Magic Beans, or rather my Star #10 lathe, intro and advice
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    Default Magic Beans, or rather my Star #10 lathe, intro and advice

    Hey you guys, new member here, looking to introduce myself and get some input. My name is Shaggy, I'm in my early thirties in Va. my grandfather was a master machinist for the Navy, and upon retiring became a teacher at UNM for machining. He passed when I was 14, so it's not like he passed much down to me other than genetically. Well on to now, just bought my first home and building Shaggys Shack, my workshop. I had a lot of interest in building my own Gingery lathe as metal casting is something I have great interest in, but I didn't want a so-so lathe for a lot of effort. In comes my first machine shop tool, a Seneca Falls Star treadle metal lathe, 10" swing with an unknown length. I picked this up of the grand Craigslist for $200. Let me know if you think I got magic beans or if you feel I got my money's worth. 3 jaw chuck, no tailstock, and like a cutting bit or two. Castings on the legs day 1912. Overall condition looks good, the ways look great and don't look like there's much wear. Treadle parts are mostly gone, and it's been converted to electric at some point. Ultimately, I want to bring this back into service, and that's where I need your help, I know absolutely nothing about old school turning. It's going to need a cone drive and countershaft and motor. From what I've read, turning speeds on the high side are 600rpm, sound about right? Could I get away with a wooden cone drive till I can fashion a metal one? Opinions and suggestions welcome!
    Oops, pics as soon as I sign up for a photobucket.

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    I think you will generally want to keep the lathe spindle under 400 RPM, with perhaps brief excursions to 600 RPM, assuming the bearings and oilers are in decent shape. What size you need for countershaft bits will depend on what RPM motor you have, and how big the cone pulley on the headstock is. Show us some pics, and we'll try to help you out.

    allan

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    Welcome to the forum Shad.

    I think my brother had one of those, or one near to it.

    Please don't be offended, here are my opinions;

    It's an interesting slice of lathe history but if you want to do more than get the "feel" of the difficulties the old timers endured with their limited equipment you'd do well to buy a much more modern lathe, my first full size lathe was a 12" Jet belt drive which would be much easier to use than the Star, and that was very rudimentary compared to what I use now.
    But there's little historical depth in any Jet lathe if that's what you want.
    Still, it would eclipse a gingery lathe by quite a bit IMO, or any "machine tool" made of cast aluminum alloy.

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    First, stay away from Photobucket. The Practical Machinist site allows you to upload your pictures directly from your computer to your PM post.

    You will have a hard time finding an original tailstock for your lathe, which affects resale value. But $200 is cheap enough that you could still turn a profit.

    Have fun.

    Larry

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    img_2329.jpgimg_2331.jpgimg_2332.jpgimg_2333.jpgWell I'm most interested in a working lathe and this one definitely fit the budget. I was trying to get my hands on a jet, atlas, craftsman, ya know, one of the typicals but everything in the area is way overpriced.
    Remember, I've got a workshop to build! Anyways, here's some pics...

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    Yeah. looks much like my brother's. His didn't have the treadle though. I forget what he bought/sold his for, he did a lot of work on it cleaning and making sure it had the correct pick off gears and painting it. Such projects seem to pay little for elbow grease at resale, which is a pity since our nation was built and maintained with those old machines. The best resale is for things in kitchens and living rooms I think, chairs and such, stuff I wouldn't even look at. And that's exactly why old machine tool treasures don't sell higher, most folks don't even look at them nor know why they should.

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    I'm continually blown away that this tool helped push America forward. It's older than my grandfather, it would've been used by his father. And even more so, that's WW1 territory!

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    There are enough Seneca Falls lathes out there that you may get lucky and find an appropriate tailstock. It'll take some searching.

    They are a decent lathe, for sure. One of my first lathes was a 12" Seneca Falls. You don't get work done very fast, but if you understand the limitations of the machine you can do good work.

    Andy

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    This'll be the machine till I can pick an appropriately priced lathe to put in the recently built shack. So early next year... Considering I was going to attempt a Gingery lathe, I know this one will be more capable. My plan was to put a 1/2hp 1750rpm 120v motor onto it, and gear it down from there. I'm sure this union is going to have the largest and most difficult pulley to source. This is the one I was questioning about fashioning of wood.

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    The Gingery series of books on how to build (anything) are interesting - but most would do better to find a complete used machine and use/restore it. Gingery makes for interesting reading on a Saturday afternoon when it starts to rain/snow and curled up by the fire - and SOME of the techniques hearken back to a historical perspective (and might be used to restore an incomplete machine.) But generally your time is better spent working WITH machines rather than constructing entire machines.

    Find pix of the correct tailstock. Depending on when the lathe was produced there may be more than one pattern. Then keep your eye on Ebay, each day getting the "Tailstock" search listing and checking out each day's "Newly Listed" entry. I would say if you are consistent in doing this and don't skip a day, you could come up with the correct tailstock in less than a year. Which isn't so long in the big scheme of things for this lathe.

    Finding it you may have to play with "fitment." Lathes were/are a pretty much an "individually produced" item, each a "one-off" and made to itself. You'll have to determine the points of non-fitment and address each, some perhaps ingeniously? Which is where the Gingery books may be helpful?

    Joe in NH

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    I've have a little newer version Star #20 lathe for about 20 years. They are good machines and can turn anything within their range. There is a Yahoo Seneca Falls group that is quite active from time to time:

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...ls_lathes/info

    There are also some catalogs from the Seneca Falls Manufacturing Company available for download from The Vintage Machinery website:

    Seneca Falls Manufacturing Co. - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org

    The catalogs have some interesting information including the speeds and feeds the machines are designed for and the accessories and tooling that was available for them.

    Here are some pictures of my machine and the drive train I built for it:

    dcp00840.jpgdcp00839.jpgdscf8082.jpgdscf8081.jpgdscf8080.jpg

    From time to time there are parts available for these machines on e bay and Craigslist

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    Thanks for the tips, Joe. There's a single tailstock on eBay now but unsure of the pattern and size. Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky...

    Projectnut, that looks pretty inspiring. Although it looks like you have an orginal countershaft and mounting. Do you have the draw collet setup too? Man, that's slick!

    Well the hurricane is approaching, which means I'll have some free time indoors to do some cleaning of this thing, I'll get more pictures up shortly. On to my next questions, first, I'd like to look into tooling that I can upgrade to but will still work with a newer model lathe, (likely something 50's-70's), so things like a real tool post is in order. I know the speeds are far too low for carbide, should I be looking towards HSS instead? With Gingery style things in mind, I don't think an aluminum steady rest would be a bad idea, agree? And how about the belt drive system, any ideas on a good way to get that up and going? Ace hardware typically has pulleys, although I'm not sure if they'll have one sized as big as I need to feed the countershaft. And then the cone pulleys, again, is this something that could potentially be done with wood or are the stresses too great? The other idea I had was grabbing a South Bend cone used off eBay and adapting that.

    Thanks for the info and input. My girlfriend says it needs to be red like my tool box and I don't disagree. I think gold lettering would give it an early turn of the century firetruck kind of feel.

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    Shaggy, where in VA are you? I might have some countershaft bits you can have, if I can find them

    allan

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    You rock! I'm in Nova, but travel a bit around everywhere. Picked the lathe up at the Cumberland gap in Pa.

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    Quote Originally Posted by projectnut View Post
    I've have a little newer version Star #20 lathe for about 20 years. They are good machines and can turn anything within their range. There is a Yahoo Seneca Falls group that is quite active from time to time:

    Yahoo! Groups

    There are also some catalogs from the Seneca Falls Manufacturing Company available for download from The Vintage Machinery website:

    Seneca Falls Manufacturing Co. - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org

    The catalogs have some interesting information including the speeds and feeds the machines are designed for and the accessories and tooling that was available for them.

    Here are some pictures of my machine and the drive train I built for it:

    dcp00840.jpgdcp00839.jpgdscf8082.jpgdscf8081.jpgdscf8080.jpg

    From time to time there are parts available for these machines on e bay and Craigslist
    Nice frame for your lathe...You sure it'll hold?

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    Some pics to finish off the evening. I've been attacking the ways with WD-40 and 0000 steel wool, trying to extract what rust I. An. Here's my included gears, my serial number, (do you think the number of marks indicates maker?) spindle threads, bearing surfaces, and then the spindle. Suggestions obviously always welcome. Should I polish up the spindle or leave it as is? Looks to me like the front was well oiled but the rear bearing went a little dry.
    img_2344.jpg
    img_2345.jpg
    img_2346.jpg
    img_2347.jpg
    img_2348.jpg

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    img_2349.jpg
    img_2350.jpg
    img_2351.jpg
    img_2352.jpg
    img_2353.jpg

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    There is a guy, I think in Michigan, who built a beautiful cone pulley out of hard maple. Hard maple was used for lots of flat belt pulleys on belt drive shops.

    I found this:

    DIY Cone Drive Pullies - Fun With Wood!

    Do a search about using serpentine belts for flat belt drive. Lots of info on that in the South Bend Lathe section. Also useful for all smaller lathes. Get paper or download South Bend book "HOW TO RUN A LATHE".

    Look around in here:

    wood cone pulleus for lathes - Google Search

    Paul

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    Shaggy,
    In post #5, the second photo, the plate with the thread gear setup, you should be able to deduce what pick off gears you need. I'd ask my brother but I doubt he remembers.
    You can buy gears (14 1/5 degree PA and you'll need to figure out the pitch with a gage) from Dodge.
    parts

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    Quote Originally Posted by partsproduction View Post
    Shaggy,
    In post #5, the second photo, the plate with the thread gear setup, you should be able to deduce what pick off gears you need. I'd ask my brother but I doubt he remembers.
    You can buy gears (14 1/5 degree PA and you'll need to figure out the pitch with a gage) from Dodge.
    parts
    If you download the Seneca Falls #27 catalog from the Vintage Machinery website you'll see there's a section devoted to the Star lathes. Page 41 includes the information about the number and size of the change gears that originally came with it. There were originally 11 change gears with the following number of teeth: 24, 32, 36 ,40, 44, 46, 48, 52, 56, 60, 96.

    Even though your machine has a little over a 10" throw it was sold as a 9" machine. The machine spindle speed range is listed as 18 rpm to 366 rpm. The catalog included a parts breakdown for every part on every lathe they sold.


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