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VN Bench Piston Grinder

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FOMOGO

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#2
No manual, but that's a very cool little rig. Mike
 

Manderioli

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#3
Here is the machine I bought. Picked it up in California. Overall I’m happy I have the machine. It will take months to refurbish due to my schedule. I am a little concerned about the way closest to the grinding wheels since the engraved grooves are very faint.

Does anyone know if Van Norman hand carved the grooves or if this was not factory?

On the bed ways there are moon shape grooves in the middle where the oil plungers make contact (similar to a lathe head stock oil plungers).

The lead screw for the grinding post has almost no wear from what I can see. I don’t believe the tail stock is original for the unit. I will need to measure and accommodate any height differences.

Will likely need a new coolant pump and new grinding motor (since it’s old and 3phase).

I have two manuals on way to help me dissect and operate the machine. The wheel crank for grinding wheels have 0.001” increments with a vernier scale for 0.0001” (0.0001-0.001”).

I have not found any serial numbers like my No 10 mill. Only indentification is the id tag stating meeting war requirements (which I think is cool).

As I progress through the machine, I’ll keep updating this thread.

If anyone has good ideas for a stand, please let me know. Wish it came with the original stand.
 

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brino

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#4
Great project!
Thanks for bringing us along with you.
I am watching.
-brino
 

Manderioli

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#5
Here is what the machine looked like at the end of 2017. Due to the change of hands before I found the machine, the lower base has been sold off. Currently looking for another cast iron base.

The machine continue to surprise me with the available features. The bed can be adjusted to grind a taper. As the photos show, the condition is subpar right now. From my research, I believe the grinder is not the Re-Li-O but a 76 grinder. The 76 has a few more features than the Re-Li-O specifically the belt fed table feed.
 

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Bob Korves

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#6
Three phase motors are quite robust, and have fewer problems than single phase motors do. They also run more smoothly, important on a grinder. Check the feel of the bearings, look at whatever wires are easily accessible, and if there are no red flags, buy a VFD and get it going. You can test it first somewhere there is three phase available, to make sure it works before buying the VFD if you want to.
 

Manderioli

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#7
I had some free time after work today and decided to start the cleaning process. With the help of a wire wheel I sanded the old paint and primer down to bare metal.

Was finally able to find a serial number which I believe is 7995. Most of the other items came out just as nice with no major pitting or damage to ways.

I likely won't be able to work on the machine for the next two weeks due to an international trip to see a new region of the world.
 

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Joe in Oz

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#8
That's a great old machine! Looking forward to your progress.Mine is a 1925 Re-li-o without the taper turning sub table.
IMAG2961.jpg
Cheers,
Joe
 

Manderioli

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#9
Joe,

Please upload more photos as there is not enough of these older machines. I would also like to compare my model to yours.


Made some progress last night and tonight cleaning the major components. Taped the critical parts and primed the surfaces. Will likely need two coats of primer before color is applied.

I’ll be headed to Europe for two weeks so there won’t be any update until the 20th.
 

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Joe in Oz

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#10
I don't have many photos of the poor old thing, but can take photos of any parts that interest you.
Here's a couple.
This is how and where I found it:
15092011430.jpg

Here's the original workhead setup, before I replaced the motor with a 720rpm 3-phase VFD controlled and single step down belt.
17092011452.jpg

During rebuilding:
IMAG2930.jpg

I quite like using it....
 

Manderioli

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#11
After coming back from Europe, I realized a critical part of the grinder was broken. It is a bearing cap for the grinding wheel side of grinding wheel table. The cap keeps the large bearing in place and seals the housing with fluid. I considered my option to 3d print the cap from a stainless steel bronze mixture or outsource to a shop.

Well the costs associated with each process was more than I was willing to spend. My alternate option was to purchase the following machine, Van Norman 85, complete with a stand, coolant pump, and other goodies like the eccentric bed. Total cost for machine was $200 plus $400 to ship through UShip. Placed the order on Sunday night and a local Arizona company delivered the machine at lunch time on Friday. I’m excited to tear the machine down and make one really good one.

The most exciting and questionable part is if the beds are interchangeable. If so, then I have a bed specific for tapers and one specific for eccentrics.

The additional machine along with the desirable base means I now have to redesign my shop (13x20) to accommodate.

I’m hoping the motors work as it would save me some money and allow me to buy a vfd sooner.

The hardest part will be dismantling and transporting the machine in pieces to my house (2miles away) from my work. Had to use a forklift to unload the machine from trailer.

More photos to come.
 

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Manderioli

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#13
Not much of an update as I have been busy with my masters program and life in general.

I'm currently still stripping the no 85 unit and preparing the metal for paint. Found the gearbox on the 85 to be abused. The selector to change from turning to grinding mode for the table feed must have been actuated while the machine was still running. The bronze bushings are out of round so the 76 gear box will have to work. Many of the parts are interchangeable which is a blessing. The table on the 76 is 3" shorter than the 85 table yet will still work on the ways as the dimensions have not changed. You can see the 76 (blue) and the 85 (red). Everything will become the blue to match my VN no 10 mill which I painted the same color.

Since the 76 does not fit on the 85 base and many of the components will be used to make the 85 operational, the hunk of metal will soon become a coffee table in my museum (living room). It will go nicely with other WWII items I have since it has a war production tag.

I decided to buy a Husky tool box during Home Depot's garden sale. It will become the tool box for the SB9A lathe. I need to finish the metal table to house the toolbox and lathe before moving the grinder into the shop. Working on two projects at a time is probably not ideal yet one needs to happen before the other.
 

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Joe in Oz

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#14
Joe, If its okay, whereabouts is this photo please?
Cheers Phil
I assume you mean 'where was the photo taken?'.
It was taken inside a 140-year-old factory which was closed since the early 1980's and has since been demolished. It was located in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia. I knew the last owner/workers there. I had a dirt floor and could not employ anyone for the last 15 years or so, however the OH&S nazis allowed the two owners to continue to work in their own factory - until one died aged 85 or so and the other one was too lonely there to work on his own and just nailed the door shut and went home. He died about 6 years later too, aged about 92 or 93...
 

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#16
More progress as I sorted the best components and assembled the main gearboxes.
 

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brino

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#17
You are making good progress!
Congratulations.
-brino
 

Manderioli

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Made more progress on the machine.

Installed the following:
-grinding wheel housing / motor plate
-adjusted grinding wheel ways
-installed grinding wheel shaft and bearings
-installed one of the beds with tapered bed

I tried hooking up the VFD today with no luck on turning the motor over. I do not know if the motor is good or if the wiring was correct. VFD turned on and kept all the smoke inside. I will have to check the other motors I have to see if any are 3ph to test VFD again.

Will need to source universal joints, yet I can't believe the cost for some of the sizes.

Likely the most challenging component coming up will the be coolant pump. The internal seal is a composite material, similar to the exhaust donut gaskets found on european cars.

The machine is coming together nicely. Although I originally thought most of the 76 and 85 parts would be interchangeable, I found out most are not. There are many matched drilled assemblies and fine tuned components to fit with other components. Nothing the mill or lathe can't handle.
 

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Manderioli

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#19
More updates:

Taper table is almost complete.

Cam table is almost complete. However the two bearings leaked immediately once oil was installed.

Coolant system is assembled. Not sure how well the factory pump will work.

Need motors and universal joints before running.
 

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