Today I wrestled the 2'x3' surface table that I got via ebay into the workshop. I'd actually got it in May 2004 from the engine shop at the Reliant factory for an exorbitant price of £18.50. It had been stored under cover outside whilst I built the workshop. Since I no longer have access to the forklift I used to put it there, I had to build a wooden gantry above the table to lift the granite bit off the steel table. Having done this I could move the table into the workshop. This was quite easy since it only weighs about 150lbs. The granite bit had to be dragged to the workshop on rollers since there is about 450lbs of that.
Having got it into the workshop and set up, using the workshop gantry crane to lift the granite onto the stand, I gave it a thorough wash and rinse with the wife's best washing up liquid and dishcloths, dried it with a cloth and swept all the dust off it with my hands. I then let it rest for a few hours.
Whilst this was happening I got out the £27 2.5"x4' camel back straightedge that I had got at an online auction and cleaned that.
Having got the surface table and straightedge clean and having noted that the surface table looked as if Reliant's had actually been building engines on it for 40 years, I blued up the straightedge and applied it to the table in lines across the table.
The surface table and the straightedge are both battered and far from perfect. But my investigations today show that they are both good enough to use in the reconditioning of the milling machine.
Maybe when I've got nothing to do for a couple of weekends I'll arrange to take the straightedge, scraper and blueing into work and borrow the use of a good surface plate to re-finish it back to calibration quality. I'll probably never re-lap the surface table because I'd have to take several thou off it to remove most of the scratches on it and that'd be a lot of work.
PS the straightedge is bloody heavy as well....
Mark Rand RTFM