Very Old Overhead Pulley System - Page 2
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  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Lang View Post
    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for the info.
    The reason I asked is because the 12" swing lathe in your picture sure looks like a William Sellers lathe.

    I have a story to tell you.
    Every year I go to the Le Sueur, Minnesota gas & steam engine swap meet. I have been going for about 35 years.
    About 6 to 7 years ago I found and bought a 12" swing Sellers lathe at Le Sueur.
    It was very badly rusted but looked like it had been in very good shape at one time. Not abused or cobbled up or worn out.
    Sellers machines are hard to find especially in the smaller sizes so despite the rust I bought it.
    I did not have my truck with me at the time to haul it so I arranged to pick it up from the seller after the swap meet.
    He lived about 20 or 30 miles northwest of the Minneapolis metro area.
    I went after work one day to get it. I asked the seller where the lathe came from and why it was so rusty.
    He was not very forthcoming on any info. It seemed like he was a little embarrassed to say.
    I pressed him on it. This is what he had to say.

    He had bought the Sellers lathe(I think he also said he bought a very small lathe too), milling machine(I think he said Brown & Sharpe), large camelback drill press and grinder.
    He bought them, from the family, from a shop in St. Paul that was by the family home. He also bought the lineshaft and motor drive.
    He brought the machines to his home and built a shop just for the machines behind his home.
    He set up the machines and lineshaft in the new shop.
    At some point he moved his ice fishing house into the shop and was charging a battery.
    He had forgot about it and it started a fire. The entire shop burnt to the ground.
    A piece of tin had fallen on the Sellers lathe and partly protected it, but the other machines were lost and he scrapped them out.
    He left the lathe out with no cover in a very shady area which is why it got so rusty(it had moss growing on it).
    He then decided to sell the lathe at the swap meet. He would not say any more about it.

    I am not saying these were your grandfather's machines but there sure are a lot of coincidences.

    Rob
    I doubt the tools were his - I remember that the the buyer lived just East of the 3M plant in Maplewood.

    All my grandfather's larger machine tools were Brown & Sharpe. We also have a video of them installed at a steam threshing show in northern MN. He had used them at his home until he went through a divorce, then the tools went to northern MN, and he relocated to PA where he now works as a restoration carpenter.

    During WWII, it was common for many machinists to set up their own shops in their outbuildings for war production work. Home shops didn't build major units - they built components, such as unique bolts, and wood tool boxes. After US auto production ended so the makers could totally build way equipment, many auto dealers turned their shops and showrooms into machine shops. Since new machine tools were sold on a priority basis, most of the home shops had to re-use whatever they could find, often older line shaft equipment.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by BobRenz View Post
    I doubt the tools were his - I remember that the the buyer lived just East of the 3M plant in Maplewood.

    All my grandfather's larger machine tools were Brown & Sharpe. We also have a video of them installed at a steam threshing show in northern MN. He had used them at his home until he went through a divorce, then the tools went to northern MN, and he relocated to PA where he now works as a restoration carpenter.
    The larger lathe in your picture is not a Brown & Sharpe.
    Would that be Rollag?
    You should upload the video. I would like to see it.

    Rob

  3. #23
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    downhill from Twain\'s study outside Elmira, NY
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    WAWAwoodman - sometime probably in the late 70's I was in a millworks down there around, I think, Cockysville that had the remains of a millpond, but had last run with a line shaft belted to a single, about 4' or 5' diameter open work electric motor. One of those really ancient things that was skinny, and tall, like some of the old hydro generators. Wish i had known when young how much all that was going to change and disappear. They were cleaning it out to sell, probably for a development.

    smt


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