Setting up Shop Questions - from an NZ learner

Discussion in 'The Shop' started by joco-nz, Aug 1, 2016.

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  1. Aug 3, 2016 #21

    goldstar31

    goldstar31

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    John
    I'm fully aware of where the poster is situated. Years and years ago I posted in Model Engineer how I had done up a worn out Myford ML7 with nothing initially more than Blancharding the top. The cost, I believe was minimal.

    Our poster claims that he has read much in the MEWs and I did exactly the same- this evening. Restoring a flat bed lathe is a pretty straight forward business and perhaps getting feed screws and whatever are available through RDG.

    Myford used to claim that a Myford could be reconditioned 6 times before scrapping. My ancient Super 7B is running on Turcite which is internationally available. It was with this background that I reflected my experiences( plural)

    What our individual choices in machine tools is immaterial. All that I expressed here and in the past may well be mine but it has been essentially practical and possible for a beginner to emulate. I did my homework before writing and bore in mind that two guys living 'Down under' had Myford lathes. One was Neville Shute Norway aka Neville Shute in Oz and the other was Jack Radford in Timaru, New Zealand.

    I hope that this clears a bit of the matter

    Regards


    Norman
     
  2. Aug 3, 2016 #22

    Wizard69

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    This is certainly the hardest part of the buying decision. You need to figure out what is right for you. Like I said I've seen some guys to some amazing work at the model engineering shows using Sherline or Tiag sized machines. This of course wouldn't suit everybody.

    What you will want to avoid is doing what I did and buy a lathe because it was easy to get into the shop. In retrospect it is just a bad way to decide upon machinery size.
    Shop space is a legitimate issue when buying a machine. Some times it makes more sense to buy a bigger lathe and put off a mill until more room can be had. Remember for years, probably decades, model engineers often only had a lathe to work with, maybe a drill press

    There are some awfully good deals to be had on used machinery though! I've missed out on more than one, being late to a sale or whatever. The real problem here isn't the condition of the lathe but rather being in position so to speak. It can be very frustrating to mis these opportunities.

    The classic example here is me working the night shift and planning on hitting an estate sale early in the morning after leaving work. The estate wasn't far from the plant so I drove over and knew immediately upon arrival that I had missed out on something good. I knew this based in the number of pickup trucks at the sale. In any event looked the house over and it turns out the guy that died was a tool and die maker and had a rather densely packed cellar full of tools. Almost all of them sold before I arrived at very good prices. One of those items was a very nicely equipped Southbend lathe. The moral of the story is the early bird gets the worm.

    The bargains are out there!


    As for the risk of a lemon that exists with used as well as Chinese imports. In the used realm it might help to get my n contact with a local that knows machinery to give the machine Once over. Not every defect will be caught but a real lemon will stand out.
     
  3. Aug 3, 2016 #23

    XD351

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    Ok , there is a serious difference in exchange rate between the pound and Aussie dollar the NZ dollar is even worse £ 500 is around $900 au . Good Myford lathes are not exactly thick on the ground in Australia let alone in New Zealand and usually any you find are either flogged out or the owner knows the unit is good so wants top dollar .
    I have seen ml10 lathes on eBay fetch $1500 au , most of the stuff that turns up is junk or has been sitting in a shed or barn and rusted to a point it is near unrecognisable.Second hand retailers of machinery pretty much disappeared long ago in Australia , Hare and forbes used to be one . We don't have model exhibitions of the caliber that the UK enjoy unfortunately.
    I would love a good Myford ,Boxford or Hercus but i got sick of looking and when i did find something i thought could be repairable with minimal work it was either interstate and freight was a killer or was it bidded beyond what i thought a reasonable price.
    Last year a few Hercus 260 lathes appeared on eBay all three of them from a school or college . all 415 v three ph they went for over a grand each and one bidder bought all three , they were not exactly immaculate ,none had change gears and various parts were missing or broken .
    Then there is the issue of parts ,if they have to come from overseas there is the cost of freight etc if you can find them that is and as the Australian made lathes stop being made long ago if you're very very lucky you may find NOS but it will cost $$$ .
    Please understand Sir the used machinery scene out here in the Colonies is vastly different to the UK and USA especially for machines that are of a size that a model engineer would use .
     
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  4. Aug 3, 2016 #24

    goldstar31

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    Clears aged throat:eek:

    A few days ago, I was having dinner in Hong Kong with friends before going out to Fiji. I'm pretty well 'au fait' with prices.

    Again, I still have Oz and Kiwi connections. Whatever is said, it is only a day's flying away. Knackering, jet lag and whatever and probably only the price of a lathe - for us poor Pommie bastards.

    However, despite the fact that I 'retired' some 31 years ago, I'm still 'with it'- or so people say.

    What has to be said is that using old worn out machines comes as no surprise and if there is financial difficulties- a worn out machine can be reconditioned.

    Rust can be cleaned whilst dimensional in -accuracy can be compensated for. If the maximum length that needs to be machined is a mere 2" or 5mm, that is all that is needed. to be reasonably used.

    Am I right? The usual worn part of many so called worn out lathes is- 6" from the chuck. Now that decent filled epoxies are available, that problem- which beset us old timers- is no longer present.

    Cheers

    Norman
     
  5. Aug 3, 2016 #25

    joco-nz

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    Gents. I can confirm there have been and continue to be a good trickle of Myfords and the odd Colchester appearing second hand on NZ's TradeMe. For anything not a nice red colour all over the non painted parts they typically go for a healthy NZD2,000 odd. I have seen a good number of the nice examples going for around the NZD 2,500. Some of the larger stuff climbs into the NZD 4,000+ mark. You can get things cheaper and of course those items are usually a healthy reddy rusty colour, or have bits missing etc etc. Can they be brought up to spec? In most cases I suspect almost certainly. Do I have the skills, experience and confidence to do so? Ummm No. Not yet. Maybe in time I will feel confident enough to tackle such a project. Heck in time I HOPE to be looking to take on something like that. I think restoring a classic or vintage lathe could be a heap of fun. (says he ignoring the health of his bank balance).

    As is often the case there are other challenges in this second hand market game. Many are in locations that are a minimum 3hr drive (6hr round trip) or worse 7hrs one way, which becomes a bit of a challenge with work and family commitments. And I struggle with catching a plane to see a lathe that I might not like, or even miss out on the bidding. The few that I would have liked to see were at the other end of the country or sold before a weekend came by or I just plain missed seeing them advertised until too late.
    As has been noted, the early bird does in indeed get the worm. But I'm okay with that. I'm working within my constraints.

    Cheers,
    J.
     
  6. Aug 3, 2016 #26

    Auskart

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    Do yourself a favor and try and get a lathe with at least a 38mm spindle bore (AL320), believe me you will kick yourself if you don't.:fan:

    Give your local High School and tech colleges a call, sometimes they sell of surplus lathes and equipment.
     
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  7. Aug 3, 2016 #27

    rodw

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    Personally, I am in the Buy new gear camp. I started with a used lathe which helped me understand that I wanted. Advice to buy used old iron isn't relevant in this country and probably for our NZ neighbours. Every time I buy something used, I end up spending more getting it up to speed the way I want. We have good trade connections with Asia which is a lot closer to us than our US and UK friends so the odds favour new chinese gear.

    We were talking about this the other day at work. There are any number of lathes languishing in workshops around the country that are bigger than we need at home. But the point is you can buy them for $500 to $1000. People buy them and think they have a bargain until they realise there is no tooling and then find out how much it costs to get them set up. They probably need 20mm tools so it adds up quickly. The workshop accross the road from us bought one home exactly like this. It came with one QCTP adapter so they probably are up for another $1k for tool holders alone. I felt sorry for them and sold them a spare chuck I had at home for $50... their first tool.

    As said by others grab the AL320G if you can afford it and start making some parts. Don't get the matching stand, make your own and you'll be fine. Why do I say that?...
     
  8. Aug 3, 2016 #28

    rodw

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    Personally, I am in the Buy new gear camp. I started with a used lathe which helped me understand that I wanted. Advice to buy used old iron isn't relevant in this country and probably for our NZ neighbours. Every time I buy something used, I end up spending more getting it up to speed the way I want. We have good trade connections with Asia which is a lot closer to us than our US and UK friends so the odds favour new chinese gear.

    We were talking about this the other day at work. There are any number of lathes languishing in workshops around the country that are bigger than we need at home. But the point is you can buy them for $500 to $1000. People buy them and think they have a bargain until they realise there is no tooling and then find out how much it costs to get them set up. They probably need 20mm tools so it adds up quickly. The workshop accross the road from us bought one home exactly like this. It came with one QCTP adapter so they probably are up for another $1k for tool holders alone. I felt sorry for them and sold them a spare chuck I had at home for $50... their first tool.

    As said by others grab the AL320G if you can afford it and start making some parts. Don't get the matching stand, make your own and you'll be fine. Why do I say that?...
     
  9. Aug 3, 2016 #29

    joco-nz

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    Rod - i'm definately heading the AL-320G way. I believe i have the space and it fits within budget with a healthy tools allowance after that. Although I do want to make as much tooling as I can. My self imposed apprenticeship if you will. Plus i just like making stuff. No matter what "stuff" is. 8)

    Heh - custom stand, wonder where that came from. ;)

    Plan is to create this style stand (per your Shed thread).
    [​IMG]
    Looks like Machinery House have the 3 draw units with a solid weight rating: https://www.machineryhouse.co.nz/T701

    I can get slightly cheaper units with more draws from bunnings, just not sure how robust they are. Plan to have a look in the weekend.

    Do you happen to have key dimensions on the AL-320G? The manual is crap and does not give any info on (that I can find) length, width, mounting hole layout or size. Want to start modeling this table in CAD but cant be bothered starting with limited ro poor data.

    Cheers,
    J.
     
  10. Aug 3, 2016 #30

    XD351

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    Yes machines can be reconditioned but once again there are issues :
    Cost of regrinding the bed /saddle and fitting turcite strips , this would cost more than the machine would ever be worth and it is not something that can be done at home so you are at the mercy of the shop that does this type of work.
    Spindle bearings wear and can be difficult to fix especially for someone with little or no experience , once again you can get a machine reconditioning shop to do it but that cost thing keeps popping up .
    About 15 years ago i was offered a cincinatti lathe to play with , i knew the bed had some wear so i inquired about a regrind for the bed .
    From memory it was more than my AL50 lathe cost new - around a grand and that depended on how much they had to grind off the bed and saddle then there was the refitting etc , it doesn't take much to drain a couple of grand out of ones bank account doing this as the labour costs here are pretty scary !
    Unless the person gets a kick out of fixing old machines and knows exactly what to look for i would generally point the person towards a new unit or next best thing one from a school or training institute as they generally get little use. They usually have some sort of damage to the bed under the chuck from dropped chucks or chuck keys or the end of the compound slide As they tend to get driven into a revolving chuck by some kid .
    If you can live with some scars sometimes they can be a good buy , as can be lathes from tool rooms where a toolmaker has looked after it , sometimes these sit idle for long periods and have little wear .
     
  11. Aug 3, 2016 #31

    goldstar31

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    In my earlier posting, I reconditioned a friend's ML7 for- I think £25 or £50. The bed had about 6thous removed and I cleaned up the inner saddle and in my spare evenings, had the thing running in a week. This ties in with the late David Lammas who did much the same using a piece of plate glass and a scraper made from a file and tempered in the deep freeze. the account is in ME some where.

    It was a ML2 or 4- I forget but I did something similar to another ML2 which had made Northumbrian small pipes.

    So far, the cost is trifling and with tongue in cheek, a tin of engineer's blue the only additional outlay.

    With advancing age and very demanding family commitments -which have yet to be resolved, I got the bed of my Myford Super7 slideways ground- at the price quoted by the then Myford factory for £200. The under saddle was worn and for an additional £50, the Turcite was added.

    Today, for a bit of occupational therapy, I've been Mig/Mag welding. I wanted a break from the continuing 'Sole executor, sole beneficiary ' lark following the death of my wife in September last.

    Incidentally, I'm not an engineer or whatever and still quite capable of doing the simpler tasks which arise in comparison to the real demands of life.

    That is what I achieved and regarded it at no great thing to get overly troubled. It's a hobby- no more.

    Regards

    Norman
     
  12. Aug 4, 2016 #32

    joco-nz

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    Thanks for the advice Norman. Its good to know that the restoration of classic iron can be achieved with hand techniques.

    On the grinding front I have my doubts that I will not manage to get ways reground in NZ for around NZD400. My instincts tell my i wouldnt see much if any change from NZD1,000. But perhaps I'm being a bit pessimistic.

    I had a bit of hunt about through the MEW index for restoration projects on lathes and didnt have much luck. I guess that those articles are in ME which I dont have a subscription to.

    Yes its a hobby and one I am chomping at the bit to get into properly. :)

    Cheers,
    J.
     
  13. Aug 4, 2016 #33

    goldstar31

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    Greetings J.
    The short answer is Yes and No so might I explain? There are quite a few articles in MEW( which I have on HD) but I recall a never ending series in Model Engineer over the centuries.:rolleyes: I have only a few.

    Surprisingly, this topic comes up here- on the hour and half hour and someone kindly suggested to readers sources of information such as Machine Tool Reconditioning by Connolly and one on alignment of tools by Georg Schlesinger. Both are invaluable as they make the distinction between those who think that they are experts and those who are. Regardless of whether you will eventually buy new or put up with old, both books are worth downloading and keeping on your 'bookshelf'

    Connolly deals with a classic situation where a worn machine tool is restored by machining the worn parts and then scraping them. Not lapping as you mentioned earlier. One scrapes to a known reference . None of this silly lark of lapping to make things curved again!

    The only lapping is the three surface plates to create references . Have I done it? NO, life is too short but one should understand the principles.

    However since Connolly, two things have happened. Let me try to explain. A decent slideways grinder today will create perfectly acceptable machine tools. A good machine shop will still have guys who can still scrape. The two things do go together!

    However the days of the old guys with glasses like the bottoms of Newcastle Brown Ale bottles and a left arm caked in scraped cast iron dust are over and one can have the choice of building up worn parts by either Turcite sheet or gooey plastics such as Devcon.
    Somewhere there is a fine article in Model Engineer about the use of materials such as Devcon. Sadly, I had to destroy much of earlier material but hopefully, some reader will read this and help.

    Wandering a bit, might I correct the misconception about worn out Myfords 7 series? Actually, number 4 shear is generally unworn. True it is only fine machined but it is true enough for most of us. It means that once the top of the bed is cheaply Blancharded, the worn No1 shear can be built up with a filled with metal epoxy. Alignment with the No4 takes place easily. In other words, you are able to tackle a Myford basket case cheaply and quickly- using home tooling.

    Blancharding might be only one of many techniques but suffice to say that -clears throat again- the firm went bust and we were shareholders!

    Whatever the outcome, being able to understand how machine tools are constructed and measured is invaluable to know. You might make from castings something like a Stent tool and cutter grinder or even from welded steel fabrications. Contrary to all the so called experts, mine works. No, I bought it but made an earlier cast iron one.

    Hope this helps. Keep in touch.

    Norman
     
  14. Aug 4, 2016 #34

    rodw

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    Yes, that pic posted after my lathe fell over was the motivation to build my stand.

    [​IMG]
    I already had one of the tool chests so I bought another matching one. Any of the stackable tool chest drawers would work. The drawers have worked out really well. The sample stand is larger than the AL320G and I could not extend the footprint so I decided to use 2 chests on one side and a matching toolbox with the lid removed on the other side. This left room for the coolant and to this day, I have not built the drawer for stock which should sit behind the checkerplate. One day.


    Sorry, I don't have any dimensions of the mounting positions. My lathe drip tray is 1230 x 450mm and the stand is 1280 x 450mm which was determined by the dimensions of the drawers and toolbox. Making it all work neatly proved quite a jigsaw puzzle. Frame is 35 x 65mm RHS and 35mm SHS legs.

    This pic shows the frame of the stand. You can see the mounting rails have to be higher than the frame due to the drip tray design.
    [​IMG]

    Good luck with it!
     
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  15. Aug 4, 2016 #35

    joco-nz

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    Rod - what is the thickness on that steel? 4mm?
     
  16. Aug 4, 2016 #36

    rodw

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    3mm. I think the flat bar was 5mm. Thers is not that much weight. 280 kg bare so there is only about 140 kg per rail
     
  17. Aug 5, 2016 #37

    joco-nz

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    Norman - thanks for the book references. I'm hunting them down. I'm almost certainly at information overload point but they will get a read once I get myself some kit and move beyond this book learning business. :)

    Cheers,
    James.
     
  18. Aug 5, 2016 #38

    goldstar31

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    Glad to have been some assistance. Obviously, you are moving on to purchase of things. Might I suggest that you fully understand Schlesinger and how to test machine tools for accuracy. He certainly sorted the sheep from the goats. :fan:Despite the age of the stuff, you should be clear on how tests are or should be conducted.

    Obviously, you will still have constraints on just how much so called disposable income you can use- or dare use!

    Having been retired for longer than I have had to work- I can look at things very coldly and rationally. 31 years of freedom from the tedium of work and enjoy that freedom is not in any book as far as I know!

    Apologies for the exuberance of my own verbosity:hDe:

    Norman
     
  19. Aug 5, 2016 #39

    imagineering

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    Hi James,

    Here are the specs for the AL320-G from Machinery House;
    https://www.machineryhouse.co.nz/L141

    Here's the AL-336D which a couple of us have;
    https://www.machineryhouse.co.nz/L682D

    Get hold of Bruce and we can set you up for a couple of visits to our respective Workshops. Our Engineering Society has an eclectic mix of Members interested in; Model Rail, Live Steam, Clock-making, Traction Engines, CNC Router & Mills, Tool-making & general faffing about in Workshops.

    Murray McKenzie
    Committee
    Hutt Valley Model Engineering Soc.
     
  20. Aug 5, 2016 #40

    joco-nz

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    Thanks Murray. While I love the look of the 336 I think dang near 600kg of iron for a first late is probably a little extreme. The 280kg for the 320G is having me think hard about how to manoeuvre it.

    I will look to hook up with Bruce at some point in the new week or so since he's so close to home. I'm quite keen to have a look at his CNC mill. Having built an extrusion 3D Printer (Prusa2 model) and little CNC PCB isolation mill I'm quite interested in that space.

    Oh, enjoyed the video on Wednesday. That chap had just WAAY to much spare time. 3.5 years 7 days a week on your hobby sheesh!! No wonder they achieved so much detail. And the hand rails, don't forget the hand rails! :big:

    Cheers,
    James.
     

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