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Just got a Model 40 Index Mill

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WillieP

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Yesterday, I brought home an Index Model 40 mill. A friend who lives in a somewhat rural area discovered that a fairly close by neighbor had a home shop and was selling this mill having just "replaced" it with a Bridgeport. (Considering that his shop is a couple of few thousand square feet...well let's just say, I would have kept both!) Anyway, the (previous) owner lifted it onto my friends trailer, we strapped it down and drove it to my house. At that point, we realized that the 2 ton engine hoist would not be able to lift it high enough. So, I called a tow truck company and the driver was able to easily lift it off and into the mouth of my garage onto riggers skates. That did not work so well since they popped into the hollow base when I tried to move it! After a comedy of errors trying to get it back onto the skates, I realized that the engine hoist did fine to lift it onto a dolly and there it resides until I can finalize the wiring at its eventual final location.

Details on the mill: s/n 6130 (have not dated it yet, mid 50's?): B&S#9 spindle; provision for quill feed (mounting holes) but no feed; single phase motors, main and X-axis power feed, with reversing switches for both (need to check if currently wired for low or high voltage); "Z" type collet holder and collets; Bridgeport 6 inch milling vise.
Overall, the machine appears to be in nice shape with very little wear. There are some major chips in the paint around the edges. But, all of the ways are clean with prominant scraping patterns evident. Manual manipulation of all 3 axes indicates little backlash.
I will post photos soon when I figure out how. (I am a new member and this is my first post besides new member intro).
 

WillieP

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Well, I am replying to my own thread. I emailed Wells-Index yesterday and got this reply early this morning:
We are the company that originally manufactured your mill. The original "Index" company started around 1940 in Jackson, MI and the name was changed to "Wells-Index" around 1971 when Wells Mfg. bought the company and moved it Three Rivers, MI. A&D Machinery bought Wells-Index in 1987 and moved it to Muskegon, MI.
Your model 40 shipped in June 1955. It shipped with a table power feed, 1/2 HP single phase motor and # 9 Brown and Sharpe spindle taper. The spindle/quill feed was an option that was not ordered on this mill.
A manual for your machine is $42.00 plus $5.50 shipping. It is basically a parts manual with exploded views and parts lists.
We have parts for your machine and for those that we don't have there are used or prints available. we do not have a quill power feed for it.
The # 9 Brown and Sharpe spindle taper can be reground to the R-8 taper for $265.00. You will also need a new drawbar which costs $81.38.
Please contact us if you have any questions.


Thank you,
Rick Robison
Wells-Index Division
A & D Machinery Company
701 West Clay Ave.
Muskegon, MI 49440


I am going to leave the BS#9 spindle for now. I wired in a power cord plug and discovered that it is not only a single phase machine, but that the motors are set up for normal low voltage 115. I tried it out and everything seems fine. I will be making chips soon!









 

ScrapMetal

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Rick at W-I has been a great help in getting my 860 mill up to speed as well. It's great to have some knowledgeable support on these older machines.

Now, I'd like to see some of those pics of your 40. ;)

If you can't get the pic thing figured out you can try e-mailing them to me and I'll post them for you.

-Ron
 

No-ladder

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I have a Index 40 as well. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.
New to me last year, mine is equipped with the power downfeed, B&S #9, have oddball collet holder and a few collets. There is a Evil-Bay dealer with #9 taper. Mine was DRO equipped when I bought it. Originally it had the power feed on the table, but removed prior to my ownership. One day I will restore the power feed.

Hope to trade Index 40 tips with you.

Charlie
 

mhooper

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Congratulations on your mill. I also have a Model 40 Index Mill (serial #552) I just adapted a power feed for the x axis, the others are all manual. Still have a things to hammer out.
I also would like to trade Index 40 tips.

mhooper
 

WillieP

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I have a Index 40 as well. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoy mine.
New to me last year, mine is equipped with the power downfeed, B&S #9, have oddball collet holder and a few collets. There is a Evil-Bay dealer with #9 taper. Mine was DRO equipped when I bought it. Originally it had the power feed on the table, but removed prior to my ownership. One day I will restore the power feed.

Hope to trade Index 40 tips with you.

Charlie
I am curious. What brand of DRO is on your Index 40? :thinking: I was thinking of putting DRO on mine if I could find an appropriate set up at the right price. I know there are quite a few that promise to fit nearly anything. But, knowing which one that actually is being used is a good starting point.
 

No-ladder

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Willie
The DRO that I have is old, I think the company has gone under. Anyways the brand is Sargon model " gold Metal" . The X axis scale is mounted up front, and blocks the lube hole as well as the slot for stops. Really simple affair. The Y is mounting to the right with fabricated stand-off. One of the days I will move the X scale to the back of the bed so I can get the slot free up front for travel stops. Might lose 3/4" in the Y though.
Just checked mine...serial no. 3023

I can snap a photo or two if you like

Charlie
 
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chief

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About the parts manual for your machine it is Not Worth the $42.00 plus $5.50 shipping. It is basically a parts manual with exploded views and parts lists.
I bought one for mine, and it is just Junk, they copyed on a printer, I would put it on here but I think it went to the round file when we were cleaning the shop this summer.
 

Flyrod

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For those that have an Index 40, what machinist vise do you use?

the T slots I think measure 4.5" on center

would a 4 inch Kurt fit that (with the long direction running parallel to the long direction of the table)?

thanks
 

Flyrod

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Thank you

Anyone with thoughts on a vise

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I think you will be just fine using a 4" mill vise on your Index 40 mill. That mill is kind of in between sizes in such the 4" mill vise is a tad small and a 6" mill vise could be a little big for it. If you decide later the 4" is a too small, you can alway buy a 6" vise. I use a 6" vise on my 645 Index mill, but it has a little bigger table. There's times I wish I had a 4" vise for my mill.
 

Flyrod

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Thanks Ken

What size is the table on the 645?

what I am thinking is going with a 6 inch to have something to grow with - since it is too big for the T slots, i am thinking of attaching a subplate (say 1/2" material, 7.5" x 12" (table is 8 by 30) with 4 cap head allen screws (counter sunk to be flush) into t-nuts in the slots to bolt the plate to the table - then drill and countersink flanged bushings from the underside (or a captured hex bolt at the right distances to then mount the vise

if anyone has done this and has thoughts on a layout, hardware etc, that would be great

thanks
 

Flyrod

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PS - does anyone have a t-nut (make/part number) they use comfortably with their Index 40? - or just tap a hole in some 1" sq stock?

thanks
 

Martin W

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Congrats on your new mill
mill1.JPG mill2.JPG mill.jpg

I also have a 40 Index. B&S #9 taper. table power feed. I think I have a 4" vice on it . I removed the one that came with it and put a heavier one on that I had from another mill. These are pictures before I moved it out of the sellers basement:eek:
Hope you have fun
Cheers
Martin
 

Flyrod

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Thank you!

Do you recommend t nuts that come up into slot so when fastened they are flush with the table? Or just to fit the slot underneath?

How do you deal with tooling? Is everything you have a tapered end and you bang out each time you switch

Or do you use a collet system of some sort? If so, which kind?

Thanks
 

Martin W

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Hi Flyrod,
I picked up a bunch of 4-6 flute end mills with a #9 taper. I also made a couple of end mill holders and a drill chuck holder with a #9 taper.I don't have any collets:(
As for "T" nuts , I can't remember what I have at the moment. I received a bunch when I purchased the contents of a shop a few years ago. I will have a look and let you know.
Cheers
Martin
 

Flyrod

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Martin - am I reading your response right that you wish you had collets?

Put differently, if you (or anyone else yhat wishes to chime in) were starting out and had no tooling ( my situation ... mill was dirt cheap but no tooling) what direction would you go?

An additional option is to send the spindle to index and have them convert to r8??

I am new to this so I don't have the perspective to know what is the right direction

If there is no right/ wrong, what are the pros/cons?

Thank you!

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Martin W

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R-8 tooling is much easier and more abundant to get, which makes it affordable. $265.00 in US funds works out to about $345 Canuck coins plus shipping and a new drawbar. Kind of made it expensive to be re ground.
Then I found a bunch of #9 taper end mill's on Kijiji for 10 bucks each. I also enjoyed making up some end mill holders. They are not perfect by any means but they work really well.
I wish that I had collets because I am a toolholic.:eek: I have really had no need for them.
Maybe start out by searching EBay for a end mill holder with a #9 taper and start making chips. Then think about having it reground to R8 if you want.
The previous owner of mine ordered a new gear for the X axis table power feed. Not sure what it would have cost him from the manufacturer.
If you need any pictures let me know
Cheers
Martin
 

markba633csi

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I don't own a Wells but your T-nuts should come up to be nearly flush with the table, most I have seen are that way (a T shape)
Mark S.
 

ezduzit

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...if you...were starting out and had no tooling...what direction would you go?

An additional option is to send the spindle to index and have them convert to r8?...
I bought my Index Super 55 with very little tooling. My decision to retain the B&S #9, rather than have it modified, was much more expensive, in the long run. And I very much regret not having Wells modify it for what would have turned out to be a bargain price.
 

Flyrod

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I bought my Index Super 55 with very little tooling. My decision to retain the B&S #9, rather than have it modified, was much more expensive, in the long run. And I very much regret not having Wells modify it for what would have turned out to be a bargain price.
Thanks ezduzit

this is precisely what I am trying to figure out

some of the threads over at PM talk about the MT #9 tooling being a much more secure fit than collets

but I am guessing what you would say is it is still cheaper to regrind to r8, use collets as needed and then fit straight r8 tools as needed b/c r8 stuff will always be cheaper?

thanks
 

Flyrod

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by the way...although i see tons and tons of r8 tool holding pieces (collects, etc), i don't see that much direct tools with r8 shanks - maybe i am just looking in the wrong places?
 

Flyrod

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wondering if anyone else has a thought on this...time is coming to start buying tooling - could start on ebay and start buying old B&S #9 stuff...or convert...or???
 

T Bredehoft

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There are not a lot of tools with R8 holders, you can get drill chucks, Weldon end mill holders, adjustable boring bars, shell mill holders, fly cutters, I think some face mills can be attached to specific R8 shanks. But collets cover a wide range of tooling, not just end mills. I started out with R8's and haven't wished for anything else. I'd recommend the change.
 

Flyrod

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thanks Tom

if one has Index do the conversion, what exactly needs to go to them?

thanks
 

markba633csi

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You can put together a small set of import BS#9 collets to get started with, that's what I did and I'll probably stay with that. I'm adding a thrust bearing to the drawbar so I won't have to hammer on it any more.
Mark
 

Flyrod

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let me refine the question:

is there as broad an array of tooling available in BS9 as R8?

if so, how much more (% wise...roughly) is the BS9 going to be over R8 - on the one hand bs9 is much more expensive new, on the other hand there is lots [??] on ebay at much lower prices?
 

ezduzit

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B&S 9 tooling is rare and expensive, with very limited options. R8 is cheap and plentiful, with virtually unlimited options.
 
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