Comments from my life, family, and projects I enjoy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cold, Rain, or Both





The weather here has been cold, rainy or both for the last few days with more cold weather forecast for the next few days. Since I work in an unheated garage, I have just resigned myself to work on other task indoors until better weather comes my way. I ordered a number of items from McMaster-Carr. Most of them were small hardware items for the saw with a few parts thrown in to build a mobile base. I am including it all in my total cost since I would have no need for a mobile base without the saw. Total for the McMaster-Car order was $96.14. I also bought another rattle can of etching primer at $6.30. This brings my new total to 605.72. I estimate I can complete the mobile base for another $150.00 and The motor will need new bearings. At this point I am estimating I can complete the saw for less than $1000.00. Since rebuilt machines of this capacity generally sell in the $2500.00 to $3000.00 range, I think I will be OK even if I exceed the $1000.00 mark by a little.

Originally the old GR saw used a hardened steel thrust washers between the thrust surface of the arm elevation screw and the thrust cap, plus some steel shim washers between the top of the trust cap and the elevation crank. I plan on using a needle thrust bearing set under the thrust cap and a bronze oilite thrust washer under the handle. This will require cutting a relief in the underside of the thrust cap in order to ensure that there is adequate shaft length protruding for attachment of the elevation handle. Since there is a lot of meat in the thrust cap casting, it should be no problem to relieve the cap. While we're at the machine shop we may as well face the thrust surface of the elevation screw, face the top of the thrust cap and true up the bottom surface of the elevation crank. That should leave us with a smooth operating arm elevation mechanism that will work well for many years.

If you look carefully, you can see a small round chrome feature in one of the recesses in the thrust cap. That little device is an oil port, containing a steel ball backed by a low tension spring. It is just large enough to insert the end of a small oiler to lubricate the thrust bearing under the cap. It's these little details that I really like about old iron. Made In the USA and made to last.

I am also on the lookout for a vintage motor starter or start/stop station that will look appropriate on a machine of this vintage. I just can't bring myself to hang some cheesy Chinese made plastic junk on this saw. Enclosed are some pictures of some vintage controls. The original electrics were from Arrow-Hart & Hegeman, but something from the right era by Cutler-Hammer, Allen-Bradley, Square-D, GE, Westinghouse, or Furnac would be acceptable.

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Midlands of South Carolina, United States
Husband, Father, Quality Engineer, Electronics Professional, and tinkerer. Facinated by old technology and well made old tools. Old iron is good.