Thanks, Jim. I learned what the funny thing that I now know if an attachment for a dial indicator to measure the inside of something on a lathe. My brother's father-in-law was a machinist and curt got all his tools. He gave me a bunch of stuff and one of the little lever devices was there. I am sure it has a name. but now I know how to use it if I need to.
The pouring of the babbit bearings reminded me of Dad replacing the babbit bearings in his sawmill. I was perhaps 8-9 years old. He did it in the back yard. I was really surprised at his skill. Guess farmers had to learn to repair everything!
While there are always exceptions, farmers and folks from former commie countries seem REAL good at fixing and making stuff, even when they don't the right tools or supplies. Being able to flip through a catalog or go to a variety of stores to buy tools and supplies is something that's just not an option during tough times, which could last decades in former com bloc places.
For giggles I like to try real "country" type repairs on stuff. Sometimes they really do hold up. One of the longest lasting valve seat material I came up with was a 2 liter pop bottle cap. It's tough plastic and has an extra coating on the inside surface. It easily outlasts a flat rubber washer.