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Info on Sheldon Vernon horizontal mills

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TomKro

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#1
I'm planning to look over a Sheldon Vernon horizontal mill this weekend. The small footprint appears pretty well matched to my basement work area. No special need or job intended for this machine, but it sure looks useful.

If there's anyone with experience with this machine, can you please advise on any particular areas that I should be watching out/checking over before purchasing. I'm presently aware of the small table and the odd collet size. Machine appears to have a decent vise, a few cutters and the overarm support, but no vertical milling attachment. Not yet sure of condition.

Any feedback is appreciated.

TomKro
 

bedwards

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#2
I have the Model O and I really like it. Other than spindle bearings and back gear engagement, the belt drive and rest are pretty straight forward. The taper tooling can be found, (tools for cheap) but I have never changed mine out. I use it just as it came with the 1" arbor. The Yahoo Sheldon site has a world of help and info just for the asking.



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TomKro

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#3
bedwards:

I'm also considering the "0" model, but an earlier version. The earlier version only has a single T-slot table. The later table looks like a big improvement.

By the way - when hunting for info yesterday, I saw the VFD setup you posted a while back. Very nice installation. Has the drive unit held up to your expectations?

The unit I'm planning to see appears a bit pricey, but listed in "good" condition - always very subjective - but it should be interesting to check it out.

Also, I didn't realize there was a Yahoo group for that machine. I still have to check that out.

Thanks,
TomKro
 

bedwards

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#4
Thanks,
Tackling the VFD install was intimidating with no more experience than I have. I hope the pictures help someone. The Teco drive has done well. It was a real pain to set up at first, but it has not been a minutes trouble since. Also it gives you variable speed if you don't have it already. The O has a mechanical variable speed, but it is much easier to use the VFD. The singe T slot on the earlier Vernon would limit where you can mount your work, but so far I have always used the center slot on mine, so it would have made no difference really. You didn't mention what size arbor it had, but you shouldn't have any trouble finding cutters. Get us some pics, love pics.

good luck,
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TomKro

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#5
Not sure if I have this link properly placed, but the item is posted on the Philly PA Craigslist, in case the link doesn't work.

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/tls/4313654251.html

I have no idea if it's really worth $750. Also, I'm not really clear on the condition. One of the images has what appears to be a lot of gunk around the motor - not sure what's up with that. I plan to take a road trip on Saturday to check it out.
 

bedwards

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#6
It looks a 1hp single phase machine with powered table and variable speed drive. The area where the drive and motor reside is in the bottom of the cabinet and it catches dirt, oil, grease and is really messy. You shouldn't need a VFD. Its in about the same shape mine was in when I bought it. I have never cleaned mine up. I just replaced belts, adjusted the bearings, got the arbor unstuck, put a vfd on it and used it. They were asking 750 for mine and I gave 250. Having said that, I paid a lot more for some of the other machines I have bought so its up to you what it is worth. You can replace the belts with a segmented belt without removing the spindle (which is a really big job.) I probably weighs close to 12-1300 lbs. I like the vise, mine is not that good. It should do all a hobbyist needs. If it runs good and quiet, make him an offer! Worst he can say is no. =]



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TomKro

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#7
bedwards:

I only get to dream of deals like yours. Every once in a while I see some real good deals in the Philly and South Jersey area Craigslist, but one has to move fast. Usually I can't make it up that way until the weekends, and by then the items are gone. Strange that there isn't more home shop equipment floating around Baltimore, which is closer.

Thanks for the clarification on the gunk inside the cabinet. I asked the owner of this machine to fill me on what's under the vise, and to pull the arbor so I can see the taper area in the spindle when I get there tomorrow. The edge of the table has some cuts, and I'm told there are a couple small voids in the taper area. I have not seen it yet, so I'm guessing it's the result of some rust or pitting (?). It has me concerned. It should be an interesting morning.

TomKro
 

TomKro

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#8
Those little Sheldon's are really nice machines.

It was my opinion that the condition of this one was more "fair" than "good", but again, just my opinion.

The heavy drive belts for the variable speed control looked like they needed replacing, the table feed gearbox rattled a bit on the higher speeds (maybe just the shaft bushings or the u-joints, but hard to see much of the gears), and the table cross feed appeared to me to have too much play. On the plus side, all the slides looked pretty nice, the table damage was minimal, and the pitting in the taper area of the collet was really very minor.

I wish I had a better idea of what it takes to fix up those Acme nuts on the table cross feed. I imagine a replacement is tough to locate.

I did make an offer, but not enough to get a bite. I asked the seller to give me a call if he can't get any better offers.
 

bedwards

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#9
That's what I would have done. Make an offer you can live with. He might change his mind ;-)


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TomKro

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#10
Hopefully, this isn’t a duplicate post. Crashed something….

I made an initial offer, but no bite from the seller. The next day I was cutting flat bar by hand and dreaming of something with a power feed, so I decided to up the offer to $600, and the seller accepted.

Pickup schedule has been hampered by ice and snow on a sloped driveway at the seller’s location. Today was sunny and warm, perfect for a road trip.

The seller was extremely helpful and spent a few hours helping to split the unit for transport. He had a nice engine hoist and dropped the pieces right onto the trailer.

Sheldon Base.png Sheldon Upper.png

“Sheldon” will have to sit in the driveway until the backyard firms up. Everyone’s been complaining about the cold, but now I need some cold weather (without snow) to get the trailer around back without leaving trenches in the yard.

No real plans for “Sheldon” except new belts and to see what can be done to tighten up the cross feed.

Sheldon Base.png Sheldon Upper.png
 

bedwards

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#11
Congrats! I know your excited. Get us more pics when you can.



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toag

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#12
Ignore my post in the craigslist section. nice grab, sheldon looks to be in good shape.

Did you see what the spindle taper is? iKm going to check on latbhes.co
 

chuckorlando

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#13
Thats a sweet looking machine right there. I know prices change with areas your in, but down here, you got a good deal barring any major issues. There are 2 of them down here thats been "restored" for over 5k. They look pretty but dont know how deep the resto is. 5k is new mill money to me. ahaha
 

TomKro

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#14
Yep, I’m pretty excited about this one. Here’s another pic of the upper section sitting on the trailer.
Sheldon right side on trailer.jpg

The vise looks like it was used for some special purpose setup – it has some spring pins and a screw set into one of the jaw plates. In the pic it looks rusty, but in person it appears to be dried oil/grease. Still have to clear away the junk, but it appears to move OK. I only have one other small vise of this style, for a small drill press, so it sure beats nothing.
Sheldon Vise.jpg

Right now I don’t even know what arbor diameter it is. The nut on the end of the arbor is jammed on tight, so I’m just going to soak it a while. I don’t have any spare spacers, so I’ll be looking for those. It definitely needs a new drawbar, as this one is the ultra-custom all thread version. No harm smacking that thing with a hammer (nice and soft). I did buy one collet off e-bay (3/4 ID,B&S#11 I believe), so maybe I can get a small drill chuck or one of those double taper collet holders with a straight shank, so I can mount some cutters. I have no experience with mill tooling, so any feedback/guidance as to size and brand will be appreciated.
Sheldon Arbor.jpg

After my “no-bite” initial offer, I did see some old web postings of these units in the $2K range, but I assumed that was closer to “pristine”, with tooling. If they’re really fetching big coin down in Florida, I may have to get new tires for the trailer. It’s funny how some machines get popular with the home shop crowd. I just assumed these Sheldon’s went on the lower end of the spectrum because it’s a horizontal. I did see pics of a few small Sheldon’s with vertical heads on the overarm. Sweet looking setup for a little machine, but I better give the ATM card a rest.

Sheldon right side on trailer.jpg Sheldon Vise.jpg Sheldon Arbor.jpg
 

mattthemuppet2

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#15
congrats Tom! Sorry you missed out on the Index, but looks like you got a great score on this instead. Looking forward to seeing it set up and making chips. I dunno about down in warm sunny South PA, but up here we're due for a freeze and perhaps some snow next week so it looks like you won't have to wait for long!
 

bedwards

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#16
You may know already, but the nut on the arbor is left hand threaded.



bedwards
 

TomKro

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#17
I did not know that nut was left hand. Thanks very much for pointing that out. I tried both directions and didn't get any motion either way.
I'm going to let it soak a few days before I try tightening it any more.

It should be getting colder, but not sure if it will stay cold enough to freeze the ground. Sheldon is still sitting on the trailer waiting for it's new home.
 

TomKro

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#18
Funny how time flies...

Been trying on and off to get my arbor apart, and finally broke it loose with a vise, a pipe wrench, and a big socket with an impact wrench.
I pounded on that thing for at least 10 minutes with the impact wrench before it finally spun loose.
As to machine parts, I only buggered up one sleeve, and one of 12 slitter blades. I did manage to mangle up a soft jaw pad and broke my brother-in-laws electric impact wrench, before I switched to the pneumatic one. I had to clean up the nut a little bit, but all is well.


Arbor Success small pic.jpg

I've also been trying to find collets when I see them available. I didn't want to hi-jack CoopVA's thread, so I thought I'd ask here. Does anyone know if a "smaller" collet will bugger up or get stuck in the spindle? The one 3/4 inch Hardinge collet I have appears to sit out the nose of the spindle at least a 1/2 inch. The new collet is the same total length, but appears to sit back about a 1/16 when I snug it up. I used a 1/2 inch drill bit in a 1/2 collet to show how the collet appears to sit too deep. I've had the new ones for over a month and didn't even think to check them all for fit.

Hardinge Collet small.jpg New Collet small.jpg

Progress is slow. The mill is still in the garage, but at least the motor is out for cleanup and made it into a partially heated basement.
Santa brought two sets of dual 500 watt halogen lights, so at least it's bright and toasty warm working in the basement.

Arbor Success small pic.jpg Hardinge Collet small.jpg New Collet small.jpg
 

David M

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#19
The picture on the right, flush with the spindle looks right to me. I have a Gorton vertical mill and a Sheldon O mill that both use B&S 9 collets and that's how they fit.
 

geckocycles

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#20
THat's interesting. I thought my collets sat in too far as well. B&S#9
 

TomKro

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#21
I was concerned the edge of the collet might hang up since it sits back a little bit.
I'd hate to damage the spindle. Repair or replacement could be time consuming / expensive.

Do you happen to have an idea of the proper torque required for the drawbar to prevent spinning? I'm guessing what's being cut, cutter size, and the feed/speed have a lot to do with what is "right". Just wondering what's a reasonable general purpose torque.

Thanks for the feedback.
 

geckocycles

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#22
It doesn't take much to tighten them but I have to wack the drawbar pretty good a few times to loosen them. Guess that would be expected with such a slight taper.

Something isn't right with your 3/4 collet. It shouldn't stick out that much at all. LMS has #9 collets too.
 

Apostle10

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#23
It doesn't take much to tighten them but I have to wack the drawbar pretty good a few times to loosen them. Guess that would be expected with such a slight taper.

Something isn't right with your 3/4 collet. It shouldn't stick out that much at all. LMS has #9 collets too.
My Sheldon Mill was delivered yesterday. I've been busy getting the cutting oil and grease off in prep for a repaint job. Right off I found that the arbor is stuck in the taper. I've applied the best of penetrating oils, taped on the draw bar (when backed out slightly) and even taped side-to-side using a wooden block to hopefully break the "taper weld." No luck thus far. Any suggestions?

Secondly, on the left side of the mill, there are two "plugs" - one says OIL and the other says GREASE. Are these plugs meant to screw out? There is a long and quite narrow slit in each plug.

Thirdly, I can't seem to get the "Backgear/Direct" feed lever to move. Does the machine have to be running to move this per chance? Label instructions suggest so, but why?

Fourthly, I had to remove the belts from the lower "Reeves type drive" in order to crank the spindle. Is the Reeves drive very difficult to crank? I suspect I have some work to do down there :))

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcomed.

I'll be un-crating and sorting through the cutters and tooling that came with the mill tonight.

IMG_1254.JPG

IMG_1255.JPG

IMG_1261.JPG
Sorry but I don't see how to rotate these images :angry:


Mike
Charlottesville, VA

IMG_1254.JPG IMG_1255.JPG IMG_1257.JPG IMG_1261.JPG
 

TomKro

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#24
geckocycles:
I picked up the Hardinge collet off e-bay when I couldn't find anything else. I thought I'd use a straight shank collet holder to at least have something to work with.

Thanks for the info about LMS. I think LMS prices are a just a little less than what I paid from an e-bay vendor.
 

geckocycles

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#25
Nice score.
I have very little experience with these machines hence being on here learning too. I can tell you that my variable speed dial works VERY easily. If it wasn't for change in speed sound I wouldn't have thought it was doing anything at all.

Don't assume because it has a "grease zerk" that is for putting grease in. I had a machine that I greased to death and it still was tight as hell especially if it was below 60. Later found out that it needed to be flushed and way oil put in. What goes in these I don't know. My guy is different too but has the same roots.
 

TomKro

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#26
Mike:

Looks like a nice find. I see you have the newer model with the wider table. I have the older one, and don't see the plugs you mentioned. There's a manual for that newer model somewhere on line. If you can't find it, let me know, I should have the pdf file somewhere.

As to that arbor... You may want to try knocking it out with a soft metal bar. Most of the collets I've seen are hardened pretty decently, so maybe just some cheep/soft all thread would be OK to bang on a little.

As to the back gear, the warning plate on the older model also indicates to engage in low speed.

Not sure what's going on with your speed crank. My unit moves easily with the belt off. I though the crank was used to change the distance between the driver/driven shafts. Best to look inside, check the location of the travel stop nuts, and lube the heck out of it before forcing anything.

Best of luck getting it up and running.
TomKro
 

David M

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#27
My Sheldon Mill was delivered yesterday. I've been busy getting the cutting oil and grease off in prep for a repaint job. Right off I found that the arbor is stuck in the taper. I've applied the best of penetrating oils, taped on the draw bar (when backed out slightly) and even taped side-to-side using a wooden block to hopefully break the "taper weld." No luck thus far. Any suggestions?

Secondly, on the left side of the mill, there are two "plugs" - one says OIL and the other says GREASE. Are these plugs meant to screw out? There is a long and quite narrow slit in each plug.

Thirdly, I can't seem to get the "Backgear/Direct" feed lever to move. Does the machine have to be running to move this per chance? Label instructions suggest so, but why?

Fourthly, I had to remove the belts from the lower "Reeves type drive" in order to crank the spindle. Is the Reeves drive very difficult to crank? I suspect I have some work to do down there :))

Any and all comments and suggestions are welcomed.

I'll be un-crating and sorting through the cutters and tooling that came with the mill tonight.

View attachment 93783

View attachment 93784

View attachment 93786
Sorry but I don't see how to rotate these images :angry:


Mike
Charlottesville, VA
Nice machine, I've got one just like it. Not sure about those plugs, mine also has grease zerks above the spindle bearings. The plate on the side of the machine says the spindle bearings are permanently lubed....don't know, I shot a little grease in there anyway. The machine does have to be turning to engage the backgear, same with spindle speeds, is the machine running while you turn the crank? To rotate a picture, right click on the picture, click on "rotate clockwise". Usually can go counter clockwise as well. Good luck with your machine, I really like mine.

Also, I had a heck of a time getting the arbor out of mine when I got it, a combination of a drift/wedge in the front and a good whack from behind on the drawbar did it. A B&S taper is a thin wedge, a lot of mechanical advantage, and does not require much torque on the drawbar to make them tight.
 

Apostle10

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#28
Nice machine, I've got one just like it. Not sure about those plugs, mine also has grease zerks above the spindle bearings. The plate on the side of the machine says the spindle bearings are permanently lubed....don't know, I shot a little grease in there anyway. The machine does have to be turning to engage the backgear, same with spindle speeds, is the machine running while you turn the crank? To rotate a picture, right click on the picture, click on "rotate clockwise". Usually can go counter clockwise as well. Good luck with your machine, I really like mine.

Also, I had a heck of a time getting the arbor out of mine when I got it, a combination of a drift/wedge in the front and a good whack from behind on the drawbar did it. A B&S taper is a thin wedge, a lot of mechanical advantage, and does not require much torque on the drawbar to make them tight.
Hi David,

Tried again to rotate images using your suggestion. Didn't work. That is the way I rotate images while working on my 'puter and I'd rotated them prior to uploading. However, for some strange reason, the images came out as thought they'd not been rotated!

I finally got the arbor out and those two plugs out as well. The plugs were semi-rusted in place, hence the difficulty. Also got the direct/back gear to slip back and forth while turning the pulley manually.

You can see the plugs I've referred to. I've been cleaning the machine and you can compare these two photos and see the results. Once again, the photos aer rotated, yet they're in proper orientation on my computer!!

Another surprise I found was that I have a TWO PHASE motor to deal with:

DSC03157.JPG DSC03155.JPG DSC03161.JPG DSC03143.JPG

Mike

DSC03155.JPG DSC03157.JPG DSC03161.JPG DSC03143.JPG
 

TomKro

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#29
Mike:

I didn't catch what you meant by the plugs. For some reason I thought you were talking about plugs in the base, hence my confusion.

The manual for your newer machine indicates monthly oil to the shifter shoes (rear plug) and weekly grease to the back gear (front plug). Interesting that the early machine lubrication schedule indicates six month grease lube to both these points. That's sort of odd to me, since one of my plugs says "oil" and the other "grease". I'm going to stick with oil in the rear hole, simply because there's no grease fitting in that location on my machine, and everything else that asks for grease has a fitting installed.

Here's the full schedule:
Daily oil to arbor support bearing, gear box, worm wheel, worm and shaft (table drive)
Weekly oil to feed screw pilot. Weekly grease to back gear and cross feed nut.
Monthly oil to shifter shoes and elevating hand wheel shaft. Monthly grease to front and rear bearings .

Sorry to hear about your 2 phase motor. I'm guessing you'll be in the market for a 120/240 single phase motor.

As to pictures, if you're running a Microsoft computer, you can try dropping the pics into paint, then you can rotate, crop and resize as needed.

Glad you managed to get the arbor out, hopefully without any damage.

TomKro
 

David M

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#30
Mike,
Who's got two phase power these days? I never would have expected to see that. The plugs on the side of my machine are in the same places as yours but look a little different than yours, kind of a button head hex, the back one says "oil" and the front one says "grease". I see yours has the grease fittings by the spindle bearings too. Glad you got the arbor out, did you get the Reeves drive thing figured out?

Tom,
Thanks for the lube info. I didn't get a manual with mine either. I found one for the older model, should print of a copy, would be better than nothing.
 
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