Sometimes you just need a break from a big project. Especially when your big project is outside and it's been raining for a week. What better way to take a break from an existing project than getting a new project.
Look Honey, it followed me home today!
I saw an ad on Blocket which is kind of like Craig's list for an old rusty lathe with a noisy motor. I've always wanted a lathe, and advertised at $650 I thought that even with a noisy motor, it's probably a good deal. The scrap value for the 2 ton lathe is about $250, so worst case I'll be out $400.
The owner had bought himself a newer lathe and now wanted to get rid of the old lathe. He had one problem though, and that was that he couldn't get the electrics on his old lathe working. It was dumping rain and the lathe was sitting outside when I was looking at it and we were getting soaked fast. There was no power to it so I couldn't test it. So I offered him $375 and to help him wire in his new lathe. Done deal!
It took about an hour for me to fix his wiring, and I also found the instruction manual and wiring diagram on the net, so he was a very happy camper. I too was happy with getting a lathe. Lathes are usually much more expensive.
I picked it up today when the forecast was for scattered showers. I was especially pleased when he started pulling out a bunch of extras he had forgotten to mention that he had.
And then came all of the tools that he sent with it
The lathe is a Munktell's C40
The Munktell's lathes were built by Bolinder Munktell in the Swedish town of Eskilstuna until Volvo bought the company in 1950. That will give you an idea of how old the lathe is. The nice thing is that the old lathes are solid beef with all the bearings oversized and big heavy gears.
The cross slide feed lever is missing, and there are a few other issues with it, but going over it on the trailer when I got home it looked good, except for some ancient electrics. some of the handles are missing, and there are some parts that are worn, but overall a nice machine.
So like a kid at Christmas I couldn't restrain myself and started with polishing the rusted prisms. I hit them with 1000 grit sandpaper and alcohol and after about or so an hour of wet sanding they turned out quite nice for being 70 years old.
Then I got to work on the electrics and got the lathe running. Sure enough, there was an awful noise from the motor. So I started taking it apart, and it turned out the the bolt holding the belt pulley on the motor had come off and was rattling against the belts turning. I put the screw back after filing it back into shape and the lathe runs nice and quiet.
My favorite accessory is the snake joint lamp over the bed. It'll be on my top list to get fixed. It just screams golden age of industry to me, and I just can't resist it.
So now I have to clean anhd derust the rest of the lathe, fix the broken bits, change the oil, repaint it the original color, and rewire it according to modern codes inside the original wiring parts. Like Glennlever's Jeep, this lathe is a survivor with most of the original accessories, and I think restoring it back to it's original beauty would make a great and useful addition to my shop. Plus, according to my wife, I need another project like a hole in the head.