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14X54 American Pacemaker

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rmack898

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#1
About 5 years ago I decided that there was no perfect lathe for my shop. I had a SB13 that I spent 6 months restoring and it was a great lathe but I wanted more. I decided that I needed on big lathe and one small lathe to take the place of the SB13. Within 2 weeks I had bought 2 lathes and sold the SB.

This 14X54 Pacemaker is the big lathe I bought and it has been sitting un-touched on my shop floor for the last 5 years. Now I need to use it but before I can use it I need to do a little work to it. It was in pretty rough shape cosmetically and I never saw it under power but all the gears were in good shape and it was complete, so how bad could it be.

I started the tear down last week. I took off the compound, thread dial, taper attachment. micrometer stop, and anything else that was easy. Next up was the saddle and apron. I started by taking off the bearing carrier for the lead screw and feed rod and the end of the bed. There are spring loaded roller bearings in the carrier for the feed rod and the carrier has long dowel pins that locate it on the bed. I needed to run the carriage all the way to the head stock to have enough play in the feed rod and lead screw to permit the bearing carrier to come off the dowel pins (it took me a day to figure that out). The feed rod and lead screw are attached to the gear box output shafts with tapered pins and once they were driven out the feed rod and lead screw came out easily.

I wanted to separate the saddle and apron and remove them as 2 pieces but after a day of screwing around with separating them unsuccessfully I opted to take them off in one piece. I ran the carriage down to the end of the bed, loosened all the gibs and removed the whole assembly with the shop crane. There are 4 bolts and 1 large taper pin the hold the apron to the saddle, and then the apron is pulled forward and dropped down from the saddle. This whole procedure took me about 3 days.

Next I stripped off every instruction and label plate on the lathe and proceeded to clean, scrape, and strip paint of the entire machine. I'm 2 days into stripping paint and the end is nowhere in sight, I might have a full 2 weeks of stripping and sanding. I'm using Kleen Strip Aircraft paint stripper. I brush on a heavy coat and cover it with kitchen plastic wrap, let it sit for 90 minutes and then scrape it all off with a putty knife. The stripper takes everything off to bare metal (4 coats of paint and all the filler). This process is time critical, 60 minutes is too short and 120 minutes is too long.

Well that's where I'm at for now. Looks like tomorrow will be a snow day so I'll get a full day of stripping and scraping paint.

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drs23

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About 5 years ago I decided that there was no perfect lathe for my shop. I had a SB13 that I spent 6 months restoring and it was a great lathe but I wanted more. I decided that I needed on big lathe and one small lathe to take the place of the SB13. Within 2 weeks I had bought 2 lathes and sold the SB.

This 14X54 Pacemaker is the big lathe I bought and it has been sitting un-touched on my shop floor for the last 5 years. Now I need to use it but before I can use it I need to do a little work to it. It was in pretty rough shape cosmetically and I never saw it under power but all the gears were in good shape and it was complete, so how bad could it be.

I started the tear down last week. I took off the compound, thread dial, taper attachment. micrometer stop, and anything else that was easy. Next up was the saddle and apron. I started by taking off the bearing carrier for the lead screw and feed rod and the end of the bed. There are spring loaded roller bearings in the carrier for the feed rod and the carrier has long dowel pins that locate it on the bed. I needed to run the carriage all the way to the head stock to have enough play in the feed rod and lead screw to permit the bearing carrier to come off the dowel pins (it took me a day to figure that out). The feed rod and lead screw are attached to the gear box output shafts with tapered pins and once they were driven out the feed rod and lead screw came out easily.

I wanted to separate the saddle and apron and remove them as 2 pieces but after a day of screwing around with separating them unsuccessfully I opted to take them off in one piece. I ran the carriage down to the end of the bed, loosened all the gibs and removed the whole assembly with the shop crane. There are 4 bolts and 1 large taper pin the hold the apron to the saddle, and then the apron is pulled forward and dropped down from the saddle. This whole procedure took me about 3 days.

Next I stripped off every instruction and label plate on the lathe and proceeded to clean, scrape, and strip paint of the entire machine. I'm 2 days into stripping paint and the end is nowhere in sight, I might have a full 2 weeks of stripping and sanding. I'm using Kleen Strip Aircraft paint stripper. I brush on a heavy coat and cover it with kitchen plastic wrap, let it sit for 90 minutes and then scrape it all off with a putty knife. The stripper takes everything off to bare metal (4 coats of paint and all the filler). This process is time critical, 60 minutes is too short and 120 minutes is too long.

Well that's where I'm at for now. Looks like tomorrow will be a snow day so I'll get a full day of stripping and scraping paint.
That's a heck of a start on a heck of a job! Keep us posted.
 

Tony Wells

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#3
I've spent many an hour running a Pacemaker. Very smooth machine, the one I ran. About the only drawback I remember was a relatively small spindle hole. That's a small sacrifice for such a nice machine though. The one I ran was a little larger, but same basic layout.
 

rmack898

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Like I thought, today was a snow day and I got a day off from work and spent it in the shop.
I put a coat of paint remover on and went about taking off the electrical controls. The wiring was pretty simple and I marked all the wires with wire marker tapes and removed the entire enclosure intact.

While I was waiting for the remover to do it's thing, I went at the cast base pieces with a needle gun. The cast pieces cleaned up fairly easy but it made one hell of a mess. Needle gun, vacuum, scrape paint, apply stripper, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat for about 8 hours.

I got most of the headstock down to bare metal and decided to take the top cove off and see the condition of the spindle and gear train. I was quite pleased to see that everything in the headstock was immaculate and well lubed. I think the only thing that needs to be done is drain and flush the sump, clean the oil filter, and re-fill it with new oil.

I'll probably go back out after dinner and give it a few more hours of paint scraping.

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#5
That's a beast of a lathe. I think you'll have agreat running machine there when your done. :thumbzup3:
 

drs23

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Like I thought, today was a snow day and I got a day off from work and spent it in the shop.
I put a coat of paint remover on and went about taking off the electrical controls. The wiring was pretty simple and I marked all the wires with wire marker tapes and removed the entire enclosure intact.

While I was waiting for the remover to do it's thing, I went at the cast base pieces with a needle gun. The cast pieces cleaned up fairly easy but it made one hell of a mess. Needle gun, vacuum, scrape paint, apply stripper, and repeat, and repeat, and repeat for about 8 hours.

I got most of the headstock down to bare metal and decided to take the top cove off and see the condition of the spindle and gear train. I was quite pleased to see that everything in the headstock was immaculate and well lubed. I think the only thing that needs to be done is drain and flush the sump, clean the oil filter, and re-fill it with new oil.

I'll probably go back out after dinner and give it a few more hours of paint scraping.
You go Man! The machine restoration threads are my favorites that keep me coming back. Certainly not the only reason of coarse, but again, my favs!

I'll be glued to this one and you've got a hellofa start. Looking GREAT! Keep at it and by all means, plenty-0-pics! :))
 

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#7
Thdy are nice machines . You'll be happy with that one Until you decide you need that 34" swing X 120".
dickr
 

rmack898

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Thdy are nice machines . You'll be happy with that one Until you decide you need that 34" swing X 120".
dickr
I was in a shop last week that had a 34" X 120" and it was nice.

Well I got the cover back on the headstock. The paint stripper that I used took everything off including the filler that they used back in 1950. The castings without filler are really rough so I need to re-apply filler. I hate doing this type of work because its almost the same a drywall, put mud on, sand it off ( I can do it but I don't like it).

I stripped the inner web of the bed to bare metal with a needle gun and got a coat of primer on it. I'm using a high solids, sandable primer that I got from Tractor Supply, with 2 coats it looks like it will fill the rough casting well. I'm using a light weight polyester filler called "Icing". I mix it in very small batches as it only has a 3-4 minute pot life but it goes on easy and sands easy.

I am scraping the rest of the paint off the lathe with a razor blade because I don't want to have to apply filler to the rest of the castings, I'll just sand the intact filler and repaint.

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xalky

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#9
I've never used the ICING product before. Is it a 2 part that you have to mix with hardener? How's the shrinkage factor?

I'm with you, I hate filling and sanding! I' don't mind the filling part so much, I hate the sanding part , and all the dust that gets created. It's one of the reasons why I'm not in the paint and body business. I just do my own stuff now. Can't stand the dust!

Your moving right along.:thumbsup2:
 

rmack898

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#10
Icing is two part, shrinkage is almost zero and it sets up very quick.
I'm hand sanding everything to keep the dust down. If I had thought this project out, I would have built a booth around the machine so I could use a powered sander, I don't need dust on everything in the shop.
 

rmack898

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More scraping, sanding, applying filler today.
I got the electrical switches removed as I'm making my way around to the front of the headstock.
After the second coat of primer I got the first color top coat on the inside of the bed.

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woodtickgreg

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Wowwee that's a big lathe! Very cool, I'll be watching this one progress. I don't like all the sanding and filler stuff either, and I'm a wood worker. That is one of the reasons I didn't fill my south bend when I restored it, it came out fine with a heavy prime coat on the real rough castings and two good coats brushed on the rest. To each their own, I don't think that there really is a right or wrong way to do it. Just do it!
 

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#13
Man, you don't mess around. It usually takes me about six weeks before I'm ready to do any painting. That's going to be some sweet old iron when you get done. Thanks for rescuing her!
 

rmack898

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#14
Before I go any further, let me address what I am doing to this lathe. I am NOT restoring this lathe. The ways and all the wearing surfaces are what they are and I will make no attempt to bring them back to new.

I AM going to disassemble this lathe as far as I have to, to insure that all the mechanical parts are sound, cleaned, well lubricated, and that the lathe will function as designed. I will clean and lubricate everything and give the machine a new coat of paint. I refer to the whole process as "Freshening Up"

Now that you know what I am actually doing, let me tell you what I got done in the last few days.
The weekend had a full social calendar of events but I did manage to sneak a few hours here and there and continue scraping and sanding. With just a very small area remaining to be scraped, all of the green paint is gone. I got a coat of primer on the outside of the bed. I scored a Dynabrade D/A sander that hooks up to a vacuum that catches 95% of the dust it creates and it works great. The only paper I have for it is 180 grit so I still have to do a fair amount of hand sanding but the D/A does a great job of getting it ready for primer.

I pulled off the end covers and all the access covers. I have taken anything that will fit to work with me and put in our big blast cabinet and sand blasted them. I have about 2 more days of sanding and then I will be ready to prime the rest of the machine. I sometimes have to reel myself in and remember that this is just a machine tool and not a show car that will be judged on the concours. I'm really eager to start tearing into the saddle and apron but I have to stay focused on getting the bulk of the machine cleaned and painted first, I hope to have it done by the end of next weekend.

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#15
There's not much going on at work so I took a 1/2 day off today and made some serious progress.
I finished sanding the bulk of the lathe and have the first coat of primer on it. If the primer is cured tomorrow I hope to get a second coat on it.

Looking forward the saddle is next. It weighs about 250#s and I'm not sure if I want to work on it on the floor but every table I have that is sturdy enough to hold it is occupied with some other project of some sort so I may have to do some re-arranging.
 

rmack898

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The headstock and bed are done. The two big end covers on the headstock end are the last of the big pieces to get sanded and painted. I have many other small parts in various stages of primer or paint spewn all over the shop.

Today I hope to get the saddle torn down and start cleaning it. There are many oil galleries and passages that will need to be flushed and cleaned. I also want to do a good inspection of the cross feed screw.

This should be one of the first real good weather days we have had since last fall so I know there will be some domestic chores competing with shop time so I'll just have to see how much I can get done.

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woodtickgreg

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Wow, this thing is really coming along nice! I am enjoying following along with your progress, thanks for the pics and updates.
P.S. That monarch in the back ground aint to shabby looking either!
 

rmack898

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#19
P.S. That monarch in the back ground aint to shabby looking either!
The Monarch was the small lathe I bought to replace the South Bend

I bet that tail stock will give you popeye arms. ahahahaha
Actually the tailstock has a hand crank to move it back and forth, I'm too old for Popeye arms.


I'm still making progress. I finished sanding the last two biggest castings today and got a coat of primer on them.
The oil sight glasses were shot and I had to find something to replace them with, I bought some clear thin wall hose and slit it length wise and used it for the sight glass. Most all of the ball oillers on this lathe have seen better days so I am replacing them all, I found direct replacements at McMaster-Carr and they showed up today. I ordered drive screws to re-install all of the instruction and name plates that I removed but I got the wrong size and had to re-order, they should be here tomorrow.

I installed all of the covers that I had painted and got some more parts primed and ready for paint. I started working on getting the saddle cleaned up tonight but it looks like it is going to take some time to get 60 years of grime off the casting and get all of the oil passages cleaned up.

I'd like to think that I can finish this in 2 more weeks but I don't want to be too overly optimistic, I just need to stay focused and not get distracted.

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rmack898

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I spent some time on the saddle today. I got the cross feed screw, and the way wipers removed and started cleaning the crud. There was really a lot of gunk in all of the oil grooves and I was able to remove all the plugs in the oil passages.

I spent the better part of my time trying to figure out the best method to clean everything. Rubber gloves, a strong solvent, and a stiff nylon bristle brush seems to do the best, followed by hand sanding. I had a tough day at work today and basically ran out of steam tonight. I'll give it a good hit the next 2 days as I want to get the saddle done before my son goes back to school on Saturday so he can help me muscle the saddle back on the ways.

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rmack898

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Well it took me a lot longer to get the saddle all cleaned up and painted. I think I spent the better part of 3 days working on it. The bare saddle casting weighs a little over 200#s and I needed a way to work on the whole thing without having to turn it over repeatedly. I bolted 2 pieces of 3/16" flat stock to the bottom of it, stood it up on end, and welded the flat stock to the table. Having it upright where I could work on both sides at the same time made things so much easier.

I have it all cleaned up, painted and ready to back on the ways. The oil galleries that feed the grooves in the saddle bearings had felt wicks in them and they were pretty much shot so I ordered some felt cord from McMaster-Carr and it should be here tomorrow. I'll recruit some help from one of the young guys at work and have him help me lift the saddle back on to the ways.

Next up is tearing into the apron and seeing what it needs, I'm sure that will take a few days to get done.

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rmack898

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Well the brown truck showed up with the felt cord and I got the new wicks cut and installed. I pre-filled all of the oil galleries in the saddle with way oil and made sure that the wicks took oil and fed the bearings and managed to get the saddle back on the ways in one piece.

I took the cross feed screw and ball clutch apart to clean everything up. I wanted to take the handle off of the hand wheel for the cross feed and wound up breaking the cast iron hand wheel in the process, needless to say I was not a happy camper. I haven't decided if I will weld it, buy a similar replacement, or build a new one from scratch. I'll figure that out later as I don't want to get sidetracked over a hand wheel.

I got all of the instruction and data plates re-mounted with new drive screws. I was unable to remove some of the drive screws that held the plates on in the original locations so I just shifted the location and drilled ne holes to mount the plates.

I tried to get the apron up on the table to start taking it apart but it is just too heavy and I will have to wait till tomorrow to get some help. It might be another snow day tomorrow so I might get a full day of work on the apron, I'll have to see what it looks like in the morning.

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#23
Nice work Mac. Unless I missed you didn't tell us what kind of paint you used, or what color. It reminds me very much of a couple of Mazak M-5's I painted a few years ago. Bigger project than I want to tackle these days, even if they were mine. That color, at least on this monitor, looks very close to the stock Mazak machinery green. I used a catalyzed epoxy. Held up well, but was rather noxious to work with.
 

rmack898

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#24
Thanks Tony. The paint I'm using is a Sherwin Williams high solids industrial enamel, I mix in a little hardener from tractor supply. It's high gloss and sets up real hard. The color I had them mix for me, it's a blueish green with a little grey.


I got the apron up on the table today and like the saddle I welded a piece of angle to the table and bolted the apron in the upright position so that I could easily work on both sides. It was really cruddy and I had to do a lot of wiping just so I could see how it comes apart. I got the half nuts off and the interlock assembly for the cross feed and carriage. Everything that is bolted to the apron is also located with dowel pins so it takes a little coaxing to get the pieces apart once the bolts are removed. There are many wicks in the oil galleries and I am paying close attention to where they are so I can replace the when I re-assemble.

I have not got it out yet but I can tell that the bearings on the bevel gear for the feed rod are shot and will need to be replaced. So far this is the only thing I have found that was worn, not bad for a 64 year old machine.

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rmack898

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Well it took me all day to get the apron apart but I got it done. In addition to the bearing for the bevel pinion gear that I thought was bad (it Was), I found 2 other roller bearings that were bad and will have to be replaced.

I found no worn parts in the headstock and several worn parts in the apron and then I figured out why. The headstock has a motor driven oil pump that keeps everything well lubed anytime the lathe is running, the apron has 2 one-shot oil pumps that must be manually actuated once a day, I guess this lathe has had a lazy operator or 2 in it's life.

Getting this thing apart was like a big puzzle and it took me a while to figure it all out. I had to make a wrench to get a bearing sleeve that threaded into the casting out in order to remove the last big gear that drives the carriage. Sooner or later this thread would get away from cleaning and painting and finally get some machining content to it. I had to turn the ID of a piece of aluminum pipe to 2.750" to fir over the bearing sleeve, then I drilled a .25" hole in it and put a dowel pin through the pipe and into the hole in the bearing sleeve. Then I used a pipe wrench to turn the whole thing out of the apron casting. A pin spanner wrench is what I really needed but I didn't have one big enough.

It turned out the bearing in the bevel pinion was OK but the shaft that it rides on was badly worn. The worn shaft looks like it is pressed into the apron casting and I'm not sure I want to take the chance of breaking the casting trying to press it out so I will think on it for a few days, I have a big pile of dirty parts that will take me at least that long to get cleaned up. The only thing left to take out of the apron casting is the 2 one-shot lube pumps but I have yet to figure out what holds them in place.

I did manage to get the bracket that holds the electrical control box painted and mounted back on the lathe, I should be able to get the control box back on and wired up tomorrow.

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This morning I put my soft clothes on and made a pot of coffee.Grab my best coffee cup(pic of grandson) and start up the computer and read this story,I have to say it is fantastic.Best seller,Mac it looks great and love the color.I have to say that lathe is huge,just moving the parts is a chore in itself but you over come that small problem.A person has to have a good memory to be able to put that apron back together as many pieces it has.Again nice job Mac----kroll
Question:Could you show me a pic of a needle gun,how do you like using it?Sounds like a good tool to have for stripping paint
 

rmack898

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OK, so I got the apron casting torn down, cleaned and painted. I ran all the gears and parts through the parts washer and started to put it all back together. I got the half nuts and lock out back in along with most of the gears. I had to order 2 new bearings and I'm on hold until they arrive.

I got the shaft for the pinion bearing out and made a new one. I think the shaft was pretty soft as it wore instead of the bronze bearing the rode on it. I made the new shaft out of 3/4" drill rod and did not harden it. I turned and drilled it in the lathe and then milled the oil grooves and drilled the cross hole in the mill. You'll notice in the picture that I used a 5c collet and a square block in the vise for milling the shaft. I had to cut 2 oil grooves 180* apart and a cross hole 90* to the oil grooves. A set of square and hex 5C collet blocks has been on of the most versatile things I ever bought for the shop. It's a cheap import set but it has been worth it's weight in gold on many occasions. I ran out of steam tonight but I should get the shaft and the pinion installed tomorrow, no big rush as I still have to wait for the new bearings to come.

While waiting to finish and install the apron, I'll get the lead screw and feed rod all cleaned up and ready to install.

I think the next thing I start on will be the taper attachment, once that is done all that remains is the compound and the tailstock. Is that the light at the end of the tunnel that I see or is it a train about to run me over. time will tell I guess.

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Jonathan86

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#29
Hello,

I just wanted to say thank you for doing this thread. I have my own lathe project I am getting going on, and your posts detailing how you are going about working on your lathe are encouraging to me. So, please keep it going! Thanks again,

Jonathan
 

rmack898

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#30
My new bearings showed up and I had a nice productive day in the shop. I installed the new shaft I made for the pinion gear along with the 3 new bearings and got the apron all back together.
Getting the clutches for the carriage and cross feed adjusted right was a lot of trial and error. Assemble, test, disassemble, adjust, assemble, test, and repeat. After about 4 or 5 cycles of the above, I finally got them set right.

I got the cross feed installed and started putting the taper attachment back together. I ran out of cleaned and painted parts so it was back to running parts in the parts washer so that I can get them ready for paint.

I have some help lined up for Monday to help me get the apron mounted. By then I should have more parts cleaned and painted. The last major thing that I have not touched yet is the tailstock but I should be ready to start on that early next week. I might actually have this lathe done by next weekend.

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