SCM Super Router Refurbishment

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deema

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A really good friend of Sideways and I has our bought a new to him toy to play with that needs a bit of TLC, a SCM Super Router, or, as generally called a pin router. SCM made a number of models and still make pin routers. Wadkin and a few others also made them, the older machines used frequency converters to achieve the high speeds needed for the spindle, which is a motor turning a generator. A modern VFD can achieve this.
This class of workhorse are IMO super machines, and can be bought for next to nothing these days, usually far less than decent hand held router. They are super robust, accurate and far more substantial and accurate than (in my opinion) any router table combination you can buy. They are powerful, this one has a 3KW motor in it, and can safely run just about any size if router cutter. So why are they so cheap? Honestly, I don’t know, they are fairly big, and certainly heavy (this one is 270KG) , so not necessarily what you want in a shed or single garage!

They usually come with a fence and also a pin, originally they were a form of ‘CNC’. You made a template for the pin to travel in, attached the workpiece on top and then moved the template against pin to make an exact replica. Very quick and easy to do even for one offs.

So, if anyone is interested we will document the rebuild, we are helping our friend to do it, so we are not in ‘charge’ of exactly what will be done or how deep down the rabbit hole we dive.

This machine has been sat outside for a period, it’s bright work and cast iron table has a lovely golden hue! However, as is our experience with the SCM machines that paint work is in brilliant condition, and I wouldn’t personally repaint it. SCM paint is some of the best we come across, a real credit to the quality of what they produce.

So, this is what arrived in the first aid bay yesterday. Pictures are from the advert that he bought it from.

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Inspector

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I enjoy your rebuild threads as there is always something to learn and they are more entertaining than the debates/arguments that rerun themselves often. So don't hesitate to do rebuild threads.

Pete
 

Sideways

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And this is how the afternoon ended.
We weren't especially thinking about photos when we leapt into the teardown, but by close of play the sheet metal enclosure around the head was off. Starter removed from it. The motor lifted off the top, complete with a large dia pulley to drive the flat drive belt.
Spindle cartridge driven out and the head casting which slides up and down on a dovetail with a gib strip one side was off.
The table is bright red rust but two minutes with a stanley knife blade as scraper shows that it's perfect under the red. It will polish up a treat.
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yetloh

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New to me but always enjoy your threads. Perhaps the reason they are so cheap is the 3 phase power requirement and for many jobs people would think first of a spindle moulder as an alternative to a router/table combination?

Jim
 

Tony Works Wood

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That's a nice small one is it a pneumatic rise and fall head, I can't see a foot pedal? These are fantastic machines, underestimated nowadays but once one of the main machines in the cabinet and aircraft industries. It looks in really good condition. This is what I use, I fabricated the metalwork to adapt it. This works as well as the large Wadkin LS routers without the mass weight. I used to work them back in the late 1970's. This has the bonus of single phase variable speed and it's on casters. You'll have a great addition to your workshop once finished. Looking forward to seeing your new projects machined on it. Tony
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deema

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It has the pneumatic head…….it’s missing the foot pedal to actuate it however. SCM have found a copy of the manual which they have very kindly sent to me. It’s one if their earliest machines, so not much data on it. The challenge is going to be to get the spindle cartridge opened up and the bearings changed whilst not upsetting the balance. This was a drop it out and send to a service centre…….which they don’t support any more…….it’s too old. The difference between the soindle on this and on a handheld router is night and day. The spindle is massive in comparison
 

wallace

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Does it run at the high speeds like an LS? I'd be cautious about bearing change, maybe ask SCM if their was a running in routine. Wadkin would have a specific method of running in new bearings which took 16hrs of testing.
 

deema

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@wallace I did ask SCM if they had any info on bearing changes but they didn’t unfortunately. It will be a case of marking everything in the exact orientation and order it comes apart and carefully putting it back together the same way. It spins up to 18,000 RPM so a little quick. Plan is to run it up to check it’s balance with a VFD. Once we find out what bearings they are I will ask the manufacturer of the bearing for any commissioning details. Usually it’s to get the grease properly distributed within the bearing.
 

Sideways

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@TonyWorksWood : From your experience using these, what is the noise level like ? Routers are famously noisy beasts but with a relatively quiet induction motor, belt drive and no fan I imagine this will be relatively quiet until it starts cutting.

A worst case frankenrouter solution for this of course is just to retrofit a chinese router spindle into the head - even a water cooled one - in place of the original spindle cartridge and dispense with the old motor altogether.
 

deema

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I have been thinking about the bearings since @wallace mentioned them, I’m wondering if they might not be anything special, after all routers typically use ‘skateboard’ bearings.
 

clogs

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Vamos, Crete, GREECE.......
just started looking at this project....
not that I know much but I'd be surprised if they are anything special other than 3 dot bearings....
They would buy from the standard range.....due to cost....
are the bearing rough or seized....?....
I have a small high speed drill press.....up to 22,000rpm ....was thinking of making into a small O/H pin router...
just for delicate jobs....
 

deema

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The bearings probably can’t remember the loving embrace of grease or oil😜 They spin freely and make a lovely hiss of unlubricated balls in a race. The manual states the bearings need servicing every 1000hrs of use. That always makes me smile, most woody machines see an oil or grease gun when they were made and never again after that🙈🙉🙊
 

ScottandSargeant

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They only stopped manufacture of these 4 years ago. There is another company in Italy who appears to have taken over their production if you get stuck but most parts are standard. Let me know if you need the contact and I will have a root through my files
 

ScottandSargeant

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@TonyWorksWood : From your experience using these, what is the noise level like ? Routers are famously noisy beasts but with a relatively quiet induction motor, belt drive and no fan I imagine this will be relatively quiet until it starts cutting.

A worst case frankenrouter solution for this of course is just to retrofit a chinese router spindle into the head - even a water cooled one - in place of the original spindle cartridge and dispense with the old motor altogether.
It’s the cutter that will make the noise
 

Sideways

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Its owner and I had another session on this today and turned the table from a sea of bright red rust into something quite serviceable. Always satisfying to do. A couple of stanley blade scrapers, some scotchbrite and a diamond slipstone to smooth the burrs from where cutters have dropped onto the table.
There's one gouge, not big enough to matter but can always be leaded. Otherwise it's very usable.
Here waiting for the table wax to dry before it can be buffed.
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Next step will be to power up the motor just to check. The bearings are OK for a quick test.
It's an Italian 2/4 pole (2 speed) motor designed to run on 415V only
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