View Full Version : What To Do With A Junk Transit

03-10-2005, 07:55 PM
I recently acquired a transit that was no good for use as a surveying instrument any longer. It was old, tired, and abused over the years. Well...I'm not one to throw away something that I see potential in, so here are a few projects that came about after I salvaged all the parts I wanted.

The first is a microscope for the kids to look at bugs, flowers, and just about anything else they can think of to get in there. The optics are simply the rear eyepiece of the scope, and the focusing mechanism out of the scope serves to raise and lower the table to bring your object into focus.


The next is a magnifying glass for my ever aging eyes. It helps out when looking at the fine dials on my old Southbend.


The next one is a very sensitive level that I milled a base for out of 6061. I used my lathe bed to "calibrate it, and it is a really nice little tool.


The last one is my pride and joy. It came out even better than expected. I used the degree wheel and vernier scale mated with a surplus 18N Jacobs chuck to come up with this little dividing head. The vernier scale will get me to within 5 arcminutes of accuracy. I figure that is just as good as the pricy Chicom dividing head, and I get the satisfaction of having made it myself. The chuck will accept up to .750" diameter stock, and if I need more than that, I will rig a center and driveplate with a lathedog.


I just thought I'd share what can be done with some "junk". I know some would have me hung for using a transit to do such things, but these mean alot more to me than an old, broken transit any day!

03-10-2005, 08:52 PM
Very nicely done. Junk to Treasures.
Sounds like me, I don't through out things until they are totally useless.

charlie coghill
03-10-2005, 09:01 PM
Arbo I am like you I don't throw any thing away. My shop looks like it to. I have not found any thing like yours, they are very nicely done. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

03-10-2005, 10:02 PM
Good job, you used everything, including the hide and teeth!

03-10-2005, 11:20 PM

G.A. Ewen
03-10-2005, 11:26 PM
Well done!!!!

That level is just to nice.

03-11-2005, 12:59 AM
Man, you need to come on out here to my place in western Kansas - I've got enough junk to keep you busy re-cycling from now til forever! Very nicely done.

03-11-2005, 03:40 AM
Recycling at it's finest!

03-11-2005, 07:13 AM
Great work and a great way to turn junk into very useful tools. I'm the same way and am a packrat, just like my father and grandfather. I recently salvaged a 1/4 hp motor from a vacuum cleaner that we've used for the last 17 years. The motor was in perfect shape but the vacuum cleaner's plastic body was disintegrating. Don't know yet what I'll do with it but a need will turn up eventually.

03-11-2005, 08:27 AM
I would have sold it on EBAY and bought a new one.

03-11-2005, 09:00 AM
Now that's getting milage out of a piece of equipment,well done! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-11-2005, 09:01 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by chief:
I would have sold it on EBAY and bought a new one.</font>

Too true! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

03-11-2005, 11:34 AM
Very impressive. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes a picture can launch a thousand ideas...


03-11-2005, 05:07 PM
I did the same thing with a graduated scale
from a drafting table but used a smaller chuck. good job.

03-11-2005, 07:05 PM

Great work!....I love to see "things" and "junk" fashioned into innovative and useful items.....

It's not scrap or junk until it's been turned into chips, and even then, they're recycleable.....


03-12-2005, 02:42 AM
arbo,what is a "transit"?is that the thing a surveyor looks trough to find a level?


03-12-2005, 05:20 PM
"What to do with a junk transit..."