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spindle bearings

john16

Plastic
Joined
Nov 13, 2023
long time lurker here. Im looking for my first "real" milling machine. i got my eyes on some deckel fp1's or a mikron wf1.

now i got one fear in those models, if the spindle bearings need replacement, im stuck because they run on part of the casting, why did they choose to do this? surely they knew that replacement would be impossible or extremly expensive.

I'm verry new to all this so maybe that fear is ungrounded but I want to buy something that will last me the rest of my life as long as my interest is there, and will get an average of like 2h max a week so a pretty easy life.
but i somehow still feel perplexed by this design.

I'm after these models based on size, budget is round 5k in the Netherlands.
 
As far as I have seen, other than little machines like aciera f1 you should find standard angular contact bearings in spindles of Swiss and German mills.
The loads and speeds of a manual mill are rather moderate, if needed you could use standard grade (high quality) bearings and it will work just fine and probably as accurate as the precision bearings of 70 years ago. That said I don't know of a lot of people who have needed to replace milling spindle bearings.

I would suggest you contact forum member Peter www.veltmanmachines.nl he usually has toolroom mills for sale and is knowledgeable about them.

Luke
 
if needed you could use standard grade (high quality) bearings and it will work just fine and probably as accurate as the precision bearings of 70 years ago.
see this would be logical, but any rebuild I have seen of those machines the bearings closest to the tool atleast have inner and outer ring as part of the casting somehow, and the rollers separate. meaning if part of the casting is damaged, you are pretty much done or you have to get a whole new spindle/head.

I have been with the gentleman at veltman, nice machines and the he was great. but at the end of the day he still has a motive to sell those machines.

I'm just a bit afraid of having a useless pile of cast iron if something happens (has happened) to one bearing....
 
Non-plain-bearing Deckel FP1 spindle needle bearings run directly on the spindle, and not the casting. The casting holds an outer race, because needles rolling directly on cast iron would have limited life. If the spindle race is good when you buy the machine and you take care of it properly, it should outlive you. I would verify that the bearing clearance, feel, and noise are OK when I buy the machine, and look for evidence of corrosion. Any FP1 needle spindle failure that I can recall was due to corrosion or other contamination, and would be been detectable without disassembly, so first-hand inspection is key.
 
Non-plain-bearing Deckel FP1 spindle needle bearings run directly on the spindle, and not the casting. The casting holds an outer race, because needles rolling directly on cast iron would have limited life. If the spindle race is good when you buy the machine and you take care of it properly, it should outlive you. I would verify that the bearing clearance, feel, and noise are OK when I buy the machine, and look for evidence of corrosion. Any FP1 needle spindle failure that I can recall was due to corrosion or other contamination, and would be been detectable without disassembly, so first-hand inspection is key.
glad to hear, what can you tell me about the testing?
my logical awnser would be

look for signs of rust on the top amd bottom of the spindle

test indicator on the inside of the spindle how much runout is accepable?

anything else can be messed up by a collet or something in the toolholder right?

run trough all feeds and speeds
all the table motions

maybe time to but one of those 1/1000th mm indicators 2nd hand.

and then see how i can get it on 220 with a new motor or vfd
 
Measure spindle runout, yes, but also radial clearance vertically and horizontally and axial clearance. Put a wood stick in the spindle and pull up-down and left-right with firm hand force. This will tell you a lot about the condition of the needle bearings. You'll need an indicator that can measure 0.0001"/0.0025 mm reliably.
 
long time lurker here. Im looking for my first "real" milling machine. i got my eyes on some deckel fp1's or a mikron wf1.
now i got one fear in those models, if the spindle bearings need replacement, im stuck
Your are walking where angels fear to tread. Much that works or goes bad.
You can get away with just pain murder here in 3 year
Here is the deal I tell mine. 30-40 years, works and runs without a touch or fix.
I am going to be way dead and I expect this grinder to be doing it long after.
 
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Measure spindle runout, yes, but also radial clearance vertically and horizontally and axial clearance. Put a wood stick in the spindle and pull up-down and left-right with firm hand force. This will tell you a lot about the condition of the needle bearings. You'll need an indicator that can measure 0.0001"/0.0025 mm reliably.
and what is accepable for such a machine?
 
Ok lets make things clear.
Deckel used three different setups for spindle bearings...
Early FP1's has a plain bushing (bronze) outer with a hardened spindle running against.
Relatively easy to repair, does not allow as high a spindle speed, must be run with a bit more clearance between bushing and spindle....
Most FP's were fitted with needle roller bearings. Needles run between the hardened spindle (directly) and the hardened Quill (directly)
Some repair/fitting for wear is possible, but generally this is work best preformed by a specialist who has a stock of the different sized needle rollers needed to get the proper running fit between spindle and quill....
NOTE: over sized rollers are graded in .001mm steps, not something you are going to find at the local bearing house.
Finally late model FP-NC's used angular contact ball bearings for the vertical spindles of the "Flip-Head machines.

Most of the needle roller spindles can be services by CAREFULLY cleaning and re-greasing....This setup, as Rich states above, is very reliable...Seems to be pretty trouble free except when exposed to moisture.
A clean spindle assembly test assembled with light oil should have about .0003-.0004" of side to side play measured between the spindle and the quill taken at quarters....
A finished assembly with fresh grease should have the end play adjusted to give .0001-.0002" of end play between the spindle and the quill....
Cheers Ross
 
Not so technical reply, but:
- a lot of Deckel's have been discussed here, some had way wear but I can't really recall any with a spindle that ended up useless after the TLC that Ross described. Most of the guys here have needle bearing Deckels in their workshop or homeshop, I don't think anyone took the spindle apart for examination prior to buying and we're all happily using our spindles :)
- 'buy something that will last you for the rest of your life'? Well, let's see about that, that's a hobby that doesn't let you stay put, you'll upgrade sooner or later, statistically speaking 🤣🤣
- Trust Peter Veltman, and if in doubt, trust him again.

BR,
Thanos
 
Dear John,
I have been with the gentleman at veltman, nice machines and the he was great. but at the end of the day he still has a motive to sell those machines.
Peter Veltmann is very experienced with these machines and has a reputation for being honest and taking responsibility. Peter has been an active member of this forum for a long time and done business with many of us. I am sure that he can assess the condition of the spindle bearings and that he won't mislead you about them.

Cheers,
Bruce
 
If the spindle and housing is still smooth No pitting, send it out to Singer for a rebuild
Very acceptable prices

and . Yes At the end I want to sell something
But I am one of the few which give a 3months warrenty on the machines I sell
If it brakes you bring it over and we fix it
That warrenty is at our shop though
Transport and risk of damage during transport is at buyers expence
I try to be as honest as possible to clients
Downside is that customers have their knowledge from the internet where they read that a spindle has to have preload............

Peter
 
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I try to be as honest as possible to clients
Downside is that customers have their knowledge from the internet where they read that a spindle has to have preload............

Peter
never meant to talk down on who you are or how you run your shop, and I people on here vouch for you all the better as is aligns with what I saw when I met you.

but we both know how honesty is treated these days on a sales floor, and I'm glad I atleast have an address where that's not the case.

I think I have all that I need to know thank you all!! I'm off checking AlfaGTA's post history
 
To OP:
Your goal is laudable, but..
Just buy a machine from Peter, as others said.

A singer rebuild can be 15-30k, depending on how good You want it, and stuff..
Afaik.

For about 5k, I cannot think of any better option, and a deckel will always have resale value, and the spindle can always get new bearings later.

If You actually needed new spindle bearings You would probably also want re-built or re-fit bearings and or mounts on both axis screws.
And or new screws.
Probably bigger handles for smoother feeds.
DROs.
Between quite a lot of money or very much money.

You can do any of this stuff yourself, on the deckel.
Learning how is likely to be a journey, but it´s by no means impossible or too difficult.
But it is some money and more importantly hours.

You can trade a lot of hours learning-how or trade hours for quite a lot of money, like for making the screws and the screw mounts.
Learning how, and why, is in many ways more valuable.
Or just buy high end precision screws, from Peter or someone like him, a reliable machine tool supplier.
A single screw and mount can cost you 3000€+.

There is almost no end on how extremely good stuff can be built for relatively little money in tools, with something like the deckel.
Astronomy stuff, and the first grating engine come to mind. Online, 2 english gents around 1970 iirc.
Ball sizing.
Lapping.
Gaging.
 
If the spindle is bad, the rest of the machine will most likely be worn to death. I am sure it is possible to just have a bad spindle but wear/abuse seems to be generally uniform from what I have seen.

I would suggest finding the best condition and most well equipment machine you can afford, in the long run that is the cheapest and most efficient option. The base machine is not the expensive part, it is all the stuff that goes along with it that really adds up.

As for bearings, the simple answer is to buy a Schaublin 13. They only use standard AC bearings. (and noisy straight gears, there are basically no new parts available, rather high prices but they do have a rapid travel on Z and X and standard tool holders)

As for dealers, of all the machines I have purchased the only misrepresented machines came from private parties. Established business have nothing to gain from dishonesty as their reputation is far more important than a few euros on a sale. You can of course find bad dealers but in general they are far less risky than private parties who likely don't even know what may or may not be wrong with the machine, never mind their potential dishonesty.

Luke
 








 
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