things keep following me home!

All these poor orphan tools.. I adopted another one today.  A 1hp three phase Queen City “High Duty” pedestal grinder. I’ll write up the addition of a VFD and rewiring it.. I want to cleanly add speed control if possible, and hide the VFD around back.  We’ll see.

*** If anyone has a set of wheel guards laying around that would fit, leave me a comment.. I’d like an original set! ***




cannot abide.

I’m spoiled as far as vises go. I’m used to effortless clamping. So, while there was absolute nothing wrong with the vise I picked up last week, I had to tune it up. You could feel the accumulation of 80 years of dirt and grime when you spun the handle.

So! I gave it a good soaking in evaporust, then hit it with a wire wheel and brush to git rid of all the rust and grime.  I took care to make sure all the bearing surfaces where super clean and smooth, and hit the acme screw with a coating of lithium grease.

I’m claiming that it’s now BETTER than factory-new condition, because the collet (garter?) didn’t seat very well due to a rough casting. I took a file to it, and 10 minutes later it was seated much better. This removed at least 1/8” of play and probably a full turn of backlash.


One of the coolest bits on this vise is the handle.. There’s a little set screw right on the head that squeezes a little metal disc against the handle. This allows you to position the bar whereever you want, and it will stay there (notice how its NOT sliding down in the picture above?)

Here is the little set screw in the center of the hub:


And here are the pieces pulled out. The set screw compress the spring against the metal disc, which pushes against the bar handle.


Here’s a video showing the vise in action after cleanup. So smooth. The question is where to put this thing? I kind of want to build a platform for it so I can move it on and off my workbench, but.. I shouldn’t really be doing metalwork on my workbench.  So we’ll see what happens.

– Matt

Vise Vice.

Can’t seem to get enough of them.  Found this beaut on craigslist a couple days ago.  I won’t claim that I got it for a song, but I feel pretty good about the price. 

A Parker no. 134 from 1928.  Apparently called the “Big Bear”! Here’s a flyer (gotta love the internet):

This one seems to be in incredible shape.  I still think I’m going to pull it apart to clean everything up with a wire wheel and re-grease the innards though.  That way it will be good for another 87 years.

Pretty nice! Also, the mini anvil on the back makes this thing just that much cooler.

I’m sure this won’t be the last one I buy…

– Matt

Finis. (almost)

In what seems to be becoming a habit, I’ve taken a before shot, no progress shots, and a few “complete” pictures.  Well, I never claimed to be a photograher.

Here’s a “before” picture.  In fact, that was just two posts ago! Hmmm, this doesn’t seem to be the most active space, does it. 

Hey, that was only the end of May? Four months isn’t so bad.  Anyways, it wasn’t in that bad of shape at all.  Check out my other post for more details.

So, what did I do? Replaced the wheel bearings, replaced any rubber bits, replaced the guides (with fancy ceramic ones), new belt, new blade, new wheel tires, and a 6” riser block. Oh, and a new high-tension spring, new guide post, and some reproduction cover knobs. And some paint. If you’ve got one of these that you’re restoring, look up “Iturra Designs”, they’ve got you covered for parts.

Pictures! Reminder: this saw is 72 years old.

The best part is that it actually runs really nice. Very little vibration, lot’s of resaw capacity, plus bonus vintage good looks. You may notice a piece of cardboard wedged under one of the feet.. I actually haven’t repainted the original mobile base yet, I’m having a super hard time locating replacement casters. The original ones sat so long they developed a flat spot on the wheel, so they don’t really function well as wheels anymore.

All in all, it was a lot of fun to restore. It’s amazing what you can do with a brass wire wheel and some spray paint. If you’ve got an old piece of woodworking machinery laying around somewhere, chances are that it’s just as good or better than anything you can buy new. So don’t throw it away! Restore it, or better yet just give it to me.

Now I can actually get back to some woodworking projects. I’ve actually had a few in progress, just no posts about them yet. I’ll have a report up on a new moxon vise and a badaxe saw in a few weeks though. Let me just say, the combo is supersweet.

– Matt

Already another one…

Well, that was quick.  I don’t even have the bandsaw back together yet (it’s about to the painting stage), and I found this beauty on craigslist.  A little newer, I believe this one is early 60’s.  I’m pretty excited to have found it.  Whoever owned this really took care of it.. I  can’t say it’s immaculate, but it’s pretty close.  Should handle all my turning needs for the forseeable future..

– Matt

Here we go…

Down the rabbit hole. My first piece of “old iron”.  An admittedly small piece, of course, but pretty cool nonetheless. A pretty common delta 14” bandsaw, circa 1945. In surpisingly good shape, although you couldn’t tell it from this cell phone pic.  I’ve got the doors and the table off. Its missing a few things.. Mainly the light, belt cover, and fence.  Actually, it may have never had them to begin with, you could configure these lot’s of different ways.  But those are things I’m going to want to find.  

Also think I’m going to add a 6” riser block so I’ll have 12” of resaw capacity.

Here’s a link to one that was restored really nicely:

Anyways, this is going to consume some time, but I can’t wait to get started!

– Matt