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Author Topic: Stuck Ludlow Plunger  (Read 3500 times)

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Mechanic

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Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« on: December 02, 2014, 03:53:00 AM »
OK all you bush hot metal mechanics. How do you get a stuck plunger out of a Ludlow?

We've tried brute force and stupidity. The plunger is stuck solid. I bailed the metal out until the metal level was below the top of the well. I put some Ludlow oil around the top of the well hoping it would penetrate down to no avail.

We don't want to put too much force on the connecting rod for fear of twisting or breaking the rod.

I've had the odd tight plunger on a Linotype but nothing like this.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

 


George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

John Cornelisse

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2014, 09:46:11 AM »
Whenever you try something, be sure that the pot is heated.

There's always some lead around these parts, and when lead is solid you will never be able to remove the part.

It is just the same with a monotype-pump, when it is cold, it is impossible to remove the nut at the bottom, when you need to clean the pump parts.

Mechanic

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2014, 10:42:22 AM »
Thanks John, I've been around hot metal machines long enough to know that.

I did find some info on using threaded pipes to try and jack the plunger out. I only spend three or fours hours a week at the print shop. In the mean time we've got it soaking in penetrating oil.

The problem is trying to recycle these old machines that have been standing idle for many years, they've just rusted up.

George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

tjtrower

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2014, 03:11:22 PM »
With the machine hot, take a Coke bottle and fill it about half-full of water. Have the handle ready to slap into place. Carefully poor water into the plunger (maybe six ounces) and immediately try to work it back and forth with the handle. You'll be surprised at how often this works.

Mechanic

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2014, 06:38:10 PM »
I forgot to mention that we tried pouring ice water into the plunger. Got a lot of steam but no movement.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

Mechanic

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #5 on: December 03, 2014, 11:16:04 PM »
The plunger is still stuck. I found these Ludlow plunger pullers on Dave Seat's site. We will make one up and hopefully it will do the job.

http://www.hotmetalservices.com/Milts_plunger_puller.htm
 
http://www.hotmetalservices.com/Daves_plunger_puller.htm
 
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

Mechanic

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2014, 04:05:39 AM »
We made up the Milt's plunger puller. In the beginning we could not move the plunger at all. Finally we were able to move the plunger about half an inch 125mm. by dropping ice into the centre of the plunger. This worked but we were only able to move it a few mm at a time. We kept this up until we ran out of ice. I have a feeling that this machine hasn't had the plunger cleaned or the well reamed in years.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA

John Cornelisse

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2014, 09:09:28 AM »
I do not think, that the not-cleaning is the reason why you have this trouble. It is the rust between the part and  the channel.

Rust need more room than iron, and so the tiny space between the parts is filled up. And lat than stuck together.

........

Would it not be wiser to clean the upper part of the channel first ? Grinding the surface of the part you can reach ? Make it as smooth as possible ! And remove the rust there first completely.

Rust is the very thing that minimize the diameter of the channel.

After this cleaning it might go faster, every mm that you are able to pull up the part, because the upper rust is gone.

I think that the rust in the upper part just add to all your troubles.

good luck with it all !

Mechanic

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Re: Stuck Ludlow Plunger
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2014, 08:01:47 PM »
The plunger is out.

Thanks to everyone for their suggestions. The ice method works in conjunction with the plunger puller. It is slow but effective.
George Finn (Mechanic)
Gold Coast
Queensland
AUSTRALIA