My latest project is to restore Ky’s grandfather’s shopsmith tool:

It’s a really cool old-school piece of machinery with a 1/2hp motor, reconfigurable into a lathe, a table saw, a drill press, and probably any number of other cunning layouts. We picked it up last weekend from the storage shed, and brought it back home. It probably weighs 200-300 lbs, and isn’t quite in usable condition. The slider rails for the motor head are slightly corroded and the motor and lathe rests don’t slide along the bar. The motor needs rewiring, and probably also being grounded. The whole tool generally needs cleaning up and a little tlc to get it back into working action.

This evening I made a start, and disassembled the major components and cleaned up the main rails. WD-40, steel wool and elbow grease has made the rails significantly shinier again, but I may try to polish them up a bit more with some emery paper or even something like Brasso. I made a start at cleaning up the main frame pieces, but need to finish those off. I was also thinking about replacing the top sheet of the cabinet with a thin sheet of stainless, or something else more resistant than thin plywood.

The photos of this evening’s work are here.

Update (April 3rd): I polished the rails a little, and determined it didn’t really do anything too useful.  I also cleaned up the rest piece, and slid it back onto the rails.  Having manhandled it off, it slid back on nice and smoothly now it’s all cleaned up.  Photos.