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The Fascination with Machine Tool "Restoration"

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  • The Fascination with Machine Tool "Restoration"

    Feeling mean and nasty today so time for a grumpy thread. Thinking of you Doozer, my main man.

    I was trying to watch some utube, figure out what all the hype is about. I see video after video of the "restoration" of machine tools. Tons of them. And every video has endless gushing comments about how marvelous the videos are.

    WTF?

    Most that I see, the person has done nothing but take a machine and make it look pretty. None are reconditioned. No beds scraped or ground, no HS & TS scraped, no dovetails scraped, no quills hard chromed, ground and lapped. And they think they've accomplished something and get a big round of oohs and aaahhs. I mean, what is the point? There will be zero improvement in performance, none of the wear than comes with age isfixed, and if they actually use the machine in short order it will look like it did before.

    Are all these people and their cheering fans that clueless? I'm all for reconditioning and making great old machines better, but this heavy application of rouge and lipstick with no diet or time at gym deserves a phhht not a celebration. I don't get it.

    ok, feeling better now, thanks for listening
    Last edited by Mcgyver; 02-04-2022, 11:00 AM.
    in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

  • #2
    Agree 1000%.

    The "feel good rattle can reconditioning" is almost worthless as to actal benefit. Not "totally" worthless, but darn close. And it is 97% stupid. Approval and accolades for it is 100% stupid regardless.

    Why do I say 97% stupid and not 100%?

    Because of two things.

    1) By cleaning it up, there is probably "some" actual improvement, because the dirt and swarf is no longer in between the parts. That probably will help operation to some degree.

    2) The people who do it may feel better about the machine, and less likely to blame it for problems, so they may pay attention and become better at using the machine.


    Bonus factor:

    3) If the machine is not "badly worn" they may not have really "needed" to do serious work to it. So it's fine. All our machines are worn if they have ever been used, it is just a question of how much.

    None of that changes the fact that wild approval of it is 100% stupid.



    BTW: We both probably realize that much of our attitude is due to the fact that we both really do more-or less total re-conditioning, and if we do not do it in every case, we are aware of what was left undone, and what effect that may have.

    While anyone can learn the craft of actual rebuilding, few actually do.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 02-04-2022, 10:32 AM.
    CNC machines only go through the motions

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
      I was trying to watch some utube, figure out what all the hype is about. I see video after video of the "restoration" of machine tools. Tons of them. And every video has endless gushing comments about how marvelous the videos are.

      WTF?

      Most that I see, the person has done nothing but take a machine and make it look pretty. None are reconditioned. No beds scraped or ground, no HS & TS scraped, no dovetails scraped, no quills hard chromed, ground and lapped. And they think they've accomplished something and get a big round of oohs and aaahhs. I mean, what is the point? There will be zero improvement in performance, none of wear than comes with age fixed, and if they actually use the machine it short order it will look like it did before.

      Are all these people and their cheering fans that clueless?
      Yes, most of them. I get the feeling you didn't really need to ask this question.

      Comment


      • #4
        Folks like that are my kind of people...... they love new paint and hate dirt and grease. Appearance is everything.

        I buy the machines they turn down, for a lot less, and generally get a better machine. I rub off the grease in a few places to see if that's what it is, first, so I have a decent idea of what I am getting.
        CNC machines only go through the motions

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mcgyver View Post
          . And every video has endless gushing comments about how marvelous the videos are.

          WTF?


          Are all these people and their cheering fans that clueless?
          Welcome to social media and everyone gets an award. And is it really that surprising, the same exact thing happens with what people post on this forum.

          Granted some of of what is posted on here deserves the praise that it gets but some of it wouldn’t even pass high school shop class with a passing grade but the high fives are still handed out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by oxford View Post

            Welcome to social media and everyone gets an award. And is it really that surprising, the same exact thing happens with what people post on this forum.

            Granted some of of what is posted on here deserves the praise that it gets but some of it wouldn’t even pass high school shop class with a passing grade but the high fives are still handed out.
            High schools unless specialized, still have a shop class? The one I went to removed the shop classes for one big shop class designed to make sets for the fairies in tights.

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            • #7
              There is another factor that is quite comical to people like me that have spent our entire lives in real Machine and Die shops ( not hobby shops )
              Machine tools are........Tools !
              They are meant for facilitating the fabrication of metal products in most all cases.
              I just read recently about a guy who took a pair of HF Vice Grip pliers and machined them to hold cylindrical surfaces..He "modified" his tool to fit his need
              So my friend "rebuilt" his Bridgeport ( just like Mcgyver said ) and then asked me how to mount his new DRO...he didn't want to drill holes in the column...Duh !
              I am not talking about negligent damage to tools , but using a machine tool to "Your" best advantage .
              One that comes to mind was a shop that bid and won the work for redoing huge disks ( 16' -18' ) for a hydroelectric plant --but they only had normal CNC Bridgeports !
              They set the center of the disks on a Lazy Susan pivot with ways, and then bored holes in the BP Table for pins to locate the disk periphery while they CNC'd slots in the disk.
              When I asked the shop foreman about the set up he said it was a " million dollar job and we can buy a lot of Bridgeports with that"
              Very seldom in the real world do you find "Cherry" machine tools

              Rich
              Green Bay, WI

              Comment


              • #8
                Lol. Getting a bit of cabin fever with the weather we've been having?

                That crap is all about the clicks, which means making things shiny and providing lots of new content. It's not meant for people who know and care about what actually happens with the equipment.

                You see it all the time with the Facebook videos coming out of China with 'great new ideas' or 'fantastic work' showing some aspect of a trade or fabrication of something. It's fast and glitzy, but anyone who has any exposure to the trades or manufacturing is shaking their heads because it's utter crap on a stick. And that's not just because things are done differently in different parts of the world. The work is literal crap that only needs to hold together for a video. But it gets mindless clicks from folks who don't know better, and those clicks provide a monetary incentive for the video makers to make more and more of the same.
                Cayuga, Ontario, Canada

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                • #9
                  It's about view and not about use. Most of the views have no idea what the machine is capable of, or how to use it ( or care).

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                  • #10
                    For the most part I agree. I have personally refinished the newish look of most of my 70+ yo machines. I did this because I wanted them to look better and, most importantly, make them easier to wipe down.
                    I really wish I could I could restore my lathe and milling machine. I don't have the skill to do it nor do I have the tools. My lathe is worn near the chuck and the mill is basically clapped out. Refurbishing isn't in the cards so what can I do other than a cosmetic improvement?

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                    • #11
                      I have zero issue drilling holes into new machine tools to make them better. I’m much more concerned that my holes are straight, on location, and the tap doesn’t break.

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                      • #12
                        Let's hear it for the Krylon overhaul!
                        I don't have the capability to regrind ways, slides, and precisely rebuild them. Being a home tinkerer I've had machines apart and 'reassembled'.
                        I always call it a repair and not a rebuild therefore the results are usually the same or slightly improved operation. I'm usually rushed so I can't paint worth a damn providing the automotive type glistening paint job either. Besides, a month later everything is back to being a dirt and chip laden oil dripping thing anyway.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I deeply disturbed some hobby folks by pointing out that machines are consumable items in a working shop. Depending on cost to acquire, you may want to make a real effort to prolong the machine life, or you may just maintain it reasonably with the expectation of replacement of parts or the entire machine as a cost of doing business. I was suggesting a way to do some minor task using a Taig headstock to simplify making some grinding gadget, and the uproar of having a "lathe headstock and spindle" anywhere near grinding debris was just comical. Never knew a $100 headstock assy was a sacred object :-)

                          I pointed out a similar setup in my shop increased my revenue by several thousand a year, and figured if the Taig bearings got trashed an entire new spindle cartridge every two years would only cost $70. Funny thing is that I never had to replace the bearing or cartridge in the 10 years I used the little bugger, never took any more care than draping a paper towel over the Taig headstock and spritzing it with WD40 to stick it in place. It can be fun being the heretic among the armchair experts :-)

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Tom S View Post
                            Lol. Getting a bit of cabin fever with the weather we've been having?
                            yeah, haven't bought a machine in month and I'm getting crabby!

                            I don't have a problem with someone wanting a machine to look nice, its your shop, peace. I've even painted several of mine. Its this implication that you've made it factory new so lets have a celebration, lets make a video about it, and everyone gushes praise like its an accomplishment, climbing machine tool Everest. (in a way that fits, lots of effort, nothing accomplished lol). Irksome, because its like a getting a trophy for a falsehood; that machine is no better than it was before. Now they're adding the utube hyperbole; everything is "insane" or "ultimate". Idiocracy I tell ya.

                            I guess I need to go shopping. That's a problem. No interest in handbags and no room for more machines
                            Last edited by Mcgyver; 02-04-2022, 12:00 PM.
                            in Toronto Ontario - where are you?

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                            • #15
                              I have seen Mcgyer's shop, turned the handles when he was not looking and turned a shade of bright green envy. His machines look and feel as if they are in top class order but NOT dressed up ready for sale.
                              My primary interest is building and running coal fired model traction engines and steam waggons.
                              To do that I need tools, I like tools which have a good " Feel' to them, do the jobs I ask of them while knowing that any faults in the work I make are my fault and not a result of inadequacies in the machines.
                              I , long ago , realised that quality tools of yesteryear were far better value for my money than modern, hobby level equipment for my needs.
                              So I try to buy older quality machinery, apparently in good basic order, but unwanted for whatever reasons.
                              As a consequence sometimes I have needed to do some repairs and additions. I have not ventured into slide scraping, passing on some well worn machines instead.
                              My latest adventure, a benchtop Horizontal Mill, made from a Lewis kit has become a delight. I cleaned and painted only a couple of rusted pieces, made handles, drilled and tapped two rows of holes to add to the one tee slot in the table,added digital readouts and home brew electric drive to the table. Otherwise I can only claim to have cleaned and readjusted the machine.
                              The machine cost me $ 125, donation to the people who loaded it $20, digital readouts$ 180, sundry nuts bolts etc say $ 20 worth, Power feed motor $ 10, material for overarm found on the floor.
                              I have had a month of fun building it up into what I want. It is strong, seems pretty accurate and adds more capability to my shop
                              I have NO desire to paint and pretty it. only to USE it.
                              Regards David Powell.

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