Next time you meet someone that claims to be an environmentalist, kick them in the gajoulies!
It is due to the likes of them, that otherwise completely ignorant supply guys pressure wash away any oils that might protect such a these, from the environment in the yard they choose to store them, rather than chucking a bunch of $2 per piece Office Furniture out into the weather!
Depends how bad you want a lathe in it's class, and whether you know a guy with a slideway grinder.
And, face it, it would pretty much need to have had the ways dressed off with a cutting torch, to be worse than a Chinese lathe in the same price range!
I would add, it probably would not hurt, to be able to take a look at it in person, just to see what evils may have been done, but if you don't risk more than you can afford to lose...
My last Government Surplus buy was a Acklands branded Miller Diesel welder with a TIG box on it, that they sold "For Parts Only", that turned out to have a grnd total of 12 hours on the meter, a new battery, and a full tank of fuel, but that required about an hour of troubleshooting to fix the snotballed grease in the main switches on the face plate. I figured $600 and a bit was a reasonable risk for a Miller 225D Bobcat and accessories!
This lathe is missing the casting and microswitch assembly that supports the leadscrew and feed rod. This would be substantial work to remake, but not impossible. Carriage handwheel is also broken or missing, as is the collet closer (it used to have a lever collet closer).
My guess is a very devoted party could salvage this, but it would be lots of work. Spindle bearings could be rusty which would stink to replace, but they're probably fine given how protected they are. Might need a new leadscrew, but this can be made from 1144 or the like; the original Rivett leadscrew isn't hardened (mine cut fine with HSS). Cleaning up the tailstock might require chroming and regrinding the ram. Way can probably be cleaned w/ steel wool and used as-is. Apron is aluminum, so that's fine, but might need a new apron oil pump if water has collected (not super difficult to make on a bridgeport). QC gearbox is a modular unit; it's probably good as new.
If I wanted a project, this is priced right and the results would be a nice machine. But it's rare to find folks with both the skills and time for this. I'm not sure I have either. I wish I had this when I was in highschool; would've been a much better project than the SB heavy ten I "rebuilt".
If you really want this lathe why not? But restoring a lathe must be a primary interest otherwise it is never going to get finished. If you have the skills to do all the required work great, if not you will have to pay to get it done. If you finish it(and finish it RIGHT) you will have one of the greatest lathes ever made. Also don't think you are getting a "deal" at $100 or whatever it goes for...you will spend a LOT of money getting this done. If it were me I would take the other one currently for sale here. I passed on one of these twice...in a weird twist,the exact same one, once in Philly and years later in Houston. Should have bought it.
Looks like the only option would be to part it out. Looks like its too far gone for restoration.
I called over there and the guy said its been sitting out there for two years. It was taken out of service because it just quick working. So there are other problems besides sitting out in the elements for two years.
I was considering making a bid, but I dont think there are that many people rebuilding these machines where there would be a market for any salvageable parts.
Tailstock will be rusted, cross slide probably rusted beyond salvage, all lead screws and ways probably beyond salvage.
Maybe the interior components may have some value but tough to tell from the pics.
Is it worth me driving 12 hours each way with my trailer ? Probably not.
So, if not them complaining, and the subsequent unintended consequences, who do you figure to blame it on?
Gotta remember, once it becomes policy, there is no longer any room for common sense to be applied.
Which, pretty much explains, exactly why the bin rats at the various disposal depots are pressure washing stuff like this lathe in the first place, as if it were in the same class as shitty salvaged engine blocks and the like.