Tuesday, August 14, 2012


This lathe is utterly filthy. Every square inch of it is covered in grease, grime and metal chips. While unloading in the pouring rain, the thick coating of gunk was actually helpful, it kept the surface rust from forming. Now that it is in place and I'm tearing it down, it isn't as welcome.

After the initial start up, and being able to finally poke and prod around the inside of the lathe I've decided to go ahead and commence a complete tear down of the machine. There is just no way of cleaning it in place. At some point in it's life the lathe got a cursory paint job. So I've also decided to completely strip it off and re-paint it. I know this is mostly cosmetic and does nothing for the function of the lathe but I think it will be worth it.

My strategy for tear down is mostly this; removing parts, doing a primary cleaning/de-greasing in the parts washer, stripping painted parts, then wire brushing all surfaces that are not sensitive to a wire brushing. By that I mean I don't want to be taking a powered wire wheel to any precision surfaces.

The exploded diagrams that are part of the manual have probably instilled a little too much confidence in me. I am probably not being as systematic as I should be about the tagging and bagging of all the individual parts. So far after the primary cleaning I've been placing parts into boxes that are designated for the sub-assemblies according to the parts diagrams. So the tail stock gets its own box. The headstock, the compound, etc. I figure the smaller components will be easy to figure out when going back together because I know at least which sub-assembly they go to. We shall see how this works out.

I'm not sure the posts from the tear down will be terribly exciting. It's mostly a lot of cleaning.

I didn't get my parts washer until about a week after I started. What a great little device. I was going to buy the Harbor Freight small parts washer, but it was plastic, and someone suggested I try and find a metal version. I simply don't have the space for the larger steel model from Harbor Freight. Hell I don't have the space for the small version. I'd highly recommend the model I found, despite other reviews that say the pump bracket gets damaged in shipping. Mine survived shipping. It's simple, small, does what its supposed to do. I filled it with 3.5 gallons of paint thinner and got to cleaning...

I'm uploading more pictures than this blog is showing on my web album, for those of you who care to see more.