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Reconditioning A 8" Palmgren Rotary Table

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4gsr

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#1
I bought this 8" Palmgren rotary table at an estate sale a while back. It was very cruded up from many years of neglect and Mother Nature, the elements attacking it.
The rotary table was completely disassembled, cleaned, and painted before re-assembling. I had to rework all of the dovetail slides to get them running reasonable straight again. I also re-ground the top and the bottom to make it look nice.
Pictures attached are showing the "before, work done, and the finished RT".
Enjoy!

DSCN2597.JPG DSCN2598.JPG DSCN2611.JPG DSCN2613.JPG DSCN2614.JPG DSCN2616.JPG DSCN2617.JPG DSCN2619.JPG DSCN2623.JPG
 

mikey

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#2
You done good!! I love it when someone takes an old rusty tool and gives it a new life like this.
 

brino

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#3
I love it when someone takes an old rusty tool and gives it a new life like this.
Me too!


I have not seen one like that it appears to be a rotary table on top of an X-Y table.
I could see that being useful.

Thanks for sharing the rebuild Ken.
-brino
 

Mark in Indiana

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#4
4gsr:

Very nice work!
I bought a Kamakura last summer. I had no intention of restoring it. Now, you gave me inspiration.
 

4gsr

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#5
4gsr:

Very nice work!
I bought a Kamakura last summer. I had no intention of restoring it. Now, you gave me inspiration.
Thanks Guys!!!

I almost threw this into the corner and said the heck with it!!! It was in much worst shape than I first thought it was in when I bought it. But I've hardly ever turned down an challenge in repairing things. But once it was cleaned up and painted, I couldn't stop! And I like to butcher up things on the surface grinder, and yes, made a mess. Had to set up on the mill and recut parts of the slides. And it never fails, I don't have a dovetail cutter for the funky angle Palmgren uses on their slides. So I kissed all the surfaces but the angel on the dovetail. Put it together for a "quick" fit and not too bad!.

The main reason for buying this rotary table, was to complement my 10" Imperial compound tilt rotary table. It weighs over 200 lbs!!! And it's a bear to set up on my mill when I need to use it. This will make it much easier when I need a RT. And no, my 10" RT is not going anywhere! I need it when I have a need for for indexing down to 1 second of a degree!
 

4gsr

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#7
Why didn't you just scrape in the dovetails? Just curious. Tim
Palmgren does not scrape and fit the dovetails on any of the slides I've ever encountered on any of their products and I'm not going to either.

For what I want the RT for, the x-y slide will never get used. I'll use the table movements on the mill.

Maybe after retirement, yea, right, I'll sit down and scrape and fit the slides. Right now, I have more than I want to do in scraping and fitting on two lathes I'm working on.
 

RJSakowski

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#8
A great restoration job! I would have never believed it from your before photo.
 

JTecalo

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#9
Nice job. I have a question, how did you get it apart?
I have the same unit and it has a tight area when cranking the rotary table. I would like to take it apart but don't want to screw anything up either.
thanks
Jim
 

4gsr

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#10
Yeah, the tight area is probably harden grease.
To get the table off, you must remove the two 1/4" socket head cap screws located down in the tee slots of the table top. Once removed, gently pry the table off. Palmgren did not press fit anything, so it shouldn't take much to get it removed. Oh, I forgot, remove the two knurled screws and the clamp shoes that locks the table down before removing the table. Once that is done, everything else comes apart easily. All of the pins that hole the handwheels onto the shafts are straight drive pins, not tapered.

When you go back together, use a waylube on the worm gear where it rides on the internal stud. On the worm and worn gear, use a grease with moly-disulfate in it. Before putting it back together, check the assembled height for correct clearance of the table to the housing. It should have only about .002-.005" clearance. If more than that, face off a little on the worm gear and try again. I used my surface grinder to do this as well as on the table top, too.
 

FOMOGO

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#11
Very nice job on the RT. It gives a certain satisfaction to bring things back from the dead. Mike
 
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JTecalo

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#12
Yeah, the tight area is probably harden grease.
To get the table off, you must remove the two 1/4" socket head cap screws located down in the tee slots of the table top. Once removed, gently pry the table off. Palmgren did not press fit anything, so it shouldn't take much to get it removed. Oh, I forgot, remove the two knurled screws and the clamp shoes that locks the table down before removing the table. Once that is done, everything else comes apart easily. All of the pins that hole the handwheels onto the shafts are straight drive pins, not tapered.

When you go back together, use a waylube on the worm gear where it rides on the internal stud. On the worm and worn gear, use a grease with moly-disulfate in it. Before putting it back together, check the assembled height for correct clearance of the table to the housing. It should have only about .002-.005" clearance. If more than that, face off a little on the worm gear and try again. I used my surface grinder to do this as well as on the table top, too.
Thank you for the info. I thought it might be grease but without opening it I couldn't be sure.
Palmgren wasn't too helpful when I wrote to Customer service about getting a takedown / service manual.

Once I get it working properly I'll post some pictures. thanks again
Jim
 

JTecalo

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#13
Yeah, the tight area is probably harden grease.
When you go back together, use a waylube on the worm gear where it rides on the internal stud. On the worm and worn gear, use a grease with moly-disulfate in it. Before putting it back together, check the assembled height for correct clearance of the table to the housing. It should have only about .002-.005" clearance. If more than that, face off a little on the worm gear and try again. I used my surface grinder to do this as well as on the table top, too.
Got it apart. It looks like the grease is okay, cleaned it off anyway. I adjusted the mesh of the worm by backing off the worm gear shaft casting and it works better now. I forgot about oiling the center gear in my hurry to button it up so I'll do that later tonight.

Thanks for the info, it really helped. I did find I could put the locks back in loosely before I put the table back on. Might not be correct procedure but it worked.
 

DAT510

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#14
Nice Rebuild.

I also have a Palmgren 8". I've never been able to understand the advantage, in the Palmgren design, of having the x-y cross slides below the rotary table vs just mounting a standard rotary table to the x-y mill table? I can see the advantage to having the x-y slides above the rotary table, as it would allow one to easily offset the axis of rotation, to make non circular shapes. Am I missing something?
 

CluelessNewB

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#15
Nice Rebuild.
I've never been able to understand the advantage, in the Palmgren design, of having the x-y cross slides below the rotary table vs just mounting a standard rotary table to the x-y mill table?
I believe when this was sold the primary use was for a drill press rather than a milling machine, hence the X-Y slides since none would be available on a drill press.
 

projectnut

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#17
Nice Rebuild.

I also have a Palmgren 8". I've never been able to understand the advantage, in the Palmgren design, of having the x-y cross slides below the rotary table vs just mounting a standard rotary table to the x-y mill table? I can see the advantage to having the x-y slides above the rotary table, as it would allow one to easily offset the axis of rotation, to make non circular shapes. Am I missing something?
Palmgren made a series of rotary tables with the X-Y slides for the packaging industry. Rather than being used on a machine tool they were mounted on a portable stand with a labeling machine attached to the table. The table could be turned or moved in the X or Y direction to accurately align labels to fast moving packages. Where I worked we used them in several applications. Some packages had plastic covers with a raised edge slightly larger than the label itself to keep the label from being damaged. The labeling machine on the rotary table could place the labels within the raised boarders within a few thousandths of an inch at a rate of several hundred packages per minute. Some had a hard life. Over the years they would go from below freezing temperatures in production rooms to 140+* degree caustic wash downs on a daily basis.

I currently have 2 that were retired from production in my shop. Since they were used for stationary positioning rather than being moved for each operation they are in remarkably good condition.
 
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4gsr

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#18
That's interested. Thanks for sharing projectnut.

Ken
 

uncle harry

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#19
Palmgren made a series of rotary tables with the X-Y slides for the packaging industry. Rather than being used on a machine tool they were mounted on a portable stand with a labeling machine attached to the table. The table could be turned or moved in the X or Y direction to accurately align labels to fast moving packages packages. Where I worked we used them in several applications. Some packages had plastic covers with a raised edge slightly larger than the label itself to keep the label from being damaged. The labeling machine on the rotary table could place the labels within the raised boarders within a few thousandths of an inch at a rate of several hundred packages per minute. Some had a hard life. Over the years they would go from below freezing temperatures in production rooms to 140+* degree caustic wash downs on a daily basis.

I currently have 2 that were retired from production in my shop. Since they were used for stationary positioning rather than being moved for each operation they are in remarkably good condition.
Very interesting and and a rather surprising application. I scored one at a local yard scale several years ago for about $ 35 that is in near virgin shape.
Thanks for sharing another unusual use for them.
 

4gsr

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#22
Palmgrem made four different models of the 8" rotary table with the "X-Y" movement at one time. That was models 82, 83, 281, 381. Most notable difference was the 82 and 83 had a "square" base while the 281 and 381 has a round base. Why the different ones I have no clue the reasons behind them. Ken
 

CluelessNewB

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#23
The 82 and the 281 don't have rotary feed, they can rotate and can be locked in place but they have no hand crank for rotation.
 

4gsr

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#24
The 82 and the 281 don't have rotary feed, they can rotate and can be locked in place but they have no hand crank for rotation.
I must have the 381 then. Thanks for the info. Ken
 
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