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Mazak Hercules-Ajax; Parts available?

I've read the threads I can find on the forum about Mazak manual lathes, and they seem to be very well regarded. Are parts readily available?

Trying to decide between a Pratt and Whitney Type C (12 x 36), a larger Mazak Hercules-Ajax(18 x 78), and a Monarch C series (16 x 30 or 18 x 30).
The Mazak is by far the newest, has a taper and some tooling, and has seen the least use. I'd really like the length of the Mazak, and unless parts are tough to get, this seems like the right direction, if the vendor will come back to earth on the price. A lot of the parts I make are only a few inches long and are relatively small diameter (1" - 2") - is a machine of this size cumbersome for smaller parts? (i.e will I need to replace the crappy 12 x 36 import I have now with a proper small lathe?)

Also, with a DRO for a machine that long, is there any special consideration when ordering the scales? Does error accumulate over the length of the scale, or is a 78" scale with 0.0002 stated accuracy as reliable as a 36" scale with the same stated accuracy?

Thanks for any advice.

Martin
 

CalG

Active member
I have not seen sources for Mazak parts

I have had a Mazak Ajax Herc.lathe for over 20 years. This one is smaller than the one you are considering. So far, I haven't needed any parts ;-)

When I first got the tool, I wanted to replace the cross slide nut.
The quote from Mazak based on machine serial nr. was only a few thousand dollars. I guess it was not something on the clearance shelf.

Funny, that old nut is working just, fine even after all these years ;-)
 
I have had a Mazak Ajax Herc.lathe for over 20 years. This one is smaller than the one you are considering. So far, I haven't needed any parts ;-)

When I first got the tool, I wanted to replace the cross slide nut.
The quote from Mazak based on machine serial nr. was only a few thousand dollars. I guess it was not something on the clearance shelf.

Funny, that old nut is working just, fine even after all these years ;-)

Thanks for the reply Cal. Your response both gives me confidence about the quality of the machine, and scares the crap out of me from a cost of repair point of view.
Turns out the vendor has 2 Mazaks - the 18 x 78, and an 18 x 72 that is 10 years newer and shows 1/4 the amount of wear on the ways. The machine was not under power, so I will need to make a trip back to see it run. The headstock sight glass appeared empty (1 1/2" diameter glass looking through what appeared to be perforated stainless plate). Both were the same, so maybe it's not an oil level indicator? Seems like cause for concern - what do you think? Run it and see what it sounds like?

Any chance you have a manual that you could email a copy of - if you wouldn't mind?
If so my email address is martinb9 (insert the connecting at symbol)
gmail.com

Thanks,
Martin
 

CalG

Active member
I have no literature

But that does not keep the lathe from working! ;-)

IF I were looking at a machine to purchase, I would bring along a few hand tools.

The top cover comes off with 4 cap screws. Have a look!

Actually, when I first powered up this machine, there WAS something loose in the head stock. A drive gear for the feed, simple tightening of a set screw was needed. I purchased at auction, and there was no time for complete inspection.

This head stock has an oil pump with filter. The sight glass is just to witness the oil flow. There is a level window on the apron however.

Oh! Certain head stock gears are noisy! Seems to be common, don't be alarmed. There are a couple gear pairs that are better, I fitted a VFD and often use the "quiet set" of gears and control spindle speed with the VFD. Seems to work. I usually run between 30 and 90 HZ so there is a good range of speeds at hand (240V motor on a 440 V VFD allows constant V/Hz beyond 60 cycles.)

My lathe is a 16X48 or so, so they may be different.
 

kpotter

New member
Mazaks are nice but that is a big lathe for small work. I had to make some new gears in the apron and a new half nut for a big mazak that had been run to death by a mining company, mazak had the parts and they were insane thousands of dollars. that lathe had been so abused and mistreated and it still ran, they are great lathes.
 

ken moss

New member
I was told that mazak no longer supports there manual lathes and all the parts that where on hand whent to scrap I may be wrong. ken
 

jhruska

New member
Mazak Hercules we had was a pretty good machine.
Some repairs:
Oiler for the apron/ways runs on an eccentric. Mounted on the left side of the apron. The plunger will hang up. O-rings are metric. I think there is an open space between the back of the apron and the bed of the lathe. Crud gets in from there and the automatic oiler jams.
Headstock oil pump had to be pulled to replace a bearing for the pump shaft.
One gear in the headstock had to be replaced.
Drawbacks:
Crummy steady rests rather than roller rests.
Two tub system for chips. Never put a coolant system on the lathe. An 'Old Guy' ran the lathe and the parts were always good.
Nice lathe but clumsy for small parts.
John
 
One foot in the pool

Well it's at my shop. The vendor took a post dated cheque (check) and is giving me time to clean it up and go through it to make sure I'm happy with it. If I ship it back (at my cost) he gets a much cleaner lathe thats been tuned up a bit, and I get my cheque back.

Pics

http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd483/martinb92011/Intheshop.jpg
http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd483/martinb92011/Checkingtheways-1-1.jpg
http://i1222.photobucket.com/albums/dd483/martinb92011/Gapremovedandcleaned.jpg


The lathe is actually a Mazak 16. It came with 3 jaw, 4 jaw, collet chuck and +/- 20 collets, face plate, steady, follower, a couple of tool holders, taper attachment, tailstock, trav-a-dial, micrometer carriage stop and a few dead centers, plus some stuff I haven't figured out yet.

The cross slide is sloppier than I thought. I pulled it apart and cleaned the gib and the ways, greased the end bearings on the lead screw, lubed it and reassembled it. Even with the gib snugged down, there's as much as 0.003" of motion measured in line with the bed of the lathe at the compound pivot, in the most worn part of the cross slide. I'm not experienced enough to know how that'll effect accuracy, but I have some concern. The headstock bearings feel amazingly smooth. Hopefully that's a good sign.

My electrician will be here Monday to switch it over to 220V so I can run it - then I'll know better what I have. Meantime I'll keep going through it and see what's what.

Need to find a chuck for the tailstock (looks like MT-4) if I keep it, as well as more toolholders, or maybe I'll put and Aloris QCTP on it. If I keep it, I'll put a DRO on it, which looks like an expensive proposition given the 72" bed, and 11 1/2" cross slide.

Thanks again for all the feedback.

Martin
 
I'm sending it back. Too many issues, including a burned up (literally) transformer and associated wiring in the control panel, >0.001 TIR on the spindle, >0.003 TIR on the collet chuck, and some nasty noises from the threading gearbox. Too bad as I was really excited about the lathe.

Thanks again for all the help.
Martin
 

CalG

Active member
Martin

Too bad about the machines condition.

That unit is very much like the one in my shop. That is, the headstock is the same, hard to tell exactly from the photos. Your experience makes me glad for mine....

Good luck in your search

Cal
 
Round two

I must be a slow learner, because I'm trying this again. I found another Mazak 16, about 550 miles from here, and went and picked it up yesterday. The machine is untooled, and does not include the metric (or any other) change gears or a follow rest. According to the previous operator of the machine, the main motor needs a new bearing, but generally the machine seems in ok shape, and should serve my needs well. Hopefully I can get it unloaded tomorrow, and under power by mid-week. I'll let you know how it goes.

If anyone has a line on a set of metric change gears, please pm me. I assume I'll need to make some, or have them made for me. Any suggestions who will do one off gears for less than an arm and a leg?

Martin
 
Cal,
Heh - who doesn't need a big shelf near / on the lathe?
What oil are you running in the headstock? Where do you get filter elements?
Martin
 

CalG

Active member
I run Tellus 32 Last year I put a bit of Lucas "motor honey" in the head to try to quiet down the gear gnash. Didn't do much.

My oil filter is a stack of thin metal plates. Nothing to buy or replace. Disassemble, clean out the black stuff, and it's good to go another 30 years.

The apron is filled with Vactra #2
 

CalG

Active member
Tellus may not be.. I have had no need to purchase a new tub for many years. I would use just about any good hydraulic oil. Lately, UTTO (Universal tractor transmission oil) has been looking pretty good. I am NOT a "recreational oil change" kind of guy. Keep it clean, top it up.. IT's just OIL!

Cal
 

EJHanson

New member
Re Oils

I wondered what type of oil to use in a Mazak that I have. Ended up considering the Transmssion Drive Train Oil from the Caterpillar Dealer. I am using 50W TDTO because that is what the drives of hydraulic excavators use around hear.
The Cat TDTO is specifically used for gears and bearings in differentials, planetary, and final drives.
 

CalG

Active member
that CAT lube might be a bit thick in cold weather.

If you look in the head stock, there is nothing there that would require the duty service of a diff., or final drive.
 








 
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