Post by jimustanguitar on Feb 22, 2018 23:44:38 GMT -5
Well, since I've completely restored the VN Mill to showroom condition, I figured it was time for a new project. This time I am going to pick up a Craftsman 6x18 lathe. It's a model 101.21200 I haven't transacted the sale yet, but I'm first in line, and planning to go look at it this weekend.
I'll update this thread like I've been doing with the mill so that other people can find useful links, pictures, and follow along with the recon work I'll be doing. Wish me luck when I go check it out this weekend!
Post by jimustanguitar on Feb 28, 2018 1:10:56 GMT -5
Well, I got it!
There are a few to-do's, but it's in more or less working order. It's got a bent handwheel on the tailstock, what looks like a custom made clamping plate underneath, and the teeny tiny handwheel on the compound slide is broken. Both are easily available on ebay, or I now have the tools required (not the skill though) to make replacements. Those are the first big items to address, aside from a few missing screws and looking for a belt cover.
I oiled the ways, slid them back and forth, ran the auto-feed back and forth a few times, and wiped up the grime that it left behind. I also took apart the slide to oil it and adjust its gibs, and it seems more solid now.
It's only got a 4-jaw chuck for now, which will be a learning experience, but like everything else on these, 3-jaw chucks are available on ebay pretty easily.
I didn't actually have any bar stock sitting around, so I decided to make the inaugural cut into a piece of black iron pipe that I bought for a different project. I spent 3 or 4 minutes centering the work in the 4-jaw chuck, but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. It looks pretty good! I can see a pattern of chatter in it, but I haven't overhauled much of what's here yet, so I'm sure I'll chase that gremlin out.
There was a mysterious lever on the back side of the headstock that I identified in the manual as the "back gear" lever. It's basically a gear reduction setup that needs to be engaged manually to achieve more cutting speeds. The other bit of this that was interesting is that you also have to slide part of the hub on the belt pulley to change how it engages the shaft. Figuring out the lever was easy, but I had to find instructions on a Youtube video to figure out the part about the hub.
It's at the 8:20 mark in this video, which is a pretty good overview of the lathe as a whole.
So I've got it transported, a little bit cleaned, oiled, and have made my first cut. Not too bad for day 1. More to come as I continue to learn and restore it.
Post by jimustanguitar on Mar 6, 2018 13:04:12 GMT -5
Well, I've done it again... I took a perfectly good machine and disassembled it
When I took the cross slide off to oil and adjust it, there was a bit of surface rust on the ways that caused resistance in the movement. So, I'm goofing with electrolysis rust removal. Basically you hang your part on a wire in a bucket with water and 'washing soda' in it, connect the part to negative, drop in some electrodes connected to positive, and apply a voltage and wait. All of the rust peels off of the surface and floats to the electrodes. It removes rust and paint, so I'll have clean gray iron that's ready for paint when I'm done, and supposedly it leaves the iron itself alone, it's just the oxides that it removes.
I rigged this up out of some rebar and copper from stripped romex. I'm powering it with a 12vdc LED supply that can do 30A.
I had a copper buss bar that I swapped out the rebar hanger with. It does a nice job, and it's easier to kink wire hangers around without the slipping, or causing the whole bar to roll.
Here's what some of the parts I've cleaned look like (on the left side).
I did a little bit of reading, and talked to Shane about it, and you only want to dip ferrous parts in an electrolysis tank. Things like copper and aluminum can get pitted and don't work so well with electrolysis. Stainless and chrome plated things are also a no no, because the chromium in them can form a toxin that you don't want to have a bucket full of or dip your hands into.
Because of this, I've got a lever that engages the auto-feed split nut that's chrome plated with an aluminum shaft that's not removable, so I had to hang that particular part with those metals above the water line. The ways are below the surface, which are what I really wanted to de-rust, so I'll just use paint stripper on the part of it that I can't dip.
I've also got a really stuck (likely rusted on) chuck, so after I'm done with the cross slide assembly, I might pull the spindle out of the headstock and see if I can use electrolysis to free up the mounting threads and get the chuck off.... Now to decide whether or not to do this with the whole bed later...
Post by jimustanguitar on Mar 13, 2018 12:04:58 GMT -5
I've continued to make nice progress.
I got the whole carriage and cross slide stripped and painted. The electrolysis process does a great job of stripping rust and removing paint down to bare gray iron.
Unfortunately, the machinery paint that I bought didn't match the color on the cap at all. Instead of a battleship gray with a bit of metal flake like I was expecting, my parts ended up looking like chrome spray painted hubcaps :/
So, I stripped it all down and repainted everything that I'd already done... Luckily, an overnight dip did what I needed to remove the new paint. I didn't have to wait a super long time for the rust to get eaten off, so it was relatively painless. And worth it to get things right. Now I'm happy with the finish that I'm getting. It's a bit darker than what I originally thought I'd do (it DOES match the cap, BTW) but I really liked the color when I saw it, so it became the theme of the project. "Flat Soft Iron" Rustoleum, if anybody's curious.
I also painted the tailstock at the same time.
After seeing how nice the parts I'd refinished turned out, I decided to go ahead and just do the whole machine. So I've currently got the headstock and bed dipping. Hopefully I'll have them ready to paint on Thursday, and then I can start reassembling the lathe over the next week or so. I also ate the rust off of the chuck, which came out really nice.
An under bed storage tub from Lowes was the right size to dip the whole bed in. And from the rust bubbling on top, I'd say it's working nicely.
Post by jimustanguitar on Mar 20, 2018 7:24:43 GMT -5
Well, I got all of the rusty parts stripped down and painted. It's not like the original color, but I still really like the 'soft flat iron' paint color that I chose.
Painting the bed was a bit of an undertaking because there are several angles and surfaces of the casting that were hard to reach for cleaning and difficult to spray new paint on. In the end, I'm pretty pleased with how it ended up.
The next step is to put in the leadscrews and finish up some of that sort of assembly. I've got a couple more parts to strip and paint, but they're all small pieces that should be easier to handle on the fly. Since parts are so available online, I also ordered a few odds and ends that were not original... I ought to have it up and running 100% in a week or two if I keep making steady progress. Then it's face plate and chuck time
Post by jimustanguitar on Mar 28, 2018 7:27:50 GMT -5
Now that we're through with MRRF, I've been able to spend some time on this project again.
I've got everything cleaned up and the large iron parts painted. There was a short list of parts that I've found replacements for, like the belt cover, compound slide and tailstock handwheels, the tailstock clamp plate, a misc bolt here and there, etc. One of the more major things that I just discovered is the housing that goes on the left side of the feedscrew. It's got a stud that the belt cover mounts to, and it's been busted out of the casting. It looks like the previous owner drilled it out and rigged up a bolt from the hardware store... Luckily, I found a replacement on eBay, and it's on its way.
I already had the apron mostly reassembled, so the big landmarks in this week's progress were reassembling the leadscrews and handwheels for the cross slide and compound slide.
I also got the internals of the tailstock back together. I was missing the bolt that locks the tailstock ram, and someone had ground a square head onto a soft bolt from the hardware store, and made it to work (poorly) with some washers. I found the proper bolt and got it back together the way that it should be. I also ordered an MT1 live center and an MT1-JT33 taper to hold my nice drill chuck, got some center drills, etc.
Another note about tailstocks.... If your, um, friend ever repaints the whole thing, make sure he locks it in place before trying to slam a live center into it... A physics lesson in elastic collisions might result, and the newly painted part might end up on the floor. +1 for the durability of the rustoleum.
The last bit of progress to report is that I have the chuck cleaned up nicely. The rust was removed with electrolysis, the grime was scrubbed with a brass brush, and now it's treated with Boeshield... Still can't remove it from the spindle, though. After I have things spinning again, my first project will have to be a split bar to insert into the spindle to try and remove the chuck with (kind of like how bicycle steering stem locks work).
Next it'll be on to the gears in the headstock, change gear banjo, feed direction lever, back gear lever, etc.
Post by jimustanguitar on Aug 30, 2018 7:07:31 GMT -5
This lathe found a new home yesterday, to fund and make room for the South Bend project. The guy who bought it has a collection of vintage Craftsman tools, and was thrilled that this one matched the same vintage and 'crown' logo as his other tools. It'll be well cared for, and I enjoyed redoing it and learning about machining while I had it.