Round Ram Upgrade

Discussion on all milling machines vertical & horizontal, including but not limited to Bridgeports, Hardinge, South Bend, Clausing, Van Norman, including imports.

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whisperfan
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Round Ram Upgrade

Post by whisperfan » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:52 pm

Been a while since I posted

Years back I bought an M-Head Bridgeport on a Round Ram base and turret. I never liked the color scheme ... but there were other things I didn't like more. A previous owner used grease in the fittings on the ways, rather than way oil. I didn't like the 1/2" max capacity of the B&S #7 collet, and I didn't care for the 1/2 HP motor. I run the mill on a rotary phase converter and only really get 2/3 of the rated HP of the motor in that configuration. This was the mill

Image

This is the mill now

Image

I decided to upgrade to a J-head with a stepped pulley, tear down the mill base, and remove the table and saddle (the knee is off now too) and clean all the grease out of the channels for the ways and replace with way oil. While it is apart, I will repaint too. I have some questions if you don't mind.
First - my original ram had a rack and pinion set up to move the ram in and out like this one (this is not my old one, but a good photo of it)

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When I bought the head, I also bought the ram ... and it is 'smooth sided' like this

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So ... back to the first question ... with the weight of the head, and the weight of the ram .... without the gears on the ram .... how does one extend and retract the ram?

Second ... is it possible to cut the 'rack gears' on the ram to use the pinion-style gear on my original turret?

Third ... what is a good paint to use that I can apply in the basement with a fan for airflow? I want one that can stand up to a kool mist cooant system and way and spindle oil .... don't expect to have much in the way of 'solvents' around it

Thanks in advance for any advice you can provide
Charlie

Harold_V
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by Harold_V » Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:28 am

whisperfan wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:52 pm
I run the mill on a rotary phase converter and only really get 2/3 of the rated HP of the motor in that configuration.
Are you positive? Rotary phase converters provide an honest three phase, unlike static converters, which do provide only 2/3 the rated power. In fact, if well balanced, they should perform almost equal to three phase service. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
So ... back to the first question ... with the weight of the head, and the weight of the ram .... without the gears on the ram .... how does one extend and retract the ram?
All of my experience with Bridgeports is with later machines. That said, I would also be concerned about what keeps the ram vertical. Is the ram keyed? If not, is it free to spin? I expect not, but I don't take things like that for granted.
Second ... is it possible to cut the 'rack gears' on the ram to use the pinion-style gear on my original turret?
Depends on the equipment you have at your disposal. Is the ram hardened? If not, it can be milled. A right angle head on a vertical would allow for making the setup parallel to the table, so the piece could be machined in full without relocating. Be advised that you may experience warping of the part. When you machine material off one side of a round piece, you upset the existing balance of stress. It may or may not move, but that's something you'd have to address if it did. Note that if it's hardened, a setup on a surface grinder (or even a cutter grinder) might allow for grinding the required teeth. It would be a lot of work, though. It would require an interesting setup, in order for the ram to clear due to the orientation of the gear. It would be a snap if it ran parallel to the ram.
Third ... what is a good paint to use that I can apply in the basement with a fan for airflow? I want one that can stand up to a kool mist cooant system and way and spindle oil .... don't expect to have much in the way of 'solvents' around it
If you can provide a fan by some means, I like using lacquer, although it's now pretty hard to get. It dries quickly, and can be sanded easily, so you can do a nice job, assuming that's important to you. It withstands oils and solvents, but not lacquer thinner, needless to say. I had a temporary spray booth in my shop, with a fan in a window and the small room made with 2 x 4's covered with visqueen. Worked great!

I used to use a spray mist unit, but abandoned it long ago. I got tired of the stickiness it created on the machine surfaces, especially the quill of my Bridgeport. Might be ok for occasional use, but I was machining full time and really learned to hate it---although it sure did a nice job of keeping things cool and extending tool life.

H
Wise people talk because they have something to say. Fools talk because they have to say something.

John Hasler
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by John Hasler » Wed Feb 13, 2019 11:53 am

A rotary converter provides pretty good corner-grounded three phase.

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whisperfan
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by whisperfan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 3:45 pm

Harold_V wrote:
Wed Feb 13, 2019 2:28 am

All of my experience with Bridgeports is with later machines. That said, I would also be concerned about what keeps the ram vertical. Is the ram keyed? If not, is it free to spin? I expect not, but I don't take things like that for granted.

H
Image

It's sort of neat really. Ram is keyed on the bottom and inside the 'cap' on the turret there is a captured ring gear with helical threads that remains captured in the turret as the ram can slide in and out within it. Then, the 'cap' has a pinion gear and the handle can be mounted on either side .... then you loosen the pinch bolts and you turn the crank handle to tilt the head left to right.
The teeth are not really what you would consider to be 'fine' - so it's not precision on the angle, but it holds it in place.

Although being an upgrade over the M-Head, with a R-8 collet, 1 HP motor, and power quill feed; the main drawback to this design was that it did not have any way to adjust the head for 'nod'

I am not certain about the rotary phase converter .... I just heard that somewhere ... also, my 'rotary phase converter' is a home built. I have one leg of 120 from the circuit breaker panel going to one leg of the mill's motor. Another leg of 120 going to another leg of the motor. Then I also have them each going to a 5 hp 3-ph motor on the floor mounted to a plank. I have a small 120v 1-ph 'pony motor' as a kicker to get the big 5 hp motor spinning. Then I throw power to the 5hp 3-phase and use the 3rd leg from the 3 phase motor to supply the third leg of the '3-phase' power to the 1HP mill motor. (you can see it in the photo of the stripped down mill with only the knee on it. It is peeking out behind the planks leaning on the wall)
I'm not certain how a 'true' rotary phase converter works, but this works. It worked for my older mill and it works for the surface grinder. The key is that you have to have the 'converter' motor quite a pit larger than the largest motor you want to power. I heard at least 2 to 2.5 times the power of the motor you want to power.

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whisperfan
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by whisperfan » Wed Feb 13, 2019 4:08 pm

I found a neat article on home made rotary phase converters they have better terminology than I do ... From them

"To make a simple rotary phase converter out of a 3 phase motor
Connect 230 volt single phase power to the T1 and T2 supply terminals (or wires) of the motor that you are using as a converter.
Get it Spinning (with a rope wrapped around the motor shaft for example) to get it going - it won't start on its own.
Take 3 phase power off of the T1, T2, and T3 terminals to power your three phase shop equipment.
It really is as simple as that as long as you understand the limitations of such a simple device.

1) The three legs of power that you are supplying are not balanced, because of their different sources.
2) The phase separation which is supposed to be 120 degrees between all legs also won't be just right, because the single phase line voltage to L1 and L2 is 180 degrees apart.
3) Because of the imperfect nature of the power supplied to both the equipment motor and the idler neither of them will run at full efficiency - they will be down on power, noisier, produce more vibration and heat, will consume more energy, and won't last as long as they would if supplied with proper three phase power.
4) More complex electronics (such as CNC machinery) might be damaged by such a crude power supply.
5) Your local codes inspector may or may not approve of this kind of device.
All that being said, it will still work, and there are things that a determined diy (do-it-yourselfer) can do to make the system work better, such as using run capacitors between the L1-L3 and L2-L3 legs to even out the voltage balance. You should also use a Starting capacitor so that you don't have to manually spin the idler up when you start it. If you will only be using 3 phase power occasionally, and aren't concerned with the other limitations of this method then it may be just what you want to do."

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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by spro » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:38 pm

Did you buy the turret and ram because the ram was larger diameter and the head plate was larger?

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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by spro » Thu Feb 14, 2019 9:55 pm

Middle 1956 and up, there was the V ram. The J head is attached to a knuckle attachment. This attachment allows for nod and tilt. The head plate/flange is machined for Tee nuts. Is yours machined that way?

John Hasler
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by John Hasler » Thu Feb 14, 2019 10:06 pm

Depends on what you mean by a "true" rotary converter. Driving a synchonous three-phase generator with a DC motor controlled so as to keep the frequency correct would give you perfect separately-derived power. Converters built using a single three-phase motor, some capacitors, and some relays can work quite well for motor loads as long as they are designed correctly.

There is no need to disconnect the pony motor as long as its synchronous speed matchs that of the three-phase motor.

ERIE S-1 BERKSHIRES
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by ERIE S-1 BERKSHIRES » Thu Feb 14, 2019 11:35 pm

The ram will not rotate I have the J head round Ram. I've used 5 inch long End Mill's 1.5" diameter, on a V Ram rang like a bell !! Same setup on round Ram no ringing and better finish. I've been able to take heavier Cuts also on a round Ram, I also have three V Rams.

spro
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by spro » Fri Feb 15, 2019 1:30 am

That's good information and perhaps the "nod" feature caused the harmonics. If the round ram doesn't rotate, then Charlie may have another option. He needs a way to adjust the ram stroke. Is your turret the same as his new one?

ERIE S-1 BERKSHIRES
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by ERIE S-1 BERKSHIRES » Fri Feb 15, 2019 2:48 am

His doesn't have the rack and pinion mine does still should be able to move in and out easily with well-oiled ram

spro
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Re: Round Ram Upgrade

Post by spro » Fri Feb 15, 2019 6:20 pm

Thank you sir. You are able to advise about the differences. I think the ram is larger for the J head, which means a different turret. OP"s new turret appears to have the rotate/tilt adjustment at the ram. So we don't know if the ram adapter is included with his J head or attached directly to the ram.

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