Benchmaster MV-1 Restore

One of the treacherous effects of Jo’s forced down time, was that I was out of work for almost 10 days. I was really just a member of a larger team that help the KU’s manage without Jo for a few weeks. That being said, once the kids were in bed, the kitchen was cleaned, and the laundry was folded, I would sneak down to the shop and work on the MV-1. Here are some photos of what it looked like when I got started.  I’m pretty sure I’ve noted before that I’m not a machinist, or really know anything about tool restoration. But I dove into cleaning up this machine, since my total investment was $0 to this point, what did I have to lose?

A few highlights of the work.

  • I completely disassembled the machine and de-greased it. As far as I can tell, it  was made in the late 50’s to early 60’s…and hadn’t been touched in a long time.
  • There was a lot of rust on the bed, dials, and handles. So I soaked everything in vinegar…which is my preferred way of removing rust. I know that there are better chemicals and processes for this, but I have kids and dogs. So the fact I’m just using pickle juice is a plus.
  • I spun the handles on the lathe to clean them up and polish them. Kind of sketchy, but total worth it.
  • I painted it with spray hammed paint. It worked well, but a few things: It’s a pain in the ass to mask off everything. I’m concerned about the hardness of the finish. I’m not sure how well it will hold up to over time. It’s because of these things that I’m using good old oil based enamel and a brush on the lathe. It seems to be working very well.
  • For the base , I’m reusing an old Delta Uni-Saw that was my grandfather’s. It gave up the smoke years ago, but I could never seem to get rid of it do to sentimental reasons. Now it’s back in use and working really well.
  • This mill can is with the original Drum switch. And for the life of me, I could not figure out how to wire it up to my new 1hp motor. So I bought a paddle switch and it seem to be working just fine. I’ve relocated the switch to the front of the machine. I don’t like reaching behind a machine to turn it off.
  • I’ve been contemplating tooling, it came with some, but I’ve got plans. But that’s going to be another post.

My total investment so far is about $20 for the paint and the switch. And time, lots and lots of my time.


Sheldon 10″ Lathe Teardown 

I have very little free time, which I suppose is pretty typical for someone in my stage of life. The thing is, much like Jo and her fast crafting™ I tend to just rush into things when I have 30 minutes between basketball games and birthday parties. So a few nights ago, when I should have been in bed, I started disassembling my lathe. And instead of going slowly and methodically, I noticed it was rounding mid-night and through it into high gear. when the dust settled I have my lathe broken-down into its main  components.  I came back the next day with a handful of zip lock bags and sorted everything. I’m not a monster.

My next steps

  • Teardown the tail stock – I like to start projects with the  small stuff, kind of dipping my toe into the water. Plus once I get the first small piece cleaned up, I get so excited that I jump into the rest of the project full speed.
  • Teardown the cross slide and apron – There isn’t really anything that wrong with them, but they need to be de-greaed and painted. And I need to get them off the ways.
  • Paint the bed – This is a big one. I’m going to repaint the bed, and then work on each piece, building off the bed. I think this is my best bet of getting everything back and running smoothly. I’m only going to tear into one piece at a time. And only move on once its been installed back on the bed.


Benchmaster MV-1 Mill

I’ve assembled the Benchmaster MV-1 Mill. Johanna got this tool for me for me back in November, but I have been focusing on other project in the shop and hadn’t gotten to it yet. Its sat in a big pile on the floor of the last two months.








I have the table resting on the mill in these shots, as I needed to do some adjusting with the set screws. You can also see that I’ve got a 1hp motor attached hooked up. I don’t know much about this motor, its been kicking around the shop for the last few years. It seems to work well for this setup.

Digging through the pill of tools that Johanna got me, I’ve sorted the mill and lathe tooling. Here are a few other things that I think belong to the mill.





Sheldon 10″ Lathe

I got the lathe setup and running. I ended up building a cart for it, so I could move it around the shop. Its a bit rough, after getting it setup, its pretty clear that this tool needs some TLC. I’ve started a list of things that I’m going to try and do to this lathe.

  • Clean and degreased – I’m planning on scraping off almost 80 years of grease and grim that’s completely coving this tool.
  • Paint – If I’m going to clean it, I might as well paint it.
  • Motor – Not sure whats going on with the motor, but when I switch it on, it just hums. So I have to spin the fly wheel by hand to get it started. Once its going, it runs fine. But its a little sketchy putting my hand that close to moving parts.
  • Drive belt slips – Any type of roughing cut stalls the spindle. The belt is leather, and looks like its original.
  • Change gear – I’ve got some gears, I need to dive into them and see what I’m missing and find replacements
  • Powerfeed – Only works in reverse, which is nice for me, since I’m left handed. But forward would be nice as well.

New Tools!

Jo came through in a big way today.  She was browsing Next Door, and found a posting for a free lathe. She jumped on it and I picked it up the next morning. When I got there I found out that it was more then a lathe. This guy was also giving away a mill and pantograph. Along with tooling and some different work holding fixtures.

Along with the machines, he also gave me two boxes of tooling, a mill clamp, rotary table and tail stock, and an X,Y drill press table.

When the dust cleared, and I got everything unpacked and sorted the final list came to this:

  • Sheldon 10″ lathe, 24″ between centers.
    • Quick change tool post
    • 5 QC tool holders
    • 2 lanter style tool holders
    • a few pounds of High Speed Steel
    • 3 jaw chuck with key
    • 4 jaw check with key
    • small and large dogs with back plate
    • shop made steady rest
    • shop made follower
    • A mix match of gears for the power feed.
    • 1/2 hp OG motor (forward and reverse) working.
  • Bench Master MV-1  Vertical Mill
    • Bench Master 6″ rotary table and tail stock
    • Bench Master Machine vice
    • 1/2 hp OG motor (forward and reverse)  with OG Drum switch
    • 2 MT2 collets
    • 4 3TA collets
    • A hand full of MT2 end mills
  • Scripta Engraver Pantograph
    • I don’t know much about this machine, honestly I had never even heard of a Pantograph until I unloaded this machine and googled it. I am looking forward to making some dials.

She’s 40!

This post if a few days late, kind of like everything on this blog. This last week was a big one for the KU’s. We had our ninth wedding anniversary and Johanna turned 40! I’m pretty much going only going to sleep this upcoming week.

Cole inspecting the spread at Jo’s Party.

Spring on Ridgewood

A lot of people are very excited about how warm are dry our spring has been here in Portland this year. As someone who has lived my entire life in the Pacific North West, I know what a dry spring mean. A dry summer. Regardless, I will say that our garden has been blowing up over the last month, so there


Photos of Pop

My dad was a lot of diffrent things to a lot of different poeple. I wanted to make a place were we could share photo’s of him, and share our memory’s of him. I’ve made a Filckr Group called Photo’s of John Ullman”.  If you have photo’s of my dad it would be great if you could share them with us.