Heald 273A Hydrostatic Ways
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    Default Heald 273A Hydrostatic Ways

    We have recently added a Heald 273A in the shop. It's in very nice shape, as far as I can tell. The machine is early 70's and has low hours. The hydraulic unit appears to have been replaced at some point, it has a Vickers unit now. I filled the tank with iso32 oil, pressure is around 150 psi, which is correct I think. The table moves freely and the hydraulics seem to be working correctly, but oil usage seems excessive. It loses a good deal of oil into the coolant. We are new to these grinders, so what is normal oil loss? I was expecting some, but it puts a gallon or so a day into the coolant. I know there are some members here with lots of experience on these machines, so any information or tips on this grinder is welcomed.

    Thanks,
    Kevin

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    A gallon a day ? no way. It's supposed to just run back down inside. Maybe check for places it's leaking ?

    In general, the oily parts are below the table, while the scenic water features live above, so how is the oil going ^up to get into the coolant ? Over-oiling the back way or the drain slots are plugged, so the oil is overflowing down into the coolant drain pan in the back ?

    That table would be a bitch to take off, it's a good thousand pounds ...

    btw, 150 psi ? Do you have a manual ? Sounds pretty high to me ... the main piston has leather cup seals, I can't imagine them working at that pressure ? And no need for it on the table, the pressure just creates a film on the ways, up that high seems like it would be spraying everywhere ...

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    I can actually see the oil running down the gutters on the table. Most of it appears to be coming from the cross slide ways.

    We do have a manual that I have been referring to, and since the machine had been in operation at another (now closed) shop, I sort of assumed that it was in operating condition.

    The oil usage is a slight bit better (the oil pressure was set at about 250 psi and I backed it off to 150), but is too much still. I tried lower pressure, but table movement is erratic. As you say, the table looks to be damn heavy, and I would rather not take it off unless absolutely necessary. I have ground a part on it, the machine is working as I would have expected and is very accurate. Stepping into unknown territory here though, I have no experience with Heald grinders so I really appreciate the reply!

    Kevin

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    If you are loosing a gallon a day, is the return to tank blocked? Or blocked off? We have one of these at work and haven’t had oil to coolant issues. We have had coolant to oil issues, which we suspect comes from the coolant drain under the table cover on the left hand side at the back blocking up with swarf and overflowing into the oil space. This is on the main casting. I guess if the oil return is blocked the opposite could be happening.

    The hydrostatic ways on the cross slide could be leaking back somehow also. There is a hole in the table under the cross slide that allows oil to drain back. I guess if this was blocked, or the cross slide unit as a whole was repositioned and the hole ( it’s a reasonable size hole/ slot) was blocked off this could happen.

    Will be curious to see what you find.

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    I spent a little time checking the machine over today. The majority of the oil appears to be from the cross slide,I can see where it's actually draining down the carriage t-slots and out the coolant drain. There is enough on the right side of the cross slide that it actually fills the t-slots and overflows onto the carriage way cover.

    I tried to locate a drain in the carriage to see if it was blocked, but I haven't located it. The oil is coming out the t-slots from under the cross slide and not from the ways, if that makes sense.

    The oil appears to be fed to the cross slide by a hose on the right side of the carriage, where exactly is it returned?

    Thanks,

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeby View Post
    I spent a little time checking the machine over today. The majority of the oil appears to be from the cross slide,
    Can you get a manual ? The cross slide needs almost no oil, it barely moves, not like the stroking main slide. That sounds totally wrong, on the earlier ones pretty sure it only had those cups with the felt thingies in them.

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    Those machines used to have a drain hose that drained back to the tank. Call these guys and get some help as they rebuild and service them in the states. You are being redirected...

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeby View Post
    I spent a little time checking the machine over today. The majority of the oil appears to be from the cross slide,I can see where it's actually draining down the carriage t-slots and out the coolant drain. There is enough on the right side of the cross slide that it actually fills the t-slots and overflows onto the carriage way cover.

    I tried to locate a drain in the carriage to see if it was blocked, but I haven't located it. The oil is coming out the t-slots from under the cross slide and not from the ways, if that makes sense.

    The oil appears to be fed to the cross slide by a hose on the right side of the carriage, where exactly is it returned?

    Thanks,

    Kevin
    There is a hole in the table underneath the cross slide unit, with I guess a corresponding drain hole on the cross slide unit. If you remove it you will see it. It’s possible a return gallery is blocked on the cross slide itself somewhere. You could try with a light and a mirror on a pole to see underneath the table from the right hand side.

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    It turns out that the drain through the table wasn't blocked, but misaligned. I was trying to avoid removing the cross slide assembly from the machine, being under the impression that it had been running at the previous owners shop. I was looking more at what could have changed to cause it to lose oil after being moved.

    The suggestions to check the drain had me looking at the parts diagrams again, and on the page listing the overall dimensions of the machine is a little note saying "10" max. adjustment" between the front of the table and cross slide. It was just over 11" on the machine. Loosening the cross slide and moving it back to the left where it belonged took care of the oil leak.

    Thank you all for the replies! I will be checking into the link you posted, Rich. We have another Redhead spindle that came with the machine that will need some adaption.

    Kevin

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeby View Post
    We have another Redhead spindle that came with the machine that will need some adaption.
    ? Is it the correct style ? Normally you just swap them out according to the wheel speed you want to run. Unless you've got one of those zoom-golly-golly really high speed ones.

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    I'm not sure about the spindle styles.

    I have been trying to sort out the different styles and types, but haven't had much luck there. The parts and service manuals we have list different risers and gibs for different spindles, but nothing really about the spindles.

    They are both dovetail mount, the one on the machine is supposedly original to the machine. It is 14,000 rpm permanently lubed.

    The other spindle is an older one, 7,500 rpm and oil lubricated.

    There is a 3/8" difference in the spindle centerline height between the two, and a very slight difference in the dovetail width, the low speed being the shorter and narrower one. I think it is a 51-1, but I will have to look. I think the pulley is wrong also, it looks as though the spindle will turn 9,100 with that setup.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeby View Post
    I'm not sure about the spindle styles.

    I have been trying to sort out the different styles and types, but haven't had much luck there.
    The Lumley (they did spindle repair) catalog was pretty good about all the different models. They seem to be gone but maybe someone has an old catalog they'd scan ?

    As I remember there was an older Heald that was mechanical and a little different - 70A ? - and then the 72A and 273 used the same dovetail mount redheads. Then a little later they added some redheads that used four bolts to mount, and the unit-motor-driven, air-mist-lubed super high speed spindles were like that. But most of the common redheads were standard slide-in.

    They are both dovetail mount, the one on the machine is supposedly original to the machine. It is 14,000 rpm permanently lubed.

    The other spindle is an older one, 7,500 rpm and oil lubricated.
    That was common .... they'd come from Heald with oil lube, then get rebuilt with grease. Lubriko was the recommended grease, I don't remember how you were supposed to seal them. If Milacron was smart, they went to sealed from the factory later ... too expensive for me to know

    There is a 3/8" difference in the spindle centerline height between the two, and a very slight difference in the dovetail width, the low speed being the shorter and narrower one. I think it is a 51-1, but I will have to look. I think the pulley is wrong also, it looks as though the spindle will turn 9,100 with that setup.
    Possibly from an older model Heald, I'd try to swap it for the one that correctly fits your machine, easier in the long run. These guys have a bunch, for example

    Heald Red head spindles, various sizes for sale | Surplus Record

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    I would ask how much time do you have and money do you want to spend. If you want to get matched set, you could call Grinders Clearing House and buy and exchanged rebuilt set and get it fast and have a warrantee. They used to have shelves of them. Or measure what you have and buy a new used one the same size you have. I'm not a big fan of shimming up an odd ball to make it the same height and aligned. Years ago I rebuild them, but haven't for a long time. Last time I had the customer buy some from GCH. If you decide to shim it up and rebuild the heads. We can discuss this next.

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    I have a Heald model 70. All mechanical movement.
    I think it is from the 1920's, because the literature
    I have seen, says the model 72 came out in 1921.
    My machine has a Parker (pre Majestic?) spindle
    and it dovetail mount.

    --Doozer

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    First pic is of the spindle on the machine, the next two are the 7,500 rpm spindle that came with it.

    The 7,500 rpm spindle has me a bit confused as the tag says no additional lubrication needed, but it still has the oil cap. The previous owner said he had no idea if it was rebuilt. He had bought the spindle and never used it. He did say the pulley would need changed.

    It appears that the Unit number has something to do with the mount?

    This machine is a 1972 era machine, Navy surplus I believe.
    img_20210804_131910615.jpgimg_20210804_131845806.jpgimg_20210804_131819103.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeby View Post
    The 7,500 rpm spindle has me a bit confused as the tag says no additional lubrication needed, but it still has the oil cap. The previous owner said he had no idea if it was rebuilt. He had bought the spindle and never used it. He did say the pulley would need changed.
    It's been a long time since 1972, quite likely that the spindle was rebuilt. We had a couple that had been changed to grease but still had that cap, also.

    The pulleys are on a taper, I never had to do it but know that you can change them.

    I'd be more concerned about the bases being different .... that's kind of weird unless the head is really old. Find a spindle catalog from Heald or Milacron ?

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    It's been busy for the last few weeks, so I haven't spent much time on the spindle setup. I did take a not so good pic of the parts listing for the wheelhead mount. It shows a different riser and gibs for the high speed spindle than for the Type 72 spindle and I think it lists another riser/gib set elsewhere on the page.

    There isn't really any information that I can see in the manual about the spindle itself. I will have to get searching for a spindle manual or catalog. We will still need to correct the spindle pulley diameter before the lower speed spindle can be used.
    img_20210818_152739184.jpg


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