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Rebuilding the head on a South Bend 4219 1956 mill

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richl

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20170919_142628.jpg 20170919_142611.jpg OK, the long title says it all, I have an older southbound mill that I really enjoy, it's heavy, only has 1 hp, but she is pretty solid and a ram head. No nod, but she does tilt side to side.
I am in the process of collecting information on what I am going to need to do to rebuild the head and replace the spindle bearings on this machine. The information on this machine is a little sparse, though, not much is needed because the machine is fairly straight forward in design and construction.
Any info you might be aware of I'd would apperciated, very interested in info on taking apart the head and any adjustments alignments I should be aware of before I start pulling her apart.

Some pictures of the machine , head and the name plate.
20170919_142809.jpg 20170919_142809.jpg
View attachment 242089

20170919_142709.jpg

20170919_142640.jpg
 

dlane

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Sorry don't know much about a south bend mill, I know a little about southbound miles though :grin:
Kidding aside, looks like a nice mill , what size is the table, 1ph ?.
 

richl

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Hey Derrick, the table is 9x42, 1800lbs, 220v 1phase
While it's not as powerful as many of the bench units coming out of China, she is about 1000lbs heavier, and way more rigid lol
With the spindle able to go up to 3750rpms, I am thinking the spindle bearing should be class 5, just guessing though.

It's hopefully my winter project, I want to get all the things I left alone the first time I went thru and cleaned her up... I was a bit timid about tearing her down then, now I want to.

Rich
 

Bob Korves

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While it's not as powerful as many of the bench units coming out of China
Do not believe that until you check the wattage of your motor compared to the Chinese ones. There are 746 watts to one horsepower, a simple arithmetic conversion from one system to another for the same property. Some Chinese motors reach 1 horsepower on less than 746 watts, by FM, I guess (f'ing magic.) My Millrite mill motor is rated at a measly 3/4 HP, but the USA GE motor data plate says 6.5 amps at 230 volts, which comes out to 1495 watts. 1495 watts would be called 2 HP on a Chinese motor, quite possibly more. We are talking Shetland ponies vs. Clydesdales here...
 
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Buffalo20

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Bob,

you may be defaming Shetland ponies, comparing them to the little Chinese horses..............



neat looking mill
 

richl

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Ok, I found a manual on vintage machinery.org that at least gives me a basic idea of the parts break down. I'll be studying that a bit to get a better idea what I need to do.
 
Last edited:

richl

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Bob, by your math, we each have a 2hp Chinese certified mill than. I've never felt I absolutely had to have more. I might be a little less timid purchasing 2"-3" indexable facemills now...
Rich
 

richl

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She is a keeper, I bought her back in 2013 and been playing around with her since. I just put a taper 30 to er40 collect holder on her and she is much better than she was before. She is making some noise when putting medium pressure on her, some of it are bushings on the pulleys, the rest is in the spindle area.
One way or another, I'd like to bring her as close to 100% in mechanical as possible.

Ud, thanks for the walk thru in the other thread, I'll be poking around and getting familar with her and building some confidence over the coming weeks and months. I'm a bit nervous, I have a couple lathes but only 1 mill, hate to be without her.
 

mwhite

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Awesome job. I love to see old iron refinished.
 

vtcnc

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Moderator Edit: Cleaned up the thread title so it can be found easily in search results.
 

Machdaddy

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There is also one of these mills available thru c'list on L.I. in N.Y.
If it wasn't c'list it was f'book marketplace. I thought for long time before deciding to pass!
 

jakes_66

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Rich,

Any progress on the rebuild of the spindle of your South Bend VMC? There's not many of these machines kicking around out there and I love mine. I wish I had a spindle brake like yours, but it does fine for my hobby needs.

-Jake
 

richl

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Hey Jake, sorry for the slow reply. Life and prioritizes got in the way. Work, and than rebuilding much of the shop has sidelined the mill rebuild till a later date. Sorry for the slow reply.
Rich
 

richl

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I guess you cant edit your post.
Yes on lack of info for this machine. Curious about the brake, I thought they all had them. Mine came out of a school in nw new jersey. She has some slop in the ways, makes some noises, but as you mention as a hobbies she does what I need.
 

jakes_66

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No worries, Rich. Yeah mine has some slop in the ways too. I've readjusted the gibs to get most of it out, but there's definitely some honest wear. Not a problem for me, I just play on my mill anyway. I've learned to work around the lack of brake and spindle lock. Mine doesn't even show any signs of ever having them.

A friend is bringing a 3/4" CR steel shaft up next week to have me cut a keyway for the sprocket for his son's go cart build. Perfect work for the South Bend! :)
 

richl

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One of the best things I've ever done, buying this mill:grin:. For me the slop was not so much in the x direction (definitely wear in the center which is not a problem for me with small parts) but in the y direction, a cant remember if I used an 8 thou feeler gauge or a 10 thou but that tightened it up.
What type of spindle are you using and how are you holding your tooling?
I found a bt30 er40 collet holder and modified it for the retention screws. Way more precise than the z collet spindle that it came with.
Nice to find someone to swap some stories with:cool:

Rich
 

jakes_66

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I have scoured every avenue I can find to purchase the old Weldon 30MM style toolholders, p/n QC-1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. These were sold as a 'quick change' tool system for use in a NMTB 40 machine. They are a direct fit into the South Bend spindle, set screw 'eyebrows' and all. I am still looking for a couple more shell mill holders, Weldon QSC-1, 2 and 3.

289437

I actually like the Universal Engineering ZZ collet holder that my machine came with. I've been eyeing a more complete set of ZZs, but good used ones in sets are hard to find.

I've looked at the BT30 toolholders thinking they would be a good option for a retrofit. It sounds like you've done it? That's great to know.
 

richl

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Yes, my ZZ collects were old and worn, and the toolholder had a good deal of run out in it, so I was looking for alternatives, and taper 30 will work in them, but I know for a fact bt30 tangs line up on the tangs on my machine. There is enough clearance above to fit the drawback threading so you do not have to remove it. The retention screws, you need to make your own indent/retainer slot.
I do not believe the tooling you show is taper 40, they would not fit into the spindle. Are you absolutely sure? I luv that they are already drilled for the retention screws. Cool, I might look into some of those.
 

jakes_66

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I'm sure they fit, I've used them many, many times.

Weldon made (2) sizes of that quick-change system. One utilizes 40 taper tooling in a 50 taper master holder. The other (compatible with South Bend VMM) utilizes 30 taper tooling in a 40 taper master holder. Obviously you don't need the 40 taper master, just the 30 taper inserts with the 'eyebrows' for the set screws.

Here's an example photo I found of the QA-50 master:
290293

Now to figure out how to buy and transport that South Bend VMM hydraulic quill feed head on eBay... It even has the spindle brake parts I need!

290295


It's just too far away I'm afraid... :(
 

richl

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I'm sure the hydraulic quill feed is nice, but I think I'll stick with my manual. The brake is nice though
 

MultimediaMan

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Please forgive the thread hijack: First Time Posting here: I purchased one of these milling machines last month (03/2019). Mine is a Mid-1960's Model 3 Phase 3750RPM unit with the Hydraulic Quill feed and the Power Table Feed (Running through an SB9 Quick Change gearbox "Backwards" to regulate the feed from 1/4" to 15" IPM). All of the "ordinary" hardware (Bearings and bolts) seem to be available from bolt and bearing supply houses. The previous owners took it upon themselves to remove the manual quill feed lever, and quite possibly beat their children with it every day o_O ; Fortunately, there was enough left of the original to manufacture a reasonable copy:

294142

294145

294146

On the mill:

294143

Clean up and repairs continue... Need to re-manufacture the Knee and the Y Axis Gib Locks (both were bent/ damaged), The mill will need to be rewired in all likelihood. Same for the Hydraulic Quill feed - the hoses are shot. The unit was sitting in a heated basement since 1994... so the all of the oil dried, 20+ years of dust and a thin film of nicotine sludge accumulated while it was idle... lots of elbow grease and very likely an angle grinder with a wire wheel to strip the worst parts of it clean.
 

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richl

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Nice job. If you need pics or measurements let me know. I dont have the powerfeeds, though.
 

jakes_66

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Good to see another SB VM out there! I see you have the spindle lock that mine lacks. I don't have any of the factory power feeds either. Mine does have a retro-fitted Servo powerfeeder for the X axis.

2017-09-19 21.10.22.jpg

What size table is on your machine? Nice job on the replacement handle, too. Hope it doesn't indicate misuse. Post some more photos, please!
 

MultimediaMan

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Thank you: My mill has a 42" table. I honestly think the mangled quill handle is a result of a design shortfall. The clutch on the right side quill feed engages both the quill handle and the hydraulic quill feed; there is a separate clutch on the left hand side for the Hydraulic unit. If you don't explicitly disengage the Hydraulic Feed on the left side, it can then "drive" the quill handle/boss in addition to the quill. The Hydraulic Pump Motor is set for 300PSI and the piston is ~1-7/8" diameter... which means there is around ~850 Lbs. of down force if the quill handle were to be engaged and the quill handle encountered an obstacle... and that could be bad. Another thing that bothers me is that the Hydraulic downfeed has no limiting mechanism. Machines of that day were not designed to be operated by fools.
 

jakes_66

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This thread reminds me of a question I've been meaning to ask. Opinions, please:

My SB VM is missing the spring behind the quill handle that keeps the dowel pins engaged with the quill feed input. See the photo below (not my machine):

SB VM Quill Feed.jpg

I've considered replacing mine, but perhaps is was removed by the previous owner on purpose? Do you have one of these springs on your quill handle? Is it helpful?
 

richl

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I have been thinking of doing my own powerfeed. Something with a DC motor and arduino to set feed rate and depth. Still a bunch more things before that though.
 

richl

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No spring on mine. Mine is not original though.
 

richl

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I'm going by memory here, I have a brass knob on the end where the spring ends. That I can turn in and lock my quill handle to use the fine adjustment handle.
 
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