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1903 Cleveland Roadster project


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Hello, this is my first post about restoring a 1903 Cleveland. My name is Harm and I am married with Anna. We live in the northern part of the Netherlands and like pre WW1 cars. We own a Flanders20 of 1910, which we drive regularly. Anna and I like pre 1905 cars, but these where financially out of reach. But, in 2001 a friend called, and told us he saw an ad on the HCCA site: 

For Sale: 1903 Cleveland 1cyl; rear entrance touring. Fairly complete chassis with engine,trans steering column, pedals, firewall and Renault style hood. Has set of wire wheels and tires (not correct) engine is very clean and has good compression. Complete except for model t carb. Should start right up with a little gas and spark. It's one of two known to exist. Photos and measurements are available to build new wooden body.
 

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Not bad at all, long story short, we bought the Cleveland. Receiving a large crate with all the parts as shown in the pictures was an exciting experience. Sorting out what belonged to the Cleveland, and what not, took some (a lot of) time. Luckily, after some research, I contacted Mr. Roger Weiss, as he owns the only known 1903 Cleveland Rear Entrance Tonneau. He was a great source of information and help for us. Unfortunately  a few years ago we lost contact. In 2002 restoration started, first I needed wheels, wire wheels as came with the car are not correct. Originally the Cleveland was delivered with  Midgley Tubular Steel Wheels, nice, but not available. A friend advised us, to contact an Australian gentleman who was in the businesses of  rim manufacturing. This gentleman also made complete wheels. We ordered 4 wheels and were very happy with the quality. Restoration went on very slowly, and came to a grinding halt. This because Anna fell in love with a very very dilapidated old farm, so after giving up my resistance, we moved. Restoring the old farm took about 12 years. Anna and I did all the work our-self. So after finishing, I re-started the restoration of the Cleveland, but as it happened, my wife and I experienced some health issues. But we are both fine now, no health issues anymore.

At the first of June this year, Anna and I both retired, I am 66 now and Anna is a bit younger. So again I re-started the restoration of the Cleveland. In de next installments I will post more pictures of what already has been done, and what I am doing now. Sorry for my somewhat Dutch English, but feel free to comment.

Regards, Harm

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sloth
some spelling errors (see edit history)
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Twenty years ago and a thousand miles away at my old house, I got told of a Cleveland chassis owned in Texas or Oklahoma by a Mr. Mays I think.  He at one time had been a president of the Horseless Carriage Club.  At the time I even had the shipper of the company I worked for who had arranged to bring the chassis to me on the back of a load he was bringing in.  But for some reason I hesitated, my loss.  It may have been that there was only one surviving complete car which would have made the restoration difficult at best.    So I will cheer you on and I look forward to seeing photos of the progress you make.  I do wish you well.   Thank you for letting me know what became of her.  I'm sure she has a great home!

  

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@ Keizer31: thanks for your comment
@ Ben Popadak: I bought the Cleveland from Michael Paul of Napa Valley. And yes, it’s a long road to get this car restored.

 

First some specifications:
Wheel base: 6 feet. Standard tread.
Wheels 28”, tires 3”, clincher.
Engine: horizontal type, bore 4 ¾”, stroke 6”, horsepower 5 hp (my estimation related on the curved dash engine).
Transmission: Planetary, 2 forward and one reverse.
Steering: wheel, irreversible worm gear.
Brakes: double acting band brakes on the rear axle, operated by foot pedal, one double acting band brake on the transmission operated by hand lever.
Carburetor: float feed type, throttle control.
Tanks: located under the front bonnet, holding eight gallons of gasoline and six of water.
Colors: Running gear green, body red with green striping.
Upholstery: dark green leather.
Equipment: mudguards and tools
Price: $850 f.o.b. Chicago. (Would be $ 24,800.- for 2019 ; source: Google inflation calculator)
Its this first car sold by Rotschild & Company on credit.
As was stated in their advertisement: Our confidence in the Cleveland Automobile is evidenced by the fact that we sell them on the easiest of terms.

Small cash payment – Balance easy installments.

 

1125864691_1903ClevelandRearEnteranceTonneausmall.jpg.9299137132abcc530a25b2132537f0ba.jpg
Picture of the Cleveland Rear Entrance Tonneau

 

The roadster (my car) does not have the tonneau. But, as I have to build the body myself, I can decide to build the tonneau, we will see.
I started the restoration with a list of items belonging to this automobile and the condition. So here we go with the major items:
Chassis, looks ok, but some dimensions are  wrong and spring hangers not correct, missing radiator hanger plates. Action: correct dimensions and make new spring hangers etc.
Rear axle: Ok, but badly damaged differential case, missing equalizer gears (6). Action: repair differential case and have the gears manufactured.
Ball bearing cases: Ok, one missing felt ring retainer, needs new balls, felt rings and oilers.

Brakes rear axle: some parts are there but most parts are missing. Action: manufacture the missing parts.
Front axle: wrong. Action: find a correct one.

Steering gear: Ok, and in very good condition. Need new wood wheel. Action: make or buy one (model T??)

Wheels: wire wheels came with the car, nice condition but not correct. Action: have them made, I already did.
Engine Ok, in remarkable good condition, but bearings need new Babbit . Missing oilers. Action: pour Babbit and machine bearings, find oilers.

Planetary gear box: Ok, some gears are repaired but seem OK.

Planetary gear box controls: missing. Action: find out how the control mechanics were designed and manufacture a copy (as I have no idea about it, this will be a difficult one)
Carburetor: missing….. An model T carburetor was bolted to the engine. Action: find out what carburetor was original for this car.
Radiator: missing. Action: manufacture one (did it before)
Tanks: missing. Action: Manufacture the tanks (one gasoline and one water).
Water pump: Ok, excellent condition. Don't repair what is not broken....

Tomorrow I will post some pictures of what I have done till now.
Regards, Harm

Edited by Sloth
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Below are some pictures, taken in 2010, of the chassis as far as I got it restored. By then I stored it and went on with restoring the farm house. As can be seen, I did not completely reassemble it, no steering gear and without differential at the rear axle.

 

1734093348_Chassis2010frontview.jpg.3f04592d0a0d64e13c91545387569c4f.jpg

Chassis front/side view, July 2010

 

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Chassis rear view, July 2010 (wrong brake drums)

 

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Painted chassis, upside down on cart, October 2019

 

The next days will be spend on dis-assembling, cleaning and painting the springs. I don't look forward to it, nasty and dusty work.

Regards, Harm

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Harm,

  Are you familiar with the book, Golden Wheels by Richard Wager? The second edition was published in 1986 and it is readily available on-line. It describes the Cleveland auto scene and mentions all of the early makes. There is a section (page 111-112) on the Cleveland and an illustration is shown of the 1903 Cleveland roadster which seems to be your car. The illustration shows tiller steering on this model. Perhaps your car is slightly later as 1904 was the final production year and may have had wheel steering.

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Nice project!  I looked at it before the time that you bought it.  I am glad that the project is in good hands and that you have a plan to get the project together so you and your wife can enjoy it.

Al

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Luv2Wrench: thank you, pictures of the farm are below

paul55: thank you, yes I own a copy of the book. But the matter of Roadster, Toneau or Roadster Toneau is a bit ambiguous. Some years ago I purchased a copy of the Automobile review of September 10, 1904. In it is a review of the Cleveland Roadster Toneau. So here they used Roadster and Toneau together but in other advertisements separate. Furthermore, in the Cycle and Automobile Trade Journal of March 1904, page 86, it reads: "the Cleveland Roadster is sold with or without Toneau , and lists respectively at $750 and $ 850 in these two forms. This model is little changed from last year." As my Cleveland has engine number 55, I guess that it is build in the early months of 1903. In an article, in the Horseless Gazette of November / December 1991, featuring the Cleveland of Roger Weiss,  it is mentioned that "It is very doubtful that Cleveland built more than the first allotment of 100 cars". As I have a picture of the Cleveland Roadster with wheel steering (copy of an ad. of 1903), I doubt if they ever made a Cleveland Roadster or Toneau or Roadster Toneau with tiller steering.

Hursst: thank you, yes not much can be found about restoration of pre 1905 cars, I guess its a very small niche of the classic car movement.

Alsfarms: thanks. I am happy you did not buy the car, lucky me. I like your blog on the HCCA about the Locomobile very much.

 

Springtime in Autumn.

Last days I cleaned the springs. As I feared a nasty and dusty job. Boy, those things are heavy. But now they are in primer. When I finished, it was to dark to shoot some pictures, something for tomorrow.

As promised below are some pictures of our farm.

The farm was build in 1910, but the wood frame was build around 1720. In those days, when a farm was demolished, they took the frame very careful apart, repaired what was needed, and reused it for a new building. In those days a wooden frame was very expensive, they are quite complicated structures build of Oak, and where prefabricated  by skilled carpenters and erected on site. And believe me, those beams are really heavy. Our farm is partial thatched with reed (the stable), the house is thatched with ceramic roof tiles. Stable and house are under one roof.

 

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The farm as we bought it, year 2002

 

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Just a nice picture, winter January 2005

 

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Year 2005, Side wall and rear wall of stable demolished

 

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Year 2005, Beginning with the rebuilding of the rear wall, foundations are done.

 

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Year 2010, Anna busy demolishing the right wall of the house

 

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Year 2010, Front part of the house partially demolished

 

Tomorrow I will post some 2019 pictures of the farm.

Regards, Harm

 

 

 

Edited by Sloth (see edit history)
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Thanks for posting the pictures, I've always dreamed of having a farm with an old farmhouse.  I love the frame style with the thatched roofs. It reminds me of my visits to the Cotswolds in England as a teenager. 

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You mentioned that you have addressed and sorted out the front axle.  I am curious how your completed your front axle.  Did you simply update the existing axle or locate and purchase a different and more suitable axle?  Does you axle have the truss rod support under it?

Al

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Luv2Wrench, thanks, happy memories I guess.

Al, yes, restoring  the farm was a major undertaking. But we are very happy with the results, and as we live in a rural area, it is also  quite peaceful. As I wanted to show the farm as it is now, I planned to take some up to date pictures, but the weather is against me. The whole week it  rained and its grey, very depressing....

Regarding the front axle, when we bought it, it came with two front axles, one looks like a Ford Model N or early Buick, the other one a Hayes-Aperson (including all the steering tubes etc, but not the steering gear itself). The correct front axle I purchased about 10 years ago at a swap meet. Very dirty, but underneath a good axle. It does not have the truss rod support, I wonder why the truss rod was added, maybe the axle was not strong enough for heavier cars? Below two pictures of the axle.

 

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Things to do on the axle: make new bronze bushings, and put on the red striping.

 

Here is two pictures of the front axle of a Mitchell of 1904. I took the pictures last year at the start of London to Brighton run. The owner is a nice French gentleman, he told me some history of the car and allowed me to take some detailed pictures.

2087283827_Mitchellfrontaxleleftside.jpg.0bf3773b93b4887a983cafc43d0122a3.jpg

 

1875268719_Mitchellfrontaxlerightside.jpg.2dd13223e7bdcb2f1fbc4c24b0adbb8a.jpg

 

Regards, Harm

 

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Hello Harm,

I didn't know that the Cleveland and Mitchell used or shred the same type of front axle.  Good for you.  It looks like the Mitchell owner installed his own under the axle truss rod for additional strength?  How many cylinders is powering the Mitchell in the picture?   My axle is a bit more robust than yours.  Are you going to use steering wheel on your car or try to build back to the tiller device?  I plan to use a steering wheel on my project.  The only picture I have shows a wheel on the car.  You are doing a very nice job on your Cleveland.  Have you done anything yet with the actual engine?

Regards,

Alan

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Hello Al,

Mitchell an Cleveland also used the same rear axle and steering gear (see pictures). This Mitchell was the 2 cylinder 7 hp type, I forgot to ask what type of gear box it used.

Regarding my Cleveland, I use the steering gear I have. I am not very fond on tiller steering, to unstable for my liking. I did not work on the engine, just cleaning and taking some dimensions, I hope working on it in January next year.

 

1574379608_SteeringgearMitchell1.jpg.7c57a1f01a4afdc79027f847062532a7.jpg

Mitchell steering gear

 

1414055587_SteeringgearCleveland2.jpg.1ae2254f22219ea24accd7ea11ca4187.jpg

Cleveland steering gear

 

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Cleveland steering gear detail

 

Regards,

Harm

 

 

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The tension member on the underside of the axle is to reduce bending. The axle was designed for strength (i.e. it is enough to not break) rather than stiffness (i.e. to control bending deflection). All members in bending must deform to mobilise their strength.

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Hello Spinneyhill,

If I get the picture you are trying to paint, they are simply building a small "truss" with the addition of the spreader bar under the axle.  It is easy to see that they are trying to minimize deflection/bending at the outside edge of each front spring in this case.

Al

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Hello Spinneyhill, thanks,  I get the picture, indeed the axle is not very stiff.

Hello Al, the end stops are the end of the worm gear rotation left / right, but no adjustable stops.

 

I promised a 2019  picture of the farm as it is today.

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Some history explained:

As you can see, there is a front door without a path leading to it. Most older farms in this part of the Netherlands have this kind of front door, which can not be opened from the outside (no key hole nor door handle). This door provides the only entrance from the outside to the living quarters. The reason is an ancient custom. This door will be used 2 times in the life of the owner of the farm. First time when he marries. It is customary for the farmer/owner to enter the farm with his bride through this door, then the door is locked. The key goes in the strong box,  only comes out of the strong box to unlock the door, when the farmer/owner dies. Then, the coffin with his body will be carried from inside to outside through this door. Again the door will be locked after the coffin passed. As you can see there is no path leading to this door. So  the devil and his evil lot, can not find the entrance to the living quarters of the farm, and thus, they can not bring harm to the farmer and his family or to the soul of the deceased. Anna and I thought it would be good and proper to re install this door, hopefully it will do us a lot of good.... Another tradition regarding this door; when the farmer and his bride walked through this door, the neighbors presented the farmer with 6 nice large oak planks. So when the farmer dies, there is always enough timber to make a coffin, even when he fell in poor circumstances.

Regards,

Harm

 

 

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Hello Luv2Wrench, thanks for your comment. I must admit I would not  do this again...

 

How we made  the radiator for our Cleveland.

A few years ago, I asked a professional radiator company, what the radiator for the Cleveland would cost me, I gave him all the dimensions. Including all the tooling he had to make, a rough estimate: it would cost me $ 7.500,- , but that could be more if he got my order, then he would make a more precise calculation of the cost. I thought this was a bit steep, and that it would not go well with Anna (also not with me). And right I was…. So  I decided to build one myself. It proved not very difficult, but oh boy, it is really a lot of tedious work.
Specifications of the radiator: length of tubes 28”. Number of tubes 12. Diameter of tubes 5/8”.  I calculated that I would need between 1000 and 1100 cooling fins. These fins are made of brass sheet of 0.02”.

 

 

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CRS plate with 2"hole for blanks punching

 

First I made a punch for the blanks, these where needed for forming the fins. The punch is of a hardened steel hole punch of 2” I bought it at a tool shop, I only used the upper part. The lower part with the 2” hole I made of CRS, the punch and hole are a close fit. 

1486190852_Punchforblanks.jpg.efe82426719292de1ee817ed4392e3ea.jpg

Punch for the 2"blanks

 

Next I made another CRS plate with a small 2” cavity turned in it, and a hole in the middle of 5/8”+ 2 times 0.02”.

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Flare punch

First Anna and I punched the blanks, then punched the flared 5/8” holes. The punch for this, has a small pyramidal  top, and is made of tool steel. The pyramidal top makes a hole with 4 flares. These flares are the distance holders when putting the fins on the tubes.

 

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Bucket with flared blanks

 

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Wave forming mold (two identical pieces)

Then I made the 2  molds (dies or ??, don't know what the correct term is), for forming the waves in the blanks.

 

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The two presses, left eccentric press, right workshop press

As I have two presses, an ordinary workshop press of 3 tons, and an small eccentric ‘elbow steam’ press of 12 tons, pressing the fins was not that difficult. After 4 days, with a lot of help of Anna, we ended up with a bucket full of fins.

 

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First lot of fins

Putting the fins on the tubes was not so easy, as the flares on the fins proved to be quite stiff, I guess the brass got hardened during the work process. But on the end I ended up with 12 nice finned tubes. The U pieces I bought at an air conditioning equipment supply shop. Making some fins with slightly larger holes, I was able to put some fins on the U pieces. Soldering the whole lot together was rather easy. I used a large roof torch for it. For mounting the radiator on the Cleveland, I made small tubular distance pieces and 3/8” rods 4 pieces, threaded on the ends. The finished radiator is quite heavy, more than I thought. What is left, is the soldering of the ends for the water tubes to the engine and the water tank. Total cost (including the CRS and punch, $400,- copper sheet is rather expensive. So this is how we did it.

 

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Left side

 

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Right side

 

 

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The result

 

 

1983208935_RadiatorvooraandeCleveland.jpg.2cf667a60d9ae771818d698dbfa818f0.jpg

 

As it 'hangs" on the Cleveland

 

Regards,

Harm

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sloth
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10 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

What is CRS? I assume it's a material but I'm not familiar with it.

 

Ah... Cold Rolled Steel. I've never heard it called that before.

I suffer from CRS but I don’t think it’s what Harm is talking about! 😃

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I know exactly what Chistech is speaking about regarding the term "CRS".  I suffer from the same issue.  Harm,  did you heat treat the CRS after boring the hole used for punching out the raw copper coins?  I may have some specific questions regarding your set-up for stamping the coins.  Did you solder each coin to the parent copper tube?  Keep up the good work.

Al

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Dear gentlemen, thank you for your friendly and encouraging comments. Indeed, I think with the machines I have I can replicate and replace all the parts that are needed for such an veteran car. No CNC or other complicated machines are needed, nor useful (horrific setup times). Below are some pictures of the machines I own. Sorry for the mess, it looks like a pig pen. The problem is, the shop is just to small.... My wife tells me I have to many machines.... That not true, I still need some. A planer, a surface grinder... better not to think about it.

 

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The shop as it was in 2009, nice, clean, reasonably organized and enough room.

 

Below, as it is now, more machines and a not clean and not so organized anymore. But I am working on it. Because its very irritating, searching for tools you are sure that you have them, but do not know where. Maybe old age?

 

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Drill press Rong Fu and drill / mill also Rong Fu. Drill press OK, drill / mill not so. Does not hold center when adjusting the head (round column).

 

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Hydraulic press 15 ton , build it myself about 30 years ago. Lathe TOS, a 1951 Czech workhorse, 10 hp, has all the accessories you will ever need. Still holds dimension under heavy load.  Heavy lathe, 5500 Lbs. Got the lathe for a song and a dance, it is much to large and heavy for most hobbyists, the previous owner did not want to see it scrapped, he bought it new in 1951.

 

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Small Taiwanese lathe, it is a good lathe for turning small parts. Band saw, Chinese, I call it a cursing generator.... gave me lots of trouble. New electric motor, new bearings and so on, and still not good.

 

1073780369_Shapersmall.jpg.870dff273ff75cd5c68a7b9329412bfa.jpg

Shaper, Cincinati build at Lyon France, bought it 10 years ago for $100,-, use it very often for splines (internal and external). Use it also for removing the hard black layer of flat hot rolled steel. Found an old book, in which is described how to generate gears with a shaper. One of these days I will try to fabricate the set-up as described in this book, just curious how it can be done. A few month ago, I bought an original unmolested shaper vice, oh boy, is that thing heavy 90 lbs.

 

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Last but not least, my Frankenmill. I am very fond of it. Its an Elliott U0 (smallest of the U series) horizontal mill, but still substantial heavy. I put an Bridgeport M head on the ram. Its a lovely combination. The M head can be set left / right without to much effort. Moving the ram forward and back is very handy for larger parts. A Bridgeport J head would be much to heavy, I guess I could not manage it. A friend has a original, nearly new J head Bridgeport, tramming the head is quite a job. Last week the on/off switch on the M head gave up the ghost, replacement is ordered. I use the horizontal mode quite often, its also reasonably easy to mill gears with it.

 

Tucked between the small lathe and the wall is a Clarkson tool grinder, don't use it very much. For sharpening mills, to get the set-up right,  is time consuming and complicated. Furthermore I have some simple (cheap) wood working machines, mostly second hand, but in reasonably good condition.

Regards,

Harm

 

Edited by Sloth
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Wonderful shop, thanks for giving us a tour.  Tell your Wife we all agree with you that there's still a few substantial pieces to be added and then just some tweaking. ;)
I do like what you did with the mill, I think a DIY universal is a big win for smaller shops.  You really do need a horizontal and you really do need a vertical, with that you have both but with little to no compromise.  Job well done.

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Hello Luv2Wrench,

Thanks for your encouragement, ah yes, talking to my wife about the shop mmm, I will see....🙄.

The Frankenmill is really a handy machine, the sturdiness of the Elliott horizontal and the flexibility of the Bridgeport head. The only addition I wish for, is a digital read out.

Regards,

Harm

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I wish I could keep my shop shop neat. Yes, you need a surface grinder. If you were just down the road I'd give you one of mine. I have a planer too but I've yet to put the motor back on it since we moved it. I agree, you are well equipped to bring your car back to life.

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Good for you Harm,  You can never have too much equipment!  (even if some of it only gets used infrequently).  I finally have given up on my small shop and am in the middle of a 60' x 60' shop extension that will allow for farm equipment storage, automobile storage and a 20' x 60' machine shop.  You must have a shop bay that you dedicate to your car projects?  How much snow and serious cold weather to you have in your area?  Like you I have a small lathe (9" South Bend) and a bigger brute, a 16" Lodge and Shipley from 1926.  Fortunately the previous owner paid the price to have the original electric motor rewound from 3 phase to single phase so I do not need a phase converter to run it.  (I do not have access to three phase where I live).

Al

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11 hours ago, Sloth said:

Shaper, Cincinati build at Lyon France, bought it 10 years ago for $100,-, use it very often for splines (internal and external). Use it also for removing the hard black layer of flat hot rolled steel. Found an old book, in which is described how to generate gears with a shaper. One of these days I will try to fabricate the set-up as described in this book, just curious how it can be done.

 

What a great workshop. I was very interested to read about using a shaper for splines. Having only recently started to 'get into' machining I did not realise you could use a shaper for that. I am looking forward to reading and seeing your future posts.

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@ Mike Macartney: good morning sir. Thank you for the compliment. The workshop  'now a days' is a necessity, in my part of the Netherlands there are not many small engineering companies left willing to take on small repair and fabrication jobs . Most of the companies have CNC machines, if they are willing to take on a small job, they take a lot of money just for the set up one of those machines. They are very good for mass production of parts, but not for single parts. And an other reason, I just like machine work.... In my working days I was the head of a research and development department, focused on aerospace electronics and cooling equipment for satellites. I loved it very much, but just working night and day, was not good for my well being. So keeping the stress at bay, Anna told me to look for for a hobby.  I needed to do something totally different. So 35 years ago Anna and I decided to restore a Ford model A, 1931 roadster. We had a lot of fun with it (we have to restore it again), but we grew older and more and more liked  pre 1914 cars. So we focus now on the "older" cars.

In your avatar I see a very nice car, can you tell me what kind of car it is?

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I wish I had an enclosed shop area for my machinery as my lathe, drill press, and vertical mill are along one wall of my shop so I cover them with big plastic bags to protect them from everything else going on in the garage. If I do woodwork, those tools get rolled out from a corner and set up for the job. Possibly, one day, I’ll do some planning and try to set the shop up differently. I do all different kinds of work in the garage and I do have a plan to set half of it up more as a man-cave garage with tiled floor, nice painted walls, finished ceiling, and really good lighting. Then the Olds and 31’ Chevy will have a nice home. I already have a nice office so there’s room for a couch, tv, fridge, and microwave. Ah, someday!

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