Louis Allis Co. Motor
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    Default Louis Allis Co. Motor

    I am working my way through my lathe re-refurbishment and have the motor on the bench. I want to clean out the accumulated oil and greasy dust and put it back into service but I dont know very much about electrical motors. I would also like to flush the shaft lubrication reservoirs. I am posting here to see if any of you guys can point me in the right direction so I dont make a big mistake.

    What we have is a Louis Allis Co 1.5 HP motor from around 1940 I guess since the lathe is a '41 Southbend. I was surprised to see that the company is still in business!

    About Us - Louis Allis

    I thought for sure they would have been bought out or defunct but it's awesome that they have stood the test of time.

    Here's the tag

    img_6258.jpg

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    Here's the motor

    p1050145.jpg

    p1050146.jpg

    p1050148.jpg

    p1050149.jpg

    p1050152.jpg

    The main shaft looks serviceable with the two cover plates at each end to look at the oiling and any bushings but can I take apart the main body to get to the internals? There are four main bolts on each end that look like the way to go but since I have never taken an electrical motor apart I don't know what can go wrong! lol

    my plan was to drain the oil and then try to open up the main housing to get 1/2 of the cover off and clean it up and re-assemble. Then maybe re-assemble and do the same for the other half. Is this a solid plan? Do any of you know where I should look on the internet to get myself up to speed or learn a thing or two?

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    I would also like to flush the shaft lubrication reservoirs
    Suggests it is ring oiled and plain bearing (not ball or roller bearing)

    End bells should unbolt and pull right off - the plain bearings make it easy (some motors have long studs servicing both end bells)

    If in fact ring oiled, take care not to damage or misplace oiling rings - which will dip into the reservoirs

    The plain bearings may be simple Bronze or "white metal" bushings and they will be in the end bells

    (ON EDIT)

    When putting back together remember this thing is upside down as far as the ring oiling reservoirs go - meaning you have to put on the end bells the right way MATCH MARKS are handy in any such disassembly - but they have to be long lived AND mean something to you

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post

    (ON EDIT) Post #2 has exactly ONE photo and four invalid links)
    Thanks John, I was in the middle of editing to keep it professional looking! LOL. I appreciate you looking in on this thread and any input you have is very much needed.

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    Found a cool ad for the company, not my motor though.

    la1.jpg

    la2.jpg

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    Kevin T:

    seeing your post about Louis-Allis reminds me of a job we had some years ago at the NY Power Authority. We were needing to set up a heavy machining facility to do one specific job on remachining parts of some of our hydro turbines. We needed a lathe which could swing work at least 60" over the cross slide, and at least 12 feet between centers. We also needed a planer mill for that same job. We found a planer mill in a machine shop in Philadelphia, PA that had closed that division. The planer mill (Cincinnati Hypro openside planer) had two milling spindles made by Yancey Machine Tool Company of Portland, OR. I contacted Yancey, and the late Mr. Robert Yancey brought me up to speed about the planer mill and his milling spindles. Learning we were looking for a heavy large capacity engine lathe, he said there was only ONE name and that was LeBlond. He did some sleuthing and found us a LeBlond lathe of the capacity we needed. It was located in the Louis-Allis plant in Milwaukee, WI. Mr. Yancey arranged for a machine tool dealer out of Chicago to take us to see the lathe and inspect it in the Louis-Allis plant. We were told the Louis-Allis plant had gone bankrupt, and was closed. A security guard let us into the plant and turned on the lights and power for us. We were able to run the LeBlond lathe under power, but no allowed to take any cuts with it. The Louis-Allis plant was intact and looked like everyone had knocked off at the end of their shifts with intentions of returning the next day. We saw the aluminum casting area where the "squirrel cage" induction motor rotors were made (casting laminations and shafts with aluminum). We wandered through the whole plant, and were told the last job L-A had been doing with the LeBlond lathe had been some very large propulsion motors for the US Navy. When that contract was fulfilled, the plant was closed and turned over for liquidation.

    It was an interesting part of Milwaukee. Filer and Stowell, whose steam engines I had seen in use, was across the street from the Louis-Allis plant. I note that L-A is now in a new location, so have to imagine new owners or a re-organization has resulted in the name living on. We also had two Louis-Allis generators (low speed synchronous units) that went into one of our smaller hydroelectric plants about 1985. I do not know the connection with the name "Allis" in the Louis-Allis name, unless it refers to the "West Allis" area of Milwaukee. We were told the Louis-Allis generators were some of the last to come out of the L-A works, and that Siemens had bought the generator division and moved it to Florida.

    Seeing your old motor and the ad reminded me of walking thru what amounted to a ghost-town of the old Louis-Allis shop.

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    Is it OK to use mineral spirits on the insides on clean up?

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    Mineral spirits should be OK. Do not use anything that might damage paint, such as MEK or strong basic products. Be careful of the leads to the stator windings as they are probably cotton braided insulation. If they are brittle and cracked you should replace them with modern insulated wire. If you are not confident doing that any motor shop should be able to do it reasonably.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T View Post

    I thought for sure they would have been bought out or defunct but it's awesome that they have stood the test of time.


    img_6258.jpg
    The real Louis Allis disappeared a few decades ago. The name was bought.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Michaels View Post
    Kevin T:

    seeing your post about Louis-Allis reminds me of a job we had some years ago at the NY Power Authority. We were needing to set up a heavy machining facility to do one specific job on remachining parts of some of our hydro turbines. We needed a lathe which could swing work at least 60" over the cross slide, and at least 12 feet between centers. We also needed a planer mill for that same job. We found a planer mill in a machine shop in Philadelphia, PA that had closed that division. The planer mill (Cincinnati Hypro openside planer) had two milling spindles made by Yancey Machine Tool Company of Portland, OR. I contacted Yancey, and the late Mr. Robert Yancey brought me up to speed about the planer mill and his milling spindles. Learning we were looking for a heavy large capacity engine lathe, he said there was only ONE name and that was LeBlond. He did some sleuthing and found us a LeBlond lathe of the capacity we needed. It was located in the Louis-Allis plant in Milwaukee, WI. Mr. Yancey arranged for a machine tool dealer out of Chicago to take us to see the lathe and inspect it in the Louis-Allis plant. We were told the Louis-Allis plant had gone bankrupt, and was closed. A security guard let us into the plant and turned on the lights and power for us. We were able to run the LeBlond lathe under power, but no allowed to take any cuts with it. The Louis-Allis plant was intact and looked like everyone had knocked off at the end of their shifts with intentions of returning the next day. We saw the aluminum casting area where the "squirrel cage" induction motor rotors were made (casting laminations and shafts with aluminum). We wandered through the whole plant, and were told the last job L-A had been doing with the LeBlond lathe had been some very large propulsion motors for the US Navy. When that contract was fulfilled, the plant was closed and turned over for liquidation.

    It was an interesting part of Milwaukee. Filer and Stowell, whose steam engines I had seen in use, was across the street from the Louis-Allis plant. I note that L-A is now in a new location, so have to imagine new owners or a re-organization has resulted in the name living on. We also had two Louis-Allis generators (low speed synchronous units) that went into one of our smaller hydroelectric plants about 1985. I do not know the connection with the name "Allis" in the Louis-Allis name, unless it refers to the "West Allis" area of Milwaukee. We were told the Louis-Allis generators were some of the last to come out of the L-A works, and that Siemens had bought the generator division and moved it to Florida.

    Seeing your old motor and the ad reminded me of walking thru what amounted to a ghost-town of the old Louis-Allis shop.
    I always enjoy your posts and this one is no exception. I can't recall having enough expertise in any topic to contradict anything you've posted until now. I think you are confusing two companies. Louis Allis originally worked for his father's company Edward Allis Co. However he left there shortly before the merger with Fraser & Chalmers that created Allis-Chalmers or A-C. Louis then to worked for another Milwaukee company that I can't recall its name which made electric motors and after some time he became president and changed the name to Louis Allis Co which is still in business today at least in name. Allis-Chalmers became in industrial giant but succumbed to financial troubles in the 1980s much like Ag division rival International Harvester. The company was busted up into chucks with the German Deutz Company purchasing the Ag division (which was later purchased back to become AGCO), Fiat purchased the construction arm, and Siemens bought out the electrical controls group that it already owned a minor stake in. So I believe you were actually in a defunct A-C plant. It was A-C the manufactured the turbines for Hoover Dam. Its confusing because both companies produced electric motors.

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    If you want to preserve the motor ,it might be best to take it to a motor shop and have them clean the windings and then vacuum impregnate them .This cures the tendency for old cotton insulation to crumble away.The magnetic fields do cause vibration in the windings that detoriates old insulation.

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    Ohio Mike:

    Thanks for the heads-up as to the distinction between Louis-Allis and Allis-Chalmers. I stand corrected. We did buy the big LeBlond lathe out of the Louis Allis shop, which we were told was closed and being liquidated due to bankruptcy. This was sometime in the late 1990's as I recall. The L-A shop was in a district of Milwaukee called "Cudahy", if I remember right.

    We had bought some generators for two of our hydro plants from L-A, and A-C. We also went to contract in 1984 for four complete hydro electric units with Allis-Chalmers in York, PA. By the time the job was in progress, A-C had spun off the York hydro turbine plant to Voith Hydro of Germany, and the generators came from Siemens in Berlin, Germany. If I remember right, we bought three (3) induction generators of 1 Mw apiece and two synchronous generators for another plant from firms whose name ended in Allis. One may have been Louis-Allis, the other may have been A-C who was in the process of transitioning their Milwaukee generator plant to ownership by Siemens. I remember being told by field engineers that we had gotten possibly the last generators to come out of the Milwaukee works, and that Siemens was shifting generator production to Florida. It's a confusing trail, for sure.

    To add to the mix, we have a number of large propellor type hydro units up on the St Lawrence River at Massena, NY. Half are built by A-C in the Milwaukee works in the early 50's. A-C was a widely diversified company. I have seen Corliss steam engines and generators built by A-C, and we had power transformers and oil circuit breakers built by A-C at some of the smaller hydroelectric plants. Supposedly, the beginning of the end of A-C's steam turbine and generator division began with the great power blackout of the Northeast USA in '63 or '64. "Big Allis", a 1000 Mw unit in the Con Edison Ravenswood generating plant failed catastrophically during that blackout. When the grid went down, station service power was lost as well. Despite some hotshot engineers running probability calculations to support the claim that it was impossible (or nearly so) to lose station service power in the Ravenswood plant, it happened. Based on the belief that station service power would never be lost in the Ravenswood generating plant, the decision was made to forego the usual steam-driven emergency lube oil pump for the new A-C turbine. When station service power went down, the A-C turbine tripped off line, and coasted down with no lube oil to its bearings. An older senior operator at the hydro plant where I worked told me about it, saying they had to sit in the control booth on the turbine floor in near darkness (12 volt emergency lighting only) and listen to that turbine run on dry bearings, then wear thru the babbitt and they heard the journals running on the bearing shells, and then on the interstage seals which seized and galled and tore things up, and then the blade tips/tennons and shroud bands tore against the casings. It was over a year doing repairs to that turbine, and supposedly, A-C took a major hit financially. It was the beginning of the end of A-C's steam turbine division, and they built fine steam turbines with many in use prior to that. A German firm took over the steam turbine division as I recall, not Siemens.

    I still see plenty of orange paint in the fields around where we live, which is probably the last visible vestige of A-C.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    If you want to preserve the motor ,it might be best to take it to a motor shop and have them clean the windings and then vacuum impregnate them .This cures the tendency for old cotton insulation to crumble away.The magnetic fields do cause vibration in the windings that detoriates old insulation.
    I am on thelookout for such a place but I am not sure it exists here. The motor "looks" remarkable inside so far, I will post some pictures when I can. The wrap on the power leads does look tired and has started to crumble a bit the ends that are ourside the motor housing. I was thinking that I couldmaybe slip some shrink tubing over the bad areas and reinstall the motor. Does anyone know if this is a bad idea?

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    I found a spot on the stator where the insulation appears to be split open a little bit. Is there any recommended product that I can put in the crack or over it to keep contamination out? Silicone? or ???

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    Heres a shot of the area I think could use attention. It looks like an old shrinkage crack but I am not sure. Motor works I am just cleaning it because its got a lot of grease, oil and chips in it!

    The area is at the end of the stator at the 12 o'clock position (pictures came in rotated!)

    p1050169.jpg

    zoomed in area...

    p1050170.jpg

    closeup of shrinkage?

    p1050173.jpg

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    Looks like someone has already brushed on an epoxy coating.....maybe over the dust on the windings......anyhoo,get out your Megger and test the lot,and if its ok,Id just clean the area with a safe solvent ,reapply some epoxy ,and push the winding back into place......Now I duuno what you can get now for solvent,near everthing is banned,so you might need to ask a motor rewinder.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Looks like someone has already brushed on an epoxy coating.....maybe over the dust on the windings......anyhoo,get out your Megger and test the lot,and if its ok,Id just clean the area with a safe solvent ,reapply some epoxy ,and push the winding back into place......Now I duuno what you can get now for solvent,near everthing is banned,so you might need to ask a motor rewinder.
    No megger tester. I just want to get it cleaned up and protected from contamination.

    Looking for solvent suggestions!

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    Default Robert Yancey

    [QUOTE=Joe Michaels;3464966]Kevin T:

    Yancey Machine Tool Company of Portland, OR. I contacted Yancey, and the late Mr. Robert Yancey brought me up to speed about the planer mill

    Joe M
    the last time I was in R Yancey's shop he was conducting trial of bespoke built 41 foot diameter boring head destined for 3 Gorges Dam--Hubei China
    contract was thru GE Montreal --contract was written during years when China did not conduct direct business with US companies

    Bob Yancey was a visionary--he stockpiled hundreds of tons T slot surface plates--up to 12 inches thick

    paper mills on costal Georgia sent 50 ton rolls to one of his facilities for re-grind

    and--on a personal note--the first time I heard your name was in the Yancey office-on Willamette river--around 20 years ago--5 years before membership in PM forum

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin T View Post
    No megger tester. I just want to get it cleaned up and protected from contamination.

    Looking for solvent suggestions!

    Your mineral spirits should be good for the major clean up. Do not use MEK, Toluene, Methylene chloride, or carburetor cleaners. The proper material for sealing the windings is a paint called Glyptal. It ain't cheap, might be cheaper to have a motor shop do that and the leads.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Your mineral spirits should be good for the major clean up. Do not use MEK, Toluene, Methylene chloride, or carburetor cleaners. The proper material for sealing the windings is a paint called Glyptal. It ain't cheap, might be cheaper to have a motor shop do that and the leads.
    Thanks the Glyptal looks like a winner. It's not cost prohibitive to purchase but to ship the flamable product here sure is! 50 bucks for a quart but then 150 to ship it!
    I contacted the company to see if there are any re-sellers out here and also fuond a motor shop that I can go talk to if I want to go that way.


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