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Lapidary / Gemstone Community Forum
April 20, 2019, 02:46:30 pm
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B&I Gem Maker making a bad sound

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Author Topic: B&I Gem Maker making a bad sound  (Read 995 times)
mossagatemac
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« on: March 15, 2014, 08:50:42 pm »

Hi Everybody, I'm still fairly new to this so forgive my ignorance....

I just bought a 'refurbished' 10" B&I Gem Maker to get started cutting and polishing some small rocks with.  Got it home last weekend and did a few hours of sawing, things seemed to be working well.  Today, I was doing some grinding and switching out grinding pads on it, turned it on, and it started making a horrible sound.  Sounded like the lap was vibrating really badly, but I couldn't see any sign of a problem.  I played around with it for a while, tried a bunch of different combinations, but can't quite pin down what the noise is. 

The lap plates were all tightened down firmly when this is happening which is what i originally thought the source of the sound was.  I'm not convinced anymore.  The belt doesn't seem to be loose.  There was some squeaking going on when i put the saw blade back on which made me think it needs some grease (how often do these need to be greased?).

Any ideas?  Here's a picture:


* b&i_gem maker.jpg (57.1 KB, 600x392 - viewed 14 times.)

* IMG_20140315_160222 - Copy.jpg (80.38 KB, 980x735 - viewed 6 times.)
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lithicbeads
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2014, 10:45:12 pm »

 There should always be the ability to deflect the belt about half an inch . If the bearing has problems an overtight belt will accentuate them . Perhaps the bearing was heavily greased to hide problems . I have trouble imagining needing greasing more than every 40 hours of use unless there is a problem with a seal.
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bobby1
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2014, 11:32:58 pm »

Is your pulley loose on the shaft? That will make a loud noise.
Bob
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Isotelus
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« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2014, 06:30:00 am »

Quick bushing check, grasp threaded spindle in one hand grab step pulley in other try moving side to side up and down should not be any motion or very little. You may need to loosen belt. Do you know when the last grease was applied ? Old grease can dry out and starve the bushings- bearings and sometimes prevent fresh grease from getting to the bearing.

As was already mentioned belt tension should not be over done.


 These things can make a whale of a noise if the bearing gets dry- most were fitted with oilite bronze bushings- though I have been told some late models had ball bearings though I have not seen one of those in person.
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Bryan
mossagatemac
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2014, 02:16:57 pm »

Ok, I greased it up and the noise went away.  Ran for about 20 minutes and the noise started to come back.  Added some more grease, sounded good again.  Repeated that three or four times before I had to leave.  Does this indicate some other problem to you guys?  Something else I should try?  Its not so bad except it slings grease all over after filling it. 

The belt doesn't seem to be too tight.  Pulling side to side on the shaft seems tight.  Pulling up and down has a little give in it but pretty small.
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Isotelus
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2014, 03:33:22 pm »

Bushings seem good by the description you gave about the motion- sounds like the machine was little dry for lube. As I mentioned in the PM wipe any excess grease that may appear north of the pulley underneath and around the threaded arbor flange. These machines are good at slinging grease if you don't. I know from personal experience also about grease slinging- and when dry can squall like two fighting tom cats.

I will try to pull my machines shaft to take a look at the way the galleries are drilled in the machine to disperse the lube to the bearings. I seem to remember I had one plugged with old dry grease once. Can't recall if it was a six or 8 inch machine.

Keep us all posted-- these are pretty simple machines once you get used to them.
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Bryan
slabbercabber
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2014, 05:01:25 pm »

If grease fixes the problem for a short time it is a sure indication of a bad bearingl.
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Isotelus
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« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2014, 07:28:35 pm »

Very true on ball bearings.

Sometimes the bronze bushes in these take a while as there is quite a bit of air space in these between upper and lower bushings.
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Bryan
mossagatemac
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2014, 08:21:49 pm »

Bad news. 

I wiped off the grease so it wouldn't splash and turned it on to grind some rocks.  It made the sound intermittently so I stopped it and added grease.  Whipped off the excess and tried to turn the shaft by hand.  At that point, the shaft won't even turn.  I can move it a little with my hands, but the belt doesn't move it at all. 

Bushing/bearing problem?  Any ideas or where to get replacement parts if needed?  Or what size this thing takes?

I took a video of it right before the last time I turned it off and uploaded to  youtube.  It's at the following: 

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minkos61
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2014, 10:10:56 pm »

Sounds like the bearings are shot .
Pull them out they should have a number on them .
Google the number and find a replacement
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Ernie
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2014, 08:50:19 am »

OK We have a problem if the shaft wont turn at all bushings galled up or shaft scored, obvious now the lube never got to where it needed to be or previous owner ran it dry for too long. Lets hope its just bushings. I had one once due to dry grease that the upper bush seized because fresh grease could not get there- was able to clean everything out and re grease and it cured that one. But either way this shaft needs pulled for inspection.
You will want a good penetrating oil or wet lube- WD 40 drys up too quick.

When mine does the screech or warble usually one or two pumps of grease and it goes away for 3 to 6 months.

Am willing to pull mine apart and post photo's of the tear down if that will help-- everyone's mechanical skills vary so I will offer that to help.
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Bryan
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2014, 08:55:39 am »

That is a very generous offer . If you make  a  tear down repair post I will sticky topic it so it will remain easy to find.
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bobby1
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2014, 09:21:00 am »

Go to your local auto parts store and get a can of "PB Blaster". Its the best penetrating fluid that I have ever found. WD-40 is useless.
Bob
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Isotelus
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« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2014, 09:28:05 am »

One little word of caution on these if you start tear down before I get the tear down shot and posted.

The set screw in the step pulley almost always leaves a cup shaped burr or dimple on the shaft- these shafts are fairly soft steel. Very carefully file and stone away( I use a hard arkansas slip stone and mill smooth file about a 2 cut ) the burr till even with the shaft surface. Don't damage the shaft. Reason for this is when you drive, pull or push the shaft through the bushing that burr can do un told damage to the bushings/ or hang up on bearings. Anyways it's a much easier removal without that darn burr.
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Bryan
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« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2014, 09:38:39 am »

P B Blaster is good stuff I have used it.

My secret weapon penetrating oil is Aero Kroil only problem is , it's not in stores. Pro use only type of thing.

I learned about this stuff from some aerospace machinist friends. Don't mean to sound like an ad but this stuffs good.

www.kanolabs.com
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Bryan


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