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The Beast Rises: Introducing the Mighty Monarch!

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P_Racette

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Hello all,

Having made my introductory post in the appropriate forum, I figured I would wander over here and start something.

Long story short: I bought an old Monarch lathe, model and specifics unknown. She's a beast though - about 14 feet long and easy to weight in "tons". The previous owner said something about "being in the machine shop of a US Navy warship" but I would take that with a grain of salt, since I have absolutely no providence for it - it's just what he heard from the person that sold it to him.

Anyhoo, I see myself as having at least a year or three of restoration work in front of me, as well as heavens-only-knows how many thousands of dollars of tooling to buy, hours to invest, etc. On the plus side, I won't be able to pick up a drug habit as I don't think I'll have the time or money.

So, step one: intro pictures! There are pics from the drop off, with the legs on. We had to take them off to move her into the garage, that's why the later pics are lower. I'm unsure of the model, I can't find the data plate that should be there. Of course, it could just be under a layer of crud!

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Bob Korves

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Looks pretty good for it's age! Don't forget to send up updates regularly. When in doubt, DOUBT! And then ask for help and advice... Welcome to H-M!
 

ConValSam

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Welcome!

Never before seen a belt drive Monarch. Intrigued. Followed.
 

BROCKWOOD

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I see a Monarch in my future - though I'm hoping for a WWII era version. Looks good & looking forward to your updates! Welcome.
 

Splat

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Wow! She's a beaut! She's gonna be a knockout when she gets cleaned up. How's the bed look?
 

P_Racette

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So, a quick update on the Lathe project:

I've stopped by the local hardware store (that is already quite familiar with me) and picked up a few things to find out what works best for this particular application. I'm going to try a few different things in a few different places to see how things work out. Here's the overall gist of things:

  • I got a small bottle of Naval Jelly (rust converter, not "personal lubricant" for sailors)
  • Denatured alcohol
  • Good 'ole 3-in-1 oil
  • Moly-Graph grease
My plan is to use the denatured alcohol to cut through the years of accumulated "gunk" and strip off the loose paint, etc. Naval jelly will then be applied to any areas with particularly tough rust and allowed to sit for a day or two, then be wiped off. The 3-in-1 will be used to aid in reassembly and general lube, while the moly grease will bear the brunt of the heavy lubrication work. I spent a little extra on the moly grease - one of the first times I've NOT "cheaped out" on something like this.

All that said, I have a few questions that I hope some of you will take the time to consider. First up, should I keep this going in a single thread, or break it out into the general section of the forums and not the "Monarch" subforum? Next, do you guys (and gals) care about these kinds of updates, or am I just burning electrons? Finally, I'm in the process of setting up a YouTube account to record this rebuild. Would that be of interest here?
 

FOMOGO

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Post away, we never get tired of looking at pics of vintage iron, or pretty much anything else for that matter. Probably best to post the rehab on the Monarch forum. That way it will be readilly available to others looking for info on similar machines. Congrats on your purchase. Mike
 

WCraig

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I'm not a fan of Naval Jelly (phosphoric acid). It leaves the metal with a dull gray finish that seems weathered, to me. You have a big job ahead of you so you might want to experiment with a couple of the rust removers. I had good luck with Metal Rescue. You may find some stuff works better on cast iron and others on steel, for instance.

BTW, for flat surfaces a razor scraper can be a good approach. Sometimes, the rust is just a bloom on the surface and scrapes away with little effort. After a wipe down with WD-40 or mineral spirits, you may be ready to oil and move on.

Craig
 

Cal Haines

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Please keep posting here.

Mineral spirits and fine steel wool works very well for removing light surface rust. I would start there and save heavy duty rust removers for places that really need it. For any parts that are small enough, Evapo-rust works very well. You can get it at HF, Walmart and big box hardware stores. My personal favorite for removing years of grease and oil is Krud Kutter, but there are similar products that work as well.
 

Karl_T

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...

All that said, I have a few questions that I hope some of you will take the time to consider. First up, should I keep this going in a single thread, or break it out into the general section of the forums and not the "Monarch" subforum? Next, do you guys (and gals) care about these kinds of updates, or am I just burning electrons? Finally, I'm in the process of setting up a YouTube account to record this rebuild. Would that be of interest here?
One thread right here is just fine. Yep, I won't clutter your thread with "NICE job..." but I do enjoy seeing other's projects. Link the you tube videos here if you do any.

BTW, do you have babit spindle bearings on that old gal? it looks like it might. I've got a LeBlond of the same vintage that could use a babit bearing rebuild. Too bad I didn't watch gramps closer 50 years ago, he could do this in an hour. Undo these four bolts, what do you see?


287666
 

NCjeeper

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Cool old iron. I have a 1964 16x54 Monarch.
 

P_Racette

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BTW, do you have babit spindle bearings on that old gal?

Disclaimer: I'm a computer geek. I had to Google "Babbitt bearing" to understand - well, I hope I understand lol. I'm hear to learn, so please forgive me if I misunderstood your question.

Now, to answer: Yes, I'm pretty sure she does have babbitt bearings, but they're a little scored up. I went out and pulled off the panel that (I think) you were referring to and snapped some pics. Forgive the rushed nature, I had to leave the garage door open to get enough light for decent pictures and the wind was blowing stuff around. There are a few angles, those streaks aren't just grease - those are scratches. I hit them with some mineral spirits and can feel them, so I'm guessing a previous owner ran her for a bit without lubricating her.

Brass shim stock is a PAIN when it's windy, by the way.

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Karl_T

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Yes, you got babbit bearings. As long as you have a supply of oil they work great. The "X" pattern you see in the top cap is your oil grooves. This should be cleaned. Looks like you already have. My machine has a oil cup that holds maybe 1/2 cup of oil on top the bearing. these need to be filled every day you run. I'm guessing your oil cups got broke off.

Now my bearings are shot, but I've used the lathe anyway for only 30 years now :)

If you want to check them, get this:

Pretty low priority for you right now. get it running first.

if you are bored some time, google how to re - babbit a bearing. here's a google search with videos to watch.
 

P_Racette

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Thank you for that insight Karl! I was pretty sure the "X" pattern was for the lube to flow through, but I was concerned about the amount of straight-line scratching - but I'm not going to doing production work so I'm not overly concerned!

As to the fitting: It looks like a grease nipple to me, and there appears to be grease residue in the oil grooves. I'm guessing this was a later addition and I should keep an eye out for oil cups that will fit?

Thanks!

P.S. Thanks for the info on babbitt casting, I built a foundry so if worse comes to worse, I CAN make new ones.
 

P_Racette

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Aaaah, I see - that makes a lot of sense now. I think I'll rebuild the old girl with the oil drip, since I have access to things like Amazon that previous owners didn't. But I think I'm still going to focus on getting garage space cleared and some 240 lines run at the moment - I'll put the oil glasses on my Christmas list!
 

NCjeeper

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You can contact Monarch. They still have parts for most of their lathes.
 

Karl_T

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Great parts and service at monarch...

But they must all be gold plated, judging by the price. I guess I don't blame them, having a HUGE inventory of parts that hardly move has to be expensive.
 

hermetic

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Don't think they are babbit metal, can you seperate the bearing from the cast iron cap? Usually babbit bearings finish flush with the cap outer surface so that it can be damned with clay when the babbit is poured, these look more like bronze bearings, and if indeed monarch carry spares, they must be, babbit is always poured in situ. it is white in colour, and fairly soft. I have a very similar lathe to this, a Covmac although mine is made a bit later, with a geared head

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john.k

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Be careful with the shims,keep them as a set side to side ,and dont lose or crumple any of the paper thin ones........if shims are lost,then you got problems ....a few scratches wont hurt.......a jammed spindle from lost or transposed shims will.
 

f350ca

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I agree with hermetic, those are bronze shell bearings. Probably lots of life left in them.

Greg
 

john.k

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Bronze shells lined with thin babbit............many auto bearings have babbit lined bronze or steel shells ,with the babbit only 005 " thick.......if the bearing picks up ,the babbit runs and frees the journal........bronze bearings seize hard and score the shaft.
 
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