Older Moulder Spindle Alignment Problems

      Expert advice on finding the reasons for a moulder spindle going out of alignment with the table. December 9, 2010

I have an older Weinig 26 and the right side spindle seems to be tilted inwards. Any thoughts on why this would be? I have checked it with the straight edge. Iíve brought the head down and flipped the head over and checked it again (vertical) and receive the same results.

Forum Responses
(Solid Wood Machining Forum)
From contributor U:
First of all check the table. It may be worn toward the fixed fence side, giving the illusion that the right spindle is out of parallel to the fixed fence. Place a straight edge across the table and use a feeler gauge to measure, also check the fixed fences. I say this because you say the machine is older model, depending on how much it has been used depends on how much the table has been worn. I am sure others will have a lot more information that will help.

From the original questioner:
I put a two inch straight knife head on which leads me to believe what the problem is. I have the head as vertically high as it can go. I will set it so the straight edge just rubs, then I will crank the head all the way down and it hits real heavy. When I flip the head over backward for the test I get the same results.

From contributor U:
Check the pulley for wear. Also check that the axial collar on the spindle is not cracked or broken, and that it bottoms out on the casting of the slide evenly or parallel. If not loosen the collar on the shaft and make it bottom out evenly. Make sure the spindle is supported before you loosen the axial collar or the spindle could drop out of the casting causing injury. Check also the slide casting (where the spindle fits into) is not cracked or broken. You will have to get under the machine with a bright light to inspect. It's a long shot but check to make sure.

From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
On older machines such as this, it is likely that the entire table is out of parallel slightly.

This is easy to check:

1. Lock out machine.

2. Remove the chipbreaker on the left head and any side pressures that push against the wood at the right head.

3. This should expose the tables. The right table, which moves when you position the spindle, and the table that is used to wedge this table to the main frame should be level to each other. It is possible that the weight of the motor has pulled against the table and forced it out of this wedge.

4. Simply rub your finger between the right table and the wedge table and see if they are level. If not, the table will need to be reset.

Another possibility is that the housing that holds the spindle is worn. This would be the casting which is part of the table. I also have seen a couple of these casting that have been broken and created a range of problems.

From contributor E:
An easy way to check is to place a square on the table to the spindle. The spindle should be 90 degrees to the table. With the square in position check the gap with a feeler gauge not larger than .002". You can also check the fence the same way. This will tell you if there is a problem between the spindle and the slide. Feel free to call our diagnostics department at Weinig if you need additional help.

From Dave Rankin, forum technical advisor:
Contributor E is correct in the process to determine if the spindle and casting are proper to each other. I would still check to make sure that the table to table reference is correct.

From the original questioner:
Thank you for your responses. The tables are just fine. When I wipe them down at the end of the day I inspect everything. The casting you mentioned worries me some. I believe the test I performed (the straight edge lying flat on the table against the fence and lowering the head as stated above) clearly shows the spindle tilted in. I will investigate into the casting. Thanks you again for the tips.

From contributor E:
Another easy test for the casting would be to clamp the axial movement locking lever. Check the knife with a straight edge against the fence. Next unlock the axial clamp and check to see if the knife is hitting lighter or heavier. If so then you definitely have a problem between the fit of the spindle barrel and the spindle slide casting.

From the original questioner:
Contributor E, you are correct. The past year or so this is how I set the side head. I will dial in the radius and check it with the straight edge. If it does not yet rub, I find that locking and unlocking the clamp handle a few times brings the head in just enough to rub the straight edge. I will also have to re set this head after changing widths multiple times because it is hitting the straight edge way to heavy. What do you think this means? The casting may be worn? I think we may be onto something here.

From contributor E:
From what you are describing the hole through the casting is probably worn. One way to check would be to check between the spindle barrel and hole in the slide casting with a feeler gauge to see if there is a gap. If this is the case then the slide casting would need to be replaced. A temporary fix would be to put a load on the spindle by drilling and tapping for a set screw in the slide casting. It would be best to put a brass insert in prior to the set screw so as not to damage the spindle barrel.

From the original questioner:
If with the straight edge on the table just rubbing the knife, then pushing the spindle in with my hand and rotating to feel the rub, then doing the same by pulling it towards me, is there any change in how much it rubs the straight edge will tell me if the casting is worn?

From contributor E:
You would need to have the straight edge against the fence with the head/knife just touching the straight edge when rotated. If the clamp is tight when this is done, then loosen the clamp without making any other adjustment and check the straight edge to knife again. What we are trying to determine is if the spindle barrel to casting has play in it.

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