Whats the proper lubricant for an old vertical head for a horizontal mill?
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  1. #1
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    Default Whats the proper lubricant for an old vertical head for a horizontal mill?

    About a year ago i bought a high speed, light duty universal vertical head for my Kempsmith universal horizontal mill. Today i dug into it to see what was binding it up and what, if anything, it needs before i connect it to the machine for use. From what i could tell all looked good except it was packed with old hardened grease (which was why it was bound up). Easy enough to clean out with a putty knife and a bit of kerosene.

    There are no grease fittings, just some access plates which look like they may be made to allow access for a strategically place oil spout. Am i correct in assuming that rather than trying to get new grease into the bearings, i should just lube with gear oil before each use?

    Mark
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    First, I'm a light weight with no mills greater than #2. I do understand what you are asking and look forward to the suggestions. Even with smaller vertical heads and attachments, we see all the grease packed away from gears and bearings. Maybe that was good during continual use and the grease heated up to a flow rate to which it replentished the gears and bearings. Dormancy and time hardens the grease to where it cannot flow. Within that grease may be filings or metal splinters, so it should come out before being activated by new lubrication.

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    Most mills that I have had experience on that are similar to yours usually had grease fittings on the heads. Other points such as table and slides usually need way oil. When us apprentices would come to the shop after classes, twice a week, we would go thru the shop and lube everything. There was a schedule for everything. The vertical heads for the mills would get a shot of grease about once a month. Hope this helps.

    JH

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    FWIW, the high speed vertical head for my #3 Cinci Universal mill specifies lithium grease.

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    Thanks for the recommendations. The design of the head is such that no chips can find their way in during use. It rotates about three axes and only the spindle shaft has the lube access port. I wonder if the spindle shaft and associated gears are to be oiled but all the low speed shafts/gears are to be packed with grease. There are no grease fittings on this thing. The head has a 1:4 speed multiplier. Top spindle speed on the mill is 575 RPM which makes top speed on the v-head 2300 RPM.

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    The Chips I was was referring to, are from the gears. When the lubrication is all packed inside the case, they are basically dry. Re alighting the old grease by oil will allow the old filings to sit upon the sealed bearings. That isn't good.

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    I have used 600W for years in older slow speed gear boxes,, its a really thick oil used in older car gear boxes for like the 30`s ,,, you can get it from any model A or T ford parts supply house ,, I also use it in band saw gear boxes, its thicker than like 90 weight oil but not as thick as grease,


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