A Brief Word
36/2/12 Economy Gas Engine? Q. See the photos of an Economy gas engine. After looking at it I am convinced it is a Waterloo Boy. Can anyone be of help? Waino Wierimaa, 31416 - 159th Ave., Sebeka, MN 56477.
A. We checked a couple of the patent dates. No doubt about it, they match up to Louis Witry and others associated with Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company. Beyond that, we haven't a clue... the low serial number would lead to the conclusion that this is a very early engine.
36/2/13 F-M Clutch Pulley See the photo of a disassembled clutch pulley from Fairbanks-Morse. Jim Wohlfeil, 190 HCR 1, Marquette, MI 49855 would like to know what parts are missing so as to make it operable again. If you can help, please contact him.
36/2/14 Novo Engines Several people have inquired about serial number lists for the Novo engines. They are included in the new edition of Wendel'sNotebook, available from GEM. However, the numbers begin at 40,000. All numbers prior to that were built before July 30, 1918, but we don't have the number records prior to that time
36/2/15 What Is It? Charles Skinner, RR 1, Berwick, NS BOP 1EO Canada sends a photo of a tool or a piece from a machine. A handle and a threaded shaft open and close the center piece. The two jaws are covered with woven brake lining. This piece is about 6x16 inches and is made of cast iron.
Charles also comments that he recently purchased a Lister 5 HP, Size L engine, s/n 20471. He would like to know if there is any way to date this engine, and would also know if there is still a parts source. If you can be of any help, please contact him at the above address.
36/2/16 Another Coldwell Another late question came via e-mail this month from Kim Thorp of 1006 Wakefield Drive, Heyworth, IL 61745. Kim is a Coldwell lawn mower owner seeking any information that might assist him in restoration.
We've talked about lathes for several months. Probably the greatest challenge to the novice or the occasional user is grinding the tool bit properly, and setting it properly. Setting the tool right about center is usually a good starting point. Set it too low, and there is a tendency to climb, especially with a heavy cut. On an old machine or one that really isn't built for those heavy cuts, that is an invitation to disaster. Either you will ruin the piece or cause damage to the lathe, perhaps both. That's why it is wise to run the belt just tight enough to drive the lathe properly, but still loose enough so it can slip in case of some disaster. Most old lathes are swaybacked, so for real accurate work, one trick is to set the bit a hair high at the tailstock end, and as the carriage moves toward the headstock, it settles just a bit where the bed is low. That way, as it settles, it also peels off just a hair more metal, and helps keeps the piece straight from one end to the other.
More often than not, too much clearance is ground into the bit. All that does is weaken it. It takes a little judgement to grind in some side clearance and some tip clearance. After grinding the clearances, very carefully grind a small radius at the cutting tip. Then the bit will do a much cleaner job on your piece. Honing the cutting tip will also work wonders. For various tool steel bits, an ordinary stone will work, but for carbide bits, get a diamond hone. It is truly amazing how a few strokes of the hone will improve your work.
Wherever possible, we use carbide tipped bits. They permit heavier cuts, they will work on alloys that are impossible to touch with tool steel, they last longer, and they leave an excellent finish.
We think it is great fun to cut threads on the lathe with a single point tool. Be advised though, if you haven't done it, some study of the process might be advisable. Find a book on lathe operation, and follow the advice they give you. Cutting threads requires your total concentration, especially if you are threading up to a shoulder. Disengaging the lead screw and backing off the carriage all at the same time do not leave any margin for error! Perhaps we will discuss this whole matter of threading on the lathe, but that's gonna take some work on our part, along with some illustrations to show the beginner how it is done.
Next month we will try to continue this series of articles on machine tools. Who knows what might appear in the next issue!