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NEW ACRA 1640TE

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firestopper

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#1
The machine was ordered mid December of 2017 from ACRA Machinery. The machine took a few weeks to arrive from Taiwan and was shipped to the port of LA, then onto Ranch Cucamonga where ACRA is located. The machine was then delivered to my location via flatbed. The machine sustained a fair amount of paint damage due to poor handling on the truckers part. I ended up loading that machine and hauled it back some 500 miles back to ACRA for a different unit and returned the same day. I did end up getting a taper attachment for a decent discount for my troubles, but more importantly, the machine was handled with care and arrived unscathed. I had already posted about the saga in "members hangout" under "New machine arrives in used condition" so I won't double post.

I wanted to start a specific thread to document the modifications as well as review this machine to share with others who might find interest in the work performed and overall quality of this machine. I will end up posting some pictures found on the other thread, but they'e part of the inspection/review process and feel its important to include them.

The machine was coated with with just enough comsoline to protect the exposed surfaces so clean up was fairly easy with minimal spirits. Once cleaned the quality fit and finish became apparent. The painted surfaces where equally impressive with no evidence of any overspray. The blue is a textured power coat finish.

The motor is 5 hp that drives three belts. I was pleased how clean and smooth the inside casting is as well as the quality of motor. The belt tensioning system is also very nice. The foot brake bar linkage is well done and the friction brake is located on the motor.
IMG_2769.JPG
IMG_2884.JPG
IMG_2885.JPG

Some detailed information:
FEATURES:
BED & STAND

One Piece Cast Iron Floor Stand With Foot Brake
Front Move Chip Tray Floor Stand Or Rear Chip Floor Stand Selected
Bed Width 10 1/4 " Bed Meehanite Casting, Vibration Stress Relieved
Induction hardened And Precision Ground Bed Ways
Precision Hand Scraped Removable Gap Bed

HEAD STOCK
Dynamic Balanced Spindle
Spindle Is Supported By 3 Points Precision Dearings-2 Taper Roller And 1 Ball Bearing
Housing Are Properly Stabilized And Deflection Free
All Gears And Shafts Are Made By Chromium Molybdenum Steel With Segmentation And Precision Ground
EVS Models Forced Lubrication System
Nylon Safety Gears In End Train

SPINDLE
Machined From Forged Alloy Steel, Hardened Ground & Dynamically Balance
Three Point Support By High Grade Precision Machine Tool Taper Roller & Ball Bearings

UNIVERSAL GEAR BOX
Induction Hardened And Ground Gears And Shafts
Wide Threads Cutting Capacity For Imperial, Metric, Module Pitch And Diametrical Pitch

APRON
Right Hand Side Or Left-Hand Size Apron. Hand-Wheel Available As Requested
Integrated Automatic Device For Longitudinal & Cross Feeds, Forward And Reverse Feeds

CARRIAGE & SLIDE
Anti-Float Design, Backlash Eliminator Fitted In Cross Slide Nut
Safety Clutches At Feed Shaft Lever
Dual Reading Dials
One Shut Lubrication For Carriage And Tops Slide

The Black collar on the spindle is a harmonic balancer with multiple tapped holes.The upper drive pulley is also balanced. The blue nylon gear is the safety gear mentioned in the previous features.
IMG_2768.JPG

The end cover is made of fiberglass with two lower adjusting pins.
Very versatile selection of pitch/feed options.
IMG_2774.JPG

Carriage operates smooth with no notable backlash due to the anti-float design. The brass push knob is the one shot lubrication.
The lower push/pull round knob allows the operator to reverse direction on both carriage and cross slide on the fly.
IMG_2775.JPG

The dials are crisp and easy to read. The indexing collars rotates 180º to change viewing from metric to decimal.
IMG_2778.JPG
IMG_2779.JPG

Very nice fit and finish.
IMG_2780.JPG

The lead screw measures 1.125" diameter. Feed rod, fwd/rev rod and lead screw share the same lubrication block.
IMG_2783.JPG

The heavy cast aluminum end cover houses the FWD/REV switches.
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A shot of the bed.
IMG_2784.JPG

The tail stock is a MT4 nice crisp dials.
IMG_2785.JPG

The Meehenite bed measures 10.250" across with substantial webbing.
IMG_2790.JPG

Now for some verifications on the the cross feed, compound, carriage and tailstock. I set up a magnetic test indicator to compare the dial graduations to actual movement. I was especially surprised with the carriage and tailstock results. The cross feed and compound where spot on but that should be expected.
The carriage was moved towards the head stock and both indicator and carriage dial zeroed.
IMG_2889.JPG

The carriage was moved one tic mark (.010") and the test indicator reflected the exact number.
IMG_2890.JPG

Next up was the compound verification. One tic= .001" Moved dial .005"
IMG_2891.JPG

Good to go.
IMG_2895.JPG

Cross feed. Had to turn off the overhead light due to glare but you can still make out the zeros.
IMG_2899.JPG

.010" read .005 on test indicator.
IMG_2903.JPG

The set up for the tailstock test. I re-checked the compound since it shared the same set up.
IMG_2907.JPG

Set the tailstock dial to zero and zeroed the test indicator.
IMG_2905.JPG

Again, the tailstock had surprising accuracy.
IMG_2906.JPG

The second compound test using this set up. (.005")
IMG_2908.JPG

Test indicator reading.
IMG_2909.JPG

Uncrated the taper attachment and spent three hours cleaning and lubricating. I took it completely apart and reset the gibbs.
A very heavy unit and well made.
fullsizeoutput_65e.jpeg

After reassembly and gibbs adjusted it floats smoothly back and forth. Used No.2 way oil.
IMG_2879.JPG

OOPS! it seems I've exceeded the 30 photo limit per post.

To be continued....

Paco
 

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firestopper

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#2
More on the tapper attachment,
The taper adjustment knob works very smooth in both directions. The threads has to be completely free of cosmoline. The taper attachment was labeled for a 1640 RML. Sun Master makes the same machine badged as Southbend, RML and ACRA. Painted different shades and with different data plate color schemes. I chose the ACRA based on Mark's (mksj) mill quality and his input as well as future support from ACRA.
IMG_2880.JPG

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Cleaned and applied some anti-seize to the six leveling bolt in preparation. The fork lift will be used from the bottom to position the machine. The manual provides exact measurements for fork placement so that will make it safe vs picking.
fullsizeoutput_65b.jpeg
IMG_2883.JPG

I found this by the front door last night. It seems the UPS guy didn't need a signature and the hell hounds didn't indicate a visitor,
No snacks for them....Kidding!, they get their snacks:p.
Its a 3 axis EL 700 touch screen with magnetic scales.
IMG_2912.JPG

Mark is coming over on Saturday to help with the install. While the backsplash is removed, We'll install the taper attachment as well.
More to come later. still have a lot of work/mods to complete before she will make chips but I'll keep on documenting.
Any ideas, comments are always welcomed.
Thanks for visiting.
Paco
 

f350ca

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#3
Very nice machine Paco.
You'll like that foot brake, had one on a 14 x 40, would stop the spindle instantly at just about any speed. Great for threading to a shoulder.
The one shot lube on the carriage is a nice touch. My Summit has a knob to divert the pressurized oil system to lube the ways and lead screw. I forget it on and have oil every where.
Is the third scale on the DRO for the compound?

Greg
 

Bamban

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#4
Impressive machine, it looks like it was built to live in a production environment . Looking forward read projects done on that piece of jewel.
 

firestopper

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#5
Very nice machine Paco.
You'll like that foot brake, had one on a 14 x 40, would stop the spindle instantly at just about any speed. Great for threading to a shoulder.
The one shot lube on the carriage is a nice touch. My Summit has a knob to divert the pressurized oil system to lube the ways and lead screw. I forget it on and have oil every where.
Is the third scale on the DRO for the compound?

Greg
Thanks Greg,
The 1440 has a foot brake that works via an upper pulley drum brake with two shoes. Great for tapping large threads too. I like both the one shot and feed reversal knob. Better to have more oil than not, I say.
The third scale is designed to be used on the compound and when activated works with the other two scales to display combined movement
( Axis Summing and Vectoring). I originally was entertaining using it on the tail stock, but that gets complicated with the fixed reader head and sliding scale.

The DRO also features things like zero approach, job timer, feed rate and shrinkage factor but these my not apply in lathe mode. The display is easy on my eyes.
Paco
 
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firestopper

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#6
Impressive machine, it looks like it was built to live in a production environment . Looking forward read projects done on that piece of jewel.
Well built for sure but no machiing production done here. I will have the ability to take much deeper passes saving time tough.:encourage:
 

f350ca

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#7
You'll like the scale on the compound Paco. I have it on the Summit. It either sums the compound and carriage or shows either indipendantly. I keep the compound dialed in parallel to the bed. When machining to a shoulder I can kick the feed out close to the shoulder then feed the compound the last bit.

Greg
 

firestopper

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#8
Yeah, looking forward to using the compound without eye strain.
 

Bob Korves

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#9
I like the foot brake arrangement. My 13x40 also has the two internal shoes at the other end of the belts. It works great, but yours appears to be a design fairly easy to copy for anyone interested in a retrofit foot brake, if there is room to move the motor a bit to allow modifications to the pulley end.
 

DoogieB

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#10
If you get a chance, I wouldn't mind seeing a clear picture of the lathe's threading chart. Looks like it has a really neat QCGB.
 

firestopper

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I like the foot brake arrangement. My 13x40 also has the two internal shoes at the other end of the belts. It works great, but yours appears to be a design fairly easy to copy for anyone interested in a retrofit foot brake, if there is room to move the motor a bit to allow modifications to the pulley end.
Bob,
Its much more direct like you mentioned, the motor shaft would have to be long enough to support the added flywheel. The brake band has a riveted (I think) flexible braking shoe along the rear contact surface.
Should work well.
 

firestopper

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#12
If you get a chance, I wouldn't mind seeing a clear picture of the lathe's threading chart. Looks like it has a really neat QCGB.
Here you go. The letters L and H represent Low and High speed position followed by the gear selection combinations.
IMG_2914.JPG

The QCGB.
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The lead screw threading dial rotates to to disengage when not in use.
IMG_2917.JPG

Rotated in position for use.
IMG_2918.JPG

Paco
 

f350ca

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#16
Check if low and high makes any difference in the feed rates Paco. My Summit has three ranges of spindle speed, and the thread and feed chart is broken into three sections corresponding to the ranges but I can cut any thread in any range and feeds certainly don't change with the range Never figured that one out.
Makes no sense that you would have to cut 2 tpi in high range and 72 tpi in low.

Greg
 

firestopper

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Check if low and high makes any difference in the feed rates Paco. My Summit has three ranges of spindle speed, and the thread and feed chart is broken into three sections corresponding to the ranges but I can cut any thread in any range and feeds certainly don't change with the range Never figured that one out.
Makes no sense that you would have to cut 2 tpi in high range and 72 tpi in low.

Greg
Greg,
The gearing is obvious way different at the two extreems,but once I get it powered up, I'll check it out for sure. Got me scratching my head now hahah.
 

firestopper

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#19
This 12vdc low profile light came in today. I found it on eBay for under 50 bucks. It has snap-in magnet clips so no drilling required.
IMG_2923.JPG

IMG_2921.JPG

The 52" strip tucks nicely under the top return on the backsplash.
IMG_2920.JPG

Puts out hella light with the right temp for my liking. Tuned off the shop lights to set the mood.:cool:
IMG_2919.JPG

Started milling the DRO head unit mount as well.
IMG_2929.JPG

Mocking up for measurements. I needed to allow space for the tach and speed control box that will mount below the readout unit.
IMG_2930.JPG

Still profiling the block of aluminum. for the read head arm to mount to.
IMG_2931.JPG

Pretty stoked about working with Mark (mksj) tomorrow.

Thats all amigos.

Paco
 

kd4gij

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#20
Acra makes good equipment. We had a 16x60 lathe at my last job. Where I work now we have an Acra 2j mill BP clone.
 

Z2V

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#21
Paco, that’s a great looking lathe sitting in great looking shop! I wouldn’t know how to act with all that room. Really nice.
In post 2 you mentioned that Mark was coming out to help with DRO and taper attachment, are you doing his VFD control upgrade also? I’ve looked at some of the electrical drawings he’s posted, he’s designed a really nice controller.
What other mods do you have planned before you put her to work? Oh, really like the light in the back splash also.
 

Silverbullet

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#22
Great machines acra , good luck with it , I'd be afraid to run and put the first marks on her. Shoot I'd make covers for the charts even in chip pan I'd put pans. Ya know protect her. But they're there to be used. YUPP she's pretty
 

Ray C

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#23
Really nice! I'm making Tim Taylor toolman grunting noises just looking at yours!

I've got my eyes on a new lathe myself and am just waiting for the right time to rearrange the shop and order it.


Ray
 

firestopper

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#24
Paco, that’s a great looking lathe sitting in great looking shop! I wouldn’t know how to act with all that room. Really nice.
In post 2 you mentioned that Mark was coming out to help with DRO and taper attachment, are you doing his VFD control upgrade also? I’ve looked at some of the electrical drawings he’s posted, he’s designed a really nice controller.
What other mods do you have planned before you put her to work? Oh, really like the light in the back splash also.
Thanks Z2V,

So Mark (mksj) spent the day installing a new control system while I milled new DRO brackets for the display unit. The cheesy OEM brackets weren't square and would have drove me nuts. Mark does stellar work and his attention to detail is over the top.
I be sharing photos soon.
Thanks for visiting.
Paco
 

firestopper

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#25
Thanks Silverbullet,
Sun Master does build a fine machine. I will get her dirty soon enough.

Take care,
Paco
 

firestopper

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#26
Really nice! I'm making Tim Taylor toolman grunting noises just looking at yours!

I've got my eyes on a new lathe myself and am just waiting for the right time to rearrange the shop and order it.


Ray
Hi Ray,
Depending on what size lathe your wanting, take a look at what ACRA has to offer. They are nice man.
I make the same grunting noises :D

Paco
 

firestopper

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#27
I got started at dawn today and first order of business was to get the lathe on the floor. Yesterday I dealt with the additional 8" of hight and it was a pain to get accurate measurements. I milled new support brackets for the DRO display head. For such a nice quality DRO their brackets leave a lot to be desired. Mark arrived and brought along a new control system. I don't think he sleeps much either, his schematics are the cleanest I've ever seen and his wiring is also impeccable.

New hour meter added, I like to keep track of service hours for maintanace intervals. The compressor, and plate roller also utilize hour meters. The retails for $72 but was had for $20 +4 bucks in shipping (eBay). You can see the magnetic pickup just to the lower right. This will be for the Tach.
IMG_2933.JPG

Look at this work of art! Mark modified the carriage micro stop with a proximity sensor and 2 stage safety micro switch in case the proximity sensor fails. The micro switch will use motor braking in E-stop mode programed with VFD to halt in just over a second. The dial is smooth as silk.
I especially like the profile work he did to match the V-way angle.I need to make a trigger plate and plan on the same profile. I will also make some thumb lever screw to eliminate the need for an Allen wrench.
IMG_2934.JPG

Mark's clean work with labels to follow his schematics. I provided him with a sheet of aluminum and he brought it back fully assembled and tested saving time. He also brought along all new front switches and better wiring. He works alone during this time so I kept on milling.
The panel seems a bit short on components because the wall enclosure houses the rest of the system including the VFD.
IMG_2935.JPG

Installing the taper attachment required the two of us. This thing is heavy and requires fine adjustment for the cross feed led screw to turn smoothly. It normally takes an hour per the instructions but we did manage to beat that time but did have to fuss with the final adjustments.
IMG_2936.JPG

The quick claps are are holding the magnetic scales I was working on. Have a little more milling to get this one done.
IMG_2937.JPG

Here's a shot of the front switch panel. better quality switches and wiring. The far right joy stick for jogging FWD/REV and programed to 20 HTZ for power tapping and general jogging. The green push switch is dual purpose. Its a power on indicator (pilot light) and push bi-pass for the proximity stop. The blue flood switch is a two stage switch that can provide constant flooding or flood only while the spindle/motor is running. The far left micro toggle switch is for two stage motor braking. #1 (up) motor brakes in just over 1 second, same as E-stop and #2 (down) for motor braking in 3-5 seconds. The foot brake will also activate the E-stop I believe but will mostly be used for large manual tapping.
IMG_2938.JPG

Below the DRO is the Tack/sfpm and speed control pot. Mark built this from kit soldering the individual components and modified the voltage. He also milled the box and lexan for a flush fit. Absolutely a custom work of art. This is the backside. Notice the cover is to the rear for a clean front.
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I drilled/tapped the rear cover to mount under the DRO.
IMG_2939.JPG

Close up of the Tach box.
IMG_2940.JPG

The naked lathe as it sits tonight.
IMG_2941.JPG

We both put in a long day but getting closer to making chips. More on the DRO scales tomorrow.
Thanks for looking.
Good night fellas.
Paco
 
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.LMS.

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#30
Wow! Watching you guys create these works of art is really enjoyable. And loving those plates on your truck.
 
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