Kempsmith Universal Dividing Head
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  1. #1
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    Default Kempsmith Universal Dividing Head

    I am a bit of a Antique Machinery/Machine Tool Nerd - so I may post to this section of the forum a bit to much

    I thought it would be cool to strike up a conversation on the Kempsmith Universal Dividing Head, and more generally the Kempsmith MFG Co.

    I picked this Dividing Head up from a local Machine Shop - who only used it once in their 20+ years of ownership (to fix a forklift gear). It took me a minute to realize "K MFG Co" was Kempsmith and much to my surprise they are still in business - as this Dividing Head is circa 1916 - and they were founded in 1888 or so!

    This is one of the nicer/well constructed dividing heads I have come across in my travels (probably a bit bias)

    I hope one day to try and fabricate a drive train for this for spiral milling/etc with the dividing head - may try to email Kempsmith to see if they have any info on the drive train.

    The Manual is located here: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/2107/5797.pdf
    - These old manuals are always an enjoyable read - leaps and bounds over the manuals that are produced with modern machines lol!
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  2. #2
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    Have the Miter gear bracket shown in Manual?

    If not, it would seem to not be the type that gets driven off the table lead screw via a gear train

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Have the Miter gear bracket shown in Manual?
    I think the Miter gear bracket was an attachment??? the head has the PTO input of the back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bowtie_Finn View Post
    I think the Miter gear bracket was an attachment??? the head has the PTO input of the back.
    Can you post up a photo of that side/end?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    Can you post up a photo of that side/end?
    Here they are
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_2833.jpg   img_9321.jpg  

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  7. #6
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    No "PTO" - just end of spindle

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    Hi bowtie Finn,
    Here is some pictures of my Kempsmith 13 1/2" swing dividing head. I am not sure what the extra numbers are for. Mine has a bevel (miter) gear but I don't have any more other than it's tail stock.
    I have had mine for about 35 years, no idea of it's age. As you can see I have not used my Mill for a long time. Thank you for posting the link to the manual.

    Hi John,
    Hope you can see that bevel gear drive OK, if not I will re-photo it.

    P.S. How do you rotate pictures.
    Jim
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails dscf0016.jpg   dscf0017.jpg   dscf0019.jpg   dscf0034.jpg   dscf0036.jpg  


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    Thanks Jim.

    Yes, you can look in the manual posted above and see that there is a bracket that reaches in with a mating miter gear whaen you want to have a "PTO"

    Not sure what holds it on

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    I borrowed a dividing head to cut splines, using my mill. Turns out itís one of these. The owner has had it twenty years and never used it. It was rusty, and the jaws wouldnít move. I had to drive each jaw with an aluminum drift, then turn the screw a little, it didnít want to move either. This step had to be repeated over and over until the leading edge of the jaws were outside the chuck, then I could turn the screw that moves the jaws out, with a cheater pipe. Once apart I wire wheeled everything, and it went back together as it should. Easy. As I started lining up the dividing head on the mill table, I noticed the chuck was loose on the dividing head body. I could pull it up .02Ē, I tightened the nut opposite the chuck and eliminated the movement. Then I tried to measure runout when rotating the chuck, and my last word indicator didnít have enough travel to measure it all. Doh! My next thought is to remove the nut and pull the chuck off all together, clean and inspect. Maybe debris got in there when it was loose?

    Thanks for posting this, it came up in a google search. You provided some good information. Iím hoping this will work for me.
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    A couple more pictures.
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    I brought this one over first. It has a bigger body, smaller chuck. Maybe the chucks have been swapped?
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    I got the chuck off and removed the plate it was bolted to, then I checked for runout on the spindle itself. It mostly barely twitches, and bounced 1 to 2 thousandths twice. Iím happy with that, the spindle crank was really hard to turn for two rotations though. Now to figure out why the chuck was out so much, it fit with no movement in the plate. Iíll clean the chuck up better tomorrow. I know it would be best to remove the worm and spindle also, clean and oil, then put back together.
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  17. #13
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    is the whole body of the chuck off center, or only the "test bar" held by the jaws?
    If it's the second, are you sure that the jaws were re-inserted in the correct order/position?

    Paolo

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    The chuck moved the indicator a lot, just like the test piece did. I didnít get a measurement on either, Iíll probably use a travel indicator next time. The jaws went back where they came from. Numbers were no longer visible on two, because of pitting. I stamped them. I measured how far the jaws are in from the outside of the chuck, all three are about the same. Nowhere near enough to be a full tooth off.

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    You might be approximately 1/3 of tooth off if two of the three jaws are swapped (and they could have been already swapped before you got it).
    Generally, anything round held by the jaws should be fairly centered (within a few thousands) with the body of the chuck.
    Measuring position of"unloaded" jaws won't tell you much, since you are dealing also with the play, backlash, etc.

  20. #16
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    The chuck could be a sloppy loose fit to the register on the back plate, causing the that much run out. If so, chuck up your part and indicate it in by bumping the chuck around until it is running true. Just need to snug the chuck to the back plate to do this. Once done, tighten the bolts and indicate again to make sure it's still true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paolo_MD View Post
    (and they could have been already swapped before you got it).
    I considered this.


    Edit: This wouldn’t explain why the chuck is also out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    The chuck could be a sloppy loose fit to the register on the back plate
    No, there’s no movement.

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    The back of the chuck cleaned up good.
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    I took off the plate with the holes, and found the way to release the chuck so it spins freely. Itís the small lever on the right, it pushes the small square plate up, then you tighten a bolt to lock it in place. I put a little oil in, and it made the crank easier to turn. Thereís a spot that drops it right on the worm gear, itís smooth all the way around now.
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