Well this isn’t exactly a how to do project but I felt that after soooo many years wanting and looking for a machine like this that it was worth posting. I have had my lathe since about 1999 and have wanted one for some 15 years prior. The mill has been on my list probably longer but for the price tag on one of these puppies I just couldn’t justify the expenditure. I have tortured my hand held routers for many years prior and will say that it has been challenging at times to say the least, jigs and fixtures made and the time spent figuring out how to make things work, all invaluable learning experience but time to move on. Now I am starting a new chapter and another new learning experience, hopefully this machine will make things easier to accomplish tasks and less time consuming.
I picked this up from Craig’s List on March 20th, after seeing it run, ( on a static phase converter that came with it) everything worked, nothing major missing and delivery included I didn’t haggle on price just gave him what he was asking, probably for less that half of what it would have cost through a machinery dealer. The fellow was tickled to get rid of it, delivered it 40 miles and helped me push it into my shop. At the time I was wondering just what I had missed that he was being so helpful but soon realized you just meet some good people in this world, he also made sure that I kept his phone number and email address it case I had any questions. (Tom, I wish you well in your new endeavors)
The machine sat in the same spot for approximately 3 weeks for cleaning and inspection, I am pretty fussy on how things look and function so it was going to look good before it was dropped on the floor where it will stay. When I purchased the machine Tom also had been on line and printed off a Bridgeport manual, after going thru it I pulled all info pertinent to the J-Head and made up a hard cover manual. With the info I needed to check it out and set it up I went thru all the steps, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is actually much better than I had hoped for making this a diamond in the rough. I tracked the serial number back and found that it was built in 1951, with the amount of wear, this machine has been rebuilt once or it has not been used much, don’t know, but I am happy.
As word spreads there are all kinds of recommendations coming at me, change the vise, you need this or that, but for now it will suffice the way it is. If I were going to use it to make a living I would have purchased something newer and better but it is just for a hobby work. A friend stopped over about 3 weeks after I got it and said I have some stuff for ya, I said I don’t need anymore stuff I need to get rid of stuff, he said Oh yes you do and handed me 2 Erickson boring heads, some fly cutters and some miscellaneous tooling, with friends like this I will never have to purchase tooling.
Now that I have something to use the Palmgrin rotary table on I decided to retrieve it from the rafters of my shop. This table was purchased for $5 back in about 1970 from a retired engineer that was getting rid of his wood shop, my dad was looking at wood clamps and other miscellaneous items and the fellow said I will through this in for $5, which is all it took for my dad to buy the whole mess. We never had anything good enough to use it on so it has been in a box ever since, I cleaned it up and now it is ready for a project.
Here are some photos of the new/ old machine cleaned, painted, and tuned up and miscellaneous small items repaired. I decided that it needed a cover for the ways so I used what I had laying around and fashioned it from a tool box liner and some oak, held in place with magnets also a tray to sit on the table for tools. The table lock was missing so I copied one from my neighbors Bridgeport, this is the first free form contouring I have done on my lathe and it turned out pretty good. At the present time I only have to repair the brake, just haven’t had time to work on that as of yet and there are several up-grades that I would like to do, rotary phase converter, etc. but the funds are not available at this time so they will have to wait. My shop lacked for power so I ran another 60 amp service at this time, I never have been able to run a welder, and I have one that has set here for years, that has never been a priority to hook up but it is in service now.
As I get into new projects I will add more to this page but for now that is it, I just can’t decide what to do first, like a kid in a candy store…………!!!!!!!
Details of the ways cover and table tray.
In monitoring the traffic on this page I thought it appropriate to add a couple of pic’s and explain how I made these accessories, keep in mind that I used whatever I could find lying around without spending a pile of money. The ways cover is made of some scrap oak, a tool box drawer liner (purchased form Harbor Freight), some 1 inch round magnets that came from the hardware and some scrap aluminum from an old screen door all of which I had on hand. I had looked into purchasing a set of covers from an Industrial Supply but that was another $70 and when you attach them they are bolted on. I haven’t found any shortcomings so far and they seem to function as intended; they are removed for cleaning without unbolting anything and they adjust easily to whatever height the knee is set at, there is one large magnet on the column which is moved as needed when the height is changed. At this time I still haven’t made one for the front for I ran out of box liner and haven’t purchased any more.
The tray is made from a piece of scrap plywood with an oak frame, it has as you can see from the pic, a strip of oak fitted to the table slot to keep it in place, other than that it should be self explanatory.