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Cincinatti 2L Horizontal Mill - "Dad's Mill"

I took apart and cleaned the indexers chuck last night. Lots of dry oil and fine chips, but overall in good shape except for some scars from drill bits getting too close. The jaws look really good. It's an old Whitton chuck with integrated threaded back. The front is made up of three "pie" slices held on with a bunch of Allen screws. There are no dowel pins in it though, just a shoulder to locate it diameter-wise and nothing but the screws to clock the pieces, so after reassembly one jaw had a bit of play and the others were tight. I'll need to take it back apart and reassemble with some gage blocks to set the gaps.

After removing the B&S #10 center from the back of the indexer, I realized it didn't have an adapter sleeve, but rather a straight shank neck-down portion with a dimple drilled into one side, so rather than using a plate threaded to the spindle to drive your between centers work such as on a lathe, you would have a driving fork fixed to the center. Similar I guess to grinding between centers.
 
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Here's a couple shots of the Indexer tailstock, post cleaning and paint.
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This shows the missing center height adjustment pinion, which had a second binding bolt in it's place. The black knob on the mills table is one we had in out supply that should work well for this job. The pin protruding from the binding bolt is supposed to fit into a notch to keep the bolt from turning, but I think this part was fabricated by someone in the past and they put the pin in the wrong spot so it can't press in as far as it's supposed to, so I'll drill a new hole for it and finish it right.
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This is the current center piece. You can see where they over-cut the dovetail and welded and ground the backside so that it would clamp in place. They made it to work with some kind of small tapered center, but I think when I re-do it I'll likely make the center one piece with the dovetail like it was. while making one, I'll make a few so I have some spares for the next time the cutter gets too close. Not sure if it would be better to keep them soft and sacrificial so the cutter survives in that instance, or make them out of tool steel and kill the cutter (and likely the center too....). Until I find that round-to-it to make them, this one looks like it'll work for the time being.
 
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All my bearings have arrived. Now just need a couple evenings to swap them out and see if that fixes my "crunch" issue.
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This is the vise I was last using on this mill, an old L.W. Chuck Co. Works well enough but has the typical moving jaw lift issue requiring a hearty mallet strike with each clamp. I'll likely put this vise aside to use on an older mill that may find me in the future. In it's place I'll use these:
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The bottom vise is what Mr. Spaulding used on this mill years ago and the one above it is a double I found on eBay a few years ago. These are "Hilo" vises, made by Saunders in England. Can't find hardly anything about them online, but they're one of the best "classic" vise designs I've ever seen/used. For one, they have a nice geometric shape and low-slung design, and the sliding jaw rides on a dovetail so you can adjust out nearly any play or jaw lift (I have a soft spot for dovetail vises). The real "patented" feature of these vises though is in the screw. I've never taken one apart (never needed to) and am not sure exactly how they work, but they have a compound function that moves the jaw in a "hi" speed when it's loose, and then a "lo" speed when it meets resistance, doubling down clamping pressure, hence the "Hilo" name. The only downside is that these use their own proprietary jaw, unlike the standard Kurt vises everywhere else in the shop, but I can make jaws. One evening I'll take these apart to clean and paint them, and I want to compare them on the granite table and if needed grind the back(s) so that they will stay as a matched pair for holding onto long work. Mainly just need to verify that the bottoms are even and complainer, and the slot keys are close enough that they can be dialed in to match each other.

I've got one other vise like these (also came from Spaulding's collection), that is a different design, but also has a dovetail slide and some kind of double-down feature. I THINK although I can't confirm it, that that one is a very very old Hilma that has some kind of hydraulic screw. It has some similar design features, but haven't seen any other milling vise just like it. I use that one on my little Bridgeport round ram at home.
 
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I've had some distractions, but finally digging into replacing the spindle bearings. The manual has good enough instructions that I won't document how it comes apart, but a couple observations while I'm doing this:

1. Don't drop anything in the column! It's a pain to fish out! Though it wasn't nessisary to pull the spindle, I pulled the Pulley Bracket assembly to get to the punch and rule I dropped. Still fishing for the end of another punch that broke.

2. While the order of disassembly is pretty simple and straight forward with the manual to follow, you do need some special tools, which is where I'm at right now. I had a spanner wrench for the spindle nuts, but I'll need to make a spanner socket of sorts to undo the nut on the tail end of the spindle.
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3. The manual advises to remove one of the back gear shaft assemblies directly bellow the spindle, which requires some creative pulling to get the caps off, but will also require another spanner socket.
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Looking at it though I don't see removing this shaft as nessisary as it seems all the gears will clear each other, so I'm going to leave it in place unless it becomes obvious why it needs to come out. My guess is they recommend removing it to give better access to the spindle nuts.

So far I've been happy with the condition of the gears and other parts. It's obvious that someone has worked on this mill in the past, possibly pulling the spindle guessing by the burrs on some of the nuts. The oil was bad for sure, and there's some sludge and fine chips in the bottom. This gearbox is not 100% sealed with air gaps in some places, so I think it's more important to keep up with oil changes and flushings than I was doing before. Given that the mill hasn't seen 40 hour week usage, I've been relaxed on oil changes, and I think that's partially what cost me the spindle bearings.
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My other concern about water egressing into the columb gearbox was unfortunately correct too. There was some encapsulated water pockets in the bottom of the gearbox, and some rusty sludge between parts up top. The spindle front and back caps don't have seals either, using grooves to keep oil from dripping out. With enough grime and swarf around these caps, it can easily push into the bearings. Gotta keep it clean and watch where you point the air gun!
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It's good that it's come apart this far though as I can clean the gunk out of the bottom, clean paint off of screw heads and from between parts, polish up the bright-work, and generally just get back to square one in the cleanliness department.
 
Still working on making the spanner nut socket (not so much the complexity, just lack of time).

Related to this project though, my Dad passed away last week. He had Parkinson's and some dementia that over the last 10 years had been chipping away at him. It's rough to see someone who loves working not able to because their mind is so clouded and unable to process what's going on around them, but It's comforting that he's not dealing with that anymore. Even though his mortal body is gone, I look forward to getting his advise and affirmation on jobs now that he's got his mind back (spiritually).

Dad and I butted heads many times over the years as he was the kind that would find a way to make things work with the tools and material he had at hand, and I'm more apt to follow instructions and do things "proper." He'd spend all day making a five cent washer if it meant a job got out on time, and I'd delay a job so the washer could come in the mail. That said, he was always much more patient than I and would take his time to think out solutions. While I've gathered my mechanical knowledge from all over, he's the one who gave me my foundation and taught me the joy of building things. While we didn't always agree on how to build or fix things, he was always supportive and gave me confidence in my skills and career. I'm going to miss him, but I know he'll still be around cause he loved what he did so much and he loved that my brother and I were doing the same.

I'm glad I've still got his old mill. Gotta get some new life in it now.
 
Still working on making the spanner nut socket (not so much the complexity, just lack of time).

Related to this project though, my Dad passed away last week. He had Parkinson's and some dementia that over the last 10 years had been chipping away at him. It's rough to see someone who loves working not able to because their mind is so clouded and unable to process what's going on around them, but It's comforting that he's not dealing with that anymore. Even though his mortal body is gone, I look forward to getting his advise and affirmation on jobs now that he's got his mind back (spiritually).

Dad and I butted heads many times over the years as he was the kind that would find a way to make things work with the tools and material he had at hand, and I'm more apt to follow instructions and do things "proper." He'd spend all day making a five cent washer if it meant a job got out on time, and I'd delay a job so the washer could come in the mail. That said, he was always much more patient than I and would take his time to think out solutions. While I've gathered my mechanical knowledge from all over, he's the one who gave me my foundation and taught me the joy of building things. While we didn't always agree on how to build or fix things, he was always supportive and gave me confidence in my skills and career. I'm going to miss him, but I know he'll still be around cause he loved what he did so much and he loved that my brother and I were doing the same.

I'm glad I've still got his old mill. Gotta get some new life in it now.
Sorry for your loss.

I can tell you this, when the day comes that I check out, if my kids can think and speak of me the way you did here in post #26. . . well I'll know I did alright. That'd be enough for me. More than enough.

Appreciate you sharing.
 
Tough deal to go through. Part way through same process with my Dad.

Getting closer to that for me too. I had the good fortune to go on a week or so road trip with him and my daughter, leaving her up in Maine to work for the summer. For a few days he and I dug into a off-grid power system that had the diesel genset with a governor which didn't like an inverter elsewhere in the system. He's an old-school EE and physicist, sure was great to see him more "in form" while we worked over the system measuring, calculating, arguing and chasing the gremlins. He's always been deep into all kinds of engineering and science, and age has started to curtail a lot of that- he recognizes and doesn't like it much either. Sure was kind of hard for us both when he needed me to carry his luggage up the hill. But it was a good week, its important to enjoy them while we have them.
 
I'm sorry to hear about your father Miles. Even though you've clearly had lots of time to prepare, it's still a blow. Hopefully the pain will soften over time and all the good memories will remain
 
Thanks guys.

Like I said, my dad was always very supportive and If I had decided to be a professional sandwich artist or something, he'd do anything he could to help me give it my all, so that support was doubled as my brother and I took over his business. While he had a hard time letting go of it at times, he was happy to see his dreams coming together and moving forward. The older I get, the more I feel that our kids carry more than just our name into the future. It's fun to have experiences and enjoy life, but anytime my kids get to do something that I once enjoyed or never got to do, it feels like I can permanently and proudly cross it off my list. When they come up with things on their own, it feels like I'm trying something new myself. I'm a firm believer in the afterlife and the immortality of our spirits, but I also feel that our kids are our immortality in this world. Life is too short and you can't have all the toys and "do it all," but in time your kids and their kids can.

As my Dad was going downhill and now that he's gone, I've found myself drawn to past avenues of his life. I feel (by my own with no pressure from elseware) some responsibility to keep him alive in the aggregate of things he did and enjoyed. For him, this old Cincinnati was his first real mill and a really cool machine, and he had no reservations putting it "out to pasture" when we had to make room for things like the CNC mills that have built our company, but for me it's a part of him that should stay an active parts of the shop. A good horizontal is a handy tool to have, and more-so with a vertical head and quill which will always have work to do in our shop.

Other parts of his life will take more work to keep, but I'm happy to grow. I'll never be the leatherworker he was, but one of the tasks he had wanted to do before his health put a stop to it was restoring some family saddles. In time I want to develop the skill to finish that task with him. We haven't had horses since I was 8, but someday we'll hopefully get back to that too.
 
Sorry to hear about your dad. I remember the time or two when I came by and visited when you guys used to be down here in Yoakum. The old Chevy, I think it was he drove, I hope you still have it! I do remember you showing me the mill you're talking about. Likewise here, as much as my dad and I butted horns, he did teach us boys well when it came to the machine shop. Sweet memories we have.
 
Sorry to hear about your dad. I remember the time or two when I came by and visited when you guys used to be down here in Yoakum. The old Chevy, I think it was he drove, I hope you still have it! I do remember you showing me the mill you're talking about. Likewise here, as much as my dad and I butted horns, he did teach us boys well when it came to the machine shop. Sweet memories we have.
Thank you

The old black 53' Chevy car was/is mine. I still drive it, though at the moment it's in need of some carburetor work, I think.... I've tried everything else.

His was the old greenish-white 53' Ford F-100. About 8 years ago he took it apart for it's 2nd restoration, the first restoration being back in the mid 80's followed by a 2nd life of hard work. He had a mini-stroke about 5 or 6 years ago*** and I took over the restoration in his garage. Luckily most of the laborious body and paint work has been done, but it still has a long long list of details I'm slowly sorting through. We're keeping it OEM stock with the exception of some modifications it's had over it's life (custom rear bumper, air tank and compressor, 54' Ford OHV engine, custom grill guard, etc.). The 53'-56' Ford F-100's are very very popular, but they are almost always hot-rods, or at least have a lot of modern parts. There's lots of good info online, especially with a few of the parts companies, but very little detailing how things were when it was new. Part of that I think is just a "Ford" thing as they're notorious for making changes in the middle of a year-model, so there isn't always one way it will be. My dad paid a guy to help with a lot of the tear-down and body work so I didn't get to see how everything came apart, and it's seen a lot of changes over it's life, so I'm trying to strike that balance of making it new again and preserving the truck's identity.

So that's another project I've been on is wrapping up his old Ford. He was the 2nd owner and was friends with the guy that bought it new. Once it's done I plan to drive it regularly, though I'll treat it a little nicer this time (no dropping machines in the bed or stacking it high with firewood).

*** His stroke was one of the first alarms we had that life was changing. He recovered, but not completely, and up until maybe a month ago he still had the mentality that he was one good nights sleep away from coming back to work full time, and the issues with his memory, tremors, and eye sight were all screw-ups by the doctors that could be fixed if they just did their job right. I can't fault him for his tenacity, but it sure made it hard to reason with him.
 
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Got my handy spanner socket put together and it made short work of removing the tail end take-up nut. NOW, for the next hold-up.

With the three spindle take up nuts loosened, there's supposed to be two keeper keys at each end of the spindle. One came out easy (little L shaped key beside the take-up nut above) once the nut was out of the way. The other is supposed to be at the front end between the front inner tapered roller bearing and the main adjusting nut. According to the manual diagrams it's the same kind of key, and there's a slot for it, but it wasn't there. It's very well possible it fell out while I was shuffling things around and is now in the bottom of the gearbox, but at any rate it's not where it's supposed to be. Hopefully I can find it magnet-fishing....

With everything loose, the spindle shifts forward fairly easily about an inch and then comes to a dead stop. bumping it back, the only stiff pieces I can find are the two gears in the middle of the spindle. Both have a square key under them that the manual doesn't say needs to be removed in order to pull the spindle. The big gear can slide along the spindle shaft but the key moves with it and won't move separately. The other gear (two gears of the same size with a 3/8" gap between them, pictured bellow in the middle of the spindle) has moved about a 1/4", but won't move anymore. I'm thinking it's key is wedging it in place perhaps, but again the manual doesn't say anything about needing to remove these keys, just the little 'L' shaped keeper keys, and with the take up nuts loose everything is supposed to slide along the spindle as you push it out the front.
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Topmost shaft in this picture is the spindle.

Any ideas? Anyone worked on a Cinc. spindle like this before and see something I'm missing?

On the plus side, the now exposed front outer tapered roller bearing looks and feels OK with no obvious fretting or damage to the cage or outer race. Perhaps the front inner bearing will be the culprit.
 
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Not exactly your exact model mill. But I was peaking at a 1938 manual for dial type machines. Not always, but often I find manufactures don't entirely upgrade everything when some changes occur. Seems fairly often they more or less do the same kind of thing on various components. The manual I was looking at, starting mid-way on pdf page 22, or page 21 on manual:


The pdf:

While the illustration appears to show a single gear, not the double of same size, however at a glace the basics look the same. In it they want you to drive out the rear bearings, then remove lock nut "E".

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Somewhere I have the original paper manual for this mill, but putting it asside so I could use it later, I seem to have misplaced it. I found a free download online for it that I've been using in it's absence, but now can't find the link to share here. It's possible the PDF isn't a perfect match I suppose.

Other newer/older manuals for similar models are online too that have proven similar. Like this one for the 1930 2M Here. It looks like on many of them the big gear is seated on a tapered shoulder of the spindle. That gear is currently loose on mine though, and the smaller gear has shifted a bit to the back without coming loose, but maybe it's on a taper too and will just take some more directed force to break free. I'd hate to force it though without knowing what I'm beating against.
 
I'd hate to force it though without knowing what I'm beating against.
Looking at the illustration and reading #6 in the instruction, lol yeah. . . Sometimes they don't "drive" out so pleasant. In my head I can already see dings, gouges and beat marks on shaft and housing if you have to beat it out like an animal.

There's times we gotta get it out, no question, so we do what we gotta do. Other times I question if I'm doing more harm than good. You're laying hands and eyeballs on it directly, and better able to judge.

Edit* Love instruction #11 on the manual you linked. "Pound" on the rear of spindle. . .

You mentioned a missing key on front inner taper bearing. I assume to keep inner race from spinning on shaft ?

You mentioned the two same sized gears and a key. Are they not part of one assembly that includes face gear that was supposed to be on a taper ? If so, I wonder if this face gear does not use a taper, or if it uses a taper plus key, or if there is no key.

Looking at your manual, I assume lock nut "A" is all the way off threads. I am wondering about the rear bearing retainer, if its knocked out, and is the spindle shaft freely sliding through rear bearings.
 
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.....

You mentioned a missing key on front inner taper bearing. I assume to keep inner race from spinning on shaft ?

You mentioned the two same sized gears and a key. Are they not part of one assembly that includes face gear that was supposed to be on a taper ? If so, I wonder if this face gear does not use a taper, or if it uses a taper plus key, or if there is no key.

Looking at your manual, I assume lock nut "A" is all the way off threads. I am wondering about the rear bearing retainer, if its knocked out, and is the spindle shaft freely sliding through rear bearings.
I think that's correct, the missing key is to keep the inner race stationary. I need to do some more fishing for it as It may have fallen out while moving things around before I located their location on the spindle. They can't really be seen or accessed until the take-up nuts are loose, so if it really was missing, someone had to have taken it apart in the past and forgot to put the key back in (entirely possible).

On this model, there are two gear clusters on the spindle. The big gear is one with a sleeve and a small gear, and then separate behind it is a pair of two gears with a 3/8" gap between them, also one piece. Both of these clusters appear to have a square key to locate them on the shaft. The big gears key is stuck in the gear cluster but moves side to side with it. The smaller gear cluster isn't moving at all, though it did move a little at first. I'm wondering if I should use the take up nut beside it to try to push it back into place and see if working it back and forth like that frees it up?

Part of my hesitation is I've had similar cases where some kind of ring or loose piece drops into a groove and keeps the shaft from advancing, and forcing it breaks or mars something. Once I hit the hard stop pushing on the spindle, several pieces are tight because they are stacking up against the tight gear.

One typo in my manual is that it step-by-step tells you how to remove two of the take up nuts, doesn't mention the back take up nut, then tells you to remove the back locking key, which can only be removed with the take-up nut removed.

Oy... technical writing....
 
So I found the print manual for the mill (after losing it by putting it aside so I wouldn't lose it). Unfortunately it seems to have all the same info as the PDF I have with the only differences being one has a 9A-OM identification number on the cover and the other has 9A-LL. Both have 1947 copyrights on the title page.

I call mine "original", but the copyright obviously says otherwise. The mill has a dealer tag from Harron, Rickard & McCone out of LA and the manual has a matching sticker, so my assumption is that after a decade or so milling parts for the war effort, the mill was resold by HRM with a new manual. I don't think Irv Spalding had this mill in the late 40's early 50's as I think he was still working for Wright back in Paterson New Jersey. He may have worked for another firm in California too, but my understanding is that he retired there (Pine Grove specifically, where he met my Dad), so ultimately the mill must have had one or two owners in between.

Back to the task at hand, I might not get to it today, but my current plan of attack is to use the middle take up nut to push the gears back closer to their starting point, hopefully taking some pressure off of them and letting me find if there is an actual stop in the way, and from there I'll back the nut off again and "get a bigger hammer.":fight:
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