Hendy Lathe Assembly: Part 1

In my last Hendey post I’d finally reached the point where I’d taken the lathe completely apart with the exception of the tail stock.  Now comes the repetitive task of cleaning and painting.

The handles, knobs, and dials were originally polished steel or brass.  I cleaned them up with a Dremel and buffing wheel.  One of the handles below has had its pin replaced with a bolt and nut.  Once I get the lathe up and running I’ll fix this.


I picked up a parts washer off of Craigslist and it has been great for cleaning the smaller parts.  The parts were tossed in and left overnight.  After they’d dried, the grease was converted to a chalky gray substance that was easier to remove than trying to wipe off all the grease.  I used a variety of wire brushes for cleaning.  Where I could, I used a wire cup on an angle grinder.  Any spots I couldn’t reach with the grinder were cleaned using a 3/4″ wire brush on a pneumatic die grinder and if needed a wire wheel on the Dremel.  I ordered a large lot of wire wheels for my Dremel off of eBay for much less than you find them in the store.  They seem to shed a little more than the name brand ones but at the cost I was ok with it.  Below is a picture of the compound in the middle of being cleaned with the wire cup.  It works well and is fast.


Once the parts were cleaned, I wiped them down with paint thinner until the rag didn’t pick up any dirt (or close to it). Next, most of the parts were primed but some of the gears were left bare and then painted.   I hand painted some parts but spray painted what I could.  The brackets could be easily masked but the gears were easier to hand paint.


The body casting of the lathe is held on to the intermediate legs by six bolts.  With them removed, the casting can be separated for cleaning.  I tried pressure washing it but it wasn’t very effective.  After a bit of time with the grinders I was able to get it ready to paint.  No more straps here.  The lifting setup has a significantly higher working load limit than the engine crane.


The main legs and pan were cleaned and primed with self etching primer.


The pan required a little bit of masking off with tape.

H65The body casting required significantly more masking.


For the most part I didn’t worry about filling imperfections.  I don’t mind mold texture on the castings or the occasional flaws.  It is a tool not a Corvette.  That being said, it looked like someone had taken a grinding wheel to the outer gearbox cover.  So, I used a little filler here and there.  I should mention that I used some dental picks in cleaning as well.  They’re great for scraping crud out if tight corners.  I got a large amount of them from my father in law.  Check to see if your dentist is tossing some out and you may luck out.


The brass plate with the gear chart on it was held on with brass nails that had been peened over.  I drilled them out to remove the plate.


Here’s the completed compound.  I polished up the dial and handle and adjusted it as best I could.


The apron has a bunch of parts but most of them don’t require paint.  I painted the inside of the apron because it was there.  I doubt anyone would notice if they saw the machine.


For the most part the apron didn’t have any issues.  The first was that someone had replaced the set screw on the half nut lever with a bolt that they ground flush.  I drilled it out and taped it for a 1/4″ set screw.  The second issue was a pain.  Show below is the longitudinal feed mechanism.  The shaft on the bottom goes inside of the assembly with the gears.  The large wheel fits on the assembly and a knob screws onto the end of the shaft on the bottom.  Tightening the knob causes the carriage to be driven longitudinally by the lead screw.  In the past someone had hit the hand wheel bending the entire thing.  The end of the hollow shaft was egg shaped which required a little bit of hammering and drilling to fix.  The shaft for the knob required a little filing, polishing, and numerous test fits to correct.  Finally, the knob tightened and loosened with a light constant drag.  H71

I discovered that modeling clay can be used to cover small holes and the Gits oil cups.  It hardens after a day and pops off cleanly.  I used if several times to help mask off the head stock.H72

The legs and pan were primed and hand painted by brush separately before being reassembled.  I primed the body casting and then dropped it back on the stand as it held it well for painting.  H73

More later!

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