[4]

Index 645 power feed advice please.

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

zaaephod

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
29
Hello again everyone,

I've been using my Index 645 a lot. Unfortunately, it didn't come with any power feeds except the quill from the factory. After cranking on this thing, it's becoming clear, I need a power feed on the X at least, and maybe the knee eventually. I've done a lot of research, and understand how the factory feeds worked. I've considered finding a hex bar, and driving it in a similar fashion, but I don't have a gearbox, nor the gears that go behind the right hand wheel.

I'm considering trying a saddle bag style feed instead, but I haven't been able to find much info regarding whether this is possible without major modification. Has anyone done this? Are the mounting holes in a similar location to a Bridgeport, since those power feeds are more readily available? I don't really mind if the feed is mounted on the left or right.

I'm continuing my research, but I thought I'd ask here as well.

Thanks,
Z
 

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
3,545
Check with Servo Feeds, I adapted one to my Fray vertical mill, it was easy, I just adapted one that came from some other mill; I used the table screw end bracket that came with my mill, drilled and tapped it for the Servo unit, and perhaps had to rebore or bush/ key the screw drive gear.
It really does beat cranking, and although the rapid feed is a bit slow, it is faster than hand cranking.
 

zaaephod

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
29
Thanks for the reply. Do you know what your rapid speeds are in rpms? That is something I hadn't considered. This mill has a large housing on the right side of the table that I expect will need to be removed and something new built in its place to adapt a power feed. That is, unless I can find a power feed that has the controls oriented to be mounted on left side. I'm trying to keep it on the cheap, it's mostly a hobby for me. I am of course willing to build or modify, but I'd like to not change the machine table itself much if possible. Truth is, that housing is cracked anyway, but everything still moves free. I wouldn't mind building something to replace it.
 

Attachments

benmychree

John York
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Jun 7, 2013
Messages
3,545
The Servo Feed will mount on either side of the table; look them up on the internet for specifications. I think that I would want to resolve the problem with the damage to the unit on the right side of the table, I'd think removing it would be a good thing, if possible.
 

markba633csi

Platinum
Registered
Joined
Apr 30, 2015
Messages
4,144
Is that cracked housing made out of brass? It sure looks like it. Silver solder repair?
 

T. J.

H-M Supporter - Gold Member
H-M Supporter - Gold Member ($25)
Joined
Oct 31, 2015
Messages
318
Since the gear housing is cracked, your mill may have had a power feed at one time. That housing seems to be the weak link that breaks in the event of a crash. Mine had been repaired when I got it. (And yes, they are cast iron)

I went through this thought process of fitting a servo feed before I repaired my factory power feed. I came to the conclusion that the easiest way would be to fabricate a new piece that would replace the gear housing and allow mounting the servo to it.
 

zaaephod

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
29
Thanks for the comments,


The housing is cast iron, and I've pondered repairing it, but it really didn't affect the machine for my uses. The crack doesn't go all the way across. As far as the power feed, I agree, I'll probably build a new housing that will allow a power feed to be added.

The machine didn't come with any power feeds from the factory, I got the sales info card from Wells Index. It was purchased in 1963 by the John W. Hobbs corp. I'm not sure what they made with it, but under the layers of muck in the table t-slots, there were clumps of bronze or brass swarf. I did a bunch of reading on that company and the owner, very interesting history.

I'm going to take it apart to get some measurements, then I'll do some research on a power feed and choose one. I'll be sure to post back here when I get to the project, but don't hold your breath :)
 

zaaephod

Active Member
Registered
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
29
I managed to find time to get this power feed mounted, I hope none of you have been holding your breath. The power feed I bought is an import that's supposed to fit a Bridgeport. It was clearly NOT meant to fit the Index 645. I had to bore the spiral bevel gear, as well as remove the threaded portion on the back. I decided to drill a couple holes for roll pins through the bevel gear and into the back of the hand wheel to drive the screw, that way I didn't have to remove the lead screw from the machine or make a slot in it for a key. I turned a mandrel to fit both the hand wheel from the mill, and the bevel gear. In the photo, I'm holding the mandrel in while the Loctite sets. Not shown, I drilled two holes all the way through the gear hub and into the hand wheel.

I removed the adapter plate from the power feed, and traced its shape and hole locations on to paper. I scanned that into the computer, and traced it out in CAD, then re-sized it to the actual dimensions of the adapter plate. Fortunately, I have a little G0704 mill I converted to CNC a few years ago. I used that to cut a piece of 3/8 aluminum plate that matches the adapter plate, which gives me something to bolt it to. After that, I put a piece of 4" pipe in the mill, and using the locations I had from the CNC program, I drilled and tapped 1/4" - 20 holes in an arc that match my new plate. After a bit of struggling getting the correct length for the pipe, I finally got it cut down, but I broke my band saw blade :(

I made a few spacers on the lathe to get a nice mesh on the bevel gear and pinion, and another to add some preload when the hand wheel is tightened. All of this was just trial and error, but it seems to work well so far. Today I'll finish welding it, and give it some black paint. I really wanted to keep the dial on the hand wheel, but I'll need to dream up some way of filling the void you can see in the photos.

20190814_110031.jpg




20190803_171231.jpg
20190810_175731.jpg
Image (4).jpg
 
[5] [7]
Top