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New Toy s/h RF45 Mill

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SnakeyJ

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I had been looking for a small mill for the last few months and managed to find a (not so small) bargain on ebay the other day. I had been considering a VMC or an older universal mill (Elliott Omnimill), but this one came along at a silly price and will be a lot more manageable in my 8'x8' workshop.

The Chester Lux is a re-badged Chinese import RF45 clone, gear head mill with 2HP motor and R8 spindle, like the Grizzly0761, with a respectable 22"x7.5" travel and 13.75" travel on the Z axis. I'm guessing it's 8 years old, but pretty much unused and apart from a little surface rust the table looks unmarked. It will need a good clean and only came with a 4 and 5" swivel vice, a couple of threaded end mills and a 3" R8 HSS facemill. A full 320kg or 714lbs of chinese cast iron, but the head and column separated easily for and made it a comfortable two person lift to load up for the return journey. Not too bad for under £ 250 (USD325) and £ 100 travel expenses.

I'll post some more pics once I get it into the workshop and cleaned up.
 

Cadillac STS

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Very nice.

Scotch Brite pad and WD40 will take all that rust off and it will look nice again.
 

Tim9

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That's a great deal. I picked up one about 2 years ago. I had to rebuild the motor to get it up and running. And the gear drive is a little messed up on my mill. I can see where someone had it apart and it feels like the detent springs are not strong enough so it sometimes pops out of gear.
That said... I really like the RF45 clone mill. It has served me well and I'm able to easily work around the hookey speed detent issue. Anyway...I'd seriously consider buying a new one if this gives out on me. Its a good design IMO for a hobby machinist. Very capable IMO.
You did real good !!
 

FOMOGO

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Congrats on your the mill purchase. Pretty hard to beat the price, and while not a lot of tooling, at least enough to get you started. Half the fun of this hobby is acquiring or making all the things you need to make your machines capable of doing what you want them to do. Cheers, Mike
 

SnakeyJ

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Cheers guys, I had to clear the workshop and build a bench, but managed to slide this in to the workshop yesterday. I was doing it singlehanded, so a good excuse to strip, clean and lubricate all three axis and clean up the table.

I gave myself a bit of a scare draining the headstock oil - looks original and full of grit/sand. The motor runs fine, but gear box is seized :-(. Just ordered a set of NSK bearings and new seals, so will strip, paint and rebuild this with my 12 year old lad (school holidays here). Puts another £100 on the price, but will be good to know all is right.

More pics to follow.....
 

SnakeyJ

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Oh dear me, or as my son said OMG! I think this was very overdue and badly needed an oil change.......

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The shaft at the rear of the last image is the power shaft from the motor and the top bearing in this has seized almost solid (I can rock it a little with force, but it appears to have rusted solid).

The gear head is full of thick sludge, which is very sandy/gritty in the corners and almost like a congealed jelly over most of the insides - guessing this might be part microbial growth? On the last image the big cog is covered in rust flakes, though these scrape off and there does not seem to be any pitting on the gear itself.

Hopefully the new bearings will arrive by Tuesday, which leaves tonight and tomorrow for cleaning this all up.
 

PHPaul

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Even with the work needed, I'd say you did well. Upside is, when you get done tuning it up you'll know exactly what you have.
 

darkzero

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Oh dear me, or as my son said OMG! I think this was very overdue and badly needed an oil change.......

View attachment 287968View attachment 287967View attachment 287966

The shaft at the rear of the last image is the power shaft from the motor and the top bearing in this has seized almost solid (I can rock it a little with force, but it appears to have rusted solid).

The gear head is full of thick sludge, which is very sandy/gritty in the corners and almost like a congealed jelly over most of the insides - guessing this might be part microbial growth? On the last image the big cog is covered in rust flakes, though these scrape off and there does not seem to be any pitting on the gear itself.

Hopefully the new bearings will arrive by Tuesday, which leaves tonight and tomorrow for cleaning this all up.
While you're in there, might as well replace these 2 seals as well as the one for the motor shaft since you're replacing that bearing. The ones circled (2 stacked on top each other) prevents oil leaking onto the spindle/quill. I just had to replace mine last month.

287971
 

darkzero

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Not that you'll probably need them since you've got your head open but here are some pics for reference.

Turns out my motor shaft seal was already damaged but it never leaked from there.

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SnakeyJ

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Not that you'll probably need them since you've got your head open but here are some pics for reference.

Turns out my motor shaft seal was already damaged but it never leaked from there.
No thanks, those pics are really helpful - I hope I managed to order the correct oil seals.
 

SnakeyJ

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While you're in there, might as well replace these 2 seals as well as the one for the motor shaft since you're replacing that bearing. The ones circled (2 stacked on top each other) prevents oil leaking onto the spindle/quill. I just had to replace mine last month.

View attachment 287971
Thanks Darkzero - I think I have ordered replacements for these seals (35x45x10mm Nitrile Rubber seals). I ordered the following bits to replace all seals and bearings (including the two motor bearings as there is an annoying squeak from one):

2 x NSK 6205ZZ Metal Shielded Deep Groove Ball Bearing 25x52x15mm (6205ZZ-NSK) = £11.68
3 x NSK 6003ZZ Metal Shielded Deep Groove Ball Bearing 17x35x10mm (6003ZZ-NSK) = £12.57
3 x NSK 6007ZZ Metal Shielded Deep Groove Ball Bearing 35x62x14mm (6007ZZ-NSK) = £24.27
1 x Timken 30206 Metric Taper Roller Bearing 30x62x17.3mm (30206-TIM) = £13.19
1 x Timken 30207 Metric Taper Roller Bearing 35x72x18.3mm (30207-TIM) = £16.45
2 x NSK 6202ZZ Metal Shielded Deep Groove Ball Bearing 15x35x11mm (6202ZZ-NSK) = £7.58
2 x 35x45x10mm Nitrile Rubber Rotary Shaft Oil Seal R23 / TC Style (35x45x10_TC) = £6.24
1 x 75x90x8mm Nitrile Rubber Rotary Shaft Oil Seal with Garter Spring R23 / TC (75x90x8_TC) = £6.67

Not certain about the last item (seal for the end of the quill - I couldn't find a 75x90x6mm seal to match the Grizzly specified part - so this one is brought on spec to see if it might fit, otherwise I will reuse the original that looks ok. I think this seal is really a dirt/dust seal and not as critical as the gear box oil seals.

No doubt that the Timken and NSK bearings will be a good investment and should last a lot longer than the originals.
 

darkzero

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Not certain about the last item (seal for the end of the quill - I couldn't find a 75x90x6mm seal to match the Grizzly specified part - so this one is brought on spec to see if it might fit, otherwise I will reuse the original that looks ok. I think this seal is really a dirt/dust seal and not as critical as the gear box oil seals.
Sounds like your mill will be running tip top when you are done!

Not sure about that seal. I've never taken my quill apart yet so I have no idea. I've only taken the bottom cap off & I dont remember seeing a seal there on mine, just a bearing. But it's been a while since I've removed that cap & didn't look that closely in there.
 

SnakeyJ

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Head stripped and cleaned, in time for the new bearings which arrived this afternoon.

The original bearings were in a shocking state, two were seized and all show signs of internal rusting. The bearings are all marked ZDC, which appears to be decent manufacturer. Not sure if this is the result of fake bearings, casting sand or poor/original/unchanged lubrication - I would have thought even cheap hydraulic fluid would have some rust inhibitors.

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Anyway, all's cleaned and ready to rebuild, and pending a new oil sight glass and some ISO68 fluid, I should have this back up and running tomorrow.

I will run it up and through the gears for 6+ hours, and then dump/change the oil again - just to flush any crud that's still lurking between the gear teeth.
 
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