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...
> 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.
"It doesn't really take all kinds; there just *are* all kinds".
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.
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!
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.
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.
"It doesn't really take all kinds; there just *are* all kinds".
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 ............
And starting off, they don't buy no junk. Everything is high dollar top of
the line state of the art latest model.
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
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
I sold a RG213 cable to someone for $40 today, it cost the govt $258
and the package was never opened.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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:
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Before and afters are here: http://www.kepler-eng.com
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
I'd do it that way again.
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