28 July 2019

As posted earlier, the second throttle return spring didn’t cure the fast idle. Turns out that it may have simply been that the throttle body end of the cable was misadjusted too short. When cold, opening the throttle plate (at the throttle body) always resulted in a reassuring snap as it was released, closing completely. When warm, however, it was more of a soft “thump”, and the cable appeared to be keeping it from closing completely. Because of the hot weather, it’s unpleasant driving any open-top car, so it’ll probably be tested in the garage.

Regarding the lathe, cleaning up the new (though older) one took maybe 20 hours—it was a mess. Once done, four nice but expensive leveling caster wheels were placed under the 2500-lb lump, in addition to two traditional leveling screws. At first I wasn’t going to bother, but the thought of having to move that much weight ever again, even once, made it an easier decision. Also, it raises the lathe 4″, putting it at a better working level. Speaking of moving it, a neat tool for moving anything really heavy is an indexable pry bar, sort of a big crowbar with an adjustable foot. Between that, wood blocks, steel bars, and the castor wheels, the two lathes swapped positions.

Since it’s 3-phase, a variable frequency drive was connected and briefly run to prove it works, but playing with the new one was pushed off until the old lathe could be cleaned up and put up for sale. I’ve been watching Craigslist long enough to know what I was in for, and expected odd/irritating/lazy/wishy-washy/scammy people, and I was not disappointed. Not 30 minutes after the ad was posted, I received this from someone who hadn’t even seen it:

I will be  buying this from you, so please kindly withdraw the advert from site. My husband will overnight the payment asap but he will be paying with a Certified Check from his Bank and it will  deliver to you via FEDEX, so  I’ll need you to provide me with the following information to facilitate the mailing of the check… And am offering additional $70 with the original price to have this asap.

Name to be on the payment………..
Address to mail the check to………….
City, state and zip code ………….
Final Asking price……………….
Cell phone # to text you on …………….

I will make arrangements for the pick up as soon as you have your check clear, due to my work frame and my Kids,  I will not be able to come with the cash and pick it up so my husband will mail the check and have someone pick up the item after the check clear.,   Reference to your  post  am completely satisfied with it  and the payment will  be deliver within 48hours..God Bless
The way the scam works is that since it’s a certified check, a bank will instantly clear it, the buyer picks up the lathe and vanishes, and about a week later, the bank calls up and says, “yeah, about that check, it’s no good.” Hard not to wish something bad upon such slimy “godly” people. I’m surprised that banks don’t have an immediate way to check such things, but oh well. Another tidbit to the scam is the “offer” to send the check via FedEx. That’s to avoid mailing it through the U.S. postal system, where mail fraud has much harsher punishment.
The new lathe is being upgraded to a “multifix” tool post. Granted it’s from China (it’s not manufactured by anyone in the U.S, and is actually a Swiss design). The machinist forums speak very highly of it, so a set was ordered. Upon arrival, I was puzzled by a big tool holder in the box that I hadn’t ordered. It must have weighed at least 5-lbs on its own. Curious, I contacted the seller and they said that shipping is actually cheaper for them if they weigh it down so it gets bumped to the next weight tier. Okay…
Lastly, it looks like the chuck may have to be upgraded as well. While it’s a desirable part (a 9″ Buck ‘tru-set’ chuck”, but is completely worn out). Worse, someone ran a drill through the jaws, removing all the teeth, and the jaws are hard or impossible to replace, and these appeared slightly tapered. It’s not terrible, since it was somewhat expected that it might need upgrading. Besides, as a machinist once told me, “you should buy the best quality chuck you can, then put a lathe under it.”