How to disassemble an Abene VHF3? Snow is coming, need help.
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  1. #1
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    Default How to disassemble an Abene VHF3? Snow is coming, need help.

    Ok, I give up. It's dark and 25 degrees out, and my plan to get the Abene VHF3 broken into its major components and lowered into the basement tonight just isn't going to happen. Snow is coming though, and the temperature swings are causing flash rust on spots where the LPS rust preventative rubbed off so I need to get it moved.

    Anyone have any hints on removing the ram? Going by the parts diagram it looks like it's a simple matter of undoing the 4 bolts that hold the ram to the lower casting, but that's not working. Lifting it just a tad I see a giant bronze nut on the screw with a round section pushed into the ram, but it was unwilling to move at all. Is it held in place from the other side (under the spindle motor)? I tried pulling the motor to see, but the pulley didn't want to budge. Which meant no pulling the motor. FWIW, this machine is a later version where the screw/crank for moving the ram is in the main lower casting rather than in the ram itself.

    Also, is it possible to pull the knee/saddle/table in one piece by going upwards off the dovetail? That looks to be the easiest way.


    Thanks!

    -aric.


    EDIT- this is all the parts diagram has to say on the matter:


    EDITx2- Snuck an inspection camera in there and not sure if that's a nut or that the pin coming from the bronze nut on the screw has a keyway on it (for what purpose I have no idea...). Sorry about the crappy pic... Bitterly cold out and lots of wires in the way.


    Guess I'll have to find a way to pull the spindle motor tomorrow. Which will likely be a pain, as the wires were cut short to the point the wiring block in back won't pull out of its access hole.

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    Finally got the spindle motor out, and yup, there's a nut there. Understandable, but annoying. And in the end a good thing, as it hadn't occurred to me that the wiring for the motor would have to be undone in order to pull the ram (the flu is playing hell with my brain...)



    Anyway, pulling the ram looks straight forward now. Well, once I fab up a wrench for that funny looking nut...

    Anyone have thoughts on pulling the knee/saddle/table as a unit as I mentioned earlier? Looking at a high temp of 30 for the next 2 weeks, so not really conducive to poking at it and would rather have a known good plan in place.

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    Well, don't know about Abene in specific...But, I would remove the table then the knee as individual parts.

    Reason: is that handling the assembly with its greater weight and longer parts makes it harder to control the entry and
    exit of the Knee to the dovetail.(if the vertical ways are box, then disregard this caution).....If you lift it up and it shifts when it is almost out of engagement there is a much
    higher chance to breaking the corner off the dovetail slide....The same goes when assembling on the other end.....
    getting things to drop in is easier if you aren't fighting a big part with high mass and inertia......

    Also as i remember there is some area under the table (Cross slide) that might need attention...cleaning out where coolant and junk tend to collect, rust and
    old coolant cause issues with the drive for the table long feed......I would want a look there to know what i had and the condition of the machine and table feed drive gears.
    Pretty sure this has had some postings here...try searching for subjects about Abene...
    Cheers Ross
    Last edited by AlfaGTA; 01-07-2015 at 04:40 PM.

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    Thanks, Ross, and frankly I agree.... Taking them off individually would be worlds better. Unfortunately doing that on my back porch in January isn't in the cards due to snow, rain, dark at 5pm, and below freezing temps forecast for the next couple weeks. Which means taking the most expedient route. In theory it'll fit through the bottom basement door by an inch with just the table removed, but that's cutting it a bit close to comfort (110 year old house, no guarantee the basement door is actually plumb and level). Pulling both the table and saddle makes it a couple inches, but at that point it looks quicker/easier to simply pull the knee with everything still bolted to it. Last thing I want is to get it halfway apart and then have a rainstorm or blizzard roll through, getting snow/rain inside everything.

    I had assumed that the dovetail for the knee was fully enclosed by the knee casting, but poking at it after dinner it looks like that's not the case. Rather, the left side is held in by a trapezoid-shaped block that doubles as the gib and the whole thing might just swing free once it is unbolted (and the upper and lower wipers removed). And even if it doesn't swing free, there will be plenty of room to lift it from the dovetail without fear of it binding or catching.





    Hopefully it doesn't come to that though, as not having to pull the ram would be a major win since slinging the overarm to lift both the ram and base makes things dead simple.

    Thankfully moving the large chunks won't be so bad, as I have a gantry set up over the basement entrance, the stairs removed so it's a straight shot down, and an engine hoist inside to pick it off the crane. Once inside I'll be able to give it a proper disassembly and cleaning.


    On a side note, I was rather surprised how little there actually is on these machines here... I probably went through every thread mentioned in 20 or 30 pages of search results, and only a couple went into parts or remove/refit instructions. Google also turned up very little, either here on PM or the Internet as a whole. Was hoping the guy who bought the one from Don a while back (and did a complete teardown on) would chime in. Forgetting his name at the moment, otherwise I'd drop him a note.

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    Well, no wonder Gearco simply said removing the knee/saddle/table was straight forward and didn't elaborate. (Removing the knee on Abene VHF3)... It actually was that simple. Raise the knee, crank the elevating screw free of the nut, unscrew the lock bolt and remove it's block, then unbolt the two gib blocks. The whole thing then swings free. Couldn't be any simpler.

    Looks like I'll be getting it inside today!

    Last edited by adatesman; 01-09-2015 at 07:18 PM.

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    I'll have to remember this thread in the future... Planning on taking my knee apart/off at some point. It's a bit tough-going, and the rapid-traverse doesn't have enough sack to move the table up at any point. Down, yes. Up, no.

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    If you find my rebuild thread I show details of a bunch of this stuff including the custom socket I made. That nut was REALLY tight for me so don't attempt to use a punch and hammer if you care about preserving the nut.
    I gave all kinds of hints in the thread as well including the way to remove the knee transmission. If you just use force you risk damaging the very expensive gearing. I had to buy one gear from Abene and it was something around $400. Hopefully people can learn from my mistakes...


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