The spindle taper on our router became galled, I think due to the operator not keeping it clean. He claimed to have cleaned it every morning, but when asked how it looked, he said he had never looked up into the taper or even felt it to verify it was clean. Just went through the motions. The cut quality had been deteriorating and finally the tool holder came loose. When I checked the problem, the tool holder had spun in the socket, which was glazed with wood powder and had galled the metal. I found a company in MO that said they could grind the spindle taper in place on the machine for $2145. Hired. They had lots of experience and successfully ground the spindle. The machine now runs perfectly smooth, nice cut. There was a clue that there were problems developing, but no one said anything. Not the first time that something has shown signs, but the employee just kept running it until it failed. The procedure for grinding the taper turns out to be fairly simple.
From contributor T:
Any feedback on the Nemi Spindle Socket cleaning tool? Looks like a great PM tool.
I can sympathize with the employee inattention issue. I instituted was we call "machine Monday" to deal with that. Every Monday morning we service a different group of machines in the shop. All machines break down into the first, second, third or fourth Monday of the month. That way every machine gets a thorough going over once a month.
Since starting this, the guys are much more in tune with the equipment. Things that don't feel or sound right get brought to my attention much sooner than they used to.
As far as maintenance is concerned, it's hard to stress the importance of it too much. As a former armorer with the Army, maintenance was always key, and my experience with shop machines has only reinforced that.
The "Maintenance Monday" plan is fantastic. I work diligently with my clients to work up a firm maintenance schedule. The hardest part is taking the time to do it no matter how tight the work schedule. Inevitably, if you don't, the machinery will fail, and the downtime for repair will virtually always cost you a lot more than the maintenance time.