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Bringing the Engine Lathe Back to Life!

Click on each picture for a closer look!
One of the major artefacts remaining in the machine shop area of the roundhouse is a large engine lathe as show in the pictures above located near the west windows of the shop. The "Wisegeek" website begins to answer the question of "What is an engine lathe?" as follows:

"An engine lathe is a horizontally shaped piece of machinery that is most often used to turn metal manually. By turning the metal and using special cutting tools, the engine lathe is capable of forming the metal into specific shapes. As its name implies, the engine lathe is often used to create metal pieces for use in an engine, whether it be for an automobile, a tractor, a boat, or any other motorized vehicle or machine ......" - Click Here to learn more!
Yesterday, a TRHA weekend work team of 7 volunteers appeared. Given the numbers, several team members were deployed to clean up the engine lathe to see if it could be brought back to life. They vacuumed away a great deal of dusty crud and washed away dirt with solvent-soaked rags. After that an hour of scraping away rust from the bed-ways saw the carriage and tailstock moving freely on fresh oil. A little investigation into the old 550v supply wiring revealed that they could indeed run a temporary feed for test purposes so they did.
As you can see in the picture at the upper right, the chuck (the round part that is used to hold the work being turned) is a blur suggesting that the team did get it to run. More conclusive evidence can be found in the video below. Click on the arrow to see the action.

Story by Russ Milland; Pictures by Lance Gleich; Video by Michael Guy

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