Thursday, June 22, 2017

Maybe I was a bit too quick to Guesstimate...

In my last post, I said that unknown maker's lathe was probably a Delta/Rockwell/Beaver lathe, from their Homecraft hobbyist tool's line.

Well.... I'm not so sure anymore, here's why

That tool, because of its sheet metal bed, versus the traditional cast iron bed, and sizes, is no doubt a Hobbyist, albeit well built, woodworking machine.

When I did a first quick search, I quickly zoomed in on Delta Homecraft products line, because they did HAD a sheet metal lathe in their line.
But trying to narrow it down better, I discovered an essential feature that the Delta had that mine does not: They welded spacer plate at regular interval, much like today, cast iron beds have such reinforcements casted instead.
In 1941 they replaced the steel bed with a cast iron one.

Delta No 930
Notice the closer gap on top of the steel folded bed.

They also had a peculiar cast foot brackets to support and raise the steel bed up
Turns out, there was accessories cast foot to raise mostly metal working lathes to enable proper metal chips clearances. In woodworking, it is not so critical

So back to basic research to try to narrows it down.
Who else manufactured such Hobbyist power tools line?
One only has to look at giant retailers like Sears, Montgomery -Ward, etc to see a rather complete lines of woodworking power tools of different quality, at various price points.
North American readers are no doubts familiar with Sears's Craftsman tools lines, but they also used various Trade names for their "Entry level" tool lines

From a Craftsman tool catalog dated 1940

This is a smaller 8X27 (center to center) which good old Sears uses their infamous ad copy writers euphemism calling it a 38 in lathe (that is the length of the bed!!)
It sport very similar foots and although not mentioned, the bed look like it could be steel, which makes sense when reading down further: Shipping weight, 22 pounds! Trust me that is NOT a cast iron bed...
It also has bronze bearings (Bushing) with oil cupŝ, just like ours.

Numerous manufacturers made power tools for them, easily identified by the first 3 digits of the Sears code on the name plate.... when present :-)

Looking at them closer we find a very similar looking woodworking lathe, with the added pizzaz of streamlines on it, a nod to Art Deco from the 30's, marketed under the Dunlap name, and manufactured by a few makers

That very similar one, under the name Dunlap. 
Most likely the same one, but could be a different manufacturers

Mine does not, but these "lines" were introduced in 1941 and were removed in 1949 (?)
Could it be my elusive lathe??

The tailstocks used a different adjuster handle, but mine is probably 50's ish, and it would be easier to cast a round handle, than the earlier spinning lever handle

Looking closer at it, I did found some cast marks on it, but still no name, nor model No, nor Serial Nos

In a circle it reads, with PAT in the middle:
On the oil bushing covers
Well, look at that, turned out they are still in business 
They were founded in 1910.
Lets have a look at what patents they got for these oil cup covers

Hum only patent returned when searching for oil cup...
Gits, Gits bros etc does not return anything under manufacturer.
Dead end for now... Could be a cumbersome search...

I did came across this patent assigned to Gits Brothers, but it is from the 70s so I doubt this is the one, besides it is not for an oil cup...

on the Banjo for the tool holder



Here is a nicely restored one, similar to ours

Given that the steel beds appears to be constructed more similarly  than the Delta and al, and it does have the lub ports (indicating it used bronze sleeves versus balls bearings), I am now leaning more toward being a  Companion/Dunlap machine and not a Homecraft.

Fold and welded construction.
Bottom is wide open, no reinforcement plates, no folded steel with holes, etc

This 4 part part video of a Dunlap restoration, part 1 here, shows a bottom with holes... Back to square one??
Here is a short list of Companion/Dunlap made
The ones I have seen pics of often had the 3 digits manufacturers code followed by a dash and the rest of the model Nos on them

Frankly, I am temporarily stumped... Unless anyone else out there has a better guess?? Or more info??
Now trying to find more about these never seen before cast marks 9JL-X
That could be a rabbit hole I am going down into... But it also looks like my best bet to figured this out...

Bob, standing corrected.....until....

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

An unknown maker's lathe (?)

A good friend of mine has been searching for a suitable wood lathe, something akin to my Rockwell-Beaver 3400 lathe. A solid, suitable way to get into wood turning without breaking the bank..

Such lathes comes up somewhat regularly on Kijiji but tend to go fast...go figured :-)

In the past few months we have been corresponding for a while trying to find that "good deal" to get him into woodturning. A few suitable candidates pops up once in a while but quickly disappeared. This week, I saw this ad for what look like an older Rockwell Beaver lathe but without the tell tale gap bed, such as mine. Comes without a motor, the tool holder (Banjo) has a broken half , but it looks otherwise complete and is said to run smooth. Given that it was priced very cheaply, Cdn $40, and located minutes from my place, I took a chance and snag it for him.
I figured even if he does not want it, I could set it up for small turning job (such as pen turning, tool handles etc), and keep my other one for bigger jobs.

I told him I got it, but it stayed in my car trunk overnite, waiting for the rain to stop before I smuggled it into the kitchen to take pics and go over its overall conditions before reporting to him, what I found :-)

Why the kitchen? Don't ask :-)

The lathe on my kitchen floor,
 Rudy's teddy bear uses for scale
or was it him dropping it near by, during his own inspection? :-)

It was a bit smaller and lighter than I thought, my first surprise came when I picked it up to move it to my car trunk. You would be amazed at what you can fit inside a Lincoln's trunk :-) My previous one was a Town car, essentially a land yacht,  into which you could probably fit 4 people complete with cement feet in the trunk (no wonder it was a favorite car for some of society criminals people :-)

Anyway, I digress, my first surprise was that the lathe bed is not cast iron, but rather made of a thick steel formed channel, hence the unexpected lightness

It rest on two cast feet platforms

So is the bed not being made of cast iron a deal breaker? No, the steel bed is straight, should not be an issue, but the lathe would benefit being bolted down to add mass and rigidity.

The bed overall length is 45 inches, removing the minimum distance lost at each ends by the headstock and tailstock, we get about 33 in of turning capacity

From headstock casting to end of driving center: Approx 8 inches
Turning capacity over bed: 4-1/2 inches, or 9 in diameter

Tailstock to dead center tip, retracted: Approx 4-1/2 inches

45 minus 12-1/2 in (8 plus 4-1/2) = 32-1/2 in so this lathe can be classified as a 9 X 32 in lathe, its maximum capacities. (32 or 33 depending how measured, but close enough)

Small when thinking furniture legs and etc, but plenty big for small jobs, like I said for pen turning, tool handles, chair legs and spindles and etc
Bowl turning? well there is an outboard turning face  plate which would allow turning bowl bigger than the 9 in capacity over the bed, but I would not attempt large bowls on it, that would tax it slightly... :-)

The Banjo's tool rest is half broken, but still usable. 
Finding a replacement is easy (LV) sure enough they have that size...

Very similar to mine, but the shafts are different.
Mine uses a steel insert shaft, 5/8 dia, his uses a rough cast 3/4 in shaft

Slightly smaller too,

Someone tried to brazed it back earlier but it fail.
Surprise trying to weld or braze cast iron is...
Would not like to had been around when it broke while turning..Brrr.

The head stock has a four steps pulley (speeds)

Since there is no motor attached that came with it, a suitable motor would have to mount a similar 4 steps pulley in a reverse image. He has a suitable motor, and fortunately, such cast aluminum pulleys are easy to find. Another friend of mine bought one at our local Canadian tire store (Hardware/Auto parts store)
for yet another Rockwell / Beaver lathe like mine that we found on Kijiji.

The head stock, with the center spur drive removed (locking nut slackened)
has two covered oiling ports. It does not sport a hollow shaft enabling Morse taper accessories, but rather a simple threaded shaft...just like mine, but easily work around it by mounting a scroll chuck with the proper adapter. 

His drive spur center is a bit smaller than mine 
Top, mine used a 1-1/8 in wrench
Bottom, his uses a 1 in wrench
And of course the thread is different, roughly 3/4 X 10 TPI

Looking up adapters and common lathe spindle sizing, I found out that there is such a thread size, 3/4 X 10 used on Rockwell Homecraft series tools.
Judging by its construction and size, even if I could not found any markings whatsoever on it, it would appears to be indeed a Rockwell Homecraft (hobbyist) tool.

DELTA (Rockwell) Homecraft tools were designed and built expressly for the
home workshop uses. Introduced in 1949, they were still durable and well made but at a lower cost, not being designed as production tools. I am pretty sure this is what we have here, produced either under Delta, Rockwell or the Beaver brand name in Canada. The guy I bought it from had a full compliment of Rockwell Beaver tools in his shop, including a lathe like mine.
The tailstock has a Morse taper No 1 (?) dead center, could easily be upgraded to a live center.

I think this is a Morse taper No 1 but I could be wrong...(?)

OK, that's it I taking my bear with me, I'm done inspecting over here

Yes, I know where your socks are 
and I believe you know where the treats are don't you? Fair trade :-)

So, did I found him his last lathe? Probably not, but he gets to enter wood turning for a very small price point.

If I was keeping it, I would probably paint it, upgrade to a live center and hopefully find a suitable adapter for a proper scroll chuck.
Maybe treat it to an upgrade Link belt...  So much easier to change the belt than removing the drive shaft etc..

Hope you get to enjoy it Paul

Bob, looking for his socks...Rudy...

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Happy Birthday Rudy....:-)

Today, June the 15th, Rudy turn 2 years old... He is a big boy now...well :-)
He had a long day, car rides, with me, with Jean, got to play, and licked :-), the grand kids etc..

The birthday boy

I'll just stay there and play with my bone

That would taste better with ice cream dad...

Its kind of chewy, but it is not refreshing enough...

Oh, is that cake and ice cream for me???

Oh yeah, you know I want it....

In his short life with us, he has helped me a lot. I now realized that he was as much for me than for Heather, she knew me too well :-)

He has adapted well to his new mommy, to say that he adore Jean would be an understatement... I trust he is a good judge of character so Jean is a keeper :-)

For a small dog he can sure let his presence in bed known ...

Bob and Jean,  wishing Rudy, a happy birthday

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A visit to Ross farm museum

My girlfriend Jean, drive a school bus, today she had a school trip to make to Ross Farm museum, so I joined her for a short while.

No, that is not the bus she drive :-)
But the kids are from her bus ...

I have known about this museum for many years, but somehow never got around to visit. When you talk about rural way of life years ago, you know there is going to be a blacksmith, a cooper and other trade of interest, even a working saw mill :-)

A stave and shingle mill

It did not disappoint, the trades I mentioned were well represented by re-enactors that really know their stuff, it was quite pleasant to discuss some of the old ways of working wood and see it in action.

The pile at the mill entrance

This machine apparently cut the half round covers for the dry goods barrels.
Two half makes a cover.

Not the final products but the left over pieces

This strange looking saw apparatus, cuts a concave back on the staves

A cooper jointer, to size and refine the edges prior to fitting the staves

A wooden frame bandsaw. Obviously has some new wooden members, 
but dont know if otherwise original.

A similar marine version was called the make and break, and was a staples of Maritimes life well into the 50s

A revolutionary farm vehicle, the Ford's Fordson

Why called Fordson?
Henry Ford & Son

In 1917 it truly revolutionized farming here in the valley

A Peddler car
 Peddlers were itinerant one man General Store on wheel. They went around the country side selling (Peddling) their wares.

This particular wagon was operated until 1948

The blacksmith interacting with the kids

The drill press came from my neck of the woods... Montreal Qc
The company was established in 1859 in Montreal
And yes, the metal coated drill bit and the chuck are

The Cooper shop

Mostly dry cooperage, for nails, dry goods, apples etc

When I walked in the cooper was busy sharpening the cutter for his Croze plane

An interesting form of shave horse, for working on the staves, 
using the  natural crook of the wood 

A very neat and yes comfortable primitive rocking chair.
Coopers build

Staves awaiting their turn.
The cup you see was sawn like that, it is not cupped naturaly

This adjustable press, helps driving the hoops

Various tools Coopers used

That one is obviously used a lot ... recently

No idea why they stacked the wood like that, 
but it sure would have lots of improved air circulation...

But of course, this is a working farm museum, preserving the older ways of living off the land.

The mighty plow, leaving a furrow, turning the sod

Drying hay outside, keep turning it, daily

And into the 21st century, the kids chariots await...

It was a fun diversion for the day, must re-visit some day.
There are a lot of such rural Nova Scotia way of life's museum.
I have seen others but not this one. It is only about one hour drive from my place so a nice day trip...With the car AC on :-)

Bob, the time traveller, just call me Dr Bob..Dr Who? Dr Bob !
Excuse me while I recharged my flux capacitors...