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IndustryArena Forum > MetalWorking Machines > Tormach Personal CNC Mill > How to access oil distributor under X axis?
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  1. #1
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    How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Hello,

    Seem to have a way oil leak among the conglomeration of X-Y axis ports. Getting practically nothing up on Z and the "stroke" finishes in just a few seconds with a squishy sound down near the right-hand side of the machine base.

    If I move the table all the way to the left, I can see the distributor in there.. but how do I access it? Remove the table? Lift the machine? I'm at a loss, anyone done this before?

    Thanks!
    --Bryan

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bryan Turner View Post
    anyone done this before?
    Yep, been there!
    The image shows how it all looks after removing the table.
    I removed the gib and pulled off the motor and the X-Axis motor base. The table then slides off to the left (I hope I didn't miss anything). I mounted a plank of wood onto the top surface of the table just to protect it in case I did something stupid.
    BEWARE the table is HEAVY. Just out of interest I sat it on my bathroom scales and with the plank of wood it came in at 72kg.
    Think about what you're going to do with it in advance
    The good news is that the table slide can stay on - that's a real pain to remove.
    By the way, the strange looking thing packed in paper is obviously the ballscrew.
    I have to rush off now but let me know if you need more info.
    Good luck
    Step

  3. #3
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    Excellent, thanks for the info! I thought it might require removing the table, was hoping there a bolt that would allow the distributor to pull out for service.

    I assume yours is an 1100? The distributor looks different than my 770 Series 3. Dismantling instructions sound about right though, I'll check the manual.

    What is the "table slide"? I thought the table just slid on dovetails?

  4. #4
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    Wink

    Bryan, sorry I just assumed you must have a 1100 - for no apparent reason
    The photo is from a 1100 series II.
    I tried to avoid confusion by using the part names from the manual because I'm not familiar with all the right terms. The part that I was trying to identify is the block between the Y dovetails and the table. Basically the part you see in the photograph. It was just an irrelevant comment from my part, sometimes less is more!
    Step

  5. #5
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    Easy!

    Don't remove the table though!

    I also recently had issues with my lube system and had to access the lube manifolds under the table. After agonizing over it for a couple days I just jumped in with reckless abandon and was surprised at how easy and fast it was.

    First you should look at the Tormach manual, section 9.5.6 Adjusting Ballscrew Preload
    The link to the manual is below if you forgot where yours is:

    Direct Document and Software Download | Tormach LLC providers of personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items.

    And the exploded view document:

    Direct Document and Software Download | Tormach LLC providers of personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items.


    1. pull off the motor
    2. remove the bearing adjustment nut and lock nut (hooked spanner wrenches work best for this)
    3. remove the X axis motor base

    Done!

    now the table will slide easily by hand far enough to give you plenty of access to both sides without having to remove the table (which sounds scary to me)

    probably the hardest part is adjusting the ballscrew preload on reassembly which is also easy or maybe I just got lucky.

    Mark...

  6. #6
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    Oops, also assumed you had a 1100

    the link for all the Tomach manuals and exploded views just in case:
    Tormach Product Manuals | Tormach LLC providers of personal small CNC machines, CNC tooling, and many more CNC items.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpruTormaCam View Post
    Don't remove the table though!
    Sounds like a good idea... but I'm not sure I'd have done it that way. The 770 table is probably quite a bit lighter than that of the 1100 but so much weight sticking even further out, being supported by only half the width of the slide? That's quite a long cantilever.... hmm. I'm usually much, much, much too cautious with such things but I wouldn't want to risk damaging the way coatings.
    Step

  8. #8
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    Hello!

    Thought I'd update this thread on the results.

    After studying the pics above and the exploded view, I decided there's an easier route. No spanner wrenches or removing gibs, etc:
    - Power up the machine
    - Drive the table all the way to the RIGHT
    - Unbolt the stepper box from the table
    - Drive the stepper a few inches to the LEFT to disengage it from the table
    - Slide the table all the way to the RIGHT (or as I did, just far enough to rest on some support blocks)

    I did not see any leaks in the main manifold, so I'm a bit stumped.
    - Removed, then plugged the T-manifold that feeds the XY table.
    - Pumped oil up to the Z manifold and confirmed that oil does get up there.
    - Cleaned out the table and tray, then force-pumped oil into the XY table (pressed the plunger in forcefully)
    - Oil appeared heavily from the right Y-axis way, and the Y-axis ballscrew.

    Not sure how to get down there.. probably have to slide the whole Y-axis bed off? Ugh...

    To be fair, there may not be any issue, just want to make sure it's all tight down there.
    --Bryan

    1) Removed tool tray and unbolted driver box:
    Attachment 204942

    2) Under power, drove table to the left, separating driver box from table:
    Attachment 204944

    3) Manually slide table to the right, supported by blocking:
    Attachment 204948

    4) Access to oil manifold:
    Attachment 204950

  9. #9
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    I like the way you just unbolted the stepper box. Sure makes things simpler. Unfortunately on the 1100 there are two manifolds, one on each side so this method would just expose one of them.

    As far a exposing the stuff for the Y axis, I found removing both bellows gave me all the access needed to check stuff out.

    By the way, I had several of the orifice nozzles that were stuck. I took all of them out, tested each on the bench, rebuilt about half, and replaced four. With this type of lube system there can be several nozzles clogged and you would never know it unless they are checked periodically. My mill is three years old.

    Mark...

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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Well, one of my 1100 S2 lines just blew out and can see all of the way oil pumped at the base of the stand. Make total sense why my coolant has always had a tint to it, not to mention would go bad very fast ! Now I gotta find which line either fell out or broke. What a pain in the ass to get at this thing, think my problem is under the mill unfortunately.... How I figured this out was giving it a normal draw & let go, it plunged in under 2 secs. Whereas before like 8-12 secs.



    Anyone have a picture of the bottom of the machine looking up into it ?

  11. #11
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    On most machines, you have to remove the table, or at least disconnect the ballscrew so you can slide the table far enough over to reach the manifolds.

    Regards,
    Ray L.

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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    If you do need to remove things - this might help. Keen

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EchELgqGz-c

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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Quote Originally Posted by SpruTormaCam View Post
    I like the way you just unbolted the stepper box. Sure makes things simpler. Unfortunately on the 1100 there are two manifolds, one on each side so this method would just expose one of them.

    As far a exposing the stuff for the Y axis, I found removing both bellows gave me all the access needed to check stuff out.

    By the way, I had several of the orifice nozzles that were stuck. I took all of them out, tested each on the bench, rebuilt about half, and replaced four. With this type of lube system there can be several nozzles clogged and you would never know it unless they are checked periodically. My mill is three years old.

    Mark...
    I agree with that - I have had a couple of these machines apart and can imagine that quite a lot of Tormach machines will have oil outlets that are either blocked, leaking, or flowing unevenly and will not be lubricating at all points.

    It is a good plan to additionally apply lube from time to time directly on to the slides and ballscrews so you know they are at least getting that oil . Keen

  14. #14
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Thx for the response guys !

    It's now almost noon and I've been up all night ! Job is not done until the job is done ! Team no sleep

    I removed just about everything but the ballscrew, motor housing, etc.. I'm still in the middle of a few jobs and really can't have her down at the moment. Here's what I did, so far looks like everything is back to normal. After removing 22lbs of Ti chips, I finally was able to get under the table and pull the plunger & watch for the oil waterfall. Found that when I plunged it immediately dumped the whole shot out in less than 2 secs. Under the table with a LED & mirror looking at the left side - X, I saw the oil waterfall pouring out, but on the right +X very very small amount (Ok now we're cooking). Next I wiped, pumped again, jogged and dry checked each dovetail to see which is dry/wet. My +Y was bone dry, everything else was lubed up ! So something was wrong with the Y gib and oil line. Before I went digging the Y line out, I pulled the line outer bending spring back just a tiny bit and noticed the line was still full ( check ! ). That now only leaves me thinking that the gib port(s) are blocked. Well whaddya know !

    - I removed both Y bellows
    - Removed both Y gib screws
    - Removed the Y gib
    - Finely sanded the gib and deburred the rough edges that were leftover from the factory (WTH !!!) My machine has zero rust and inside the gib were tiny rusty fragments in the port hole ! After I cleaned the gib up I installed it back into the Y and hit the plunger... Back to the 9-12 secs and could feel the oil everywhere. Now it's got me wanting to check all of the my gibs ! Well I hope that helps someone, what a real pain !

  15. #15
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Quote Originally Posted by twocik View Post
    Thx for the response guys !

    It's now almost noon and I've been up all night ! Job is not done until the job is done ! Team no sleep

    I removed just about everything but the ballscrew, motor housing, etc.. I'm still in the middle of a few jobs and really can't have her down at the moment. Here's what I did, so far looks like everything is back to normal. After removing 22lbs of Ti chips, I finally was able to get under the table and pull the plunger & watch for the oil waterfall. Found that when I plunged it immediately dumped the whole shot out in less than 2 secs. Under the table with a LED & mirror looking at the left side - X, I saw the oil waterfall pouring out, but on the right +X very very small amount (Ok now we're cooking). Next I wiped, pumped again, jogged and dry checked each dovetail to see which is dry/wet. My +Y was bone dry, everything else was lubed up ! So something was wrong with the Y gib and oil line. Before I went digging the Y line out, I pulled the line outer bending spring back just a tiny bit and noticed the line was still full ( check ! ). That now only leaves me thinking that the gib port(s) are blocked. Well whaddya know !

    - I removed both Y bellows
    - Removed both Y gib screws
    - Removed the Y gib
    - Finely sanded the gib and deburred the rough edges that were leftover from the factory (WTH !!!) My machine has zero rust and inside the gib were tiny rusty fragments in the port hole ! After I cleaned the gib up I installed it back into the Y and hit the plunger... Back to the 9-12 secs and could feel the oil everywhere. Now it's got me wanting to check all of the my gibs ! Well I hope that helps someone, what a real pain !
    Hi - My Z gib was blocked too. Keen

  16. #16
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Great video on the table removal Keen - thanks for taking the time to make, document, and post your videos. They are quite useful and instructive.

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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Great videos and photos you guys! The lube system is not the strongest asset of these machines. Thankfully the anti-friction coatings appear to be rock solid and hold up well over the years. Both my 1100(S2) and 770 gave me troubles over the years in regards to point to point lubrication reliability. The Z lines needed check valves badly.

    Occasionally (once a quarter) I will blend a shot of synthetic automatic transmission fluid into the way lube system from time to time and it has definitely helped to keep all the little orifices from sticking and plugging up. The ATF has a good amount of dispersants and it's Red color allows me to quickly and easily check if it is making it's way where it needs to be from time to time. Some people will cringe at the thought of throwing "thin ATF" into a machine like this, but when Tormach stated that Mobil 1 5W30 or 10w30 motor oil would probably work well for the lube system I realized that the tribology aspects of the design were not that detailed for this mill. Throwing a shot of extremely high quality synthetic ATF (approximately equivalent to a 5W30 from a viscosity perspective) couldn't hurt it from time to time. Indeed it has helped reduce my maintenance frequency.

  18. #18
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelHenry View Post
    Great video on the table removal Keen - thanks for taking the time to make, document, and post your videos. They are quite useful and instructive.
    Thanks - I have found the act of making a video is a positive for me also - it forces me to think the subject through more deeply and logically than I would otherwise bother, and this helps me to understand and remember it all better.. Keen

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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    I'm updating this thread to share some advice on what not to do.

    I attempted to clean my orifice valves by soaking them in carb cleaner for a few days. Unfortunately, the check valve inside has a rubber seal, and the carb cleaner caused it to swell up. The seals increased in diameter until they completely blocked the passageways. So now I'm going to replace all of the valves on my mill.

    Don't use carb cleaner on these valves!

    Also, SpruTormaCam told me how he took the valves apart. He held the body in the collet and gripped the steel insert with an ER collet. I didn't have a collet handy, but was able to grab the valve body in a vise and grip the insert with a pair of wire cutters (being gentle). Be careful that you don't lose the tiny spring inside. It likes to leap out when you remove the steel insert.

  20. #20
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    Re: How to access oil distributor under X axis?

    Ouch, that must have been a painful lesson. Thanks for sharing.

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