[4]

first mill and its a Wells Index 745

[3]
[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
I haven't touched a mill in at least 25 years but i've been needing a drill press. Not just a little drill press but a decent one. after seeing the prices on those and having been playing a friends cnc plasma table, well, more like total teardown, electrical troubleshooting, computer/software replacement, and then full setup, i was hooked on cnc.
So i've been watching local ads for roughly 8 months, just waiting for the right deal to come along. It finally did this week.
I learned you can pick up a Wells Index 745 with a 2 ton cherry picker too LOL.
I ended up with the mill, some kind of rotary table with swappable "surfaces", one is like a lathe chuck, and one is a flat plate with grooves, made by Rutland. Also got a complete collet set, all R8, few handfuls of various used end mills, couple of boring heads, 3 snap on tap and die sets (not sure how its related to the mill but i wasn't complaining), a huge wooden box of what looks like 99 (10x10 layout minus 1) incremental woodruff key bits with only one having any use, a chineseum vise, starret dial indicator with magnet base, and all the t bolts, i guess they are called, that slide in the table to hold work in place as well as all the interlocking stepped pieces for those.
The quill spins freely and moves up and down well, x, y, and z, all move nice now but took a little back and forth to get going. This thing has been in storage in Arizona for a decade so i'm sure all the grease is shot. Even if it is not, its getting replaced. Only thing i couldn't test was the motor and i'm not too concerned about that. Its a 2hp 220 3 phase, so if its bad, its cheap. Just need to hunt down a VFD and figure that out.
My biggest fear was something being seized up and rust on the ways but they look great since they are coated with a fine layer of grease.
As i tear into it next week, i'll get some pics to help with the many questions i'm sure to have.
So far, the only noticeable issue is the shaft for z axis is bent at handle. The handle still goes on and it still works, but it is noticeably bent.
I only got two pics after i got it home and unloaded and the head is still rotated down. The pic in the storage shed was all i had to go on but you can see the rotary thing on the table. It has to weigh 80+ pounds. Took a camera with me but it was WAY to hot today to mess with it. Thinking i couldn't go wrong for $1000 out the door, no delivery though :).

IMG_2542.jpg IMG_2541.jpg c90f198050c24005bf06b24b42e9ac25.jpg
 
D

Deleted member 473

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
Hey, great find!
I could kick myself for not buying one near me a couple years back. Let us know your progress. Ken

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Tapatalk
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
6,837
Great mill! The grease is not so good. All the sliding ways and lead screws are supposed to be oiled, not greased. Yes, they look like automotive Zerk fittings, but they are definitely for oil. The tightness in the machine is because of the grease. The grease will also capture the swarf and turn it into lapping paste, wearing the surfaces away. The table, saddle and knee will need to be taken off, completely disassembled, cleaned to bare metal, and any lube lines cleaned out, and then put back together using a way oil like Mobil Vactra #2. The good news is that the grease kept rust away over the last decade, you will get to know the mill, and you will have an opportunity to adjust the gibs for a nice sliding fit.
 

T Bredehoft

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,084
Your "Rotary thing on the table" is worth what you paid. Generally known as a "Dividing Head". It can be rotated (crank on the back) to make either rotary cuts, or used as a spacer, to make a number of identical cuts in a round piece. Gears, or holes in a circle or what have you. Once you get apart and back together you'll have fun putting CNC to it. Should work a charm.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
6,837
Your "Rotary thing on the table" is worth what you paid. Generally known as a "Dividing Head". It can be rotated (crank on the back) to make either rotary cuts, or used as a spacer, to make a number of identical cuts in a round piece. Gears, or holes in a circle or what have you. Once you get apart and back together you'll have fun putting CNC to it. Should work a charm.
That style is not a dividing head, it is commonly called a "super spacer." It does plain indexing, and can use masks to avoid the increments you do not want while dropping into the increments you do want. Tom is correct that they are quite expensive new.
 

Martin W

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Mar 26, 2014
Messages
470
Congratulations on your mill. Good deal too.
Cheers
Martin
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
That style is not a dividing head, it is commonly called a "super spacer." It does plain indexing, and can use masks to avoid the increments you do not want while dropping into the increments you do want. Tom is correct that they are quite expensive new.
Are these masks additional pieces added to the super spacer? If so, that explains what the box full of stuff that went with it is. Im pretty sure there are lathe gears in here that insisted couldnt go with this but he said just take it. On a side note, the reason i guessed they were lathe gears was because i had to move the very large lathe to get to the mill in the back of the storage unit in order to make a path. :)

I was planning on doing a full teardown on the table, saddle and knee so i could start with a known clean slate so to speak. It has the bijur oil pump on the side but most of the lines have been cut, i'm guessing, while it was in storage as the oil had leaked into the floor.

Really looking forward to getting into this thing now. Thank you all for the info so far. Much appreciated.
Jim
 

T Bredehoft

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Dec 27, 2014
Messages
3,084
That style is not a dividing head, it is commonly called a "super spacer
You're right , Bob, its a super Spacer, It's been 17 years since I was in a large enough shop to use one. . On the other hand, does the Super Space have a hand wheel? that's what threw me.
 

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Platinum Supporter ($50)
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
6,837
Are these masks additional pieces added to the super spacer? If so, that explains what the box full of stuff that went with it is. Im pretty sure there are lathe gears in here that insisted couldnt go with this but he said just take it. On a side note, the reason i guessed they were lathe gears was because i had to move the very large lathe to get to the mill in the back of the storage unit in order to make a path. :)

I was planning on doing a full teardown on the table, saddle and knee so i could start with a known clean slate so to speak. It has the bijur oil pump on the side but most of the lines have been cut, i'm guessing, while it was in storage as the oil had leaked into the floor.

Really looking forward to getting into this thing now. Thank you all for the info so far. Much appreciated.
Jim
The masks are sheet metal, and keep the indexing pins out of holes you are not using for your job. As a guess, let's say the spacer has 36 notches or holes for indexing. You want a 6 hole pattern. You install a mask that blocks all the holes except for the 6 you are using. You can of course use it without the masks, but then mistakes are possible. The masks fit into the back of the super spacer, under a cover. Look in there regardless, so you understand how it works. It is a fairly simple mechanism, the reason for the high prices is a mystery to me. The first photo shows one that can also work like a rotary table, the second photo shows one that does not.
upload_2017-7-15_9-11-34.jpeg
upload_2017-7-15_9-12-54.jpeg
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
Got home and got to get it positioned where i want it as well a start tearing into it. At this point i am leaning towards a complete teardown, clean up and rebuild. Found some problems that werent evident and/or i didnt see them initially.
The most concerning is the table. It had swarf mixed with grease in the middle of the table when i picked it up and i assumed that the middle looked like the ends. Well, you know what you get when you assume lol.
Here is what i found when i cleaned it all off.
P7161270.jpg P7161271.jpg P7161272.jpg P7161273.jpg P7161274.jpg P7161275.jpg

Also found a missing bolt on the belt/motor housing:
P7161294.jpg

Here is a pic of the bent z axis shaft. It doesnt look unrepairable.
P7161277.jpg

and here are some overall condition pictures showing the ways and gibs, the cut oiler lines, name tags, etc.
P7161278.jpg P7161279.jpg P7161284.jpg P7161285.jpg P7161286.jpg P7161288.jpg P7161289.jpg

Oiler
P7161282.jpg P7161283.jpg

After having the head upside down all weekend, there are some leaks in spots that im pretty sure there shouldnt be leaks.
P7161287.jpg

Some missing/wrong dial lockdown screws.
P7161290.jpg P7161291.jpg P7161292.jpg

I have the handle for this but when i put it on, it will not rotate. Pretty sure this is for finer control of the quill but it wont budge and i'm not going to put a pipe wrench on it quite yet :). Also, cant get the quill feed rate lever to budge either. The levers on the other side all work as expected, the high/neutral/low and the power feed engage/disengage.
P7161293.jpg

The two name plates on it.
P7161280.jpg P7161281.jpg
 

rrjohnso2000

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Sep 19, 2014
Messages
230
Looks like a beast! No problem with a few battle scars. No problems that can't be overcome
 
D

Deleted member 473

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
The elevation shaft bent is a easy fix. Mine was bent too. Chop it off, make a stub shaft to fit into a bore in the main shaft. Loctite and a couple of tapered pins and it's fixed. More to it than that. Or you could make a totally new shaft if you like. Your call. Word of caution, There is a set screw holding the bevel gear on the shaft. Get that screw out before attempting to remove the shaft.
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
The elevation shaft bent is a easy fix. Mine was bent too. Chop it off, make a stub shaft to fit into a bore in the main shaft. Loctite and a couple of tapered pins and it's fixed. More to it than that. Or you could make a totally new shaft if you like. Your call. Word of caution, There is a set screw holding the bevel gear on the shaft. Get that screw out before attempting to remove the shaft.
No access to a lathe (yet) so i'm limited to the tools at hand. :)
Thank you for the heads up on that set screw. Been watching Steve Watroba's Wells Index 747 teardown and rebuild videos. Though its a different model, it has a lot of similarities. Unfortunately, a lot of small differences in those models too.
After removal, I was thinking of just heating it up and letting the press straighten it back out to "close enough". As far as i can tell, what i lose in temper/strength at that end of the shaft by heating it really should have little effect since it only receives rotational force, and not a lot of that. I could easily be wrong on that (wouldnt be the first, or last, time) so if thats a dumb idea, it would be great to know that before i do it.
 
D

Deleted member 473

Guest - Please Register!
Guest - Please Register!
No access to a lathe (yet) so i'm limited to the tools at hand. :)
Thank you for the heads up on that set screw. Been watching Steve Watroba's Wells Index 747 teardown and rebuild videos. Though its a different model, it has a lot of similarities. Unfortunately, a lot of small differences in those models too.
After removal, I was thinking of just heating it up and letting the press straighten it back out to "close enough". As far as i can tell, what i lose in temper/strength at that end of the shaft by heating it really should have little effect since it only receives rotational force, and not a lot of that. I could easily be wrong on that (wouldnt be the first, or last, time) so if thats a dumb idea, it would be great to know that before i do it.
Yeah, the 747 is slightly different. Should be good for most anything down below the head, very little changes. The real changes didn't happen until the 800 series came out. As for heating up the shaft to straighten, go for it! There's not much critical to the shaft or what runs on it. And my guess is, it's just a piece of 1018 or 1215 cold rolled steel shafting. So you don't have to worry about disturbing any heat treatment in the shaft.
Ken
 

Silverbullet

Gold
Registered
Joined
May 4, 2015
Messages
3,482
Nice mill , there a bit beefier then the Bridgeport . Well made and I bet it'll work really well for you. The super spacers an added extra , worth having but other ways of doing what it can do almost makes the obsolete. But since you have it use it to its fullest potential. It can do lots of jobs as you will find out. There heavy as heck but that's good in my book.
A good bye for what you paid I think . Good luck , like the pictures
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
Been quiet lately cuz i've been a little busy :). I did video most of the teardown but i didnt do it as a "video". I did it as a memory recall device :). I'll try to get all the clips put together and cut out the long stretches of my overthinking simple stuff. The more i dug into it, the more i was thankful i did it. It was a disaster. Fused bearings, all the 'grease' zerks had been greased. The oil in the oiler, well, i dont what that stuff was. One thing i learned that i wont soon forget, the table is heavy and it would be a good idea next time to not just grab it and yank it off the ways :). I did get that on video.
Current status: Below the turret is 95% completely rebuilt. Just waiting on the last parts to dry on their second coat.
On the knee, saddle, and table, all bearings have been replaced, all old oil and grease removed, all parts fully disassembled, scrubbed, primered (if a paintable surface) or hand scrubbed/wire wheeled depending on which surface it was. Painted it with some rustoleum enamel, in safety blue (remember kids, safety third), thinned with naphtha and added some catalyst hardener that sped up drying time nicely.
Owners manual is on the way as well as new way wipers. One of the ones on this one was broke and the cost plus time to have these cast aluminum ones tig welded would have been a wash on just getting the new style ones.
I also ordered some bijur fittings which should be here tomorrow.
 

brino

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
3,760
One thing i learned that i wont soon forget, the table is heavy and it would be a good idea next time to not just grab it and yank it off the ways :). I did get that on video.
That'll be handy to show the hernia surgeon exactly what happened!

Current status: Below the turret is 95% completely rebuilt. Just waiting on the last parts to dry on their second coat.
Great progress, congratulations!
We would love to see photos/video when you can post 'em.

-brino
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
Here is a few but it's still a work in progress as is obvious in the pics :)
When i called Wells-Index, i asked about getting a gasket set for the head. They said there is no such thing. I assumed there was and that i needed one because of the oil leaks from the numerous places in the head. I guess i'll find out what is causing those leaks soon enough.


IMG_2590.jpg IMG_2591.jpg IMG_2589.jpg IMG_2587.jpg IMG_2588.jpg IMG_2585.jpg IMG_2586.jpg
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
LOL it's been a lot of work so far but nothing overly bad. The pretty stuff was the least time consuming of it all and i had to do something to protect the metal so figured may as well make it look decent. Brought all the parts in the house after degreasing them and just polished them while watching movies and stuff. Took the knee and saddle to the car wash for a nice cleaning HAHA. That saved a lot of time and was the best 8 bucks i've spent. Should have done it with table too but really didnt feel like hossing it into the back of the truck. I did kinda go overboard on the bijur pump. Polished it and then inlayed the bijur logo with epoxy that i colored with the same enamel paint :). Pic is below.
I think overall the table half was the easier part of it all. The head will be interesting but i guess i'll know for sure when i'm done. On the plus side, i'll know the mill inside and out now.

IMG_2593.jpg
 

jimbo762

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Jul 14, 2017
Messages
29
This looks normal right? :)
I had a feeling this head was going to be interesting. Was really hoping i could get away with not completely tearing it down but that hope is now but a distant memory. Luckily i picked up an ac unit at an auction yesterday so the garage is a little more bearable now.

IMG_2598.jpg IMG_2599.jpg IMG_2597.jpg IMG_2594.jpg IMG_2595.jpg
 

brino

Active User
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jan 2, 2014
Messages
3,760
Yuuuuuck!

Either it was filled with white lithium grease, or it got water in there..........and that green looks like copper corrosion. Is it a piece of brass(copper/zinc) or bronze(copper/tin)?

You are gonna need a few rags.......but from what I've seen it's in good hands.

-brino
 
Last edited:
[5] [7]
Top