Setting up and fixing the Fadal

Not sure where that month went. Got a lot done though. This post is a bit of a stream of events because I wrote the 1st half a couple weeks ago.

Since the machine was dropped off I’ve installed a Mistaway unit and a NexJen oil skimmer. I’m working on finishing up the air compressor installation, but a new 1/2″ line has been run around the garage for it, and the air dryer is just waiting for it to be hooked up.

The outside of the machine and even most of the drain pan/enclosure had been kept fairly clean, and was delivered without too many chips (but with a substantial coat of what appears to be way oil, unless they were running an oil based coolant).

So far, it looks like there is a lot on this machine that’s in good condition:
1. Everything (electrical) runs.
2. Spindle runout looks good (need to run a tenths indicator on it now), and spindle feels well lubricated and smooth.
3. Oil lines are intact and working.
4. -5A controller.
5. Rigid tapping.
6. Y and Z ways are clean (except for back few inches of Y ways, which have rust).

The Y-axis ways look good, even if chips were packed absolutely everywhere. I can’t imagine how long this went without cleaning: the chips were packed in between the ways by the bottom of the saddle to the point no more would fit.

I’ve gone through the machine as much as I can without air or taking off structural components, taking a look at backlash and spindle runout. The bad:

1. Way covers are beat up and rusty, nothing that can’t be fixed as far as I can tell though.
2. The table is out 0.0065 over the X, 0.003 over the Y. Everything slopes down from the back right corner, front left corner is lowest.
3. The ends of the X-axis ways look bad. They seem to be functional, and the Turcite on the X-axis is in good condition.
4. Backlash settings on the machine were X 8, 10, 14; Y 18, 20, 20; Z 20. I haven’t confirmed these across the range yet, but my initial numbers at the center of X and Y were 0.002 and 0.0035″ respectively. The X sounds like it has a bad bearing (but maybe that’s cast iron dragging where Turcite is gone?). I’m gonna go through and start checking couplings and stuff, then replace bearings if that doesn’t help.

I wonder if the oil lines were plugged for a while or something. They’re working great at the moment.

Time to check under the table and see what the Turcite is like there. Some photos show the original attempt to pick up the table, but I ended up just tilting it up. It’s not the least safe thing I’ve ever done, but certainly not the recommended method.

Turcite was in great condition on the table itself, I even poked at the strips with a scraper and didn’t get anything off, so I’m confident they’re still in good condition. The gibs and straps were anything but though, the Turcite fell right off them. New Turcite and Waylock is in the mail to replace those.

The other thing that needs dealt with is the backlash, so I pulled the X and Y ballscrews so far, and ordered replacements for all three axes (gonna get X and Y back in before pulling Z). The bearings and seals were full of some serious gunk, and the coolant line evidently had run long enough that it rusted out the screw where the seals were. I cleaned it up a bit, but the corrosion is pretty deep. Not a critical surface, so it probably doesn’t matter long term.

The Y-axis is fun to get out…especially how I’ve got it up against a wall (just enough space, thankfully).

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Got some nice iron dust out when I used the press to push the seals out of the bearing housing. Also found out the main power cabinet filter was totally clogged while pulling out the Y axis, so I cleaned that up.

I also picked up some new tools: a 7×12 bandsaw and a Makita cordless impact wrench (critical for getting the bearing retaining nut off the ballscrews — didn’t take any pictures of it). Played with the bandsaw yet cutting some wood, but it hasn’t made any metal chips yet, and I need to mix some coolant for it.

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And replaced all the Y and Z way wipers.