help with newly acquired lathe

On Thu, 22 Dec 2005 22:34:52 GMT, "William Wixon"


1: Get the lathe in a warm place and give it a day to thoroughly warm up
2: Give the WD-40 to someone you don't like. Try Kroil or ATF on the tailstock, give it a day or two to wick in.
3: If it's still stuck, pull the whole tailstock, immerse it in a bucket of kerosene with some ATF mixed in, let it soak for a few days.
The thing with the blind hole is not an integral part of the casting. It's probably threaded, but it might have had threadlocker applied to it. Apply gentle heat , say up to about spit-sizzle temp and see if that helps.
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lengthy responses below...

-snip-
thanks for everyone's help.
Jon, i think perhaps the cold and the old dried up (whale) (i'm kidding) oil was what was making the tailstock ram SO hard to turn. after soaking for a day with WD-40 (right now i don't have any ready sources for Kroil) it started to loosen up. i'm embarrassed to admit, the problem was, i was turning the screw the WRONG way, it's a left hand thread, that's why i couldn't get it threaded back on. <red faced> (eventually i figured it out)
Gerald, thanks, yeah, the clamping screw was loose. actually i was afraid the clamping screw was seized but turns out that wasn't what the problem was.
Gary, thanks, that was an AWESOME link. i was very surprised to be getting info from England!! I laughed out loud at your comment, "...the white stuff". we haven't had a LOT here in southern n.y. state but it's been on the ground for weeks and, i, for one, am SICK of it.
Nick, thanks for the comments. wait till you see the photos after i'm done cleaning it up! hey, and, btw, i was completely and totally blown away with the pics of your engines.
Rex, thanks for the link, haven't gotten a chance to check it out yet though. thanks for the suggestions. I'd have to drive 50 miles (RT) to get some Kroil so for now it's WD-40. i cleaned up the headstock, scraped the paint off, oiled moving parts, wirebrushed paint and moving parts. it has some pretty bronze bearings, steel wooled them. i'm scraping the (peeling, flaking) paint off the bed and legs. not sure if i'll paint it dark blue (original color) or leave it bare iron. the reduction pulleys are not factory, they're very homebrew, and very ugly (to my tastes), they've got to go. i have a small shop and i'm going to need to get this thing as close to the wall as possible, so i really do want to redesign the drive mechanism. as i'm cleaning it up it is growing on me. it wasn't really in the snow. actually i trundled this 350 pound thing out of my shop and onto my driveway so i could get a clear picture for you guys. i wanted to get a contrasting background for a clear picture (w/o all the jumble inside the shop) and then i trundled it back into the barn by myself.
Brian, i think what was holding up the tailstock ram was just that it had old dried gummy oil on/in it. (and couldn't get the ram to go back in because i was turning the screw handle the wrong way <cringe>) there seems to be (probably for what you guys are used to) a considerable amount of slop in all the moving parts, i don't think anything was seized by the cold. it was already covered with rust from condensation from being stored in a trailer for the past 2 or 3 years. i stood the tailstock on end (both ends) and kept spraying WD-40 so it would seep down into the mechanism. thanks for the reminder to not push the tailstock barrel back in at an angle. my next question to you (guys) was "how in the heck do i get the live dead center morse taper out?!?!" i assumed the rust would've locked that sucker in. another lathe i've used had an arrangement where you turned the ram all the way in and at the bottom of it's travel it would push the taper out automatically. this lathe wasn't doing that. bummer! i got a piece of scrap steel and used it to tap on the back of the live dead center with a hammer. was SO glad when the taper popped out without very much tapping.
Wayne, thanks for the tips. i think it was just gummed up with old oil.
Roy, lol your comments. (i don't want to offend or insult you but i can't figure out why people live in canada (or russia) i used to think it was to get away from predators but that was a long time ago.) ;-) (just joking) (i'm sure it's a great place to live.)
Bob, thanks for the suggestions. so far the WD-40 is doing ok. i was here during a lengthy discussion about WD-40, Kroil, etc. i dreaded even mentioning that i was using WD-40 for fear of incurring the wrath of the group. i'll get some Kroil and then i'll feel like i'm a real metalworker (used to know a machinist, he had Kroil, i wanted some but he wouldn't let me know where he got it, i figured it was some secret machinist's Kroil society). my workshop has intermittent heat, wood stove, only when i'm out there, so that lathe is going to have to learn to live with it. was using a knotted cup brush on my makita angle grinder, works pretty good, scary though when i find wires in my jacket and stuck in my forearms etc. this will be the second time i took this particular lathe apart. was donated (by the widow) to (my) an eaa chapter i used to belong to, i dismantled it and carried it up a rickety set of cellar stairs then reassembled it in the club's clubhouse, so i'm gaining (a lot of) familiarity with it. i'm actually starting to like it a lot. when i loaded it off my truck this time i was like "why did i get this thing?!" but now i'm becoming attached to it. as for the wiring, i want to do away with the drive unit (except the flat belt step pulleys) entirely.
Adam, thanks for taking the time to respond. good luck to you with your new acquisition. yeah, back gears, i'm just wondering what the speed step pulleys should be turning at without the complication of the back gears (need to know how big the large "v" belt pulley should be.) would LOVE to see your pictures of your original Seneca speed reducer.
Don, yeah, it has a speed reducer, but it's not stock, it's cobbed together with 2 x 4's, etc. ugly. Don, why do you have your name written "DoN" in your sig line?
Adam, i'm going to take the step pulley off the ugly heavy drive unit and put together something lighter and prettier, but keeping/using the step pulley. want to get a real "v" belt sheave (is that the correct terminology?) to go on the shaft with the step pulleys. the large (aluminum) sheave i have now doesn't have a "v" groove, it's a narrow *flat* belt sheave.
Don, thanks for the tips. i don't like having a fire in my wood stove unattended, so i can't do the warm it up for a day thing. i'm going to get some Kroil someday! i liked the soak-in-a-bucket-of-kerosene idea but luckily it turned out i didn't have to. i'd like to someday see if i can get that decorative turning off the end of the tailstock so i can clean up the rusty sludge inside, but for now it's working and i have to focus on designing/building a new power transmission set up.
thanks everybody!
i'm hoping to post some pics after i'm done cleaning it up. it's starting to look pretty nice. glad i got it. well.... i hope that after spending hours and hours cleaning/fixing it up when i go to use it i won't discover it has some horrible fatal flaw.
b.w.
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What part of NY are you from? I live just over the line in CT

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On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 07:45:25 GMT, "William Wixon"

http://www.kanolabs.com /
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    [ ... ]

    Does the tailstock ram have a slot in it which is exposed when it is cranked far enough out? I can't see one in the photos, but there may be one just not visible because of the angle. If there is, then a tapered wedge called a "drill drift" is placed into the slot so it engages the back of the taper and pops it out.
    Yes -- normally, the end of the leadscrew bumps the back of the taper to remove most things -- but sometimes a tool may have too short a taper for this. I've made extensions on some live centers and such to deal with this nuisance. A piece of brass can be turned to fit and will do the job nicely.
    [ ... ]

    The Kroil is a penetrating oil -- for getting things unstuck -- not for normal lubrication.
    WD-40 will evaporate quickly, leaving no protection for your machine's metal surfaces. It's real purpose is to absorb moisture and carry it away -- not to stick around and protect things.

    Get some "Vactra No. 2" waylube and use it to coat the ways and other sliding surfaces of the machine. This will stick around and protect your machine from the problems of thermal cycling, which causes moisture to condense on the exposed metal.
    [ ... ]

    Maybe so -- but the casting with the motor mount and the pulley should all be re-used. Note that it is designed to pivot, so the weight of the motor keeps tension on the flat belt. You reach over the headstock and pull the motor towards you to slack the belt to change it.
    An alternative setup would be overhead shafts carrying the pulley, with the belts running up -- as the machine was designed to use originally. The casting with the pulleys and motor looks like a factory design for adapting such a machine to a local motor, instead of overhead shafts.

    Actully, it should be "DoN." (The period is part of it.) Shrink the 'o', and expand the period a bit, and it looks like "D.N." (my initials). It also can be read as my first name.
    And -- since there are other "Don"s posting to the newsgroup, it helps to keep track of who said what.

    I'll bet that it will be driven nicely enough by the ID of a V belt anyway.
    Good Luck         DoN.
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-snip-

thanks, this tailstock ram doesn't have one of those slots. (am familiar w/ that, my drill press has one)

huh! it feels like MAYBE the screw is just BARELY touching the back of the taper. i'll have to do some experimenting. thanks for the tip! (pretty sure i read at one of the various websites about Star lathes that they do in fact have "self ejecting whatchamacallits" on their tailstocks)

thanks. picked up some PB Blaster at the hardware store last night. am feeling like i don't want to spend $15 for a can of Kroil. (i was figuring the Kroil/WD-40 thing was just marketing :-) reminds me of a line from "naked lunch" how people think exterminator applied insecticides are more effective if they smell bad, Kroil smells worse than WD-40 hence it works better. :-) was surprised PB Blaster is orange! figured that's just marketing too. i thought they say WD-40 "displaces" moisture.) (i'm teasing.) ( i can't be sure but it does seem as if the PB blaster does work better than WD-40)

thanks for the tip.

thanks. that casting is unnecessarily heavy, would like to use something lighter. some of my other equipment use the same belt-tension arrangement (weight of motor keeps tension on the belt)

did you see the photos in the link posted by Gary Owens? originally this lathe was treadle powered (wow). surprising that the belt actually went down!! http://www.lathes.co.uk/senecafalls/page7.html this lathe has the spaces in the legs for the treadle pivot and the holes for the flywheel shaft. guess they had some spry and wiry machinists in the old days huh?

to me it seems as if the casting was made by a different manufacturer at a later date and cobbed on, the diameters of the step pulleys aren't the same as the diameters of the step pulleys on the lathe.

:-) oh. just curious.

-snip-
:-) probably. would like to get a nice (spoked) "v" belt pulley anyhow.

thanks!
b.w.
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 20:00:34 +0000, snipped-for-privacy@d-and-d.com (DoN. Nichols) wrote:

That's it's primary use, but (very unlike WD-40), it does lubricate. Air tools absolutely love it.

Yes, if it's wiped away after use. Otherwise it keeps it right there in the neighborhood. The best use for WD-40 is for juicing crappie lures. I don't know why it works, but it sure does.
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Don Foreman wrote:

Could you elaborate on that? You mean spraying WD40 on, say, a silver spoon lure makes it more attractive to fish?
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wrote:

Yup..particularly those little crappie rigs and rubber worms. Catfish are also attracted to it.
Gunner
"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.
Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner
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On Sat, 24 Dec 2005 07:45:25 GMT, "William Wixon"

I live here because I have yet to find a better place - particularly to the south

Ed's Red, or even straight ATF would be better

In principal this looks much like the drive on my SB 9 A - it does the job

Flat belts are good even if they don't look modern

Gerry :-)} London, Canada
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wrote:

-snip-
thanks. my intent is to go to a power transmission shop and get a (contiuous) reinforced rubber flat belt to put on the step pulleys (instead of the laced leather belt) i am assuming the rubber can transmit more power than the leather. (and look cool too)
-snip-
b.w.
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OK, you have inherited a Seneca Falls Star lathe. Those are nice machines but there are a few things you should be aware of:
1) I don't think the crossfeed screw on that machine has a micrometer dial on it, the kind with divisions. Check to see.
2) Be very careful about one particular issue with it:
DO NOT ENGAGE THE HALF NUTS AND THE CARRIAGE FEED AT THE SAME TIME!
Most modern machines have a lockout to prevent this, but this machine is old enough to allow that to happen. If you are driving the leadscrew and you do that, it will blow up something in the geartrain because it basically locks the leadscrew solid.
The first issue (if the machine has no micrometer dial) is tolerably easy to fix, you can simply replace the existing leadscrew and nut on the slide, with a modern type with a dial. You could also simply install a dial indicator on the cross slide.
They are not bad machines, mostly they were designed to be foot-treadle powered and are found in place converted over to electric motor drive. The bearings in the headstock are typically bronze and often need a bit of TLC and shimming to get them to run nicely, but they do. The spindle nose is a bit of an odd thread so be sure to keep any tooling that came with the machine, no matter how crusty.
More photos of seneca falls star lathes:
<
http://www.metalworking.com/DropBox/_2000_retired_files/Seneca1.jpg
<
http://www.metalworking.com/DropBox/_2000_retired_files/Seneca2.jpg
<
http://www.metalworking.com/DropBox/_2000_retired_files/Seneca3.jpg
<
http://www.metalworking.com/DropBox/_2000_retired_files/Seneca4.jpg
The oilers on the heastock spindle are of course non-original, I put those there. You can see there are a bunch of similarities between yours and my lathes, and some differences too.
The biggest difference is, yours has a compound on top of the cross slide. Mine was delivered without that. The overall carriage layout is however pretty similar though, with some stylistic differences between them. I suspect yours is a more modern version, the serial number is stamped on the bed, right near the leadscrew bracket on the tailstock end.
Jim
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Hi Jim, thanks for your reply.
(my responses below...)
William Wixon says...

this lathe does have a micrometer dial on the crossfeed whatchamacallit.

you know, i think this has already been to this lathe. the levers and handles on the "saddle"(?) all behave oddly and one of the bolts holding one of the gears (inside) wobbles when the handles are turned back and forth.

thanks very much for hte words of warning.

i was astounded when i saw the pictures (w/ treadles) of it in the link Gary Owens provided earlier in this thread. http://www.lathes.co.uk/senecafalls/index.html (sad thing, after seeing those pictures i started to have a very faint vague recollection i've seen those treadle pedals somewhere before but can't place where. i'm afraid there's a possibility that MAYBE i saw the treadle pedals somewhere in the basement of the house where i got the lathe. got the lathe from the widow of a guy who used to belong to a eaa chapter i belonged to. she donated the lathe. she didn't even go down into teh basement with me when i went to pick it up to show me what's what. i collected up everything i could see that wsa obviously belonging to the lathe in the general area that the lathe occupied (in the crowded and disorganized basement) and may have seen the treadle pedals somewhere down there but, and i'm only guessing that this is what happened, it was a while ago, disregarded them as belonging to the lathe. that would be SAD, because i'm imagining the family of the lady (she died not very long after i picked up the lathe) rented a dumpster and loaded all the "junk" in teh basement into it. sad that the original parts of this lathe got seperated from it!

the headstock bearings in this lathe are bronze. i shined them up with steel wool. look nice. thing is though, between the chuck and headstock someone chopped off the bronze and put in a (ball?) thrust bearing (or what i assume is a thrust bearing).

when i opened up the caps on the bearings there were paper shims in there. i'm thinking i'm going to cut up an aluminum soda can and use it to shim the bearings.

thanks for the heads up.

wow! cool photos! thanks for posting the links! i don't know why it didn't occur to me until long after my original post but i finally went out and did some searches on the web and found some other links. i didn't bookmark them so i have to go back to find them but if you don't already know about them i'll find them and post them here.

after wiping off the crud i finally noticed the serial numbers stamped on the bed, like you said. serial number 4793. cast into the bed are dates 1885, 1889, 1895, 1896, and last Apr. 14, 1896. i would like to know about when this lathe was made.

thanks.
b.w.
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Probably sometime after mine was made, as the S/N on it is 2537.
One would also suspect yours is younger based on the micrometer dial, and the more modern-looking controls and handles on it.
You probably should replace the paper shims in the headstock with metal ones, if it's like mine they will be quite narrow. I seem to recall the shims were about 1/8 inch wide by an inch or so long, I stuck them on with grease to be sure they would not shift and wind up between the spindle and the bronze bearing when assembling.
Jim
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