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Wells Index 645 Head Removal Advice


Jun 4, 2022
Last week I bought an Index Wells 645 vertical mill. Im working on pulling the mill apart to get it cleaned, polished and repainted. I already pulled the motor and pully housing. I was going to try and pull the rest of the head off of the ram where these four nuts are. Two things. These pins are bent on the spindle crank. Are they supposed to be one solid pin that goes through the crank and has to be straightened to be tapped out or something else? Also if I remove these flat head screws from the spring tension cover abd take the cover off will the spring shoot out or does it stay put until I try to remove it another way? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



Oct 14, 2003
Kemptville Ontario, Canada
The best way to remove the head from a Wells mill is to remove it with the knuckle attached.
Remove the worm gear that tilts the head, then remove the 4 bolts that hold the knuckle to the ram. The head pulls straight out.
Once you get the head on the bench most of the other work is easier.
Rick, the former president of W-I, told me to be sure to use a hoist to remove the head, as it is very heavy.


(not sure why this is in bold ??)


Jan 25, 2005
Victoria, Texas, USA
The clock spring is behind the cover from what I remember on my 645 mill. It will stay intact unless you accidentally push it out trying to remove the shaft. If you pull that shaft without blocking up the spindle quill it may/will drop out the bottom of the housing. As Pete said, get the head off onto a bench so you can take things apart much easier without the fear of dropping out the spindle and smashing your hand/fingers in the process.
Please note the gear box assembly on the side of the head is very heavy when assembled. Mine was gutted when dad brought it home way back in time and missing unattainable parts that W-I did not have available or could make. So I had to resort to other options which have worked for my needs.
You will find this mill to be a nice addition to your shop. The only drawback, is using a right angle head with the mill. Will require making a bushing to accept a standard Bridgeport style RA head. W-I did make a RA head, I have one, and it is very wimpy and limited to its use. Ken