Is Government Liquidation contractually required to be brain dead?

If you can take the aggravation, look at what they did to a Monarch EE
http://cgi.govliquidation.com/auction/view?id 2103

--
Fred R
"It doesn't really take all kinds; there just *are* all kinds".
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Could be the military's fault, rather than GL's. Also, to my untrained eye, the damage looks not so bad. I would at least visit the facility and have a close look. I do agree with your general point though, it is sad what they do with our tax dollars...
i
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Ignoramus15109 wrote: > Could be the military's fault, rather than GL's. Also, to my untrained

True, the bright orange rust looks both recent and shallow. How much work would it have been to spray/wipe/brush almost anything oily onto the shiny parts and preserve the value?
Maybe I'm just P. O.'d because GovLiq 'misplaced' the 25 HP generator I got a really good price on.
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Not, that is quite outrageous! I would be PO'd to no end.
They did misplace a little item from one lot once, but were apologetic and gave me something else. On other occasions, they kept an oscilloscope that they forgot to give me, for half a year until I came back again, and gave it to me, and same happened with some airctaft parts. In both instances I was unaware that anything was missing. They would simply say, Igor, we forgot to give you this.
Could depend on local people also.
i
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Makes no difference. If there's rust, precision surface has been sacrificed. Further, unless the bright orange you speak of can be wiped off with a rag, leaving no trace, damage *has* occurred. As I said, it's just a matter of degree, and what you're willing to tolerate. It could all be avoided so easily!
Harold
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wrote:

Iggy------
Rust------*any rust*------is extremely damaging to precision machine tools. It's just a matter of degree of damage, and what an individual is willing to tolerate. Rust destroys precision surfaces by uneven erosion and pitting. While a machine can be returned to operating condition, it can almost never be returned to a precision condition without a complete rebuild---including replacement of precision bearings and gears when moisture has penetrated gear boxes. The EE in question has likely been reduced to scrap iron, thanks to the wisdom of storing machines outside instead of protecting them in a warehouse. My experience in following the government surplus market indicates the government is responsible, not the auctioneer, although they do little to prevent damage.
It borders on criminal the way government surplus machines and handled------the EE is no exception, just another example.
Harold
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Harold and Susan Vordos wrote:

That was my thinking, Harold. And it galls me even more that this machine wasn't some piece of junk, it was one of the most highly regarded models out there. 'Criminal' is not too strong a word IMHO.
Aside from wanting one of those fine old lovelies, that is your and my tax money rusting away there.
--
Fred R
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Tales from the Nevada Test Site:
They keep a ten year supply of boots on hand at all times. The shelf life of the boots is three years.
They get new BIG roller cabinets of Snap-On tools every year. The old ones are buried in on site landfills.
Many things are never allowed to leave the boundaries of NTS once they go in. No matter if they are clear of all radiation or contamination. If they have been used to work on any equipment at NTS, they are ............
Landfill!
And starting off, they don't buy no junk. Everything is high dollar top of the line state of the art latest model.
Steve
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I can just see the future archaeologists, discussing the "ritual objects" and their annual sacrifice, speculating on the rites that went along with it. jk
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wrote:

Harold... Suppose that a chump like me buys this Monarch. Suppose that I clean rust by using, say, abrasive pads. Surely, some precision would be lost. But would I not be able to still use the lathe, at reduced precision?
For the record, I agree, there is a lot of waste. Just today I threw away about $5,000 worth (original cost) of military surplus equipment. Some low pass filters and a HP extender module. That number is not really a proof of waste, but I cannot help but reflect on this.
I sold a RG213 cable to someone for $40 today, it cost the govt $258 and the package was never opened.
i
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wrote:

EE
tools.
willing to

pitting.
never
rebuild---including
them
market
they
First, I don't consider you a chump.
Yes, the machine could be made to run, which is what I stated, but running, and running properly, should not be confused. Knowing of your prowess with mathematics, just imagine a formula that doesn't balance------to the person that doesn't understand the ramifications, it may appear to be fine----but you---with your understanding, realize that something is amiss. That's the way it is with machine tools when you understand them well. All too many people are content to have a machine that will make chips-----which is *not* a measure of a machine's ability to make parts. As your skill level improved, you'd likely struggle endlessly with a rusted machine like the EE in question. Precision machine tools aren't like a plow. Rust hurts them.

Chuckle!
A few years back, I bid on a pallet of things from the local Army base. Included were surplus parts from the naval base nearby. There were a couple large stainless rod ends in the lot, with an original cost to the government of just over $1,000 each. They were new, one still sealed in the package. I sold them on ebay for a grand total of $22.
If you knew how the government deals with inventory, and how good and useful items are sold as surplus so other items that are needed immediately can be purchased (inventory cap), you'd throw up. I've seen assemblies worth $25,000 sold for scrap, well less than one cent on the dollar, only to be resold to the government when the need arose again. The system is badly broken.
Harold
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wrote:

I think that I agree completely. The machine could be made good for a non-demanding "hobbyist", but it would never work to spec, that's what you are saying.

Quite sad... My biggest gripe is this. They write off perfectly good things, by falsely labeling them unusable or broken, so that they get new toys to play with and that their allowance for new stuff is not reduced. So, a lot of things sold by GL that are marked "broken beyond repair" usually work right out of the box or after trivial repairs (like that drill that had carbon dust and needed a good compressed air blow).
The nice thing about these sorts of items is that they usually are sold at a big discount. So, I bid on them knowing that it is a gamble, but in fact it is a gamble with the expectation of making money, the best sort of gambling (and the mist addictive).

Harold, I sell thousands of $$ of military surplus stuff per month. As an extra income. I know what you are talking about. It is quite disturbing what's going on.

I do not really know how to fix it, but if they did fix it, it would save enough money to hire thousands more soldiers to go to Iraq and maybe change things for the better.
Next week (if I get approvals) I will go and pick up stuff that cost the government approximately $176,000, purchased by me for 0.3 CENTS on the dollar. I expect that all of those things would in fact perform as intended, maybe I get 1-2 cents on the dollar for them when I resell them. $176,000 is probably close to what an average taxpayer paid in federal taxes for 10-20 years of his life.
It could have been worse, the system is not great, but it could be much worse. This stuff could be stolen or end up in landfills. At least it continues useful life and ends in people's garages and home labs and such, at very affordable cost. That's a good thing about it.
i
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Ignoramus22178 wrote:

Well, abrasive pads, no, but it CAN be fixed. I rebuilt a Sheldon 15" lathe (R15-6) which is in the same class of extremely high quality toolroom lathe. It was a total bear due to the hardness of the bed ways, but I came up with a technique that allowed me to restore the bed to better than new accuracy. (I didn't have to contend with rust, rather it was wear on one of the ways.)
I had to come up with some special instruments to do it, however. The Sheldon has a 6 FOOT long bed, so a 2' straightedge wouldn't do the job. Grinding of the bed on a large surface grinder would be the simplest way to restore that EE. But, rigging a toolpost grinder to the tailstock ways and towing it down the bed with a small gear motor and wire would be a major step to a good surface. That's what I did as my first approximation, and it got the wear down from .013" to .003" over 6 feet.
The Sheldon is now a truly fine machine, and more accurate and rigid than anything I've ever used.
Jon
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That's very nice. Pretty creative use of a toolpost grinder. I will keep an eye on that auction to see what the lathe sells for. Another Monarch sold for 2k here in IL, a couple of years ago.
i
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Ignoramus22178 wrote:

For the other end of the spectrum, look at eBay Item number: 7593268376
Drool.
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Fred R
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Fred R wrote:

I have a problem in trusing that eBay seller. They have a tendency to call most everything "from government reserve" and to put on fresh paint. I've had suspicions that both are more marketing techniques than anything else. On the other hand the replacement drive (Sabina) is the one that the government used in rebuilds in the 80's, so it could be part of that program at one time. I note that they don't claim this one to be from reserve.
On the original topic the DRMO has a tendency to put pallets of plastic chairs under cover to protect them and to leave machine tools out in the rain (as shown in the original link), so when someone asked me to look at a 10EE at the local auction I wasn't expecting much. Here's a link:
http://cgi.govliquidation.com/auction/view?idw7516
This was, bar none, the best 10EE I've seen, and I spent 2 years rebuilding one. It was fresh from a government rebuild program done in 1994 where it was placed on a pallet, the tooling and a stepup transformer strapped to the pallet and the whole thing coated with LPS3 or the like. Stored in dry storage since, best I could tell. The only ruse seems to be a recent flash rust on the compound slide, something that a minute and 000 wool and oil would take care of. Only the fromt way cover on the cross slide was missing. The ways were mirror finished, better than my freshly ground ways; new drive but done right and with a nice digital tach on the controls. Inch/metric and everything felt right, backgear movement was nice so the dogs were not chewed up.
If I hadn't promised not to bid (and didn't have a rebuilt 10EE in the shop already) I would have been tempted. Really tempted. Defintely a real find.
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Russ, if you do not mind me asking, what did that rebuild of yours involve? Definitely not in the next 10 years, but one day I would like to find and maybe rebuild a very fine lathe like this.
i
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Ignoramus12893 wrote:

Quite a bit, actually. I bought the lathe without running it but with the expectation that if I couldn't get it working I could always flog the tooling on eBay for the purchase price, there was quite a bit of tooling and one bit would have covered the price in it's entirety.
On arrival the controls on the lathe were rusted, and the drive was not completely working. I started dealing with the rust by removing things and cleaning, most of the rust was in the zero setting dials and such and interfered with the tenths clearance. The taper vernier dial took most of a week to get apart - one hour at a time in solvent in the ultrasonic bath, but once it got open .002" the rust was able to come out and it was cleaned and back together in an hour or so. It was the worst, really.
The drive was a lot more work. The tubes (this is an all-tube drive) was OK, a couple of marginal signal tubes were replaced. I found a couple of caps that were marginal, repaired those. I had the motor armature turned and new bearings and brushes put in, they managed to mess up the series field (this is a compound wind motor with series and shunt fields) and that caused some fun until I stood over them with the motor on the test drive - it would arc like crazy after the field crossover point. Once that was fixed I had to replace on of the special rheostats in the speed control, they each vary only on half of the turn but on opposite halves and someone had put in a standard linear taper pot. That was fun as the drive was increasing the armature voltage the filed was decreasing. Anyway, that was about 3-4 months, and a niggling problem I caused during this time took a couple of months to track down (a whisker of the wire on the pot was touching the lead primer paint inside the pot housing, and was draining off *just enough* of the gate that I couldn't get the field all the way down...) but since fixed has not given a lick of trouble.
During that time I was doing "weekend projects" - take something off, clean/repair, replace. After a while I had a lathe with all the functionality but a very worn bed - .007" in the front inverted V. I finally bit the bullet and broke the lathe down into components. The bed, saddle, cross slide and taper slide all went with me to Dallas for a grind, I had the bed top ground, the saddle had the cross slide dovetails ground and top cleaned up, the cross slide top was squared up and the taper slide had the inside ways parallel ground.
When I decided to strip the lathe I also decided that a stripped lathe was a lot easier to paint, so from this point on I was removing old paint and priming/painting as necessary. I ended up painting the base, bed, headstock, gearbox, saddle, apron and tailstock in that order, pretty much as things went back on.
Realigning the headstock was interesting. I had to scrape the headstock back into alignment while maintaining bearing on the ways. I was lucky to get it in as few cycles as I did, I built a spreader bar that helped lift the headstock on and off the bed as well to flip it over for scraping. I scraped the tailstock base in to the bed to use as an indicator holder to check the headstock alignment, made it level to the leveled bed at the same time. I think I stopped when the 1.375" test bar was .0004 low at 18" - if I remember right that was the droop.
The saddle was a lot more work. I had to set it the proper height above the leadscrew and feed rod so that the apron would have the proper alignment, this entailed removing some material from the V ways and replacing it with a castable resin called Moglice. The minimum thickness of the resin is .032 thus the V way cleanup - it also removed most of the oil and such and put some tooth for the Moglice. The wear was considerable on the saddle, once I had the bottom the right height and the top level I used feelers to figure out the cuts - on the leading edge I only needed to take off .012 to get the .032 I needed. In casting I placed a couple of layers of tape on the bed ways and cast the oil grooves in place. I also had to replace all the oil lines in the saddle as they were gone (I'd patched over some rust areas that leaked, but this was the time to finally replace with copper. The meter units had been replaced some time before when they were found to be clogged.
The apron needed a lot of work. The bushings for the feed rod were egged out where the rod passed through, so I had to bore them out and put in some bronze replacements, keying them in place. Most of the bearings had to be replaced as well as the arms for the oil pump and the cam on the longitudinal feed that worked the oil pump (the pump has 2 cams, on for cross feed and one for longitudinal), the worm gear on the feed was about gone and had to be replaced, the pinion on the rack needed replacement. The oil pump was rebuilt, not really needing it but as long as I was in there....
After the saddle was Mogliced and some oil pockets scraped, the apron and all the associated rods put back on, and the electric leadscrew reverse put back on in time. Lots of finagling there. Since I had set the cross slide square to the headstock when doing the Moglice all I had to do on the cross slide was to mill the bottom for some Multifil (a way material like Turcite). I glued that up using a surface plate as a master so it'd come in flat, and it needed very little scraping. I needed to do the bottom of the cross slide before calculating the verticals, and after getting it to the right height I was able to shim the gib in with a .002 shim, and I've put off the final fitting. Maybe this summer.
The compound was scraped back in, the base milled flat (.005" wear - from rotation, believe it or not) and scraped to the top of the cross slide. I've since replaced the compound assembly but have not yet refitted it.
The tailstock was low and I simply shimmed it .006" up. It was level from scraping the base earlier. I had to make a new nut (1/2-8 LH ACME, so I had to make the tap as well) earlier and made a couple of new quill assemblies as well, one in MT2 and the other in MT3. The eccentric on the tailstock clamp was shot and needed a new one which was made,and a replacement handle I had for the clamp fitted (someone had bought one for the lathe but never fit it). I think they're riding in new bushings now too.
The taper attachment needed new bearings all around (8 of them) and I rebuilt it to fit the new slide. I still need to mill off the sides of the part that slides in the body to clear off some pitting, I plan to attach some steel strips and to grind it all parallel. It's "ok" right now if I simply avoid the last 3" of travel near the headstock, and with better than 10" travel that's fairly easy.
Most all the gaskets were replaced in the process. Someone had used some black goop instead of gaskets, and this was a mess to cleanup, entailing some serious work in the bottom of the gearbox. All wipers and felts were replaced. In general all oil passages were cleaned and verified to be working.
In retrospect it might have been better to get a lathe in better shape, but really, a lot of this sort of thing would have to be done anyway sooner or later. What I did was far from a 'concourse' rebuild, ignoring the paint (well, it's not the best in the world, but it's 'serviceable' and looks pretty good from 10' away). I was mighty tired of stripper, bondo and toluene (I had to shoot a lot of paint in 45 degF) by the time I was done.
I did do some 'bling' stuff - the beat up plates for threading/feed and controls were replaced with new where it didn't cost much. I tapped the old drive screw holes and used screws in replacement. But generally if a part was serviceable I simply cleaned and reused it. Since finiahing the rebuild I've replaced the cross feed screw & nut and rebuilt the dial assembly, and replaced the screw in the tailstock, both feel a lot better now.
Before and afters are here: http://www.kepler-eng.com
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That's a great way to buy stuff!

This is very impressive.

So, you paid someone to do it professionally, on professional equipment, right?

I never could imagine that resin could hold up in an application like this. Very interesting.

your story and pictures are very inspiring.
i
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Ignoramus12893 wrote:
[lathe bed grinding]

I don't see a way to get a flat parallel bed otherwise. A couple others had their lathe beds done at this shop (Commerce Grinding in Dallas) and checked them optically - they were flat straight to .0001 over the lenght of the bed. Can't as for more than that (well, you can, you just can't afford it).
And you need a good clean grind as the bed is being used as the master for the Moglice.
> I never could imagine that resin could hold up in an application like

It's strictly in compression. In shear it'd snap, in compression it's quite strong after it sets up.
The nice thing is that using it let me get the saddle aligned to the headstock and leadscrew and level without pulling the saddle, scraping, cleaning, putting back on, etc. I had fixtures on the corners that used 10-32 bronze screws against the ways to hold it setup, a little Loctite on the screws and the saddle came off and went back on with very good return to position. Once I was happy I prepped the bed (really, really clean, tape for the oil grooves, release sprayed and polished) mixed up and gooped on the Moglice and pressed the saddle back on. It took some movement and hammering to get to back in place, I think I used too much Moglice.
I'd do it that way again.
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