Spindle alignment

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Kerry Fullington
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Spindle alignment

Postby Kerry Fullington » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 2:25PM

What is the method for checking the spindles vertical alignment?

When we flycut we get a pattern in the waste board like the drawing below making me think the spindle is out of alignment like the drawing. (of course this drawing is greatly exaggerated. I read somewhere about putting an ell shaped rod in one of the tool holders and checking with a dial indicator to the waste board sucked down and then rotating the ell 180 degrees and doing the same. Will this work?

flycut.jpg

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Josh Rayburn » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 3:09PM

Kerry,
Based on my experience that is a symptom of a bad bearing in the spindle. I've seen it twice before....
I would be interested to hear Thermwood's input on the issue though - they are much more knowledgeable than I am.
jnr
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Josh Rayburn » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 3:17PM

Kerry you could also check the spindle runout with a dial indicator and magnetic base. Just take the toolholder out and stick the base on something stationary with the feeler touching the inside of the taper. Just spin the spindle around with your hand and see what the dial tells you.
I know we had talked about this recently but I thought I'd write it out incase anyone else is following the thread.
jnr
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Kerry Fullington » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 4:08PM

I will give a little more.information. (Josh already knows this)
A bolt came out of one of the arms that operates the pop up pins letting the pop up raise while the machine was running. The spindle crashed into the pop up pin sideways throwing rhe spindle visibly out of vertical alignment. They got it back in alignment pretty good but these ridges when flycutting tell me something is still not right. These ridges are several thousandths high so I would think we are losing vacuum.


Josh, it seems like the test you are suggesting would be more for bearing runnout or for an out of round situation more than a vertical alignment test. Am I not visualizing this correctly and it will give me vertical alignment?

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Josh Rayburn » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 4:22PM

Kerry, it will only take one variable out of the equation which is spindle runout. It's an important variable though because it should tell you if the tool is the problem or if the spindle is the problem. The repair cost difference between a new tool and a new spindle is very significant as you already know.

With that said, I would get a new flycutter on principle - it's such a vital part of everything that the machine does. If the foundation is wrong the house is out of square no matter what you do later on.
But you can gain insight into the spindle alignment if you check it without spending the money on the flycutter first. It does not cost anything to check that.
jnr
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Kerry Fullington » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 4:33PM

Josh

It was not the fly cutter that crashed. The tool that crashed was thrown away. We will probably need to check for run out after we get the spindle aligned.

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Josh Rayburn » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 9:59PM

Kerry and I recently talked on the phone - I now understand that it was a different tool that crashed and not the flycutter as I had thought. So while I was trying to be helpful I was misunderstanding the cause of the symptoms.

Clearly there is misalignment - the suspicion is that the Z axis is no longer perpendicular to the X and/or Y axis.

I'd be interested in other thoughts or ideas on how to check this properly - but I think the dial indicator could be used with a straight round shaft as long as half the distance between the collet and the top of the table, inserted into a toolholder while in the spindle and moving on the Z axis.
If the dial indicator's feeler is held at the bottom of the shaft sticking out of the toolholder, as the Z axis is being lowered towards the table the dial indicator will tell you if the movement is out of square and by how much over the span of the shaft. Spinning the "tool" will also give an indication of runout which could be compounding the problem.
I would repeat this at one 90 degree interval to check both the X and Y axis individually. I suspect the Y axis is what moved and should be adjusted.

Kerry please keep us posted on what you find or whatever other test you find to be successful!
jnr
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Forrest Chapman » Thu, Feb 02 2012, 11:21PM

I would be interested in the machine model. I have a 40 model and have hit the steel pop up pins twice with the fly cutter that didn't hurt the head. The cutters were bent almost to 45 degrees. Forrest

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Kerry Fullington » Fri, Feb 03 2012, 7:25AM

Forrest,

It was on a model 43. I wasn't there so I have to guess what happened but it looks like the head was traveling in an X+ direction when it ran into the pin. It chewed completely through the replaceable aluminum block on the pop up pin as well as one of the screws. I think this pushed the spindle sideways. Maybe the bolts weren't torqued down. If so it was probably a good thing.
I don't notice any other problems from this as far as cutting. Edges are still square. There is just a ridge on every pass of the fly cutter consistent with the way the spindle was pushed.
I am just looking for a way to check it out.

Dennis Englert

Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Dennis Englert » Fri, Feb 03 2012, 7:42AM

Kerry,
Give Tech Services a call. Additionally, I believe that procedures to check this are in the manual for that machine. I'm not a service tech, but I believe the "L" bar with a dial indicator attached in the spindle is the method used for checking it. Zero the indicator out at one quadrant and then go to the opposite quadrant to check it. Mark the positions on the table so that you can repeat the process.

As stated, I would give tech a call.

Dennis

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Bryan Sullivan » Fri, Feb 03 2012, 8:47AM

We have had this happen . The L shape bar (trammel bar) in the spindle with a dial indicator about 6" out from center worked well for us. When you measure one side, then spin the fixture 180 degrees, you can watch the indicator change. Since you are simply spinning the fixture, I do not think it has to be perfectly (by machinist standards) square. Good luck Kerry.

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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Dave Poulin » Fri, Feb 03 2012, 1:19PM

Had this problem several times, first time did the same thing as Kerri, piece of scrap feel to the side and when gantry moved forward it lifted the pop up pin and then crash (model 43).

head was out of tram at this point, 400$ service call was put in, tech guy used the tram bar and dial indicator technique.

Have since made my own "L" bar and do it myself.
Procedure is fairly simple, attach bar to tool holder and zero in dial indicator about 8" away from center.parallel with y axis.
Very important, at this point mark the location of your dial indicator on wasteboard (vacuum on also)
now rotate dial 180 deg, and now you need to move the y axis about 16" or so (will vary depending on where dial indicator is on bar) so that it lines up with the mark you made on wasteboard. this will give how much your off, divide that in half and that how much you need move your head by.

This is how the techs do it.

Last time this happen I was well over 0.200" off (like i sais serious crash). I actually had to remove the head completly to realigned the block behind the one that hold the head. if your only off by 0.030" , there should be enough play in the holes to fix that.
But in removing the head i created another problem and that is my head is now slightly more to the right then where i was and now my pop up are off. this affect my nested flip operation and still have to get procedure now to fix that.

hope that helps
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Josh Rayburn » Fri, Feb 03 2012, 2:10PM

Thanks Dave for sharing that - the more I think about it I guess it does not matter too much if the L shaped trammel stuck into the spindle is out of square, that was my original concern when I was talking with Kerry about it...I am imagining that if the L is rotated 180 degrees it's distance to table top should be the same if it's square or not...? Is this true?
All good things to know thanks!
Dave I wonder if you could machine the pins with a super O bit so they are where the machine thinks they are! I did that once...
jnr
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Steve Unruh » Sat, Feb 04 2012, 12:41PM

I had the same thing happen because of operator error (me) a half inch ballnose tried to head to the basement and the vacuum didn't turn loose it just ripped completely through a 3/4 pc of mdf. Got it stopped before any damage to the machine - and then the next time we flycut had the ridges on the waste sheet. The router had moved in the Y axis and had to be realigned. We used a long bit and moved it in Z with a dial indicator showing the amount it was off. Readjusted it and took the ridges out on the next flycut. I hadn't even thought of using an ell piece; I think that would be faster! We've had to do that twice. Don't know why it was out of alignment the second time - Methinks perhaps there could be a better way of attaching the router more rigidly. Would also be nice if there was a way of adjusting by turning an alignment screw - but that might introduce too many variables.
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Re: Spindle alignment

Postby Kerry Fullington » Sat, Feb 04 2012, 7:37PM

Thanks to everyone for their help,

I found a tool I can use for a trammel so I am going to check it out. I think Dennis is correct. It was in the machine operators manual that I read the procedure.

Kerry


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