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Micro Mesh Pad Storage………

“I have had some Micro Mesh pads for some time and have kept them in a screw top jar together with the colour code and grit information. A while ago we were given a box of Bendicks Crisp Mint Chocolates and having eaten a couple I looked at the box and realised the size of the slots the mints were displayed in was almost the same size as the micro mesh pads and exactly the same number of slots. I re-covered the lid with some brown paper and cut the colour code chart down to fit into the lid and what you see is the result. It keeps them in order and can be easily returned to the correct slot after going down the grits without having them all over the bench” Colin Bushell

Axminster AWVSL 1000 Lathe Gearbox Maintenance………

Anyone who has one of these lathes may experience noise and or stiffness of operation in changing speeds. The gearbox operates on the DAF

Truck gearbox principle using friction pulleys to change the speeds over a given range using a constant speed motor.

I have experienced both of these problems, stiffness and with accompanying noise being the most recent. To check to see where the noise was

coming from and to eliminate the head stock bearing; I placed a screwdriver on the bearing housing and my ear to the handle. Any bearing noise

will be detected through the screwdriver generally at a high pitch. Fortunately, this was not the case but the noise was evident from the gearbox

area and the operation of the gear lever stiff.

Like anything else close to dust, the gearbox suffers from ingress of dust over time and whilst this isn’t a major cause of noise it nevertheless

doesn’t help with the operation. Here is my solution:

To gain access to the gearbox firstly isolate the power supply.

Undo the securing screws of the cover and put them somewhere safe.

Swing the head stock away from you so that the gearbox faces you.

You will be confronted by the belt and the pullies. Firstly, vacuum out the gearbox and cover. I strongly recommend the wearing of a face mask at

this point and also disposable gloves.

I foolishly removed the belt from the drive/motor end and the plates, under spring tension, snapped shut. Oh no! Initial panic but a few words with

the Axminster Tech team put me right. The pulley plates on the drive shaft were ingrained with dust and therefore their removal was needed to

give the drive end a good clean. To remove them I needed circlip pliers. After all my years, the one tool I didn’t possess was circlip pliers but these

were easily obtainable from the internet. To continue.

5. Grasping the spring on the shaft remove the circlip and place it somewhere safe. The plates on my lathe had closed and therefore there was no

energy in the spring. If the belt is in place the energy presented is present but minimal. Remove spring, retaining washer and nearest plate. Undo

the grub screws holding the back plate onto the shaft, remove the plate.

6. Give the plates and the shaft a good clean. The shaft may require some attention using a 400grit abrasive, or finer, or wire wool to remove any

residual gunk on the shaft.

7. Lubricate the shaft. I used silicone fluid.

8. Whilst the shaft is bare, access to the variomatic shaft (the shaft that drives the live end) is made easier. I made no attempt to remove the pullies

here but cleaned up as best I could in situ. By operating the lever to a high speed position the plates will open up thereby allowing you to apply

some lubrication to the shaft and bearings of the variomatic device situated between the plates and the fixed live end bearing. Ensure that all grub

screws in this area are tight.

9. Replace the drive end back plate to a circlip situated on the shaft close to the motor housing. Tighten the grub screws so that they bight into the

shaft and not the keyway on the shaft. Now comes the tricky bit. Replace the second plate, but do not try to fit the belt at this juncture as you will

never get the circlip back onto the shaft unless you have a gorilla as an assistant. The plates will close together but don’t worry. Return the spring,

retaining washer and circlip.

10. Place the drive belt on the variomatic pulley first and then manipulate the pully over the drive end plates. The belt will be tight but you can get it

to sit on the plates. With your thumbs on the circlip end of the shaft and your fingers and fingernails pull the plates apart so that the belt starts to

enter the gap between the plates. Now put pressure on the belt and it should begin to slide between the plates.

11. If you are lucky enough to have a set of bearing extractors these will probably do the trick however the plates are made of alloy and any undue

force will crack the plates. Seek advice from Axminster first.

12. Taking great care with the cover off, reconnect the power supply and give the lathe a test spin. Operate the speed changes. This is a good

opportunity to observe how this clever piece of kit works.

13. Remove the power supply again and check the grub screws around the operating lever are tight. Being curious I undid and removed mine. The

operation is a simple rack and pinion movement on a square threaded shaft and it transpired that this was where most of the noise was coming

from because of loose grub screws. I replaced the lever and tightened up. (Note: There is a certain amount of backlash between rack and pinion as

it is very basic system)

14. Replace the gearbox cover with the screws, if you haven’t lost them on the workshop floor.

Return the head stock to the datum position, replace the power supply and test run.

Mine now runs like new with a smooth, quiet lever operation and didn’t realise just how bad it had become before I had carried out this

maintenance routine.

I have a tip for the club members as contained in the Amazon link below. I think it will be of interest. If anybody uses a tablet computer, of any kind, or indeed a larger smart phone for Zoom, or You Tube or just reading, …..I have found possibly one of the best stands around. The thing that makes it so good is the weight of the base (almost impossible to over balance) the quality of the manufacture, and the design. It is as good sat beside the lathe for working ‘with a demonstration’ as it is located on a table in front of you for taking part in a Zoom meeting. Another plus is that if you have a cover (that protects your tablet) this stand accommodates that as well, so no removing your case everytime you want to use the stand! Well worth a look!! Tim Awmack.