Author Topic: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild  (Read 5270 times)

Offline sparky961

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Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« on: October 11, 2016, 12:29:32 AM »
I haven't done a lot of checking, but some preliminary research suggests what I have is a Rockwell 37-220 Jointer from around 1950 -1960.

The tear-down went much quicker than I expected and the machine isn't in as bad of condition as I had feared.  Yes, there's heavy surface rust on the tables and cutter head but all of the sliding dovetails were almost free of rust and so far every fastener has come free without complaint.

There are 3 main castings.  There's the central body, and the front and rear tables that both slide on the main casting on dovetails with gibs.  There's also a very heavy cast iron fence that runs almost the entire length of the machine.  All together, it's a lot of old iron!

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2016, 12:47:33 AM »
I started out by removing the cutter head, partly because it was easy to do and more to get it out of the way for safety's sake!  Even with heavy rust those blades are still deadly sharp.

As suggested in another thread, I'm using citric acid for rust removal - a first for me.  Of course, I'm writing this after having already done the rust removal on the cutting head, and I am definitely a convert to citric acid.  It's pretty benign to work with, no harsh fumes and such, and it works pretty quickly on the rust while only slightly dulling most other clean steel.

Pictures show the progression from initial status, about 2-3 hours of citric acid, disassembly, then another 1-2 hours in the acid.  There was a bit of scrubbing with an old toothbrush and dishwashing detergent to degrease between steps.  Also I used a sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) bath after removal from the acid to neutralize, then lots of rinsing.  After rinsed I doused with a bit of methyl alcohol and hit it with a heat gun to quickly drive off all the water.  As soon as it was dry I coated with some light oil to keep rust free until later steps.

The final pictures show the cutting head but not the knives or keepers, but I was very pleased with the results there too.  Interesting to note is that the citric acid seemed especially hard on one of the bearings.  There's a picture showing it next to a shiny one for comparison.  I'll be replacing them, so no big deal but good to remember for the future.

PS - The white things in the acid bath are just pieces of plastic I used to displace some liquid and cover the cutter head.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2016, 08:27:49 PM »
I'd like to remove the badges/labels before dunking in acid for fear they won't survive. Anyone know what the little pins that hold it on are called? Are there standard sizes? Am I going to ruin the badges trying to take them off?

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2016, 09:02:14 PM »
One of the castings had through holes for the "badge pins", so I was able to gently tap those ones out. They have a spiral knurl/thread on them.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2016, 09:12:26 PM »
Apparently, I was having a slow moment. Turns out they all have through holes... Tapped out quite nicely. :doh:

Offline Bluechip

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2016, 03:35:49 AM »
I'd like to remove the badges/labels before dunking in acid for fear they won't survive. Anyone know what the little pins that hold it on are called? Are there standard sizes? Am I going to ruin the badges trying to take them off?

Drive screws or drive rivets.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=drive+screw+rivet&qs=AS&form=QBILPG&pq=drive+screw&sc=6-11&sp=2&sk=AS1

Usually available in UK only in boxes of 500 for about 60 .. which spoils your day if you only want two of the buggers ..  :(

Dave

EDIT

Fleabay to the rescue:

 http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xdrive+rivet.TRS0&_nkw=drive+rivet&_sacat=0

UK sources but probably some on Canada EBAY...
I have a few modest talents. Knowing what I'm doing isn't one of them.

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2016, 06:39:35 AM »
I'd like to remove the badges/labels before dunking in acid for fear they won't survive. Anyone know what the little pins that hold it on are called? Are there standard sizes? Am I going to ruin the badges trying to take them off?

Drive screws or drive rivets.

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=drive+screw+rivet&qs=AS&form=QBILPG&pq=drive+screw&sc=6-11&sp=2&sk=AS1

Usually available in UK only in boxes of 500 for about 60 .. which spoils your day if you only want two of the buggers ..  :(

Dave

EDIT

Fleabay to the rescue:

 http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xdrive+rivet.TRS0&_nkw=drive+rivet&_sacat=0

UK sources but probably some on Canada EBAY...

I have 10 or so few sizes, if you can measure core and "helix" OD I can check and if I have proper ones I can send few for such a good cause.

Pekka

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2016, 06:36:40 PM »
I have 10 or so few sizes, if you can measure core and "helix" OD I can check and if I have proper ones I can send few for such a good cause.
Pekka

The offer is appreciated, and I'll tuck it away on the back burner for the moment.  Now that I know what they're called, I have a few other resources to exhaust first.

I'm short just one piece, which was missing when I got it.  The others I'm quite sure will go back in nicely when I'm done.  I'm not too concerned about it right now, and who knows I might even be able to "borrow" one from another machine that can spare one.... ;)  That, or just turn a piece that has the same head shape and do a light press fit into the casting.  I have options.

Drive screws or drive rivets.

I wonder when we'll be able to upload a picture to Google and say "find me one of these!"?  Until then, it's great to have you guys to get quick answers to things like this.

Offline Sid_Vicious

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2016, 07:12:08 PM »
Old motorcykles use those to fasten small signs to the motor and frame. I've bought those for an old Jawa Perak from a parts shop in CZ who sold them one by one.
Nothing is impossible, it just take more time to figure out.

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2016, 08:34:26 PM »
I discovered a neat little trick for stubborn slot head bolts.  There were three holding the long fence casting to the rotating bracket.  Even with my largest slot head screw driver and a wrench on the shaft it still slipped out and tried to bugger up the screw.  My solution was to find a washer the same thickness as the slot (luck?) so it was a tight fit - a bit of rust on the washer helps snug it up ;)  I tapped it in well with a hammer then turned with an adjustable wrench right close to the bolt.  I was happily surprised how well it worked.  But I still think whoever uses slot drive fasteners should be shot on the spot.

Offline awemawson

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #10 on: October 14, 2016, 02:59:49 AM »
Big screwdriver, and gently tap it on the end of the handle with a hammer whilst turning usually works. Also try tightening a bit first, as the flanks on the slot are probably less rounded in that direction.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2016, 04:09:02 PM »
Big screwdriver, and gently tap it on the end of the handle with a hammer whilst turning usually works. Also try tightening a bit first, as the flanks on the slot are probably less rounded in that direction.

Judging by the massive things you work on, I'm betting you have a wider selection of large screwdrivers and hammers than most. :P

If I had an impact driver I'd have tried it, but this quick and dirty method worked better than I'd hoped. Not to mention using things found in even the simplest toolbox.

Offline jcs0001

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2016, 10:56:39 PM »
It appears that your Rockwell is the one that was the original of my chinese copy.  I think that rockwell did a better job on the original than the people who copied it but mine does work well.

Thanks for posting all of the restoration process.  You will enjoy the use of the machine once done.

John.

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2016, 09:24:08 AM »
Big screwdriver, and gently tap it on the end of the handle with a hammer whilst turning usually works. Also try tightening a bit first, as the flanks on the slot are probably less rounded in that direction.


My late father used to have a screwdriver bit for his carpenter's brace.  It used to work well for him but I don't seem to have kept it/them.   :doh: 
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2016, 09:55:06 PM »
Here's a little update on the progress of this rebuild.  It would be great if I could gradually update a thread like this, but that's not how I work.  Brace yourself for an information dump!

It's mostly a scrapbook of pictures I've taken along the way with some annotations through in for context.  For those of you with "the eye", I'll apologize ahead of time for the quality of the pictures.  My Kyocera Brigadier is awesome for it's waterproofness and durability but the camera absolutely sucks compared to my previous Galaxy S2.

First, everything was de-rusted using citric acid.  It worked great, the only thing is that I kept needing bigger and bigger containers to work in!

Starting off in the laundry tub, the idea of the hose being that I can run hot water through it and heat up the solution without diluting it.  It worked a little, but not as much as I had hoped.  The solution had a pH of about 3-5 throughout the few days of derusting.  Certainly not an exact science, but it didn't need to be to do the job.


The fence was long and skinny.... I didn't want to make up this much solution, but it was the only practical way to proceed.  I had other ideas but they all seemed to add a lot of time and difficulty or expense.  This one is more dilute than the rest but still worked well in 2-3 days of soaking.


Some "before" pictures of the various castings...











And now for the best!  The AFTER pictures!  After the acid bath, these were neutralized with baking soda and thoroughly rinsed.  They were then heated gently on my wood stove (which conveniently we've just started running intermittently), and then lightly oiled.  The oil may give a false shine to the parts but the rust is most definitely GONE.

There are a few pitted areas, but we'll just call that "character" and carry on.









Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2016, 09:56:11 PM »
One night while the castings were soaking, I cleaned up the blades on the surface grinder at work.  Although they de-rusted nicely, they were still a little pitted and both the back side and bevel needed to be cleaned up if I wanted to get a good edge on the blade.  Now before anyone chimes in with "hey, you can get those for like $0.75 on Amazon", this was partly because I wanted some practice on the surface grinder working on thin parts.  A compound sine plate is a very handy thing to have!

The blades started out each with a bit of twist or bow.  I knew better, but thought I could take it out by just popping it directly on the magnet.  I SHOULD have shimmed it before turning on the magnet because I didn't end up completely flat.  They will flatten when clamped in place, have no doubt, but I have learned the lesson first hand.








Here's a little gadget I made for honing the knives after re-grinding the bevel and back.

Notice in the last picture how the screw on the bottom away from the knife is used as a single point of contact and a fine adjustment for the angle of the micro bevel.  My only complaint about this tool is that the screw tended to squeal in use like fingernails on a chalkboard.  There's probably a simple solution but I just soldiered on.











Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2016, 09:56:44 PM »
And finally, the current status of the project?  Paint.  I worked at mixing a few colours to get a reasonable approximation of the original.  I don't think there's value in being really picky here.  It's not like I have an extremely rare antique - as far as I know.  The uninformed wouldn't know the difference anyway.  It's starting to look very nice indeed....





Offline awemawson

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2016, 03:09:17 AM »
Excellent work Sparky  :thumbup:

I love the idea of a heating coil in the citric acid, I must work on that one.
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline PekkaNF

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2016, 05:35:01 AM »
Very nice. Derusting looks exactly as it should. Time and temperature are variables you have to work with. It never has been a big problem to me to leave a part overnigh to very diluted bath, knowing that tomorow is just another day and if it needs one more day or half - big deal.

Another trick I learned that some drain cleaner (liquid plummer) stuff removes paint fast.

I had some really coarse rusted and pachy paint cast iron lumps. I put that on builders pail, poured over over 60 C degree hot drain cleaner and used long nylon brush to clean the paint and grot. Unbeleivable. All paint come out in 15 minutes. You have to have visor long cloves. Then I dumped the lot on another plastic pail and put one measure of clothes washing detergent (not the zeolite one, but real) and rinsed with hot water...The surface was very silvery and bare metal. Quick spray over of mild phosphorous acid and it was ready to mask and paint.

Pekka

Offline jcs0001

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2016, 09:09:19 PM »
Sparky

It is looking great now.   I hope the gib strips aren't crappy aluminium like mine.  I replaced mine and it helped the workings out a lot.

A coat of floor wax on the table and fence surfaces will work well one it's together.  It lets things slide nicely and protects the surface.  I buff it in and so far haven't had any trouble with finishes on wood I've put through it.

John.

Offline appletree

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #20 on: November 10, 2016, 04:38:00 AM »
For some reason I can't see the latest pictures just "dead" boxes. Is it the same for everyone?

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #21 on: November 10, 2016, 05:57:56 AM »
If you're referring to the 28th October post, I can see them OK. 
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline appletree

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #22 on: November 10, 2016, 10:15:21 AM »
Hi thanks for that, working fine just now when I revisited. Cheers Phil

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #23 on: November 11, 2016, 07:22:04 PM »
Sparky

It is looking great now.   I hope the gib strips aren't crappy aluminium like mine.  I replaced mine and it helped the workings out a lot.

A coat of floor wax on the table and fence surfaces will work well one it's together.  It lets things slide nicely and protects the surface.  I buff it in and so far haven't had any trouble with finishes on wood I've put through it.

John.

Gib strips are definitely steel.  I'd even go as far as to say hardened a bit, though this is subjective.  I have the base back together along with the raising and lowering mechanisms.  I've been away from the project for a while due to work commitments, and enjoying the fall weather.  Soon it will get crappy out and I'll hang out downstairs more.

I did the wax thing with all bare surfaces, including the top and any sliding surfaces.  The logic was that any oil or grease is just going to turn into a gummy paste with the addition of sawdust.  The only exception was the pivot points underneath from the table height adjustment screw.  For those I used a thick petroleum grease.

Next up is to take apart the base, clean it up and paint it.  Then I can get to reassembling the rest of it.

Opinions on the base?  Paint to match the machine (more like original) or go with a contrasting black?

Offline sparky961

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Re: Rockwell 6" Jointer Rebuild
« Reply #24 on: December 16, 2016, 07:06:34 PM »
The weather has officially turned "crappy" outside, with about 30-40cm of snow in the last 2 days.  This will turn into some nice snow to get out on snowshoes, but right now it's just fluffy and not very useful.

This has given me some time in the basement with the jointer.  It's almost done, with only a few small (but annoying) things to complete.

Since the last update I've:
- Finished painting everything and reassembled all of the machine parts (small exceptions to be noted later)
- Disassembled, sandblasted, and painted the base
- Cleaned up and painted the motor and pulleys
- Installed and aligned the "scary sharp" blades
- Installed the fence and adjusted the hard stops for 0, 45 and -45 degrees
- Installed the badges

.... oh and there are probably other things but that list is boring enough.  You just want to see some pictures, I know. :)

I'm never sure which method people like better, embedding the pictures from another site or attaching them.  Attaching them is a LOT easier so that's what I'm doing tonight.