Gorton Tracemaster stuck in rapid traverse
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  1. #1
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    Question Gorton Tracemaster stuck in rapid traverse

    Hello,

    I've got a Gorton Tracemaster, or at least a Tracemaster ram on a different base, and the hydraulic power feeds are all stuck on rapid traverse. I have tried to no avail to free up the rapid traverse lever to disengage. Everything functioned alright until it was moved out of one shop and into mine. In addition, the table feed doesn't want to engage and gears buzz/grind whenever you try to engage it. Obviously I didn't force it, just lightly tried to engage and immediately stopped to prevent damage.

    Here are some pictures of the machine for reference.

    Excited to have purchased my first mill!

    img_1610.jpg
    img_1612.jpg

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    Boy! I didn't know that Gorton made a vertical with a horizontal spindle built into it. Nice!
    Sorry I can't help on the traverse issue.
    Looks like you are going to have to start taking things apart until you find out what happen. Sounds like a shifter fork or pin got sheared off in there. Just a WAG.
    Ken

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    What do the hydraulics control? Is there just a hydraulic motor for an input power into a feed box? I'd suspect maybe a stuck spool valve, or an inoperational valve due to being hit or bent during the move.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HuFlungDung View Post
    What do the hydraulics control? Is there just a hydraulic motor for an input power into a feed box? I'd suspect maybe a stuck spool valve, or an inoperational valve due to being hit or bent during the move.
    There is a large, probably 2-3hp motor that is for the power feeds which I believe to be hydraulic. It has a separate start/stop button for it. I don't know a huge amount about the machine. Any ideas where these valves would be located?

    Thanks for helping me out

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    I'm not so sure any of it is hydraulically controlled. If that motor is mounted on the side of the knee, that is all mechanically operated. If it's anything like the old 9-J mills, you have keys up in there and mechanisms doing funny things and it sounds like a piece of linkage has come loose. This not allowing the jaw clutch to disengage the rapids.
    Have you gone thru all of the literature on the Gorton website to see if there is anything there that may help?

    Ken

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    Yeah it could be just a case of a stuck microswitch as well. On my old horizontal mill, it has the feed motor on the knee. It has a 4 way lever on there kind of like a stick shift to run rapid or feed in either direction. That is basically microswitch control of the motor contactors, not anything too complex about it. Contactors can also get sticky in some situations, and refuse to open normally. Usual cause would be burnt contacts. But plain old sticky grime can also sometimes glue the contactor poles together. Open up the electrical cabinet and see if you can observe contactors operating normally. Have an electrician to help you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    I'm not so sure any of it is hydraulically controlled. If that motor is mounted on the side of the knee, that is all mechanically operated. If it's anything like the old 9-J mills, you have keys up in there and mechanisms doing funny things and it sounds like a piece of linkage has come loose. This not allowing the jaw clutch to disengage the rapids.
    Have you gone thru all of the literature on the Gorton website to see if there is anything there that may help?

    Ken
    I have had a hard time figuring out what mill I exactly have to be honest with you. What information I have found has been sparse. I believe I have the medium duty TraceMaster ram/head on a different base, that also has a horizontal spindle. It is an R8 taper I believe, and it has some "Snap Change" spindle addition to it which is actually handy as heck. Not to get off topic, but I would like to identify just what I have. The paint on the ram does not match the paint on the base.

    I must have been mistaken. The powerfeed motor is indeed on the left side of the knee, and is a 1hp 3ph motor. It is quite sizable. Once again - I know about milling, not so much about this specific mill, namely what it is and how everything is put together.

    Thanks for the help and input so far guys

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    From the not-very-explanatory photos you put up, that's not a Tracemaster. Where's the tracer ? That looks like their regular 3-48 mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    From the not-very-explanatory photos you put up, that's not a Tracemaster. Where's the tracer ? That looks like their regular 3-48 mill.
    I'm sure there was a nicer way to word that. I figured it was a tracemaster by the giant TRACEMASTER on the side of the ram. Like I mentioned - it seems as though the ram is on a different base. Please refer to pictures below. On the right side of the head, I can see where a tracer would have bolted on, though it is no longer present.

    img_1601.jpg
    img_1588.jpg

    EDIT: Found this which looks close: George Gorton Machine Co. 3-34 Medium Horizontal Mill brochure, 1954, Form 247-B

    Somewhere along the line someone must have put a tracemaster ram on top? Is that a thing?

    Thanks for the input..

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    I'm sure the vertical head was an option that could been bought when new. From that, as you said, the ram and vertical head robbed from an old master mill and added to the horizontal later in life.

    I would love to have a old horse like that in my shop. The only problem, it's over my 2500 lb limit!

    That's another story.

    Ken

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    I love those combo horizontal/vertical machines that have high speed vertical heads and beefy horizontal spindles. That one, the Cintiversals, Shizouka's. There have been a number. So much use in one footprint. Nice mill.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steamandsteel View Post
    I figured it was a tracemaster by the giant TRACEMASTER on the side of the ram.
    Badge engineering. A ferrari horse on a chevelle doesn't make it one

    The Tracemasters are quite different.

    Somewhere along the line someone must have put a tracemaster ram on top? Is that a thing?
    The rest of it isn't a Tracemaster, that's pretty much for sure. Gorton did make something like what you have but I've only seen them in the catalog, never in real life. Either it's very rare or homemade. The bottom half doesn't look like it matches the top half but you aren't showing us the name plate on the side of the column.

    Anyway, Tracemasters use hydraulics or ballscrews to drive the table around and you don't have that. At least not anymore ... the Tracemasters are 1-22's and 2-30's, neither of which is in your photo.

    Either it's a special (Gorton did lots of that) or home-made. Looks too nice for homemade but the bottom half doesn't look very Gortonish. Nice looking mill though. Try to get a manual for a #3 horizontal, that will tell you about the bottom half. The top looks like standard late model 1-22 Mastermil. (Around 1960-ish they changed from a belt drive like a Bridgeport to the vari-speed head that you have.)


    Edit: looked more careefully at the last photo. No, not a #3 Gorton, way too light and small. But the controls don't look at all like the normal 1-22. You could really have one of those rare catalog-only horizontal-vertical Gortons that knowledgeable guys all wanted but no one ever saw. Search through old catalogs. Nice piece.

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    Did you first bump the motor and check phase rotation ?

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    I keep looking at the new photos and thinking the bottom half does not look Gorton. The handles and layout look Cincinati. A cincinnati guy could tell better but it looks as if someone took off the overarm from a Cincy and mounted the ram and head from a 1-22 Tracemaster (that part is the same as the normal Mastermil.)

    If that's what it is, it's a really clever conversion and looks like they did a nice job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Did you first bump the motor and check phase rotation ?
    I did no such thing. The guy who had it before me only had it for a little while before he messed up the rapid traverse/it "stopped working." I did find this interesting tag in the electrical cabinet. I have no idea what it is talking about and am in need of guidance.

    img_1641.jpg

    IN ADDITION, you folks are pretty sharp. I was rewiring the mill to the phase converter after running everything in conduit, and noticed that there is a wiring diagram inside a manila envelope for a Cincinnati machine.. Picture below. Looks like we are looking at a Cincinnati horizontal mill with a Gorton ram/head on it.

    img_1640.jpg

    Where is this drum switch, and where should I look to check the rotation? In addition, since it wasn't checked, has something gotten permanently messed up or otherwise damaged? Are there things I should start pulling apart and checking, or is it as simple as turning a switch and ensuring the motor is rotating in the proper direction?

    Thanks for all the help and input...

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    I was thinking Cincinnati when I saw the first pictures but wasn't positive so just held my replies. They are exactly the same as a few of the late build Cincinnati machines I have. I was thinking that would be an awfully big coincidence for two companies to use the same handles.

    While I can't ID the exact model it appears to be a late build 207MK horizontal lower. They made all kinds of weird variations in the end so it could be MI, MH, etc. But all are basically similar in function.

    Best of luck.

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    Quote Originally Posted by steamandsteel View Post
    ... is it as simple as turning a switch and ensuring the motor is rotating in the proper direction?
    You should make sure to do this. Don't trust my fading memory but I could swear something bad happens to either a Cincy or a K&T if you run the main motor backwards.

    If we want to know which one, I'll just pick a name and someone will be along to correct me right away

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    You should make sure to do this. Don't trust my fading memory but I could swear something bad happens to either a Cincy or a K&T if you run the main motor backwards.

    If we want to know which one, I'll just pick a name and someone will be along to correct me right away
    Here's the problem: I bought this mill from someone who had just bought it himself. I know that he didn't check rotation of a motor before trying to use the powerfeed, and most likely screwed something up. He had bought it with the sole intention to cut slots, and without adjustable powerfeed, the machine was useless to him. With this being a Cincinnati, and the most likely case being that the motor was running in the wrong direction, what has it done to the power feed? While it is stuck in rapid traverse, it still works on y and z axis.

    Also - I am still unsure as to how and where I check the rotation, and reverse if necessary. I can see the motor on the left side of the knee, but on the front of the knee I don't know what to look for.

    Thanks

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    I am not sure if the tag was referencing to the horizontal or the vertical spindle. Vertical spindle spins clockwise when in forwards (which seems to be the opposite of what I want based on the tag) and I cannot figure out if the horizontal spindle moves or how to get it to move.

    Has something been messed up permanently on this machine, or will reversing the rotation fix the issue? (still don't know how to reverse it)


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