Rulon... Am I nuts to think about DIY?
Close
Login to Your Account
Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    294
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    41

    Default Rulon... Am I nuts to think about DIY?

    Like 99% of them, my 9A has some bed wear near the chuck. More than a few, less than most. I don't do large work, nor much long turning, it's tight and I can cut to a thou diameter with the DRO. Spindle tir is near nil, there's little else it needs.

    But while it makes no real practical sense, I can't help but want to make it better.

    Totally crazy I'm not (just partially), and I'm wondering whether it would be somewhat practical to consider a professional bed regrind- and a DIY Rulon job on the saddle and tailstock, perhaps the headstock (? to follow)...

    Pros:
    Cheaper. My guess is that most of the cost of a professional rebuild is the labor in hand scraping/fitting. A professional bed regrind ensures that the bed is back to original specs or better. The saddle is small enough to be manageable on a mill for truing/taking down the v-ways, same with the tailstock. Simple crate for the bed, and ship it away.

    I'll dare to wonder out loud why the strips couldn't just be machined instead of scraped?
    A precision bed grind...and v-ways and flats that are also machined, why can't the saddle/strips be milled to the required thickness/clearance after being glued in?

    Heck, if the centers are dished out a tad so it doesn't rock- and I get it even within a thousandth it's far better than currently. Not sure whether it's practical to leave the ways under the headstock "as original" since I have no reason to suspect an alignment issue, and there's obviously no wear on those surfaces. I'd be shooting to bring only the saddle and tailstock back to factory elevation so that the apron ends up where it needs to be with no work needed.

    I'm sure I'm not considering something...gluing in strips and using a mill instead of hand scraping would be way too easy. If so, learning to scrape is a skill I'd like.

    Cons:

    Cost. Haven't priced a regrind (4-1/2') "only". I know a full monty is $5-$7k which would be insane. But a couple grand might be justifiable...

    Anyone that's done (or decided not to)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    Posts
    5,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2924
    Likes (Received)
    3254

    Default

    Contact these guys for a quote. They can do it all. Schmiede Corporation | When Precision Matters
    or cash masters who is a member on PM or A & D Machine Tool Rebuilding, Inc. | Machine Tool Rebuilders, Way Machining and Hand Scraping, Turcite and Rulon Application
    Or Member Steve Watkins in Texas. You can look for Cash and Steve names in the Machine Reconditioning forum as they contribute there often. Steve had the post "The Beast" in the Vintage Machinery forum too.

    A student who took the GA class sent his Monarch EE to a SC rebuilder who ground the bed, Ruloned the saddle and ground the top of saddle/crosslide. They did an OK job but the saddle wasn't square to bed and we had to rescrape the Rulon.
    PM me and i'll give you the students name. If you only turning close to the chuck you could twist the bed so it will cut straight. We just discussed this in another thread. Talked about the 2 collar test that member Abomb has on You Tube. We have discussed this in Reconditioning forum several times. Aligning the Tailstock to Headstock is easy once you have the training I offer during my classes. Steve Watkins is hosting a scraping class in Navasota TX in February. You could send him the machine via truck prior to the class and he could plane it so you could work on it during the class. He has a post in the other forum.
    Rich

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    moscow,ohio
    Posts
    4,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    403
    Likes (Received)
    1141

    Default

    Yes, you are nuts if you try to learn on your own to scrape Rulon. Cast iron you can but Rulon is finicky stuff and way too expensive to learn with.

    Suggest you learn to match fit simple CI blocks to get some basic idea and then take Richard's class.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    10,383
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    31
    Likes (Received)
    7714

    Default

    There's no way. You're talking about $2,500 minimum to regrind a bed, build up with Turcite, scrape Turcite and cross slide. For a South Bend 9A?

    Just find a better lathe.

  5. Likes Monarchist, moonlight machine liked this post
  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    306
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    7
    Likes (Received)
    82

    Default

    Think about it this way: you have a lathe that seems to be perfectly acceptable for doing what you want to do. Now you're talking about messing with it in an attempt to get it back to "factory new" specifications using methods which you do not fully understand. I'd say the chances are just excellent that you'll end up with a lathe less accurate than the one you have AND one that you would never be able to sell to anybody who knows anything about the machine.

    If you can't stand the thought of the bed wear, keep that lathe as a pet and go find a nice new "Chi-Com" lathe that will be pretty accurate and pretty straight. It might even cost less that what you're proposing.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    294
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    41

    Default

    Appreciate the advice
    However, I still do not understand why the Rulon can't be machined to achieve the desired thickness, rather than scraped.
    If one can mill out the v-ways, and the flats precisely- it's known what thickness needs to be to get back to original bed height. Why can't the saddle be placed back in the mill, indicated precisely and the Rulon milled to what's needed??

    I understand the obvious need for scraping if the bed is not ground.
    But when it is, I don't see how it's different than a newly manufactured machine.
    I doubt that a run-of-the-mill chicom machine is scraped in....they just assemble the parts.

    With all respect to those answering, I'm not asking for advice to buy another machine. I'm asking a specific question regarding the feasibility of milling a Rulon saddle to fit a precision ground bed. I'm looking at this as assembling precisely ground and milled parts....If it can't be done, p!ease explain why and what I'm missing?

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    moscow,ohio
    Posts
    4,049
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    403
    Likes (Received)
    1141

    Default

    You don't machine it to desired thickness Because it's insanly expensive.

    You VERY carefully machine the saddle(or wherever you use it) to accomodade the thickness of the Rulon leaving a couple thou that you finish by scraping.

    You don't waste Rulon.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    10,383
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    31
    Likes (Received)
    7714

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tobnpr View Post
    However, I still do not understand why the Rulon can't be machined to achieve the desired thickness, rather than scraped.
    If one can mill out the v-ways, and the flats precisely- it's known what thickness needs to be to get back to original bed height. Why can't the saddle be placed back in the mill, indicated precisely and the Rulon milled to what's needed??
    It can and it is. Typically, the saddle would be machined true to accommodate a known thickness of turcite or rulon. In other cases, the trucite or rulon is also machined after it is glued.

    However, you still have to scrape. The bed ways are the master. You cannot measure or machine accurately enough to match the saddle to the ways. It has to be scraped to match. Even a brand new machine in a factory still has to be scraped. Not much, but it does have to be done.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,318
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4392
    Likes (Received)
    3738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tobnpr View Post
    ...asking a specific question regarding the feasibility of milling a Rulon saddle to fit a precision ground bed. I'm looking at this as assembling precisely ground and milled parts....If it can't be done, p!ease explain why and what I'm missing?
    "Economics" is what you are "missing" - even refuse to admit the harsh reality of.

    Technically, it "can be done".

    It just doesn't make any more sense than "milling" a concrete footer to build a house atop of when what works well-enough is to build a form and JF POUR it, set block in MORTAR to align.

    In a similar manner, you'd be wiser to use a pourable Moglice and have to carefully set up the saddle - and on a very good mill, BTW - ONCE, not TWICE, and even then, only for "enough" clearance to accommodate its minimum thickness, nowhere near as precise a cut as Turcite would need.

    Not that ANY of it is worth much of a damn if you do not FIRST at least "make" the bed straight and true by some means you can actually afford in time and money, not the "free" price of online rationalization or wish-fors.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    Posts
    5,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2924
    Likes (Received)
    3254

    Default

    If you have the time and money you could grind the bed and I think I could talk or write in this case how you can improve your lathe. We helped Pete from England a few years back how to scrape the ways on his table top mill online. It ended up being a super long thread, but he ended up with a better machine. His first one as he now is rebuilding machines for a living I believe.

    My assistant Lance B at the recent GA class has taken 3 classes so far and he lives in Gainsville. I bet if you live close he could help you. Edgar W lives near Panama City and he is also a 3 class student and has been my assistant in 2 classes and I bet he would help too.

    I would not recommend using anything thinner then .032" and then mill it and scrape. I would use .047" plus .003 to .005" glue line. I think the first thing you need to do is measure the error in the bed.

    How much error or taper are you getting now? What are you looking for as far as spec when your done. And what are you getting now? Have you aligned the bed with a level to be sure the bed isn't twisted.

    Everyone look at it as a lesson. There is a couple of simple methods to test the bed after it's aligned, not the best one; 1) feel for the South Bend ridge. That's at the top of the Male V up under the chuck, if you can catch it with a fingernail. Get a depth mic and measure it. The ridge is original way as the saddle doesn't hit that area. 2) Dismantle the tailstock and file and stone any dings under the chuck and along the TS ways. Under the chuck the TS ways are original and the far right side is too 90% of the time. Then crank the saddle to the far right end of the bed. Set the TS base on the TS ways under the chuck. Take a mag base and a .0005" or .001" indicator on the bed ways and indicate them by slowly moving the TS back. Check all of the ways and use a sharpie and write down on bed what you get. Then let us know with a photo please.

    Another option we can talk about is Rulon can be ground too, if you have a surface grinder using double face tape. We can discuss this later. Also you could Moglice the bed. Rulon is so simple to scrape. If I were you call all the local machine rebuilders and see what their p/h rate is, if they have a planer or grindr to grind the bed. Check with the people I mentioned before. Many small town rebuilders shop rate is 1/2 of what big town rebuilders charge. I know Steve Watkins has a super low rate compared to A&D. Do some homework and lets see what we can do for you. Rich

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Virginia
    Posts
    8,318
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4392
    Likes (Received)
    3738

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    I know Steve Watkins has a super low rate compared to A&D.
    +1 Really.

    A decent planer clean-up is all a SB bed actually justifies. They MOVE too much, and too easily to justify the set-up costs of a high-grade regrind that can hold a tenth of a thou per foot.. or BETTER .. on a seriously stouter and more rigid bed & base.

    A SB is what it is. A LIGHT lathe. VERY light. Easier to MOVE than a heavier lathe, mostly.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    marysville ohio
    Posts
    8,289
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2353
    Likes (Received)
    5177

    Default

    Treat that thing like a sore dick, Don't f*ck with it!

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Country
    UNITED STATES
    State/Province
    Florida
    Posts
    294
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    4
    Likes (Received)
    41

    Default

    Rich,
    Thanks so much for taking the time to share your expertise. I've watched a lot of videos, including Adam Booth's taken at your class. I guess, I'm one of those guys that still likes to take pride in perfection of my work (to the extent I can, lol). It's NOT about trying to turn this into something it can't be- it's about making it "better". If I'm told it ain't gonna happen by someone with your expertise, then so be it.

    I thought that a professional regrind, with DIY final fitting might be a balance between cost, and acceptable results.

    I use this lathe for (rifle) barrel work, which is possible because of the 4-1/2' bed.
    As we all know, no wear at the far end- which is where I work. Former old-timer owner used it for wood working- and also apparently didn't believe in oiling the ways under the tailstock and used it enough to cause a light ridge, nothing major. Had to shim the tailstock .015ligned in X and vertical axis with a two foot test bar, and is within .0002, quill is tight and deviates very little on extension and clamping pressure, at most .001. Bed is dead nuts with a 6" Starrett.

    On measurements you asked for- wear ridge on front way (no ridge at all on back way) measured vertically at 90 degrees best I can "eyeball" is about .025 down from the top of the vee. Mic reads approx .003 depth butted up against the ridge, which gradually disappears at about 18" from the chuck.

    I'll disassemble the tailstock this weekend when I can get some downtime with it. Plenty to stone there, as it looks like the prior owner liked to drop the chucks...
    So, I'll set the Noga on the tailstock base- but I'm not clear on where to place the tip of the DTI to map it. I'm assuming on the outside of the front vee, but where? Just below the ridge line?
    Last edited by tobnpr; 11-15-2017 at 07:41 AM.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    Posts
    5,499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Likes (Given)
    2924
    Likes (Received)
    3254

    Default

    You can check there and near the bottom too, inside way and outside. I usually check the center of the way as it averages the test. If you watched the Keith Rucker You Tube show on the 2nd & 3 rd class we did. He mills the bottom of the saddle and we Rulon'ed it. Also milled the cross-slide and scraped it. He did not grind the bed as it wasn't so bad for the spec he needed. It's a bigger Monarch with a hardened bed so we figured dismantling and sending the bed out for grind wasn't worth it. He figured he could file the work if it cut bigger near the HS end.

    After you test the bed, you will have to decide if it's worth it for your machining needs. Like I said if you want to learn, we have a few openings in the Houston Class we are having in February. Rich


Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •