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Old Wells 745 Needs Help

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Toys that Bang

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Just snagged my first milling machine and it needs some repair before the chips will fly. It had been dumped off of the pallet when the previous owner received it. The front wheel is busted off and a couple knobs too. The X is moving back and forth with just a little play but the Y is toast. I pulled the screw today and the block that holds the thread is snapped off. The machine is in my buddy's welding shop and I asked him about welding it. He referred me to an old timer here in town that specializes in welding cast iron. Does anyone have an idea for an easy way to pull the saddle so I can have it welded? He has a fork lift and I am pretty sure he has a cherry picker. I am thinking I will pull the head off since I need to put a pin in the gear that moves the head back and forth. Lots of old grease to scrape out and replace too. I am hoping to have the beast running by summer!
 

Nammar

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It would be nice to see some photos of the wrecked castings. I've had good results repairing broken cast iron castings using a cast iron repair method called Metalock. Basically Metalock is a cold repair solution which requires a lot of drilling, tapping and the insertion of threaded rods. You have to clamp the cracked parts together an then drill and tap a hole, preferably right through the casting cracked part. Then you insert the threaded rod and cut it off flush. The next hole is drilled half way through the cast iron and half way through the threaded rod, tapped and another threaded rod is screwed in and cut off flush. Repeat, repeat, repeat until the whole crack has been drilled, tapped and filled using the threaded rod.

This repair method has been successfully used to permanently repair cast iron 1500 KW marine gearbox feet (thrust supports), 16,000 HP low speed diesel engine diaphragm plates and steam pump castings, to marine classification society approval standards. I have never personally done this repair myself, but as a marine surveyor, have monitored this type of repair over a number of years on many vessels and am very impressed with this type of repair.

In my opinion it's worth doing some research on Metalock repair methods, as welding heat tends to cause castings to warp and a weld repair may just end up cracking right next to the weld, as has happened to me on numerous occasions. I do believe that you can weld almost any metals, but your procedure has to be spot on to have a lasting repair solution.

About using grease on machines, this is a no no! The grease and swarf mix well together and make a good grinding paste, which rapidly wears a machines sliding ways. Only use way oil or if you have no way oil, a gear oil can be used. (Gear oil has a sticky composition.) Basically way oil is designed to stick onto metal and resists being washed off by the coolant, giving a lasting protection to your machine ways. Speak to your local oil distributor about this and consult the machine manufacturers to find out the best lubrication oil to use on your machine.

Enjoy the rebuild. Geoffrey.
 

cjtoombs

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You can always call Wells Index, they are still in business and are helpful on these old machines. They can (for a fee) supply you with a manual for the machine. They also stock some parts. I bought a manual, some parts and had my spindle reground to R8 on my super 55.
 

Toys that Bang

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Thanks for the info guys. Geoffrey, I did look into the drill and tap repair method and since this is such a small part I am thinking it would be difficult. The guy I was referred to is an expert at welding cast iron and he heats the metal up to weld it. I don't have any pictures yet since our forklift is on loan for a day and I have a bad back so the table hasn't been removed yet. As soon as I can get the table off of it I will be able to get the saddle pulled so I can see how bad it is. After I pulled the screw I was able to look at the screw block through the hole in the bottom of the knee and it looks like a pretty clean break and it is only about 3"X3"X1". CJ, I spoke with Wells and I received a manual with the machine but it isn't much help. I did find an Army manual online that was much more detailed. I can't imagine how much a new saddle would be considering Wells wanted $130 for just the hand wheel! Probably more than I paid for the whole machine! I spent a fair chunk today just getting all the stuff to hook up the power.
 

cjtoombs

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Yea, a whole saddle would be prohibitively expensive. I though it was a smaller part that was broken, that you just needed to get the large part off to access. Good luck on the repair.
 

Toys that Bang

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Well gang, I got the beast opened up and this is what I found. :cheerful: Yes I welcome this with open arms! I thought the block was part of the saddle. All I had seen was the broken chunk sticking out of the hole in the bottom of the knee and it was coated in chips and old grease. Darned rookies! I have an email into Wells and hopefully it won't be big bucks but after seeing it I would rather replace than repair.
 

cjtoombs

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Looks like brazin time. At least it wasn't integral to the knee or saddle. It wouldn't be terribly hard to fab that from steel, if a guy was worried about it breaking again and didn't want to have to tear the machine down to get at it again.
 

Toys that Bang

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Yup Randy, that has run through my mind. I have had it sitting on my desk all day staring at it debating all of the ways to repair this part! Let's see, JB Weld, brazing, nickel rod welding, machining the loop flat and screwing a new steel foot to it ... It does have a small oil journal through it that feeds to a couple of slits in the brass thread insert. A machinist buddy of mine is stopping by tomorrow and we will decide how to approach it. I did find a used one for around $100 but I am trying to do it on the cheap. If it doesn't fix right I can always grab the used one. Great job on the handle repair!
 

T Bredehoft

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I'd make a new one from steel, shouldn't be too difficult. The brass thread insert looks to be brand new.
 

Toys that Bang

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Now that the mill is fixed maybe I can use it to build one out of steel!:grin: My buddy brought over some industrial epoxy weld that looked like JB and before we glued it we used Randy's suggestion and drilled and tapped a cap screw through the center. We slathered some cold weld on it, ran the screw in, let it set for 12 hours and threw it back in the machine. The saddle is running back and forth! I am going to let it sit over the weekend before I have the guys put the bed back on it but I think it is good to go! If it was going on a production line I would have bought the part for it but with a fixed income you improvise and most the time it works out!:encourage:
 
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