Summer Project #1: The Monster Lathe

Summer Project #1: The Monster Lathe

Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 15th, 2018, 10:43 pm #1

After more than a year of utter inactivity on this particular project, an update! (Yes, I'm still working on the Springfield... just... you know... not very often. )

The lathe is largely complete, but waiting on a few detail bits. The big one there being I wanted to have the bed properly ground, and then to line the carriage with Moglice, a moldable machine way liner, as per a popular online technique that uses the freshly-ground ways as a "mold" to form the epoxy-like Moglice.

The wear wasn't horrible (about 20 thou at the chuck) and I could have used the thing as it was, but a friend of mine has been threatening to take a trip to the States with a truck and trailer to pick up some machinery he'd left behind in California.

That trip is finally happening, after two-plus years of such threats. He'll be leaving in a week or so, so it's finally time to re-dismantle the beast, get the bed ready for transport, and... oh. Um.... hmmm.



I'm pretty sure the lathe is in there somewhere. (That's almost all paintball gear, by the way. )

After two days of cleaning, sorting, cursing and at least two small bonfires to get rid of all those unsold Ripper 'Cocker bodies, new X-Mags, and leftover copies of Action Comics #1 that had been cluttering the shop, I finally had the monster reexcavated.



And, with a little hired help (not pictured) we started getting the beast dismantled this morning.



By shortly after noon, we had it back down to the bare bed...



And then not long after that, had the bed outside and flipped over so I can bolt some sections of 4x4 to the pads, to raise it up enough that the grinding shop can more easily pick it off with a forklift.



By the weekend I'll have it back on its feet, wrapped in plastic to protect it a bit during the trip, and hopefully by Monday it'll be off on its journey.

The original plan was to get it to Schaeffer Grinding, a very highly recommended shop in Los Angeles, as the fellow is heading for California anyway. That proved to be a bit troublesome, as he's heading for the Sacramento area- which is what, another 350 miles or so short of LA?

Meaning he'd have to drive there and back to drop the bed off, then there and back again to pick it up- on additional two to four days and some 1,400 extra miles. And besides the time, he says he wouldn't be looking forward to dragging a big truck and trailer into the LA bowl in the first place. He used to live there, and hated it.

I asked around a year or two ago about other options, and a shop in Vancouver, Canada came well-recommended. I've been in contact with them, and it looks like the new plan will work- My friend will pass through Vancouver, drop off the Springfield bed (and possibly a couple other parts) and continue on to his destination in California.

After his project is complete there, he'll pick it back up on his way back home. The whole process will take some two months, and will cost me a bucket, but if it all works out, once the bed is back and the rest of the detail work is done, I'll have damn near a brand-new machine again. And maybe two others up and running as well.

Doc.

(Reprinted from the original thread.)
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 15th, 2018, 10:43 pm #2

Well, the shop is now a complete and total wreck, as opposed to before, when it was merely cluttered. BUT, I have the bed ready to go (the shipper should be here today (Monday) or in the next day or so.

I also have the old Stockbridge shaper fully dismantled, and the top half of the chassis casting, the ram, and probably the two top way bars will also be going along for the ride. The casting has upwards of 30 thou wear in places, and who knows how much the ram has to go with it.

It will be, I admit, kind of a waste of money to refurbish that particular old beast, but really, the options are use it as is (badly worn and not accurate) repair it properly, or junk it. The machine's survived a century so far- including being rescued from a dump!- and I don't want to be the one to finally throw it away for good.

My transporter is already making the trip, so I figured why not? It's only money. And heck, I have so much of that I'm tripping over piles of it, y'know?

And I'm also sending the saddle and table of the Nichols horizontal mill. That has been a thorn in my side since I built that machine almost a decade ago- the rest of the machine is in excellent shape, with minimal wear, good bearings, a solid motor, and so on. But as it'd been a production machine most of it's life- with the table moved only a short distance with a "fast action" lever rather than a handwheel- the middle third of the table dovetail ways have severe wear- like 15 thou.

Meaning as good as the rest of the machine is, I could never really use it for more than rough work- as a chopsaw, for example, or just roughing parts. Getting the bed fitted back to dimension would return this machine to nearly new, and make it WAY more usable than it is at the moment.

Be even better if I could ever finish that vertical head I have for it... in a basket... somewhere.

I was also seriously toying with the idea of including the table of the big Exacto mill too. We wouldn't be able to grind it far enough to erase all the whoopsies that past owners have inflicted on the table (some are pretty damn deep) but just a 10 or 15 thou pass would clean it up considerably, and erase decades of little dings from people dropping tools and the like.

Not sure I'm gonna do that at the moment- it'd be mostly just cosmetic- but it's tempting.

Doc.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 15th, 2018, 10:48 pm #3

And they're off!



If all goes well, I should have 'em back by the latter half of June. (crosses fingers )

Doc.
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Joined: July 10th, 2016, 2:02 pm

May 16th, 2018, 6:32 pm #4

30 thou?  Seriously?  On an iron casting? 

That ... has seen some heavy use. 

I get within five thou on my flexy wood-and-fiberglass mini-mill, if I'm being careful and stick to soft metals.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 16th, 2018, 7:31 pm #5

Thinkertoys wrote:30 thou?  Seriously?  On an iron casting?
I get within five thou on my flexy wood-and-fiberglass mini-mill, if I'm being careful and stick to soft metals.
-Are we talking about the same thing? 😁 It sound like you're referring to accuracy, or repeatability anyway, of your machine- that is, you can get within .005" of a given measurement.

For the shaper, it's wear- the top ram cycles back and forth repeatedly, one stroke per cut. And these old machines required the operator to regularly maintain and oil the machine- there was no oil pump and oil sump to do it automatically. If the operators didn't oil it enough- or even at all- it wouldn't take long for the oil to get wiped away and metal-on-metal contact to start.

I've seen machines a quarter of this ones' age that had a great deal more wear. In fact, this lathe I know for a fact was used by several previous owners who I have little doubt knew very little about proper machine maintenance. The headstock, because it DID have an oil pump and sump, was in fine shape- it got constantly and automatically oiled.

The carriage, however, while it had an oil pump, had a fixed supply and operated essentially "total loss"- the oil was pumped to the ways, but then just ran into the drip tray rather than returning to a sump. If the operator doesn't keep that topped up, it eventually runs out, and metal-on-metal contact starts. (Which is worse for the carriage, as the cutting debris falls on the ways, and without fresh oil to "wash" it away, just adds to the wear.)

On these older machines, it's always better to OVER oil, than under oil.

Doc.
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Joined: November 17th, 2014, 11:09 am

May 17th, 2018, 7:16 am #6

Just one point...
You BURNED 'Action Comics #1'?
You know that you're supposed to RECYCLE paper, right?  
Every single copy of that was at least a week's worth of quality time in an outhouse somewhere...  
Or 3 hours after a badly mangled mexican dinner...
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Joined: March 6th, 2018, 8:17 am

May 17th, 2018, 7:46 am #7

Snowtroll wrote: Just one point...
You BURNED 'Action Comics #1'?
You know that you're supposed to RECYCLE paper, right?  
Every single copy of that was at least a week's worth of quality time in an outhouse somewhere...  
Or 3 hours after a badly mangled mexican dinner...
Diving for the outhouse screaming "Up, Up and out of my WAY!!"
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Joined: January 11th, 2016, 8:57 pm

May 17th, 2018, 8:25 am #8

And as you depart you hear the outhouse begging for mercy......
Breakfast.com halted. Cereal port not ready.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

May 17th, 2018, 9:59 am #9

Please, guys, these are going to be ongoing threads about the projects. I'd like to keep the off-topic fluff to a minimum if we could.

Thanks.
Doc.
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