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"The Machine Shed" - Building a Line Drive Shop from Scratch

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
My planer, which is about 30 years older than yours runs at a cutting speed of 25 feet per minute. I would guess that yours might be in the 25 - 50 ft/m speed ranges for high and low so you could calculate backwards from there for pulley speeds.
Thumbing through the 1920's catalog, I did find that the 32" plainer required 352 RPM into a 12" pulley to produce 45 Ft. Cutting Speed (they also advise 15 HP). In addition to the extra iron, this machine looks to have a different table drive than the 30" machine of the same time, using an additional bull gear group under the table. I expect that my plainer will see a variety of work from smaller flat plates, up to an 8' long lathe bed. Since this plainer has a shorter base casting than the 1920's machines, I'd rather err on the side of the machine running a little slow than risk having the table come off the end of the base, so 352 RPM would be a good place to start, but I'll know more when I can count pinion teeth and shaft rotations.
 

blcksmth

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Location
Bowling Green, Ohio
I did that same approach to recreate the upper cone pulley for the Whitcomb Blaisdell lathe. Haven't finished the bore and mounting flange yet, but it survived turning in the lathe so that bode well.
I'll likely go wood for any large diameter pulleys I need to make (Good excuse to get a large swing lathe!). We used to have a few examples of this style of construction, but they had disintegrated enough that I think they ended up in the burn pile years ago. The only difference was that on those the ID was "raw" with straight edges exposed and not turned to size with the OD.

All the wood turning I've done has been with a tool post on metal lathes. I'm thinking that to turn a lamination like this It would be best to trim it mostly round on a band saw first so there's less of an interrupted cut.
View attachment 366060
I have several similar wood pulleys obtained at auctions. It is relatively easy to make wooden split bushings for these pulleys to fit the shaft. Turn a solid piece of wood to the inside diameter of the pulley. Then drill a hole with a Forstner bit to the nearest 1/8" and then bore to shaft size before sawing in half lengthwise.

Bob
WB8NQW
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
This turned up locally, it looks to be at the auction yard


View attachment 368069
Hope someone buys it that'll use it, not just put it in a flower bed. It's a bit far and out of the budget for me unfortunately. I think I've tapped out my "reach" for projects for the time being, lol.
 
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M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I added some pictures to the other thread about the Plainer.

I regards to breaking ground on the Shed, I think I'm going to go with putting it in the area that is for sure safe to construct in and not bother with the fine print of the wooded parts of the property. The only thing I'd want to do before I start pouring concrete is to raise the level of the ground a little. With Hurricane season here, I've been wanting to get a back-hoe rented to start digging out the bottom of the retention pond and using that dirt to get the future-warehouse area built up so it's floor will be level with the main building. I don't think it's far off right now though so first thing will be to get a couple marking posts out there and survey where that level is. As it currently sits, the patch of dirt the shed would be on is well above the water flow line. It's just a matter of how much water can build up in the area before it gets to the buildings.

Having moved the plainer around now and seeing how it's base is constructed, I think it'll be safe to go with a thinner pad, (8-10"). There are at least four bolt holes in the base, but they haven't been used in a long time and are all full of old rusty chips, so while it likely isn't necessary I think if I need/want to fix it to the pad after it is running, the typical anchor bolt approach would be sufficient.

The other thing I'm looking into is instead of trying to put a level concrete pad up for the whole shed, I'll just pour the foundation for the plainer and other heavy machines, and do a pier-n-beam construction for the remaining floor. It would mean less earth work and fits the era's construction style well, but more lumber obviously ($$$). Trying to figure which one would do better in the cost/benefit scales.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Question for you guys:

While playing with layout's and floor plans, one issue I've had is that the two longest machines, The Whitcomb Blaisdell lathe and the Whitcomb Plainer, have their power input coming from different sides, 90 degrees apart, so they would need to be set-up 90 degrees to each other as well which makes the whole building larger. Given their length, it would help if I could have them parallel to each other. So I know I can run a twist in a belt between two flat pulleys that are 90 degrees to each other, but to save headroom, would it be possible to do the same between the cone pulleys of the lathe? In other words, how difficult would it be to change speeds and keep the belt tracking correctly if the overhead cone pully was set 90 degrees to the headstock cone pulley? I could also keep the jackshaft parallel to the lathe, and put a twist between the jack shaft and the main shaft, but as it will have a sliding belt for forward/reverse between the main shaft and the lathes jack shaft, might have similar issues.

If that doesn't work, I think the alternative would be to put a twist in the belt between the plainer and the main shaft as that is a simple flat pulley to flat pulley connection. The only downside with that is that it's already the tallest set-up, so there's less headroom to put the main shaft directly over the plainers jack shaft. Most of my mock-ups have had the plainer against a side wall, but it might be better to put it in the middle of the building so there's more room between it and the roof.
 

blcksmth

Cast Iron
Joined
Nov 17, 2006
Location
Bowling Green, Ohio
Having only read about right angle belt drives, I have been under the impression that the section of belt that is vertical in Fig. 18 is the part of the belt that is under tension. In other words, in the left drawing the top pulley is the drive pulley and the bottom is the driven pulley and in the right drawing the bottom pulley is the drive pulley while the top pulley is the driven pulley. I do not know if this is required or not, but it seems to me that the slack side of the belt would easier follow the unaligned path. Also I think that, depending on pulley diameter, and probably belt width, there is some minimum shaft separation distance where this will no longer work.

An Almond coupling would take all the guesswork away.

Bob
WB8NQW
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Rotating the cone pulley or the planer pulleys will not work. Only one pulley and belt can be aligned at a time so multiple belts and pulleys will not work. View attachment 368837
Thanks for the diagram! I think I understand the issue with the cone pulleys or twisting multiple belts, as you have to keep one side of the belt running straight between the pulleys as it twists.

Just to clarify, I'm planning to mount the Plainer jack-shaft to the planer itself (as it appears to have been originally) as it will save headroom, but it would stay parallel to the machine. The twist would be between the jack-shaft and the main shaft since there's only a single belt, such as figure 18 of your diagram.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
I did a little more drawing last night (need to scan some of it for visuals) and It looks like if I put the plainer in the middle of the shed, I'd have enough headroom to put a main shaft directly above the plainer. If I did that, the plainer, lathe and shafting can all run parallel with the shed. The plainer is also the only machine that the work might require some kind of rigging on and off the table, so more headroom helps with that too. The other machines are fairly square in the space they occupy with work and tooling being hand-held, so they can be set-up in whatever orientation is needed. I'll be on the lookout for a right angle gearbox or some kind of exposed coupling to use If twisting the plainer belt is going to cause too many problems.

Floor plan right now is approx. 15 feet wide and 20 feet long with 8 foot at the eaves and 12 feet at the ridge. I know it's really small but aside from turning the planers incoming power, it gives plenty of room for the current machine line-up. I'm trying to keep it modular in construction since I'll be putting it up by hand in sections. Inside, it would have wood posts to reinforce the structure and divide everything into 5x5 squares, however the foundation(s) would still be specific to each machine. This does mean that there will be a wood post on either side of the planers mid section, but it doesn't look like they'll inhibit set-up or operation. The last 2' of the plainer base will project out the back of the building into a 6' long "doghouse" to save some room. To reduce noise and carbon monoxide risk, The engine will similarly project out the side of the shed with the controls and PTO pulley just inside the wall. If I ever decided to upgrade to some other form of power The pad and walls of the "engine room" (more like engine cabinet really), could be expanded without messing with the rest of the shed's layout.

Did some surveying last night with the dumpy scope and found that the spot I plan to build on will need to come up 2' to 4' to have the floor level with our main building. If I go with the pier and beam floor, that would be a lot less dirt to move, but more form-work for the concrete machine foundations. At this point, I want to put the Whitcomb plainer, Brown & Sharpe #12 mill, and engine on concrete foundations. The other machines are light enough to bolt to a reinforced section of floor, and the lathe has it's weight spread over a bigger area.

I'm not excited at the cost of lumber right now, but on the bright side the pier and beam floor is something I can re-level later as needed. Concrete is cheaper, but to get something under the whole shed that won't move would take quite a few sacks of quik-crete.... and even then there's no guarantee that it won't move. I'm more fond of the idea that nothing is truly maintenance free, it's just a matter of how easy it is to maintain. Calculating the pier and beam foundation, I'm estimating an average of 200 lbs. per square foot (note that the heavier machines are on separate foundations), so if the whole 15x20 shed was up, it would have 20 piers spaced every 5', so each pier would have a load of 3000lbs. and a total capacity of 60,000 lbs (includes machines, walls , roof, etc.). Part of that floor would also be aided by the concrete machine foundations since they'll have the floor setting on a ledge around their perimeter. To lighten the load, I'll likely add more piers between the main ones.

These summer months have been a killer this year (something to think about later when the shed and machines are operational), but I'm going to start with the planers foundation and build out from there. Cooler autumn weather should help the process along.
 
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