Beaver mill restoration and test against original spec sheet
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    Default Beaver mill restoration and test against original spec sheet

    Hi,
    I purchased myself a beaver vbrp mill last weekend and with it received the following paperwork;
    -"Installation, operation and maintenance instructions for Beaver 'VBRP'"
    -the 2 sheet machine inspection sheet for the mill


    the mill itself


    the paperwork i got with her.

    As i have the inspection sheet from when she was new i though it would be fun to first remeasure as per the original inspection then see how much a general service will help tighten her up. The mill itself does not appear to have much use though it also does not look like it has been properly maintained at all. Note the ancient packed grease i found in the down feed gearbox, it is first of all meant to be oil filled and there is a ridiculous amount of it in there.



    Also i hope the diagrams provided in the inspection sheet can help anyone else interested in how to measure their own machine.

    The numbers as per the inspection sheet are as follows (imperial inches, metric mm in brackets), i will try to upload my first set of results when i can get the time to run the tests on her, also i dont have a C.I block so will bodge up what i can for a close enough approximation.

    "N.B. Cutting tests on C.I. block brinell hard 190-215
    End mill 2" diameter speed 130 R.P.M.
    Feed 2" per min depth 0.3"
    Drill 0.5 diameter speed 640 R.P.M
    All feed rates
    Spindle completed 1,000,000 Revs"

    Test 1 Rise and fall of table in longitudinal movement MAX:...0.0005"(0.127) In 12"(304.8)
    RESULT 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 2 Rise and fall of table in cross movement MAX:...0.0005"(0.127) in 9"(228.6) high at front
    RESULT 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 3 Center 'T' slot parallel with longitudinal movement MAX:...0.001"(0.025) in 12"(304.8)
    RESULT 0.0006" (0.015)

    Test 4 Center 'T' slot squre with cross movement MAX:...0.0004"(0.010) in 6"(152.4)
    RESULT 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 5 Spindle end periphery and face run out MAX:...0.0002"(0.005)
    RESULT Periphery 0.0002" (0.005) End 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 6 Spindle run out MAX 1.25"(31.75) from spindle face 0.0005"(0.013) MAX 6"(152.4) from spindle face 0.00075"(0.019)
    RESULT 1.25" 0.0002 (0.005) 6" 0.0003 (0.0076)

    Test 7 Spindle parallel with positive side of column MAX 0.0005"(0.013_ in 6"(152.4)
    RESULT 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 8 Spindle parallel with column face MAX 0.001"(0.025) in 10"(254) toe in
    Do calculations match result 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 9 Table top square with spindle (front and rear) Note- subtract double test 8 from clock reading for result MAX 0.001"(0.025) in 10"(254)
    Rising towards front result 0.0008 (0.020)

    Test 10 Table top square with spindle (left and right) MAX 0.001"(0.025) in 12"(304.8)
    RESULT 0.0004" (0.010)

    Test 11 Carry out test No. 8 with head turret in positions as shown (swung 30deg each way) MAX 0.001"(0.025) in 12"(304.8)
    RESULTS 30DEG CW 0.0002" (0.005) 30DEG CCW 0.0003" (0.0076)

    Test 12 Overarm parallel to sadle cross movement MAX 0.001"(0.025) in 12"(304.8)
    RESULT 0.0004" (0.010)

    Test 13 Spindle quill movement parallel with column (Extend quill) MAX 0.0005"(0.013) in 5"(127)
    RESULT 0.0002" (0.005)

    Test 14 Quill parallel with positive side of column (Extend quill) MAX 0.0005"(0.013) in 5"(127)
    RESULT 0.0003 (0.0076)

    Test 15 Backlash in vertical screw 0.008" Maximum RESULT 0.004" (0.102)
    Max. error in total ..??
    Table screw 0.001" (0.025)
    Cross screw 0.001" (0.025)
    Vertical screw 0.002" (0.051)
    Backlash ..??.. cross 0.004" (0.102)

    Test 16 Ammeter test for kwika normal load 0.35 AMPS approx. MAX
    RESULT 0.35
    Starting load 6amp. approx. MAX
    RESULT 0.4

    Test 17 Deflection test on quill correct YES/NO
    Quill clamp MAX 0.0005(0.013)
    RESULT 0.0002 (0.005)

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    The down feed gearboxes are supposed to be grease lubricated. That's probably the original grease! The oiler above there feeds oil to the worm wheel, bevel gears and shaft bearings that drive the down feed gearbox, but there's no flow of oil from there to the gearbox.

    Note that there are two greasing points on the right side of the quill. One is accessible by removing the round 'grease' cover above the down feed lever and moving the quill up until you can see it, the other is near the bottom and can be got at by lowering the quill. You need a "Pom pom"/push type grease gun with a spherical end to lubricate these and the back gear pinion bearings.

    Make sure there is good fresh oil in the table feed gearbox on the left of the saddle.


    I finished best part of four year's work rebuilding my own Mk1 VBRP mill this year and it's now at least as good as it was when it left the factory, but it was a lot of work.

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    Thanks for your feedback it is much appreciated and very helpful. I have heard that the manual for the VBRP mk1 is short on the ground. If you don't have a copy similar to mine I would be happy to scan it and make it available to you, just pm me and I'll see what I can do :-) .*

    On the mill itself I suspect that you are indeed correct in that it is probably the original grease in the down feed gearbox. So far all the taper pins have had paint broken off them to remove and all the bolts have the same anti-seize grease. This has made it rather easy to start taking apart as all the bolts come off very easily with a nice crack to start. The only extra effort I had t put I was drilling out a seized taper pin from one of the levers.*

    I decided to go straight to the service though rather than try testing everything as was the original plan. This was because the x and y feeds were looking very sloppy and I didn't like the idea of tramming them much without a rebuild and I didn't much like the look of that grease and what that may mean for the state of the other internal fluids. The Y nut block is especially loose with movement being evident.*

    <img>http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g344/captain_lizman/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20160627_050907_edit_zpshm36hni3.jpg<\img>
    The mill in its current state

    Otherwise mechanicaly though this mill looks in great shape so I don't think it should take too long to have it running, a couple of months maybe. All the bearings in the head feel tight, and I couldn't hear anything suspicious when the last owner ran it for me.*

    Hopefully for the most part a simple service should suffice and for the two measurements I did do, parallelism of center t slot and quill parallelism both came in at less than 0.01mm (the spacing on my $15 Chinese test dial, below that I don't trust it) *it's definitely looking good... and I need some better 0.001mm gauges for this lady too haha.

    Other change I have to make would be swapping the primary motor out for a single phase (just to get me along till I can buy my own house). I'll just have to make do with the loss of the power cross feed and fluid pump till I can get 3 phase access.

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    I would not change out the motor to a single phase motor. Put a vfd on it. A vfd {variable frequency drive} will convert your single phase ac to 3 phase ac and you will pick up the ability to adjust rpm. As small as the motor on your mill is it can be done for around $200. Check the wiring connections to the power feed it is probably single phase. Your coolant pump may also be single phase check it as well. If you don't know how to check it post pics of any data plates and terminal blocks there are many people on this forum who can help you out. The variable speed is really nice for power tapping and many other things. Bob

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    The Beaver power feeds and coolant pumps are all three phase 415V. Why not, when the factory would have three phase as a matter of course?

    Having said that, if you can find a couple of 240-415V VFDs or 240-240VFDs with transformers you can run from a single phase feed. A rotary converter will be a cheaper solution, since you only need one, but the table power feed, by default has a rather low top speed that would benefit from a VFD running at up to 100Hz.

    I have the benefit of running my whole shed off a big inverter that gives me three phase for much less than the cost of connecting my cables to the 3 phase in the street.

    None of the motors are dual voltage star/delta connected. So if you supply 3 phase, it needs to be 415V. But commercial rotary or static convertors do this quite simply. Once you've got a 415V 3 phase supply, then toys like surface grinders, more industrial lathes etc. become easier to feed and cheaper to buy .

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    Hay Bob and Mark thanks for the feedback, yeah i have looked at VFD's, rotary converters ext. as discussed on this site many a time haha but my motor isn't 240/415V it can only be 415 and i have no desire to get the motor rewound as i will be buying a house in the next year and will ensure i have 3 phase there, i just don't want to pay for my landlord to have it and he doesn't want me to modify any wiring in the place. Of the other options i would have;
    -A 240-240 VFD run at 28hz providing 1/2 the motors rated HP but not really the way i would want to go
    -A 240-415 step up VFD would be in the order of $600 dollars,
    -making a rotary converter with a 7.5hp idler, grabbing an old welder for its 240-415 step up transformer and caps would be around $250-300 and would most likely require a 20amp breaker to be installed (again not my place to modify) but would have allowed me to run the whole machine with flushing pump and travel motors as well
    -or a single phase 2hp swap with pulley for $250 and i can use the 10amp plugs my land lord already has.

    None of these options are that good but the single phase swap would be the cheapest to get going in the short term with the least work and that is my concern. As soon as i get my own place i will pop the original motor on and plug her into some 3 phase goodness and get the on-board flushing pump and travel motors going again. It is just as a temp compromise while i am still renting. The other option is that i will rebuild her and have her idle until i get my own place and is an option i am considering if the single phase swap would turn out to be too much bother.

    On the strip down i will do an update after the weekend once i have been able to get back to it. From what i have seen of the machine last weekend it is in very good mechanical condition and i expect tolerances to be very close to those from new (as listed above), we will see once i get everything back together

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    Please make sure you keep your threads content to the intent of this forum. Please read the sticky note at the top of the forum. Especially the one on acceptable content. We do not discuss electrical issues or other general maintenance items here.

    Charles

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    One of the problems of this particular machine was that the Y feed screw is at the side of the knee, as opposed to being in the middle on Bridgeports etc. On this Mk1 version, the vertical shears of the knee are in the middle, giving a large offset between the feed screw and the shears. For some reason, they also didn't provide any oil nipples/zerks and oil ways to get oil to the underside of the saddle. This leads to rapid wear on the vertical shears of the saddle and knee. On mine (which had been badly treated by at least the previous owner, if not all the owners) There was 0.020"/.5mm of curvature on both the knee and saddle vertical shears.

    In the Mk11 version, they moved the vertical shears to the right hand side of the knee, which significantly reduced the side force on the shears.

    If you do end up doing a full rebuild, it could be worth improving the lubrication as part of the job. I went a bit overboard as shown here. I won't know if it worked until I'm a few years older.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBlair View Post
    Please make sure you keep your threads content to the intent of this forum. Please read the sticky note at the top of the forum. Especially the one on acceptable content. We do not discuss electrical issues or other general maintenance items here.

    Charles
    Why not?

    I've never seen a machine tool be "reconditioned" without any electrical work.

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    So back to the Beaver today and have started from the top. Ive gotten the motor and pulley head off and am down to the below. Not sure how to get this section off (i believe its the gearbox). My assumption would be to remove the bearing at the top?

    Where I'm at with the tear down

    Any feedback would be helpful as i don't have the exploded diagram from the gearbox up and don't want to damage anything. Also note the "oil", or that's what it may have been 50 years ago haha, acts and moves almost like grease now haha. Makes me happy to be doing this service and rebuild seeing that acting as lubricant for the poor thing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rand View Post
    One of the problems of this particular machine was that the Y feed screw is at the side of the knee, as opposed to being in the middle on Bridgeports etc. On this Mk1 version, the vertical shears of the knee are in the middle, giving a large offset between the feed screw and the shears. For some reason, they also didn't provide any oil nipples/zerks and oil ways to get oil to the underside of the saddle. This leads to rapid wear on the vertical shears of the saddle and knee. On mine (which had been badly treated by at least the previous owner, if not all the owners) There was 0.020"/.5mm of curvature on both the knee and saddle vertical shears.

    In the Mk11 version, they moved the vertical shears to the right hand side of the knee, which significantly reduced the side force on the shears.

    If you do end up doing a full rebuild, it could be worth improving the lubrication as part of the job. I went a bit overboard as shown here. I won't know if it worked until I'm a few years older.

    Very nice job Mark. I'm not sure about the nylon tubing with hot swarf though.

    A workmate of mine called Roy was working on a rebuilding job years ago. He was under strict instructions to keep the price of the job down. Instead of copper tubing he'd used nylon.

    The Managing Director was walking by our jobs one day. He saw the tubing. He walked over to me and said " Lend me your hammer will you, Tyrone ". I lent him my hammer. He just walked over to my pal's job and hammered the nylon piping in half where it crossed the edge of a casting. He then threw my hammer the full length of the shop and said - " Tell Roy to do the job properly will you ".

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_lizman View Post
    So back to the Beaver today and have started from the top. Ive gotten the motor and pulley head off and am down to the below. Not sure how to get this section off (i believe its the gearbox). My assumption would be to remove the bearing at the top?

    Where I'm at with the tear down

    Any feedback would be helpful as i don't have the exploded diagram from the gearbox up and don't want to damage anything. Also note the "oil", or that's what it may have been 50 years ago haha, acts and moves almost like grease now haha. Makes me happy to be doing this service and rebuild seeing that acting as lubricant for the poor thing
    Take the gearbox off the rest of the head to make it easier to work on!
    The bearing mounting at the top, that holds the backgear pinion shaft will remove once the screws are out, but may need quite a bit of persuasion. Once that's out of the way, the cover plate over the backgear can be gently prized off. Default lubrication is grease and maybe a bit of moly. The Mk2 had an oil filled gearbox, but the Mk1 was a learning exercise for Balding's...

    Beware when you lift the backgear off the hollow shaft. The little spring and ball can fly across the room. Getting the bloody things back in involves pressing the ball/spring into its hole with a bit of dowel through the opposite open hole, while lowering the gear onto the hollow shaft. It's quite easy once you've failed half a dozen times.



    Quote Originally Posted by Tyrone Shoelaces View Post
    Very nice job Mark. I'm not sure about the nylon tubing with hot swarf though.

    A workmate of mine called Roy was working on a rebuilding job years ago. He was under strict instructions to keep the price of the job down. Instead of copper tubing he'd used nylon.

    The Managing Director was walking by our jobs one day. He saw the tubing. He walked over to me and said " Lend me your hammer will you, Tyrone ". I lent him my hammer. He just walked over to my pal's job and hammered the nylon piping in half where it crossed the edge of a casting. He then threw my hammer the full length of the shop and said - " Tell Roy to do the job properly will you ".

    Regards Tyrone.
    Note:- the hammer would have the same effect on copper tube. The external tube on the sides of the knee is out of the path of the swarf and I am going to make a couple of covers to shield the bits that are visible at the top of the knee. The tube from the pump under the knee to the conglomeration in the saddle could be in danger from getting caught, but I've got some drag chain wire carrier to protect it and the DRO scale cables that I hope to fit. I've been thinking about replacing the two lengths that I've got going to the saddle gibs with copper tube on the grounds that it'll stay where I put it and I can bend it neatly without kinking it.

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    Fair enough Mark. The MD I referred to wasn't always dealing with a full deck. I think it depended on the phases of the moon.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewlsey View Post
    Why not?

    I've never seen a machine tool be "reconditioned" without any electrical work.
    Because it says so in the rules, and reconditioning doesnt extend to repairs of electrical parts. The reconditioning only covers the moving axis of the machine tool, not every part of one. If you have not read the sticky notes at the top of the forum page please do so.

    Charles

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    Hi, I am new to this group. I have a Beaver VBRP, which I picked up some years ago on ebay for £87.00. It has the 30 int quill, which is as everybody infers - undersized, with not so much tooling available as per int40. Good sound heavy machine, I have moved it to my workshop in France and now have to get on with restoring it and powering up using a rotary phase generator. Looks like you are doing a thorough job on your machine!
    I have never seen an original specification build sheet for one of these mills, if you can bring your mill back to these specs; you will have done extremely well. Also I have never seen or heard of a manual, if you do have a scanned copy of yours, I would appreciate a copy.
    Moving these mills can be interesting, when I bought mine; a friend and I went to to pick it up in a 7 ton box truck with a tail lift. We under estimated the size, weight and top heaviness! but after a few hour we got it in. Getting it out again was just as interesting. I took it to France on a 5.2 ton flatbed iveco, with my workshop contents. Hope the rest of your restoration went well!

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain_lizman View Post
    Thanks for your feedback it is much appreciated and very helpful. I have heard that the manual for the VBRP mk1 is short on the ground. If you don't have a copy similar to mine I would be happy to scan it and make it available to you, just pm me and I'll see what I can do :-) .*

    On the mill itself I suspect that you are indeed correct in that it is probably the original grease in the down feed gearbox. So far all the taper pins have had paint broken off them to remove and all the bolts have the same anti-seize grease. This has made it rather easy to start taking apart as all the bolts come off very easily with a nice crack to start. The only extra effort I had t put I was drilling out a seized taper pin from one of the levers.*

    I decided to go straight to the service though rather than try testing everything as was the original plan. This was because the x and y feeds were looking very sloppy and I didn't like the idea of tramming them much without a rebuild and I didn't much like the look of that grease and what that may mean for the state of the other internal fluids. The Y nut block is especially loose with movement being evident.*

    <img>http://i1097.photobucket.com/albums/g344/captain_lizman/Mobile%20Uploads/IMG_20160627_050907_edit_zpshm36hni3.jpg<\img>
    The mill in its current state

    Otherwise mechanicaly though this mill looks in great shape so I don't think it should take too long to have it running, a couple of months maybe. All the bearings in the head feel tight, and I couldn't hear anything suspicious when the last owner ran it for me.*

    Hopefully for the most part a simple service should suffice and for the two measurements I did do, parallelism of center t slot and quill parallelism both came in at less than 0.01mm (the spacing on my $15 Chinese test dial, below that I don't trust it) *it's definitely looking good... and I need some better 0.001mm gauges for this lady too haha.

    Other change I have to make would be swapping the primary motor out for a single phase (just to get me along till I can buy my own house). I'll just have to make do with the loss of the power cross feed and fluid pump till I can get 3 phase access.
    Hi Captain? Nice to make contact with a Beaver owner this side of the pond - I have a Beaver Mk11 and would like to speak with an owner nearby - not sure if this contact is within forum rules so initially could you reply to this thread and I guess someone will inform me of its legitimicy - I have not used mine yet having had problems with my phase change conv. and rebuilding the coolant pump - today I cant get the quill to down feed and cant work out why, it has done before - have lots of problems up here due to the rain and lots of rust, have to buy some Lanox - have a boring job to do so must go and try again
    Alf in Taree

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    Hi Alf, I've private messaged you. Thanks

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    Thanks for reply - Unfortunately my Beaver is a MK.11 and reply is possibly irrelevant
    Thanks anyway - where are you?
    Alf

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    Hi Alf, may be. I would still expect a clutch mechanism in the downfeed somewhere, still a good place to start. If not it may be a failed key so would have to check all the gears out. Im in Perth

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    Hi - just started overhaul of Balding Beaver Mk 5 milling machine and looking for a parts list?

    Any ideas?


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