Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rust Hunting in Georgia - March 31, 2011

Spotted a sale this morning and made a quick flyby based on the photos. The sale was marked "Mid Century Modern" yada yada and that drew me to the photos. Looking at them the garage full of tools showed some promise. By the time I got there this afternoon it was fairly picked over - just missed a metal welding table with an enormous vise that sold to a guy for $60 - I don't think he even knew what he got with that deal - the vise alone was probably worth $100-200 so he got the vise cheap and the table for free. I did find a small group of files - seller wanted $30 for the lot but I decided to get picky (I've currently got a 5 gallon bucket of old files that keep getting in my way and didn't want to add too much to the pile) and only picked up the vixen files - I have a soft-spot for those - he told me $3 each. I kept walking around and found a Sears marked soft-bristle brass brush and a Starrett 12" combination square. Got the whole group for $17.

This is the newest Starrett I own with a smoth (non pebbly) slide

Mostly Nicholson
I went inside and the only thing I saw that was interesting was an old wood-topped work table - but at $60 I passed. It was at least 2 1/2" thick made from maple I think - very worn. The last I bought like that I managed to purchase for way less so I guess I'm spoiled. I did another pass in the garage and started looking at this old roll-away tool box. It's a bit rough - the previous owner was an auto mechanic. After pointing out some of the flaws in the boxes (the top is a Kennedy style machinist box) I haggled down to $35 for the top and bottom.

I've never heard of Huot

Seems fairly well-made

As a bonus I got the contents of the top

Both Course and Fine tins of Clover Compound

Now the bottom I recognized as I've occasionally found tools marked Proto Tools - especially wood handled hammers and wrenches. My understanding is that this manufacturer was more popular on the west coast rather than in the South East. Also, I believe the company was bought by Stanley at some point.

Box No. 9941

I may pick up some locks so the upper and lower will match the same key - if you've every accidentally locked one of these you'll understand why I'm considering it. In all, not a bad haul for a 15 minute drive. I swung by another sale that was nearby but didn't find anything at that one. Wonder if finding this now means the weekend will be extra fruitful or dead? No telling...

-- John

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Unisaw - Completing the Arbor and Tables

So a few days ago I got busy completing the arbor rebuild and starting the tables. The first thing I needed to do was address the big piece of the table edge that was missing (broken off - see the first post images and you'll see what I'm talking about). Ideally this would have a new piece braised back in, but frankly, I've yet to find anyone locally who I felt comfortable with doing the work. Cast iron is rather finicky - the technique requires heating the metal up to cherry red before welding so that the metals interlock, then allowing to cool slowly (like it sand) so you get a strong joint. When talking to any of the welders around here, the only process they know is to immediately start going at it with rod - after thinking about this a while I decided to just fill it as best I could with JB Weld. Since it's not a load bearing surface and wont be under any stresses, metal-filled resin just seemed easier to me (to work, particularly). I cut a few pieces of hard plastic and made a small form, mixing up the two parts and laying it into the void. The stuff was pretty much self leveling.

JB Weld within Form
Cardboard palette and Popsicle stick applicator
Allowed to dry and harden over-night

As you can see the color approximated the raw, cleaned cast iron. I continued to work down the resin using rasps, files and finally sandpaper





Ready for Paint!
While I starting taping off the tables and wings for paint, I also finished up the arbor rebuild. The first time I put the arbor together I wasn't happy with the result - the pulley could slide back-and-forth along the shaft about 3/32" - the threads on the bearing side were also a bit buggered so the retaining nut wanted to cross-thread. So before I torqued everything down and screwed something up, I took it all apart and made a few posts on OWWM to ask for some opinions. I knew I would need to chase the threads so with it apart it would be easier to get things to go together when assembled. One idea I got from the forum was to put everything together sans bracket so I could see how it would fit - that way I would know how much room I would have for the final nut and belvedere washer. While taking things apart the far bearing nearly fell out of the bearing - so I knew that was probably part of the problem. It was too loosely pressed in (the retaining nut wasn't applying enough force), so apparently what happened was that when I applied pressure on the arbor to press everything into final assembly, it loosened the far bearing - that was the slack I was seeing (understand there was so much slack that the spaces would slide - that's where I got my 3/32" of looseness). The second time was the charm - this time I applied a drop of blue LockTite to the far bearing, then made sure I got the retaining nut very snug. I did have one mishap - the punch slipped and hit the plastic bearing sleeve hard enough to scrape the coating, but not hard enough to puncture (luckily) so I went with the same bearing with the hope that it wasn't bad enough to warrant a replacement (only time will tell!).

Starting to press the bearing

Watch the spring washer so it doesn't get caught

You can see the small spot of coating where I slipped

TIP: Place small screwdriver blade under belvedere washer until nut is tightened

Slightly pry upward then go to a larger screwdriver (careful not to hit the bearing sleeve)

Final step to add the pulley lock (with a drop of blue LockTite)

Completed Arbor Rebuild!

I tried to group the photos together a bit, but in practice I actually went back-and-forth from inside to outside while I hit the wings with primer, then two coats of paint (if you look at the camera times you can see the order). I also got two coats on the underside of the table.

Table after Second Coat
Wings after Second Coat
In all I feel pretty good about where I am thus far. I still need to finish painting the cabinet, plus the motor cover, cranks, feet and pan, but those will need to wait for a clear day. I'm going to start the sub-assemblies and probably get the motor apart so it can be cleaned, potentially turn down the commutator and fit new bearings (may get new brushes as well).

-- John

Rust Hunting in Georgia - March 26, 2011

Picked up a few things during some "drive-bys" over the weekend.

The first group was composed of a handful of items found at my favorite "antique-junk" places. I often manage to find an item or two super cheap - they also give me a discount so these three items were about $9 after tax. I probably shouldn't have bought the awl but I liked the way the handle felt in my palm (I have large hands). The Stanley bevel still has most of the decal on the rosewood handle and the surface rust on the blade should clean up fine. The Stanley #36 is the first of these smaller metal levels I've ever found in the wild - this one has two patent dates and I believe it's fairly scarce, and worth the $5 or so I paid for it.

The second group was made up of the left-overs from an advertised estate sale that was full of hand-tools. By the time I got there most was picke-over and gone, which is alright by me (not that I need much more as I'm already at the point of being a "hoarder"). The good thing about bottom feeding a sale like this is that everything is usually discounted. In this case, 50% of the prices marked. I walked away from the sale for $5.50. I've had good luck on anvils lately - this one is hoe-made using an over-sized piece of rail. I like the hardened-rolled steel and size of this one - my intent is to use it as a bench anvil after a little clean up - weight is about 40 pounds. The Stanley Handyman 42 is in immaculate condition - it's a good size for those smaller saw teeth. I just liked the ball peen hammer - rather over-sized head for the handle with modified grip (this one will be grouped with a big lot of tinner's hammers I have that also have carved handles).

Stanley Handyman #42 saw tooth set

The last sale I hit was one of those were crap is heaped up in boxes and milk-crates all over the yard. I saw lots of rust and wood handles from the road so I walked up. I spent about an hour picking through everything and ended up with these items - each at a quarter (got it all for $5). Most of those handles are old file handles that have tools shoved in them (the bigger set are all nut drivers). The Dexter body filler knife/spreader has a rosewood handle.

In all a successful and very low-cost weekend of rust gathering.

-- John

Friday, March 25, 2011

Unisaw - Prepping the Table and Rebuilding the Arbor

My next steps were to both start the preparation of the table/wings, and rebuild the arbor with new bearings. Here's a shot of what the table wings looked like - note the multiple coats of paint, rust and marred surface.

You can't see it in the photos but if you look at my first couple of Unisaw posts you'll see that there's a big chip missing from one edge. Initially I was going to abandon the use of that wing by using an extension table for a 52" fence. I've since decided to go with a shorter fence as the width of the previous would make it too cumbersome to walk around in my tiny wood shop.

I cleaned all surfaces as best as I could using a twisted-wire cup brush mounted in an angle grinder. I then media blasted using Black Diamond abrasive purchased from Northern Tool (great stuff and only a little more expensive than sand, and the threat of silicosis is minimized). Here's the table after blasting and shown with a coat of primer. Done with this for the day (trying to prune up the yard to get ready for the Friday yard trash pickup).

I had already started the arbor dissembly using my bearing puller:

I finished cleaning up the rest of the gunk on my grinder equipped with a brass wire wheel:

And a few days later pressed on the new extended-race bearing purchased from Accurate:

I had already pressed on the other bearing into the arbor bracket using my thumbs:

And then supported the hollow area between the two ears using a twobafore and a couple of cedar shakes (the taper let me sneak up on a tight fit), tapping in the bearing with a soft-faced hammer until flush:

It's suggested that the threaded retaining ring be installed with a drop of blue Locktite:

And that a punch be used instead of a screwdriver:

At this point both bearings have been seated and the arbor is ready to be inserted.

I set everything down and prepared for the next phase - finishing up the arbor rebuild and completing the tables. Sorry about the disjointed chronology - all this stuff was going on in between other projects and demands on my time so it's a bit spotty (didn't remember to take shots of the table underside, for instance).

-- John