Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Startrite Hydraulic Feed Installed

Another late post today, completed the saw hydraulic feed today. I started by draining and flushing the old oil out of the cylinder and blowing out the control tubing. I then cleaned up the cylinder, painted it, and set it near the wood stove to dry. Meanwhile I cleaned up the control valve and tubing and installed on the head. The valve handle had been broken and they replaced it with a plastic disk that looked awful. I dug through my stores and found a suitable handle and installed.

When the cylinder was dry enough to handle I installed it on the saw and connected the fittings except for the fill screws at the top of the cylinder. I filled the system with fresh hydraulic oil and closed it up. With the control valve open I raised the head, I then closed the valve, the head remained locked in the raised position. Checked for leaks, everything good, cracked the valve open and the head slowly started to lower onto the vise base, open the valve wider, feed speeds up, cut the valve back, feed slows down. Great, the feed works perfectly. Here are a few pictures.

Raised position.


The control valve.


Lowered position.


I will install the counterweight spring next to make the head easier to raise and take some load off the hydraulic system and continue from there.


Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1966

Another week has melted away. Is time speeding up or is it just my age? Ha ha. The Popular Mechanics magazine in 1966 is starting to change, there are less plans for DIY shop machines. Advertisements for all the new shop machines and tools being built are taking up more and more magazine space. There are more woodworking projects to build with all those new tools and electronics projects ( which are obsolete today, with the advent of digital tech.) are much more popular. There are some very interesting projects like a table top printing press. but it too has become obsolete with the advent of computer printing.

I did manage to come up with 34 pages of projects that may still garner some interest. The first is a nice little sheet metal former (slip roll), it requires some machining, but if you incorporate some of Vincent Gingery's methods in his slip roll build, you may be able to get away without it (message me for more info). There is a plan for a nibbler attachment for your jig saw. For the wood turner a beautiful antique reproduction of a vertical spinning wheel, a very useful shrink plate for the shop and a self reading O.D. shop gauge. There is a double duty sander setup for your drill press., a plan for chip shields for milling machines, and a versatile lathe brake that can be operated from 3 positions.

Xmas is coming and for the artist in your life, there is a plan that will make any artist very happy. I have seen many plans for easels but this "Ultimate Easel" tops the list.

Click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1966 to download. 2.4 MB - pdf 



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Startrite Head Installed

No snow today, just rain ha ha. Didn't let that slow me down, I finished the last coat of paint on the saw head, fired up the wood stove and moved the head close for a quick dry. Dry enough to handle this evening and installed it on the saw base. I will let it harden up for another day and start installing some of the assemblies. Here are a few pictures.




Sunday, November 19, 2017

Startrite Saw Head Paint

So I completed cleaning and preparing the head for paint this afternoon and managed to get the first coat of paint on one side. When it is dry enough I will flip it over and do the other side. The second coat will go on quicker. When all good and dry I can mount it on the base and start installing the assemblies. Here are a few pictures.





On another note while digging through a drawer of seldom used tools this morning I came across a Makita 5" grinder, I had thrown in there a couple of summers ago. It ran erratically and I thought I had killed it. I plugged it in and tried it. It ran but would not come up to full speed and if I flipped it on its side it stopped altogether. On a hunch I removed the brushes, sure enough the spring on one brush was mostly destroyed. I had a spring and clip that I had saved from a brush change out on one of my abrasive cut-off saws, the wire and clip spring retainer had separated from the brush. As luck would have it the spring was identical to the Makita springs. Reassembled the Makita brush and install in the grinder. Tried it out, awesome ran like new, no sparking, brush was well seated. Thats great the way I kill the imports, it will hurt a little more at $150 a pop if I start killing the Makitas.
Here are a couple of pictures. The broken spring is what was left when I opened up the Makita. The clip and wire is whats left of the brush I salvaged the new spring from. On the right is the repaired assembled brush for the Makita. Second picture back together and running great.



Travis Larson's Ultimate Cross-Cut Sled

So it has been a busy couple of days, though little of it spent in the shop. Went out to clean the driveway and lane way Friday morning and got a surprise I hadn't noticed, at the lane way entrance. The frozen snow and ice storm we had got the previous two days had fully blocked off the exit to the township road. I didn't get a picture, but picture this picture of one of my trails only 3 times worse.


I spent a good part of the day cutting down the smaller stuff and hammering on the larger trees to shake off the frozen snow and ice. I then cleared the lane way of 6" of snow. It was dark by the time I finished and of course it then started to snow. The extra weight of snow on the trees along the hydro grid overcame the already stressed trees and knocked the power out. Hydro sent a crew out and the power was back on after midnight but they were in a hurry to get back to there Friday night and the power was off again shorty after. Hydro was in no rush and power didn't come back on till middle of afternoon Saturday. The power was out for a total of 18 hrs. and between my wood stove for heating and cooking and my small battery/inverter back-up for lights and electronics, I did not have to start my back-up generator. I',m sure the new LED lighting contributed a lot to it.

So I can't offer much on my rebuild project but here is a project plan that some may not have seen before.

Travis Larson published this plan in a magazine that I found on the web, sorry can't remember which one.Travis's main aims in designing this sled were safety, accuracy, and uncomplicated large capacity. I think he hit the bullseye on all counts. The 18 pages of the build is well detailed, and will provide good guidance for a successful build. I need one for some cabinet work and this one is at the top of my list.

To download click The Ultimate Shop-Built Crosscut Sled. 1.2 MB - pdf


So I got another 4" of snow to clean up out there, ha, ha, tomorrow I think. I am going to try to get to a coat of paint on one side of the saw head today. Maybe post some pics. tonight.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Odds And Ends - 2

So I spent most of yesterday cleaning up the driveway and packing down the lane-way. In true form, just as I finished it started with freezing rain, by nightfall it had turned to wet snow. I was woke up this morning by a couple of power bumps, looked outside, everything was covered with a couple of inches of frozen snow and ice, no doubt the cause of the power bumps. Lots of small trees and vegetation bent over ready to crack. There will be lots of clean-up this spring, I could here trees snapping in the woods.



Got in the occasional hr. on the Startrite saw head clean up. Got the head all scraped down and started with the wire brushes. I will leave the snow clean-up till tomorrow (another storm is due to blow in tomorrow night, ha ha) and see if I can get the saw head ready for paint today.


So enough about the weather, here is a nice little file of just PM model engines, that the modeler may find interesting. There are 6 engine plans, 4 have been previously uploaded in the shop notes files and 2 new ones. The first, a Tesla turbine, never achieved it's inventors claims, (the navy is still running bladed turbines, as is industry, though not from lack of trying.) but it remains an interesting modelers project. The second, a walking beam engine, that will take you back to the early days of steam power.

To download the file click PM Model Engine Plans. 2.3 MB - pdf



Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1965

The worst part of global weather changes up here is the transition from fall to winter conditions. It used to happen relatively quickly, nowadays it lingers for a couple of months. When I worked in the south that is what I hated the most about the weather, now its followed me up here. lol. The problem is the constant and quick changes from rain to freezing rain, sleet and snow that can happen. 6" of wet snow that suddenly freezes into crusty snow and ice is a pain in the rear to clean up, right after you clean it up, it warms up and melts, so you can do it all over again. lol.

Anyway here is this weeks PM shop notes. At this point PM is not calling them "Shop Notes" anymore, that ended back in 1962.

This weeks distillation starts off with an easy "nutcracker" style knurler, followed by a grinding set-up for gemstones. This is followed by a kit based model makers lathe. You can't get the castings kit anymore, but the small simple castings are easy inspiration for the small home caster.

There are plans for two interesting model engines, an elbow and a solonoid engine. For someone in need of small amounts of low press. compressed air, there is an interesting little saber saw compressor and many plans for small jigs and fixtures, like a band saw brazing fixture and a filling roller guide.

For the woodworker there are router jigs for easy dovetailing, and a plan for making your own hand screw clamps.

There is a large article on binding your own damaged books. A bit of a lost art, but very useful, if like me, you collect old books. I have paid an old timer, set up in Madoc Ont., for rebinding many of my older books.

And lastly there is a plan for building a nice easy 2" X 48" belt sander/grinder.

Please click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1965 to download. 4.4 MB - pdf




Monday, November 13, 2017

Startrite Vise Complete

Late post today, some days you couldn't pay me to get out of the shop, ha ha. So I completed the back jaw on the saw vice and did the installation. Rather than take a chance on cracking the casting trying to get a good bond building up the notch cut into the back jaw or having it crack in use, I decided to clean it up and leave it. It will not effect the operation of the saw.

You can arc weld cast iron with lots of preheat, nickel rod and bondo if you want it to look good but where strength is important the bond is always questionable. I got my General 20" band saw cheap at auction mainly because a chunk was broken out of the corner of the table. Someone must have tipped it over with a fork lift in a move sometime. I fabricated a piece of steel to match the gap in the corner of the table. I didn't use any preheat so I spot welded the steel in the gap, in a stitching fashion to prevent to much heat build up and possibly cracking. It is quite strong enough for its purpose but I wouldn't trust it under heavy stress. It didn't look pretty but the bondo cleans it up ok. That was a couple of years ago and I still haven't got around to painting it yet, ha ha.

The broken chunk cut across the middle of the fence mounting hole, to a little more than a 1/4" from the top and extended around the corner.


So back to the vise, the angle scale was surprisingly in perfect shape, after cleaning up. Here all assembled and set to 90* cuts.


Here 11 1/4" between jaws at full capacity.


Here with 3" square tubing clamped between the jaws.


How To Run A Metal Working Shaper

"How To Run A Metal Working Shaper" by South Bend Lathe Works is a classic that has been around a long time. It is available for download on many sites around the web. I got this original copy from Lindsey Publications many years ago. I scanned it into my word program to center and enlarge and converted it to pdf. It is a larger file but I will be able to print it of in large format for a bound copy for the shop.

Shapers as they say, "are machines of the past", other machines such as modern mills can do most of the jobs a shaper can. Large industrial models are still common in the used and scrap market but small home shop sized machines are rare and expensive, when you do find them. There are operations that a shaper can do in the home shop that would require equipment beyond the price of most home hobbyists, set-ups are quick and require no special tooling. I would love to have a small home shaper. The few that I have seen, have parts missing and are priced much higher than my modest shop budget would allow. I haven't given up though, one day when I can justify the time, I want to build a version of D. Gingery's shaper.

To download "How To Run A Metal Working Shaper" go to my Books - Free Downloads page. # 31 - 14 MB - pdf




Startrite Vise Assembly

Completed the vise adjustment assembly yesterday. At some point in time the speed wheel on the vise was damaged and replaced with a fabricated wheel with no speed adjustment. The closest wheel I had was larger than the original, the threaded bore was to large, and it had no speed handle. I made up an insert to match the threaded vise shaft, and added a speed handle. The fly in the ointment will be clearance with the head in the full down position. Did a rough check appears to just clear the head.

Here the fabricated old wheel on the right and the salvaged wheel with threaded insert and a bored boss for the speed handle on the left.


Startrite's parts drawing for the vise bed.


The speed handle parts.


All of the vise adjustment parts.


And three pictures of the assembled vise, minus the back jaw.




Next I'll clean and install the back jaw and get started on the tilt head clean-up.


Sunday, November 12, 2017

Intermediate Blacksmithing

So here is a nice little book on intermediate blacksmithing. Published by FAO (Food And Agricultural Organization), it gives step by step information on forging your own tools while giving the student the opportunity to advance his blacksmithing skills. Good information on materials and development of different skills.

You can download "Intermediate Blacksmithing" on my Books - Free Downloads page. # 30 - 4 MB - pdf




Saturday, November 11, 2017

Startrite Vise Base

So haven't been in the shop much last few days, managed to squeeze in this afternoon and do some work on the vise and tilt head base. Cleaned it up with WD-40 and my wire brushes, sanded it lightly and wiped it down with varsol. Got most of the underside surfaces painted, some I couldn't reach, but the old paint was still in tact and the metal protection still good. Installed the weldment on the mobile base and finished painting all the other surfaces. The wear surfaces are still in good shape so I left them alone. They can be changed easily enough, if ever necessary, by simply removing the counter sunk allen head screws. Here are a few pictures.




Started snowing Wednesday and quickly turned into the first blizzard of the year, high winds and -30*C wind chills. Total accumulation by this afternoon over 15 cm. (6"). A little early for those kinds of temps., their calling it a La-Nina year.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1964

In the 1964 shop notes highlights find first a nice plan for a drill powered belt and disk sander. Next a plan for a lathe router attachment that will do fluting in the lathe and nice smooth repeatable turning. To compliment the earlier wood clock upload, there is a nice plan for a all wood early Swiss clock. There are some nice jig plans, one a great disk sanding jig and another a hand drill drilling jig.

For the metalworker there is a unique spot welding gun that uses the arc process. A nice plan for a dual burner melting furnace that will melt 10 lbs of metal up to 2000*F. There is a plan for a lathe tail stock spindle adapter and another unique plan for a roller action sheet metal brake. The brake plan comes with a nice article on its use and there is a nice long article on heat treating in the home shop.

Lots of short article jigs and tricks.

To download click Popular Mechanics Shop Notes Highlights 1964. 3.5 MB pdf



Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Startrite Base Painted

Didn't get around to it till this afternoon but got the Startrite saw base painted up. I first wiped it all down with clean rags and varsol and let it dry. I am not even going to try to match the paint. The color is close to my General band saw and I haven't been able to match it. So I have 3/4 of a can of Tremclad John Deere green, a very tough paint from my experience, so John Deere it is. I should get off the fence and make my General a John Deere as well. lol.

It is still wet in the pictures so getting a lot of shine. After it hardens up I will probably give it a light second coat.




Startrite Saw Base Ready For Paint

So I cleaned up the base today, after setting up in the woodworking shop. The new workshop is getting a little cold for comfortable work without heat.

The first picture is a picture of the clean out on the oil and cuttings collection tray. This is a feature you will not find on the imports. I like it, makes it easy to push up a garbage bucket to clean out the tray.


Tools for the job. So first I scraped out all the heavy build-up, then working one surface at a time, I sprayed it down with WD-40 and worked the surface well with my small 4" grinder and an aggressive twist wire cup. After cleaning and spraying again, I worked the surface again with my low speed mixing drill and a straight wire cup to blend any ruff spots between old paint and bare metal. After wiping down again, I gave it all a light sanding with fine paper.

Notice in the picture, the oil drain screen. Even with that great clean out tray, rather than clean out the tray more often, some bright light decided it would be better to drill 6 of the holes larger. Not a problem, just means the settling chamber in the oil tank will have to be cleaned more often. Probably the same guy that cut that chunk out of one of the jaws. LOL.


Here is the dent in the side of the tray I mentioned earlier.


And here is the dent repaired.


The finished base, ready for paint. On top 4 heavy duty swivel casters, cleaned up and in good shape. Makes it easy to move the saw around on rough shop floors.


The back view. 


So it will get a final wipe down with varsol before the paint goes on. Maybe tomorrow.

Some purists feel a job like this should all be taken down to bare metal. It would certainly bring it closer to a factory new machine, but in my case, would be overkill. I have no intention to resell it and the aggressive  cleaning provides a good base for the new paint. It may not look as pretty but will be well protected. My big 7" grinder with a sanding disk would do fast work of it, but with sheet metal there is the danger of getting to thin, this would be more suited for heavy cast or steel sections.


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Startrite Metal Band Saw Rebuild

So I picked up this saw at auction early this year. I have a small 4.5 X 6 import, but I have always wanted a larger more powerful saw. At 9 X 12 capacity this saw fits the bill. Its an older saw, made in the UK by Startrite which made saws all the way up to large industrial size machines. I got it quiet cheaply at 300 bucks, probably because of its age and years of built up crud and saw filings, but a cheap similar size import goes for 1500 - 2000 bucks.

So I will begin by dismantling the saw down to it's component parts to find any damaged or worn parts. The first two pictures are the saw as I got it ready to dismantle.



First I removed the doors, blade guides, and the vise jaws. First problem, right side pin on right side door is sheared off. Easy one to fix. Spun the top wheel, spins easily, bearing is tight with no wobble in the wheel. Tried to get rotational movement in bottom wheel. Wheel was tight indicating no wear in worm drive, fantastic, I can get 1/4" slop in my small import, at the wheels rim, (indicating a worn or poorly fitted worm gear). As I suspected, the saw came out of a government power house and was probably only used by the night shift operator for government projects, if my experience is any indication. It is old and dirty but has little wear on the main drive parts.


Wheels removed.


Motor, pulleys, and guard removed.


Wheels are very heavy, cast iron and well machined.


Not really a problem, but it looks like someone cut a small chunk out of the back jaw. Can,t think why, except possibly for clearance on a piece of work, which would be just short of killing the messenger.


I can build it up but its cast so, might be hard to get a solid repair, we'll see.


The motor runs smoothly and the bearings are tight, but when disconnecting I noticed the connection box was loose on the motor. On a closer look found the box was actually two parts, the main box was connected to a smaller box with a curved base to bolt to the motor housing. this smaller box was a zinc (zamuc) casting and was all cracked. In the picture foreground is the blade cleaning wire brush, pretty much done, I can replace that from stock.


 I decided to replace the motor with a new 1 hp sealed motor, I got real cheap long time ago from Princess Auto. I will repair the old motor with a fab. steel box or a aluminum casting later. I,ll post it when I do.


This is the vise and tilt head base assembly. Rusty dirty but otherwise in good shape.


In this picture is the worm gear box, lubrication pump and behind, the top wheel tension adjustment. As mentioned the worm drive is tight with no wear, so it needs a good cleaning, I'll drain and flush the old oil and refill with new oil. The lube pump runs well but it needs a good cleaning and the wiring cover is hardened and brittle, I'll look at replacing that.


Another view, The top wheel mount and tension adjustment just needs a good cleaning.


The 3 main welded frame components. Other than a heavy build up of oily crud and rusty saw filings, they are in good shape. Checked the tilt frame for alignment, looks bang on, nothing looks like it was ever overstressed. The saw base has a small dent in the side of the oil and saw fillings collection tray, easily fixed.


In this picture is the wiring harness and lubrication tubing. The wiring needs a cleaning and some adjustments but otherwise ok. The lubrication tubing is all age hardened like the wiring cover on the pump and will all be replaced.


So looks like I am ready to start cleaning. Sand blasting isn't an option so I guess its scrapers, wire brushes, and varsol. The price, looks like my auction price, since I will be refurbishing the old motor for other uses.