Looking for any information on an Index Model 55 vertical mill
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  1. #1
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    Default Looking for any information on an Index Model 55 vertical mill

    This may be the incorrect Forum for this question, but I figure that some Bridgeport guys may know something about this vintage Index mill. This was my Dad's machine... he used it extensively over the past 30+ years... but he unexpectedly passed away this past Spring and took his knowledge of this machine with him. This somewhat cobbled-together machine now rests in my pole building shop and I want to begin using it. All vestiges of the power feed were removed when my Dad got the mill, which is a zero factor to me because I'm an amateur machinist and everything I'll ever work on will be small custom parts. The drive motor mounting is completely home-brewed... I hope to streamline that mounting somewhat.

    I'd really like to get some info on this machine... operating manuals/instructions, parts listing, photos, drawings... anything.

    Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    Steve

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Index 55 mill

    I found this site to have some good general information on your machine (and a lot of others)
    www.lathes.co.uk

    Also, Wells-Index apparently might be able to help you with parts, manual, etc.
    www.wellsindex.com

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info. I contacted Wells-Index and they were VERY helpful. I ordered (has not yet arrived) a parts & drawings package from them and they gave me the information on the mill from when it was purchased back on January 24th, 1955... it was sold to the shop where my Dad ended up working several years and he obviously bought it from them when the mill was around 15 years old.

  4. #4
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    I have the same mill. I just got it cleaned repainted and replaced some parts. Need any pictures of anything let me know. Dave

  5. #5
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    Dave,

    Yes, if you just have a few nice, general pics, I would LOVE to see them! My Index Model 55 is sort of "rough" and stripped down... all the power feed mechanism has been removed and the motor (now a basic 110V unit) is changed, plus 90% of the pulley guard / motor mount bracket has been torched away and the motor was "temporarily" mounted by my dad about 40 years ago and operated with the "temporary" motor mount ever since (lol).

    I am a complete novice machinist and will need to learn this machine almost from scratch. It operates fine, the motor/spindle run great, the table run left-right, in-out and up-down perfectly. One very silly thing that I could use some advice on immediately... it has a drill chuck installed on the spindle and I cannot figure out how to remove it! I've tried the typical Bridgeport method by loosening the top-not and firmly tapping down on the shaft... no dice. What am I missing? the instructions package that I ordered from Wells-Index states to engage the spindle brake and turn the nut for removal, instead of tapping on the shaft with a hammer. HELP!!!

    As I mentioned, any insights that you have would be greatly appreciated. My initial goals for operating this machine are pretty modest. I have a side-biz paiting/building custom motorcycles and I'ke like to be able to make some custom risers, pegs or grips from brass or aluminum. Nothing too complex whatsoever.

    My personal e-mail is [email protected] and my phone is 330-658-2805, if it would be easier to correspond via e-mail or phone. Thanks for your interest!!!!

  6. #6
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    I have a wells index CNC that I really like. That sucker is massive.

    I found Rick at wells very helpful. Though their prices tend to not be cheap.

    Any chance of photos?

  7. #7
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    Yes, the people at Wells-Index have been very helpful. I ordered the document package from them, which included the parts list, some operating instructions, and some drawings. They also sent me a copy of the original shipping information for my mill, which was January 1955, shipped to the shop where my Dad worked and from where he purchased this mill in used & abused condition around 1970.

    I've attached some pics. As I mentioned, the machine works fine... it's just a bit "rough"!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails jse_index_mill_01.jpg   jse_index_mill_02.jpg   jse_index_mill_03.jpg  

  8. #8
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    I also have a WI Model 55. Mine had a zz collet chuck stuck in the spindle when I got it. I ended up having to pull the whole quill and spindle apart and have it cut/machined out. The B&S 9 taper has a tendency to really stick if something is left in there for years. It seems like all of the model 55's I've seen were relegated to drill press duty at some point with either a drill chuck or zz collet holder. Talked to one of the guys at Wells Index and it is very common to find them in stuck condition.

    Have you tried loosening the drawbar and tapping it out yet? The original setup had a drawbar with a nut towards the bottom that could be used to push the taper free. Most of the time that is missing though, and you just tap out like usual.

    Do you have all of the table power feed parts that came off of it?

    Let me know if you need anymore pics or help. I'll do what I can.

    Andrew

    Bad pic.. but you can see it hiding back in the corner next to my old Colburn drill press.


  9. #9
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    Thanks for the reply and information. I'll check on that nut near the bottom of the drawbar. Am I correct in the fact the drill chuck should come out by just loosening the top nut on the spindle and giving it a couple sharp smacks with a hammer?

    If I need to pull the quill/spindle apart, how difficult was that job?

    I'm surprised this drill chuck is stuck super-tight in that B&S taper, because my Dad always used this machine as a mill so that drill chuck should not have been in there forever. Then again, I'd lost track of his shop activities the past several years so maybe he hadn't used that mill or changed the tooling for a very, very long time.

    All the power-feed equipment had already been stripped off the mill before my dad purchased it from the shop where he worked. They must have really worked the mill hard and tortured it, because it was only about 15 years old when Dad bought it essentially in the condition shown in my pics!

    I'll give you a shout if/when I get stumped... there does not seem to be very many guys around who know very much about these machines.

  10. #10
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    I see I am only 11 years late responding to this post however I only obtained my machine one week ago. I would love to network with anyone owning a Model 40 or 55, Mine is a 55 however I operated a 40 in the geology shop of University of Wisconsin-Madison.

    Really, just want to exchange information and ideas. Lee Putman

  11. #11
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    I just acquired a 55 and would love to talk to anybody that knows anything about them


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