Box 298 Ashby, Massachusetts 01431
I have been restoring old engines and such for about ten years and, at the same time, put together a home metal working shop of mostly older salvage yard items and secondhand tools. I have developed a high regard for the skillful men and fine machines that made the industrial revolution and all our nice old toys possible. In its day, Fitchburg, Massachusetts, was a major industrial city selling machines and manufactured goods world wide.
Ignoring the advice of others, I decided to rescue this big old Fitchburg Machine Works lathe. The lathe is a 72 inch x 21 foot model, 30 foot overall length, weight 31,000 lbs. and manufactured around 1900.
When I found the lathe, it was staged for destruction at a salvage yard. I spoke with the crane operator who had been scheduled to break it up that afternoon. He agreed to hold off until I had time to speak with the yard foreman. After a few days of haggling and looking for a truck to haul this monster, a deal was struck and they even agreed to deliver. It is in pretty rough shape and missing some parts, but with luck, I hope to restore the lathe back to operation. My big worry is finding some major cracks or war page due to mishandling during the loading and unloading when scrapped.
I would like to locate any other similar Fitchburg lathes for parts or just to admire in operation. I am also looking for trade catalogs and parts lists for this lathe. I plan to do some research into the history and product line of Fitchburg Machine Works and would like to correspond with readers to share information or receive any advice on parts or restoration.