Nichols Milling machine questions.
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  1. #1
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    Default Nichols Milling machine questions.

    I have recently acquired a Nichols milling machine. 3 phase 1725 RPM 1 1/2 HP Master gearhead motor with a 744RPM output. I am sure someone on this forum has one identical to mine. Qustion is what pulley sizes are on yours? I have pulleys that are 2 step B size belts that are dual belt. Drive pulleys are 4" and 6.5". Driven or spindle pulleys are 11.25" and 13". The manual I have references a two step pulley for high speeds. These pulleys just don't seem like they are original to this machine. IMHO. Since I need to get a VFD for this machine what pulley arrangement would be used with the gearhead motor I have? If yours is run be a VFD what madel/make did you get? This machine is in great shape as there is hardly any wear. It even has the Longitudinal feed screww on the table. Need a couple of handles but no big deal. Was setup with air cylinders to raise the spindle automatically. Even has coolant tank but no pump at this time. Any help will be appreciated. A few pics to ponder.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 100_0832.jpg   100_0831.jpg   100_0830.jpg   100_0833.jpg  

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    Nice to see a Nichols show up on the forum again- been a while. The 2-step pulley was a standard option, along with a 5-step version. A vfd is definitely a win, I have a Teco-Westinghouse 2hp set up on my machine; I frequently use large slitting saws so operate with low frequency and the smallest sheave on the driving pulley. I went to the trouble of mounting the speed control pot in the start/stop button box, very handy to have it up there.

    My machine never had air drive on the feeds, I happened on one for the table but it was worn out past a likely repair so scrapped it. I use lever vs screw feed on the table about 50:50, the lever feed is a big win on the slitting saws, but not desirable for precision moves.

    Coolant is a big win if you're inclined to set it up, I use diluted Habcool which really helps the sawing in particular. The machines easily take NMTB and CAT40 tooling, needing a cap screw as drive key. OTOH tooling gage length is a concern- the table doesn't have much y axis so options like drill chucks are constrained.

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    Thanks Greg. This is the info I was looking for. I guess I will use the pulleys that came with the machine. A VFD will be ordered today. I can always get pulleys in the future if I cannot get the speeds I want with the pulleys I have. Thanks again Greg.

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    If you are inclined to disassemble the machine there are a couple things to be careful of. The table y feed nut is relatively fragile (cast iron) and prone to breaking of the table receives a reasonably strong impact. The dovetail locks are not highly effective; they work by the clamp distorting the dovetail half which works well until the dovetail wears then the clamp doesn't work as well so the operator tightens it harder and so forth. The knee dovetail is prone to cracking because of this. The dovetails can be milled back straighter, though grinding and scraping is more orthodox. If you find the table chatters or vibrates a bit, its a good sign the dovetails need attention.

    If you take the knee off, put a strap around it and the column to hold it up while you take the dovetail half off- the knee is very front-heavy so will fall easily if you're not careful- make sure the elevation screw is all the way out but don't let the screw come all the way out of the threads and smash back down while you do it... lol

    There is a sort-of manual here;

    http://pounceatron.dreamhosters.com/docs/index.html

    search for Nichols down towards the bottom of the page. Quite a few people use hole saws etc on this machines for mitering tubing- I've not done that but I do use weldon endmill holders, er32 and B&S21 collets, slitting saws, boring heads etc. I have actually never used a tradtitional horizontal mill arbor on mine lol.


    Greg

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    Greg sent you a PM.

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    Tommy,
    I have a set of 5 grove Nickels pulleys. You can have them you just have to come and get them. I don't want to ship them. I think I have a spindle and some other odds and ends you can also have. I am located in Rochester New York. If interested email me at [email protected]
    Dave

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    If you all will pardon me trying to spend Tommy1010's money, if tommy1010's mill is missing table stops and they are available, it would be good to have 2 of them. Production feed & retract to stops is very helpful, tho DIY stops are trivial to make.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tommy1010 View Post
    3 phase 1725 RPM 1 1/2 HP Master gearhead motor with a 744RPM output. I am sure someone on this forum has one identical to mine.
    Those are heavy, may seem to be archaic, but serious useful and gone so scarce as to be worth their weight in Copper if not Silver or even Gold.


    There is at least one PM thread that covered a teardown, seeing to cleanout, new bearings and sorting the proper lube for the gearbox. It all went well, IIRC.

    That may be buried in a thread about the mill itself and not necessarily Nichols, as they - ELSE similar Century or Lima integrally geared head motors - were used on several other small mills.

    The one for my Burke had sadly gone walkabout before I got it, and I am the worse for that. Treasure it! (your motor, not my sad Burke!!)

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    Docsmachine did a fantastic overhaul of his Nichols, including IIRC a new output shaft for the gear motor & found replacement oil seal for the gearbox. Mine leaks quite a bit... probably will work on that someday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Menke View Post
    Docsmachine did a fantastic overhaul of his Nichols, including IIRC a new output shaft for the gear motor & found replacement oil seal for the gearbox. Mine leaks quite a bit... probably will work on that someday.
    No fair adding ground cork to the lube, now! Close enough to PA that Quaker Oats is the go-to.


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    If I recall my Andy Griffith Show trivia properly, sawdust was used to smooth the transmission of a fancy car that Barney bought- which subsequently failed during a ride he and Andy took with their girlfriends. If I recall properly when they went back to the dealer Andy let Barney put a bullet in his gun.

    How come I can remember that stuff but can't find my boots in the morning?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Menke View Post
    If I recall my Andy Griffith Show trivia properly, sawdust was used to smooth the transmission of a fancy car that Barney bought- which subsequently failed during a ride he and Andy took with their girlfriends. If I recall properly when they went back to the dealer Andy let Barney put a bullet in his gun.

    How come I can remember that stuff but can't find my boots in the morning?
    That wasn't done just on TV. Had a long history when trading clunkers, back in the day.
    Coupla family legends about what a certain cousin had done with that and several more "backwoods" tricks.

    BTW never much watched the show, but Don Knotts was kin.

    GENERALLY.. we have been spared dirty tricks on machine-tools because the seller takes rather more enjoyment, and for far less effort in feigning ignorance rather even than a direct lie.



    As to the boots... there's an easy trick to sorting the footwear hassle. What yah do is simply......
    ?
    ?
    .. I'll have to get back to you in the morning ... when I have been forced to remember it...

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    What on offer from Dave Vincent. I guess a trip to Rochester is in order. The only way my wife will let me go is to stop at the new casino along the thruway between Rochester and Syracuse. Yes, she is going too.


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