Capillary Oiler (felt wicks) Question
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    Default Capillary Oiler (felt wicks) Question

    When replacing the capillary oilers during the rebuild of my 1948 9A head stock, I found the front felt did not sit down in the recess nearly far as the rear. The spring had to be collapsed entirely to fall below the bearing surface. It seemed like this would put a lot of pressure on the spindle and inhibit the spindle from turning freely. I had to cut off close to half of the spring and felt from the bottom, to duplicate feel of the rear felt.

    Has anyone else had this experience and seen a big difference between the front and rear recesses to hold the wicks? I was thinking that the front recess may have been poorly cast. Could this have been intentional? I dont remember seeing this difference on my 9C rebuild several years ago.

    Thanks
    Jim

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    I have a 1941 13" lathe, and if I'm remembering correctly, front and rear had the same felts, springs, etc, in the bearings. Cast iron bearings on this one, not bronze. Everything seemed to fit the same. There is perhaps something stuck in the bottom of the hole for the felt on yours? take a little piece of wood or stiff wire, and put it in the hole. check and see how deep they go in. They should be the same.

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    I recently registered with PM and your post caught my eye immediately. I have the same situation with the wicks as you - front won't sit down like the rear one. I assume its just the way the headstock is cast. I also "adapted" the spring oiler to fit in but was somewhat dissatisfied with it so retained the old oiler which seemed to be functioning well enough. I am going to check it again in due course.

    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by anchorman View Post
    I have a 1941 13" lathe, and if I'm remembering correctly, front and rear had the same felts, springs, etc, in the bearings. Cast iron bearings on this one, not bronze. Everything seemed to fit the same. There is perhaps something stuck in the bottom of the hole for the felt on yours? take a little piece of wood or stiff wire, and put it in the hole. check and see how deep they go in. They should be the same.
    Thanks for the reply. I did check inside the holes. They were clean. Just started to second guess and if it could be intentionally designed this way.

    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Christian James View Post
    I recently registered with PM and your post caught my eye immediately. I have the same situation with the wicks as you - front won't sit down like the rear one. I assume its just the way the headstock is cast. I also "adapted" the spring oiler to fit in but was somewhat dissatisfied with it so retained the old oiler which seemed to be functioning well enough. I am going to check it again in due course.
    Cheers
    Christian
    I did not really like the result of cutting down the wick on mine either - but had thrown away the old one without taking any notice. Did your old front wick appear to have been modified or different than the old rear wick?
    Thanks
    Jim

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    Good question Jim! I seem to remember they looked the same but I would need to remove it again to check (which I will be doing soon when I fit a wider serpentine belt). I wonder if there is some subtle difference which the current sellers of the wicking kits are not aware of. I know the oil galleries on mine were also clear when I checked at the time.

    Cheers

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    if I remember correctly, the galleries for the bronze bearing Headstock were little deeper, On the large bearing than the ones with the standard cast bearing. this could explain the problem. Which type bearings do you have.

    stay safe and have fun.

    Joe.

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    it has been years but IIRC this is normal....the reason the front wick sits higher is the the front bore is bigger...less meat= a shallower pocket...by the same amount as the radial difference in bore size.

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    I had to trim last year when I rebuilt my 1950 9A . Took material from the middle rather than the denser felt riding on the spindle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobnpr View Post
    I had to trim last year when I rebuilt my 1950 9A . Took material from the middle rather than the denser felt riding on the spindle.
    The felt works by capillary action, The very small gaps actually pulls the oil up To the top of the felt. By removing felt from the middle, You impede the capillary action of the felt. This will not be a problem if you make sure your oil reservoirs are full. If you remove any felt, it should be from the very bottom. this ensures good capillary action, even if the reservoirs get a bit low of oil.

    Stay safe and have fun.

    Joe.

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    So, as I mentioned earlier, - are the wicks sold today different in some way from the ones SB used to use in manufacture? If so, maybe the current wick makers could change something so that the headstock wick needn't be "butchered".

    CJ

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    For one of my wicks I am using wool door weather striping material. It works just fine.

    and i do believe i had the same problem, one of them needed to be shorter than the other to fit right, i can't recall why, or which one.

    I may decide to use 10w-30 as spindle oil. I am not convinced the recommended spindle oil is viscous enough (recommended is 10 cps iirc) to handle the cutting forces generated at low rpm when in back gear. cast iron btw, 1939 or 1940. sn 94507

    Of course, it is trivial to change oils. As far as rpms go, it is also trivial to increase the bearing clearance, use a lighter oil, and run it far in excess of the 1400 rpm top "stock" speed. consider that vehicles use larger diameter spindles and operate at 5000 rpm no problem, but they do have pressurized oil delivery. anyhow, that's well off on another tangent.

    There is also some scoring on the business end of mine and I lightly sanded the spindle with 1200 grit sandpaper some time ago. those sand marks have since been erased, and were erased while I was using #2 heating oil as spindle lube (cps of about 4). The sand paper marks were only erased in the unscored areas of the bearing journal, which is about half of the spindle bearing area.

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    Thanks all for the input. Just got back in town and see your responses.

    Quote Originally Posted by iwananew10K View Post
    it has been years but IIRC this is normal....the reason the front wick sits higher is the the front bore is bigger...less meat= a shallower pocket...by the same amount as the radial difference in bore size.
    Makes a lot of sense - so do you think the wicks should be different,


    Quote Originally Posted by promacjoe View Post
    if I remember correctly, the galleries for the bronze bearing Headstock were little deeper, On the large bearing than the ones with the standard cast bearing. this could explain the problem. Which type bearings do you have.

    Joe.
    Both my 9A and 9C are cast - but I never noticed the difference in the 9C.

    Christian James - I will be anxious to hear what you find when you pull you spindle.
    Leaving the felt long put a lot of drag on my spindle and that bothered me - So hopefully I will do no harm with the shorter wick.
    Thanks guys,
    Jim

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    I have just now encountered this problem.

    Is it the consensus that the right-hand wick should be shortened?

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    No. The parts manual says that both the front and the back are the same.

    EDIT: The above comment is for a 10L.

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    Are you guys pushing the wick down below the surface of the bearing and holding it down by inserting a tooth pick into the cross hole just above the Gits oil cup to hold the wick down until the spindle is installed? Then pull the tooth picks out.
    The felt wick needs to have spring pressure bearing it against the surface of the spindle so it can provide lubricate to the spindle bearing.
    Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    Are you guys pushing the wick down below the surface of the bearing and holding it down by inserting a tooth pick into the cross hole just above the Gits oil cup to hold the wick down until the spindle is installed? Then pull the tooth picks out.
    The felt wick needs to have spring pressure bearing it against the surface of the spindle so it can provide lubricate to the spindle bearing.
    Ken
    Yes, but I used metal rods, not toothpicks. The left-hand (smaller diameter bearing) side pressed neatly into the hole and the rod was easily inserted to keep it down.

    Not so with the right-hand side. Even with extreme force, the top felt could not pushed down beneath the surface of the bearing.

    I found the wicks that were in place when I disassembled the lathe. The springs were not cut, but one wick had the top felt cut off flush with the top of the spring! I am amazed that my spindle bearing is still pristine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLK001 View Post
    No. The parts manual says that both the front and the back are the same.

    EDIT: The above comment is for a 10L.
    I have a low resolution PDF of a 9A parts list that shows the same part for both wicks.

    My 9A is a 1948. Is it possible later models had a deeper wick hole on the right-hand side, thus eliminating the problem?

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    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post

    I may decide to use 10w-30 as spindle oil. I am not convinced the recommended spindle oil is viscous enough (recommended is 10 cps iirc) to handle the cutting forces generated at low rpm when in back gear. cast iron btw, 1939 or 1940. sn 94507
    It's your lathe, you can do whatever you like. I get a bit leery of field engineering something that was designed in the factory and seemed to/seems to work fine.
    The general concensus is to NOT use automotive oils as they are designed to hold contaminants. Straight oil drops it in the headstock for flushing out at oil changes.

    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    Of course, it is trivial to change oils. As far as rpms go, it is also trivial to increase the bearing clearance, use a lighter oil, and run it far in excess of the 1400 rpm top "stock" speed. consider that vehicles use larger diameter spindles and operate at 5000 rpm no problem, but they do have pressurized oil delivery. anyhow, that's well off on another tangent.
    Not so trivial. Why not use 90 wt. gear lube? Improper oil leads to poorly lubed bearings, which leads to a new lathe.
    And if you increase bearing clearance, you generally use a *thicker* oil, not thinner.


    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    There is also some scoring on the business end of mine and I lightly sanded the spindle with 1200 grit sandpaper some time ago. those sand marks have since been erased, and were erased while I was using #2 heating oil as spindle lube (cps of about 4). The sand paper marks were only erased in the unscored areas of the bearing journal, which is about half of the spindle bearing area.
    So you used the heating oil and you documented spindle wear from it? Maybe this is a hint?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yan Wo View Post
    Yes, but I used metal rods, not toothpicks. The left-hand (smaller diameter bearing) side pressed neatly into the hole and the rod was easily inserted to keep it down.

    Not so with the right-hand side. Even with extreme force, the top felt could not pushed down beneath the surface of the bearing.

    I found the wicks that were in place when I disassembled the lathe. The springs were not cut, but one wick had the top felt cut off flush with the top of the spring! I am amazed that my spindle bearing is still pristine.
    I was taught by my dad to use tooth picks, but any ways small metal rod works good too. Probably better so you don't have to worry about breaking off the tooth pick in the hole resulting in digging it out.
    I do recall having a heck of a time getting the front wick down below flush. It's been over 40 years since I serviced the spindle on my 9" lathe. BTW- I run strictly straight mineral oil that you get from the drug store in the spindle bearings in my lathe. Have at times used a ISO 32 turbine oil too. So far smooth as silk! Definitely keep motor oil away from the lathe, and even the Three-In-One oil that you can still buy.
    Ken

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