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ELLIOTT OMNISPEED Lathe

The next step was to have a look inside the headstock gearbox.

Photo taken from the top with the top plate and speed change lever removed.

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View from the back of the headstock through an access plate which I removed.
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I was pleasantly surprised at the state of things. I ensured the oil pump was working, cleaned a few bits up and drained the oil.
The oil was pretty clean and I guess it has been changed not too many machine running hours ago.

I decided to not mess around in there any further. It might have to be opened again at a later stage to replace a bearing or two but I had to get the machine running first to establish if any bearing needs replacing.

Next up was having a look at the quick change gearbox (qcgb).

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Note the electrical panel with start/stop/coolant switches which normally sits underneath the qcgb was already removed.

I removed the dials/levers from the qcgb and then removed the front panel of the qcgb.

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At first glance, it did not look too bad.
However, on closer inspection, there was quite a bit of gunk and corrosion.

Luckily, the gears appeared undamaged and not corroded. I could not detect any real worn gears either.

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With the intermediate plate removed, a better view of the gears can be gained.

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Yuck!

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I was not planning to take the qcgb off the lathe but it looked like the oil pump was probably clogged up.

The oil pump pumps the oil upwards outside of the qcgb casing where the oil pools and then drips back down through some holes to lubricate the gears. The 'pool area' is also full of gunk and as far as I can tell it looks like some of the holes might be blocked too.

It is challenging to take a photo and see the area where the oil pools and impossible to clean without taking the qcgb off the lathe.

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In order to remove the qcgb, the leadscrew and feed shaft needs to be disconnected.

The feed shaft is held in place with a simple 'c pin' or slotted roll pin which came out pretty easily.
To remove the leadscrew the sacrificial shear pin needs to be removed and the bearing cover.

On this Elliott lathe, the leadscrew can be reversed if it is worn at the closest part to the headstock which will see the most wear. The end closest to the tailstock can then be re-installed at the headstock end, giving you a relatively unworn leadscrew. It is a pretty cool design, I am not sure if all lathe leadscrews are made the same 🤷‍♂️

The manual explains the leadscrew reversal.

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The leadscrew removed.

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Notice that there is no hole for the sacrificial shear pin in the leadscrew on the other side. As per the manual, when the leadscrew is reversed, a hole needs to be drilled for the shear pin. Therefore, this leadscrew has not been reversed before.

There is some slight damage to the leadscrew at the part that was closest to the headstock.

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I cleaned the leadscrew up while it was out.

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The 'worn' end.

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The 'unworn' end

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I oiled the leadscrew and wrapped it in clear cling film so I could store it somewhere in the garage until I needed to re-install it again.

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The leadscrew bearing (double thrust bearing) had some wear to it and it had loads of grime in it.

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I ordered new FT1 thrust bearings to replace the old ones.
 
With the leadscrew and feed shaft disconnected, only 4 allen/hex head bolts inside the qcgb needed to be removed to get the qcgb off the machine.

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It was heavier than it looked, I could just about manage to lift it and place it on the ground.
Notice all the grime and dirt in the oil 'pool' area on the top of the qcgb.

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Surprisingly, no oil holes were completely blocked. The worst ones were about three-quarters blocked with grime, old paint and rust but would have still allowed oil through.
I got the worst of the grime off the qcgb.

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Access is severely restricted to get to the oil pump in the qcgb if all the gears and shafts are not removed and removing the oil pump resulted in me damaging the aluminium pipe that goes from the pump to the top of the qcgb.

The oil pump is circled in red and the oil pipe is indicated by the green line (which you can't see in the photo)

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After struggling for a bit, I got the oil pump out.

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The filter was damaged/disintegrated.

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I made a new filter and also ordered some copper 3/16 'brake line' pipe to replace the snapped aluminium oil pipe.

It was time to paint a few bits again.

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I had the qcgb apart once over - broken gears. Not too difficult. Ditto the apron, no broken gears but the company changed coolant suppliers and the coolant turned into a glue and gummed everything up. I had to do every apron on every lathe in the shop. About 20 lathes ! The apron is a bit fiddly on the Omnispeed but doable without too much trouble. I never had a cause to go into the headstock, even after the crash !

Regards Tyrone
 
I had the qcgb apart once over - broken gears. Not too difficult. Ditto the apron, no broken gears but the company changed coolant suppliers and the coolant turned into a glue and gummed everything up. I had to do every apron on every lathe in the shop. About 20 lathes ! The apron is a bit fiddly on the Omnispeed but doable without too much trouble. I never had a cause to go into the headstock, even after the crash !

Regards Tyrone
Very interesting.

What was your role?
Did you repair/maintain machines or did you do anything and everything that was needed in a machine shop?
 
Very interesting.

What was your role?
Did you repair/maintain machines or did you do anything and everything that was needed in a machine shop?
Over the years nearly everything and anything. Building machines, installation, repair, re-building etc. Mainly on machine tools but I worked in a tool room for a few years. I also had a few years on inspection and marking out. Some turning, milling, drilling grinding, overhead crane driving. Anything I fancied really.
I never really moved jobs for more money but always for more experience.

Regards Tyrone
 
The oil pipe arrived the day after I painted all the bits and I tried to make a new oil pipe and fit it into the qcgb.
That was an epic affair and it took me close to 2 hours to get the thing in with the severely restricted access and me trying to bend the oil pipe so it fits just right.

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Next up was the apron, cross slide and compound rest.

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I wasn’t very good a “ pipe strangling “ either. I worked with guys who were in the genius level at it. Long multiple runs following each other. 12 pipes at a time all side by side, they looked a picture.
The photos of the apron brought back some memories. I had to pull one of those apart to replace all the springs in the feed clutches. When you removed the saddle am I right in saying there’s an extra keeper strip on the inside lip of the front way ? Maybe I’m thinking of another lathe. I remember one of them had me scratching my head for a while. Any signs of coolant rot in there ?
That machine should clean up nicely.

Regards Tyrone
 
I wasn’t very good a “ pipe strangling “ either. I worked with guys who were in the genius level at it. Long multiple runs following each other. 12 pipes at a time all side by side, they looked a picture.
The photos of the apron brought back some memories. I had to pull one of those apart to replace all the springs in the feed clutches. When you removed the saddle am I right in saying there’s an extra keeper strip on the inside lip of the front way ? Maybe I’m thinking of another lathe. I remember one of them had me scratching my head for a while. Any signs of coolant rot in there ?
That machine should clean up nicely.

Regards Tyrone

Luckily, there was no rot on any of the gears. There was some corrosion on the cross slide, compound and saddle but all the gears and important bits seem to have escaped the rot.
I can't remember if the saddle had an extra keeper, it came apart relatively easily.


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Smouser,

That is very impressive!

How about making a separate thread describing the procedure again, as you have it here? I'm not sure where it would be best to post it, maybe in 'General'?

I think it would be useful and appreciated by anyone wanting to redo their worn out plates.

Thank you. It was not really my work, I only slightly edited the file I had designed on Freelancer of the screw-cutting plate (I 'designed' the other simple signs).
The actual printing of the plate I got done through an online sign printing business.
 
While the saddle and apron etc. were in the garage, I moved my focus onto the main casting of the lathe.

It was dirty grinder work.

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The amount of dust from the filler was unreal - I hate the stuff.
I decided that no filler will be used, the lathe is getting painted with the casting 'errors'. It does not need to be silky smooth.

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With the weather being unpredictable, I decided to buy a paint tent (which will also double up as party/BBQ tent).

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It was pretty windy so I screwed the legs in with 6 concrete bolts. I will need to fix that before the wife notices :whistle:

It was time to move the lathe.

I have an old-school trolley of some sort and a pump truck.

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In position but I had hours more cleaning to do at this stage.

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Masked up.

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Primer.

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I got back to cleaning a few more bits.

It appears that I didn't take too many photos of the cross slide/compound but here are a few.

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I thought I would try to clean and remove some marks from the metal so I took a light cut with a face mill on my mill. It worked okish but you could cleary see and feel the the transition between the two sides of the cut. I guess everything was not set up 100% and that surface grinder will work much better than a face mill in a milling machine.

A large fly cutter might work better than a face mill too.

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The toolpost was pretty rusty too (everything was rusty, maybe I should stop saying things were rusty).

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I took a couple of light cuts again with the face fill and it turned out pretty well.

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I do not have coolant hooked op to the mill so the plan was to just spray oil as I was going along, no chance! Hundreds of super hot chips flying everywhere.
The image below is a screenshot taken from a video and it does not do it justice. There were so many super hot chips!

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It cleaned up pretty well.

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Cleaning the toolpost up was a bit of a wasted effort as not long after I had the toolpost on the mill I managed to get a few T3 tool holders.

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The first order of business was to establish if they would actually fit my Elliott lathe.

I compared the Dickson toolpost and the original toolpost on the compound.

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As you can see, the quick change tool holder (on it's lowest setting) is sitting slightly higher than the original tool post which will probably put the tool above the centre height.

The solution I think, is to simply extend the adjuster threaded stud by replacing it with one that is a little longer. That should allow the tool holder to go down a little bit further.

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The next problem was to get the Dickson toolpost mounted on the compound.

Here are the original and Dickson for comparison.

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Simple enough to make an adapter (even for me) on the mighty Warco!
I decided to make one out of aluminium just to get the dimensions correct with the plan to make something out of steel at a later stage.
While trying to part the little adapter off, the whole workpiece came out of the chuck and it got banged up a little, doh! Nevermind, it still works.

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The original toolpost securing bolt/handle was a little bit too short for the Dickson toolpost and it would have fouled the toolpost securing nut.

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I did a have bit of steel so decided to make a new bolt/handle.

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At this stage, things were still going well!

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As I could not check if the thread would fit the compound I just used a cheap chinese bolt checker string. Similar to this:

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The bolt screwed in perfectly so I took it out of the lathe. However, the bolt did NOT fit in the compound's thread. Sigh.

So, I put the handle/bolt back into the lathe and tried to 'pick the thread up' with limited success. Things were not 100% aligned and I was slightly off which resulted in a weird-looking thread.

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Oh well, another lesson learned. Luckily the weird-looking thread seems to work just fine.

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I could always try to make another if it gives me trouble in the future.

I then stuck the bolt back in the lathe to cut a taper and finally added a handle and a ball knob.

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I should have said in an ideal world you need the toolpost handle to tighten up facing away from the ways at an angle of about 45 degrees. Sort of in line with the right hand edge of the saddle. well out of the way of the work.

Regards Tyrone
 
I moved my attention back to the qcgb.

The old gaskets were a bit tired.

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I made some new ones.

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Finally, I refitted the qcgb to the lathe, filled it up with oil and replaced the (still to be refurbished handles and dials) back on. They do have new ball knobs.

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The feedbox was pretty dirty, and a previous owner had at some point injected grease into the oil points/nipples.

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I drained all the oil, got some degreaser in there and then 'finished it off' with a can of 3-IN-ONE Multi Purpose Oil Spray to get the inside as clean as I could without having to strip everything out.

I found this at the bottom of the casing.

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Thus far, I have not been able to establish where it came from/where it should be. All the other little screws inside the feedbox are grub screws so I really don't have a clue about the little screw.

Mostly done with the paint stripping.

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I assembled the 'paint room' again.
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I slowly started hanging some parts while still giving other parts a final clean.

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Just as I thought I was done with the cleaning and paint stripping, I found two other sneaky parts in the garage.

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It was the foot brake and the brake bracket.
 








 
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