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VN VAN NORMAN no 24MLA-1512-259

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BROCKWOOD

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#1
211 20170307.jpg
Really, any experience & pics of any Van Norman no 22 thru 38 is welcome. I like to document things that are of interest. If you discount the dealer that sold mine to the L.A. College Physics Department back in 59 & the dealer that collected it once retired (to make room for more modern equipment): Then I am the 2nd owner. Though excruciatingly slow - given a demanding job that feeds a family of 3 generations (or so it seems at times), a rock n roll band & the luthier, electrical & electronic work I do on demand: I wish to document this very well preserved machine. I'm a car guy at heart - yet my old MoPars must wait until I can afford to reassemble the 5000 sq ft shop I have in pieces. OK, enough of dreams & plans, well the plans are for another story anyway. Seems Kearney & Trecker have the greatest following of USA Mills that are a step above Bridgeport (in terms of rigidity & centralized motors) & Cincinnati has the largest (that a casual observer will find); but the Van Norman that I found (when comparing price, weight, ability) kept on winning out for the needs I thought right for me.
As advertised is above. Fitting into the garage:
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Sorting the drawbars:
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Fitting the overarm supports:
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Next installment tomorrow!
 

Bob Korves

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#2
That is a manly mill for sure, and appears to be in very good condition...
 

Silverbullet

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#3
Was it ever used?? She looks new .
 

BROCKWOOD

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Just well cared for Silverbullet!
 

Reeltor

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That looks like the cleanest VanNorman that I've ever seen photos of, like it just was shipped in from the manufacturer. You found a great one!
congratulations
 

BROCKWOOD

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#6
The Pendant Arm somehow got bent along the way. It just looks droopy in this 1st pic - but I
knew I wanted to straighten it.

324 20170407.jpg

Thick wall electrical conduit is not straightened easily. I took my time with a torch & a vise.

20170725_234119438.jpg

My main focus with this machine has been making a proper drawbar that fits like a glove.
But getting the overarm straight, going through the electrical system with great focus on
why the sump was disconnected still matter to me. My big delay at the moment is the age
old need a tool to make a tool conundrum. I bought a BXA QCTP for my lathe & well... It's
too big. Modify, modify, modify. All I needed was an eighth shaved off the bottom of the
tool holders to make it work - but my mini mill wasn't up to the task (even in small cuts).
So, I set up for my belt sander to do the work while I moved forward with other aspects of
the job.

20170725_234336007.jpg

Of course the controls need to be inspected. Cutler Hammer Machine Controls are rock solid!

20170725_234227902.jpg

I added grease to the cork seals for the pendant start & stop contacts to help them swell
back up to size, but added junk mail credit card plastic as spacers to get a solid mount
for them. These kinda put my mark on this machine as there is a name on the junk cards.

20170725_234254978.jpg

Here, the Master Switch is lowered & the contacts burnished. These multifunction /
multi contact switches from GE are awesome & built to stand the test of time. They
were heavily used in the electric power & many other industries. I've collected several
as they were retired & hope to use them as light switches in the shop I plan to build. I
should also add the cool factor that waxed string was the way to collect the wires into
a harness before zip ties were invented.

As for the drawbar: Progress (prior to the QCTP setback) includes excellent bushing
fit, 1" x 8 tpi, 5/8 x 11 tpi & decent wrench fit. Just gotta get the tool holders dialed in
on the QCTP to get these 2 parts mated together.

20170726_004746231.jpg
 

BROCKWOOD

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Guess who supplied electrical conduit to Van Norman in 1959? The building I took apart to one day resurrect into my shop was built in 59 & I've never seen this type of label on conduit. Plan was to knock off rust & paint - might have to find a way to highlight this though!
20170726_172737464.jpg
 

BROCKWOOD

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#8
Well, I picked 'Winter Grey" for my paint choice & it is a lighter shade of grey than stock. It will do for a few ancillaries for now.
Here is the pendant arm swing limiter ready to install & looking a little bright to be a match. Pendant parts & manual handles will get this color for now.
20170727_214037215.jpg
 

Bob Korves

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Rustoleum Smoke Gray, rattle cans or brush (or spray, thinned) enamel.
 

BROCKWOOD

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Thanks Bob! I will be on the lookout for smoke gray.
As is, doesn't look bad & gets the job done.
20170802_115830130.jpg 20170802_115747707_TOP.jpg 20170802_115619011.jpg
The handles were also painted winter gray.
Next is going through the wiring & sump.
 

BROCKWOOD

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Cal wrote, "...As for the transformer route, that's NOT a very good solution. The current inrush for a large transformer will trip the breaker unless you really oversize the circuit and the rotary phase converter. Much cheaper to swap out the motors (or have them rewired) if they aren't dual voltage." & also wrote, "...but have you looked at the data plates on the motors? What do they say?"

Yes, my motors are 3ph 240 or 480V compatible. To switch to 240V operation is easy for the motor connections as it is right there on the motor plates. That does require taking into account the Amp increase of the motor feed wiring (Is the wire large enough?). Then there are the motor contactors that I actually just discovered don't care which voltage once the internal transformer is configured (easily configurable actually) on the terminal board. The magnetic motor start coil is on the secondary side of the internal transformer. OK. I get it (only had to take time to look at the wiring diagram & wiring chart 30 minutes before the light bulb came on)!

In a sense, my desire to keep the machine stock as it has been it's whole 58 year life makes no sense - because the machine is designed to perform (with proper minimal wiring changes) on either voltage). I simply did not want to change that dynamic.

Correcting my original incorrectly ordered rotary phase converter mistake is best handled by returning the converter to have it reconfigured for 1ph 240V / 3ph 240V operation. From there in further getting all the right parts together the cheapest route would be to convert the mill to 3ph 240V as described above. The addition of a 3ph 240/480V transformer after the phase converter would be the middle price value (keeps the mill as is). I really only mentioned this on the CrankyOldMan's Thread to make him aware of more cost effective measures than the path I have taken. If I ever start a You Tube Channel: I'll be The Impractical Machinist. LOL. At least I would show & introduce more cost effective alternatives to my own old school stubborn ways!

Pic very soon.
 

BROCKWOOD

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#12
Elaborating on the "Impractical Machinist" jest; I present the original reason for my investment in learning the machinist hobby...
A design exercise I'm working on using a Grizzly G0773 LATHE & MILL COMBO: It's brass, it's 3" wide. Needed more - mostly from a mill, so I stepped up. I'm only 4 months into 'now I have a real machine' & Keith Fenner takes a machine the size of my Grizzly & proves my Grizzly can be brought up to spec. Sorry, wrong topic. I'll skip below this pic to get back to the topic of Powering This Mill.

20170920 104.jpg

Spindle Motor & Feed Motor:
20170920 079.jpg 20170920 089.jpg

Sump motor - I don't have good pics of that nameplate yet.

But yes, Cal is absolutely correct in saying to me that I could have saved money up front & heartache along the way by simply switching the machine to 3ph 240V. I'll bring his point home in a minute. If you look at the 1st motor plate above, you will see that the lower voltage uses 9 amps while the higher voltage uses 4.5 amps. The machine will run cooler at the higher voltage.

Now once I get to a place that I can actually have a 3ph 277/480V service, my electric bill will be much more manageable.

Here at home, what runs through the meter really don't care how it gets converted or used on my side. Every part has losses. By keeping those losses to a minimum with a simple 3 phase converter & idler motor both properly sized to 240V (in the USA) both startup & running costs are minimized. I AM paying (once my 1 phase 240 to 480V transformer arrives) for the losses inherent in that with each use + the large cost of getting 1 specially built.
 

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Cal Haines

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#13
Do you have any experience using a 240 to 480 transformer after a rotary phase converter? You're going to need oversized wiring, RPC and everything just to get the transformer powered up, due to the high current inrush. Anything you save on running cooler due to the higher voltage on the motors (which only run part of the time) will be more that lost in the heat generated by the transformer, which must stay powered on any time that you're in standby mode. And I hope you enjoy the wonderful 60 cycle hum of a large transformer.

The two motors add up to about 15 A on 240; that's nothing. A typical household circuit is 15A and is often wired with number 14 wire. I would wire it up with number 10 wire anyway, just because it's not that much more expensive, but that's just me.

Trust me, the transformer route is NOT the way to go.
 

BROCKWOOD

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#14
Actually, one of the strangest sounds I've ever experienced is the silence of a dead power substation. Part of the reward for getting lights restored to a town is the 60 cycle hum. Cal is absolutely right, though, I have chosen the worst way to go about this. My 15KVA single phase 240 to 480V transformer should be here tomorrow. I'll have to do a temporary setup & test to determine the noise level. Hopefully a video of it can be shared.
 

BROCKWOOD

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#15
I hurt my back right around my last post in this thread then tore / bulged a disc, pinched off a major nerve to my leg & fractured a vertebrae in January. Finally had surgery & feel much better. Still on restricted duty & only doing very little / light things for a few more weeks. But the doing part feels so wonderful! It's been too long.
 

BROCKWOOD

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#16
The results of 'able to get out in the shop - but don't pick up anything.' This coolant drain on the table consists of a cover, screen & sponge filter. Measuring, planning, cutting, bending & shaping to fit are very time consuming ... at least until you figure it all out. Fab work is something I enjoy, but need practice to be any good at it. It's been therapeutic.

SCREEN 20181013 02.jpg

The cover shape is designed to stay below the T slots. Only the 1 mount is potentially in the line of fire. The screw in the middle holds the screen to the cover & is also a handle for removal of the cover assembly. This is the cover showing the drain side. Drain holes are placed where needed.

SCREEN 20181003 03.jpg
 
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