What is a good first machine to rebuild?
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    Default What is a good first machine to rebuild?

    So, I have been wanting to start a full rebuild on a machine tool and it has got me thinking, what would be the ideal machine to start off with? I'm talking about rescraping ways, resquaring the table, saddle, and knee. A full rebuild. I would think that a Bridgeport knee mill would be a pretty good project. Not to difficult but has more to it than just straightening a couple flat ways. What say you?

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    CPM2014,

    Hello from a fellow Austinite. Having never done it, I can't say. I'm taking in Richard King's class in May. Between now and then I to get in as much practice as possible. My rough plan is to start by making some short straight edges/parallels. I have some 1x2x36 iron bar on its way. Then I've got some angle plates to try. After that, something with dovetail ways. Maybe I'll make an angled straight edge and miil some dovetails to practice on.

    Ultimately I want to do my Bridgeport, but there are many things I need to learn first.

    Regards,

    Andy

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    My Dad used to say if you can rebuild a lathe, you can rebuild anything. The bed gets scraped parallel and V and flats need to be aligned, the saddle needs to be match fit and square to the bed (out of square to compensate for push-away, but your using a square) You intall new spindle bearings, align the head-stock, you scrape the saddle top and match fit the cross-slide and most professional lathes have tapered gibs, Do the same to the compound, scrape and align the tail-stock, align the feed screws, dis-assemble and assemble the mechanical parts, paint, etc.

    Have any of you heard of a fellow named Phil Perry? He is the guy who is famous for "The Gold Plated Lathe". http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...the-ks-267282/ He took a 5 day class, must have been 10 - 15 years ago and went home and rebuilt his Logan lathe (may have been a Sheldon). Now he is famous for rebuilding machines for High Bucks and for famous people. I am not saying I taught him anything besides machine alignment and scraping as he had a PHD when he took the class. I have had several students who have rebuilt Bridgeport's, etc. I want my students to succeed so they can go home and rebuild something, not go home and scrape a 1 2 3 block. Jan over in Norway who has several you-tube's and he took 5 days in GA.. So many say it can't be done, but I have proved it that a person can learn how to rebuild machines and scrape with lots of supervised training and a mentor standing behind them.

    Andy when you get the DVD you will see I teach scraping on a 3/4 x 3 x 10 inch CI Dura Bar. It is easy to scrape and you don't get frustrated as it only takes about 5 to 10 minutes to make a pass. Starting with a 36" bar is something you should scrape after you learn how. I also ask the student to bring a project like a lathe compound or Angle Block. But heck more power to you if you have time and most importantly the tools to check them. I have shown this link to PM Members before, it shows a typical 3 day class. <> Rich King's scraping/machine rebuilding class (Picture Heavy) <>

    I sure hope we can do a 5 day class in Houston, as they are a lot more fun for everyone. Had my eye surgery today and right eye is covered until tomorrow...can't keep me away...lol...not bad for one eye huh....lol Rich Merry Christmas

    PS: Here is a link to a really nice guy who unfortunetely has passed away who read how to rebuild a lathe on here and books. He was a great teacher to with his thread. I was lucky once and talked to him on the phone after he finished it. I love this thread. http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...the-ks-267282/

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    Richard,

    Right now I only have a small surface plate, so I was thinking of cutting up the bar into 9" sections. I tried to get some Dura Bar, but can't find a local source. Is there a supplier you can recommend? Is aluminum any use for learning on? I can get that by the truck load

    I will likely bring the cross slide for my Atlas 10" TH54 lathe. I can bring an angle plate as well. I've got a few, but I have not checked them yet.

    I came across the "Picture heavy" thread before. Very nice.

    Hope all goes well with the eye recovery.

    That is a beautiful restoration. If I had the skill to do that, I don't know if I would sell it. I might have to ask potential buyers to prove they could take care of it! lol.


    Regards,

    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    My Dad used to say if you can rebuild a lathe, you can rebuild anything.
    So you're saying to "Dive In"??

    When I got into boat building everyone says to start with a small row boat, or skiff or the sort, to develop and hone your skills and techniques before you take on a more complicated project. My assumption was that it would be a similar situation with machine rebuilding.

    On a side note: Does anyone have a link to any discussions here on the board about checking and adjusting the squareness of a knee to column? or as similar scenario?

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    Andy,

    I am really wanting to attend the scraping class, BADLY!! I have inquired about it but haven't pulled the trigger. I just don't know if can swing the 3 days needed. Im going to try my best. I just bought a Busch 4"x8"x21" angle plate and a couple 12" parallels from the ebay link that Richard King posted awhile back. Im going to scrape the angle plate in as a first project.

    img_0912.jpg

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    Why not wait until you get some more info before tearing down the machine. Scraping is pretty easy to do, but knowing where to scrape and how much to take off is a trade. Do you have a copy of Machine Tool Reconditioning by Edward Conelly? That book is considered the Bible of Rebuilding. It is an accumulation of several machine builders and was published after WW2 to save the knowledge. There's a few parts in the book that are obsolete, but it was published in the 50's, but handy as heck when your earning on your own. It gets you thinking. There are some charts in it from ASME tests on machines. Have plenty of coffee when reading too. There are other books; Testing Machine Tools and The Foundations of Mechanical Accuracy and a few others you might want to read. PM me and I can direct you to them. Or just do a Google search with the titles and Practical Machinists as this has been talked about for a decade on here.

    Another thing the knowledge of scraping is a learning curve as everything else and I hate to see anyone start on a Machine Tool...start with a small plate to learn to scrape 20 points per inch (PPI) and scrape an angle block so you can learn to step scrape that is used to change out of squareness so you have a designed method to gradually TIP by STEP SCRAPING the out of square part and BLIND scrape, which is also a controlled method to use a highlighter like Canode Yellow mix with Windex ....or in the old days we used red lead which is now banned.

    I know your all excited to get into it, but do some research and get the right tools before you get going. I am estimating you will need to spend a minimum of $1000.00 to $5000.00 in time and money to get the right tools and labor to get started on a Bridgeport (I used to say $10,000.00 but that was before Ebay. Plus the training is so important. several of the students have said they read the books and You-Tubes but until the were shown how it never clicked. This is why I ask my students to teach, to pass on what I teach them so Scraping and Rebuilding will not be called a Lost Art again. Rich

    PS: CPM PM me and we can talk about working on a creative way so you can come to the class.

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    Personally I am a bit surprised that we have not had more people working on other things first. Before you tackle a whole machine why not just start with the vise? Or perhaps a compound from a lathe? Or a rotary table or some other accessory? I feel those would make good learner projects rather than spending 100 hrs on a BP only to get frustrated half way through and stop before you get done. I am sure that wouldnt happen but it could right?

    Like any acquired skill this will take some time and you can only learn so much by scraping a plate flat. But it would still seem like a good idea to me to try working on less expensive projects before trying to tackle an entire machine. I have a few things around the shop that are on my list of things to work on before I try my hand at a full machine rebuild. I have a small shaper that will be a good project for me to learn on. First the tool holder slide is stiff and needs to be redone anyway. Then the ram dovetails will be a good project, it is in good shape so very little work should be needed but I should be able to see the results right away and it isnt something that will keep me from doing other work while I do it. Then there is the box ways for the table slide. And of course why not just start with the flat face to face mount for the table and the outboard support.

    These are all basic parts that you will find on larger machines, I can do it in steps at my schedule and as this is not a primary tool for my shop I wont be put out if I have trouble and screw it up.

    Try and see if there isnt something you can try out your skills on first before you jump right in. At least that would by my advice and that is the direction I am working for.

    Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by CBlair View Post
    Personally I am a bit surprised that we have not had more people working on other things first. Before you tackle a whole machine why not just start with the vise? Or perhaps a compound from a lathe? Or a rotary table or some other accessory? I feel those would make good learner projects rather than spending 100 hrs on a BP only to get frustrated half way through and stop before you get done. I am sure that wouldnt happen but it could right?

    Like any acquired skill this will take some time and you can only learn so much by scraping a plate flat. But it would still seem like a good idea to me to try working on less expensive projects before trying to tackle an entire machine. I have a few things around the shop that are on my list of things to work on before I try my hand at a full machine rebuild. I have a small shaper that will be a good project for me to learn on. First the tool holder slide is stiff and needs to be redone anyway. Then the ram dovetails will be a good project, it is in good shape so very little work should be needed but I should be able to see the results right away and it isnt something that will keep me from doing other work while I do it. Then there is the box ways for the table slide. And of course why not just start with the flat face to face mount for the table and the outboard support.

    These are all basic parts that you will find on larger machines, I can do it in steps at my schedule and as this is not a primary tool for my shop I wont be put out if I have trouble and screw it up.

    Try and see if there isnt something you can try out your skills on first before you jump right in. At least that would by my advice and that is the direction I am working for.

    Charles

    You and Richard are correct, and I should have been a little more clear about my question. I do have smaller scraping projects, like the angle plate that I showed above, as well as scraping a straight edge in. My question was posed with the assumption of having a basic understanding of proper scraping techniques, machine geometry, and such.

    Your analogy of starting a complicated rebuild only to get frustrated half way through is exactly my purpose of this thread. So what would be a first "dynamic" project machine after "static" projects?

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    So what would be a first "dynamic" project machine after "static" projects?

    What is worn the worse.. If you go back in the classes we have done in the past... Several of the guys had taken another class and learned how to hand scrape...I showed hem to hand scrape my method, but they were way ahead of the class. So they started their project before the rest did. Peter in the MPLS class 3 years ago scraped his chinese Kurt vise first, Many bring along a SE, others like Ben in the MPLS class scraped his angle block. The guys in Sweden had several different projects https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dzXZ-0EOTNw I was being silly in the beginning as one of the guys behind the camera was making faces, plus I had no clue he was going to put it on You tube...LOL

    Charles. I have the guys scrape the test bar first so they understand the basics. I re-use the same bars for each class. The student don't keep them. I tell them while learning that they need not wory about screwing up my bar, so they can "Get Mad at It" and press hard to get some DEPTH. I just saw a guy on You Tube scraping the top of a BP knee...I wanted to add...Bok bok Bok..on his comments as he is "CHICKEN SCRATCHING". I mentioned the "4 Rules of Scraping" a few threads ago. CP I think you added the Bushe angle block thread and pic while Charles and I were both typing. I have a question for you CP..."How would you test and scrape the square you have" ? :-) A -- Q & A session.... Rich

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    [QUOTE= I have a question for you CP..."How would you test and scrape the square you have" ? :-) A -- Q & A session.... Rich[/QUOTE]

    Well, I would cheat. As a tool and die maker I have Master squares and Squareness surface gages that I can use to compare squareness. But, If I was a guy in a garage with no advanced tooling, I have not a clue

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    Lets say it's off .005" or out of square and you have the test squares....but what surface would you scrape first and why? :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Lets say it's off .005" or out of square and you have the test squares....but what surface would you scrape first and why? :-)
    I have to think about this from a standpoint of scraping and not grinding. If I were to grind this square I would first grind the longest leg first than use that as a reference to make that leg square to the grinder magnet. that would allow for the most accurate squareness.

    Now, for learning purposes (after all, that's what this is about), if I didn't have use of a master square, I would tackle it like this.
    1.Scrape both SIDES (not faces) till they were flat, and perfectly parallel to each other. Once they are perfectly parallel than you can use them as a squareness reference. They wont be square to a face but be they will evenly out of square.
    untitled.jpg

    2.Than you can scrape one face square to the sides. I would scrape the short face first. That would allow you to use the long face as your adjustment face to obtain squareness to the short face. The longer the surface the more minute the adjustment you can make.

    Im I close???

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    What does everyone else think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    What does everyone else think?
    The suspense is killing me!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPM2014 View Post
    Well, I would cheat. As a tool and die maker I have Master squares and Squareness surface gages that I can use to compare squareness. But, If I was a guy in a garage with no advanced tooling, I have not a clue
    One way of creating squareness to the highest degrees, where no existing square can be referenced only requires surface plate, surface gauge and dti. process is the same for scraping or grinding. Best to start with something resembling a cube. start by getting two sides parallel, then grind/scrape a third side flat. place the third side on the plate. Set the indicator up on the gauge such that the ball on the mast of indicator touchs the work as does the needle. Sweep both paralleled sides.....1/2 the difference is how much they're out of square from surface on the plate.

    Scraping easily rectifies with interrelations of this test.....grinding requires a neat trick whereby you regrind one of the parallel surfaces leaving a lip. IF you've done the calcs right, placing the ground side with lip on the mag chuck will have the 3rd side now perfectly 90 to the chuck. grind away for perfect original generation of squareness

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    CP I think you added the Bushe angle block thread and pic while Charles and I were both typing. I have a question for you CP..."How would you test and scrape the square you have" ? :-) A -- Q & A session.... Rich
    Lets say it's off .005" or out of square and you have the test squares....but what surface would you scrape first and why? :-)
    Are we talking about the 'Bushe angle block'?

    If so id scrape the long side first, reason being if i have to work for 90°, I got less area to put right scraping the short side

    If i didnt have a 90° ref id scrape another small surface flat (if i dont already have one). Id use this to clamp to the short side of the Bushe to indicate in the other direction. Work till both surfaces zero.


    (Pic credit to Bebop, full post is here.)

    Do I get a prize?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Demon73 View Post
    If i didnt have a 90° ref id scrape another small surface flat (if i dont already have one). Id use this to clamp to the short side of the Bushe to indicate in the other direction. Work till both surfaces zero.


    (Pic credit to Bebop, full post is here.)

    Do I get a prize?
    Sure beats buying that High dollar fancy square checker one from Don at Suburban Tool. Even though I like him!!

    Ken

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    Suburban tool isn't what it used to be. I wouldn't trust a Suburban "Master" much more than a Chinese knock off these days. The last 2 sine plates I bought from Suburban were junk. Top plate of one had a .0005" twist in it, the others rolls were .0006" off from center to center.

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    Starting with a mill, even a 'small' one like a Bridgeport is likely to be a lot of work.

    If much of the aim of the exercise is to get happy with scraping ways, the odd dovetail, alignment, fit and finish, I'd seriously recommend something like an Atlas lathe. (Hoping not to get the thread locked for mentioning the unmentionable).

    The job isn't so big as to put you off. The ways won't be hardened. You don't need a crane to handle the parts. You don't get all depressed if it takes longer than you thought and sits there in the shop looking unfinished.

    At the end of the job, you can sell it to some sucker for more than it cost and put the money towards the mill.


    Started on a Hardinge HLV; Still got a Beaver VBRP mill in progress (took time off this year for woodspoiling work); Aiming to do the surface grinder when I've got the surface table and granite straight-edges re-lapped and calibrated.


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