Rockwell 11 Spindle Bearings

My new lathe has double tapered timken roller bearings on the front of
the spindle. It had set for a while so I figured the grease probably
dried and hardened so I unscrewed the fitting and withdrew as much as I
could with a little screwdriver then filled it up with light spindle
oil before running it a low speed. Didn't hear anything alarming when
I listened to the bearing through the handle of a screwdriver.
Got a tube of grease at the bearing supply that's 'compatible with most
bases' and gave it a couple pumps but the grease started coming out
the base of the zerk fitting. Turns out there's a slot cut through its
threads: is that a 'relief valve' for the bearing seal?
Someone here - maybe Pete Keillor - spoke of cleaning out this bearing.
How's that done? Then what? Wheel bearing grease?
My motive is to find out how fast I can run turning wood. A couple
quick home-improvement projects would give this baby's popularity a
much-needed boost around here.
Dick Hamm
Nashua NH
Reply to
rohamm
Loading thread data ...
How fast do you WANT to go?
Reply to
Tom Gardner
I bought a rockwell 11 in lathe a while back. My lathe had set for a long time too. I did a fair amount of research on what grease was used in the bearing and would would be a proper replacement. I don't rememeber the details but the old grease used a different base than modern greases and I could not find a similar product.
I decided that an "electric motor" grease was the best. I think I got some Mobil synthetic electric motor grease from MSC.
My lathe has L00 spindle. I removed the threaded retaining ring using a big snap ring plyers and remove the front bearing cover to expose the front bearing. I pumped grease in while the spindle was running and the excess came out the front. I repeated this cycle until I pumped a whole tube of grease through the front bearing.
chuck
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
My Jet lathe has tapered roller bearings for the spindle. It uses 20 wt oil. Why would oil be used in one bearing and grease in another?
Bob
Reply to
Bob Engelhardt
Say, double the rated top speed of 1550 rpm, for turning wood and small parts.
I see 3450 rpm versions of new motors, and I just put new bearings in the original Delta 1725 rpm motor. Can I safely double its speed? How about the newer Taiwanese GE Energy Efficient one in my parts machine?
I think there's no chance the vari-speed drive would make it, but I take Jim Rozen's point that a vfd and pair of step pulleys obviates the need for them now. So I could get rid of a lot friction by taking it out.
So, how 'bout them bearings?
I have the same issue with my Millrite vertical mill. The manual calls for a sodium soap based grease but allows as how that's less important than putting in just the right amount, but elaborates no more. The guys who currently own the Millrite name told me they squirt 30 weight in their own. I've been using light spindle oil for a few years now, which is a pain when it runs out onto wood, though.
Another poster makes it sound like I could replace the zerk fitting with an oil cup to good effect. The rear bearing takes oil.
Reply to
rohamm
I 'd think that 3450 would be fine with any lube. Check for noise and heat. I use Slick 50 grease on everything and my bearing and bushing failure is down 90%.
Reply to
Tom Gardner
Nope, I never flushed out my bearings. Lube chart says Texaco Starfak #2 for that bearing. I just give it a squirt of a lithium based grease. So far, doesn't get hot, runs fine.
On the other hand, don't to forget to take the headstock cover off and oil the pulley pinion and back gear shaft every day you run it. You'll probably have to turn the drive to see the oilers.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
I would not even consider pushing my rockwell lathe to 3k RPM. I doubt those big bearing are designed to run that fast and I bet the grease would melt at that speed. It already gets fairly warm at lower speeds.
If you compare the rockwell 11 lathe to a clausing 12 inch lathe you will see that the clausing is rated to 2k but the rockwell is only rated to 1.5k. The clausing uses oil in the headstock and rockwell uses grease. I suspect there is some correlation.
chuck
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
And your suspicions are widely shared.
I gather grease is a convenience lube, and given the limitation of the vs drive, there's no need for anything better. Kind of surprised there's such a small spread between those speeds.
Now that I've got oil into the drive jackshafts, it's quieted down a lot so I think I'll forego the hot rod mods and content myself with getting it set to run as designed for the next two or three decades. This seems like a keeper.
When you pumped in the new grease, did that push old grease out both sides? Did you worry about leaving too much in the bearing?
I wondered about using belt lube on the vs belts, but Gunner's post dissuaded me of that. My dealer said to heat 'em in the oven and then run them for a while so I ran it while playing a heat gun on them. Seemed to help, so should I try it some more? Is there a stock replacement belt out there, and do they help much? The current setup allows the vfd to turn the spindle very slowly and it takes a long time for it to coast to a stop, so maybe I'll just leave well enough alone.
Reply to
rohamm
I needed to replace the bearing on the jackshafts. They grease in the bearings had dried out and they were quite noisy. They are standard bearing and it was not very difficult.
I removed the front cover so all the grease came out the front. I figure that the excess was pushed out and I also figure that there must be someplace for excess to go because the manual states to apply grease. My headstock does get warm at high speed but not even close to the max temp specified in the manual so I figure its ok.
I am told that various bearing places can measure the belts and cross reference them. I was also told that new belts will be quieter. My bests are ok, but not perfect. I do get some viberation at times, but not enough to force me to tear down the machine and get new belts.
chuck
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
I was also told by Dick Triemstra that changing the two main drive belts is a right bitch. It can be done if you follow the directions in the manual exactly, but it ain't easy.
Pete Keillor
Reply to
Pete Keillor
\ Thats why they make link belts. Visit any swiss screw machine shop and open the base doors.
Gunner
"Considering the events of recent years, the world has a long way to go to regain its credibility and reputation with the US." unknown
Reply to
Gunner
To be specific pulling and replacing the spindle is the tough part.
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
'I do get some viberation at times, but not enough to force me to tear down the machine and get new belts. '
That's not what I heard. I called Dick Triemstra yesterday and he said your lathe was the smoothest he knew of.
I found over the weekend that the next problem I'll have to deal with is the worm wheel in the apron. I pulled apart the apron in my parts machine and found its teeth are all worn down also. Dick still has the new parts he had made up and at his price, buying one from him is a no-brainer.
But I've got no brain, and besides, my dealer's Rockwell 14 sounds like it has the same problem and Dick has no worm wheels for it, so I'm thinking of ways to repair them.
I wonder if it work to mount them on an axle held in the tool post, applying metal-filled epoxy to the perimeter and smushing it to shape against a piece of rotating acme threaded rod.
I'm visiting Detroit in August and planning to drop in on Dick. Sounds like he's got some real beauties there.
Reply to
rohamm
Ug-oh. Someone is cheating and telling stories out of school! You should have heard it before I put in new jackshaft bearings!
Yea it runs nice but once in a while I get a vibration. Maybe its a resonance or something, but I still think new belts would help.
I think the new Leeson motor, new jackshaft bearings and VFD drive contribute considerably to the smoothness and low noice levels.
I like my rockwell 11 lathe. Sometimes (but not always) even more than my Myford Super 7.
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood
A while back I picked up a micrometer stop for a rockwell 14 inch lathe off ebay. The seller just said rockwell although the box clearly said for a 14 inch lathe. I modifided it to work on my 11 inch lahte and it is so nice.
chuck
Reply to
Chuck Sherwood

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