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Boxford aud


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Swarfy15/07/2020 19:18:40
25 forum posts


haven’t logged on lately as I’ve been busy with woodworking projects .i bought my boxford aud a few months back but haven’t really used it much till lately now I’m using it a couple of things I think are needing attention the first one being noise ,when the lever that engages forward or reverse traverse is engaged it is very noisy when in neutral it’s fine but going towards the chuck the traverse is noisy even with no movement taking place ? The other thing that’s worrying me is when turning or drilling quite heavy it looks to me like the chuck or headstock is getting pushed back only very slightly but when you back of it seems to spring back only very slightly but definetley movement I tried a bar under the chuck and there doesn’t seem to be any play up or down am I being petty ? Tia

Brian H15/07/2020 20:06:07
2230 forum posts
113 photos

Hello Swarfy, do you know if the bearings in the headstock are the 'sealed for life' type or are there a pair of screw-down grease cups on the headstock?

My AUD was very noisy and turned out to be a worn bearing in the underdrive unit. Replacements were very cheap and easy to fit.


Bazyle15/07/2020 20:46:48
6042 forum posts
220 photos

Check the nut that holds the headstock down at the front. It is very difficult to get a spanner on (I made a special one) and if the previous owner took it apart they might not have tightened it up properly.

William Chitham16/07/2020 09:44:45
125 forum posts
52 photos

Mine is pretty noisy too with the feed engaged, I reckon lot of it comes from the idler gear. The bearing is quite worn and it rattles and clanks when engaged. I'm considering how to fix the wear, maybe a bush (oilite?) or even ball or roller bearings. I have made a couple of new gears out of Delrin and it definitely runs quieter with those fitted. Thick grease can help, eg chain oil.


Dave Halford16/07/2020 09:55:31
1758 forum posts
19 photos


Your noise is either the gears in the end cover or the gearbox given that running in neutral is OK. The Mk1 eardrum is quite good at discerning which is the culprit. Re reading your post, are you saying that powering away from the chuck is OK? if so it's one of the two the tumble gears.

If you bought it with fresh paint and very clean it's likely been apart and not properly reassembled as Bazyle suggests.

Swarfy16/07/2020 11:11:52
25 forum posts

Morning all

Have stripped it down to just needing to remove the spindle I can feel slight

Movement if I grab each end of the end of the spindle and there is slight side to side

On the disc where the belt runs on the shaft, the whole thing moves probably 10though ish I took the two gears off the selector shaft (with the nuts behind) 9 on the eccentric pins both were loose is that correct sorry to seem dumb but I've never had a Boxford before! Give me a cnc sliding head anyday, sorry if I'm not explaining it very well


Brian H16/07/2020 11:33:58
2230 forum posts
113 photos

Swarfy, a good site for info is;


Down the left side of the page you will find Files etc. Lots of good info on there.

Please keep us up to date with progress.


Bazyle16/07/2020 12:30:05
6042 forum posts
220 photos

"On the disc where the belt runs on the shaft" if you mean the main pulley in the middle of the spindle then that is often a poor fit (worn) because people don't lubricate it when using back gear.

On this well known site there is a link to a diagram of the gearbox which may help.

Swarfy16/07/2020 12:46:41
25 forum posts

Managed to get the spindle out not sure how you tell if roller bearings are knackered but they both look very good I tried to get a spanner on the headstock hold down bolt but couldn't now the shaft is out I notice the plate is loose why it didn't show before is beyond me any idea of the size and how on earth did you make a spanner? Cheers for all the advice, where are the bearings in the tumbler gear as mentioned for checking

Lee Rogers16/07/2020 13:30:55
147 forum posts

I'm not farmilliar with the Boxford but before you start palying with main bearings have a look at the end float. Too often misdiagnosed as a main bearing problem.

Bazyle16/07/2020 17:30:05
6042 forum posts
220 photos

It is the same size nut as the rear hold down which is easy to get to and the tailstock one aswell. But most spanners are cranked over at 30 degrees. So I filed a bit of plate to a heaxagon hole with no offset. It is also quite short so with it and the regular spanner I can do small increments. Slow but you only do it once every 25 years. Another option would be a new 'nut' with a dozen tommy bar holes around it.

Resetting the bearings. There is no enfloat on a lathe! There should be preload which the Boxford/Southbend book "Know your Lathe" I think tells you about. I think it involves a piece of string around the chuck (5in) and a fisherman's sprng balance to measure the torque to rotate.

Edited By Bazyle on 16/07/2020 17:31:59

Swarfy17/07/2020 08:47:15
25 forum posts

Well thanks everyone for all the help and advice and thanks very much bazyle for the info on the hold down bolts both of which weren’t done up anywhere near tight the front one was actually floppy .i still have the increase in noise when feeding towards the chuck not as noisy feeding away and not a thing in neutral the tumble gears bazyle mentions if I’m looking at the right gears don’t seem to have bearings just fitted to an eccentric shaft ? Tia

Howard Lewis18/07/2020 05:50:40
5348 forum posts
13 photos

If the gears are on eccentric shafts, it sounds as if the mesh can be adjusted.

Gears should not run without backlash, nor should they run with excess backlash.

A good way of setting the gears is to secure the shafts with a piece of card trapped in the mesh between the gears. Use something like 0.002 - 0.003" (0.050 - 0.075 mm) card or paper.

Correct meshing may reduce noise levels, and probably wear!


Speedy Builder518/07/2020 07:33:55
2416 forum posts
191 photos

I have had a Southbend and now the Boxford AUD, that headstock bolt is difficult to tighten, I wonder if a big Allen cap screw would be any better if you could find one, probably need a shortened Allen wrench, otherwise a 1/2" socket with the square end machined down and then welded onto a bit of 5mm x 10mm bar ?? - Use a 12 pointed socket, not the 6 pointed hex style.

Swarfy18/07/2020 08:18:27
25 forum posts

I managed to get on the bolt in the end and got about 3 turns on it so great I will also follow your advice with the meshing setting thanks again all

Clive Brown 118/07/2020 08:38:26
709 forum posts
33 photos

Here's my Boxford headstock bolt spanner.. The available angle to turn the bolt is very small. Not a clever design.p1020781.jpg

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