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Older HF Mill/Drill

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SonofHarold - Metal Carver

Swarf
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#1
It's about 15-20 years old (bought if from a buddy who added a variable speed motor and a power feed for the X.) In the past I have been able to use it as a marginally accurate mill for some simple light stuff, and for now that's all I should need. ( new lathe coming soon, then maybe a new mill as some point) The model # is 42976 and was discontinued by Harbor Freight some years ago.
After it setting unused for a few years and a rather rough move accross several states, I now what to get this set up for some occational light work, nothing super accurate but want it to be as best as I can make it. I am having an issue with the quill seeming quite loose-(more that I noticed before) lots of slop which seems worse when the quill is up rather than when fed down about half way ... but long storey short... Does anyone have or know a sorce for a better parts drawing than the one in the manual. It seems there is a sealed type roller bearing ridding on the spindle that should be somewhere it is loose and seem to do nothing just floats over the spindle, not held or retianed anywhere.
I found and down loaded the HF manual for this model but the drawing is at best a napkin sketch. I have searched all over and find nothing better. Thought maybe someone had been through this and found an alternate even marginally better drawing of the head and quill.
Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks-
SoH
 

dtsh

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#2
Last edited:

mikey

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#3
I looked at the pdf for your mill - they used a cartoon as a IPB; sad. Anyway, I suspect the play is mostly in the spindle and drive sleeve bearings. I suggest you take it apart and replace the bearings and that should tighten things up considerably. If you can find one, replace the spindle while you're in there. I did this job on my RF-31 and wrote it up; check the Rong Fu section here. It isn't difficult to do.
 

SonofHarold - Metal Carver

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#4
I looked at the pdf for your mill - they used a cartoon as a IPB; sad. Anyway, I suspect the play is mostly in the spindle and drive sleeve bearings. I suggest you take it apart and replace the bearings and that should tighten things up considerably. If you can find one, replace the spindle while you're in there. I did this job on my RF-31 and wrote it up; check the Rong Fu section here. It isn't difficult to do.
Most cartoons are better.
I did get a better look at it and there is a snap ring in there on the top side of the bearing a also, cant figure where that should go...
might get to take it apart tomorrow.
 

mikey

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#5
Typically, there are two bearings into which the drive sleeve is pressed and the bearings are held in place by a snap ring above and below them. Take the top pulley off and you'll see the upper snap ring. Remove it and push the drive sleeve out from below. You can leave the lower snap ring in place. Replace those two bearings and don't forget to put the spacer you find between them back in place.

Drop the spindle out and remove and replace the spindle and the spindle bearings. Once you sort out how to get the quill out, this is a simple job if you have an arbor or hydraulic press.
 

Silverbullet

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#6
Snap rings usually hold things together , might be the problem a bearings separating or moving where it shouldn't.
 

SonofHarold - Metal Carver

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#7
This turned out to be easy and more simple that I was making it. The loose bearing was a mid bearing to support the spindle ( not sure I am getting the right nomenclatures...) but that bearing seemed to have never been installed as it should have been. Nothing messed up or damaged and once i just taped it into place in the top of the quill ( the part which engages the feed gear and pulls the tool toward the cross slide with the turning spindle going through the center)
Then I had remembered the guy I got this mill from who while he can get almost anything to work again, one way or another, he is not the best at the details and "good enough is good enough" is his motto. I called him and found he had forgot to put the bearing and snap ring on when re replaced the bearings and was putting everything together... he figured it would be OK -or good enough. He did replace all the bearings with better grade bearings when he took it apart for his mods. He does have a good memory tho as this was about 8 or 9 years ago... said he never had a problem with it. Anyway...
I have it all back together (properly) and everything seems good. At least better than it was and I'll bet better than good nuff. ..Thanks for everyone's input; it did help be see how things should have been and help me to get it apart.... especially the photos I surfed to via the fignoodle links etc. Thnx. now back to cleaning up the shop further - I had got distracted and just had to get my hands into the machine.
 
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