Damaged Worm gear on 4/215

The oscillating roller is hanging up at one point in its travels. Fritz wrote that this is probably due to damage somewhere on the worm gear, the center shaft of the oscillating roller. He was right; one of the points on the worm gear was chipped, and that is where the crescent rider is hanging up. I was able to get back up and running temporarily by backing off on the set screw that holds the crescent in place, but yesterday, the roller refused to get around that bad spot. I was able to file the worm gear down a bit, but Fritz is right; the gear is hardened steel and does not go gently under the file. My question is: does this mean I have to get a new worm gear? Does a new one exist?? Can I try filing some more? Would a machinist be able to hone that point for me? Thanks.

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Fritz Klinke
16 years ago

I guess I’ll have to bite the bullet and get some more of these made. They are lost wax steel castings, there is some machine work to clean up the bore hole and turn off any casting imperfections, and then they have to be hardened. We still have access to the original Vandercook mold and had some trial waxes made about a year ago. The minimum order is pretty hefty, but it is a vital part.

Paul Moxon, Moderator
16 years ago

Nathan Rose asked the same question in March and it was thoroughly addressed by Eric Holub and Fritz. See “#4 worm gear needs an evaluation”:https://vandercookpress.info/vanderblog/2007/03/28/4-worm-gear-needs-an-evaluation/

Rich Polinski
16 years ago

Try a shapening stone such as you would use for woodworking tools. If you have to get into a tight space they’re available in smaller shapes, one of them being wedge-shaped and called a slipstone. There are natural and man-made stones that you must lubricate with oil, waterstones that are soaked in and then lubricated with water, and diamoned honing stones that require no lubrication.

If it were me I’d probably use a natural Arkansas or Norton man-made sliptone. They’re easy to come by, probably at your local hardware store or even Home Depot. If you don’t want to buy the special “honing oil” just use olive oil, mineral oil, neatfoot oil (my favorite) or 3 in 1 oil that you probably have around the house.

The oil acts as a vehicle to hold the metal removed and keep it from clogging the pores of the stone. Use different areas of the stone as you work so you don’t wear a divit in the stone. Wipe the stone clean when done.

A stone will cut hardened steel and leave a reasonably polished surface vastly smoother than a file.

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