Advice sought - Elgin vertical mill cross slide reconditiong and alloy recommendation
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  1. #1
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    Default Advice sought - Elgin vertical mill cross slide reconditiong and alloy recommendation

    I began work on my Elgin Mill to address excessive lash in the two horizontal feeds. I removed the table and deep cleaned everything in a vapor honing machine and other components in a dry honing machine. The space behind the gib may have never been cleaned and required mechanical means to clean the inside corners of the dovetail.
    The acme nuts are past the end of their lives and will be replaced at some point in the future. For the meantime, I tightened the nut until the effort required to turn the screw was too firm, and then backed off a bit. A gap remained at the bearing point between the feed screw and table. I hand sanded two copper washers on a plate to fit. The results were excellent and the lash in the RL axis is zero.
    I'd like to remove the front to back lash using similar methods. In order to remove the acme screw for cleaning and adjustment, its bearing needs to be removed from the casting which houses it, so the shaft can be unscrewed from the nut. I can't tell if the bearing is screwed in or pressed in. If all I need is a face style pin wrench, it's easy enough to set up, but I don't want to guess as to the bearings installation. So if any has faced a similar situation, please let me know.
    Also, one of the dial assemblies was missing a spring and the small cup which bears on the inside if the graduated dial. I can source a spring from McMaster-Carr but it seems I will have to turn the cup. The locking handles and the washers they sit on, and the cups used inside the dial assembly seem to be from the same stock. Can anyone suggest an alloy that may have been used in the 1920's to make this little cup.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20190303_163722.jpg   dsc05196.jpg   dsc05197.jpg   dsc05200.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1dogandnoexes View Post
    I began work on my Elgin Mill to address excessive lash in the two horizontal feeds. I removed the table and deep cleaned everything in a vapor honing machine and other components in a dry honing machine. The space behind the gib may have never been cleaned and required mechanical means to clean the inside corners of the dovetail..
    What is "vapor honing" and "dry honing" and how would that clean something?

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    what alloy? are you serious, or just pulling our leg?!

    it looks like you need to drive a pin (taper?) out of the collar that retains the screw, then just unscrew it from the nut and pull it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    What is "vapor honing" and "dry honing" and how would that clean something?
    I was getting ready to write something about cleaning muffler bearings and instead decided to look it up. Looks like a fancy name for sandblasting.....kinda like aircraft aluminum....

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    Default Vapor Honing versus dry honing

    Vapor honing is a high pressure wet blasting process that uses a slurry of water and glass beads. I set up a wet blasting business to serve restorers but there doesn't seem too be much of a market for it. If interested go here fore some before and after shots: johnsvaporhoning.com. It cleans without abrading but generally does not strip paint. It's an amazing machine but due to cost, I think most people are satisfied with solvent cleaning. I'm personally not and have reduced solvent and stripper use by 95%. The vapor honing cabinet uses only water. No solvents to buy or touch, no protective gloves, no fumes to breathe, no hot tank, and no Safety Clean machine. Also, the machine cleans radically faster and better than anything that can be done by hand.

    Dry honing is a pressure vessel based dry blasting process. The blaster uses dry blast media (I use a 120 grit glass bead) that can be turned up to 80 p.s.i. and blast at a pressure as low as 5 p.s.i. The cabinet is an engineering master piece. Mine was built in 1966 and was developed for aircraft parts maintenance, including jet engine turbines. The final two pictures are of a battery tray in my kerosene heater. A high pressure process could damage small parts like these and they are best cleaned at a much lower pressure.

    Picture number 3 shows items that were cleaned using both processes. Having access to both is a cleaning machine dream!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails vapor-honing.jpg   dry-honer.jpg   dsc05203.jpg   20191209_122936.jpg   20191209_123612.jpg  


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    LOL! re the muffler bearings. It's a treat to have a vapor honing cabinet for cleaning. If you ever get a chance to take one for a spin, you ought to. See my response to another post.

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    [QUOTE=cyanidekid;3506040]what alloy? are you serious, or just pulling our leg?!

    No I wasn't kidding. Now that I have the acme screw out, I can see some voids that suggest that it may have been machined from a cast blank. Maybe alloys wouldn't have been around this early. Anyhow, the screw is pretty beat up. If I decide to make a new, what material would you suggest?

    Also, if the original locking handles and graduated dials are made from cast iron and not an alloy, I guess I would just confess ignorance that they can be polished to a high shine.

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    Screws... "stressproof" or "1144" available from McMaster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1dogandnoexes View Post
    Maybe alloys wouldn't have been around this early.
    If you had to work ONLY with alloys already well-established by 1880 - 1890 thirty to forty years before this machine was made - you wouldn't really miss anything especially crucial.

    Think weapons of war - firearms, pistols to cannon, the armour plate to withstand their impact, the machinery to produce it all - just for one demanding area of use that was applied globally.

    Sadly. mostly.

    But there you have it. Nickel, Chromium, Vanadium, Manganese, Tungsten, and more.

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    ok, I apologize for the sarcasm. what parts are you referring to exactly? I thought it was the cup that the spring pushes against the dial to stop it from spinning, as you referred to that as missing. that you could make from just about any piece of machinable metal, but cold rolled 1018 1/2 hard would be an excellent choice and close enough to the original.

    same would be good for the handles, but yes cast iron can be "shiny". it is often plated heavily enough with copper and then nickel or chrome to "seal up" the surface and appear homogenous.

    for the acme screw, probably go with the "stress proof" (as has been suggested ) for ease of machining, but actually, I would try to buy a screw myself.

    highly doubt the acme screw was cast. graduated dials, yes often. smaller screws and cups and pins and plugs, most likely steel, or if before 1850 or so wrought iron of various grades.

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    Default Alloys? to replace old components on Elgin Mill and Atlas drill press

    Your sarcasm was appreciated! It helped connect the wires to a bulb in my brain, at which point I realized that I was not taking into account the age of the machines I was working on. I've attached some lettered photos to show the pieces I'd like to replace. Materials recommendations are appreciated.

    (A) is the cup which I mentioned previously. The spring pushes it against the inside of the dial (B); the dial can be set and then moves with the feed screw as it runs. After nearly 100 years, the dial shows almost no signs of wear from the cup. I can't identify the cup's material so maybe I should use brass or bronze just to be cautious. Nut (C) is the last part of the assembly and locks the feed screw in place. The threads are in marginal condition and the end of its life is near. I can use this one for the time being, but I'd like to replace it before it fails completely.

    Parts (D) and (F) were missing. I temporarily added a piece of 1018 rod as a handle and made a new spacer washer from a scrap of mild steel. The table lock now works. I'd like to make a new handle like the original vertical lock handle because it's more comfortable to grab a round know. The spacer washer (F) works as is but the material didn't turn well in the lathe. Whatever I make (F) from, I'll need to be able to set the thickness rather precisely. Each of these washers is a different thickness so that the handle begins and ends it's rotation without interfering with something else.

    In the next photo you can see that the threads on the front of the feed screw (H) are badly damaged, and the point at which the feed screw bears again the sleeve shown in the last photo is also heavily worn. The adjustment nut (I) which locks the acme screw is too soft. The holes quickly deformed when 1/8" diam 1018 steel rod was used to tighten it. I'd like to make it from something a bit harder.

    Photo number 3 is from a drill press. A shaft which eventually drives the chuck passes through it. Two bearings are pressed onto it before it is pressed into the drill press head. I damaged it during removal and it is no longer concentric. I'd like to make a replacement and put a fine point on the i.d. to keep the radial runout on the press as low as is possible.

    Back to the milling machine, the final photo shows the assembly through which the feed screw passes. The bore is not badly worn but the point at which the feed screw bears onto the backside of the assembly is badly worn. The holes for the pins on the spanner wrench also deformed very quickly when I tightened it down. I want something I can tighten without leaving high spots at these holes so that the deformities don't cut grooves into the component resting on top.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails items-fabricate-1.jpg   items-fabricate2.jpg   items-fabricate-3.jpg   20200312_100642.jpg  

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    Default Alloys? to replace old components on Elgin Mill and Atlas drill press

    Your sarcasm was appreciated! It helped connect the wires to a bulb in my brain, at which point I realized that I was not taking into account the age of the machines I was working on. I've attached some lettered photos to show the pieces I'd like to replace. Materials recommendations are appreciated. I'm not set on steel and the materials don't all have to be the same, but I want to do these repairs ONCE and move on.

    (A) is the cup which I mentioned previously. One of the dials is missing a spring and a cup. The spring pushes it against the inside of the dial (B); the dial can be set and then moves with the feed screw as it runs. After nearly 100 years, the dial shows almost no signs of wear from the cup. I can't identify the cup's material so maybe I should use brass or bronze just to be cautious. Nut (C) is the last part of the assembly and locks the feed screw in place. The threads are in marginal condition and the end of its life is near. I can use this one for the time being, but I'd like to replace it before it fails completely.

    Parts (D) and (F) were missing. I temporarily added a piece of 1018 rod as a handle and made a new spacer washer from a scrap of mild steel. The table lock now works. I'd like to make a new handle like the original vertical lock handle because it's more comfortable to grab a round knob. The spacer washer (F) works as is but the material didn't turn well in the lathe. Whatever I make (F) from, I'll need to be able to set the thickness rather precisely. Each of these washers is a different thickness so that the handle begins and ends its rotation without interfering with something else.

    In the next photo you can see that the threads on the front of the feed screw (H) are badly damaged, and the point at which the feed screw bears again the sleeve shown in the last photo is also heavily worn. The adjustment nut (I) which locks the acme screw is too soft. The holes quickly deformed when 1/8" diam 1018 steel rod was used to tighten it. I'd like to make it from something a bit harder.

    Photo number 3 is from a drill press. A shaft which eventually drives the chuck passes through it. Two bearings are pressed onto it before it is pressed into the drill press head. I damaged it during removal and it is no longer concentric. I'd like to make a replacement and put a very fine point on the i.d. to keep the radial runout on the quill as low as possible.

    Back to the milling machine, the final photo shows the assembly through which the feed screw passes. The bore is not badly worn but the point at which the feed screw bears onto the backside of the assembly is very badly worn. The holes for the pins on the spanner wrench also deformed very quickly when I tightened it down. I want something I can tighten without leaving high spots at these holes so that the deformities don't in turn cut grooves into the component resting on top.

    So there you have it. I can make the parts but need some suggestion as to what to make them from. Tx in advance

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    For steel parts that "require" a good finish, you may use 12L14 (leaded steel): it machines beautifully and has decent tensile strength and wear resistance.
    I am puzzled with your issues with deforming spanner wrench holes: are you using properly sized spanner wrenches, or do you just insert a rod in one of the holes and hammer at it?

    Paolo

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    You should also scrape some new oil pockets in the ways exposed and unexposed. The smooth ways will gall up or scratch because of lack of oil pockets See link below. Also your doing a nice job. I saw how someone convert a regular sand blast cabinet to water and abrasive mixture. I had never seen that before and it worked slick.

    Skip to # 30 where I write about stick slip and no oil pockets. Its a long thread, but after he scraped it he wrote how much better it moved. Studer RHU 450 from the 1960s

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Its a long thread, but after he scraped it he wrote how much better it moved. Studer RHU 450 from the 1960s
    I was just using the machine yesterday to do some inside grinding. I can run the horizontal slide very slowly (1mm per minute!) and the motion is smooth (I can tell from the DRO). There is zero stick-slip. Richard's advice and on-line instruction were spot-on.
    Last edited by ballen; 03-20-2020 at 03:08 AM.

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