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How to determine the condition of bearings in a 10ee, and other questions

Here's a little video where you can hear the spindle noise. You can also hear a high pitched background noise in the video which comes from the DC motor and gear reduction box. 4 layers of sound (RPC, MG, DC motor and reduction box, mystery spindle noise).

I tried stethoscopically isolating the noise location with a screwdriver. It seems like it might be coming from the back, but really, the whole thing hums so much I can't really tell. I've started pulling gear off of the spindle - the belts, drive pulley, and spindle lock ring are all off. Boy what a difference careful heating makes! A little increase in temperature for the pulley and the lock ring, and those parts just slide off lickity-split. Without heat, they are fixed solid. I can't imagine dragging those off the end of the spindle with a puller, and what it would do, as tight as they are. Don't worry-I'm a professional (stand back) ;) ! Just kidding. I carefully checked the spindle tube with my hand to make sure I wasn't exceeding hand holdable temperature on that part. There may be better ways, but that worked quite well for me.
Sounds like gear noise to me... Gears not meshing properly, although the only gear that is in mesh with another in high range is the tacho... However on my 10EE the change gears will move even when not engaged.. It is just drag on the shafts... Change gears can be notorious for being noisy, although it is a long shot...

Also your forward/reverse lever is wired backwards..
Sounds like gear noise to me... Gears not meshing properly, although the only gear that is in mesh with another in high range is the tacho... However on my 10EE the change gears will move even when not engaged.. It is just drag on the shafts... Change gears can be notorious for being noisy, although it is a long shot...

Also your forward/reverse lever is wired backwards..

I can understand where you might think it is gear noise - I had that thought initially myself, and poked around to try to determine if that was the case. However, when the gear train belt is removed, the sound is still there. I've run the machine with the headstock cover off, and can tell it's not coming from the tacho gear as well. Also, that wouldn't really account for the level of vibration - it is picked up in the spindle such that it affects the surface finish (see photos). It's hard to tell in the video, but that spindle noise is L O U D, and there is a harmonic howl aspect to it. BUT I also don't know enough about bearings to know if they make that type of sound, but it makes sense to me that it might. I can also feel some feedback just turning the spindle, so I believe that multiple pieces of evidence points to some type of bearing issue. That said, I'm glad for the feedback and thoughts about it - it helps me establish in my mind why this makes sense. Of course, my rationalization and reality may very well be two different things!

Interesting about the spindle lever interpretation - to me, it has always made sense that moving it the the right is forward, and to the left is reverse. I wonder if when you are in the opposite hemisphere, all of that seems opposite? Which way do clocks go down/up there? ;) I'm sure you are tired of those types of jokes - sorry if that's the case.
Hmm - UNLESS there's some other gears that are meshed that would move when the spindle is going that I'm not thinking about, and when the belt is not attached. I'll have to go back and look at that. Now I'm second guessing this a bit - I better confirm that it is true that it's only the tacho gear that is engaged at this point.
One...that sounds like bearings!

Two..I wired my headstock lever so that when I am rotating ccwise (the most normal for me), the lever is not in a potentially dangerous position.

Lee (the saw guy)

Thanks Lee - #2 makes good sense. I've never had a problem, so I'll assume it's safe! Also, I think after years of running it with the lever going that direction, I think I'd be likely to ruin a lot of turning tools from having it wired the other way.

Good to have some confirmation on #1. I pulled the oil slinger back (I had to stone the woodruff key slots to get it to slide by), and was confused as to why the bearings were brown for a second. "That's funny, I thought most bearings were chrome colored..." went through my head for a moment. They are GROSS. Also the bearing cage is really loose on the bearings. I compared with the cages from the bearings I pulled from the gear reduction box, and while they allow some movement, the rear spindle bearing cage just flops around. I think it's safe to say the rear bearings are shot. I'll be poking around, working on carefully removing the spindle now. I will be referencing Cal Haines sequence from the link above.
You're not in thread mode, correct, per the knob under the tacho? If not, sounds like bearings. Did this machine ever get wet, as in water in the bearings?
rklopp - that's correct - not in threading mode.


Well, pulling the spindle turns out to be pretty simple. In my case, there is no setscrews for the fiber gear on the spindle for the tachometer, and the bore is big enough that the whole thing slides out without having to be removed. The spacer setscrew at the back of the headstock on mine was a single screw, with an extension that was just unthreaded. I believe this bears on a keyway like feature on the collar, so there is pretty much one position that the collar should sit - at least that's how I interpreted it. The shift fork holds the clutch in place as well, so nothing dropped. I actually was able to remove the rear bearing before the front bearings were out, as when I "pumped" the spindle back and forth a few times to try and carefully find the path of least resistance out, the rear bearing started sliding out enough that I could grab it with my fingers and pull it out. Might be useful to someone just wanting to replace those, without fully pulling the spindle. I put it back in part way to support the rear of the spindle in case I needed to take an emergency break (which was not needed).


It's a bit of a "whoa" moment when the spindle slides out.


I'm aware that it is a bit dangerous to have the spindle bearings potentially exposed to dust, grit, etc at this point. I pre cleaned the table, to make sure there was no errant grinding dust in the immediate area of the table. However, the point is a bit moot, as the inside of the oil chamber for the front bearing was pretty black. The front spindle bearings are definitely not in perfect condition at this point. There is some notchiness to them, when spun on the spindle slowly. I marked their relative positions, but I have not taken anything further apart at this point. I am wondering if there is a way to clean up the bearings to rehabilitate them in some way. Maybe not make the fronts perfect, but make them decent. If not, more expensive options will have to be investigated.



The rear is a 5210, double row. When spun outside of the machine, they have some definite notchiness, depending on how they are held. Not as bad as I thought though, based on how they looked.

My feeling is that at some point in their life, the bearings weren't properly lubed/cared for, and then the junk settled into the bottom of the reservoirs. Since I've owned it, I've kept them topped off with fluid to the fill line, and replaced fluid 2x (once when purchased, once when pulled apart for the new bed/saddle and paint). I run the machine in spurts, sometimes 10-15 hours a week for a month or two, then it'll go without much activity for a few months (maybe a 0-2 hours a week). Anyhow, I'm guessing that the machine was neglected, then left to die before I purchased it.

If anyone wants a picture of some particular thing while I have it apart, let me know. If any of the old hands that know a lot about this stuff have suggestions for bearing flushing, preload adjustment, etc. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Nice pictures!

I'm curious about the oil recirculation passages for the front bearings. There should be a hole leading from the port at 6 O'clock, on the front face of the headstock casting (front bearing retainer mounting surface), running diagonally up into the reservoir. (Make sure that it and the matching passage in the front bearing retainer is clear as well.) There should be another passage leading from the reservoir to a vertical hole drilled behind the back of the front bearing pair, where the rear slinger sits. I don't see the rear passage in your second photo:
You can see the passages on square-dial drawing 202.268. However, that drawing is for the single reservoir headstock, so maybe you don't have both passages? (AFIK, no one has a copy of the headstock drawing for the square-dial 3-sight-glass headstock like yours.)

The threading gears in the headstock run in plain (solid sleeve) bearings (EE-2888), coaxial with the spindle. While the spindle is out, you might want to check them and make sure that you don't have any issues there as well. They are held in place by collars with dog-point setscrews. Remove the collars and the clutch and you should be able to slide them out. (IIRC, vettebob had to make new bearings (EE-2888) for his machine.) You should also check the oil passages that lead into the tops of the sleeve bearing while you're in there; shoot some WD-40 or brake parts cleaner in the top and make sure the passages aren't blocked.

Moving the headstock switch to the left for forward is the standard/factory configuration. I think of it as leaning in the direction the spindle rotates: move it CCW, the spindle rotates CCW; move it CW, the spindle rotates CW. It also leans the same way that the carriage moves when threading right-hand, normal feed, etc. But if you like it as is, don't worry about it...

For future reference, what's the serial number and build date of your machine?

Hi Cal,

I'll take more pictures and post them later today, noting what you've mentioned. Thanks for the suggestions for other things to check as well - I appreciate that. Your notes I referenced were very helpful in a smooth and quick removal of the spindle. I'm at the office today, so I'll try to put up the serial number later today or tomorrow.

Do you have any advice for the bearings? I've contemplated at least replacing the non-flanged front bearing, and maybe that one too if I can't clean it up. I feel as though I'll need to release the preload on the assembly and try to clean up the bearings somewhat before putting things back together. I know I'm dancing on fire here, but when it needs to be fixed, what can you do?

I am wondering if there is a way to clean up the bearings to rehabilitate them in some way.

Yes... You buy new ones ;)

$510 delivered from me.. ABEC5

$1000 General bearings ABEC7

~$3000 Monarch themselves.

The rear is a 5210, double row.

The rear has no modern replacement in so much it was a special made for Monarch with built in preload...

Best you can do is just replace it with one from a reputable manufacturer...

The generic replacement number is 3210... New Departure called a 3210 bearing 5210....
$510 for the pair of fronts? Hmm - I would definitely consider that. Give me a day or two to determine if the ones I have seem to be clean-up-able. If not, then I have a very serious inclination to buy them from you. Thanks for the offer! If you can't give me that amount of time, let me know - I don't want to lose the opportunity, as I'm really wanting to make this effort worth it!

I was able to find a New Departure 5210-W. I saw the note about equivalent 3210s. I figured a ND 5210-W would be a 5210 in the original sense, but perhaps not?
Do you have any advice for the bearings? ...
Hi Peter,

I haven't had to go through the bearings of my 10EE, so I'll defer to others with more knowledge. However, my inclination would be to replace the rear bearing and see if that fixes your problem before replacing the front bearings.

Snapped a few photos (haven't loaded them yet), and took a quick crack at loosening the preload nut on the front spindle bearings before dinner. Man, that sucker is TIGHT! I wasn't expecting it to be so tight - doesn't seem like it should be like that. It looks like someone has done something with it in the past, as there is a bit of a deformation at one of the notches for the wrench (like some one tightened it with a screwdriver and a mallet). I'm using an adjustable lockring wrench on the nut, and a rubber wrench on the spindle, and it's putting up a little fight.

Upon thinking about it, the nut probably doesn't adjust the preload does it? It' just snugs the bearings up to the spacers.
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Well, I can't crack it loose tonight - it won't budge, and I want to get a better wrench - mine is too small to be as effective as I want it to be.

The front pair really don't feel that bad when spun fast, but when spun slowly, I can really feel some spots that stick pretty good. My gut feeling is that even if I could clean them, they might be pretty rough. I am wondering what happens at higher rpms with that junk in there - if the balls just start rattling around hard amongst the debris. I'm also wondering even if I can get the nut off of there, will the bearings come willingly, or does it take some effort to remove them? Maybe RC99 will chime in, or someone else with some experience (I could try PM'ing Macona maybe?).

Anyhow, I took a few more photos of the headstock area, in case anyone needed to reference them at a later time:

Willamette River has been a little high lately (must be that new law that was passed) - I had to pedal home this evening through 8" of water in a couple spots.

"...There's your problem..."

Tachometer area (operator's side of headstock casting)

Front spindle bearing area

Just behind front spindle bearing area, looking down. The front weep hole (exits front of headstock) ends right into this space. It surprised me a bit - I thought it would end up somewhere else, for some reason.
More pictures:



Looks like that rear bearing seized up at one point.

Matching seize marks on bearing. Does that seem plausible? The bearing actually fits pretty well on there, seems like.
Welding rod showing trajectory of weep hole, which goes underneath the front bearing cavity, and into the next headstock space (see picture in previous post).

The caterpillar king.jpg
The guy you fellows are helping. That's right, I can hypnotize caterpillars.
Hey Bill,

It is an interesting river, I'll give it that! I've seen videos from the 50's showing the pollution in that river - I'd have been nonplussed to have to cross it in some fashion that got me wet (much different now). I grew up on the Columbia, so it used to seem like just a little river. Now that I've been here awhile, it impresses me when it gets nice and wide.

After seeing your note, I thought I'd go take some measurements. It looks like there's about .0001- .0002" difference between the spindle race area, and the adjacent area (smaller). I believe the values were around 1.9684 (lowest, towards very back) to about 1.9686". Most common measurement was 1.9685" (49.999 mm). I believe the area adjacent to the bearing area read about 1.9687" as measured with a BS mic with ratchet thimble. That appears to be one side, then the other, of 50mm. Yesterday, I ordered a ND 5210-W bearing. I know those are 50mm bearings, but I don't know what the actual bearing ID will be. Hopefully it'll be running small! What do you think - am I in range of workable?
Oh and Cal - I couldn't find ANY external hole from the main headstock casting front bearing cavity to the outside, save the sight glass window.


Date: 6/17/54

Sold to: General Electric

With the "only a mother could love" special paint job of Pittsburgh Green and Pittspurgh Floral Beige. Blech!