View Full Version : Future machine

02-27-2008, 04:46 PM
No, it's not a way to exceed the speed of light or go ahead in time- just a machine I picked up for minimal cost that I will convert to something useful in the shop.

This is, or was, a shoe sewing machine. The base is cast iron with reinforcing ribs and is a good thickness. The column is also cast iron, and between the two it's about 200 lbs of metal, stripped down. The stand is another 70 odd lbs of steel. Here's a view of one side.

The other side-

02-27-2008, 05:10 PM
This is the 'pedestal'- I don't know what else to call it.

It has a pair of angular contact bearings in it- not shown is the part that mounts within it. Call it a rotating table since that's what it amounts to. I have about 8 1/2 inches from the axis to the column, so I could bolt a disc about 16 inches across to it, and that would correspond to the table were it a milling machine. The aluminum tube you see propped up on the piece of plexi is just to show the axis from the head through the bearings.

I had a couple of ideas for it, one was to make it a punch to work with sheet material, another was to turn it into an edm machine. It might not be rigid enough for typical milling operations, but it might be fine with a high speed spindle. Without reboring anything, a 1 inch diameter rod would mount in the head and could serve to guide or hold whatever kind of machining toolery I would adapt it for. Without removing too much metal, I could bore out the existing axis in the head to hold a 1 1/2 inch diameter shaft. Length between the bottom of the head and the top of the pedestal as shown is about 18 inches.

It used to be all caterpillar yellow- now it's a more subdued pale olive tone. The DN2000 I just left there for now- makes it look like is has a purpose.

I have probably 100 lbs of mechanism that has been removed out of it, including a motor and pedal operated clutch, all very solidly made. There's bevel gears, a handwheel that mounts to one side (you can just see the mounting flat for this in one of the pics), lots of cast iron parts that will never see use again, but the potential is there for a motor drive from the base to operate something inside the head casting.

So--- I'm looking to see what other ideas the collective conscience of this group might come up with to make out of it. All ideas welcome, however wacky.

02-27-2008, 05:23 PM
An EDM or wire EDM would be trick.

Alistair Hosie
02-27-2008, 05:48 PM
I was thinking it could be converted to make a good broaching machine.Alistair

02-27-2008, 05:51 PM
I take it you looked into making into a sewing machine again?

Ed Tipton
02-27-2008, 06:09 PM
Darryl, you're my kind'a guy. I love projects such as this. Whenever I go to the surplus outlets, I always look for things such as this. The trick is not to look at things so much as for what they are... as for what they COULD be. Your piece would lend itself to any of several things. It has a pleasing form, and is heavy enough that you are probably not going to be limited as to the type of machine you finally wind up with. Right off the bat, I would think some type of hand press similar to an arbor press, or possibly a hand tapping station for starters, possibly a support arm for a dremel or router type device. Lots of possibilities.

02-27-2008, 07:55 PM
You could make it into the worlds most powerful milkshake mixer.

02-27-2008, 09:51 PM
Planishing hammer?
Small english wheel?
Milling machine?
Drill press?
Arbor press?
Nutcracker? (for coconuts...)
Reading lamp? :D

Nice find! Whatever you make, we wanna see pictures! ;)


oddball racing
02-27-2008, 09:56 PM
Make some weird looking fixture for it, put it out on the shop floor and let the shop "know it all" tell you what the machine is used for.

02-27-2008, 11:43 PM

Have you seen the article on the "universal pillar tool" in the Nov/Dec 07 HSM magazine? Your sewing machine frame lloks ideal for the ultimate pillar tool. The uses would include a tapping stand, punching station (the author was setting copper rivets), a stamping station (he showed stamping the numbers on a handwheel).

Another idea is a fly press.


Both tools seem to be more common in the UK. I had never heard of a flypress before seeing a thread on PM (which I can't find) but one is definetly on my wish list.

Great find.


02-27-2008, 11:54 PM
Ohhhhhhh- I don't feel good. Drank---- toooooo----muuuuuch----miiiiilkkshaaaake. Five gallons is tooooo muuuch. Hooos idea was that anyway-

Got a laugh out of that- I knew somebody would suggest that :)

Lots of good ideas, some I haven't thought of. 'preciate it. I'm thinking it could be set up for pretty much all those things. I don't need to have the table rotate, but that could be useful in some way. There are two axis that pass through the head horizontally so that might give me another angle on something. Neither of these interfere with the vertical axis.

Nothing says I have to use the pedestal either. I could mount a square or a round bar on standoffs, leaving space under the center if that suits a particular job. A bridge of some kind. That would be good for supporting sheet metal bendups for drilling after the bending. I have two drill presses though-

The universal pillar tool- hmm. I'll read up on that article.

Anyway, it'll be an idea maker for awhile. I'll probably bolt a round disc to the pedestal's rotating part for now, and have a way to lock it from turning. It might be good just to have a vise on, to be able to rotate it to file on a workpiece. Chances are the first 'need' that it suits will spawn the first project to build to mount on it.

I do like the idea of teasing the 'know-it-all'. It's an angular molecular displacement vario-tempanning convoluting spindle engager. Of course.

Thomas Staubo
02-28-2008, 09:56 PM
Ohhhhhhh- I don't feel good. Drank---- toooooo----muuuuuch----miiiiilkkshaaaake. Five gallons is tooooo muuuch. Hooos idea was that anyway-

Got a laugh out of that- I knew somebody would suggest that :)


That made my day! :)