So yesterday I was up in a tree I am felling for and with my step-dad (I keep the wood) when he asked if I had done any turning. I said no because I don’t have a lathe, but that I would like one. He looked up at me and asked if I’d like one.
Well I know he has a workshop, but it is mostly for metal working and his lathe is a large metal lathe, so I thought he was kidding. Anyway, after we cleaned our mess up at the end of the work day, he took me to his open-sided store area under the garage and showed me what looked like a Shopsmith, but there was no name plate I could see. Further back in the store was a second one, but this one has the Shopsmith logo on the control dial. He thought at least one of them still had a working motor, so he plugged one in and switched it on. I was gobsmacked when the motor sprang to life. The motor sounded smooth – no scraping or rattling, no wheezing or staining – the bearings sound like new and the main spindle turns easily by hand as if it had been recently overhauled and lubricated.
He’d picked them both up for a song a few years ago with the idea of building one good machine out of two, but never got around to it. Since then the machines have been sitting in a fairly exposed area deteriorating further. He doesn’t think he’ll get to restoring and using them, so he reckons someone who will respect and use them well should have them for free.
I’ll probably collect the machines some time this month and will blog the restoration process and the first project. I know there will be a ton of work to do as these machines look like they belong on a scrap heap, but I’m sure it will be an interesting and rewarding journey. Like my wife said, felling a tree is hard work but the pay is good.
-- I may be schizophrenic, but at least I have each other.