What's new
What's new

Van Norman 26 saddle removal


Jan 5, 2023
Hi all,

I am slowly tearing my VN26 down to eventually measure and scrape the whole thing. Cool project using laser scanning and AR equipment from my work. In the last few days, I removed the saddle, and it was a lot harder than I thought so I figured I would report back here with a few pictures for anyone doing this in the future.

The saddle is actually two pieces and I thought that I would be able to separate them and leave the bottom part alone since at this point I only want to gain access to the top bearing surface of the knee. I was wrong, there is a single screw that’s impossible to get to making it impossible to separate the saddle with all the shafts are still in the way… Sooo I had to remove a whole bunch of shafts and gears from the knee to free the saddle.

The X power feed shaft is the first to come out and then the selector shaft. nothing special to report.
1704927030003.jpegThe saddle lead screw on the other hand took me a while to figure out. It is held in place by a tapered roller bearing at the very back of the knee. To get there you need to remove the two idler shafts, the Y selecting fork and everything else that is on the lead screw shaft… There is a threaded bearing cap that need to be remove at the back and then you should be able to block the saddle with a piece of wood and unscrew the shaft (it is LH thread).
Just when I thought I was out of the woodwork I realised that there is another bearing at the very end of the shaft. I opened the little pocket on the side of the knee and a pound of rust and debris came out … The bearing was completely destroyed but the inner race was still on the shaft, rustwelded there. It was so stuck that I had to use the TIG torch to heat it until it was cherry red to punch it out… same goes for the weird keyed spacer on which the bearing rides. After that I was finally able to remove the lead screw from the knee.
From there removing the saddle the rest of the way is pretty straight forward.

If you are doing this keep in mind that all the gears ride on loose roller bearing and if you are not careful you can easily spill them in the depth of the knee. For peace of mind you could order a couple of spare roller I guess in case you loose a few, they’re all the same size 1” x 3/16”
Last edited: