Putnam 14x40 Lathe, rise and fall r&r question
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    Default Putnam 14x40 Lathe, rise and fall r&r question

    I've had time lately to work towards getting my circa 1880's Putnam lathe operational and need some advice. Thread about my lathe is here if people want reference info & pics- New guy with a Putnam Lathe and Index Mill model 40H

    Right now I'm working to resolve the broken rise and fall screw. When I got the lathe, the screw was broken off approx flush with the cross slide base and a previous owner had attempted to drill it out... It did work but needs replacement. The saddle has been disassembled and this is what remains to be addressed-

    Top view showing broken r&f screw and well-punished brass retaining nut(?) 99% as it came to me-

    img_8908.jpg

    The underside, with bottom of r&f assembly visible through hole-

    img_8909.jpg


    Not sure if this brass retainer is threaded, but assume it is. Any hex or square flats to facilitate removal are long gone. Lots of searching online, studying the few Putnam drawings I've found but discovered no applicable information yet. I've soaked it for the past few days. it isn't moving yet with moderate effort. Before I proceed, can anyone confirm if this retainer is threaded or not and if so, if it's more likely left- or right-hand threads? Any guidance is appreciated.

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    The usual setup on these is a "captive" screw adjuster. The bottom end of the screw is "fixed" into the carriage and the saddle is "raised" (and held) by the screw.

    Weighted lathes do the same thing, but count on the weight to hold the saddle and carriage to the ways. Later designs of the lathe dispensed with the weight and counted on the weight of the carriage and saddle themselves (and gibs) to hold it to the ways.

    This "captivity" seems to be your challenge. I've found a cross section of this kind of setup in Joshua Rose's seminal "Modern Machine Shop Practice" in Fig 499. The edition link below shows this at page 137 of Volume 1, but there are three versions of this book and page number may change.

    Link. Modern machine-shop practice / by Joshua Rose, ... v.1. - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library

    Looking at this you can see the commonly done "spherical" lower end of the screw. This allows the screw to accommodate the angular change of the screw caused in raising and pivoting on the hinge closer to the operator. These are usually quite precisely made as the entire accuracy of the tool position counts on this raising screw. Usually adjustable for vertical "free play" (minimal) and yet retain rotational action for adjustment.

    Looking also at this Fig. 499, the raising screw ball is kept to the carriage by a screw retainer "in from the end" of the carriage. (to the left in the pix) Yours may be different.

    I wish the pix were better. Chances are this IS a Putnam carriage as Mr. Rose tended to this manufacturer for description of "lathe typical" - frequently without attribution.

    Joe in NH

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    Thanks, Joe. I had found that very relevant diagram during my search. There are a number of apparent Putnam mechanical drawings in that same section of that book. That specific diagram is the one I have found most useful to date, but it still isn't clear as to the retainer specifics- threads/no threads, brass or otherwise. I have just purchased an earlier Putnam r&f screw with handle from a simple pendant weighted r&f. No retainer feature on that screw, just threads. I plan to use that original Putnam handle on my pending replacement screw

    Based upon that diagram, I had anticipated to find the ball end visible when I found & cleared the access/drainage through-hole beneath the base of the r&f screw. Instead, there's a flat bottom that appears to move in conjunction with the r&f screw. It may be a lower washer or spacer. I'll find out when I get it apart. My hopes were that you or another veteran had disassembled a lathe with this captured r&f screw and had experience with the retainer specifics.

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    Seem to be able to better see the "ball" on end of screw here

    fig-499.jpg

    This can be emailed larger resolution if you care to Private Message me that address

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    I can "blow up" the image I referenced earlier to see closer to the ball ended screw. Here is the link which should reproduce for you.

    Link: Modern machine-shop practice / by Joshua Rose, ... v.1. - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library

    Examining this I would venture to say that the ball is formed on the bottom of the screw. On bottom of the screw ball is a washer with internal beveled edges, possibly made to match the diameter of the ball - a ball lower seat if you will.

    On the top is another similar washer, but this one is likely "slotted" to allow assembly "above" the ball end. This would be the ball upper seat.

    On top of that appears to be a "retainer collar" - which has a hole in it the diameter of the ball, but not necessarily exceeding the diameter of the raising screw. Your raising screw thread is probably largely covering the gap made to allow "angular misalignment" of the screw.

    Given the drawing rendering of "threads" I would guess the external of this retainer collar is threaded and the pocket which contains the two thrust washers and the retainer is threaded to receive it. The threaded retaining collar would be the "adjustment" I mentioned earlier - you want this just tight enough to be a "firm seat" but not so tight that it binds.

    Your retainer (your pix) appears to have lost all the "corners" of the hex or square. Probably water got in there, seized up the ball assembly, and someone attempted to remove the retainer collar for access or adjustment, and broke off all the corners with his vise-grips.

    Vice grips CAN be very handy in sacrificial disassembly - but sometimes they do more damage than that which you're attempting to fix BY disassembly.

    Removal of this retainer will likely require some "persuasion." Using penetrating oil is where you start certainly. Getting things loosened up is the challenge. Alternating high-low temperature may help. A pencil point acetylene flame on the retainer possibly. Also, vibration might help. One of the ultrasonic "engraving pens" might move things ultrasonically and allow the penetrating oil to penetrate.

    It may be a left-handed thread so be careful.

    Or - you might try a "cape chisel," catch the upper surface at tangent and angle and "tap-tap" around the circumference. It is amazing how a "diagonal" hit with a hammer can loosen (or tighten) a rusted in place nut - and the cape chisel would allow you to "aim" this blow to best effect. Cape chisel pix at Cape Chisel 1/4″ Cut, CP832 | Wilde Tool

    Persistence and sheer luck be with you. Technically you could machine the retainer out and make another one. But what you can save will allow you to remake it more accurately.

    You mention parts from a "weighted" Putnam lathe. This brings to mind my 14x 5 foot bed dated 1863 Putnam (many if not all were dated 1863 up to change to a "cast in" name about 1876) which I bought for little or no money. It cost me more in mileage and gasoline than I paid for the lathe.

    This lathe needs saddle/cross-slide parts. It has the carriage. No weight. One apron gear is trashed. I'm looking for any/all of these parts for the post Civil War Putnam.

    So small relative to my other period lathes. Possibly the smallest standard bed Putnam made. At least to me it "begs" to be saved.

    Joe in NH

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    Thanks for the generous offer, John. As mentioned above, i found that diagram and several others from the same book & chapter a while back (actually nearly 2 months ago) and studied them quite a bit before I began disassembly this week.

    This damaged brass retainer still has some of the original top surface intact. It fits into a recess of the cross slide base. It should provide an overall height dimension for the new part.

    As long as I'm asking, here's another r&f question- how long or tall is the r&f screw? This one is broken off approx flush with the casting. Would the threads on the screw extend approx to the top of the shoulders on the saddle? I expect when full raised, the lifted casting should only move high enough to reach the tops of the shoulders but not move beyond them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by acbutton View Post
    As long as I'm asking, here's another r&f question- how long or tall is the r&f screw? This one is broken off approx flush with the casting. Would the threads on the screw extend approx to the top of the shoulders on the saddle? I expect when full raised, the lifted casting should only move high enough to reach the tops of the shoulders but not move beyond them?
    Possibly, but not necessarily. Note on the Joshua Rose pix in the notation next to the R&F screw marked "C". I would guess another 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch rise above the "horns." All the horns do is "locate" the saddle and prevent "torque" at the saddle hinge. The fit of these horns is quite tight on the dovetail/saddle.

    The bottom of the ball ended adjust screw stays with the carriage. The saddle (upper dovetail) moves up and down. The threads stick ABOVE the dovetail saddle so you can turn the handle without banging your knuckles on the toolpost holder if it be placed close.

    There were various "handles" used. Mostly you see a "crank" - my two Shepard Lathe & Co, Lathe & Morse lathes both have cranks, both nearly identical. Other lathes of this period use a "three ball" handle similar to a three ball tailstock quill clamp (square topped tailstock with a "pull-up" ring.) Given your description and the time - and the Joshua Rose pix, I would say like the Joshua Rose a crank would be right.

    I expect you could "scale" that Joshua Rose pix and make it to proportion and get VERY close to what it was originally.

    Incidentally, Shepard, Lathe & Co. and Lathe & Morse of Worcester, MA were "connected" to the Putnam family of Fitchburg, MA by marriage. MANY of the design details of the two manufacturers are strikingly similar, possibly even interchangeable dimensionally. To have been present at Christmas gatherings would have been interesting.

    Joe in NH

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe in NH View Post
    I can "blow up" the image I referenced earlier to see closer to the ball ended screw. Here is the link which should reproduce for you.

    Link: Modern machine-shop practice / by Joshua Rose, ... v.1. - Full View | HathiTrust Digital Library | HathiTrust Digital Library

    Examining this I would venture to say that the ball is formed on the bottom of the screw. On bottom of the screw ball is a washer with internal beveled edges, possibly made to match the diameter of the ball - a ball lower seat if you will.

    On the top is another similar washer, but this one is likely "slotted" to allow assembly "above" the ball end. This would be the ball upper seat.

    On top of that appears to be a "retainer collar" - which has a hole in it the diameter of the ball, but not necessarily exceeding the diameter of the raising screw. Your raising screw thread is probably largely covering the gap made to allow "angular misalignment" of the screw.

    Given the drawing rendering of "threads" I would guess the external of this retainer collar is threaded and the pocket which contains the two thrust washers and the retainer is threaded to receive it. The threaded retaining collar would be the "adjustment" I mentioned earlier - you want this just tight enough to be a "firm seat" but not so tight that it binds.

    Your retainer (your pix) appears to have lost all the "corners" of the hex or square. Probably water got in there, seized up the ball assembly, and someone attempted to remove the retainer collar for access or adjustment, and broke off all the corners with his vise-grips.

    Vice grips CAN be very handy in sacrificial disassembly - but sometimes they do more damage than that which you're attempting to fix BY disassembly.

    Removal of this retainer will likely require some "persuasion." Using penetrating oil is where you start certainly. Getting things loosened up is the challenge. Alternating high-low temperature may help. A pencil point acetylene flame on the retainer possibly. Also, vibration might help. One of the ultrasonic "engraving pens" might move things ultrasonically and allow the penetrating oil to penetrate.

    It may be a left-handed thread so be careful.

    Or - you might try a "cape chisel," catch the upper surface at tangent and angle and "tap-tap" around the circumference. It is amazing how a "diagonal" hit with a hammer can loosen (or tighten) a rusted in place nut - and the cape chisel would allow you to "aim" this blow to best effect. Cape chisel pix at Cape Chisel 1/4″ Cut, CP832 | Wilde Tool

    Persistence and sheer luck be with you. Technically you could machine the retainer out and make another one. But what you can save will allow you to remake it more accurately.

    You mention parts from a "weighted" Putnam lathe. This brings to mind my 14x 5 foot bed dated 1863 Putnam (many if not all were dated 1863 up to change to a "cast in" name about 1876) which I bought for little or no money. It cost me more in mileage and gasoline than I paid for the lathe.

    This lathe needs saddle/cross-slide parts. It has the carriage. No weight. One apron gear is trashed. I'm looking for any/all of these parts for the post Civil War Putnam.

    So small relative to my other period lathes. Possibly the smallest standard bed Putnam made. At least to me it "begs" to be saved.

    Joe in NH
    Typing at the same time.....

    I make my living with chisels and pneumatic hammers, so am very fluent with such tools. Lots and lots of chisels already here and what I don't have, I make. I have been working it in both directions to see if one way is more willing than the other. My goal is removing this retainer while salvaging as complete a piece possible to guide making a replacement.

    It's been soaking with 50/50 atf & acetone for days. No melted paraffin or heating with small tip on Meco torch yet. I have a large ultrasonic cleaner that this saddle will easily fit in. Might just give it the spa treatment for a while, but it has never been of much benefit for loosening frozen threads.

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    1863 Putnam rims and fall screw and handle-

    image.jpg

    I plan to remove and then marry this handle to a new ball ended r&f screw. We'll see..

    Edit- some of my "chisel work", an old fashioned finishing job to reproduce a circa 1875 memorial capital. I cut this freehand with chisels and air hammer in Colorado marble. It shipped it this week 1'-7" X 1'-7" X 1'-5" tall

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

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    After all else fails, the tried and true method worked. As soon as I ask for help, the task practically solves itself...

    Before cutting & carving flats on the brass retainer for a formal wrench, I did some more hammer and punch work. After a short effort, it budged. After some back & forth and more penetrating fluid, it came out without much difficulty.

    This should add to online info regarding these captured Rise and Fall Screw assemblies. Once again, this Putnam Lathe cubbyhole door castings have the 1863, 1872 and Nov 1873 patent dates but none of the 1892 or later patent dates, which would likely place manufacture between 1874 and 1892. Much of the original black paint is still present. It is similar to the "frog foot" lathes, but the feet on this lathe are not nearly as dramatically flared and rounded as others I've seen pictured online. These feet are pretty straight and square. Each end or leg casting is hollow with a swinging cast door to provide tool storage. These hollow legs are open at the top where they meet & attach to the lathe bed, so will easily capture chips and debris from above.

    Captured Rise and Fall assembly-

    The brass retainer for the r&f assembly is flat on top & bottom and screws into a bore in the saddle. Measurements of brass retainer are 1 7/8" OD x 19/32" x 18 TPI (right hand threads). Brass Retainer Bore is 3/4" ID with straight walls. There is a 25/32" diameter steel ball, pinned to the r&f screw, with a captured steel flat washer above the ball. This captured steel washer has a tapered through-hole, assume it has the same radius as the ball. Depending upon how the handle is attached to the r&f screw, the steel washer and possibly the brass retainer are installed onto the r&f screw before ball is pinned to it.

    When assembled, the ball rests upon a flat foundation steel disc with matching radius cut in center on the upper face. The underside is flat to rest in the saddle bore, with a through-hole beneath this foundation disc that penetrates the saddle casting. The brass retainer nut, the captured washer and the foundation disc are each stamped "10". Pics-

    img_8912.jpg

    img_8915.jpg

    img_8914.jpg

    img_8913.jpg

    Looks like I can replace the brass retainer and rise & fall screw while reusing the pinned ball and other components. Very happy it came apart without unnecessary destruction. Thanks for the input. Looks like I couldn't have done it without you guys...

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    You do very well with the written description. Thanks for your update. SOMEONE will puzzle over their lathe and your narrative may well help them from trashing it.

    Welcome to the forum. Stop by any time. You're one of us!

    Joe in NH

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    Thanks, Joe. The biggest obstacle to being active here is this iPad that basically came as a free gift when my lathe was sold new..... The PM site asks too much from this outdated device that crashes nonstop whenever if try to be here. If if don't fire up the "real" computer, it's a frustrating effort. When my daughter goes to college next fall, I'll have a much newer outdated device that reaches to my lazy chair.

    Im very excited about this lathe. A newer one (with Compound slide and gear box instead of change wheels) would make more sense, but I really like the way this old lathe glows when I look at it. Others here might know what I mean..

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    The next step is making a new square threaded screw. I'm not a machinist, but I am one who makes things for a living using old but professional methods. After my spare Putnam 5/8" X 8 tpi rise & fall screw arrived, I took it and the remains of the broken 11/16" X 8 tpi screw from my lathe to my neighbor. He's a trusted and talented machinist, but he's not enamored with this antique that I'm trying to fix. He thinks the 1940's Index 40H mill I have is "before his time" so this 1880's lathe is not on his radar...

    After he could find no catalog/order source for any 11/16 X 8 tpi acme threaded rod, His advice was it would be very difficult to turn/thread a new screw without a nut to test the threads during the process. He isn't particularly interested in the task, suggesting it would "make more sense" to use a piece of readily-available threaded rod and redo the threads in the cross slide casting. Since this screw is the only broken part on this lathe, that's not my plan.

    I'm working on getting an 11" Sheldon lathe that doesn't need parts replaced to use. I can pull a mold of the old screw and produce a dental stone (approx 15k psi) casting to serve as a nut. Im not clear whether this would actually be acme thread.

    So what kind of advice, assistance or guidance can I find here as I set my sights on this task?
    Last edited by acbutton; 11-21-2020 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Add forgotten words

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    Im not clear whether this would actually be acme thread.
    If screw and nut work with each other who cares about names?
    Last edited by johnoder; 11-21-2020 at 10:11 PM.

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    One imagines the existing screw broke off just below the handle.

    Is it possible to use the existing screw and weld on either a handle or weld on a stub to which a handle could be attached?

    Even if the weld ends up "blobby" and off center, I imagine your machinist friend could use the existing thread in the chuck and turn the stub and round it out. POssibly even thread it using the existing thread as model. One can do this with the tool turned "upside down" and working from left to right.

    Yeah, that's probably a little out of his skillset - constrained as I expect he is to trade practice he learned in the schools 50 years ago. But sometimes you have to be "ingenious."

    I don't believe your broken screw is cast iron. A quick touch to a grinding wheel will sort of tell you what it is. (sparks - carbon steel. Dull or no sparks - cast iron.)

    Joe in NH

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    I 'm wondering if there isn't a way that you could temporarily fix your lathe so that it would be usable with out harming the original look of the machine?
    Having only seen pictures or lathes with rise and fall tools slides in museums I was wondering if the nut that runs on your broken screw is part of the cross slide or a detachable part ?
    As I understand it the rise and fall tool rest is only used to bring the cutting tool to center height .
    As a temporary measure you can always shim your tools to the proper height .
    It just takes a little more time to set up;
    If it isn't part of the cross slide and it is removable I would suggest making a new nut tapped to fit a standard size piece of 5/8"-11 N.C. threaded rod.
    Make a new screw using a piece of hardware store threaded rod or a old bolt and turn down the end to pin on the existing ball if you can get the pin out of it on the existing broken screw or you may have to pin a short piece of 3/4" round stock on the end and roughly form the ball on it and add a simple welded up or scrap car window crank handle on the top end .
    While this certainly won't look original but if that is all that is preventing your lathe from working you could then after a bit of experience make your own copy of the original screw and nut be they with a square or Acme thread of 11/16" - 8 or what ever suits your fancy .
    I would be willing to bet that the original nut may be somewhat worn anyway so you may find you would have to size what ever screw you made to fit it and not rely on a standard measurement of any kind.
    If having a poor fit in that screw and nut would cause the lathe to chatter you could probably put a jamb nut top and bottom to lock it if you used a standard screw thread there on a temporary basis .
    Putting a non original part on your lathe to get you going is not going to harm the lathe in any way if you are careful and then you can use what materials are at hand and the lathe to rebuild its self later on .
    Regards,
    Jim

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    In the classic "weighted" lathe the carriage and tool holder are held to their respective ways by the force of the weight on the tool holder. You raise the tool holder and the screw bears on the carriage pushing up the tool holder/saddle, but these are held in contact only by the force of the weight.

    In this later "adaptation" of the weighted lathe, the carriage serves as weight, but the tool holder/dovetail can move up hinging on the two front hinges, and held up by the captive on a ball raising screw.

    Looking at the Modern Machine Shop practice cut above, one sees the ball ended raising screw held into the carriage by it's retainer, and "staked" in the tool holder/dovetail slide by an adjusting bolt which is screwed in from the left in the pix. One assumes the small slug of metal to the right of this adjusting bolt has "threads" which engage the ball-ended adjusting screw. Upon this slug and the threads thereon is the entire upward force of the cut. And the substitute for the force of the weight.

    The ball ended adjusting screw is free to turn on the ball, can swivel on the ball, has no relative motion to the carriage except this turning and swivel. The ball ended adjusting screw is restrained in the tool holder/dovetail by the slug threads with no angular misalignment possible. Any lateral displacement of the tool holder/dovetail slide by the angularity of it's positioning is made at the front "hinges" which are usually made "two part."

    So that ball-end is where rigid positioning of the tool holder/dovetail slide all begins.

    Just pointing out the "mechanics." It was a step change in complexity over a weighted lathe, but an advancement considering ease of use.

    Below 1880 Census "Power & Machinery" describing variants in tool rest practice. Fig. 95 (below) shows a take on your tool rest setup. Figure 97 shows the classic "weighted lathe." "An especial practice prevails in New England."

    Census Reports Tenth Census. June 1, 1880: Power and machinery employed in ... - United States. Census Office. 10th Census, 1880 - Google Books

    Joe in NH
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails gibbed-rest.jpg  

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    Joe in NH,
    Thanks for the explanation and posting the picture and link.
    That book in the link looks interesting and something to look at in more detail later.
    Jim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Christie View Post
    Joe in NH,
    Thanks for the explanation and posting the picture and link.
    That book in the link looks interesting and something to look at in more detail later.
    Jim
    That book was reprinted by Lindsay Publications "back in the day" before their demise in the early 2000s. Your Old Time Bookstore

    And is possibly available now as a used book at abebooks.com and others.

    Power & Machinery, Lindsay - AbeBooks Some of these appear quite reasonable price-wise and I suspect the green ones shown are Lindsay stock which was later re-sold by their "cleaning house" entity.

    Also search abebooks on "Census 1880 Power Machinery" and available as an "offshore reprinting" from the various pacific rim entities who reprint ANYTHING which makes it to Ebook - for a price. For these about $45. My feeling is the quality of these books perhaps leaves a lot to be desired - the reprint is as good as the original scan - which in my experience is none too good and can include page omission, mis-placed pages, images of thumbs holding the book on the scanner, etc.

    An interesting and quite detailed book - originated by your Great-great-grandfather's tax money.

    Joe in NH

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    My goal is to actually fix the issues with new parts vs the lifelong patch it now approach. But I hear what's being said. Now I've got another project to do in umpteen years when I can finally justify tearing it apart to fix it properly..

    Brazed up the brass retaining nut, not pretty but adequate for this effort-

    image1.jpg

    after surfacing the top back to the original plane, I used the lazy way to "lay out" a square head

    image3.jpg

    Then it was just some work with the hack saw, regular & thread files and a little on the belt sander before the new top 1 1/4" square head was done.

    image6.jpg

    image1nut1.jpg

    Some scrap from an old 3/8" extension was a perfect fit for a spare Delta ball handle and the approx base diameter of the broken rise and fall screw. I ground a slight tenon to fit into the haphazard but married two holes that had previously been drilled in the broken screw. A little more brazing and it looks ok. The new temporary parts-

    image2nutscew1.jpg

  27. Likes Joe in NH, Jim Christie liked this post

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