1: Get the lathe in a warm place and give it a day to thoroughly
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
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
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
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*
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.
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.
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
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
Email: < firstname.lastname@example.org> | Voice (all times): (703) 938-4564
(too) near Washington D.C. | http://www.d-and-d.com/dnichols/DoN.html
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.
:-) probably. would like to get a nice (spoked) "v" belt pulley anyhow.
Yup..particularly those little crappie rigs and rubber worms. Catfish
are also attracted to it.
"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
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)
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:
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.
please reply to:
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.
(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
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.
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.
please reply to:
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