Found an Index 645

It would seem, that if Wells requires the bearings to modify the spindle to R8, you could perhaps cant the head to the required angle, bore the R8 features. Mount a toolpost grinder to the table to finish off. Or just take it to a lathe with a steady rest.
It would seem, that if Wells requires the bearings to modify the spindle to R8, you could perhaps cant the head to the required angle, bore the R8 features. Mount a toolpost grinder to the table to finish off. Or just take it to a lathe with a steady rest.
I saw a good video where someone trued up a R8 spindle like that. That is beyond my comfort level!
The broken shaft, B&S #9 taper and stuck collet have all self-resolved. I hated to back out of the deal but the costs and time involved were growing before I had taken delivery or put power to it. The seller let me out of the deal with my offer to purchase the vise off of the machine for the money I had already paid.

Now the Great News

Another Index 645 that is fully functional and has an R8 spindle became available an hour away from me. It’s already in my driveway. The price was much higher than the other one but it’s ready to use just as soon as I get VFDs and do a little electrical work. It’s a one owner machine that even came with the original manual. It’s far better than the copy on the Well-Index website. As a bonus it came with a 1/2” Jacob Super Chuck and a “two man lift” dividing head with chuck and tailstock. It’s beefy and old; not sure of the make yet. I’ll take pictures tomorrow.
You lucky dog!
That’s fantastic David. Looking forward to seeing pics
Yesterday I picked up the Index 645. When I went to Sunbelt Rentals to pick up the trailer I discovered that my 2-5/16" drawbar and ball weren't in the trailer stuff container under the rear seat where those things normally stay. That meant that I had to downsize to a smaller single axle trailer that had a 2" coupler. That drawbar and ball were in the truck as expected. I wasn't thrilled at the prospect of hauling such a top heavy piece on an Interstate with a single axle trailer. The concerns were well founded. The mill was over an hour east of me near the Texas-Louisiana border and there's a lot of highway construction in the area. The bad habits of the trailer showed up with its short coupled pitching as soon as I hit rough spots in the construction area. That coupled with narrowed lanes and very wet fog made for a tiring drive. Finally I got to the seller's house and ended up having to back down his street with that short trailer because there was no place to turn around on the narrow dead-end street. My truck is an oldie/goodie 2000 F-150 4x4 which takes a lot of space to turn. We got the mill loaded onto the trailer using a tractor. The lifting points in the photos are not ideal as the machine was very heavy in the front but it was a solid, secure lift so we stayed with it. The seller and his brother were very helpful in strapping the machine down. It was not their first rodeo. I decided to take an alternate highway home. There were a few small towns and lots of speed limit changes but it was a pleasant change from rough I-10 and people blasting through the construction zones 20+ mph over the speed limit. The highway was in great shape; much smoother than the Interstate.

First thing this morning I took off the tarp that I had used to cover the mill when I got home. Both the mill and the plastic tarp needed to dry out. The humidity has been very high the past few days so even under cover there was condensation on the masses of cast iron. Yes, the grass is still green and we still have leaves on the trees in December in the Houston area. We all know that the first thing to do when we get a new-to-us machine is drill some holes in it, right? I had done this with my Bridgeport clone. I drilled and tapped the bolt-down holes for 3/4-10 and made jack-up bolts from 3/4" all-thread and nuts pinned to the threaded rod. The Bridgeport clone lifted up to put rollers under it so easily with this scheme! Not so fast, grasshopper. Mr. Index had a wrench for my gears. After struggling with the unliftable weight of the Index we (my helper friend had arrived by now) pulled the makeshift lifting screws and upon inspection with a flashlight, discovered that the Index has gussets or webs at the bottom of the base directly beneath those 9/16" holes! We were trying to jack up the mill against itself. A quickly devised plan B was to crib up the mill to get the wheels under it. It was slow going but we managed to get the wheels under the mill. At one point with the balance well worked out we were ready to put the back wheels in place and the mill looked like ot was levitating. Soon we had it very nearly in its new home.

Next things are to return the trailer to Sunbelt in the morning and get the mill off of the wheels. Then I can reinstall the TV and surround sound, relocate the shop's dust collector and evaluate the space again. I think there will be room to the left of the mill for a rollaround toolbox bottom behind and off to the left of the table. That will make for some nice milling specific storage.


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Oh, yeah, one other big thing. I need 3 phase power. I’ve read a whole heap a have some sense of direction but still don’t have a conclusion. My last big mill had a static converter so I know that isn’t what I want. There is real appeal to me of the satisfying tactile feel of the original spindle and table switches. There is also the overwhelming appeal of changing speeds with the touch of a button. From what I have read it sounds like using a VFD requires bypassing all original switches. Is there any option for controlling the fwd/stop/reverse with the original switch and the speed with the VFD? I think I would rather give up the original switches than change speeds with the belts. In other words, I think I would prefer a VFD over a rotary phase converter. I want to keep both 3 phase motors; not a fan of changing to sin phase on this machine.
Yes, VFD's have many control inputs that you can wire to your original switches. It's possible to replicate all the original controls with programming the VFD and wiring the switches in, not really even that hard.

Another vote for VFD... that is how I got my Wells Index running in my garage.