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.