What's new
What's new

Gorton 2-28 again. This time spindle bearings.


Jun 10, 2023
Hi all, was able to get the tool holder out, had to use a press against draw bar to finally get it out. Had to use a large amount of kroil and wd-40 to help loosen it and someone had mentioned that there's a good chance the grease had been washed out by now(if there was any after 50-60 years)

Would anyone have a good recommendation as to what grease would be a good fit for machine (Gorton 2-28) and long shot but does anyone happen to know the procedure for greasing the bearings? taking spindle apart? have never taken a spindle apart and cant seem to find anything relating to it with the gorton. main concern is preload and grease needed, id try to mark bearings and clock them the same.

Thanks for any and all advice.
I can't speak to the Gorton specifically, but if you are installing unshielded/unsealed bearings, manually filling the bearings about 30% full with grease is the general recommendation. Use a clean fingertip or small flexible spatula.
An aside comment, On a 2-33 master mill with a shallow #11 B&S taper, you never ever sucked a dry shank up in the spindle with the draw bar. That was automatically going to result in a day of hydraulic press action. I know this it controversial but a very light film of machine oil on very clean, burr free tapers and less than 15 pound feet of torque on the draw bar was required.
All the years we ran 9-J Gorton mills with no. 10 B & S taper in the spindle, we gently snug down the draw bar. Even at that, it would give us fits breaking the arbors loose at times.
One trick we learned was to loosen the arbor at the end of the day or at the last operation. And also, if the spindle was warm when changing arbors, to make absolutely sure to break the arbor loose after use. And always use a 6" Cresent wrench to tighten down to draw bar.
I have not seen any way to oil any part of the spindle on mine, could it have been phased out by then? I know that ill be removing the tool holders daily because just getting that first one out taught me enough to prevent it.
The next question is what would be the equivalent to the pate grease. And further could anyone direct me to good equivalents for the rest, i understand that one of them is now owned by mobil.
Last edited:
For spindle oil, we always used ISO 46 hydraulic oil or Mobil Veolcite oil. For the ways, use a way lube like Mobil Vatra 2, I think that's it. Correct me if I am wrong. As for grease, I prefer using two, one has molydisulphate in it, very gray in color, the other is Lubriplate 100 or 200 grease. A NGL 1 or 2 grade of grease will work for most of the stuff on the mill. I apologize for my spelling tonight. Ken
Ok that's much more available(and doesn't hurt the wallet as much) as the other stuff for sure.

Looking at the manual i found for the 28 the 2-30 is the same process for lubrication. I am new to mills and apologize for my ignorance but i see no system for drip oiling on my machine or anyplace it could have been, seems as every hole it has opens up to a large part of the machine, so nothing would be feeding oil to anything.

Is there a good rule of thumb for me to apply oil to it if mine is simply missing the oil system?


  • 394697511_3144431952518528_7740810471842135745_n.jpg
    132.3 KB · Views: 7
  • 394036938_673649564738552_8072902868203698310_n.jpg
    85.7 KB · Views: 7
  • 395158319_1002330194333166_2338288079730788141_n.jpg
    140.5 KB · Views: 7
I was also able to get the back plate legible enough to make out that the bearings in spindle are lubed for the life of the bearing, so I guess unless noise or runout become an issue I will leave them alone. I do however wonder if the drip oiling system was removed by last owner at some point.... I have had machine run sadly ignorant of the oiling needs for collectively about 30 minutes but ill stick with my hope of there being no issues.
Fifty years ago, there was no Kluber grease. Modern greases are far better than anything available back then. So on old iron, for grease I use Mobil 1 synthetic grease (the red stuff), available from auto parts stores everywhere. For oil, I follow posting #11.
Your mill has the exact brake on it and pulley arrangement as the last 9-J Gorton I had. For an old mill as yours is, it might be a good idea to take apart the spindle and clean everything and repack the bearings with the Mobil 1 synthetic grease. If your brave enough to do so. There's also a Mobil grease I use for certain spindle bearings that is a pale red or pink in color, want to say a SH200 maybe? I have to go dig out the tube from storage to get the number and I'm too lazy tonight to go do so.
Also, on the spindle quill, keep it lubricated with a light oil like a ISO 46 oil. If you don't it will get tight and seize up on you when moving the quill up and down. Somebody out on youtube beat the heck out of his 1-22 mill trying to get the quill out of the housing! Please don't do that!!! They can be removed by other methods and not destroy the accuracy of the spindle assembly on these fine mills.
I regard these mills as equivalent to a Pratt & Whitney jig mill, quality wise, maybe even better! When new.
I have had the spindle out once to remove the tool holder, but never been inside of the spindle. Is there any advice for taking it apart? from what I have been reading I should just mark the bearings and shim so I can clock the same way and that's it for anything special for reassembly? Is there anything you(or anyone else) does to determine if the mentioned mobil 1 grease is preferred or the possible sh200? If you happen to get the name of the grease you have used from mobil, please let me know.
If I get a chance, I'll look. My upcoming week is going to be extremely busy.

The spindle assembly has not changed much from what I've seen on the service manual between the two mills. The nut on the bottom of the spindle housing has a left-hand thread on it. Should be marked with LH on the nut somewhere. The original bearing class used on the bearings was class 7 bearings and the bearing size was no. 208's, in a DB mount, I believe it was. There are no spacers between the lower set of bearings. Just the DB arrangement. There should be witness marks on the bearings only. But there is a spacer between the lower set of bearings and the upper bearing, which I recall being a single row bearing. Your spindle may be different. There is a bearing nut on the top end of the spindle assembly. When removed, the spindle should drop out from the bottom once the lower bearing cap is removed. I want to say the bearing fit is no more than a half a thousandth interference for both inside and outside. It's been many years since I tore down the spindle of the one, I had, and I could be wrong. I don't recall beating it to death to remove the bearings or using any heat. A brass drift and a ball peen hammer is all I recall using. It didn't take much to get the bearings to move. Oh, The spindle is hardened and ground, be careful not to hit on it!

An old product line, magnetic drives - usually vertical - were used between a motor and pump as a means of regulating speed. The advent of the VFD essentially drove them out of production. These were anywhere from 100HP-2500HP in size. Also known as eddy current clutches.

Anyway...these used open ball bearings which were grease lubed. The problem was that most of these drives were installed in municipal plants, such as water wand wastewater pumping stations. That meant there were a lot of guys in the maintenance department with plenty of time on their hands. You'd go in those plants and the floors would be clean enough to eat off, not a speck of dirt anywhere. So these guys would also see fit to grease the bearings - not once in a while, but all the time and with plenty of pumps. After a few years, you'd get a call that the mag drive was acting up- usually overheating - and was being pulled to go to a service shop. Must be shitty manufacturing..! Of course, once they pulled it apart, the entire unit was full of grease from top to bottom....all the cooling slots and even the air gap was filled in with grease. The bearings, however, were in great shape.
Update: Took spindle out, did not mark where it mated in pulley due to me not doing it the first time due to not knowing to mark it (nothing looks to be worn or abused in this area so I'm holding out hope and will just have to make a test cut later to insure its holding good runout). Have run into a snag where the nut on the top of spindle will not budge( have bent the tang down already) and did try to turn it right as my manual says it is lh thread, after looking it over alot it is gummed up along the walls and around the nut real good. Letting it sit with some wd-40 and later kroil to see if that can help anything.

As for the oiling, I tried to remove the pulley to get a better look but might have stubbled upon where an oil dripper would be plumbed to while in the process. Issue is it appears to have a plug in it? It is under the pulley with almost a ridge.