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Warco Minor Mill - Spindle Lock

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Mitch Lees20/02/2020 16:25:14
11 forum posts
3 photos

I wish to modify my Warco Minor mill by fitting a spindle lock. I am considering doing something with the spindle pulley block with a pin and spring arrangement, but this would mean rotating the spindle by hand until the pin engages - not a very elegant solution. I have searched the forums but can find no advice. As these mills have been around for a long time I was hoping someone may have had a go a this. Any advice gratefully received.

thanks Mitch

Russ B20/02/2020 16:57:13
564 forum posts
21 photos

Mitch, I'm not going to be of any use sorry. What's the spindle lock for?

Assuming it's for tightening or loosening the drawbar..... I bought one of these at work and use it daily, I only ever nip the drawbar and never get any movement when slotting 17mm or fly cutting 2 inch, I just hold the pulley and give the spanner a hit and it tightens/loosens. Just wondering if your taper and tooling is in good condition, sorry if this is unhelpful!

Russ B20/02/2020 16:57:13
564 forum posts
21 photos

Mitch, I'm not going to be of any use sorry. What's the spindle lock for?

 

Assuming it's for tightening or loosening the drawbar..... I bought one of these at work and use it daily, I only ever nip the drawbar and never get any movement when slotting 17mm or fly cutting 2 inch, I just hold the pulley and give the spanner a hit and it tightens/loosens. Just wondering if your taper and tooling is in good condition, sorry if this is unhelpful!

 

Edit, I see below people are tightening ER collets, fair enough! (I've not used my ER sets for donkeys years as I'm only doing basic stuff) I use an autolock chuck both at home and at work so I only ever hand tighten them, and inertia alone is enough to untighten them as has been mentioned. 

Edited By Russ B on 20/02/2020 17:20:06

Edited By Russ B on 20/02/2020 17:20:45

Balljoint20/02/2020 16:59:32
35 forum posts
12 photos

Hi Mitch

Below is the solution that I came up with for my Amadeal mill. Looking at pictures of your mill, I think a similar solution could be used.

The large collar is clamped to the fixed spindle, and the smaller collar has flats cut into it which locate on the spanner flats on the quill.

I have found it to be very easy to use, so much easier than finding the big spanner to stop the quill turning

Good luck

Colin

Collars.jpg assembled.jpg

Howard Lewis20/02/2020 17:07:01
2927 forum posts
2 photos

I have a Warco Economy.Mill (RF 25 )

Never bother with a spindle lock. Often the inertia of the drivetrain and motor is enough to tighten my ER collets. If it isn't, I use a home made spanner on the spindle flats, and the other on the ER collet spanner..

The RF25 did the milling to make the spanner!

Howard

Grizzly bear20/02/2020 19:18:39
216 forum posts
6 photos

My word Balljoint, that's a nice job.

John Baron20/02/2020 21:10:12
avatar
172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Guys,

FWIW I just put a piece of 8 mm aluminium bar in the wedge slot to stop the spindle rotating when tightening or loosening the ER32 collect nut.

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 11:02:48
11 forum posts
3 photos

Thanks Guys,

unfortunately the solutions proposed so far I think will not work on my mill - I wish I knew how to post a picture of the quill/spindle arrangement, but there is no flat on the spindle; there is a slot in the quill, but non in the spindle, and because of how the bottom end of the depth stop is attached to the quill, there is no place for the 2 ring method. My ER25/R8 collet holder does not have a flat either like some I have seen. Thanks anyway

mitch

ega21/02/2020 11:19:31
1512 forum posts
123 photos

I don't think the OP actually confirmed his reason wanting to lock the spindle - presumably, against rotation - but there could be other reasons for wanting to do this.

When tightening collets on my Warco Economy Mill (one step down from the Minor?) I just grasp the spanner in one hand and the flywheel on top of the spindle pulleys with the other (the flywheel is, of course, non-standard).

Graham Meek describes a refined solution in his Projects book.

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 11:41:47
11 forum posts
3 photos

60d42b3e-8b66-408e-9b64-6b9d272bec58.jpegThe reason for wanting the spindle lock is to be able the change tools in the ER25 collet holder while in the process of making a part. To open the pulley housing cover means raising the head so the lid can clear the column, and unfortunately with round column mills this upsets the setting for the part being machined. I have been struggling trying to get pics uploaded - here is a try but one is upside down, but hopefully you will get the idea.

John Baron21/02/2020 15:40:09
avatar
172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Mich,

If you look through that slot and rotate the spindle you should see another slot inside. Inside that will be the drawbar.

My machine is virtually identical.

Howard Lewis21/02/2020 16:11:28
2927 forum posts
2 photos

John Baron is spot on!

How else could you remove tanged tooling from the spindle?

Are you absolutely sure that there are no flats on the spindle?

My Warco Economy has two flats, and I cannot believe that Rung Fu would omit such a feature from their slightly larger machines.

Even if they have, which i doubt, aligning the slots in spindle and quill will allow the spindle to prevented from rotating for tooling / collet chuck etc to be clamped into or released from the machine.

Howard

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 16:28:41
11 forum posts
3 photos

John,

I also though there would be a corresponding slot in the spindle - the machine even comes with a wedge tool for knocking out a chuck. I have just gone out to the workshop again to check so I don’t make a fool of myself, but no matter how many times I rotate the spindle I cannot make another slot appear! Do you think this is because the taper is R8 and not a Morse taper - not sure that would make a difference though. The very rudimentary set of instructions I have are no help at all.

i think what I might do is use the depth stop attachment ring as one of Colin’s 2 ring solution and turn an aluminium ring for the spindle with holes for a pin. Unlike Colin’s lathe however there are no flats on the spindle to locate this ring. Grub screws bearing on the spindle may not hold very well(?), so I may have to split the ring, use lugs and a screw to tighten it. Not only would such a machining task be at the limits of my skill level, I wonder if protruding lugs and a screw might unbalance the spindle - any views please.

thanks for bearing with me

mitch

thank you

mitch

Howard Lewis21/02/2020 16:35:23
2927 forum posts
2 photos

If you make a fixed ring (split and the two halves clamped together ) can you drill a hole through the ring and into the spindle (Or is it HARD? ) ?

In this way, you just put a peg through the hole and into the drilling to lock the spindle. If you are worried about inadvertently leaving it in place, make the peg long and put a prominent ball / handle on the end.

Howard

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 16:45:52
11 forum posts
3 photos

Howard,

I had just assumed the spindle would be hardened, and that drilling directly into it would mean taking the spindle off. Moreover, I am quite nervous about drilling holes in the most important part of the mill. As you can probably tell I do not have a that much experience, and maybe this modification is a ‘bit too advanced’ for me.

very grateful for your help

Mitch

John Baron21/02/2020 17:04:39
avatar
172 forum posts
69 photos

Hi Mich,

Mine is an MT3 spindle, so you may be right about the R8 spindle !

But I do agree that it would not be an easy task to fit a proper spindle lock, even on mine.

My ER collet chuck does have a pair of flats just above the nut, but being lazy its easier to put a peg into that slot. It also gives me both hands to tighten the collet nut.

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 17:35:21
11 forum posts
3 photos

John,

Maybe the simplest answer is for me to buy a new ER25 chuck - one with flats.

thanks again

mitch

not done it yet21/02/2020 17:43:38
4170 forum posts
15 photos

Even cheaper than buying a new ER chuck with flats would be to machine a couple on the existing one?

Mitch Lees21/02/2020 17:57:10
11 forum posts
3 photos

You are quite right, that is what I will do.

mitch

Bazyle21/02/2020 18:27:37
avatar
5013 forum posts
198 photos

By the way I think it is a Warco Major. The style of the base of the column is different from my monor and I doubt the little minor would have had an R8 option.

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