Anyway - one thing that is almost always seen in a "man's" workshop of those time periods is a lathe. Almost every other page is a picture of a man smoking his pipe while something is turning on his lathe.
I've always wanted one, but the expenditure for a new one these days is considerable - especially for something that's not an Asian import - which I despise for numerous reasons. Obviously a used machine was the most economical solution - preferably something made in the US, decent sized but not a behemoth that would take up half the garage and require a crane to move. Funny thing - I was looking for the most desireble class of machine on the used market
I did quite a bit of research on what brand and size machine would be the best for my needs. I ended up settling on a Logan. They are fairly plentiful, US made from 1941 to 1985 or so. And the company is still around and actively supporting them with parts, documentation, and advice. The grandson of the founder actively runs a yahoo group devoted to them in fact. I had to drive 225 miles each way to get this 1950 model #200 (10" swing, 24" between center's). The price was right and it turned out the included accesories were worth nearly as much as I paid for just the machine. According to company records it was built on 10/26/1950 and was sold to the Bell Machine Co. The man who's son I bought it from apparently aquired it in the 60's and was an alfafa farmer as well as restoring vintage Ford's in his later years - he had a Model T coupe, Model T truck, and a Model A - all 100% restored to showroom (neat to check those out while I was loading my catch). Complete with power cross-feed, quick change gear box, stand/chip tray, newer Bison (polish) chuck, and a ton of accesories - this was a top-end model in it's class in 1950. With almost 100% cast iron and steel construction it weighs in at 525 pounds. Quite a bit of dissasembly was required to move it.
I've had to dissasemble and clean every bit of the machine. There are some parts that need to be rebushed, etc but the lathe can make it's own parts! And the few I can't make I can either buy new from Logan or have machined for me. My plan is to put a small VFD and a 1 HP 3 phase motor on it for variable speed control. But even the way it is it's already useful. Took about 5 minutes to turn down a pulley spacer for a Maxima alt to convert it to an EA V-belt pulley.
Edited by GeneralDisorder, 22 December 2009 - 02:48 AM.