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View Full Version : What is all this cool stuff?



ldn
06-29-2010, 12:45 AM
A few months ago, a friend of mine heard that I was getting into machining and dropped off a bunch of cool stuff. It had been thrown out by the machine shop at his work.

I'd like to know what this stuff is, what it is for, and how best to clean it up.

It looks like parts for some kind of really small lathe. This first picture shows four different chucks or faceplates. The larger ones are 3.75" in diameter and the smaller ones are about 2.75" in diameter.

The 6 jaw chuck is really neat. If you rotate the outer knurled ring, all six jaws move in unison, just like a normal 3 jaw chuck.
http://imgur.com/HzEFm.jpg


This next image shows some mounting spindles for the chucks and other items. Does anyone recognize these?
http://imgur.com/YjgtG.jpg

There was also a tiny collet set going down to very small sizes. The brand name is Levin.
http://imgur.com/8LWNh.jpg

And here is a microscopic drill set. I've got tons of these. Some of them have labels showing that they go down to .001". What could you possibly do with a drill that small?
http://imgur.com/xa69E.jpg

Lastly, there was a whole stack of fine abrasive disks -- about 3" in diameter, very thin (maybe 1/32 or less) and brittle like dremel cut-off wheels. It looks like they mount on one of the spindles in a previous image, which would mean they could only be used for cutting, not grinding on the face.

Any thoughts are welcome, I'd love to know what all of this stuff is.

Thanks!

dp
06-29-2010, 12:47 AM
Just garbage - put it all in a box and I'll come haul it away for you. :D

ldn
06-29-2010, 01:14 AM
[message deleted, sorry...]

winchman
06-29-2010, 04:33 AM
What's special about a pivot drill? Is it something for making clocks?

gvasale
06-29-2010, 04:45 AM
its all watch/clock stuff.

x39
06-29-2010, 07:52 AM
If the price of a Levin lathe is any indication, those items are probably worth a pretty penny.

NiftyNev
06-29-2010, 07:56 AM
And here is a microscopic drill set. I've got tons of these. Some of them have labels showing that they go down to .001". What could you possibly do with a drill that small?

Drill very small holes.

Nev

Ed P
06-29-2010, 07:59 AM
I'd like to know what this stuff is, what it is for, and how best to clean it up.
Thanks!

As you surmised it is for a watchmaker's lathe. These tools would be used in the repair and manufacture of watches and clocks.
In the first picture starting from the upper left and going clockwise, you have a wheel (gear) holding chuck, standard 3 jaw chuck, faceplate with clamps missing its pump center typically for holding watch plates for drilling, and what looks like a blank faceplate with holes drilled and tapped as a special fixture of some kind, I can't see it too well.
The second picture there are arbors for holding wheels directly and arbors designed for permanently holding some of the faceplates and chucks in the previous picture. The faceplate with the clamps clearly has no arbor but one of the ones in the second picture should fit it.
In the third picture you have a set of collets that would fit in the headstock and hold work, over on the left side are arbors for holding cutters for wheel cutting or perhaps some of those grinding wheels.
If these are 10mm I might be interested in purchasing some of the items if you are interested in selling. To determine whether they are for a 10 or 8 mm lathe measure the shank of the arbors and collets.
To clean them I would bead blast them with glass beads.

Ed P

Evan
06-29-2010, 09:12 AM
The set of collets is probably worth a small fortune to the right buyer.

S_J_H
06-29-2010, 09:23 AM
Nice score. The Levin lathes were/are high quality and in demand.
The collet set is very nice!

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

Steve

tyrone shewlaces
06-29-2010, 09:37 AM
Not much use to the average machinist, but to a guy into the really small stuff that is a nice pile of goodies.
The life of the watchmaker has taken a worse dive than the average manufacturing machinist too and for much longer. It started when battery-powered watches came out.
The result is that there is old watchmaking equipment scattered all over the place, but since it stores in a drawer it doesn't get much exposure. The new stuff is stupid expensive, but you can find stuff like that at flea markets for a song sometimes. I picked up a Boley lathe and a bunch of WW collets and a bit of other tooling for $25 about 15 years ago. (Your stuff is in better condition and more complete though)
Having said that, a complete collet set is worth something. And you're right, the chucks and face plate are cool. But don't expect anything near the new cost for them - they are worth what a buyer is willing to pay and sometimes that ain't much. Most surviving, working watchmakers already have what you've got there and a lot more, so the typical market would be someone new getting into the trade, but that isn't happening much these days. You could trade it to an interested party for something useful, or keep an eye out for a watchmaker's lathe and start using them. Stuff in that small scale takes a different mindset to use and even the nomenclature is different to some degree. Might be fun to try to fiddle with it for a while.

You know, I seem to remember that Sherline lathes may have taken WW collets (which are likely what you've got there). You might look into that. You'd have a killer tooling setup for a Sherline if that was the case.

Be gentle cleaning any of that up. Don't just go at it with steel wool. You might talk to a good watchmaker about what they'd do - they have to struggle with rust just like the rest of us mortals. There are watchmaker forums on the net too. That might be a good place to start for info come to think of it.

Tinkerer
06-29-2010, 10:33 AM
I'd think twice about blasting them... instead I'd get some EvapoRust that will clean those up real nice. ;)

Evan
06-29-2010, 11:19 AM
A soak in 20% solution of phosphoric acid is the best way to deal with the rust. It will convert the rust to black oxide. Most of that will then wash off when scrubbed with a tooth brush in hot soapy water followed immediately by a rinse with rubbing alcohol and a dip in warm light oil. It will still leave some pitting but there is nothing you can do about that.

lakeside53
06-29-2010, 11:45 AM
Having used most of the methods for removing rust, for stuff I really care about I also vote for Evapo-rust .


I have a bunch of watchmaker stuff - including a nice set of Levin 8mm collets. Check Ebay prices for those - you'll be shockced howm much they sell for.

ldn
06-29-2010, 10:55 PM
If these are 10mm I might be interested in purchasing some of the items if you are interested in selling.

Ed, I measured them today and they are all 8mm. I've started looking at watchmaker forums and I'm going to ask around there to see if anybody can use them. I think it's all just too small to interest me. As Evan said, someone out there is probably interested, it's just a matter of finding them.

Although I'm keeping that 6-jaw chuck, that thing is just too cool. :D

I wanted to mention something about the 3 jaw that some commented was missing it's scroll. It's actually not missing anything; the jaws have thumbscrews on the back so you can tighten them down manually in any position.

Also I think the faceplate with the holes would probably make a pretty good dividing plate.

Thanks to everyone for the rust suggestions, I'll probably try the evapo-rust first and see how it goes.

Evan
06-29-2010, 11:09 PM
Evaporust may work well but I have a policy of not using chemicals that do not state the active ingredients. Without that information I can't tell what it may react with or how safe it really is to use.

WD40, by the way is about 50% white mineral spirits (Stoddard solvent), 20 to 30 % low volatility hydrotreated paraffinic fractions (deodorized kerosene, lamp oil) and light mineral oil. The yellowish colour and the aroma is from less than 1% oil of anise seed.

ldn
06-29-2010, 11:24 PM
Evaporust may work well but I have a policy of not using chemicals that do not state the active ingredients. Without that information I can't tell what it may react with or how safe it really is to use.

WD40, by the way is about 50% white mineral spirits (Stoddard solvent), 20 to 30 % low volatility hydrotreated paraffinic fractions (deodorized kerosene, lamp oil) and light mineral oil. The yellowish colour and the aroma is from less than 1% oil of anise seed.

That explains why I've always like the smell of WD-40. :)

I looked into the phosphoric acid treatment and it seems that it etches the good metal (albeit slowly) while converting the rust. Good if you want a nice bright finish but maybe not so good if preserving the dimensions of a precision piece of tooling is important. I figured that evapo-rust would be a little less destructive.

rolland
06-29-2010, 11:57 PM
For what its worth, I had a .45 Colt govt clone brought to me that was completely covered in a light film of rust. I used a mixture of 50-50 atf and acetone covered it up tight and let it soak for a week wiped off the oil . I hit it with a soft wire wheel and the rust came off clean with no damage to the metal other than pits. It did smell bad tho.
I don't know it it would work for what you are doing but it cleaned up my mess.

Evan
06-30-2010, 01:46 AM
A 20 percent solution of phosphoric acid in water won't etch the steel. Phosphoric acid is extremely mild and is an ingredient in Coca Cola. Even at 80% which how I buy it the activity on bare steel is very slight. It doesn't produce a shiny finish and seems to only attack the rust. I would guess that a 20% solution won't produce any measurable change in dimension even after several days in the solution although I have never needed to soak something that long.

I once cleaned up a horribly rusted Crescent wrench with phosphoric acid and it did a very creditable job.

http://metalshopborealis.ca/pics2/crwrench.jpg

J Tiers
06-30-2010, 08:36 AM
2 things.........

1) I think the first chuck is not a wheel chuck, but a "case and bezel chuck", used for holding the case etc.

2) Phosphoric is definitely THE stuff to use. TONS cheaper to do than either electrolytic methods or "Evapo-Rust", all you need is a plastic bucket, tap water, and some acid. Simple to use whenever you want it. Rarely takes more than an hour to finish work, and if it does, you have serious thick scaly rust that makes the value of removal doubtful.

And phosphoric is so mild that I don't bother with gloves.

Now, that said, ANYTHING that removes rust has some issues.

If you leave case hardened material in phosphoric for many hours, it may be pitted by a form of stress corrosion. I have seen something that appeared similar with electrolytic removal, as well, however. Can't speak about Evapo-rust, never tried that expensive stuff.

BUT, if you have trouble with the stress corrosion, the rust was long gone.... you could have removed the parts after an hour or so, it is just an issue if you forget about it for a long time.

And, the Nervous Nellies who say "but that's an acid, it will rust your whole shop" are wrong. It doesn't.

ldn
07-01-2010, 01:37 AM
J Tiers: I think you're right about the first chuck, it has multiple ridges that can be used to hold fairly wide objects. It would make sense to use it to hold a case.

I discovered something interesting about the chuck in the lower right. Not only are the fingers independently positioned, but they are actually clamps, not fingers. You could use them to hold a very thin disk that could not otherwise be held with pressure from the side. I forgot to take a picture of it today, I'll post one tomorrow.

Evan, thanks for the pictures. I've thrown out tools that looked that bad. Now I feel foolish.

I decided to give the phosphoric acid a try, so I went to my local Home Depot and picked up a gallon of "Klean Strip" brand acid. It comes as a 30% to 40% solution (they give a range) and I diluted by half to get 15% to 20%.

I cleaned off the grease and brushed off the loose rust. I then let it soak in the acid for about 35 minutes.

All of the rust was removed, and the metal was left with a dull finish. There was a brownish-yellow grunge on the part, which mostly wiped away with a paper towel. I assume that the remainder is the iron phosphate coating. It also left a lot of the stains that were previously present.

If I was concerned about the finish then I think a little polishing would make it nice and shiny again. All in all, I am very pleased with the results.


http://imgur.com/51MkJ.jpg
http://imgur.com/wgfa6.jpg
http://imgur.com/Rpr2K.jpg
http://imgur.com/QQpNU.jpg

ldn
07-01-2010, 01:38 AM
Never mind, stupid post...

fuzzy
12-20-2010, 07:05 PM
I have two Levin collets 6.5 & 9 they were about to be thrown out by a friend who didn't know what they were and had no use for them. Send me an address and I will mail them to you if you will use them. Fuzzy

mickeyf
12-20-2010, 09:56 PM
thrown out by the machine shop at his work

!??! Have these people never heard of eBay?!

I should get a job as their janitor.....!

travisn
12-20-2010, 10:38 PM
glad I stopped in this thread. A lot of my tools are rusty from being in a friends un heated garage for a year or so. Glad to know I can clean them up.