Van Norman 1R table feed lubrication
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  1. #1
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    Question Van Norman 1R table feed lubrication

    VN faithful,

    Over the past few months I've been going over my "new" 1R3-22 to verify everything is working properly and all set to last another 55+ years. One thing I am stumped on is a one-shot oiler point for the table feed mechanism is broken off; it's adjacent to the bevel gears and has no obvious bearing block or feed nut nearby. Here is a picture:

    0812172344d_hdr.jpg

    I bought 2mm copper refrigeration tube which I can solder to the distribution tubing to replace what was broken off, but I'd like to know what the factory setup was. Has anyone had their table off and seen this area? I was able to access it without pulling the entire table by removing the table feed screw, right hand end bracket and running the table partway off the dovetails (free end supported by a crane).

    One other thing I'm puzzling over is I believe these bevel gears are supposed to run in an oil bath - at least, they did on older VNs. The saddle casting in that area forms a tub of sorts, but any oil added slowly runs through the vertical bevel gear's bearings and down into the feed transmission. I am fortunate enough to have a quality paper manual for the machine, and I don't see an oil seal on that shaft in the parts drawings; they are clearly called out in other places (such as the feed transmission shafts). Given this, I'm confused; perhaps the broken one shot oil point was to oil all three gears and the shifter mechanism, but that doesn't seem like enough oil to me. I am curious to know if anyone knows how these gears are lubricated.

    Thanks in advance,
    Ben

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    I am thinking of greasing the shifter mechanism and running an oil tube to the center bevel gear, where the oil will be distributed to the other bevel gears as they mesh. It still doesn't seem like a lot of oil, but it will be way oil so hopefully it will stick around.

    Alternately I could grease the gears and close off the oil point. This area is very well protected from chips - there were none when I cleaned it up. I found grease on the gears, but obviously someone had been in there before. They had also greased all the leadscrews and blocked the nut oiling points in the process, so I think they were overly fond of grease.

    Any thoughts on these two options?

    Ben

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    These gears run so slowly that a one shot oiler is plenty to keep them lubed.

    DO NOT USE GREASE!! Clean off what is there and lube the leadscrew with way oil. Grease sticks chips, dirt and abrasives to the screw and other parts. Way oil is the proper lube. Wash everything down with a solvent like WD-40 or mineral spirits and oil it up.

    The objective of using oil and the one shot is that the total loss allows the oil to change itself. The bearing clearances in the shifter forks and rotating bearings are set for oil. It likely has spiral oil grooves to pump the oil through the bearings. Using grease will result in those grooves being clogged up and ceasing to function. Also, those table bearings never get hot enough to melt the grease and release liquid oil. I have restored many a machine where oil cups or oilers have been replaced with grease fittings and pumped full of grease to eliminate the drooling oil mess. The result is that it got greased for the first year and then neglected. On every one, I had to chip the hardened grease out of the oil grooves with a hammer and screwdriver. Most of the bearings and shafts were ruined.

    I have a 1-R3-22, but don't have the table off. Hopefully somebody can provide pics. My oiler was DOA. Had to make a new leather pump cup out of an old glove. Also, the seals on my table feed gearbox had hardened and cut the input shaft about 1/16" deep on both sides. Had to TIG weld up the grooves, turn and polish it back down. Worked out great, though. That was 6 years ago and no significant loss of oil, since.

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    Mike,

    Thanks for your reply. Grease is/was certainly not my first choice, but it would only affect these gears - the leadscrew runs through this area but is completely enclosed, and the big bearing blocks holding the vertical bevel gears are oiled by the one-shot mechanism. Still, I respect the benefits of a total loss system in this environment and I agree oil is the way to go. The area was cleaned up a few weeks ago and preliminarily oiled with way oil; I've been using the machine while deciding what to do about it permanently.

    One question remains - how to lubricate the forward-reverse shifter fork? The center rotates whenever the powerfeed is engaged (i.e. moving the table). I don't really see a way to oil both the shifter and the bevel gears with only one oiling point.

    Thanks,
    Ben

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    It probably drools oil onto the shifter fork when it's in neutral and then that runs down and drips off the gears over time. Again, this is turning very slowly, even at the fastest feed rate.

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    Hopefully this isn't too late. I purchased a 1R3 at auction a year ago and had the table apart to clean it. The oil tube wraps over the shifter and ends just above the shift fork. It's hard to tell from the pictures, taken before it was cleaned, but it stops where the old oil is built up. I believe the oil flows down around the fork and onto the drive gear and is transferred to the driven gears. I have other pictures but not of the fork oiler, I can get the table off relatively easy, let me know if you need more.

    img_20170318_151325080.jpg

    img_20170318_151329713.jpg

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    Richard,

    Not too late at all! I've been using the machine as-is for now (though not as much as I'd like between the holidays and some bitter cold), and hadn't yet decided what to do about this, figuring the way oil I put on the gears would stick for awhile until I figured out how to address it. I'll now replicate the factory setup, of course.

    Thank you very much for posting the pictures. Your machine looks to be in great shape with the flaking still on the ways!

    Mike, turns out you were right about how it works

    Ben

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard7789 View Post
    Hopefully this isn't too late. I purchased a 1R3 at auction a year ago and had the table apart to clean it. The oil tube wraps over the shifter and ends just above the shift fork. It's hard to tell from the pictures, taken before it was cleaned, but it stops where the old oil is built up. I believe the oil flows down around the fork and onto the drive gear and is transferred to the driven gears. I have other pictures but not of the fork oiler, I can get the table off relatively easy, let me know if you need more.

  10. #8
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    Yea it was a navy machine and seems to have been well taken care of. It has a few quirks though. The control panel is layed out different than a factory machine and the government in their wisdom ordered it in a "c" taper instead of the standard 40. Unfortunately it didnt come with anything except a 1/2" collet. Overall its a good machine though and I tend to like oddball things.

  11. #9
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    "Mike, turns out you were right about how it works"

    Hell yeah! A few brain cells still hanging in there, lol! It's been several years since I had that table off!

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