Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

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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FULLMONTIE
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Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by FULLMONTIE » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:26 am

Bit of long story, but the condensed version is I picked up my Dad's VN 12 that has sat idle with a burned up motor for 25+ years. Disassembled it to the basic components to move from Oklahoma to Texas, cleaned it up, then painted it while torn down. I replaced the burned up motor with a 2HP Rockwell 3 phase motor, and installed a Dayton variable speed motor on the table feed. Lubed everything, and probably my biggest mistake was not removing the cutter head to give it a thorough cleaning......
I started up the mill and everything sounded good, ran it for a while with no load. I then stared machining some table stops, because the machine had none on it, and I heard a bad crunch sound followed by a low frequency thunk thunk thunk sound coming from what sounded like the spindle area. I pulled the drive motor belts off, and rotated the drive side by hand and you could feel a tight spot and a skip when rotating it. I removed the cutter head, and first thing I see is a very nasty looking pinion gear, and inspection of what I could see of the ring gear was a LOT of broken and chipped teeth. Crap....

I cleaned the cutter head with solvent and what I saw really broke my heart. Lodged in old grease were portions of 3 broken teeth, some smaller bits of munched metal, and some ground/pulverized metal bits. The mill had been used for many years in the Horizontal position with an arbor, and I was using it vertically when the **** storm hit. It appears that someone has been into this head at one point, as the number of missing teeth far outnumber the 3 I found, and there really was not much debris in the grease. I see obvious tool marks on parts inside of the cutter head, and likely someone else had seen some damage, cleaned it up, saw missing teeth, reassembled, and ran it like it was. I finished it off, and I guess that a broken tooth dislodged from grease from old spindle bearings, floated in the oil, and landed in my ring or pinion and wreaked havoc.

There are a lot of chipped outer edges which I'm not to concerned about, but there is 25-30% of the inside teeth of the ring gear missing on multiple teeth, and a couple that are adjacent, and the pinion is rough. I am sure that VN NOS spares for this machine are rare as hen's teeth. I have used this machine since I was a kid, and really like it, but it is to rough to use as is, and I am sure that there will quickly be more damage if I tried to run it. Please see the attached photos, and the photos actually look better than it is.

What options do I have?

1. Find the unicorn NOS ring and pinion set....
2. Find a used but better condition ring and pinion set for an early VN 12.
3. Have a new ring and pinion made....... probably cost prohibitive.
4. Build up teeth with brass, probably won't hold up, and the heat from brazing will affect the hardness of the ring and pinion, not to mention hand dressing the teeth to an acceptable profile.
5. TIG weld up the missing teeth, and hand dress new teeth, again even more difficulties in hand dressing and heat treatment issues.

Help! I am open to opinions and options. It's a handy machine and I hate to see it sit for another 25 years or be sold for parts
Attachments
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FULLMONTIE
Posts: 11
Joined: Tue Mar 20, 2018 8:50 am
Location: Richmond, Tx

Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by FULLMONTIE » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:12 am

A few more photos of the nastiness...
Attachments
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John Hasler
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by John Hasler » Tue Jan 14, 2020 11:33 am

Is there enough material to have the ring gear remachined (this is not something I've ever done, but clutching at straws...)?

I see no hope for the pinion, though.

Are you sure these gears are utterly unique? I'd start search through Boston Gear's offerings. Maybe even inquire about a modified or custom gear set. If you replace both gears the new ones need only fit in their place and have the same ratio. https://www.bostongear.com/products/ope ... tock-gears

Russ Hanscom
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by Russ Hanscom » Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:14 pm

Actually, you do not even have to match the exact ratio.

I would agree with John and look for a gear set from something that could be adapted. A right angle drive from a brush hog comes to mind.

FULLMONTIE
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Location: Richmond, Tx

Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by FULLMONTIE » Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:47 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I need to take a bunch of measurements before I tear down the cutter head, and then I can check Boston gear. I haven't done a tooth count yet, but it's either 2:1 or very close to it.

Russ Hanscom
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by Russ Hanscom » Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:57 pm

Ratios other than an exact 2:1 are frequently used so that each tooth contacts every one in the mating gear to balance wear. Not essential in a replacement set.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by Bill Shields » Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:17 pm

i would be very surprised if you could not find 'stock gears' to replace what you see...
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

spro
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by spro » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:04 am

Might be, from another Van Norman No. 12. These look hypoid to me. It would be great if deep in lower levels of stock gear parts, a set was found.

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Bill Shields
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by Bill Shields » Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:52 am

They look like spiral mitre. Seriously doubt that van Norman actually made their own gears.

look here in the Boston Stock Gear section for SPIRAL MITRE GEARS: 2:1 / 1:3 / 1:1 ratios

https://www.bostongear.com/ecatalog?pag ... HLSK102Y-L

you will find something...just do you want to $$$ the price?
Too many things going on to bother listing them.

pete
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by pete » Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:41 pm

Ouch, that really is a bad day to find something like that. If it were me I think I'd repost the same thing with your pictures here. https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/a ... d-history/ The regulars there are more than knowledgeable and who knows you just might get lucky (maybe) with someone on that forum parting one out or has possibly had to deal with the same issue and found something that can work off the shelf.

And while the guy is in Europe I'd say he's probably about the best for gear knowledge and custom cut gears on the whole of Practical Machinist. https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/a ... ht=hobbing He's the second poster down in that thread. Guy's user name is Zahnrad Koph and his prices seem ok for what he's capable of. I've no idea if he could produce a custom set of hardened gears like yours, but he's who I'd start with if nothing off the shelf or a used set of OEM gearing can't be found.

Glenn Brooks
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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by Glenn Brooks » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:00 pm

I see you posted on hobby-machinist and had a reply from Cal Haines. Cal is the most knowledgeable VN guy I know of. So you’ve covered the resupply side pretty well.

I would not rule out having new parts made. If it were me, I’d at least make an inquiry or two to shops that specialize in making parts.

Here’s the fellow I’ve used several times to make feed screws for my lathes - with excellent results. Might be worth your time to contact him and discuss what be done.

Bob Miller,
miller machine and fabrication

millermachineandfabrication@gmail.com

His prices are very reasonable.

Also, keep watching for people parting out clapped out machines.

Glenn
Moderator - Grand Scale Forum

Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....

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Re: Broken Hearted... My new to me 1942 Van Norman No.12 Spindle Ring and Pinion shot

Post by spro » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:23 pm

Van Norman collets or some taper. Can't say from here but I know that somewhere, sometime, someone modified the vertical attachment for an Index #60 milling machine. I just couldn't do that to a Van Norman head.

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