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Excello / Pope grinder spindle - Correct way to lubricate?

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Technical Ted

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#1
I just picked up a Brown and Sharpe 2B surface grinder that has been retrofitted with a Excello spindle by Pope. I'm sure this spindle is fairly old. Here's the info on the spindle:

Excell-o Corp.
Detroit Mich.
Serial No. 24687
Style No. 068 Maximum speed 3600 RPM
LH

On the other end of the spindle housing is stamped: Pope LL 2092

In the picture with the spindle installed in the machine you can see a pipe that comes up. The pipe doesn't go anyplace; it's just a stand pipe with two 90 degree elbows in it (shown in last picture). This pipe lines up with a hole in the spindle housing that has a screened opening in it. The screen is a fairly fine brass and can be removed by removing a screw in a hollow plug (this is shown in the other picture).

I removed the motor because it was full of crud and needed a good cleaning. I removed the end bearing covers off the motor end of the spindle housing (marking them so I knew I could put them back at the same location) and there was a felt washer between two covers. Removing the inside one I could see that the bearing on the motor end inside the spindle housing was open not sealed or even shielded. No way to lubricate this from the motor end.

My question is: What is the proper way to lubricate this spindle? Does it take a drip oiler in that pipe that drips X number of times in a minute or is the spindle housing to be filled with a spindle oil?

Help would be appreciated. I don't want to ruin this thing!

Thanks,
Ted

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benmychree

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#2
I'd say, a drip oiler was used, with a light spindle oil.
 

Technical Ted

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I'd say, a drip oiler was used, with a light spindle oil.
John,

Thank you for your reply. Do you have a suggested setting for the oiler as in how many drips per minute (or whatever)? I have no experience using these on a spindle...

Also, I have Mobile Veloite #10 ISO VG22 Spindle Oil I use on my other spindles for lathes, mills ,etc.. I assume this would be a good oil to use?

Thank you very much,
Ted
 

benmychree

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#4
I think you should contact Excello for a recommendation as to weight of oil, but if I was running it, a seat of the pants guess would be perhaps a couple of drops (or so) per minute. I had a B&S surface grinder with a drip oiler on it years ago, but it was one of their own spindles. I'd think a spindle oil in the "light" category would be appropriate, in my grinding spindles, I use Mobil Velocite #6 Light, which is an IS0 10.
 

Technical Ted

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OK, thanks! From searching on-line, apparently Excello went out of business and closed a couple of years ago. :(

Thanks for the help,
Ted
 

Bob Korves

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Those spindles were designed and marketed for sending back to the manufacturer or a specialist spindle rebuild company when they need rebuilding. They are not intended for owner repair.

All that said, you now have a grinder that has outlived it's support system, you think there might be issues with the spindle, and sending it to a specialty rebuilder can cost more, sometimes WAY more, than a good used surface grinder costs, if you can find anyone interested in taking the job on.

I don't know the answer to your questions. I do not like the oiling method for lubricating the spindle, it is just asking for grit in the bearings, may well already be damaged or ruined. I still do not know how the proper spindle oil level is maintained, or how any overflow is intended to be drained away other than possibly into the motor, by what you have discovered so far. That is not an acceptable oil overflow method, if it is indeed what is intended. You also do not know what oil was intended to be used in the spindle. The spindle is not original to the machine, so there is not mfg. support for it through B&S, Excello, or Pope.

I cannot imagine it was designed to be put together permanently, never to be disassembled again. The rebuild label from a famed rebuilder shouts otherwise. First, cause no harm. Look it over and find a way to take it apart _very carefully_. Note carefully the orientations of each inner and outer bearing race mountings, to the spindle and to the housing, also front and back faces as you remove them, and mark them carefully. Mark front and back bearings if they are not different. Clean everything spotlessly. Truly spotlessly. Then inspect the bearing balls and/or rollers for damage and for wear from the bearing races spinning in the spindle or housing. If the bearings show damage, see about replacing them and whatever seals are present. Be prepared for sticker shock for the bearings. If there are other wear items, see about replacing them. Make a decision on how to proceed from there...

That is how I would approach it, YMMV...
 

Eddyde

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#7
I have a DoAll surface grinder with a Pope spindle. That's the way the machine was made so maybe that is the original spindle on your machine as well.
My spindle says its "lubricated for life"and there are no visible means to add any oil to it. In your case, if the spindle runs smooth and true, I wouldn't take it apart. As mentioned above, I would use Mobil Velocite 6 or similar spindle oil.
 

Bob Korves

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I have a DoAll surface grinder with a Pope spindle. That's the way the machine was made so maybe that is the original spindle on your machine as well.
My spindle says its "lubricated for life"and there are no visible means to add any oil to it. In your case, if the spindle runs smooth and true, I wouldn't take it apart. As mentioned above, I would use Mobil Velocite 6 or similar spindle oil.
Indeed, if it is running smoothly, leave it alone and enjoy it. Determine whether the spindle is sealed or not,
I removed the motor because it was full of crud and needed a good cleaning. I removed the end bearing covers off the motor end of the spindle housing (marking them so I knew I could put them back at the same location) and there was a felt washer between two covers. Removing the inside one I could see that the bearing on the motor end inside the spindle housing was open not sealed or even shielded. No way to lubricate this from the motor end.
I missed the portion in bold above the first time through the post. This paragraph and the apparent screen on top of the spindle where it goes through the vertical slide makes it appear to require constant oiling. Benmychree's post #4 addresses that situation well. Again, if the spindle does not have play and turns smoothly, I would not take it apart or try to clean or adjust it.
 

Technical Ted

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#9
I know I won't really be able to tell until I get it up to 3600 RPM, but turning it by hand feels good. No roughness, catches, sticky spots or end play, etc.. I am very reluctant to disassembly any farther than I already have for fear of doing more damage than good. I'm taking the approach "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". This goes against my grain since I always disassemble my "new to me" machines and give them a through cleaning and inspection, but in this case I'm leaving things alone unless I see a problem.

I'm also reluctant to attempt flushing it out with solvent. If there is some dirt inside (and there likely is in a spindle this old) I'm hoping it is sitting harmlessly in the bottom where it won't cause any issues. If I were to attempt flushing it, I would stir things up getting crud moving and some might very well end up in the bearings rather than getting completely flushed out. Also, my understanding is, that is one, among other reasons, you don't want to use a detergent oil in machine tools. Detergent oil is designed to keep dirt suspended to be cleaned out by a filter. In older machine tools like the ones I own it's best to let dirt/chips/etc settle to the bottom where it typically lays harmlessly until you disassemble things and then you can clean it out.

So, unless I see an issue, I don't intent to disassemble and/or clean. I just want to make sure I get plenty of good lubricant in it and keep it lubricated properly to get as much use out of it as possible.

Thanks for all the help guys!
Ted
 

Bob Korves

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I know I won't really be able to tell until I get it up to 3600 RPM, but turning it by hand feels good. No roughness, catches, sticky spots or end play, etc.. I am very reluctant to disassembly any farther than I already have for fear of doing more damage than good. I'm taking the approach "if it isn't broken, don't fix it". This goes against my grain since I always disassemble my "new to me" machines and give them a through cleaning and inspection, but in this case I'm leaving things alone unless I see a problem.

I'm also reluctant to attempt flushing it out with solvent. If there is some dirt inside (and there likely is in a spindle this old) I'm hoping it is sitting harmlessly in the bottom where it won't cause any issues. If I were to attempt flushing it, I would stir things up getting crud moving and some might very well end up in the bearings rather than getting completely flushed out. Also, my understanding is, that is one, among other reasons, you don't want to use a detergent oil in machine tools. Detergent oil is designed to keep dirt suspended to be cleaned out by a filter. In older machine tools like the ones I own it's best to let dirt/chips/etc settle to the bottom where it typically lays harmlessly until you disassemble things and then you can clean it out.

So, unless I see an issue, I don't intent to disassemble and/or clean. I just want to make sure I get plenty of good lubricant in it and keep it lubricated properly to get as much use out of it as possible.

Thanks for all the help guys!
Ted
I totally agree with that post, Ted.
-Bob
 

benmychree

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#11
Those spindles were designed and marketed for sending back to the manufacturer or a specialist spindle rebuild company when they need rebuilding. They are not intended for owner repair.

All that said, you now have a grinder that has outlived it's support system, you think there might be issues with the spindle, and sending it to a specialty rebuilder can cost more, sometimes WAY more, than a good used surface grinder costs, if you can find anyone interested in taking the job on.

I don't know the answer to your questions. I do not like the oiling method for lubricating the spindle, it is just asking for grit in the bearings, may well already be damaged or ruined. I still do not know how the proper spindle oil level is maintained, or how any overflow is intended to be drained away other than possibly into the motor, by what you have discovered so far. That is not an acceptable oil overflow method, if it is indeed what is intended. You also do not know what oil was intended to be used in the spindle. The spindle is not original to the machine, so there is not mfg. support for it through B&S, Excello, or Pope.

I cannot imagine it was designed to be put together permanently, never to be disassembled again. The rebuild label from a famed rebuilder shouts otherwise. First, cause no harm. Look it over and find a way to take it apart _very carefully_. Note carefully the orientations of each inner and outer bearing race mountings, to the spindle and to the housing, also front and back faces as you remove them, and mark them carefully. Mark front and back bearings if they are not different. Clean everything spotlessly. Truly spotlessly. Then inspect the bearing balls and/or rollers for damage and for wear from the bearing races spinning in the spindle or housing. If the bearings show damage, see about replacing them and whatever seals are present. Be prepared for sticker shock for the bearings. If there are other wear items, see about replacing them. Make a decision on how to proceed from there...

That is how I would approach it, YMMV...
BTW, Bob, the grinder that I was talking about (above) was not the one that you now have, it was the first one that I had, many moons ago, it had a B&S ball bearing spindle with the oiler mounted on top, and the one in this discussion has; it was "a veteran of many campaigns".
 

Technical Ted

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#12
BTW, "a veteran of many campaigns".
Oh boy, you bet! This thing has been through a few wars! But, the ways are in fair shape, the screws/nuts aren't worn to a point and I think it will do the work I want it to do in my hobby shop. I only paid $200 for it and it cost me only my gas money to get it home so I can't complain... I enjoy working on these older pieces and getting them serviceable (at least for my use). I really don't have much work for it, but I've got a few things laying around to touch up and I think it will come in handy for the amount of money I've got tied up into it. Hey, I'm retired and I have fun with this stuff! :)

Thanks again for the help guys,
Ted
 
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