Cashing in on Scrap Metal

This one is just for fun, I started off needing to fix my DeWalt miter saw (a dumpster diva that stopped working). The saw was near new, and I figured it had a loose wire or something, so I took it apart to investigate. I’m far from being an expert on electric motors, but I’ve had some luck with bringing the dead back to life lately, so I thought I’d give it a try. The problem was pretty obvious once I got a look at the armature……..

The brushes were worn out and wallowed out the commutator on the armature pretty bad, so I decided to take a page out of the old South Bend Lathe book and turn down the commutator like the old timers did. Worth a try anyway. I located a set of brushes on Ebay for $6 and fired up the lathe……….


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Rebuilding A Johnson Model B Horizontal Band Saw

This saw was purchased at the 2010 CAMS Yard Sale to replace my Chinese 4X6 band saw, which also found a new owner at the Yard Sale. The Clarke saw was a valuable tool around the shop, used almost every day, but was just a little too small for my needs. For the money, the saws sold at Harbor Freight or Tractor Supply are the best buys around. They all need work to get them working but will get the job done (with varying results) for a minimal amount of cash.
The saw I bought has a much larger cutting capacity, listed as 5X10, but will actually cut 5X13. This added capacity will really help me out, because most of the scrap I get exceeds the 4X6 range.
The saw was built in March of 1957, and by the looks of it was complete with all the parts it left the factory with (except the shut-off linkage). I’m partial to old American tools, as you can rebuild them, and parts are not special order from China.
When I got the saw home, I wanted to just power wash it, install a new blade, and maybe give it a quick spray can paint job. The power wash just drove home the fact that this treasure was just uglier than a bucket of scrotums. I lost control when I rolled in the shop, and about an hour later it was scattered across my bench. Heres a shot of it coming of the truck at the Yard Sale (thats me in the truck), and a

couple of shots of it before the cleanup.



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Quick Change Tool Post T-Nut For The South Bend Lathe

I finally got sick and tired enough of the sloppy feel of the T-nut on my Aloris tool post and decided to make a “corrective” base to bridge the wallowed out compound on my South Bend Lathe. Any of you guys out there with a lathe that came from a High School shop class probably know the situation I was up against. The tool holder locked down alright MOST of the time, but I was never REALLY sure. Here’s a shot of the compound, and the damaged area:

The project was to build a T-slot nut with a tighter fit, and long enough to bridge the damaged area of the compound, so that it supported the nut and allowed for a good solid lock-down. I made it the full width of the tool post.

The machine work was pretty straight forward on the Bridgeport, due to a good Kurt vise, and some set-up fixtures. I had planned on whipping up a few extra for sale in the store, and took the time to make a couple of jigs to speed things up. I whipped up about a dozen, and plan on making some for the 9 Inch size lathes shortly.

I left the load bearing surface on the lower step of the nut ROUGH to add traction to the grab on the compound. I thought it might look like hack machine work, but it just looks like it means business. I tried a couple of “blueing” methods, with mixed results, and finally just decided on the old blacksmith’s oil quench blackening. I heated the nuts to cherry red, and quenched it in used motor oil. This has the added benifit of hardening the metal and blackening it too. I can’t tell you the Rockwell hardness, but the finish looks pretty darn good for something I’m never gonna see, anyway. It should protect it against corrosion too.
I have to do some research on heating temperature to make sure I’m getting hard enough, without getting it brittle, but I’ve tested them, and they seem perfect to me. I will fine tune the heating on the next batch, as these seem to have areas where the “black” is light in the areas where the rosebud got too close to the nut. Live and learn; I’m not a blacksmith.

The hardened studs are about a half inch long for the Aloris tool post and the Phase II I tried. I plan on trimming mine, but will probably ship the others out long for the final user to trim to fit. The 5/8″ studs are stout, like the hardened flange nuts. Lots better than the old setup I was using. It has a solid feel that you know is locked down every time.

These are in the store section, and will ship in a Priority Mail Small Flat Rate Box @ $4.95  regardless of quantity. This version is for the Aloris BXA size (Phase II 250-200 size), and should fit any offshore clone sold as BXA compatible.  The 9 inch (AXA size) is in the work and will be available shortly.

All in all, a good project, and gave me some good experience for a future post on heat treating / blueing metal. More on that at a later date.

Please have a look at the and let provide your special maintenance and tool needs..

H-4 Keep Your Lathe In Trim

How to adjust headstock spindle bearings, splice a belt,  adjust tailstock set-over, adjust dovetail gibs, and more. This is a scan of the 1944 South Bend Lathe Works bulletin H-4  Keep Your Lathe In Trim. It covers most of the adjustments that will keep your lathe running for years.  I have it printed out and slipped into vinyl page protectors in a 3 ring binder by my lathe. It makes a great reference manual.

Edit-Update 10/2010: The manual originally posted here has been replaced by a better .PDF version and can now be found along with the other three South Bend bulletins.

We Posted All Four Bulletins Here!

Or use a direct link…

Bulletin H-4 – “Keep Your Lathe in Trim”.

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How To Oil Your Bridgeport Mill

Actually, this should be called: “How to make it easier to lubricate your machine tools”. In reality, this is more of a product review than an instructional aid.
I tend to be somewhat anal about lubricating my machines. I sell oil, its only natural. Any way I can make the job easier is a plus to me. One place I was having some difficulty was the front spindle head oiler on my mill. Its tucked up under the speed control, and pretty tough to get at. I started looking around for an oil dispenser with a long spout, and found out that these type bottles  seem to fall in two categories; Cheap junk, and very expensive lab quality stuff. Neither of those options worked for me. After a lengthy search, I finally found some new lab quality bottles at a very good price, and bought a case to try out.

As you can see, they’ve got a long, rigid spout that will get into the hard to reach areas on most of your equipment, and the squeeze bottles are made of a thick gauge chemical resistant LDPE. I’ve been using these for spindle oil, cutting oil, way oil, and acetone. Application is easy, with just a gentle squeeze. These bottles have become a real asset around the shop, and I don’t know how I got along without them before.

I’ll be putting these in the store in the next day or so, in both the 250ML and 500ML (8 oz and 16oz) sizes. The price will be $4.50 each for the large bottle, and $3.50 each for the small bottle, and the shipping will be $2.00 for multiple quantities shipped 1st Class Mail.. Please take advantage of the 10% discount coupon.

Please have a look at the and let provide your special maintenance and tool needs..