Need help adjusting old style Brown and Sharpe plain spindle bearings
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    Default Need help adjusting old style Brown and Sharpe plain spindle bearings

    Hello all. I have inherited an old B&S No. 2 surface grinder, serial number 6923. After getting the wheel guard off, it became apparent that I don't have the same plain bearing spindle that is indicated in the Operation and Maintenance manual that I have. I was able to get a parts manual that shows the breakdown of my spindle assembly. But I haven't been able to find an Operation and Maintenance manual so I don't know the procedure for setting it up. I can see it uses split bronze bearings that fit into tapered holes in the casting, so they work a bit like a collet. From what I gather, the gap between the spindle and the bearing is pretty critical on these. Seems to me I need to know that gap, and how to set it. Any help would be appreciated. (PS: Any idea of the age of this machine?)

    Front End:
    spindle_front.jpg

    Back End:
    spindle_rear.jpg

    Spindle detail for machines prior to serial No. 9501
    spindle-detail_prior-serial-no.-9501.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails spindle_front.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck_L View Post
    Hello all. I have inherited an old B&S No. 2 surface grinder, serial number 6923. After getting the wheel guard off, it became apparent that I don't have the same plain bearing spindle that is indicated in the Operation and Maintenance manual that I have. I was able to get a parts manual that shows the breakdown of my spindle assembly. But I haven't been able to find an Operation and Maintenance manual so I don't know the procedure for setting it up. I can see it uses split bronze bearings that fit into tapered holes in the casting, so they work a bit like a collet. From what I gather, the gap between the spindle and the bearing is pretty critical on these. Seems to me I need to know that gap, and how to set it. Any help would be appreciated. (PS: Any idea of the age of this machine?)

    Front End:
    spindle_front.jpg

    Back End:
    spindle_rear.jpg

    Spindle detail for machines prior to serial No. 9501
    spindle-detail_prior-serial-no.-9501.jpg
    Age of a number 2 can be scary old.

    Newbie naif Ich asked Herr Pelz "how much TIR" (new word for me, summer of 1960) the new Bronze bearings he had just made from scratch and fitted to E.A. Myer's already ancient (1920's ??) B&S #2 had?

    The patient old Swabian just set up his Mauser Wedge indicator and showed me.

    About a quarter of a division. On a roughly 50 millionths per-division indicator (Metric, actually. Whatever the equivalent is?).

    Up to you to get it there.

    The B&S will co-operate with your very best efforts.

    Damned good grinders. We kept it for uber-fine work even though a Taft-Pierce , then a Parker-Majestic went on the other side of the grinding room for the production work. Neither of those has to apologize to other grinders, BTW.

    The # 2 was just that good.

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    #4 Universal similar, just bigger

    "gap" or split in bearing filled with phenolic "wedge" - preventing over "snugging"

    I just ground up a "plug " about 8" long the exact same dia as the journal and used it to scrape the bearings for a zero slop sliding fit in the bronze boxes

    With good spindle oil like Velocite #6, these warm up to the touch but never get hot

    1947 grinder does this class of work - flood coolant of course

    p1000616sm.jpg

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    That's great to know Thermite, thank you (are you volatile around aluminum and iron oxide? )

    For fun I did the math on that old scenario: 1/4 reading on a 50 millionths of a centimeter scale would put that TIR at 4.9 millionths imperial. Wow indeed

    After reading your post, I'm wondering just how I would indicate the back of my spindle though. This design has two separate plain bearings, each having a taper. The rear has no amount of spindle protruding, so I don't know how I would approach measuring TIR there. Looks like you have to set the oil gap on the front and back separately, which is not the case with the "newer" plain bearing.

    I'm thinking that the factory probably recommended a procedure to get you close, and a method to tweak from there (as they do for the more modern plain bearing spindle.) But so far I haven't been able to find an operators manual for this one.

    (PS: I have gleaned from my manual that the "newer" plain bearings were designed to operated with an oil gap of 0.00011" between spindle and bearing)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck_L View Post
    That's great to know Thermite, thank you (are you volatile around aluminum and iron oxide? )
    One-each Jr HS, HS, College chem labs, all "team" efforts.
    Then already packaged "thermate" Corps of Engineers far more often than mere "illustration". Field use. Scrap tanks and such as training materials. I was a student. Then an instructor.


    For fun I did the math on that old scenario: 1/4 reading on a 50 millionths of a centimeter scale would put that TIR at 4.9 millionths imperial. Wow indeed
    Could was it was "inch" actually. I did say "equivalent to 50 millionths", so that's only a tad under quarter "tenths". I were too ignorant to know about metric. Pelz being Schwabian but US based 1921 or 1923 onward, he was actually agnostic, used inch or metric without a second thought.

    Mauser, BTW, had the "rotunda" brand on it, same as our rifles to-home. I think those were actually MADE by Georg Mahr? And it cudda been for US market, as Mauser were kicked out of the weps bizness and looking for any way they could use the name to earn a crust. Swiss outfit owns the Mauser name for firearms recent years.

    After reading your post, I'm wondering just how I would indicate the back of my spindle though. This design has two separate plain bearings, each having a taper. The rear has no amount of spindle protruding, so I don't know how I would approach measuring TIR there. Looks like you have to set the oil gap on the front and back separately, which is not the case with the "newer" plain bearing.

    I'm thinking that the factory probably recommended a procedure to get you close, and a method to tweak from there (as they do for the more modern plain bearing spindle.) But so far I haven't been able to find an operators manual for this one.

    (PS: I have gleaned from my manual that the "newer" plain bearings were designed to operated with an oil gap of 0.00011" between spindle and bearing)
    I last laid eyes on that grinder around 1974. Had USED it during an overly-long IBEW strike. Management all having come up off a shop floor "somewhere" we kept the hard-of-hearing, hearing, just couldn't ship much NEW.

    Talk about GOOD? Pelz had me make a fixture, mostly on the B&S, then use it to crank out 800 tiny ten-thou blade screwdrivers Starret store boughts could not get into the same room with. Got 780 good ones, heat-treat losses, mostly.

    Over a dozen years on, by '74 they were all gone, and that fixure misplaced or scrapped. Made a new one from memory. Strike over, there's Karl Wagner turning that thing over and over. "I knew this was your work the minute I saw it. There will be those damned blind dowels with the counterbored and upset ends you always made rivets out of to hide from view!"

    "Never meant to take food off your plate, Karl. Make a new one, and do it right. I didn't have TIME for dowels of any kind."

    Flung it on the floor.

    The crazy-glue joints between those perfectly ground B&S #2 surfaces let go, and it was just a collection of loose junk! Didn't want to risk a Bargaining-Unit person's safety on crazy-glue!



    As to HOW?"

    Herr Pelz was about 74 years old around 1960. His own Dad (and the gal he was to marry's Dad) where "uhrmachers". He was apprenticed to Diamler, age 14, so about 1900?

    Earned his Master's ticket during early World War One, maestro of the hand-fitting of six-cylinder Mercedes aero engines for Kaiser Bill's air force. Speciality? Hand scraping the Bronze camshaft bearings! Selecting, matching, and fitting the Cast Iron pistons.

    Far too late to ask HIM!

    Or my NEXT Grand Mentor. George Mortimer had come out of retirement when his wife died. Was 81 when he stayed-over off first shift to see who TF was this "kid" cutting his tolerance in half on an Aluminum Bronze part nobody on the payroll but George was supposed to be able to turn at all.

    Talk about "instant adoption"! Watched me setting up. Vanished over to his leather covered chest. back in a flash; "Here, keep this!" GIFTED me with a TINY, and already old but perfect (still is) Starrett "Last word" DTI.

    F**ks sake. Standing there in a pair of steel toed boots as were to be five whole US dollars out of my first paycheck. 'Coz I didn't YET own five whole dollars!

    I put it reverently into my Kennedy and went back to dialing-in with a dental mirror and a sharpened darning needle. Job done, I turn to see a huge false teeth grin!

    "Bill, you can do THAT on the junk we run here, you can turn out good work anywhere in the whole world."

    And I had me another great teacher!

    Mind.. I had done six of those in 8 hours. George had done TWENTY four or twenty six on HIS shift! Same old Niles!

    I did say "teacher?"

    Pelz had spent over a WEEK on that B&S. And he were sort of a "magician, tenth dan".

    You've got yerself a "project" but done right, that old B&S will hold DAMNED GOOD for a helluva long time afterwards. Too straightforward simple to be bothered doing otherwise.


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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    #4 Universal similar, just bigger

    "gap" or split in bearing filled with phenolic "wedge" - preventing over "snugging"

    I just ground up a "plug " about 8" long the exact same dia as the journal and used it to scrape the bearings for a zero slop sliding fit in the bronze boxes

    With good spindle oil like Velocite #6, these warm up to the touch but never get hot

    1947 grinder does this class of work - flood coolant of course

    p1000616sm.jpg
    Hey John, your reply brings up several questions. The gap with phenolic you speak of: I'll attach photos of mine you'll see that there are 3 gaps, 120degrees apart. Two have phenolic (actually maybe wood? I see grain there.) The other gap is large and holds a felt oil wick. First question: Is this similar to the design you referenced? I suppose I can see the phenolic/wood being there to keep it from closing down too much...

    As you may se from the photos, there is a bit of scoring and galling, unfortunately. You say you made a plug the same diameter as the journal to scrape the bearings. Second question: Was this something that worked like a hone? Or a broach... I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around scraping an internal I.D.

    (PS: The picture of your cylindrical work looks great )

    Phenolic (Wood?) gap:
    rear-spindle_1.jpg

    Felt wick gap:
    rear-spindle_2.jpg

    Face of bearing / I.D.
    rear-spindle-bearing_face.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck_L View Post
    Phenolic (Wood?) gap:
    Age thing as to what they might have used.

    Gutta percha? Linen bakelite (early phenolic..)? Lignum Vitae?
    Teak is waxy slick. Bamboo is abrasive. Grass, not wood, high silica.

    Go Ogle also "Congo wood bearings". Hold oil, also compress.

    Look 'em up. Go "images". Check for similarity.

    StackPath

    There was "prior art". By ten thousand and more years, actually!

    Kid's "Radio Flyer" little red wagons had wooden bearings. Managed water, mud, rust rather well. Overloads not so well. DAMHIKT!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck_L View Post
    Two have phenolic (actually maybe wood? I see grain there.)
    I think the material is phenolic impregnated layers of cloth (linen?) which have been cured under heat and pressure. The "grain" that you are seeing is the parallel fabric layers. Wood would be a poor choice here, as it would expand and swell as the grain absorbed oil, changing the bearing clearance.

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    I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around scraping an internal I.D.
    You could do a search for Bearing Scraper - which come (or are custom built) in sizes teeny thru large

    Hey John, your reply brings up several questions.
    My post #3 kicks off with a sentence having the word similar in it

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    My post #3 kicks off with a sentence having the word similar in it
    Ah ha. Understood John. Off to google bearing scrapers... Thanks for the tip

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck_L View Post
    Ah ha. Understood John. Off to google bearing scrapers... Thanks for the tip
    Doubt if i am ever going to use mine again. Everything here has one kind or another of roller-bearings, but... the sizes were for heavy mining machinery and rail- basically a 3" bore was tiny, most were larger!

    Have a look around. Now and then an Estate sale will put the Old Skewl ones - we usually made our own from HCS triangular files - onto eBay.

    Wise to find a way to get more than just trivial practice. It isn't the most natural of movements, and you cannot see well as you can with easier flat surface scraping.

    Wiser yet, perhaps to have something as critical as that B&S #2 spindle done by already expert hands.

    It is about as demanding a tasking as Bronze bearings ever present, and there ARE specialist spindle rebuilders who can do Bronze as well as rollers.

    Go on yah if you take it on. But "non trivial" applies. You can "get it right for yourself", but you WILL know you worked damned hard to get there!

    BTW.. "as usual" scraping is an option, not a requirement. Bronze is not brass. It can be precision ground with the appropriate wheels and techniques.

    Precision turning then grinding / abrasives, even lapping-in can do the entire job.

    Flaking for "oil retention" may or may not be on the dance card at all.

    It's a bearing, not a carriage underside. Depends on how any given bearing was meant to work. We do not "flake" micro-Babbitt trimetal crankshaft bearings, do we?


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    To answer your question about age, could be as old as WW1 era, or into the 1930's. A clue is SN, also thread pitches. Mine has some 1/2-12 bolts/screws on it and according to B&S, was made in 1917.

    By my reading of the photos, the felt-filled gap adjusts bearing clearance. The "phenolic gaps" don't appear to go all the way through the bearing wall.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Doubt if i am ever going to use mine again. Everything here has one kind or another of roller-bearings, but... the sizes were for heavy mining machinery and rail- basically a 3" bore was tiny, most were larger!

    Have a look around. Now and then an Estate sale will put the Old Skewl ones - we usually made our own from HCS triangular files - onto eBay.

    Wise to find a way to get more than just trivial practice. It isn't the most natural of movements, and you cannot see well as you can with easier flat surface scraping.

    Wiser yet, perhaps to have something as critical as that B&S #2 spindle done by already expert hands.

    It is about as demanding a tasking as Bronze bearings ever present, and there ARE specialist spindle rebuilders who can do Bronze as well as rollers.

    Go on yah if you take it on. But "non trivial" applies. You can "get it right for yourself", but you WILL know you worked damned hard to get there!

    BTW.. "as usual" scraping is an option, not a requirement. Bronze is not brass. It can be precision ground with the appropriate wheels and techniques.

    Precision turning then grinding / abrasives, even lapping-in can do the entire job.

    Flaking for "oil retention" may or may not be on the dance card at all.

    It's a bearing, not a carriage underside. Depends on how any given bearing was meant to work. We do not "flake" micro-Babbitt trimetal crankshaft bearings, do we?

    Yes, I looked into scraping a bore and it's certainly challenging and time consuming. At this point I will probably just re-assemble it, making sure it's free of particulates. The inside of that bore does not look perfect, but then it was running well for the guy who left it to me, so it might still be fine for my purpose (which at this time is simply learning how to surface grind.) It was dumb of me to take that bearing off. I was curious about the condition of the bearings, but I wasn't thinking about losing where the bearing was set. I didn't even take simple reference measurements with a caliper to get me back in the ballpark. Again: dumb. But I think I have a method for setting that oil gap. Once properly lubricated, gone through the initial startup and warm, I'll feel it, indicate it, and see what I'm dealing with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neilho View Post
    To answer your question about age, could be as old as WW1 era, or into the 1930's. A clue is SN, also thread pitches. Mine has some 1/2-12 bolts/screws on it and according to B&S, was made in 1917.

    By my reading of the photos, the felt-filled gap adjusts bearing clearance. The "phenolic gaps" don't appear to go all the way through the bearing wall.
    Somewhere on this forum I swear I came across a thread with folks talking about the age of their No. 2's and referencing the SN's. But dang if I can find it again. Mine is 6923.

    As to those "phenolic gaps," you're right, they don't go all the way through. I'm thinking if they did, the bearing might be prone to chatter. So maybe they are there to allow the bore to remain as concentric as possible as it's squeezed smaller by being tightened into the taper. So why fill the gaps? To keep the crud out? That's my best guess


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