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Thread: PM 90 restoration complete!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Western Maryland
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    5,548

    PM 90 restoration complete!

    The familiar melody of my driveway alarm chimed. I gazed up at a brown van approaching from a distance. As it neared, a recognizable emblem on the side shone its large letters in a shield…UPS. The vehicle seemingly glowed. It held something better than gold, diamonds, or money. The brown van, sent from heaven itself, carried cargo that had my heart racing. A young man emerged from the truck’s gaping starred orifice, struggling with a box that weighed more than half of his medium frame. Glad to see me anxiously waiting by his hood, he warned me about the package’s heft. It could have weights 3 times its 88 lb mass, and my enthusiasm and adrenaline still would have powered me through the transfer from him to me, and to my awaiting tailgate. At last, my prize, the eagerly anticipated whip cream to my sundae had arrived. I wouldn’t sleep until it was all installed. But I had chores that needed tending. It would have to wait…Later that evening, I had a date with a box and an exacto knife...

    Ok, enough of the sappiness. As many of you know, I got a Powermatic PM90 some months back. In good shape other than a desperate need for a paint job. But since I can never let well enough alone, it got a heck of a lot more than that.

    I upgraded the 1 hp 3 ph motor to a 2 hp 3 ph motor. I got a VFD. Put a digital tack on it. Got a potentiometer and FW-REV switch. Took it all apart, sand blasted it, primed all the parts, and painted them. But the one thing that this lathe lacked (to keep up with modern lathes) was more than a 12 swing. So, I got it in my head that I needed risers. Hence, my search began. I looked far and wide for them. PM did make them some years ago. They were what made a PM90 into a PM91. I called everyone from PM to PM dealers to sellers of old PM machines and parts to posting on forums to Ebay looking for a set of these elusive risers…everything I could think of. Finally, I got a hold of Jeff Nicol…our resident SMC tool rest and steady rest maker. I posed the question of risers to him and I could hear the gears grinding. He was kind enough to take on the job. Of course, the risers wouldn’t be the only thing I would need. The stock banjo would be too small. It wouldn’t extend far enough over the ways to reach the outside of my new blank sizes. So, that was another project for him. And while I was at it, well, tool rests were in order, so I had him make 4 of those. Oh yeah, and while he was making the riser for the tailstock, instead of just getting a longer bolt to clamp it down, Jeff made a cam lock for the riser, and the riser is bolted to the tailstock. This stuff turned out so sweet, I'm not only in complete awe, but I owe him SO much more that the money I sent him and the redundant thank you's I've thrown at him. He not only is a master, but he's kind and a great guy.

    A challenge that I faced with this raising, was that the belt cover would no longer fit. I took the cover (cast iron) to a local shop to see what they could do to “lengthen” it. To make a long story short, they could do it, but it would cost at least $200. Nope. I have a better solution. I made one out of wood. Yup, it’s wood and you practically can’t even tell.

    So with the risers, I’ve ended up with an 18” swing, 2 hp, variable speed (both manual and electronic), and digital tachometer (which ALL the new big lathes have but NO ONE seems to use…). I thought about going 20” instead of 18” but wasn’t comfortable with it for some reason.

    Here are some pics. The first is a before pic, the rest of the restoration. And one close up of the new banjo. Thanks, yet again Jeff for all you did.

    First pic is of the lathe in the cornfield at the auction.
    Second is of the lathe after I had added some stuff, but hadn't painted or done the risers yet.
    Third is of it restored.
    Fourth is showing the headstock and riser.
    Fifth is of the new banjo...ain't it purdy?

    PS And a HUGE shout out to Steven Cherry who hooked up my VFD, and wired up the lathe for me. We used what wires I had laying around, then I went out and got good ones later and just redid what he had already done. But I never could have done it alone. Also, Steve lent me his sand blaster! That was awesome! It never would have turned out this nice without sandblasting. Thanks Steve for all your help.

    And thanks to Peter Elliott for helping me move some pieces around and help put the bed back on the stand after painting...NOT a one man job!
    And thanks to Dan Hintz for going to the auction with me, and helping me get it home. Boy that was a fun day...
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Mike Cruz; 02-15-2011 at 11:52 AM.
    I drink, therefore I am.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Chandler, AZ
    Posts
    456
    wow.... great looking machine! That is really awesome!

    Jeff - (hint hint... risers for the Delta 46-460)

    Thanks for posting the beauty!
    Jon

  3. #3
    WOW It is almost too pretty to use. Great job by both you and Jeff.
    _______________________________________
    When failure is not an option
    Mediocre is assured.

  4. Mike..........

    What an awesome, awesome work you have done on this and Jeff Nicols...........wow! I have a Grizzly 18" swing lathe with the features you have added to yours..........and I would not be honest if I did not tell you that I would exchange for one like yours any day [I think? ]

    That is a workhorse of a lathe, and the upgrade has you totally in turning nervanna!!! Great job on the sandblasting and paint as well. There should be some awesome turnings coming off that thing.................

    Ride 'em cowboy!!!
    Last edited by Roger Chandler; 02-14-2011 at 8:29 PM.
    Remember, in a moments time, everything can change!

    Vision - not just seeing what is, but seeing what can be!




  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Gainesville, AL
    Posts
    470
    Wow!! And good job to Jeff!!
    David

    CaMaster Panther 4x8

  6. #6
    That is indeed one great lathe you got there. I just keep going back over the pic's drooling. That new banjo really got my attention and with the rest of the upgrades that should be one sweet machine. Have fun with it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    Posts
    872
    Great work by both! You would be the envy of all over on OWWM. A really professional looking restoration job. And Jeff, I think you could turn that into a full time business just building risers for people. I've seen a couple of riser jobs before and your work is better than all I've seen. Top notch bro!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Eureka, Mo.
    Posts
    2,363
    You two both did one heck of a job! Congrats and enjoy...Bill....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Chesterfield, VA
    Posts
    1,332
    Man, that's sweet looking! Y'all did one heck of a job on that thing!

  10. #10
    Wow Mike, that's a piece of art!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Enid, Oklahoma
    Posts
    6,741
    Congrats on getting her finished... Now, go get her dirty. The only truly happy lathe is a dirty lathe!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Manistique, Michigan
    Posts
    1,292
    Mike - That's a great save! It sure looks nice. You can't beat a VFD on a lathe for out of balance control. The nice thing is that you know your lathe better than a lot of us do.
    Rich Aldrich

    65 miles SE of Steve Schlumpf.

    "To a pessimist, the glass is half empty; to an optimist, the glass is half full; to an engineer, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be." Unknown author



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Western Maryland
    Posts
    5,548

    Lightbulb Thank you

    Thanks everyone. A LOT of work went into it. But, I'm VERY happy with how it turned out. And yes, Jeff did an awesome job. What is even better, is that we live about 2000 miles apart!!!!! Jeff never even saw my lathe. I made a template for him. Sent him pics. But that's it. He's amazing.

    Jon Prouty
    "wow.... great looking machine! That is really awesome!

    Jeff - (hint hint... risers for the Delta 46-460)

    Thanks for posting the beauty!
    Jon "

    Jon, not sure if he'll do 'em again, you'd have to ask him...


    Roger Chandler
    "Mike..........

    What an awesome, awesome work you have done on this and Jeff Nicols...........wow! I have a Grizzly 18" swing lathe with the features you have added to yours..........and I would not be honest if I did not tell you that I would exchange for one like yours any day [I think? ]

    That is a workhorse of a lathe, and the upgrade has you totally in turning nervanna!!! Great job on the sandblasting and paint as well. There should be some awesome turnings coming off that thing.................

    Ride 'em cowboy!!!"
    Roger, not so sure I'm willing to give her up. I'm hoping this is a lifetime lathe. But thanks for the offer.


    Brian McInturff
    "Great work by both! You would be the envy of all over on OWWM. A really professional looking restoration job. And Jeff, I think you could turn that into a full time business just building risers for people. I've seen a couple of riser jobs before and your work is better than all I've seen. Top notch bro!"


    Brian, yeah, I had asked some questions over there, and had a lot of people asking for "finished" pics. I'll be posting this story over there...sans Jeff's name. He did this, in part, because I'm an SMC member. Not sure if he would have done it otherwise...And as for Jeff doing it full time...well, I think he has pretty full hands as it is.


    David E Keller
    "Congrats on getting her finished... Now, go get her dirty. The only truly happy lathe is a dirty lathe!"
    David, I fully understand that, buuuuutttttt, I have to admit, I cringe when dust lands on it. Don't worry, though. I'll get her all messy in due time. Unfortunately, with my schedule over the next couple of weeks, I'm not even sure if I'll get a chance to saddle her up!


    Rich Aldrich
    "Mike - That's a great save! It sure looks nice. You can't beat a VFD on a lathe for out of balance control. The nice thing is that you know your lathe better than a lot of us do."
    Rich, unfortunately, I know this lathe better than I care to. What I didn't mention was how, when taking the headstock apart for sandblasting, I had a heck of a time getting the innards out. When I did, I messed up the grease seal. So I ordered one from PM ($12+). I asked how to insert it, because it looked different than the original. The way the tech instructed me to put it in was backwards. I ended up ordering two more (juuuuuuust in case) but this time from Motion Industries (about $2 a piece...same exact thing). When I was putting it all back together, I messed up, and put it back together before inserting it into the headstock. So, I had to take it all apart again, ruining the grease seal, to put it back together in the PROPER order. Glad I ordered 2 from Motion Industries. Anyway, stuff like that...


    And to everyone else that threw me "wow"s and "great job"s, thank you very much. I really do appreciate it.
    I drink, therefore I am.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Goodland, Kansas
    Posts
    22,605
    Mike that is one fine looking machine. Congrats to you and Jeff on a fine looking job.
    Bernie

    Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

    To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funnybone.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    sLower Delaware
    Posts
    5,464
    Great job by all concerned and great looking lathe!

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