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32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster


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Knowing Ted,  following the restoration, and seeing the Oldsmobile in person, it is one of the nicest restored cars around. I guess it is what a teacher told me once about giving a grade, " God gets  "100", the Teacher gets a "99",  and you get a "98".

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Knowing Ted,  following the restoration, and seeing the Oldsmobile in person, it is one of the nicest restored cars around. I guess it is what a teacher told me once about giving a grade, " God gets  "100", the Teacher gets a "99",  and you get a "98". Ted, far as I am concerned, your Olds will always be top in it's Class.

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Chris, I am looking at /for crank hole covers for a 31 Olds. We have an epoxy pattern to copy. Have you made these from steel? Do you have any extras left? Thanks,  Rob

PS we showed the 31 Olds Coupe at Getysburg, wish I had been able to visit with you.

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On 1/3/2021 at 10:05 AM, vintchry said:

Chris, I am looking at /for crank hole covers for a 31 Olds. We have an epoxy pattern to copy. Have you made these from steel? Do you have any extras left? Thanks,  Rob

PS we showed the 31 Olds Coupe at Getysburg, wish I had been able to visit with you.

Hi Rob, you were with Wally correct? If you have a pattern that could be sand cast I have a guy who could do that and simply put a 1/4-20 carriage bolt in the back. My own is a copy and instead of the original metal spring clip mine has a bolt with a washer and nut that holds it in place. I ended up making a tube nut with a round rod T handle to tighten or loosen it if needed. It would be cast metal and would need polishing and some filling. His fee is very fair and turnaround fairly quick. I would have a few made up as there are still some guys looking for them. Wally needs three if I remember right. My name is actually Ted by the way, not Chris but my avatar name confuses a lot of people. I was a technician for a company called chiswick hence chis-tech.

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Ted, Yes I was with Wally. Were these originally stamped steel or cast? Yes he needs 3 and knows a couple of others looking for the same. We might as well coordinate our efforts. I very much enjoyed your series and restoration. Good work and a beautiful result. Rob

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Hi Rob,

thanks for the compliments. I believe the originals were stamped metal with a simple, two eared, spring steel keeper that held the cover in place by pushing it in. From what I was told they weren’t that secure and that’s why many were lost. I knew that there were no originals available so I never bothered researching them in depth but simply looked for a replacement. What’s strange is while the shape of the cover is square, and the retaining hole round, even the factory stone guard had a round hole in it. The square is larger than the hole in the guard and basically it’s impossible to remove through the stone guard if you need to use the crank. This makes me believe that many just took their covers off and didn’t bother with them. Back when these were daily drivers, leaving them out was more of a convenience for the owner. 
      I can do some further research with those who would know for sure and let you know. I actually have a set of damaged radiator shutters with the bottom section in perfect shape and thought of cutting out a section to make a more original style cover. Also thought I could use a piece to have some cast up. They would also be fine cast in aluminum and not as heavy as cast steel. My repo might actually be aluminum. It is a casting with a 1/4-20x2” bolt in the back. Not sure if I have a picture of it but if I do, I’ll post it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Not Olds related but hobby related. I got offered this 7’ south bend lathe for $200. It had been up and running until 6 months ago in a yarn mill in central falls RI. The mill was sold for condos and the lathe had to go. It was a job getting it on the truck and home but we did. It seems like it weighs as much as a Volkswagen!  I’ve been disassembling it, cleaning it, and painting it up. I have virtually no tooling unfortunately so now it’s time to start trying to buy some stuff. It came with a 3 jaw, 4 jaw, steady rest, two tool posts, and a coolant tank w/pump. I don’t even know what size tooling it needs. If anyone wants to pipe in and let me know that would be great. Would like to get a collet set up if possible.

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I believe that takes 5C collets, something you will need, and that SB used an odd spindle taper so you'll have find one of their adapters (I could be wrong about that). That shouldn't be hard since they are about the most common lathe out there. You might consider a Quick Change tool post but don't believe the hype...I don't have one and have no need for it since virtually all the work we do on old cars is "one off". The QC tool posts are great for production but, in our context, much less useful. You also want to look at the bearings and the speeds...does it have plain bearings? If so, the top end speed is limited. It is very common for people to run them too fast and ruin the bearings...If plain bearings you are probably limited to HSS tooling. I've never found that to be a burden - it's much cheaper, easier to sharpen, easier to grind up special bits etc... and it's fine for all but the hardest steels - stuff we are very unlikely to encounter in old car work.

 

I'd go to the Practical Machinist web site and look up the South Bend sub-forum...at least you'll find some folks with SB experience. I've never had one so my take on this is general rather than specific.

 

That was an excellent price...well worth it even without the tooling.

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Learned more about my lathe over the last couple days. It seems South Bend kept excellent records and I should be able to find out the day my lathe was ordered, who ordered it, what options were ordered, and the day it was delivered. Looking at the generic SB date line by serial numbers my lathe was most likely made in 43’-44’ putting it right around 77-78 years old. It was originally built as a production turret lathe with a 6 hole powered turret, slotted cross slide, coolant pump system, and lever type collet system. Some were also ordered with conventional cross slide and tool post holders as mine has. Unfortunately, the lathe and mill owner had sold his building and the new owners were having a crew clean everything out. It turns out before he let them know not to clean out the machine shop area, they threw out two cabinets full of tooling and most likely the original parts from the lathe like the turret and collet system. 
     I continued clean and paint the lathe up. I’ve. Got most of the top side done and now need to scrape and paint the lower cabinet. I tightened up the lead screw end nuts that had loosened and allowed about a 1/4” of end play!!!!! The end play is now gone. I also repaired the motor lifting link that was missing a 3/4” pin which allows the handle to lift the motor so the flat belt can be changed on the arbors. I wired in a new cord cap and made up a 15’, 4 wire extension cord so I can plug it into my phase converter which I also use for my vertical mill. I actually lucked out and got the rotation correct the first time and it fired up nicely. It runs extremely well and it looks like I did well on my purchase. 

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Is there a tail stock? If it had a turret, it may not have had one. Fortunately, you should be able to find one but when you do be sure to check the alignment with the head stock. As much as we think mass production has been perfected, that isn't the case with machine tools where really fine adjustments have to be made. It's very likely the proper tail stock (or the turret fixture) would have been scraped or ground to match the head stock and one from a different machine will not be absolutely identical. You're lucky in that they made a turret lathe out of a regular machine. Most turret lathes don't have a lead screw and can't be used for single point threading.

 

Oh...and when it comes to that, I have a MT3 test bar you can use.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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It has a tail stock Joe. I am going to purchase the lathe card for my serial number from Grizzly. That should tell me a lot more about how it was originally optioned out. I was told today it was made in 1943. I got my two hand wheels back from polishing and put them on. Turned a pin for a packaging machine for a customer today to give it a test. Came out good.

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I think those acme thread nuts for your neighbor are at the root of my "Great White" gear adventure...they left me with the feeling I could make almost anything if I was patient enough.

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5 hours ago, John S. said:

Ted, I see the Olds Cutlass is still in primer!

Yes, but rebuilt motor installed, custom 9” Ford for Olds rear installed, and just this weekend, a built racing turbo 400. Of course I helped my brother with all that so that why I can’t get my own stuff done. He does most of it actually with adding the extra hand when he needs it. It should be going to paint soon. The pickup cab came back this Sunday so once my garage is cleared out and clean, I’ll be going strong on that.

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Moved the lathe into its new position in front of one of my windows. Can’t believe how much it dwarfs my little Logan. My neighbor polished up the tail stock spindle which now looks like it’s chrome. He still has to polish the tail stock hand wheel then I’ll paint the spokes black to match the other hand wheels. Ran my extension power cord behind my big bench and over to the back of my vertical mill and my phase converter. It’s just about ready to rock. Found a guy on FB marketplace who has a big building full of old lathe parts and he believes he might have a collet closer for my lathe. Keeping my fingers crossed. For $200, some spray paint, and some elbow grease, I ended up with a pretty nice machine.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Great purchase! This size of lathe is probably the most usefull in doing most all around antique car work. While working in machine shops years ago most our machines had a dedicated set of tooling accessories and fixtures for that machine. After the industries dissolved in our Western PA. areas many of industrial sales sold off equipment for scrap by the ton.

 My South Bend Heavy 10"X36" is at its limit on many of my Buick projects. My lathe was bought from California University of PA. when they closed down the old Industrial Arts machine shop. I believe mine is from 1950. I have had it since 1980.

I did have an 11"X36" pedal drive SB from 1917. Unfortunately the way it was retrofitted with an 1 HP electric motor and 1930s Chevy truck transmission it probably took up as much space as yours.

Love those South Bends!

 Turning new water pump shaft for my 1925 Buick.

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I do have a 1910 W.F.&J. Barnes 13"X48" that I can do some bigger things. Flat belt, overhead line shaft and all.

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The 1 HP. 110 year old Century motor gave up its windings so I have to replace it.

Edited by dibarlaw (see edit history)
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