Wednesday, January 23, 2013


Stripping, stripping and more stripping. I spent quite a lot of time stripping grease, and paint off of every single component and part on this lathe. I'd have to say that alone took up the majority of time on this project. I used Citrustrip and the process generally was to slather on a coat of stripper, strip the majority off with a putty knife, then apply more stripper, strip with wire brushes and steel wool then switch to paint thinner to get off all the residue. Some sheet metal pieces where then sanded, while rough castings had an angle grinder with wire wheel applied to them. All in all a dirty messy process that I'm glad was over.

Here are some pieces in various states of cleanup.


The first assembly that I tackled was the apron. It was a good start to the project since it was quite complex and would be a test on things to come. After stripping it down and repainting all the parts it was ready to go back together.

One thing I noticed was the odd shaped gib for the half nuts. Apparently the original was missing and someone fabbed up this replacement. I wasn't all that bothered by it since it seemed to work fine. However subsequently I've noticed the half nuts are a bit sticky to engage. I may have to look into replacing this as well however its low on the priority list.

I probably re-assembled and dis-assembled the apron 5 times or so. I wish I would have taken better documentation pictures ant notes when I was taking things apart because nothing went together without headaches. There is a definite sequence of assembly that had to happen for everything to fit together on the apron.

Some of the levers and handles don't work as smoothly as I think they should so at some point I'm going to have to delve back into this thing to figure out what exactly the problems are but for now it works well enough to use.


I haven't had much time to update the blog in the recent months. However, much progress has been made on the lathe to date. Therefore I'm going to blow through a series of short posts to get everything up to speed and to generally document the process I've gone through.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Pulling troubles

So after I had the easy parts off the lathe my first hard part to tackle was the parts that are attached to the outboard side of the headstock spindle. If you look at this exploded diagram you can see the parts in order of placement starting with the hub, plate, retainer (I'll get back to this little bastard in a second) spindle pulley assembly, bearing, gear hub assembly, etc etc etc. My first attempt was to put my biggest 3 jaw puller on the spindle and grab onto the spindle pulley hub, because it had the biggest area to grab on to. I figured if I could break this loose, it would push on the plate and hub and pull everything off in one fell swoop. I did not at this time figure out that the retaining ring (circled in red) was holding the the spindle pulley assembly from moving.

Needless to say, that wasn't going to work. You might be surprised at how long it took me to figure that one out. Eventually I came up with what you see in this picture. It's using one of my smaller pullers on the hub, but I had to first created a small flat bar puller center, to cover the hole of the spindle so that my puller had something to push against. Then because the jaws were barely contacting the hub I wrapped some bailing wire through the un-used pivot holes on the jaws. This was just enough for me to finally pull that hub off.

Finally I got the snap ring off with a typical pair of snap ring pliers. This was another tool I inherited from my Grandfather. I had never known how to get snap rings off before I discovered this tool. Seems kind of stupid but it was quite an Aha moment.

The rest came off relatively easy with my handy puller plate center coupled with my bigger 3 jaw pullers.

This was a big triumph that actually took me several days of futzing around and trying different things to continue disassembly. I'm trying to keep up my pace on this lathe and not get discouraged or bored with it. I'm realizing how long this trip is going to be and wonder how much trouble I'll have keeping focused.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Parts Painting

Here are some of the first parts that I had gotten cleaned up and ready for refinishing. For the smaller parts I find it easiest to just paint these with a small artists brush by hand. There are so many nooks and crannys and places that need to be masked on some of them that its just easier this way. I'm going to be spraying the larger pieces outside.

Among the parts included here are the leveling feet plates, door hinges, compound and tool rest, and the main apron casting.

There is still a lot more cleaning and tearing down going on, but I find it helps keep my motivation going if I can move onto refinishing some pieces already. It makes me feel like I'm making progress.

3 Jaw Chuck

My first attempt at buying a chuck didn't work out too well. I forgot to make sure it was a plain back and it ended up having integral threads. So I had to return it. My second attempt worked out well.

For a pretty good price I picked up a nice Burnerd 5" 3 jaw universal chuck on eBay. It's a plain back, and it had a 1 1/2" x 8 adapter plate already on it.  I took it all apart and cleaned out the old chips and grease and lubed it all up with way oil.

Besides some wear on the ring and a few chipped gear teeth on the pinions it is in good shape. Luckily the chipped teeth don't affect the function as far as I can tell. 

Since the 1-1/2" x 8 backing plate is smaller than the 1-3/4" x 8 that the Clausing has I believe I might be able to re-bore, and re-thread the plate. That way I don't have to buy another backing plate. 

I did buy a brand new backing plate with the correct nose thread from AMTOOLS but I think I'm going to use that on a new 4 jaw chuck when I get one. 

Side Bench

This was a quick side project. The back wall of my shed has an angled portion where the alley wraps around  the back. The lathe fits right up against the angled portion of the wall. I wanted to fill in the small triangular area with a work bench that is roughly the same height as the lathe chip tray.

It's a very simple build. A few 2x4's and a piece of plywood all screwed together. It's screwed to the studs of the shed with timberlock screws. I then mounted my big Crafstman vise to the table. It's not the most accessible bench, but it makes use of an otherwise wasted space. The vise was my grandfather's and every time I get to use one of his tools it puts a smile on my face.