Turning Archive 2005

It's Here! (pics)

Bill Grumbine (Kutztown PA)
>Greetings all

The Vega has landed, and is safely in the shop! I had some minor adventures in getting it there, but isn't that what life is like when acquiring heavy machinery?

Here we see the machine as it arrived. I picked it up at the dock. I would have been able to pick it up yesterday, but someone did not see the big red block printing across the bill of lading that said "LEAVE ON DOCK". So it went for a ride in the country, ostensibly for the purpose of being delivered to my door. However, since they had the wrong name (i.e. half my name) and the wrong road (i.e. half the name of the road) the driver could not find me. This is probably from the same person who did not see the big block printing. Anyway...

I arrived at the dock to discover the see through crate the thing came in. Much to my surprise, it was pristine! There were no scratches, it was right side up, there were no ugly holes from a fork lift being rammed through its heart or anything! This is probably the first time I have ever received anything via common carrier that did not look like it had been dragged behind the truck. The dock supervisor put it on the truck, and off I went. I spent the rest of the day driving around with this lathe in the back of the truck, since all my friends and family have real jobs, and no one was around to help unload it.

Come evening, SWMBO came home, and we recruited the neighbor. We installed the Harbor Freight truck lift, slid the lathe off its skid onto my fingers (OUCH) and then onto the lift. SWMBO did the heavy lifting by pressing the down button. Just as an aside, if you have a pickup truck with a class 3 receiver on the back, you need one of these HF truck lifts. They go on sale for $199.99 or something like that, and shipping is free, or at least it was when I bought mine. It saves a lot of grunt work when it comes to lifting logs, lathes, and other heavy items that could mean a truss in one's future.

Here is a shot of it in its new home in the shop. It is sitting right next to my MM 20 bandsaw, which is right by the door. From the pickup, to the bandsaw, to the Vega, and its done! I need to work on that wall a bit to get some storage over there, and some better insulation, but it is in a great place. There is room all around, and I can move between it and the Poolewood easily (the Poolewood is hidden behind that big slab of maple), and with the Vicmarc mini set up next to the combo machine, I will be able to supervise three students from a swivel chair! Everyone will be able to turn without having to worry about shavings flying from their neighbor.

Here is a closer shot. The cage is going away of course. I may saw most of it off and use the stub end for a wood platform where I can put some tools and a Moffatt light. The tailstock comes off in seconds if I need to put the big table on the combo machine for sawing up sheet goods, and the bandsaw is on wheels if I need to do some long sawing that will not go past the Vega.

I got a plug on the end and turned it on to see it run. It is as quiet as the Poolewood. The digital readout is in frequency rather than rpm, but it is going to be relatively simple math to get the actual speed. If the lathe is shaking, turn the speed down, right? I won't get a chance to turn on it until Thursday or Friday, but I will be sure to report again on it. Overall it looks like a great machine!


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