Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

All discussion about lathes including but not limited to: South Bend, Hardinge, Logan, Monarch, Clausing and other HSM lathes, including imports

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:37 pm

This thread explains my fear of old precision machines. I can fix an old band saw. Even highly skilled machinists can't fix a worn-out lathe.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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liveaboard
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by liveaboard » Sat Apr 15, 2017 2:49 pm

pete wrote: My equipment sure seemed a lot better when I knew less.
Just what I was thinking!

If only we could regain our lost ignorance, instead of chipping away at it as fast as we can....

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by pete » Sun Apr 16, 2017 1:31 am

LOL, yeah ignorance is bliss. :-) My tastes in fine machine tools such as Swiss and German grew from knowing more as well. Paying for them ???????????? That's the tough part.

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by Glenn Brooks » Mon Apr 17, 2017 11:59 am

To bad it is so expensive to rebuild these old machines
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by John Hasler » Mon Apr 17, 2017 12:47 pm

Buy a new EE10 and I bet you'll soon take on projects that will cause you to curse its limitations.

pete
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by pete » Mon Apr 17, 2017 4:10 pm

Yeah it can be a money pit to rebuild any machine tool back to new or better specifications Glenn. Done right and properly tested you do know exactly what you have at that point. It does take a machine that's worthwhile and has enough life left in it to make it worth the investment. And prechecking the availability of any worn out, broken or missing parts would be a real good idea before even buying a machine. For some of the high end and very well built machines parts are still no problem but you'd better have very deep pockets. There's a few picture heavy threads on the PM forums about commercial rebuilders over in Europe who specialise in Schaublin lathes and Deckel mills. The attention to detail and accuracy specifications they guarantee are pretty amazing and with a price to match. They might be even a bit better than the machine came out of the original factory for some of it. Something like a Heavy 10 South Bend totaly reground and rescraped is quite cheap in comparison. There's a few guys on YouTube over in Europe as well who it seems there hobby is machine tool restoration and not using there fully rebuilt equipment for anything else other than to help rebuild more machines.

Going by some of the costs I've seen mentioned in various forum threads and YT it probably runs a bit more for something like a 14" swing lathe or under than buying a brand new machine from Grizzly, Precision Matthews etc. That wouldn't include Monarch, Hardinge HLV's etc.though. A few professional rebuilders seem to do Bridgeports at roughly half the price of the new ones. Since all or most of the the better manufacturers are no longer building manual machines many of us could afford rebuilding is an option at least. From my reading there's lots of shops around who have surface grinders more than big enough to do most any lathe or mill people like us would be using normaly. The tough part seems to be finding one of those shops who do have the skills and understand what a top quality bed and slide regrinding takes. The ones that do usually have the higher prices. Stefan Gotteswinter on YouTube is a professional machinist for his day job. He rescraped his Chinese 10" swing lathe, replaced various parts and rengineered some of it, and it's likely one of the most accurate and nicest to use off shore lathes of that size anywhere. Most of the highly experienced machine rebuilders say the Chinese machines aren't worth the effort so I guess it's down to what a person wants and is willing to do or pay to have done.

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by NP317 » Tue Apr 18, 2017 2:39 pm

When I visited the Ural Motorcycle Factory in Irbit, Russia (Western Siberia), I chanced to see an old and large planer (6 foot x 10 foot table!) set up to true a large lathe bed.
It was surprising to see, as they had a grinder mounted in place of the usual tool, and were slowly moving the table + lathe bed under it, regrinding the ways.
I gained appreciation for the creativity of the Russian People making do with what they had available.
I still own and ride two of their sidecar motorcycles. Rugged simplicity, just like a steam locomotive.
~RN

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by spro » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:57 pm

This all fits together but it was sad to see such a bashing of the Atlas lathes. Their iron was top quality, they just didn't use enough of it. There were the normal reasons of production and weight, to offer a metal lathe at a price for the home shop. Those zinc alloy gears and stuff weren't all that expensive back in the day. As time and wear progresses, attempts to "true" the flat ways meet with frustration because it shifts the planes. There has to be additive under the saddle and tailstock or rebuilding the bed surface. There were registers along the bed; high points where the tailstock never went and high points where the saddle never traveled. These are obliterated by making it all flat, so it has to be additive under these components, to raise them.
This gets into more work and fitting which seems counterproductive these days. Everyone can afford a new Chinese lathe and get right to work. So it goes but there is something else. I never saw an Atlas with the QCTP so popular now. By golly, you had to approach the work with proper ground tool and finish. It was "rocker, lantern" style and there had to be fall back, to not gouge-only cut. One becomes very good at planning stuff like this.
Atlas lathes taught a lot of folks while they were making stuff.

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by earlgo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:10 am

Yes, I agree, spro, this ATLAS lathe has taught me a lot.
I pulled the tailstock off and cleaned up the interface between the two halves. It was not bad, just stained where the sulphureted oil had crept in. However the bottom half had worn from sliding on the ways. It was .002 shorter than the unworn part. But I noted that there was an adjustment for fit between the ways. Neat and simple.
After reassembly and reinstallation I put the co-axial indicator on the OD of the quill to re-center it. It seems that the up and down is off by .005, so it must be an accumulative effect of wear on the bottom of the tailstock casting and the wear on the ways. I am debating whether to buy shim stock and try to aim it better. Most likely I will try it, but of course, whether it is shimmed or not, the 'aim' will change with position when the tailstock rides on the worn or good part of the ways.
But it is getting better, and it will still be worth $0.10/# when the dumpster guy comes.
What I learned mostly is crap in, crap out.

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SteveM
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by SteveM » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:36 am

earlgo wrote:After reassembly and reinstallation I put the co-axial indicator on the OD of the quill to re-center it. It seems that the up and down is off by .005, so it must be an accumulative effect of wear on the bottom of the tailstock casting and the wear on the ways. I am debating whether to buy shim stock and try to aim it better. Most likely I will try it, but of course, whether it is shimmed or not, the 'aim' will change with position when the tailstock rides on the worn or good part of the ways.
It might also be that the front edge of the underside of the tailsock is worn more than the rear, causing the tailstock to tilt downwards.

You should be able to indicate the barrel of the tailstock with an indicator on the carriage.

If you do that on the right side of the bed, there will be little bed wear over there to affect the readings.

Steve

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Bill Shields
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by Bill Shields » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:48 pm

I have a 65 year old South Bend 16" that has badly worn ways....but when I need to hog something out or hold something big...I love having it around...despite the worn-out old boat anchor that it is....cost me $1000 completely tooled with a bunch of good large chucks and an honest-to-God ALORIS GCTP...

wouldn't trade it for anything from Asia...but know that beyond belts and lube oil there isn't much point in spending any $$$ on it.

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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by spro » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:13 pm

This is the other side which still relates to older American made lathes. For instance; I sorta knew a fellow 30+ years ago who was working in a more tech type job afterwards. He had been a machinist at some point and we talked lathes. LeBlond was the Cadillac of all lathes he ever used. The man really made a point of this. He dismissed every lathe I had or was thinking about. In a way we work back or toward the proper machine for our uses. I did know that he didn't have a lathe at home. He was done with it and sadly passed away years ago... I was too young then and couldn't cross borders in our structure except for a reason. Later, many years, a friend had a LeBlond Regal and it was stout . It was threaded spindle. This guy could focuss and make anything happen.

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