Monday, December 10, 2018

Industrial Tool Repair While You Wait

Bob Sundelin and I started work in earnest on the 309 bearing project yesterday.  The first step will be to mill flat surfaces on the edges of the two pieces, so that they match exactly and can then be made perfectly cylindrical.  For this first step we will need a new (to us) machine, a large milling machine that was recently donated to IRM.  It was built in Sweden, and luckily we have the owner's manual, in Swedish, English, and German.   

It's been placed in the machine shop, rewired for 240V 3-phase, and it basically works, although there are a couple of problems that need to be addressed before we can actually use it.  For one thing, the oil pump did not work, and we need to be able to pump oil onto the surfaces as the milling takes place.  So we started ringing out the electrical circuits, for which the manual was a great help.  In the picture below, in the lower left is the mounting board for the contactors and other electrical parts, which hinges out.  

We found that two of the three wires leading from the power board to the oil pump were open.  After fishing out the armored cable for these wires from the inside of the case, the problem was obvious.

We think the armored cable was longer than it needs to be, and got caught under the machine as it was being moved by forklift.  This will not be hard to replace.  I'll get the necessary cable and wires from the local hardware store and fix it tomorrow or Wednesday.

Another problem is that it needs new drive belts for the spindle.  As you can see in the video, the belts are too loose, and when the cover is in place, they make a racket banging against it.

But this is a very impressive machine, and with a few tweaks it will be a real asset for the department.  It can be rearranged for horizontal milling, for instance.  Bob showed me many of the various features for setting up and running it.

The speed chart for the spindle:

So we made a preliminary setup to mill the edges of the first casting:

Next we need to find an oven big enough to take the castings for soldering.   We'll need a chamber at least 10x10x12.  Does anyone from the Steam Dept. know whether we have a working oven of this size?   Thanks! 

 Meanwhile, Happy Holiday Railway was in full swing, with much more pleasant weather.   Here's our obligatory picture of the train crew from yesterday.  You should know all these guys: (L to R) Nick Espevik, Thomas, and Zach, with Paul Cronin behind.

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