Live tools- rebuild your own?
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  1. #1
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    Default Live tools- rebuild your own?

    Anybody done this? This is a Doosan CNC lathe with live tooling. This will be the second one in a year that needs service. Since we use live tooling a lot, sometimes around the clock on jobs, I figured it may be worthwhile to learn to replace bearings on these. Doesn't seem like they are that complex, just some bearings and seals. Reassemble with new bearings, seals and correct preload and drive on... or am I better off leaving this to the pros? These are Eppinger tools.

    Opinions?

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    I have some that only have an O-ring, and other than that - it is all based on sling ring to keep the coolant out I guess.

    They are just bearings - originally designed by mortals, and assembled by other mere mortals. So what if you screw it up and they don't last as long. $200 in bearings or $1000 in rebuild costs? How bad can you hurt it?


    I just checked on some new ones, and my holders have quadrupled in price. I have forty-leven of them now, but I am thinking about making my own at this point if I ever had the time.


    ----------------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ox View Post
    They are just bearings - originally designed by mortals, and assembled by other mere mortals. So what if you screw it up and they don't last as long. $200 in bearings or $1000 in rebuild costs? How bad can you hurt

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox
    ....X2....

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    i have done some
    don't over grease, they are a spindle not a boat trailer
    the down side is locking it up and shattering some very pricey guts (on 90° types)

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    I just send them out, they have the right equipment for assembling, and one advantage is that they check all parts.
    Last time i started doing myself, halfway we had so much work that after 2 months the tool was still open, i make the boss more money doing other things then this.
    So i send 2 live tools out to Eppinger, they replaced a shaft of 1 tool, gears, bearings and seals from both, assembled (with the right preload), testrun, for 650,- euros each.
    Not too bad for a 90° tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wippin' boy View Post
    i have done some
    don't over grease, they are a spindle not a boat trailer
    the down side is locking it up and shattering some very pricey guts (on 90° types)
    Wip is dead on with the grease, I rebuilt the live tool block on our Tsugami Swiss, ended up replacing the brand new bearings after ONLY 15 hours because I used the wrong type grease. I found this to be the best for my tooling blocks (Isoflex nbu 15) just remember a little goes along way don't over apply, your not packing an axel bearing on your old Ford.
    The break in period is also important, take an hour running from 200 rpm or so up to max , letting it run for several minutes on 100-200rpm increments all the while checking for overheating.

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    Yep, spend the money and get the Kluber grease. The bearing dealer should be able to tell you how many cc's to use per bearing. I use a syringe and put a little between each ball and then spin the bearings by hand in both directions to get it spread around. You need to be somewhat precise in the amount of grease you use.

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    i still cant figure out why machine companies still make machines with turrets. its an old relic design from the manual days rife with flaws and clearance issues. and at 5-6000 each for live tools which then waste valuable time having to indicate each one in. i wager its much cheaper and easier these days to just buy the damn 5th axis? not to mention then you get all the angles between 0 and 90 deg. and 120 tools instead of 12. it seems like a no-brainer, i would never buy a turret machine.

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    could you just buy me the damn 5th axis while you are at it? I need one of those damn things!

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    Thanks for the replies. My gut feeling was I agree with Ox... how much damage can I do? But I wanted to get opinions. Not surprised about special grease etc. I opened up the offending toy today, and it had obvious coolant intrusion. I think I will try one and pay attention to how the unit is sealed. Try to prevent coolant from getting into the unit. Maybe some preventive maintenance would be good... inspect them periodically, clean and put new grease in. What is the best source of bearings/seals? I usually just get bearings from Applied.

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    Quote Originally Posted by voodoochld2 View Post
    i still cant figure out why machine companies still make machines with turrets. its an old relic design from the manual days rife with flaws and clearance issues. and at 5-6000 each for live tools which then waste valuable time having to indicate each one in. i wager its much cheaper and easier these days to just buy the damn 5th axis? not to mention then you get all the angles between 0 and 90 deg. and 120 tools instead of 12. it seems like a no-brainer, i would never buy a turret machine.
    Ok, I'll bite-

    This machine is a 3" bar capacity, Y axis, sub spindle machine. Fanuc 18i control. With servo magazine barfeed, tooling package (about 50% of what we needed), 4 live tools, set up on the shop floor it was about 230K. I assume you are talking about something like a Mazak Integrex. Love to have one, but last I checked one of those with that capacity was at least double the price.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steel hand View Post
    Thanks for the replies. My gut feeling was I agree with Ox... how much damage can I do? But I wanted to get opinions. Not surprised about special grease etc. I opened up the offending toy today, and it had obvious coolant intrusion. I think I will try one and pay attention to how the unit is sealed. Try to prevent coolant from getting into the unit. Maybe some preventive maintenance would be good... inspect them periodically, clean and put new grease in. What is the best source of bearings/seals? I usually just get bearings from Applied.
    May I suggest that when stripping out you take note of as many measurements as you can - IME with gearboxes with shims etc etc that can save a lot of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simpleminded View Post
    I found this to be the best for my tooling blocks (Isoflex nbu 15) just remember a little goes along way don't over apply, your not packing an axel bearing on your old Ford.
    As a matter of interest what does a 400g tube of that cost over there?
    Over here it`s about $140 plus tax.

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    same......

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    Quote Originally Posted by steel hand View Post
    Thanks for the replies. My gut feeling was I agree with Ox... how much damage can I do? But I wanted to get opinions. Not surprised about special grease etc. I opened up the offending toy today, and it had obvious coolant intrusion. I think I will try one and pay attention to how the unit is sealed. Try to prevent coolant from getting into the unit. Maybe some preventive maintenance would be good... inspect them periodically, clean and put new grease in. What is the best source of bearings/seals? I usually just get bearings from Applied.
    While you are at it, dont forget to inspect the gears, and make sure you apply the right backlash when reinstalling, lets not forget to mention how important it is that they are in good condition, and are a major factor in a smooth running live tool, we arent talking about bicyle sprockets here.

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    Post Need help on live tools maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by simpleminded View Post
    Wip is dead on with the grease, I rebuilt the live tool block on our Tsugami Swiss, ended up replacing the brand new bearings after ONLY 15 hours because I used the wrong type grease. I found this to be the best for my tooling blocks (Isoflex nbu 15) just remember a little goes along way don't over apply, your not packing an axel bearing on your old Ford.
    The break in period is also important, take an hour running from 200 rpm or so up to max , letting it run for several minutes on 100-200rpm increments all the while checking for overheating.

    I have recently rebuilt one unit WTO 90° and filled it with "something" I had on the shelf (shell gearbox oil). Now it sounds much much better, but still I don't like it. Will try (Isoflex nbu 15).

    I have much more similar units which I don't like how they sound. To me they sound DRY. And that unit has been running about 6 months after "US WTO" service. Now I don't want to pay them min $1k for regular service. Plus, when I have opened my first unit I found that the main shaft been damaged during assembling or disassembling. Shims where damaged and had some chips on them. So... I'm not happy... Plus they always replace all guts inside event if that is not necessary.

    Question: "What should I perform on regular bases to make them last longer?"
    - periodically adding oil?
    - replacing seals?
    - ...
    - ...

    Appreciate any recommendation or suggestions!
    Thank you

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    hy if you really need to ( thus no time for sending to another location ), than you may learn to service them yourself ...

    for me it started with a setup that was using a single "live tool holder" at 4000 rpm: 2...3 shifts, and the internal sealing were compromised

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    At my last job they had a Mazak lathe with live tools. A few of the live tools were getting loose so I took one apart. It had coolant in it. the bearings were ceramic and an odd size that no bearing house could supply. The manufacturer would not sell parts. Everything looked good, the bearings were smooth. I just made some new shims and set the preload to what felt good. A little prussian blue on the gears allowed me to get a nice pattern on the gears. I reassembled it with some Kluber lube we had for the ceramic wheel bearings we were running in our Indy Car at the time. I ended up doing the same thing to the rest of them over the next few years. I left that job and started my shop in 2009. I talk to the machinist there a few times a month, he says nothing more has been done and they are still good to go. Mind you, this is a 1 man race team machine shop so they don't get run 24-7.

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    Does anyone know where to get the spanner socket to take the Epplinger Live holders apart? The spanner nut is recessed in where you cannot use a normal wrench.

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    [not looking at what you are]

    Have you looked at Snap-On, Mac, or similar tool catalogs?


    ----------------

    Think Snow Eh!
    Ox


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