Replacing bearings

CJ Vermeulen

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Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Has anyone replaced the headstock bearings on an old Beaver WL 3400 36" lathe? The bearings are rumbling as I turn and the outboard end of the headstock shaft is getting hot. Or perhaps this is normal for this model?
 

Darren Wright

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Has anyone replaced the headstock bearings on an old Beaver WL 3400 36" lathe? The bearings are rumbling as I turn and the outboard end of the headstock shaft is getting hot. Or perhaps this is normal for this model?
Rumble is probably not normal. I've not replaced them, but worst case you may hear a click click sound, but not rumble. Welcome to the forum btw.
 

CJ Vermeulen

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14
Location
Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Thanks Darren. I should have added that my dial indicator shows little deviation in the shaft from centre. Also when I turn the shaft by hand it feels smooth with no noise. That led me to conclude that the motor bearings were bad, but then I noticed the shaft getting hot; not warm, hot! I did have a problem with the live centre in the tailstock until I soaked it in diesel fuel for a couple of weeks. The junk that came out was amazing! Re-oiled it and it now works well. The machine had not been used for some time (as in a number of years) before I acquired it.
 

Ryan Mooney

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Odds are that the bearing grease is bad alright based on your descition, happens.

Here's the manual with an exploded diagram: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/83/2132.pdf

Canadian woodworker thread with bearing types:
https://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/forum/woodworking/turning/42027-beaver-3400-bearings

Another restore thread:

(I suspect given the origins of the Beaver lathes the Canadian forums are likely to be generally more active with them...).
 

Chuck Ellis

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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
I've never worked on your brand of lathe, but have changed the bearings on my Jet 1442 several times, my lathe has 3 sets of bearings... one at the spindle end near the hand wheel, one in the middle where the banjo slides back and forth over the spindle to change speeds and one at the threaded chuck end of the spindle... this one is the most difficult to get off as it's compression fit to the spindle.... it's almost a major tear down to change the bearings as I have to take the spindle completely out of the head stock. Mine is a Reeves unit so I also have to deal with the spindle pulleys, which I've also had to replace a few times...

If you know the sizes of the bearings, you might try VXB for the bearings... best pricing I've found on line and pretty good quality bearings.
 

CJ Vermeulen

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Messages
14
Location
Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Odds are that the bearing grease is bad alright based on your descition, happens.

Here's the manual with an exploded diagram: http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/83/2132.pdf

Canadian woodworker thread with bearing types:
https://forum.canadianwoodworking.com/forum/woodworking/turning/42027-beaver-3400-bearings

Another restore thread:

(I suspect given the origins of the Beaver lathes the Canadian forums are likely to be generally more active with them...).
Thank you Ryan!! That info is perfect!! Thursday will be tear down day and hopefully I can find the bearings nearby.
 

Chuck Ellis

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Tellico Plains, Tennessee

Dave Hoskins

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Parker County, Texas
Good luck on the bearing changing. I did it 2-3 times on my old Grizzly and it was kinda a pain in the butt. But, hey! Better than buying a new one, though I did do that less than a year ago.
 

CJ Vermeulen

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Location
Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Well after struggling with the spindle, I'm ready to admit I'm stumped. After soaking the outside of the bearings with WD-40, I still cannot remove them or the spindle. As a last resort I used a 5 lb hammer and a block of wood when hitting the outboard end of the spindle, and nothing moves. The pulley is loose, and now that the bearings have been soaked, they spin freely, but I can feel the roughness in them. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

Darren Wright

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This is not quite the same type of lathe, but I think the concept of using the threaded rod should help. you may have to still give it a wack or two once it's got pressure on it. You did mention it getting hot, so it's possible the bearings are fused on too, but worth a shot.

 

Ryan Mooney

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This fellow has the best rundown. Make sure all the set screws are loose.. and go at the outboard side seems to the be the general advise. I'm guessing once the retainer and pulley set screws are loose the retainer removed bearings would probably just crumble as they come out even if they're pretty toasted (except the outboard bearing maybe).


"the 3400 lathe is pretty simple to take apart, a set screw in the retaining collar and one in the pulley(in the smallest section of the 4 speed pulley), allen keys will do the job easily, just pry or blowout any debris so that the allen key seats properly. removal of the retainer maybe be tough if the threads are buggered but it WILL come off

the spindle is then removed by a few solid hits from the outboard side, usually the inner bearing will come with it. the pulley itself is usually the toughest to break loose, its aluminum and has a key, but dont be afraid to hit the spindle with the outer retainer still threaded flush to the very end of the spindle to protect the threads. note that its a left hand thread

the outboard bearing will stay in the housing and is removed with a punch going "outboard"

the inboard bearing is removed from the spindle with a few taps, it should come off easily"

"getting the MT2 apart in this old lathe was a real big problem, i tried heat, solvents etc etc, a vise and a hammer, nothing. it had been stuck in there for over 40 years

so it was brute force!!

i had an old steel pulley that the shoulder of the spindle would sit on but the adaptor would fit through, a suitable deep socket would work too, then an old cold chisel with a blunt end to slide into the shaft and sit on the end of the adaptor and a 15 lb sledge hammer, all sitting on the concrete floor. one good wack, and its done

the moral of the story? take the time to do a good setup, followed by a good wack!! "
 

Chuck Ellis

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Tellico Plains, Tennessee
Removing the spindle is a bit of a problem, but when I change bearings on my JET 1442, that is exactly how I begin.... I remove all the set screws, the hand wheel and the split ring (it's a pretty heavy ring under the hand wheel) then take a dead blow hammer and whack the end of the spindle until it comes loose... sometimes takes several pretty severe whacks... just be sure you have something over the end of the spindle that won't mar or damage the spindle... I use a rubber or resin dead blow hammer, but sometimes add a block of wood to actually take the whacks.... once out, there is a bearing that is compression fitted on the spindle at the threaded end that is a booger to get off... I don't have a bearing puller tool, I just start with a very large flat blade screw driver and work my way around the spindle , jigging the bearing until it begins to move... that can take a while.
I have three bearings in my lathe, one at each end of the spindle and one in the middle that fits in the moveable pulley in the Reeves speed control...
 

CJ Vermeulen

Member
Messages
14
Location
Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
Okay! After soaking the bearings in WD-40 for a couple of days, I finally got out the heavy hardware. By pounding on the outboard end of the spindle with a 5 lb sledge through a large brass drift, I finally got the bearings to move. Then I had to repeat the process to remove both the inboard and outboard bearings themselves. Then discovered that the lands for the bearings on the spindle were damaged! The centre section of the spindle was also damaged, obviously the pulley had come loose at some point and had spun around the shaft. Some time on a metal lathe and all was good. The lands in the head-stock were also scored and required careful polishing. The bearings I removed were not 6204 and 5, which may have contributed to the tightness in the head-stock and on the shaft. I found new SKF bearings for about $40 for the pair and will re-assemble the machine on Monday.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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ABQ NM
...All that remains is to reassemble the little darlin' and take the tool rests to the machine shop for smoothing of the tool rest edges. Prolly not required, but I am a fussy old bugger.....
I've had good success smoothing out the edges of the cast iron tool rests that came with my lathe with a mill bastard file followed up with various grits of sandpaper. The cast iron is surprisingly soft and easy to work. Some of my other tool rests have a hardened steel edge, but those don't tend to get dinged up like the cast iron ones do. I also keep a bar of paraffin wax at the lathe to lube the edges on my tool rests.
 

Vaughn McMillan

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Thanks Vaughn, I'll try that while I'm waiting for the bearings to arrive...that wax would also work on the slides, I presume...
For machined surfaces like the bed of the lathe, and things like the bottom of the tailstock and tool rest banjo, I prefer to use Johnson Paste Wax.
 

CJ Vermeulen

Member
Messages
14
Location
Killarney, Manitoba, Canada
The bearing replacement job is now done! The machine now runs like a well oiled top! Of course I also had to rewire it and reinforce the stand, polish the lands, and true up the tool rest. BUT, that's part of the fun, right? Now then on to turning when it cools down. It was +35C here yesterday....Thank you to everyone that offered advice, it was all a great help....
 
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