relative location of the shaft hole from that surface. The two driven gears after cleaning up and when assembled were 3.000” from back to back, and I figured another 0.010” might be a good additional clearance with the pinion centered in that 3.010" space. So some adding and subtracting came up with the number.
    A similar process for finding the thickness of the thrust bushing for the cover, I had faced the cover 0.625” deep from its mating surface.
    The cover bushing needed to be flanged, and I had plenty of bronze stock to make it from but absolutely no extra material in the ID of it. That called for some real careful indicating and adjusting the chuck so the ID ran best average of true. I had also not turned the OD of the gear hub as much as I wanted to to fully clean up, but as much as I thought I could get away with given the bronze I had, it was close. It turned out just fine with very slight areas nearly 180° apart. Next time though I could have done an ever so slightly better job by indicating, boring nearly to size, and then reindicating and adjusting for the then smaller areas that didn't clean up. That would be easier to see and find the exact low spots and work from those.
    Cutting off a piece to work with

    Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but it was easy enough to machine, like butter, and given the success with parting the washer I cut this one off right to dimension, turned it around for some little chamfers and called it done.


    I planned for a 0.0005" press fit and only managed a nice snug slip fit. So again some Loctite sleeve retaining compound will hold it in place, I'm OK with that.

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    Here is the bushing for the ID of the inner driven gear. I had an oilite flanged bushing that was close enough to machine the stuff to fit it, and then decided on the length and trimmed the flange off to suit, now just a plain bushing. Similarly I had an oilite thrust washer on hand that I trimmed so suit the back side of the pinion

    The following pictures are just better detail of bushings, gears and such.




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    A few more little details.
    I checked the alignment of the shaft holes in the hinge bracket and the newly machined main casting by inserting a solid 7/8” bar; that worked out very well. Also a picture of the couplings all lined up, much better than previously.


    More on those dog couplings. As they come there is no good way to unscrew them from the shaft. I had a pin spanner that was a perfect fit,just had to drill some holes in the side of the coupling halves.
    To make disassembly easier down the road I used some blue Loctite on the coupling end of the pinion shaft. It may seem odd that Loctite helps with disassembly but if the coupling comes of the shaft first with the help of the new spanner then it’d be real difficult to remove the shaft from the pinion with only a short threaded portion to grab onto. So if the coupling stays on the shaft the spanner helps remove that assembly from the gear, and easy to get the whole housing and gears apart.


    Back to the hinge bracket I thought it'd be good to make a plate sort of washer for the bolts. Perhaps not necessary but I like it, also added the acorn nuts; same reasons.

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