YIPEE, YAHOO, WHOOPIE, and all those other adjectives. I admit that I undertook this little project with a bunch of trepidation! Usually I get a bit heavy handed with a project requiring a hammer and end up breaking something. The decision was made before starting that a “machinist” approach would be taken here with precision kept at the forefront of each step. Man did that mind set payoff.
My lathe symptoms were and increased low-end speed and a high-end speed with a loss of torque. With the belt cover removed and the lathe running at the highest speed the belt was so loose I was afraid it would fly off (these were tips that the belt was ready to be replaced). While turning bowls I noticed with any axial pressure a definite rumbling was introduced along with a slight vibration in the bowl and the chuck (figured the bearings were worn from these symptoms).
Before starting the repair work I turned a piece of cherry to fit into the end of the tailstock ram and measured to fit the spindle nose. This was so I could use the tailstock as a bearing press for pushing out the spindle and pressing things into place once the bearings were installed. I’m convinced using the tailstock in this manner rather than just a hammer resulted in the completion of the job with no breakage. My thanks to DDT Fredrick Holsclaw at the WR site for this tip.
I followed the step by step in the Jet manual for the tear down. I did need a small pair of needle nose vice grips to get a grip on the retaining ring that needed to be removed early on in the process. A wooden dowel and hammer were used to un-seat the ring from the spindle. I found I needed a heavy hammer and a hardwood dowel to beak the spindle loose as pressing with the tailstock did not work this early in the process. After that the tailstock was used to push the spindle through just far enough that the stationary (far right hand side) pulley would fall out of the way. If you are just replacing the belt you can stop here. Place the new belt over the spindle and slide the fixed pulley into place. Spin the headstock around and using the tailstock press the spindle back into place. Reassemble in reverse order. Put the new belt over the edge of the motor pulley and after using just your hands open up the motor pulley, seat the belt, turn the pulley by hand and the belt will fall into place. Because I needed new bearings I continued to press the spindle all the way in till both pulleys were loose and could be removed. Don’t even try to beat, bang or hammer the old bearing off of the spindle nose. Just take the bearing and spindle assembly along with the new nose bearing to a performance auto shop, transmission shop or a machinist. It took my transmission guy 3 minutes to attach a bearing cracker and press the old bearing off and the new one in place. I asked him how much I could pay him and he said it was up to me. So I gave him a twenty for saving my butt here. Back home I used the tailstock and a turned block to press the tailstock bearing out. After a thorough cleaning of the two cast holes the bearings seat in (dust had built up and would not allow proper seating) reinstallation was simple. Reassembly was where I ran into trouble. I’ve always been good at tearing something down. Not so good at proper reassembly! After loosely reassembling the spindle, both spindle pulleys and the key way each time I tried to press the spindle into place the fixed pulley would be forced off of the spindle. That pulley just did not want to go back on the shaft even after ensuring the key way and key were located properly. I took it all apart again and sat at the bench and tried to slide the fixed pulley onto the shaft. It would start but not go on. Looking into the center shaft of the pulley I found that it was scored. Using a piece of 400 grit paper wrapped around a wooded dowel I lightly sanded the center of the pulley and the spindle. The scoring must have raised a burr on both the pulley shaft and the spindle. Once smoothed out I sprayed some liquid graphite on the spindle and into the center of the pulley hole and success! The pulley slid right on. Took it all back to the lathe and inserted the spindle enough to get the moveable pulley mounted with the key way located correctly. Placing the belt over the spindle and then the fixed pulley it was time to press the spindle back into place. Once it was fully seated I just reversed the order of the printed tear down instructions. I took a minute to spray graphite onto the motor shaft where the pulleys expand and contract and recoated the spindle at the same pulley points. I ran the lathe adjusting the speeds up and down for a few minutes. Enough to let things settle into place. Man what a difference! The width of the drive belt seems to be where all the wear takes place. The new belt was 1/8”+ wider than the worn belt. My low speed is back to 450. Before the replacement although the indicator showed 450 the lathe seemed to be turning more at the 650 range. The rumble and vibration are gone now too. My 2007 model jet 1442 runs just like she did when new. My only regret……I did not have my camera so as to illustrate some of the problem areas.
So don’t be afraid! You can do this. Just take your time. A little patience and figuring out how the whole thing works will make this a simple task! Good luck and happy turning!