Sunday, 28 November 2010

Dismantling and initial cleanup

Today I took a bunch of photos in order to record the changes as I make them to the lathe. I then started removal of all electrical parts of the lathe as these are being removed.

There was a large emergency stop button which looked to have been attached to the floor at some time which I thought would be useful to reuse so I carefully took this apart and removed all the existing wires.

I then removed the base plate on the lathe that holds the no-volt release switch, and given that this would no longer be used I dismantled the switch and removed all other wires from the lathe. There appeared to be no cable clips holding any of the wires inside the lathe which I was a little surprised about – and when I refit the electrics I’ve made a mental note to add some clips in just in case.

There was an angle-poise lamp screwed to the rear of the lathe, together with a 240v to 12/20v step down transformer. As I wished to return the lathe as much as possible to its original condition I removed this and the transformer. A few screws later these were off.

I then set about the alloy lid of the lathe. This had been modified to add a bracket that was pop-riveted to the lid, and which was then attached to the main body of the lathe with a large allen-headed bolt. The purpose of this was to tie down the lid, and I pondered over keeping this for a short while but decided it had to go. I drilled out the pop rivets and (of course) managed to break a drill bit in the process. The bracket soon gave way, and I then unscrewed the lid as I had plans for this.

I won’t be keeping the switch as it’ll be replaced with a fancy new one from Newton Tesla, so I decided that I’d try to sell this plus any other surplus parts as I recondition the lathe. Mine was covered with some rather nasty blue paint (which some dimwit had decided to liberally paint many parts of the lathe with, but also left a good half of it in its original grey. This paint had to go.

From some work I did on our house a few years back I still have some ‘Peel-Away’ which is fantastic at removing paint. I liberally covered the switch cover (after removing the innards), the NVR housing cover and also the alloy lid with Peel Away, and then covered this with the covering paper which is used to aid the stripping process, and also assists in removing the stuff once it’s worked its magic. See for details – I have the Peel Away 1 product, which I now see on the website is not appropriate for aluminium. Oops. I hope my alloy lid is OK, I’ll have to dash over there in the morning as it’s a bit late now.

Lastly for today I got busy with the angle grinder and some wire brushes I have. First off I tackled the main bed of the lathe, and removed all of the paint from this that I could get at. Half of the bed was grey (the back), the other half was blue. Now it’s just bare metal – it’s way too cold at the moment for me to paint it in the workshop as I’ll swear it’s colder in there than outside. I may have to bring the bed and leg unit home and paint it in the warmth of our cellar – however there’s no way I’ll move the main body of the lathe any further than I need to, so I may have to wait for some warmer weather until I tackle that.

After tea and some jobs at home I went back to work on the lathe and cleaned up most of the leg unit. It’s really dirty work this, I came home plastered in dust from my grinding exploits.

I also found out my lathe is 13 years older than me, built in 1953 (from the resources on this page). That makes it 57 years old this year, and it needs a bit of TLC!

Now it's all stripped back the main body of the lathe looks much better...

I now have a *lot* of stripping and painting to do!

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