Alba 1A Restoration

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joco-nz

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It's finally arrived! The new-to-me Alba 1A Shaper. This is my little restoration project that I plan to beetle away at over the coming months.

Its not going to be a fast project as I also have to completely reorganise my home shop to make way for a new Lathe. I decided to take the plunge and do the garage workshop as I should have done it not the compromise it currently was.

Anyway, some pics of the little lady as she is, coming home for the first time. I have seen her running. She could be just cleaned up for rust and ready to rock but I want to do a good a paint job as well. Maybe a nice classic machine grey. Something not so dark looking but shiny and "classic".

Any advice on these machines gratefully received.

General overview pics - while there is obviously rusty and some crappy paint things are not looking too bad. The table box is very clean with no dings. Even have the original handle and feed ratchet system. All the knobs are in place and none of the plastic parts have been broken or damaged.








 

joco-nz

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Some specifics:
The feed system needs some love and its so painted and messy its hard to tell if there are any graduation collars in amongst it all. Not the end of world as they can be made or a magnetic backed indicator can be added in. Something I will probably end up doing anyway. I have included a pic of the serial number in case someone can help with how I would identify the age of this wee machine.






The head moves ver smoothly even though it looks a bit worse for wear. The clapper seems to have no sideways movement that I can detect. When its seated flat there is no wiggle at all.




Motor looks to be original as well. I'm probably going to power this with a 230V-1ph to 380v-3ph inverter. I have used that approach successfully on the mill. The other advantage is that I can improve the speed range and get some very slow cutting speeds. Worse case is I might need to add a fan in the case to get enough air flow over the motor.


The bull gear and the rocker/eccentric setup looks to be in very good condition.


Belt has seen better days and will need to be replaced but the clutch system and belt wheels all look to be in good condition.


Cheers,
J.
 

joco-nz

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Thanks Craig. Youtube can be a great asset. I have watched Everett’s restoration videos several times now. There is also a chap about 1.5 hrs drive from where I live who also did a 1A restoration. He’s Neil9 on youtube.

Between these chaps and others I have looked at I have some ideas of areas to check.

Plan is to pull it all apart to clean, check for damage, repair as needed, paint parts to be painted and then put it all together again. Phew - this going to be some work.
 

joco-nz

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After a long pause I have finally gotten things going on cleaning up the Alba. At the moment I'm in the phase of tearing it all down cleaning and painting parts and noting where there is wear that I would like to address. The eventual game plan will be to scrap some key parts in. But I need to spend some time learning that skill on some straight edges and practice parts.

The only part I am going to have to repair, from what I can currently see, is the table cross feed nut. It's been smashed at some point and has lost about 30-40% of its size. There is still plenty of thread so it will work, but a new one should be made. I'm not going to try and repair it in case I bugger up what could be my backup. So a new cross feed nut it will be after all the cleaning/painting is done.

Here some pics of the current state of things.

pic 1: painted parts stack ready for eventual assembly
pic 2: some WIP painting drying
pic 3: parts either cleaned, stripped or waiting on either
pic 4: a bunch of the parts relating to gear train and clutch linkage. In need of a good clean and some need stripping and painting
pic 5: the base castings separated and waiting on some attention

Cheers,
J.
 

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MRA

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That looks very nice - I wish I had such space! You probably know this, but 220 1ph to 220 3ph VFDs tend to be a lot more common and cheaper, than 220in 440 out jobs. I rewired a similar old Brookes motor to yours to do this - it had no star-delta links, but it was possible to get in there, find the star point, unsolder it and bring all the leads out to reconnect in delta for 220. Having said all that and looking again, yours is a funny speed - so maybe this is more tricky, more poles or something...
 

joco-nz

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Found this video I did before pulling things apart. I was proofing the 220v 1P to 380v 3P VFD I had purchased was going to play ball nicely.

 

Madsciguy

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Synchronous speed for a 6 pole 50 Hz motor would be 1000 rpm, so 940 rpm running speed sounds right. It will run faster on 60 Hz but the current and HP will be slightly lower.
 

joco-nz

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Synchronous speed for a 6 pole 50 Hz motor would be 1000 rpm, so 940 rpm running speed sounds right. It will run faster on 60 Hz but the current and HP will be slightly lower.
Yup. It’s all setup per the motor plate. Being an English motor it’s spec’d at 50Hz. So feed all that data into the VFD config and it sorts the bulk of it out. There are a bunch of parameters relating to slip and starting torque that I have left as default. Will see how things behave under load before I try and get cute with things.
 

awake

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James, this looks like a very nice little shaper. I have gotten a lot of use out of my 7" Southbend, but this Alba looks like it might be the Cadillac to my little Chevrolet - at the very least, it has a much more sophisticated clutch than the Southbend has.

A question about the Alba: Is there some sort of speed control in the base of this unit? Maybe a Reeves drive setup? I would think there would be some way to change speeds (on my Southbend, it is simply changing the belt to one of 4 positions). There is a little handle sticking out of the front of the cabinet in one picture that made me think of a Reeves type drive.
 

joco-nz

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A question about the Alba: Is there some sort of speed control in the base of this unit? Maybe a Reeves drive setup? I would think there would be some way to change speeds (on my Southbend, it is simply changing the belt to one of 4 positions). There is a little handle sticking out of the front of the cabinet in one picture that made me think of a Reeves type drive.
Andy - similar to the southbend the 1A has four speeds. Two belt pulley ratios and a two ratio gear change from a simple sliding gear drive inside the top casing. Photo 2 in the second post of the thread shows the clutch lever and below that the pull/push gear ratio rod.

One of the benefits I hope to gain from the VFD is some further speed control refinement on top of the base 4 speed selection.

cheers - J.
 

awake

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Interesting that they used both gear and pulley to achieve the speeds. In my usage, I have never felt a need for more than the 4 speeds, but if I had it I'm sure I'd use it.
 

joco-nz

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Shifting speed using the gears is easier than mucking about with belt tensioning to be able to move the belt. At least it is on this machine. The belt setting gets you in the ball park then you can easily flick between the gear setting.

Agree on the speed front. I suspect I will probably not need all the adjustability the VFD can provide. Its primary purpose is to cope with the voltage/phase conversion. The variable speed ability it gives is just a (potentially) nice side benefit.

cheers.
 

joco-nz

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Have been quietly working away and pondering things. Got the base onto a 450kg rated moving dolly. Best purchase ever! It has made moving this inside and out for cleaning soo much easier.

Anyway, when cleaning the top chip tray I found a hole 🤦

What to do. So after some pondering I took to it with a carbide bur to get the worst of the junk out of the way then JB Weld to the rescue!

Pic 1 - the top chip tray, you can probably see the hole post cleanup

Pic 2 - the HOLE. :mad:

Pic 3 - JB Weld to the rescue - I hope

Pic 4 - :mad::eek:🤬 More sodding holes these ones put there on purpose by previous owner(s). Oh well, some steel round as plugs, JB Weld as putty/glue and they will get solved.
 

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aarggh

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Very nice! Looking forward to see how you go!

I've got a shaper coming my way (finally!) very soon so I well understand the excitement! I just love watching these working away!

I was thinking when I do mine using one of the hammered metal machine spray paints, they look pretty awesome and cover marks well.
 

packrat

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After seeing your shaper restoring post , it makes me want to get my old shaper out and clean it up. But its too cold here now.
Good luck with yours. packrat
 

joco-nz

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After some filling of holes and associated sanding I have the stand casting primed. Surprising amount of area to paint. There are a few minor dings that the "painters putty" stuff I have will fill in. It required a primer coat to be on before use.
 

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aarggh

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Sensational!

Out of curiosity, do you know how much your Alba weighs?
 

joco-nz

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The manual specs it at:
Net: 381kg
Gross: 458kg

I’ve never been too sure what the difference between those actually is. Based on the weight of parts I have been handling and how the crane has behaved I think with everything on its pushing to that gross weight figure.
 
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