- Thanks very much for all the info Chris. I certainly was not made aware of the various options. Regarding access I am not sure about removing the sheet metal cover. It has all the power leads, both in and out, through it and the switches are mounted on it. As you say partial access to lower half of the vertical screw can be obtained by removing the lower back plate but the upper plate only exposes the electrical components. I do use mine also for drilling.I bought my X3 15 months ago and early on a tight spot developed in the spindle and I had to remove it from the machine and take to the UK agent to get it stripped down and fitted with new bearings.Trevor----- Original Message -----From: cba_melbourneSent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 6:37 AMSubject: [SPAM] [X_Series_Mills] Re: do me a favor,try this and let me know
> My main criticism is that it is a two handed job to crank
> up the head.
This situation can be somewhat confusing -- important to know it is
only a problem on the X3/SX3 models with the 100mm linger column
(hence only choose the longer column if your jobs really need the
added height, for example if you do not own a separate drill press
and need to do your drilling on the mill).
The first X3's of about 3-2 years ago, as well as current models with
the short column have the gas strut are easy and fast to crank.
The X3's with 100mm longer column are made in two different models,
with and without gas strut:
- The older models had the same gas strut as the short column models.
But on the longer column, this strut did limit the minimum table to
spindle disdance, cranking up the head was still quick and easy.
It was possible to buy a longer gas strut, thus getting all the
advantages of fast and smooth cranking, plus the full column stroke
down to the table
- Newer X3 and SX3 models with the long column option now come
without gas strut. Instead, the bevel gears to lift the head have now
a 2:1 ratio instead of 1:1. This now means that twice as many
handwheel revolutions are necessary to lift the head a given amout,
making it a slow procedure. Yet, despite the 2:1 ratio, it still
takes much more hand force to crank the handwheel as on the older
models with gas strut (the gas strut provided some 45kg upthrust to
the head, these missing 45kg must now be overcome by handwheel
labour). The only advantage is that the minimum spindle to table
distance is not anymore limited without forking out extra money for a
longer aftermarket strut.
Looks like you simply can not have it all at the same time and for
the same money (long strut fot full z-axis travel and 1:1 bevel
gearing). At least, you now know why this is so, and why differnt X3
models exist on the market. If there were no such complications, SIEG
would no doubt only sell one X3 model with long column height. If
some criticism is appropriate, it has to be that no dealer, nor SIEG
itself, bothers to explain in detail the advantages and disadvantages
of the various options available and their combinations for the X3
mill. For the X3 alone you can order any combination of short or long
column, short or long table, MT3 or R8 spindle nose, metric or
imperial leadscrews and handwheel dials, perspex swarf guard with
safety switch...... ..
> The drive mechanism is inaccessible without distmantling
> and I suspect the screw mechanism is too small in diameter.
It actually only needs the sheet metal column cover removed for full
access to the drive mechanism -- 4 screws. Partial access can be had
by just removing the rear cover plate. The lead screw diameter is imo
adequate. It is just, without help from a gas strut or counterweights
you need to lift the full 45-50kg weight of the mill head, that is 2
1/2 Australian 20kg cement bags, or almost two American 30kg cement
bags..... just to put its weight into perspective, and the handforces
to be reasonably expected... Chris