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PM 1236 FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Ray C

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#1
I'm a big fan of the PM 1236 lathe and feel it's one of the best buys out there for the money.

Here's a compilation of information for new owners. I'll start-out with some really basic info and will get into everyday operation of the basic controls.

NOTE: Safety is your responsibility. This instructional primer does not cover shop safety procedures. It outlines very succinctly the basic procedure to setup and operate the lathe. If you do not know about safety procedures, get the appropriate help and instruction before proceeding...


Here's good picture of how to properly hoist the unit. Wrap the strap around the bed and make sure the strap is not pressing on the feedrod or ACME leadscrew. If you use an engine hoist, make sure it's capable of 1100lbs at the extension needed for your situation.

OutWithOld.jpg


  • The bench that comes with the unit is simple. Two boxes, a drip pan and a brake. Set the boxes down into position, put the drip pan on the boxes, install the brake between the holes (don't worry about the op-rod yet). SAFETY: Make sure you're using an adequate hoist and keep all body parts (feet, hands etc) out of any potential drop zone. TIP: Apply a generous amount of silicone sealer on both sides of the drip pan. This will help seal things if you run coolant. Position the lathe above the bench (apply sealer to the bed feet if you so chose) line-up the bolts and tighten them up. Yes, it's a little tricky maneuvering the lathe into position -to be expected... It's a heavy piece of machinery.


  • The power cord does not have a plug. Get one from the hardware store. 220V, 3 prong. One of the prongs is perpendicular to the other. This is commonly called a "Air Conditioner" style plug. Power requirements are 220V, with either a 15 or 20 Amp ckt breaker. NOTE: Don't operate the lathe until it's been cleaned and properly setup....


  • If you purchased the bench, the unit comes with a drum brake mechanism located inside main sheave in the exposed area of the gearbox. There are two brake pads inside that sheave which are operated by a lever connected to the bench foot brake. The connecting bar between the foot brake and the actuating attached with two allen screws.



  • Once the unit is on the bench, it must be cleaned of all cosmoline (i.e. storage grease). WD-40 or other light solvents work great for this. Scrub away until it's all off.


  • Way lubrication. Use Way Oil. There are numerous "oil-BB fill caps" on the carriage, crossfeed and compound. Insert the pointy tip of a high pressure oil can and squirt oil until it seeps out of the various passages. Apply a even coat of Way oil on the lead and feed screws.


  • At the ends of the leadscrew and feed rod are oil BB fill caps. There is also one in the exposed side of the gear box. Pump with oil until an excess amount begins to leak.


  • Gearbox lube and apron lube sight glasses should show the mid-level fill position. ISO/AW 100 hydraulic oil is recommended. IS0 68 is suitable for very cold operating conditions.

Installing a 6" chuck:


  • To install the 3 jaw chuck, start by putting a piece of wood on the ways below the spindle area. This is to protect both your fingers and the ways in case you drop the chuck. The spindle is a D1-4. Align the holes and insert the chuck into the spindle.

3J Install.JPG

  • Tighten the D1-4 cams. Each cam turns about 2/3 revolution to tighten. First, lightly tighten each cam making sure the spindle face is flush (note: adjustment to the backplate is sometimes needed. This is covered in other areas) then, firmly snug down each cam. Removal is the opposite of installation. When the cam is completely loose, you will hear a click. NOTE: New chucks are sometimes on pretty tight. Once the cams are loose, tap the chuck with a wood block and hammer. Be prepared to catch it and always have a piece of wood to protect the ways. How come chuck plates sometimes need adjustment you ask? They are not fine-fitted at the factory. The labor in doing that would raise the cost of the overall unit considerably.

Chuck Tighten.JPG

At this point, the unit is ready for power on...


  • Preparing to run:
    [*=2]Install the 6" chuck with the jaws mostly closed.
    [*=2]Place the carriage a safe distance from the head.
    [*=2]The operating rod on the apron must be in the middle position. Pressing down is forward, up is reverse, middle is neutral/off.
Op_Rod Neutral.JPG




  • [*=2]For the unit to operate, the side cover must be installed. There's a proximity switch to ensure this.
    [*=2]The brake lever must not be depressed. Pressing the lever operates a kill switch. Continued pressure on the brake applies the mechanical braking action.
    [*=2]The Red panel switch must be pulled out.
    [*=2]The crossfeed and carriage feed operating lever must be in the neutral position
Xfeed Neutral.JPG



  • [*=2]The halfnut/leadscrew lever must be open in the Up position.
Halfnut Feedrod disengaged..JPG



  • [*=2]Start out with a low-speed setting (B-1) as show with the following settings. NOTE: Never change gear settings with the motor running. The gears are not syncro-mesh. If a dial or lever will not engage, manually spin the chuck lightly by hand to shift the gear position while attempting to operate the dial or lever.
B1 Slow Speed.JPG



  • [*=2]The feed rod and thread rod rotation selector can be in either position and the corresponding dials on the lower part of the gearbox can be in any position.
Thread_Feed Selector.JPG



With all the above criteria met, it is safe to start the lathe. Verify safe positioning of all controls and that the chuck jaws are in a safely closed position then, move the operating rod to the down position. The lathe will now turn forward in it's slowest setting.


.... To be continued...


That's it for right now, this will be augmented very soon.

Ray

PS:

Here's a great thread of a really clean 1236.... Mine as you can see, is pretty grubby.

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/showthread.php/11475-My-PM1236?highlight=PM1236+thread+chart


EDIT 1: Added steps to install chuck.

OutWithOld.jpg Op_Rod Neutral.JPG Xfeed Neutral.JPG Halfnut Feedrod disengaged..JPG B1 Slow Speed.JPG Thread_Feed Selector.JPG 3J Install.JPG Chuck Tighten.JPG
 
Last edited:

MikeWi

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#2
I "thanked" Ray for this and saw a "promote to article" button, and curiosity got the better of me. What I saw makes me think that this should only be visible to admins? I canceled it, but it's showing on the main page (for me any way) as an unpublished article. Sorry if I screwed something up. BTW, this really should be saved! :man:
 

Ray C

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#3
Woooo, now you did it. Yerrrr gunna get hollared aaaat...


I "thanked" Ray for this and saw a "promote to article" button, and curiosity got the better of me. What I saw makes me think that this should only be visible to admins? I canceled it, but it's showing on the main page (for me any way) as an unpublished article. Sorry if I screwed something up. BTW, this really should be saved! :man:
 

Ray C

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#5
Continuation From 1st Post.

Running the lathe and breakin:


  • To run the lathe with the settings described, push down on the operating rod. The lathe will run forward and no auto-feeds are engaged. To shut the lathe off, return the op-rod to neutral OR, press the RED stop button OR, press the emergency brake. To restart the lathe, the op-rod must return to neutral and the red button pulled out.


  • Breaking-in is easy. On the gearbox faceplate, notice the matrix with A1, A2, A3; B1, B2, B3... It is split into two sections for Speed Ratio 1 and 2 corresponding to the two steps on the motor sheave/belts. Using the top two speed levers, adjust the ABC and 1,2,3 to proceed through the speeds lowest to highest. Run each for 1 minute. It does not matter if you're running at high or low ratio as set on the motor sheave. If the machine starts to vibrate excessively, stop. This is due to an unbalanced chuck which is covered in other areas here.



Auto Feed and feedrod/leadscrew Direction.


  • See the picture below for the feed/lead direction selector and read the little cheater notes. When the lever is in the right-side position (as shown) and the op-rod is pushed down (lathe in forward rotation) the cryptic notes remind you that: "When the leadscrew is engaged with the halfnut, the carriage will move toward the tailstock" and "If the feedscrew is selected with it's corresponding lever on the apron, the carriage will move toward the headstock" and, "if the crossfeed is selected with it's corresponding lever on the apron, the crossfeed will move out (toward you)".


  • If you change the feed/lead direction lever to the left side, the above cheat-sheet notes are reversed.


  • If you change the rotation of the motor by changing the op-rod position to up (reversing the motor), the above notes will be reversed.


  • NOTE: It is not mechanically possible to engage the leadscrew and feed rod simultaneously.


  • NOTE: It is not mechanically possible to engage the carriage travel and the crossfeed simultaneously.


Feed Direction Cheater Notes.JPG


The feed selector dials:

See the picture below. Here's a description of each knob.


  • M and S specifies either/or the leadscrew or feedrod. M = Leadscrew. S = Feedrod. NOTE: Only use the ACME leadscrew in combination with the lalfnut lever when you intend to cut threads. If you're just removing stock from a workpiece, spare the leadscrew of unnecessary wear & tear and use the feedrod (S).


  • The I and II is a speed doubler. Switching from I to II will double the current RPM rate of the selected rod (i.e. either leadscrew or feedrod).


  • Alpha A-E in combination with numerics 1-5 set the base speeds of either the leadscrew or feed rod. The values you select are taken from the graph on the cover of the side-gear assembly. We'll talk about this more later.


  • NOTE: A little caution is advised when you're first playing around with this... It's perfectly fine to experiment but it's wise to run the motor speed at a low RPM at. If you engage the carriage or crossfeed and have these speed dials set to a rapid rate, well, the carriage or crossfeed will move rapidly... And you could crash the lathe before you press the stop or emergency brake. Starting out with motor RPMs under 700 is a safe bet and give you plenty of reaction time. Later on, I'll talk about how not to break/crash your lathe.


Feed Selector Dials.JPG

This is it for tonight....

Ray

Feed Direction Cheater Notes.JPG Feed Selector Dials.JPG
 

Ray C

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#6
BTW: To those reading this... If there are areas you'd like clarification or, if the wording is difficult to follow, please PM me off line and I'll try to fix it.

Eventually, I'd like for this to be an effective user guide and FAQ -not cluttered with legal warnings. Last, I emphasize that safety is your responsibility. If you're totally unfamiliar with operating a lathe, please search for and read the online book called "How To Operate a Lathe" which is an old but very useful South Bend publication. There is also an Army publication with a similar title. Old but good information (and it will remind you of your time with Uncle Sam).

Ray
 

darkzero

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#7
Awesome thread Ray!

Maybe you should write the manuals for Matt! :rofl:

Hmm, maybe it will be a good idea for a similar thread about the PM45M. :leaving:


Just wanted to add one thing, I don't think it's been documented anywhere about the PM1236 (the Grizzly manuals do), in regards to:

Auto Feed and feedrod/leadscrew Direction.

  • See the picture below for the feed/lead direction selector and read the little cheater notes. When the lever is in the right-side position (as shown) and the op-rod is pushed down (lathe in forward rotation) the cryptic notes remind you that: "When the leadscrew is engaged with the halfnut, the carriage will move toward the tailstock" and "If the feedscrew is selected with it's corresponding lever on the apron, the carriage will move toward the headstock" and, "if the crossfeed is selected with it's corresponding lever on the apron, the crossfeed will move out (toward you)".


attachment.php?attachmentid=49999&d=1363567466&thumb=1.jpg

If the feed direction lever is placed in the middle position (there is actually a detent for this position), it is neutral which will disengage feedrod/leadscrew (to avoid unnecessary wear when they are not needed).
 

Blackhawk

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#8
Thanks Ray,

i put in an order with Mat a few weeks ago. Should be at the house sometime in April. Would you recommend one of his tooling packages or go with another?
Lanham
 

Ray C

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#9
Thanks Will...

Yes, I am writing the manual. I figured that's a good way of helping a bunch of folks in one felled swoop.

I was going to describe the neutral detent but figured I'd show the actual steps in chronological order from setup to 1st cut without giving too many details in-between. I was thinking that if someone turned it on and didn't see one of the rods spinning, they would think there's a problem. I'll eventually cover every aspect then add a "trouble shooting" guide at the end. Truth is, I can't really think of anything that goes wrong... And since this lathe is basically no different from a dozen others, this should serve as a primer to help others.


Ray



Awesome thread Ray!

Maybe you should write the manuals for Matt! :rofl:

Hmm, maybe it will be a good idea for a similar thread about the PM45M. :leaving:


Just wanted to add one thing, I don't think it's been documented anywhere about the PM1236 (the Grizzly manuals do), in regards to:




If the feed direction lever is placed in the middle position (there is actually a detent for this position), it is neutral which will disengage feedrod/leadscrew (to avoid unnecessary wear when they are not needed).
 

Ray C

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#10
With the "Preferred Package" you get a live center, drill chuck, foot brake pedal, coolant system and a 5 piece wedge QCTP. -All that for $300 bucks. Heck yes. Add up the individual costs of those and you'll pay 50-75 bucks just for shipping costs. A no-frills coolant pump, tank and nozzle will cost you 300 alone. Granted, I don't use coolant but once in a blue moon... Still nice to have it when I need it.




Thanks Ray,

i put in an order with Mat a few weeks ago. Should be at the house sometime in April. Would you recommend one of his tooling packages or go with another?
Lanham
 

GaryK

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#11
Great post Ray. This should help a lot of beginners hit the ground running.

For those looking to make some modifications or improvements they can check out this LINK.

Gary
 

Ray C

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#13
All,

Here's an updated version of the unofficial PM1236 lathe manual. It's in much better shape than what was earlier written and most areas are complete. The threading manual sill needs to be included and Matt and I are working on it. For now, it's included as a separate document.

This will probably be updated as time goes but, I know a bunch of you are about to get your lathes and rightfully so, you want to get some reading under your belt first.



Sorry about the delay but, last week, there was a death in the family and things were a little busy...


Ray

View attachment PM1236_SetupAndUse_1_.pdf

View attachment PM-1236 Threading and Feed Rate Directions.pdf
 

MikeWi

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#14
Excellent! I've really been wanting to get my hands on this. Thanks Ray.
 

Ray C

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#15
No problem... let me know if areas could be improved or don't make sense due to wording. I was hoping to have Gary and Will look at it first but, things got way too hectic for a few days and I didn't have time to send it to them.


Excellent! I've really been wanting to get my hands on this. Thanks Ray.
 

GaryK

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#17
All,

Here's an updated version of the unofficial PM1236 lathe manual. It's in much better shape than what was earlier written and most areas are complete. The threading manual sill needs to be included and Matt and I are working on it. For now, it's included as a separate document.

This will probably be updated as time goes but, I know a bunch of you are about to get your lathes and rightfully so, you want to get some reading under your belt first.
Maybe you should have some volunteers to take pictures of their newer "cleaner" lathes for the manual. :))

Darkzero has a bunch as well as me.

Just a thought.

Gary
 

Ray C

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#18
All,

A good off-sides question came up about the oil sight glasses on the PM 1236... Here's the response.

The headstock has a main gearbox (upper half) and threading gearbox (lower section); thus, two sight glasses. Mid level or higher is fine. These gearboxes are splash systems (i.e. no oil pump with journals or oil tubes) and most of the gears are fully or partially submurged. The few gears which are not submurged rely on splash from the other gears and it won't make a difference if you're slightly overfilled. If you are way overfilled, pressure might build-up and you'll get some seepage through the seals.

The amount of splash in the apron is very minimal so leaving it at the high level is actually preferable.

BTW: The heavy weight oil will stick to the un-submurged gears for several days. If your machine sits for a week, when you go to use it, the splash inside the gearboxes is extremely vigorous and everything will be re-coated in a matter of 1-2 seconds.


Ray
 

Ray C

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#19
All,

I just changed the oil in the PM 1236. In case you're interested, it requires exactly one gallon of lube for all three gearboxes. The main gearbox holds about 3 quarts (give/take a little) the threading gearbox holds a little over a pint and the apron just a little under a pint.

I'm using hydraulic oil. The last oil change was about a year ago and the magnet in the main gearbox had basically nothing on it (about 2 particles about the size of a grain of sand). The oil came out looking pretty good. Going forward, I'll probably greatly extend the change interval.

Someone in a different thread mentioned moly oil additive and it reduced noise and heat. I might give it a try but for today, I did some experiments and found that with the threading gearbox disengaged, there is no noise to speak of at any speed, including top speed. -Just a nice Whirrrrrr sound. The threading/leadscrew/feedrod gearbox is fairly quiet too and the loudest sounds depend on which set of change gears are in-use. Depending on size, it goes from quite to pretty loud but only at top speed. Since I'm unlikely to ever be threading at top speed -no worries. In all my past experiences, even after hours of continuous use, I have never felt anything close to warmth or heat coming from any gearbox.

Moral of the story: For this machine, I think hydraulic oil is the way to go and the splash oil system works peachy. I will give the moly oil a try though...


Ray
 

Ray C

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#21
Hi.

NAPA brand from a local store. I used-up the last of some ISO/AW 68. The local stores often don't carry the 5 gallon pails but can get it with a few days notice. It's probably available in smaller quantities too but I'm not certain.


Ray



Ray what type and brand did you buy, was it local?

lanham
 

MikeWi

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#22
If you have a farm&fleet in the area, they'll have it in the store. Other tractor supply stores should have it too.
 

planeflyer21

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#24
Ray,

I looked on the PM website and see there is an option for a 3-phase on the PM1236. I do not see pricing for the 3-phase option though.

Is this currently offered?

Jon
 

GA Gyro

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#25
On most of the smaller PM lathes and mills... 3 PH or single PH are the same price... unless noted.
Now there are some fully variable speed (no gearbox) models... those are usually a bit more $$$. Note that a fully VS model is NOT a 3PH with a VFD.
I would ask when you are ready to order.
 

planeflyer21

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#28
Okay, time for a PM1236 non-FAQ.

I know PM offers a 5c collet chuck that fits the lathe but I'm wondering about collet closers. QMT doesn't have them on their website. Has anyone ordered one from Grizzly or Enco (or elsewhere) to use on their PM1236?
 
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