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Colchester Triumph 1958 Restoration

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Holt

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#1
Before I start the history about my ongoing restoration of my lathe, a few things about myself would be appropriate, I'm born in 62, got my apprenticeship as a machinist in 79, and finished in 83, worked a couple of years with agricultural and forest machines, then 13 years at the Lego factory, making automatic machines for assembly and decoration. The last many years I have been working at a tool factory repairing molds, and the last four years, testing the new molds on our four plastic injecting molding machines.
I admit, I am a cheapskate, if I can't get it for free, I want money to take it with me, that have proven to be a bit of a challenge when dealing with this type of machines.
IN 2012 I decided I wanted my own lathe and mill for when I am retiring, and started to look for the right size equipment, and I quickly discovered that the small size lathes I was dreaming about, came with a substantial price tag, or were way too old and missing many parts.
Every day for quite a while I was looking in our version of Craigs list, an one day this ad came up, "Good and old lathe for sale, motor dismounted, otherwise in working condition $500" (well the price was in Danish Kroner but i exchanged it to USD) i went to see it, and it turned up to be a Colchester / Clausing Triumph 7 1/2 x 48 (15 x 48 in the states) a bit rusty on the bedways, but nothing a bit of TLC wouldn't cure.
I bought it on the spot, and collected it the following Saturday.

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This was the state I found it in at the tractor and machine shop that had it for sale.



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The following Saturday a friend and I got it loaded on a trailer, and got it home.

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Holt

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#2
At home we just rolled it off the trailer into the carport with a couple of hand pallet trucks.

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My friend had to leave, and I carried on bringing the lathe into my little workshop, the first obstruction, a 14 cm high edge, normally here is a ramp, but it cant take the weight of the lathe. It's the same height as a pallet, and I simply moved the pallets to the edge, liftet it on to the roller skates, and wheeled it right into the workshop.

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Well, I had to remove the doorframe before it could enter, the lathe was too wide otherwise

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Holt

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#3
The first thing I did, was cleaning the rusty bedways, no pics of that I am afraid, but they cleaned up much better and faster than expected.

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My eldest son (he was 15 at the time, and actually wanted to help without threats and promises) cleaned up the chassis, at that transformed it quite a bit.

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There was no oil visible in the sight glass, so I took the lid off the headstock, and got quite a chock.

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There was very little oil, instead it had been filled with Molycote grease by someone who apparently didn't know anything about how the whole thing is working, the grease is okay for the gears, but it will never find its way down the channels to lubricate the bushings and bearings.
I took the middle shaft of the gearbox out to gain access to the bottom, i removed all grease and oil, and found out the seals (drive shaft and tumbler shaft) was very hard, and one were cracked, and that one was under normal oil level, no wonder they couldn't keep the oil in.
I bought new seals and o-rings for the entire gearbox, but being in a metric part of the world, i had to buy metric seals, i found some that required very little altering to fit.

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When i cleaned the shaft and gears, i discovered one of the gears was loose on the shaft, the key and keyway was worn so that the gear could turn a couple of degrees, i bet that would be noisy when making interfered cuts!
It turned out to be the woodruf keyway in the shaft that was worn, I took it to work, and cleaned up the keyway, made a new key, and milled the top/side that fits the gear

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Sorry about the tool porn, the Deckel FP4 mill, the Jakobsen SJ12 grinder and the Schaublin 125C lathe just makes you drool.
 

brino

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#4
Nice to see that it was just surface rust on the lathe ways. Congratulations on the great progress on the lathe. That looks like a great machine.
Have you found a mill?
-brino
 

Holt

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#5
Thank you very much, yes I have found a mill, I got it about a year ago, but haven't restored it yet, there will be a tread later, in the mean time, you can have this picture I borrowed from the net, mine was unfortunately without the vertical head, but I have since been able to score a very nice home made head from a very talented tool maker I know.

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Holt

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#6
Well, back to the Colchester.
I took the saddle and apron off the machine to clean it, there was a lot of dirt in the oil channels, I made new oilers for the whole lathe.

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I discovered that the halfnut for the leadscrew was broken, it was a PITA to take the leadscrew off the lathe to get access to the halfnut, but in the end I got it apart.

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Holt

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#7
IIRC I milled a 12-14 mm hole in the remaining piece of the halfnut, and turned a shaft of some tool steel, it was secured with some loctite and a M6 bolt.

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When I was putting it all together, I discovered there were no room for the halfnut with the feedshaft still attached, so that had to come off as well

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Holt

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#8
Well, there is always something isn't there angry.gif this time it was the front cover of the Norton gearbox.
Someone, probably many years ago, overtightened the bolts and cracked the area around the bottom of one of the countersunk holes.

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In this area, there isn't support all the way around the threaded hole, making it easy to crack the cover, I think it's a casting or machining error, but I think it's a bit late to complain to Colchester ;)

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I whacked the broken part off with a bolt and a hammer, leaving me with a clean 14mm hole, just the right size for M16. I threaded the hole, and made a plug from some threaded rod, drilled 10.3mm as original. i glued the plug into the hole with Loctite 549

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Holt

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#9
The hand crank on the cross slide was broken when i got the lathe. Only a piece of treated brass was left in the handle for me to drill out. Well naturally the treads was imperial, and here imperial bolts are as rare as unicorns, so i decided my first project was a new hand crank. I started with cutting 3/8" treads on the end of a 10mm Allen head bolt and 7/16" treads on a 12mm bolt (i want to upgrade the main handle as well) I got a piece of stock delivered with the lathe, it turned up to be stainless, and the right size for the handle.

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So of course the first chips was made on a part for the lathe.

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The next thing will be the tailstock handle, the one i am using now just don't look right although it works allright grin.gif

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I got one with the lathe, i don't think it's the original, but it will do the job, just need a bush, and perhaps a hand crank

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I turned a bush from some of the stainless i got with the lathe, then i turned the hole in the handle to fit the bush.

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Kroll

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#10
That is a fantastic lathe,thank you for sharing from the beginning to present day.Sharing your back ground in machining the forum has gain another valuable member.Its nice to hear how a person came across their lathe,getting it home,going through it and what they discover when checking it out like the grease in the head. Your right that lathe cleaned up very nicely then you put it to use making your own handles which is something that I need to do.Thank you sir for sharing----kroll
 

Holt

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#11
Thank you very much Kroll, much appreciated.

At this point the lathe was not modified for nearly two years, then I started the DRO mounting, unfortunately there is no pics of the actual work, but I will try to explain.
I got this Heidenhain glass scale for the cross slide.

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It was discarded because it didn't work properly, it came from an EDM machine, I took it home, and gave it a good cleaning with isopropyl alcohol. dsc02918.jpg

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It was too long, so I shortened it about 7 centimeters, I milled the aluminium housing, and snapped the glass inside
 
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Bob Korves

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#12
Nice lathe, and will be a great lathe when you get it to your satisfaction! Very nice work.
 

Holt

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#13
Thank you Bob, but with a project like this, I guess it will never be quite finished, there will always be something.

This Heidenhain scale put out sine wave signals, the most common signals on DRO systems are square wave quadrature output, Heidenhain makes a very expensive interpolation box to overcome this issue.

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As I said at the start of this tread, I am a cheapskate, an in no way was I going to pay the same for such a box than I had spend on the whole lathe, I looked at ebay for some time, and suddenly a box came up with no starting price, and apparently very little interest, I got it for about $14, and it works a treat.
 

Holt

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#14
I didn't find a proper way to fit the scale on the cross slide, the readhead was in the way whatever I did, then I came up with the idea of milling a pocket for it in the sattle.

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There is no pics of the operation or the result, so you have to do with my drawing.
The big square are of course for the read head itself, the lines to the side, illustrates boltholes to secure the read head, and the two lines going out the back, is a slot for the wire.
On this later picture, you can see the scale in it's new place.

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You can also see my home made QCTP with some of the pieces being made, but more of that later.
Buying a new glass scale for the main slide was out of the question, and I haven't been able to score a used one. It have to be about 50" or 1.3 meter long costing a fortune, so I had to come up with something else.
At work, the old EMD wire cutter was being replaced, and send to the scrap yard, but befor it was picked up, I was allowed to take as many parts as i wanted, I got a pair of ball screws, that is put away for later, and a couple of rotary encoders, they give out the same type of signal as the normal glass scale when the shaft is turned.
On the lathe I milled a housing for the encoder, so a toothed belt could rotate the encoder when the main slide is moved.

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The toothed belt is attached to the bed in both ends, and the encoder and house travels with the main slide.

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And a 10" tablet is the screen

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More about the DRO at http://www.yuriystoys.com/p/android-dro.html dsc03834.jpg
 

Holt

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#15
Last cristmas I decided it would be a good time to mount my home made QCTP that have been lying almost completed for well over a year.
One of the reasons was I didn't own a 4 jaw chuck, but finally I found the right size for a reasonably price, and although I don't have a back plate for it, I mounted it in the 3 jaw and trued up the center cube for drilling and turning the center hole.
The Colchester's compound had a 54mm or 2 1/8" shaft 50mm high the old toolpost rotated about, but I only had space for a 50mm shaft with a hight of 20 mm, so it had to be turned down.
The Colchester couldn't swing the compound, and even if it could, I had no place to mount my tooling, but fortunately, I can borrow the machines at work, and the big manuel lathe had no problems swinging that little compound.
Here we have a couple of pics showing the almost finished mount, I have been making some hight adjusters, and need some milling on the locking shims, that are to be mounted on the eccentrics.

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I have 10 more or less finished holders, and the clamping side made in two bars, where I think there can be 6-8 holders made.

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Here we have the first ten hight adjusters.

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The design is based on the Rapid toolpost http://www.rapidoriginal.it/

The original purpose of the cube was as a insert for a plastic injection mould (mold in some regions) but it didn't clean up when it was ground, it was sat aside for another project, but the costumer decided that another material was to be used in the future, this material is Impax supreme, a well known tool steel when you want to avoid hardening.
It's origin is the reason for the threated holes 15 mm from the bottom, they where intended for water cooling, I just have to live with them.
I milled two slots on each side, the cube was put in the wire cutter, and all corners were cut in one setup.

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I am keeping the original spindle, because it have a nice feature, when tightening the cube, a spring loadet dowel pin with a tapered end is released, centering the cube at the right angle, and securing it from turning under heavy load. The opposite hole is for a spring loaded ball for helping centering the cube before tightening.

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I have a 7mm thick shim under the cube, here will be made tapered holes for the locking pin, four holes for zero, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, on the two opposite sides, there will be holes made at 30 and 60 degrees, and the two other sites, 45 degree holes will be made.
If I had to make all the holes on each side, they would interfere with each other

I had to mill some grooves on the locking rings, but i haven't got a rotary table, and my mill isn't working yet, so I had to use the lathe for milling.
I mounted a 20mm shaft in the toolholder with the V-groove at the bottom, I used a piece of 5 mm plate from the scrap bin, and drilled a couple of pilot holes for the spanner bolts, they have a point at the end, that fits the pilot holes, so the plate stays in place when the shaft is turned.

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A small vice got the job as handle to turn the shaft.

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The touchDRO was of little use for this setup, just showing the cut depth, but a label on the shaft with lines for start and stop points was perfect for the job.

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Here tree is in place, and the fourth is ready to leave the shaft.
 

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Holt

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#16
Well, this is it for now, there is nothing more to report at the moment, if you have any questions or comments, please write, I would love any feedback.
 

wa5cab

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#17
Now I have this problem again, is it impossible to insert vertical pictures?
Holt,

I suspect that the problem is with your photo editor. I assume that you took the photo with the camera rotated 90 deg. and then rotated the photo with some editor. Which of course shows it vertical as you wanted it. I ran into the same problem when trying to use a later version Nikon editor. The earlier version editor, as well as IrfanView didn't show rotated photos as rotated. I had to quit using the incompatible later version. Apparently someone changed a standard and stupidly did not make it backwards compatible.
 

Silverbullet

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#18
You've done a really great job on your lathe and your tool post is tops. I think your lathe will be still working in another fifty years. Most people want all new machines that more then likely will be lucky to last ten years or so. I'd love to own an old lathe there's some out there but with me it's all just about out of my range. Keep the pics coming and keep us informed on your lathe and mill progress.
 

Kennlindeman

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#19
18Feb2015 137.jpg 18Feb2015 137.jpg Colchester made some good machines, but the quality of materials 50 years ago did not suit there machines. I have the baby brother, the Student and could not work on the machine a night because it was so noisy. So I got brave and did open heart surgery on it. I removed all the gears, connected a belt between the incoming and main spindle. I replaced the motor with a induction motor and fitted a VFD
 
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Holt

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Hello Kenn.
Very strange you should show me that, I have thought of a similar thing, in fact I was going to ask here on the forum, if I was totally crazy, or you think it would be possible.
I take it, you run the head without oil, how are you lubricating the main bearings?
On the Triumph, there is a little more space at the back, leaving enough room to fit a chain on both sides of the high/low shifter, the idea was then, like you did, to remove the mittle shaft with all gears, and remove all gears on the drive shaft, but keeping the high/low shifter. My first thought was a toothed belt, but because I wanted to keep the oil, I decided on chains (some motorcycle chains can handle hundreds of horsepower)
 

Kennlindeman

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#21
Hi Holt
It was quite a journey to get to work. The student does not have a very big gearbox and I wanted to have a one to one pulley ratio. The other problem was there was not place to put a tensioner in. While looking for pulleys in a friends workshop I can across this strange pulley which was adjustable by turning the side of the pulley in and out. I knew one pulley would not be enough and shopped around but could not buy another one in South Africa. Then another friend found me one at a boot sale. The is quite a bit of space between the pulleys when put next to each other. I solved this my putting a 3 groove pulley on the spindle. The next problem was the part of the gearbox casting where the selectors are was in the way. A small angle grinder and a lot of bad language sorted that out. There also a part of the casting under the gears for lubricating which need to be cut out.

Although it looks like the gearbox has not oil in it, it does have oil in it. On the left you have the gears for the feed. Lucky this area is in a little box which is lower that the main area. So I lubricate the bearing/bushes normal thought there oil nipples and the surplus oil drains off to the feed gears box/sump. Once a month I open the top cover just to check the lever as you don't want the lever to high as the the belts will get oil on them a slip. I am going to drill a hole into the gearbox casing as the level i want and then surplus oil can drain out into a bottle and the be emptied as necessary.

It works very nicely and is very quite. There is one problem, at lower speeds the torque is very low and if drilling with large drill the motor does stop it you not careful. I am going to charge the motor pulley size to see if I can reduce this problem. I did fit a digital rev counter to the back of the spindle which does help to quickly see the speed you running.

A quick change tool post is a must. But you will find that you will need a lot of the tool holders. I am nearly finished making 12 new ones to add to the 6 I already have. The same type are yours.
 

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#23
Thanks for the tour of all the progress on your lathe. Like most things in the shop, they always seem to be a work in progress, but that's become ok with me. Mike
 

Holt

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#24
I have a 7mm thick shim under the cube, here will be made tapered holes for the locking pin, four holes for zero, 90, 180 and 270 degrees, on the two opposite sides, there will be holes made at 30 and 60 degrees, and the two other sites, 45 degree holes will be made.
If I had to make all the holes on each side, they would interfere with each other
Well tonight I got the holes made for the indexing of the cube, now I have to get the shim attached to the cube in exactly the right place.
I will start by truing the compound to the cross slide, then make some sort of temporary index of the cube, remove the cube, and glue it to the shim, so i can drill some holes for dowel pins in the right place.

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The mill is grinded with the same angle as the dowel pin on the compound for a good tight fit

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I used this program to find the location of the holes. http://littlemachineshop.com/mobile/bolt_circle.php
 

Holt

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#25
Thanks for the tour of all the progress on your lathe. Like most things in the shop, they always seem to be a work in progress, but that's become ok with me. Mike
I have been writing on a couple of other fora, but this is the first one I have found, where it's more about the machines themsels than what you make on them, I really enjoy bringing those pieces of old iron back to a touch of their former glory.
 

Kroll

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#26
Love reading your post and providing the pics which helps me understand what's going on.Seeing your projects is on the professional level which serves as a learning source for me and others.Thank you for posting----kroll
 

ARM

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#27
Holt
Your experience and quality workmanship clearly shows
Fantastic reading and watching Your progressive restoration build
Would be nice to pick Your brains when we have similar technical problems 'cos U will just about have the right answers
Keep the pics rolling
aRM
 

AlxJ64

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#28
Holt! Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I am actually going to look at a 7 1/2 this coming weekend and am trying to figure out how to move it. It is buried in the back of a shop and I want to try and snake it out. I was wondering you could could provide some footing dimensions of yours so I can try and assemble a Pallet ahead of time.

I was wondering if you could provide the width and length of the footing under the headstock and then again the dimensions of the footing under the tailstock, along with the clear distance between the two footings? Any help would be great. The machine is a long drive away from me and the seller is rather vague and not much help on the technical aspect of things.

Thanks!
 

Holt

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#29
Holt! Thank you so much for sharing all of this! I am actually going to look at a 7 1/2 this coming weekend and am trying to figure out how to move it. It is buried in the back of a shop and I want to try and snake it out. I was wondering you could could provide some footing dimensions of yours so I can try and assemble a Pallet ahead of time.

I was wondering if you could provide the width and length of the footing under the headstock and then again the dimensions of the footing under the tailstock, along with the clear distance between the two footings? Any help would be great. The machine is a long drive away from me and the seller is rather vague and not much help on the technical aspect of things.

Thanks!
Congratulation on your find, I'm sure you will love it as much as I love mine.
Skates is the way to move loads like that in tight spaces.
Just made a quick sketch, notice the chip pan is sticking out at the front and both ends, all measurements are in cm
 

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AlxJ64

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#30
Thank you so much for that information and that drawing! It was very useful in determining my layout for a pallet to build to get two hand trucks under it so I can move and transport the machine. Going to lay my hands on it tomorrow morning and hopefully can come to an agreeable terms with the seller. People say that the heads are noisy on these machines... how much noise is noisy? And where is the line between normal and something is wrong? Can a normal conversation be had without yelling while the machine is running? Its it a whirring like a fan noise, or is it a gear whine they are known for? This one is under power currently so I plan on chalking the belts and running it just to check that initally and also am bringing some 2" round stock with me to chuck up and check the bearings for any "clunk". The bearings are tapered and can be adjusted similar to a trailer spindle correct? How is the gear head cover removed to check for any bluing of the gears? Tools required? If so do you know what sizes?

Many thanks for all of your help on this. Fingers crossed that things work out well and I can buy the machine as it should be perfect for my needs... small enough for my home shop but enough HP and through bore to handle the size stock I need to machine these days, especially in comparison to my Atlas 12" with only a 3/4" through bore and square non-hardened ways.
 
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