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  1. #1
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    Feb 2006
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    7087

    Automatic Oiler

    About a year ago, I ripped all the oiling lines, check and flow control valves, and manual pump off my Torus Pro, and ran individual lines from each of the 13 oiling points to the top of the column, where I put a 14-way selector valve, fed by an air-pressurized oil reservoir. This allowed me to send oil to the oiling points one at a time, with no more worries about some circuits starving due to clogged orifices or stuck check valves. Since then, I've still had to control the oiling cycle manually by rotating the selector valve, and letting each circuit be fed for a measured amount of time.

    Over the last few days, I finally got the time to build the hardware to fully automate the system. I used a small pneumatic cylinder and ratchet mechanism to rotate the selector valve through the 14 positions, and now just need to mount the new valve, connect the lines, then wire up a spare PDB PCB as the "controller".

    Here are some pictures:

    This is the pressurized oil reservoir. It's just an off-the-shelf whole house cartridge water filter, available from any hardware store or home center for about $20. The regulator feeds ~60PSI air in, and the outlet is connected to a hose that goes down to the bottom of the reservoir, so oil is pushed out.



    All the oil lines from the table and saddle come out on the RH side of the base, and go into a "drag chain" that routes them back to the column, along the side of the base casting. On my machine, there are 8 lines coming from the saddle/table. Newer machines have a few more.



    Here is the manual valve I've used for the last year. It's mounted on the RH side of the column, near the top. You can see the 5 oil lines that feed the head (4 to the "trucks", one to the ballscrew), going up and into the flex conduit. The new valve will mount in pretty much the same place, but with the oil lines coming off the bottom, instead of the top.



    Here's the new "automatic" valve. 14 compression fittings for the outlets. You can see the inlet fitting on the top, next to the air cylinder. The second photo shows the ratchet mechanism that allows it to step through all 14 positions, by means of a 7/8" diameter x 1" stroke air cylinder.



    The electronics will monitor when the spindle is on, and perform an oiling cycle based on accumulated on-time. The spindle on-time threshold will be configurable, as will the on-times for each of the 13 oiling circuits, so the volume of oil delivered to each individual circuit can be balanced. There will also be a manual operating mode, for testing purposes.

    Can't wait to get it mounted and working!

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2007
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    695

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Ray - that is truly awesome!

  3. #3
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    Apr 2013
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    1533

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Interesting! Can you provide some details of the design of your 14-way valve?

  4. #4
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    Feb 2006
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    7087

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Quote Originally Posted by kstrauss View Post
    Interesting! Can you provide some details of the design of your 14-way valve?
    Pretty simple really. It has a rotating disc with one hole in it, that lines up with one of the 14 outlet fittings. There is pressurized oil on one side of the disc, all the outlet fittings on the other. All the fittings are O-ring sealed to the surface of the disc. The ratchet mechanism rotates the disc so it steps from one hole to the next with each stroke of the air cylinder.

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  5. #5
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    Nov 2007
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    1868

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Quote Originally Posted by SCzEngrgGroup View Post
    Pretty simple really. It has a rotating disc with one hole in it, that lines up with one of the 14 outlet fittings. There is pressurized oil on one side of the disc, all the outlet fittings on the other. All the fittings are O-ring sealed to the surface of the disc. The ratchet mechanism rotates the disc so it steps from one hole to the next with each stroke of the air cylinder.

    Regards,
    Ray L.
    Cool indexed lubrication system. A very creative solution to multi line lube system problem.

  6. #6
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    Feb 2006
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    7087

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Here's the Fusion360 model for the valve. Several things I will change at some point, to make it easier to build. And I also want to make it fully parametric, so the number of outlets can be selected to easily adapt it to other machines.

    Regards,
    Ray L.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  7. #7
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    Jun 2012
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    310

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Looks great Ray!

  8. #8
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    Jun 2006
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    3033

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Quote Originally Posted by SCzEngrgGroup View Post
    And I also want to make it fully parametric, so the number of outlets can be selected to easily adapt it to other machines.
    Branching out into other products? I'd be interested in a kit for a Tormach 1100 if you decide to market for those.

  9. #9
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    Feb 2006
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    7087

    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Here's the new valve on the machine, and working perfectly. I did some real quick-and-dirty firmware just to get it working, and I'll do some better firmware in my spare time over the next few days. It's actually kinda entertaining watching it do its thing...

    Attachment 360422

    Regards,
    Ray L.

  10. #10
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    Oct 2014
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    WOW awesome....are you able to make any extras to sell at this point ?
    Thank you
    Dave Lawrence

  11. #11
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    Re: Automatic Oiler

    Quote Originally Posted by DLawrence View Post
    WOW awesome....are you able to make any extras to sell at this point ?
    Thank you
    Dave Lawrence
    No, there would not be anywhere near enough demand to justify making more. Make your own, its not particularly difficult.

    Regards,
    Ray L.

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