Almost a year ago I posted a video about our Aciera F5 Mill. That video has received quite a lot of views, and I recently received a very nice, detailed comment from a viewer, Lutz Geiger, who has completely restored an F5. His comment is fantastic, detailed, and full of useful information. Even more importantly, Lutz clears up a few of the many errors I made when recording that F5 video…
So, I thought I’d publish that comment here, in case it makes it easier for someone to find.
I have restorated an Aciera F5, too. I know every screws first-name now 🙂
I disassembled the whole machine, changed nearly every bearing (prophylactic, because i already ripped everything apart), cleaned every furthermost corners in there, repainted it and rescraped the axes. Some dumbass used the grease-pump instead of the oil-pump for a short period of time until a gear failed. Lucky machine, because it protected the other parts and axes from getting damaged. Over €1000 just for the Aciera-replacement-parts, no bearing or seal included.
If you still haven’t found a manual: Ask Mr Rösli in switzerland: https://www.roesli-maschinen.
Have you noticed the surfaces at the measures, where also the limit-stops are? You can lay gauge-blocks there, mill “against” them and thereby cut extremely precise lengths with automatic feed-stop. Just stitch your blocks to the right measurement together and lay it on there.
The power-feed of the table isn’t hydraulic, only gears and shafts. But lots of them… Every power-feed is driven by that one and only motor in the feed-box at the bottom of the machine, the distribution, activation, rapids and auto-off is all mechanical stuff. You can slide the whole feed-box out to the front after some minor handling, there are kind of runners down there, very very cool construction. In that box you find the 2-stage-AND-variable-feed-gear and that rapid-feed-wet-clutch (very evenly controllable with that big handle or pedal).
And you said “some interlocks”… The whole machine is one single interlock 😀 Additional to the ones you mentioned there are also mechanical interlocks between axis clamping-levers and feed-levers. and reversly. You can’t clamp the slides with the feed engaged and vice versa. btw the moving of the table on it’s axis left-right is accurate to within 1/100mm, so you don’t have to zero Y or Z again. And it gives additional 400mm capacity to the 500mm of the main-guideway.
The flat-belt can be changed without cutting and rejoining it, described in the manual.
Oh, and don’t swivel the fine-feed-thing on the cutting-head in that far, you have to adjust it to the right point to eliminate play and maintain easy turning. If you swivel it in too far, it’s hard to turn and wears the gears. If made correctly the wheel can be turned with one single fingertip.
Most important: The machine has a very (!) complex lubrication system, you can do very bad things to the machine when not lubricating it correctly (price for the extremely tight tolerances of every moving thing in there). I really recommend you to get a manual (english in there, too) and parts catalogue! Very interesting and detailed, btw. There are many oil-bath-gears, different oils to take care of, shot-blast-wheels, pipes and pumps for the oil to get from the main-frame to the inside of the Y-axis, the table has to be in the middle of the axis for filling the lubrication-reservoir with its roller-drum-applicator, the machine has to stand exactly horizontal for the oil-paths on (yes, ON) the feed-box to work as they are designed to and so on…
But if you follow it’s lubrication needs, as you said, very robust AND precise machine. No aftercut when moving the cutter out of the material, no bending axis or geometries, very very good machine. If you are an engineer and having fun on precision-things, this is the machine for you to disassemble and restorate. You will cry tears of joy every single day when you discover the next mechanical wonder of it… They even use bronce-wipers in the slots of the switching-shafts for the feeds to prevent chips from getting inside the machine! Every single part is designed the perfect way. No saving-measures from the purchase- or controlling-department, every single part is made as perfect as it can be. Also lots and lots of leverage, excenters, handles and stuff, always made as good as possible, every clamp has very short and precise activation, all over the machine only very extensive construction. An absolute dream of a machine. Metric wheels are with 0,02mm-division, and not that 0,5mm-from-line-to-line-