Found an Index 645

Thanks, Firstram!

Things are looking better. Today I worked on the mill a little. The stuck quill turned out to just be that the lock was stuck. A single light tap with a hammer and it was free. My other mill does the same thing. The balance spring has a problem that I'll have to fix eventually. Hopefully it's no worse than the one that TJ fixed in his thread a few years back.

The spindle also turns now. All it took was to put a wrench on the flats of the collet adapter and a tug. It seems smooth turning it by hand.

The collet adapter is still firmly stuck in the spindle and it seems to be a B&S #9 taper instead of an R-8 as I was initially told. That means either getting the spindle modified by Wells-Index or buying all new tooling. Fortunately, I don't have a ton of R-8; just a set of collets, one 3/8" end mill adapter and a set of indexable end mills from 1-1/4" to 2". I'm thinking that an ER40 collet holder and collets, a fly cutter and a boring bar would be enough to keep me happy. I wanted to get all of those for my R-8 machine anyway.
Looks like that mill will be a neat project and you'll have a stout mill by the time you're done. Mills don't come up for sale often down in Texas.

It made me laugh what you said about the Navy not trusting Texas with the big guns :) I've been following that project for a while (even saw it when we went on a cruise from Galveston!) and it's great to hear from someone working on it
Does anyone have suggestions on dislodging the collet chuck from the spindle? I'm having concerns that brute force may break something. It's a B&S #9 taper; kind of like trying to remove a ball joint from a truck's spindle.
I think you will want to find a way to support the spindle from its nose, thereby taking the pressing or hammering forces off of the spindle bearings. This could be done on the machine by running the table all the way up and using stacks of heavy parallels to get around the collet chuck and under the spindle nose. Alternatively, you could drop the whole quill out of the head and set it up in a hydraulic press. If the drawbar is still in useable shape, I would take it out and drop in a solid bar of the largest diameter that will fit through the spindle and use that to press/hammer on.
Hey T.J., thanks for chiming in. The knee elevation shaft is still broken so raising the table will have to wait. Dropping the entire quill makes the most sense. I hosed penetrant onto the head rotation nuts yesterday. Breaking them loose would sure help with the clearance to pull the spindle. Since I’m volunteering my time and machinery for the battleship I think I can use their electrically powered hydraulic press. I’m willing to take the time to machine a cup to hold the quill in the press. The drawbar isn’t a concern because it’s just all thread and a nut and not in great condition anyway. I’ve pretty much decided to get the spindle reground to R8. The seller has told me to feel free to come by any time I want to work on it. I have to talk to a rental company to see when I can get the trailer I want. He has someone to load it onto a trailer but I’m on my own unloading so I need to coordinate some help to get it off of the trailer. A nearby rental chain has trailers that rotate the suspension and lower the bed to the ground.

I’m getting more and more optimistic that this project will turn out well. The last hurdle will be the motors. I’m debating whether to put each motor on its own VFD or to build/buy a rotary phase converter. I can see advantages both ways. I’m interested in hearing from others that have taken both options.
Yes, drop deck trailer for moving. I'd build a wide rolling stand and have him lift the mill so you can put it on. Something like what I did here.

Or, bolt it to a palate and use a palate jack which is what I did to transport the mill (ended up having to rent the big engine hoist twice).

As for the spindle, take you time. If you can get it out just let the whole thing soak in some kerosene and transmission fluid or whatever solvent you have access to. A little bit of heat, especially since you'll probably be replacing bearings anyway.


If you want a VFD for the spindle motor, you don’t necessarily have to have a second one for the table feed. The table feed motor is a 1/4 HP standard frame (56 I think). You could easily replace it with a single phase motor.
Mark at Wells-Index sent me a price list for spindle regrinds, drawbars and bearings. The regrind from B&S #9 to R8 is $690 if the bearings are good. If not, add another $621.30 plus $80.00 labor for bearings. If I want them to supply a drawbar that's almost $153.00. For that kind of money I'll buy some decent B&S #9 tooling and be happy.
I just went through this and the regrind to R-8 was hard but well worth it. I overhauled a 756 and had the same fight you have now with the jammed spindle. A friend and I braced the quill against the table with a bottle jack and some wood blocks, then he hammered on the drawbar with a dead blow while I (carefully) used an air hammer/pickle fork and some heat between the collet holder and spindle nose. Popped out after a few minutes of work.

I wrestled with the BS9 situation for a while but ended up selling the collets I got and making a little money to offset the regrind. Shipped it off to MI and it came back in two weeks with a shop employee personally calling me to say it was finished and had very little runout, so they advised no bearing change. Mark and the rest of the company were great to deal with.

If you're interested, I've still got a BS9 Universal Eng double taper collet holder and a bunch of collets left over - just needs a closing nut. Also, let us know if you need any details pictures, I've used the threads on here and taken quite a few during my work (still need to start a thread).
Thanks, Cwins. I'll keep that in mind. The machine has a UE collet holder stuck in it now. I'm guilty of being hardheaded so it will take a few aggravations to make me turn loose of the money for a regrind. Initially the only BS #9 tools I expect to get are an ER40 collet holder and a boring head or fly cutter which would have a removable stem so a change back to R8 would be inexpensive. I have access to a fairly large electrically powered hydraulic press. I think that will be my next attempt at removing the collet holder. One of the first things I want to do is check the runout. The collet that's in the holder is 1/2" so I can stick an end mill in it and see how good/bad it is before pulling the quill.