Hard to believe that it's been a year since I did any work on this. Actually that's not entirely true I have done a couple of little bits but it's getting ear to that time when I want to make a final push to get it finished, and then get it sold. I've been working flat out all year so I've taken all my holiday in December.
Jobs left to do:
Fit and align the tailstock.
Fit the cross slide handle.
Re-mount the VFD somewhere more sensible. Inside the cabinet makes it very tidy but it gets full of oil when you lubricate the gearbox.
Make a front plate for the controls
Paint a few bits and fit the data plates
I might also make a chip tray for it, but undecided yet. If I did it would also provide a handy place for the VFD to live in safety underneath.
Today though I made the tensioner for the drive belt. It's made from turned parts and an old lever from a wood lathe. I've set a couple of pins in the front plate so it goes slightly over-centre both ways, and re-purposed a rubber bush from work which just happened to be the perfect size and threads to allow some give on the tension.
The way wiper felts were all hardened and broke up so I made some new ones. I also 3-d printed some plastic housings so I could double-up the amount of felt to hold more oil and hopefully preserve the fresh-ground ways. The original brass wiper clips fit into the plastic housings and hold the felts in place.
Felts, if you've ever tried it, are a devil to cut. Scissors are no good and they blunt knife blades very quickly. It also pulls the strands out all over the place if you aren't careful, so I also printed a cutting guide to do the best job I could manage.
Now you can replensish the oil by dripping it into the filling port at the top and it soaks through the felt and keeps the way oiled.
Over Christmas I've fitted up the control system, mounted the VFD, fitted all the oilers and made a tee nut and spindle for the tool post so yesterday I've finally got round to running this machine.
It came with a 4 jaw chuck (original South Bend 6" chuck by Skinner) which is in nice working condition so I just had clean it up. The 5" 3-jaw Pratt chuck was trashed so I had to re-machine the backplate for a new one. I have a nice Bison 5" chuck with reversible jaws so I thought that would be a good size to fit.
So for the first time in god-know-how-many years the old WW2 'war production board' South bend cut it's first bit of metal - a backplate for a new chuck. Did a pretty nice job of it too.
Thnaks Graham. It's very satisfying to see it come together. I only have the tailstock to fit and align and it'll be going straight up for sale. When I bought it I told the guy I was going to restore it to it's former glory and then sell it, as part of my rebuilding journey. He was happy with that because it belonged to his late father and he was pleased that it would be renovated rather than stripped for bits or left to rust. It's been a lot of work but I don't regret it. A machine with this kind of history is worth that extra effort.
The last job to do was to align the tailstock. Typically, the ways wear at the front which makes the nose droop. This one is no exception though it didn't have a whole heap of wear in it,the ways did have a tiny bit of twist. I spent a couple of hours grinding the underside ways then scraping them in, then had to set the tailstock to spindle height. This involves turning a slug in the chuck the same diameter as the tailstock quill, measuring the difference in height then putting thin shims in the join betwen the tailstock and base to bring the height up.
I ended up with about 10 thou shim in the front and 8 thou in the back. This put the spindle and tailstock within half a thou of each other vertically (but being a small lathe it typically depends on how much you tighten the bolt). Plenty good enough. I also set the side to side alignment (after levelling the bed) which of course is easy to adjust on the two screws. It did highlight the fact that the centering mark on the rear of the tailstock is out so I'll have to file that out tomorrow and re-mark it.
So that's it, I'm calling it done. I've done a bit of turning on it, some threading and ran it long enough to check it's not going to cook the bearings. Going to put some photos up shortly.