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View Full Version : OK, now what do I do with this freebie?



Paul_NJ
02-21-2009, 09:45 PM
As a novice, one thing I've learned following this site is the proper response when your neighbor tells you he has an old machine tool thats been sitting outdoors under a bunch of tarps, he's looking to give away, and asks if you want it?

Heck yes!

So I said thanks, off I went to uncover it, and here's what I found. It's about 2 feet tall. Looks like a small horizontal mill of some sort. The metal nameplate reads "Ames". Rusty, but it had been well lubricated so most of the actions are functional. What do you guys think? Any information or insights on it would be appreciated. What can I use it for? Any thoughts on how I could rig up a modern motor drive, how large a motor is needed, etc? Could use some help on this one.

Thanks

http://images46.fotki.com/v1445/photos/4/490718/3726483/IMGP0565-vi.jpg
http://images46.fotki.com/v1445/photos/4/490718/3726483/IMGP0566-vi.jpg
http://images42.fotki.com/v1380/photos/4/490718/3726483/IMGP0567-vi.jpg

J Tiers
02-21-2009, 10:11 PM
What to do with it?

Use it, of course..... I would NOT go overboard with the motor, you may be best with 1/4 HP or so with that device..... look at the thin supports, and realize also with no overarm you won't be hogging off stock.

It looks to be a lathe headstock on top of a mill base..... the attachment looks like any "modelmaker's lathe" bed in the picture..... Ames #3 is what the UK site says.

odds are that you need to find an Ames lathe now. :D

They DID make one with an overarm......

http://www.lathes.co.uk/ames/page11.html

the lathes

http://www.lathes.co.uk/ames/index.html

kmccubbin
02-21-2009, 11:14 PM
That's just downright cute! If you don't already have a mill, resurrect it. If you've got a mill, how about setting it up as a grinder? If all else fails, send it to me!

Kerry

OKChipmaker
02-21-2009, 11:23 PM
I have used this type of equepment to slit or grove. they work well with stub arbor and slitting saw or narrow mill cutter ( not over about 1/4 in wide)the ones we used,used a 1/2 hp motor.

Doc Nickel
02-22-2009, 01:05 AM
Okay, one, don't move any parts more than absolutely necessary, 'til they're derusted. Cranking on the handwheels and whatnot will just work rust into the gaps, or work rusty surfaces against each other.

Two, it's gonna have to come apart. Pretty much all the way. Carefully dismantle it, keeping track of every nut, screw, gib and doomawhatchie. Look up "electrolytic rust removal" for the larger parts, and pick yourself up some Naval Jelly and 0000 steel wool for the rest.

Three, don't go overboard on the derusting. Wire wheels in an angle grinder or a Scotchbrite pad on an air sander work nice and fast and leave a good finish, but they also remove considerable amounts of metal and round off corners and edges. For non-machined surfaces, have at it. For the precision areas, go slow, work by hand, and let the chemicals do the work. You only want to remove the rust, and leave as much of the base metal as possible.

Four, be extremely careful with the spindle. It's riding in babbit "plain" bearings, and while they can be fixed or replaced, it's a nontrivial job. Treat 'em with extreme care.

Five, it's pretty small. Half a horse should be plenty. You'll need to find or make a counterpart cone pulley, and you'll probably need to throw a jackshaft in there somewhere to keep the max top speed under about 600 rpm. You'll likely be using slower speeds most often, anyway.

Six, tooling is the key. No idea what nose taper the spindle is, hopefully it's something at least semi-available like 3J. Look for some common collets, like 1/8", 1/4", 5/16" and 1/2". A stub arbor or three will be almost a requirement in order to run wheel cutters, but you may be out of luck there. Expect to have to make some. (Fairly easy lathe project.)

Shoot for 1/2" and 7/8" on the arbors. 1" will be pushing it for that machine.

Anything else? If it were me, I'd fab up a base cabinet, something maybe 24" to 32" tall including on casters, if you need to be able to move it. Your column is designed to run an underdrive belt- the slots in the foot let the belt run down the sides. So mount the motor and jackshaft down inside the cabinet, and paint everything a complimentary color.

A cone pulley can be fabbed, barring other sources, from stacked plywood discs.

Doc.

Rustybolt
02-22-2009, 12:09 PM
It looks like the table might swivel. Any mill is better than no mill at all.

Herm Williams
02-22-2009, 12:16 PM
I would cut gears with it. That and a small index head would make a good tool.
re

J Tiers
02-22-2009, 12:32 PM
The table does swivel (or at least is made to, might be rusted-up now....)

That will cut helical gears etc, given the right accessories.

yes, as Doc says, it's gonna need cleanup, and it really needs stripped-down so no two parts are together before cleaning and re-assembly.

But you will probably find it to be very useful.

tony ennis
02-22-2009, 12:42 PM
I would love to find a small machine like that. I think it's going to be great!

mark61
02-22-2009, 01:03 PM
Looks like a small light duty horizontal mill to me. Table looks like it would go up past the spindal. Nice to set up center line for milling key ways. I would take it and mount a 1 hp or so motor with some kind of gear box/ transmition.

mark61

Paul_NJ
02-22-2009, 10:45 PM
Wow, thanks for all of the ideas! Doc, I appreciate the step-by-step suggestions. I've already learned a good deal about it through all of your inputs, which I've printed out for future reference. Going to move it into my shop tomorrow. From what I've read it will provide a great learning experience. I appreciate the encouragement!

Doc Nickel
02-22-2009, 11:13 PM
You're welcome. I should clarify, though; If you can possibly help it, do not use the power tools on the precision machined surfaces.

Rough sections of the casting? Have at it. But for the ways and table surface, and the machined face of the main casting? Use the chemical processes and handwork. Maybe some Scotchbrite if you absolutely have to, on the nastier/flakier sections. But everywhere else, stick to the fine steel wool and Naval Jelly.

I managed to turn this (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/nichols04.jpg) into this (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/nichols15.jpg), preserving the original scraping marks and frosting, by patient use of 0000 steel wool and Naval Jelly.

The outer ring and spindle nose, though, I have to admit I spun in the lathe and hit with Scotchbrite- but they're not quite as close tolerance a surface, and din't have the frosting pattern I wanted to keep.

Doc.

Paul_NJ
02-22-2009, 11:30 PM
You're welcome. I should clarify, though; If you can possibly help it, do not use the power tools on the precision machined surfaces.

Rough sections of the casting? Have at it. But for the ways and table surface, and the machined face of the main casting? Use the chemical processes and handwork. Maybe some Scotchbrite if you absolutely have to, on the nastier/flakier sections. But everywhere else, stick to the fine steel wool and Naval Jelly.

I managed to turn this (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/nichols04.jpg) into this (http://www.docsmachine.com/machineshop/nichols15.jpg), preserving the original scraping marks and frosting, by patient use of 0000 steel wool and Naval Jelly.

The outer ring and spindle nose, though, I have to admit I spun in the lathe and hit with Scotchbrite- but they're not quite as close tolerance a surface, and din't have the frosting pattern I wanted to keep.

Doc.

Doc: Wow, those before and after images are really impressive! I do have a 55 gal electrolysis tank I use for tractor parts (restoring old tractors is another hobby), so I'm hoping to use that for a lot of the derusting. Only problem I've encountered is that the cleaned part immediately begins to surface rust once you take it out of the tank. If it's a part that will be painted I spray it first with one of the phosphoric acid agents to stops the surface rust until painting. But if it's a "non-paintable" part, would you oil it? Don't know much about Naval Jelly . . . does it prevent surface rusting?

J Tiers
02-22-2009, 11:45 PM
naval jelly is just phosphoric acid in an expensive form that sticks to surfaces.

Anything you can dip is probably better dunked in plain phosphoric concrete etchant, its loads cheaper and every bit as good.

If you MUST do it in place, the jelly is useful.

I am very partial to the phosphoric dip whenever the part is cast iron, or HSS. I have had less luck with it on case-hardened parts, if left too long it may etch them. But it rarely takes longer than 30 minutes to 1 hour to clean up a part, especially if you pull it and brush it halfway through.

Doc Nickel
02-22-2009, 11:49 PM
I haven't tried the electrolytic method, myself, but I had the same issue using vinegar. The part would almost instantly rust upon drying, no matter how well or thoroughly rinsed.

The cure was, of course, to neutralize the acid, which simply meant a dip in a tub of water and baking soda. Pieces would go days, after that, before forming any noticible surface rust. (But the metal is still bare, it'll rust eventually depending on humidity.)

I don't know if the reverse holds true- maybe someone with more experience with the electrolysis can pipe up. But if it does, maybe neutralize the basic solution with a slightly acid solution after rinsing.

But if not, something like WD-40 will prevent rust for a day or two, but still evaporate after a while if the part's due to be painted.

Naval Jelly is, as I recall, just gelled phosphoric acid. It doesn't, by itself, prevent fresh rust to newly-cleaned surfaces. But if you're looking at the machined surfaces, well, they're supposed to be oiled anyway, so oil 'em. :D

Doc.

Paul_NJ
02-23-2009, 12:06 AM
In the old tractor and car world, electrolysis of rusty parts is usually followed with a spray of Picklex20 or "Must For Rust". The latter is available at Home Depot for about half the price of the first, but they are both phosphoric acid solutions combined with an agent to provide some viscosity, packaged in spray bottles. Once applied and scrubbed in with a ScotchBrite pad, surface rusting is pretty much prevented until painting. I guess one could use the same sequence and oil the final product if it wasn't to be painted.