Sheldon Model L- Owned by a complete and utter noob
Hello, I hope I am posting this in the correct part of the forum.
I'm Eric. From Bedford,Virginia. I have been wanting to buy a lathe for several years now and finally came across ( I believe) I good deal on one. I have some experience on lathes,but only in making very basic things. My lack of knowledge being what it is,I need any and all advice you guys and gals can give me.Everything from basic maintenance,how to adjust whatever needs adjusting...etc,but most importantly right now:how to get this old girl up and running again.
When I picked this machine up yesterday morning it was still wired up and the fella who I bought it from ran it. Everything sounded smooth and quiet. The machine is filthy,but rust free and all the gears looked to have all of their teeth. But the grease on the machine had sat u and became very stiff and it makes some of the items hard to move. I've been doing some cleaning and lubing of parts to get it ready for use,but i don't really know what are the best types of lubes to use where. Also,the belt seems awfully dry and loose but I don't know the proper way to adjust it so I figured the best thing for me to do is ask some people in the know. So here I am! Please,any and all info you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Not just just on cleaning and maintaining,but also on who to use the thing. Consider my skill to be that of 'village idiot' and that would probably be the best starting place.
Since I am a noob here I may post these pics wrong. If I do,please let me know what to do and I'll fix 'em.
Here you can see the only part of the machine that is broken. The cover that goes over the gears above the setting chart ( sorry, I don't know the names of anything)is busted. I'd love to find a replacement if at all possible. I could make a new one of course,but it'd never look right.
Kinda bummed that it doesn't cut metric threads. I'm into old Japanese motorcycles and I really wanted that option. Oh well,can't win them all.
Some of the stuff it came with. The vast majority of which I have no clue what to do with.
For the life of me I don't know how any one person could need this many bits. I suppose I'll come to understand before long.
I only had to travel 2 1/2'' hours to get this machine. I was surprised at the weight of it! I drive a 3/4 ton pickup and I could actually feel it back there on the trip home. For $875 I was pleased with the deal. Maybe I over paid,but in my area ( or at least a few hours each way) anything over a 9'' lathe usually starts at around $1,000-1,200 without any extra tooling.
Alright,shed some knowledge on some noob please! What do I do now! Thanks for having me. See ya around the forum-Eric
This P.M. site has lots of helpful people and info but consider looking into this group Sheldonlathe : Sheldon Lathe
The info from the Sheldonlathe group can be specific on year of construction, options, ect.
Sign up/activation might lag a little but that is because of spammers.
Be careful of grease in the machine- this machine should not have any grease in or on it, oil only. You may find hanging stuff on the wall behind the machine, it ends up dirty and often a racing stripe appears behind the chuck... Consider tracking down a copy of South Bend's "How To Run A Lathe"- paper or pdf, it has a lot of good info.
Your pic is just fine. Sheldon made nice stuff.
Welcome to the group. You can cut metric threads with that, just need a few gears for the end of the machine. You should cover the top of the gearbox to keep the chips out.
Welcome to the forum Eric. You did great on your first post. Just a quick note to relieve one of your concerns. You can cut metric threads on this machine by using a certain combination of gears on the left side. I'll let the folks in the Sheldonlathe group or others here tell you the specifics. You may or may not have those particular gears with the lathe. By the way, don't get rid of anything that came with the lathe until you get proficient at it. You'll soon realize why the fellow had all those bits!
P.S. Oops, Allan was quicker typing than I was!
Last edited by IrbyJones; 01-14-2013 at 06:21 AM.
Reason: Added the oops.
You have a good, basic lathe. A lot has been written here about cleaning old machine tools. There is no "right way", and it is largely a matter of where the lathe sits: how much of a mess can you make and how well ventilated the workspace is. The important thing is to get parts marked so you can reassemble them int he same way after cleaning. You can use a small prick punch to make match marks (two small punch marks that line up), but be careful not to make the same type mark on multiple parts (use a single prick punch mark, then two, three... etc). Once you start using solvents to get rid of the old grease, "Sharpie" marks or paint stick marks may vanish. A lot of machinists and millwrights use prick punch marks and then stone them off so no raised metal surrounds them.
I've had good luck with a product called "Industrial Purple", made by Zep and sold by the gallon at Lowe's. Be forewarned, the stuff is bad. It contains Lye (sodium hydroxide) and a few other nasty chemicals. It does not release much in the way of fumes and can be rinsed off. I'd suggest you dismantle the grease encrusted gearing, as it would be wise to be sure all the oil holes are opened and whatever the gearing turns on is clean and free of old grease. The gearing such as the quadrant gears that connect the spindle stud gear to the quick change box usually turns on fixed studs, and has to be oil lubricated. I use automotive brake cleaning solvent for small degreasing jobs, but that is volatile and has strong fumes and should not be gotten on your skin.
I use a dull scraper (something like a piece of old hacksaw blade, ground to a square edge with corners radius'd) to remove the heavier surface rust. This type scraping will not get into the actual bedways. Once the heavier rusintg and encrusted grrease/oil/dirt are off, I'd use something like penetrating oil or diesel fuel and steel wool on the bedways to remove the light rust, as anything else is generally too abrasive. Scotchbrite pads are abrasive, so you may want to avoid using them on bedways and dovetail slides. They are OK on non-critical surfaces to clean/polish. Surfaces like handwheels or handles are Ok to clean/polish with Scotchbrite pads. Something like the tailstock quill or bedways are not what I'd use Scotchbrite pads on.
I'd at least flush the apron with diesel fuel or kerosene to get rid of sludge. I clean lathe leadscrews by soaking a piece of mason's or butcher's twine (aka string line) in diesel fuel and using it like dental floss to clean the threads of the lead screw. For safety, do NOT do this with the lead screw turning under power. Roll the spindle by hand to revolve the lead screw about 90 degrees at a time and "dental floss" it, relocating the carriage and flossing where the carriage covered the lead screw. This method gets the stuff wadded into the "valleys" on the lead screw threads.
I am a great believer in personal protective gear. As we get older, we tend to realize we only get one body and good health. It is real easy to mess one's self up, sometimes permanently, through misuse or exposure to toxic chemicals or shop hazards. If you get to cleaning the lathe, make sure you protect yourself. Some chemical resistant gloves and a face-shield would be the minimum, along with positive ventilation (something like a cheap "box fan" set behind you to blow air past you and towards the lathe or parts being cleaned.). I wear a full face respirator when I am working with cleaning solvents. It protects my lungs and provides full and positive protection of my eyes. It may be overkill, but I've had asthma as a result of exposure to weld smoke, shop fumes, and fine airborne dust from sanding/grinding.
Another thing to get hold of if you want to take the lathe partially apart for cleaning is a piece of soft brass bar stock and some fine small oil stones. The brass is used to "bump" or drive parts that need a little "persuasion" to move. The oil stones are used to take down any rough spots, burrs, or to breake the sharp edges on surfaces which have been scored or "ridged". A small pocket "India Medium Hard" oil stone and an "Arkansas hard" pocket stone are what machinist use for this sort of thing. Do NOT use emery cloth of sandpaper on any machine surface to clean it up. You can polish a shaft journal which might be rusted or scored with emery, but that is about as far as I'd use it around the lathe to clean things up.
The oldtime mechanics used to wash really nasty parts in gasoline. I still do it on occasion, but only outdoors with the wind at my back and proper protective gear on me. As much as people will argue there are better things out there, for a small home job of cleaning up greasy parts, a drain pan with some gasoline and a stiff brush are often the ticket, given a person takes proper precautions. I try to avoid the gasoline washing and use diesel fuel as it has a higher flash point and is less of a hazard than gasoline. But, for eating and dissolving encrusted grease, sometime gasoline can;t be beat. That then raises the issue of disposing of the dirty/contaminated gasoline or diesel fuel. I collect it in gallon jugs or steel cans, and when their is a "hazmat collection" day in our community, I get rid of it then. Unless a person has a hot washing soda tank or something like it in their shop, there are not a whole lot of options out there for really cleaning greasy encrusted machine parts at home.
I use the brake solvent with the "wand" (thin tube) to blast out oil holes on machine tools. Be careful when using compressed air to blow parts of the lathe clean/dry. Aim the air so it does not drive liquid and grit between sliding surfaces (such as under the carriage wings or between the cross slide dovetail sliding surfaces).
As for the toolbits: a person can never have enough of them. The beauty of high speed steel (HSS) toolbits is they can be freehand ground and stoned to make a variety of forms (radius'd fillets, grooves, threading, etc). HSS toolbits can also be regound until there is hardly enough to hold onto or clamp in a tool holder. Every oldtime machinist had cigar boxes and coffee cans of HSS toolbits ground for particular jobs ("O" ring grooves, snap retainer ring grooves, "necks" or undercuts with radius'd corners, threading, turning various materials....). HSS toolbits can and will give a fine surface finish needing no polishing after turning if the toolbit is properly ground and stoned. The manufacturing world is using indexable carbide tooling, but for a lathe like your Sheldon with the speeds it runs at and possible lack of rigidity (due to wear on the sliding surfaces over the life of the lathe), HSS toolbits are the best show in town.
As for metric threading, it may be possible to get change gears to allow you to cut metric threads. Possibly a Sheldon user's group site will have this information. South Bend and LeBlond offered "metric transposing gears" which allowed their lathes having "inch thread pitch" feed boxes to cut metric pitches. For now, I'd focus on getting the lathe cleaned up and put into good working order.
Finegrain is making gears for metric thread cutting for Sheldonlathe members. Send him a pm or email if you are interested in gears.
A light spindle or hydraulic oil for the bearings and a way oil like Mobil Vactra 2 for the ways and open gears are probably all that you need to have. The spindle bearings are what you especially want to be sure are receiving oil -- the cups may be full of crud, someone may have mistakenly put grease in there, etc.
There's a reprinted Sheldon lathe book you can pick up for around $10 that will have many details for your lathe.
If you're up for it, disassembling much of the lathe to clean and repaint will have a bonus beyond a better looking lathe -- you'll know its operation inside and out and you'll know if any bushings need replacing, gears inside the apron are chipped, missing Gits oil covers, etc. It's a pretty straightforward lathe -- I took one apart and sprayed three coats of paint on it (primer, 2 enamel) in a couple days of work spread over three weekends. It may well be that you can just de-crud and re-oil all the gears in the quick change box and inside the carriage (remove the back plate) without disassembly.
Along the way I had to replace a reversing gear and spindle and a few other parts. If you end up facing that it helps to have a lathe to fix a lathe -- perhaps a friend's?
From the pictures it doesn't look like you have the large metric transposing gears or the smaller change gears (all detailed in the Sheldon book). However, depending upon what you're doing getting shafts and holes to size on the lathe and then using metric taps and dies may be all you need.
If you have the parts for the change gear cover, you may be able to clean them up and, using a combination of JB weld and a backing plate underneath, get it back to looking new. As you said, a cover will be easy to make. You could even put a bit of release agent on a borrowed cover and make a copy in any of a variety of casting materials; again backed by a plate.
Thanks for all the advice! That's great news to know that metric threads can be an option some day. I got everything tore down,cleaned,lubed and reassembled this evening. The whole gear feed thing just intimidated the hell outta me.But once you take the time to sit and study the parts and how it all fits together it;s such a simple machine!
Every part looked fantastic IMO. Not a single gear showed any wear and every bushing,shaft,etc seemed nice and tight. The only thing going on with the machine now is that the belt slips a fair amount when you first turn the motor on. I used dressing on it with some improvement,but not much. I may need to tighten the belt,but I'm unsure on how much is too much.So any advice on that would be greatly appreciated.
Also I made a few cuts tonight. Horrible,rough,embarrassing cuts! What am I doing wrong? I played around with cutter angle some and got some good results,but I'm really in the dark. Like the title says:"complete and utter noob"
For a quick source of oil for the spindle and other bearings, I use "Tractor Hydraulic Oil". It is an ISO 46 or ISO 68 oil, and is what is known as a "DTE" (Dynamo Turbine Engine) Oil. ISO 46 is about a 20 weight, ISO 68 is about a 30 weight. Tractor Hydraulic Oil is a none-detergent straight weight mineral oil with corrosion inhibitor and anti foaming additives. It is what I've used in the plain bearings on my lathes and other machine tools for 25 years. NAPA or Tractor Supply will have this oil.
As a handy alternative to "Way Lube", I use Husqvarna chainsaw bar oil. It is made from new oil and has the "tackifiers" and heavier body and looks/feels like way lube.
I would say that if you cleaned the surfaces of the pulleys with sandpaper ( something like woodworker's "flint" paper), same as you would an automotive brake drum, and tightened the belt until you got maybe 1/8" deflection when you push hard against it with your thumb (sorry if I am not more exacting), it should reduce slip.
OK, now to address the matter of why you got "horrible cuts". Google "Tubalcain", and you will find some great youtubes giving basic machine shop instruction. "Tubalcain" is a retired machine shop teacher. BTW: "Tubal Cain" was a metal worker in Biblical times, and was the master metal worker, leading other journeymen and apprentices to make the metalwork for the first Temple.
First off, an please do not take offense: are you using the power feed or are you engaging the half nuts to get the carriage to feed for the cut you are taking ? World of difference there. The half nuts are for threading and will be a lever off the RH side of the apron (front of the carriage where the controls are) of the lathe. Feed clutch is more in the middle of the apron. Feed selector on the carriage has to be in "neutral" position on most lathes to let you engage the half nuts. Make sure you have set the feed selector for "long feed" (along the bed) and then engage the feed clutch.
Verify the direction the carriage moves with the feed clutch engaged, and shift the "quadrant gear" lever up at the headstock (with the lathe fully stopped) to reverse direction of feed.
Did you take out the backlash in the cross-feed and compound ? This means taking the slop or play out of the cross feed and compound rest feed screws. You do this by turning the cranks on the compound & cross slide to feed the toolbit IN to the work. You do NOT back the tool out and attempt to take a lighter cut. If you do, as soon as the toolbit gets to cutting, the free play or slop between the feed screw and nut in the cross slide (or compound) is "on the wrong side" and will cause the cross slide or compound to move or "float", resulting in poor surface finish.
When you want to take a cut on the work, you can get the work turning and run the toolbit in so it just touches (later, as your skill develops, you may use a feeler gauge or piece of paper with the spindle stopped). Once the tool just touches the revolving work, manually crank the carriage towards the tailstock so the toolbit is clear of the work. Now, crank in however much you want to take off the work. Remember: what you crank in for depth of cut is coming of radially. Chances are the micrometer collar on the lathe cross feed will read "total depth of cut". So, if you crank in for 0.050" depth of cut per the micrometer collar, your toolbit will only move in 0.025" ( 2 x r = D). Do NOT back the toolbit out without going further back than what you need, and then cranking "IN" to the new shallower depth. This is taking out the backlash. If you do not take out the backlash, the tool will float and possibly be pushed back during the cut, so you will see a ridge or step in the turned surface.
Let's assume you attempted to turn either aluminum or a piece of soft mild steel, such as cold-rolled. Assume you ground the toolbit so it had some rake and clearance. If the toolbit has a very sharp pointed nose, and you run a coarse feed, this is one cause of a rough surface finish. If your rake and clearance angles are too steep and you have a sharp point at the nose of the toolbit, if the point of that toolbit is not set exactly at the centerline of the work or very slightly above, it is going to dig in and tear the work. A properly ground and properly set toolbit shears off the chip from the work, and the cuttings should come off in a smooth curl with a nice bright surface. If the cuttings look ragged and dull when turning aluminum or cold rolled, chances are the toolbit is dull and ripping the work, or is ground incorrectly or possibly set below centerline of the work.
A quick way to set a toolbit is to put a center in the tailstock and set the toolbit so the tip or nose of the toolbit is level or very slightly above the point of the tailstock center.
Rigidity of your setup is a big contributor to surface finish or raggedness or "chatter" (when you hear a screaming vibration noise during a cut). Work must be chucked so it is not sticking out of the chuck any more than needed. If you go much beyond, say 5 or 6 diameters, it's a good idea to support the free (RH) end of the work with the tailstock center. Your tool bit and tool holder need to be sucked in tight, just the minimum lengths sticking out of the tool holder and toolpost to reach the work and not let the chuck jaws strike the compound rest. Your compound rest needs to be sucked back so not much of it is overhanging the top slide. Rigidity is everything in machine work.
Next, we come to speeds and feeds. The "shortcut" formula for figuring what speed to run the lathe spindle at is: RPM = (4 x CS)/D where:
RPM = spindle rpm
D = diameter of the work in inches
CS = cutting speed in feet/minute
This formula rounds off Pi and gives you a fair approximation of the rpm as opposed to an exact calculation.
If you were turning a piece of 1" diameter cold rolled steel in a roughing cut, with a HSS toolbit, CS = 80 fpm
Substituting: RPM = (4 x 80 fpm)/ 1" or RPM = 320
You will need to measure the pulley diameters and work the numbers from the motor rpm down to the spindle to get the RPM in "direct" drive.
Back Gearing will get you some very low spindle speeds.
A typical roughing cut on a lighter lathe like your Sheldon on a piece of 1" mild steel would be 0.060"-0.080" with maybe a 0.010" /rev feed.
Back Gearing is the equivalent of putting a 4 x 4 vehicle transfer case into "Low Range", or what the old truckers called "Granny Gear". It gives a very deep reduction and high torque. If you were turning larger diameter work, you'd run the lathe in back gears. Or, if you were cutting screw threads, running in back gears slows the spindle down to where you can properly work the half nuts and back out your toolbit when it reaches a shoulder or end of the part of the work being threaded. When you get to cutting screw threads in your lathe, you will find that things happen rather quickly, so slowing the spindle down lets you maintain control.
My advice is to run the carriage out by hand so it is about midway along the bed, well clear of the chuck. Slack the belt and roll the spindle by hand and try engaging the feeds, half nuts, and working the feed reverse. if the lathe does not want to go into gear in any feed, roll the spindle by hand until the gear teeth line up. With the belt slack, learn to put the lathe in and out of back gears. You will have to pull the locking pin on the front of the bull gear, to the RH of the biggest step on the headstock cone pulley, and then you can shift the back gears into engagement. If you do not pull the locking pin in the bull gear and engage the back gears, you will lock the spindle.
Once you are familiar with the functions of the feed clutch, feed selector and half nuts and feed reverse lever, you can run the lathe under power aand practice engaging/disengaging the feeds and half nuts. In time, this should become like shifting gears on a car or motorcycle, something you can do while focussing on the work rather than looking down at your hands or having to pause to remember which way to move the levers.
Toolbits wil cut even if NOT ground to "exact" angles. As long as the surfaces of the toolbit meet at sharp lines rather than rounded corners, and the geometry is correct, a toolbit will cut. The only place anything is rounded on most toolbits is the nose. This is often stoned to a small radius, but the top of the nose meets the top surface of the toolbit in a clean sharp corner. I've never ground a toolbit (other than threading or form tools) to any kind of exact angle. An approximation works fine. Don't get bogged in trying to grind to exact clearance and rake angles.
It comes down to taking care to see that your work is setup rigidly in the chuck or on centers, makinge sure everything clears the chuck or faceplate/lathe dog before starting the lathe under power, making sure your toolbit and tool holder are sucked in tight with minimum "stickout", making sure your toolbit is properly ground and set on or slightly above center, and making sure your speed and feed are right for the work. I liek to say most of machine shop work is "head work", thinking the job through and figuring it out in your head or on paper before you go near the machine tools or cut any stock. Next comes care in setting up the job, and making sure you do not wind up with a "crash" (running the carriage of the lathe and compound into the chuck or faceplate). There is a tendency to focus on the "starting end" of a cut on a piece of work, but the fact the toolbit, toolholder and compound will clear the chuck jaws at the other end of the cut has to be checked BEFORE starting the cut. It may mean rechucking the work or using a center to support the RH end as "stickout" from the chuck has increased. It's all about head work and taking care to look things over and taking the time "up front" before your take the actual cut.
You will find this most helpful book: "The Amateur's Lathe", by L.H. Sparey on abebooks.com
Don't throw anything away right now - you might find that the chunk of scrap in your hand is a part you need.
Regarding cleaning the lathe: A long time ago, a machinery dealer told me that they used Liquid Wrench in aerosol cans to clean up machinery. I tried it, and it works well - spray some on, let it sit a few moments, then scrub with either a rag or some scotchbrite. Unlike some of the water based products, rusting isn't a problem. I've found that there isn't much that this won't clean up.
I've found that one aerosol can is usually more than enough to clean an entire machine - then I follow up with machine oil and a wiping rag.
I suggest using this kind of approach as step 1, then you can see what you have, and where you want to go from there. Once you start to use heavy duty cleaners, you may have to go all the way and tear the machine down for rebuild and painting.
As the say, make haste slowly.
Nice lathe! I have an EL56P I am almost done rebuilding. There's lots of good advice here and especially on the SheldonLathe yahoo forum....those guys know the ins and outs of these lathes and will know exactly what you need.
A couple things that are very valuable about that lathe:
1. It is an overdrive model....arguably the best configuration because it does not take up space behind the lathe or under it. So, you don't need a super deep bench and you can still have storage below the headstock!
2. Quick change gear box. Even though it is an older lathe, it still has the QCGB and power feeds, and this is the reason why South Bend 9A lathes command higher prices.
3. You probably have a larger spindle than a SB 9....most likely takes 4C collets.
$875 is a pretty fair price. You got a lot of lathe for your money there. Parts are scarce for these, but not likely to be needed. You need to jump on this auction though: Sheldon 10" Lathe End Gear Cover Shield | eBay These don't pop up very often at all, and it should be exactly what you need.
Joe M. has pretty well given you the gen on your lathe, so there isn't much I could add........maybe a few trivia bits....
He's right, of course, about match-marking any parts you remove, and, indeed, centre-punch marks will serve, if deburred. The cost of a set of 3/32 number punches, to better identify parts, is so little as to be a practical necessity. Make sketches with the numbers noted before disassembly.
You have one of the more desirable of older small lathes, actually a small pattern Monarch, or Monarch Junior'. The Sheldon family bought 'the product', meaning patterns, fixtures, and manufacturing rights to any patents still extant, sometime in the '30's, and produced these under the Sheldon name for many years. It is a very well-designed, high quality lathe, for its size. (The late Dan Sheldon was a good friend of my partner and myself......I miss him)
There's really nothing for it but to have it all apart to clean it adequately. Grit will hide in corners inaccessible to any other cleaning method, and will eventually emerge to create the effective equivalent of running the machine on valve-grinding compound instead of oil.
I prefer a pan of gasoline, myself, but take care to provide helpers with paint-masks, safety goggles, and solvent-resistant gloves, as well as having them 'up-wind' outside. A small collection of suitable cleaning-brushes and softwood scraps to whittle into tools with which to dig the congealed grit-and-oil mix out of the nooks-and-crannies are the correct cleaning tools, and won't cost much.
The spent gasoline, thickened with grime, can simply be added as an adulterant to automotive drain oil turned in for recycling. (after its evaporated to 'heavy gear oil' viscosity, that is) If I understand correctly, 'recycled drain oil' is commonly re-sold as 'road oil', so the metal dust and grime bits won't affect its use for that purpose.
If you are capable of having motorcycle engines and gearboxes apart for rebuilding, take heart, you have the basic skills, and that lathe is much simpler, and easier to fit up.
The operation of the feed clutch and the half-nuts in the apron will be quite obvious, and easily understood, once you've them apart.
The spindle bearings are bronze, and must have either Lunkenheimer or equivalent drip-oilers (preferred). or oil-wicks. Look very carefully for any shims in the bearing caps and replace them exactly as found.......you may later need to remove a shim to 'snug-up' the bearing fit, should you have more than .001-.0015-ish easy deflection of the spindle, with good oil. Some prefer to set bearing clearances by temperature, with the bearings 'warm, but not so hot you can't keep your hand on the caps', with the machine running on max spindle speed.
As Joe notes, most of those older lathes have cross and compound dials which 'read radius', meaning that moving the tool in, say, .010 by the dial results in the workpiece being cut .020 smaller in diameter. Later model lathes have so-called 'direct reading' dials which 'read diameter', i.e. move the tool by one-half the dial reading.
One of the few 'tricky' items on older small lathes can be a bit of 'twist' in the bed, from years of strain caused by incorrect mounting. On bench-mounted small lathes, one often must shim under one of the 'feet' to keep the bed out of a twist when bolted down. Arranging a three-point mounting is preferable.
I've had occasion to do up a couple of these for friends, one a Junior Monarch, and one a Sheldon-badged machine. Along with the South Bend, they are the easiest lathes to work on, and are capable of excellent work within their size range when optimally set up.....there are a number of little 'nit-pick' details to learn, to be sure, any of which will disable the machine of left undone or done incorrectly.
Understand, tho, that a machine of this nature must be a 'labour of love'. It will take a surprisingly large amount of your time to get it properly overhauled and set up. If you are willing to do this, you will be rewarded with a 'lifetime companion' for any small-parts turning you may wish to undertake.
(added on edit......That broken quick-change cover is a shame. You may be able to find one from a 'parts machine' by advertising on the internet, or, if you are good at brazing, form suitable pieces of steel and braze it up. You could also opt to make up a nice looking cover from a good hardwood, actually, as those gears really must have some sort of covering to keep any small parts or tools from falling into the gears.)
I have had a slightly newer Sheldon for several years and really like it. You might want to take close up photos before disassembling. I didn't read every word that was written here but most of it and I can't add much except I didn't see a link to Tony's sight which is: Page Title
Here's the best beginner books I have come across...
Fundamentals of Machine Tools
US Army tech training manuals. Very simply written, but very informative. One of those things you read and go do it for a few months, then come back and read again and say to your self, OH! That's what it meant. Except it seems to have this effect for years.
Specifically, you want this one...
I just wanted to jump on here real quick and say Thank You to everyone that has replied. I don't want anyone to think I disappeared ,or was not interested in the replies,since I have not responded to them.And you can trust me when I say they have been read multiple times! I really appreciate the time given in posting the replies and the information in them.Hopefully,things will slow down in a bit and I can come in here to pick y'alls brains some more Thanks again-Eric
Your leather drive belt is inside out. The smooth side of the belt goes on the pulley. To get the most power from the belt first wipe it down with a clean dry rag. Then coat the belt with a mixture of two parts by weight lard to one part weight cod liver oil. You can get the lard at the grocery store and cod liver oil at a pharmacy. Heat the lard slowly until melted and then add the oil and apply while hot with a brush. Then let stand for 24 hours before use. That should make the belt nice and soft. It might slip a little at first but it will get better with use. Re-apply once a year.
Oh,my poor neglected lathe! But,more on that in a bit. First,let me have some manners and get caught up here.One thing I hate about the internet is how impersonal it is. So I hate to gloss over all these (awesome) replies with a blanket "Thank You".
jhruska- Thank you for the info about the Sheldonlathe group! And also for the heads up on finegrain.I'll have to contact him soon as I get my ducks in a row.
Greg Menke-No grease-gotcha!. And thanks for the heads up on the rooster tail. Wrenches will be moved!
kitno455- Thanks for the welcome! And yes,I will be sure to cover that gear box!
IrbyJones-Thanks for the welcome! I learned very quickly just what you mean about ''all those bits''. Yep! They're all keepers for sure!
Joe Michaels- Hooooooly cow! That was alot of great info! Thanks so much for taking the time to type all that out! Much appreciated! I really mean that. I like the twine idea in the lead screw,that's just what I'll do. I searched Tubal Cain and WOW! I reeeealy hope those kids in his class were paying attention. HUGE wealth of knowledge,that guy. And you mentioned "no offense" at one point. Not a problem bro. I'm asking for help and you guys are kind enough to give me some. I'm wide open for any and all advice.I need it! The way you explained things helped me to understand lots of things I was wondering about. And it also shed some much needed light on things I hadn't yet thought of,too. Very much appreciated!!
pan60- "nice treasure" I agree! Thanks!
PeteM- Thanks for the info. When you mentioned stripping the lathe to clean and repaint will have a bonus beyond a better looking lathe-you were spot on. I did infact find a missing oil port cover thingy ( my terminology sucks at this point,bear with me please!) that I would have never known about otherwise!
sealark37-I will hunt that book down.Thanks!
BobRenz-"Don't throw anything away right now - you might find that the chunk of scrap in your hand is a part you need." - Words to live by! And you were right: Liquid Wrench DOES clean well! never thought to use it that way before.Works great.
ScubeSteve- Thanks for the kind words and the link to the ad for the cover. It ended up no being the cover I need,but thanks just the same.
carla@tactical link- I have to admit, i really enjoyed reading your post. I can't explain it,but it was just pleasant-Thank you! You told me: "There's really nothing for it but to have it all apart to clean it adequately."- I agree 100%.In fact,I took this advice and started stripping it tonight. Also,your remark:"Understand, tho, that a machine of this nature must be a 'labour of love'. It will take a surprisingly large amount of your time to get it properly overhauled and set up. If you are willing to do this, you will be rewarded with a 'lifetime companion' for any small-parts turning you may wish to undertake." -This did not fall on deaf ears. I just hope I can do this machine justice.
Rick Hand- Definitely taking pics as I disassemble,great advice there. Thanks for the link,too!
Mike C- Awesome links! I need to download that pdf asap. Thanks for this!
enginebill- Wow,inside out,really?! Thanks you for pointing that out to me. I'll have to gather up the ingredients for the belt. Sounds like great advice. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. I reeeally needed that!