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Golden Era Things You've Revived Or Repaired For Use

Discussion in 'Skills and Smarts' started by St. Louis, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. vitanola

    vitanola My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Just now the vacuum pump is running on the refrigeration system of a 1924 Kelvinator refrigerator (Seeger Porcelain-Clad cabinet) which I have just restored. Rebuilt the compressor with new seals, and have converted the system over to "Hot-Shot"' a very slightly flammable substitute for R-12. The machine originally used Sulfur Dioxide, but I hadn't any at hand. It is a beauty, with a lovely grey and white enameled cabinet, and double- doors!
  2. I have seen the device you're talking about -- a friend whose dad was a machinist had one in his garage, and its rusted remains are still there, as far as I know. What we had was a hand-held thing -- it had a slot with an abrasive lining and you'd push it down on the blade and then slide it along until you were satisified there was an edge. I'm guessing it was some kind of gimmicky thing he'd gotten for a dollar and a quarter at the hardware store rather than any kind of precision instrument, and I question whether it actually put any kind of a keen edge on the blade. But he'd latch that thing on and rasp it along the edges of the reel and assume that made a difference.
  3. docneg

    docneg One of the Regulars

    The ribbon won't advance. For some time it wouldn't reverse at the end so I was manually rewinding it. Now it doesn't advance at all and the ribbon has become a holy mess. I bought the ribbon new, ten years ago. Just shows how quickly things change. The place that sold me the ribbon now claims that they haven't had anything to do with typewriters "in decades". Of course, it was a twenty-something that told me that.
  4. I use one at my house (when the dandelions aren't too bad) and my dad uses one at the shop. Mine's not old, but is also beer-operated.


  5. I took mine to a local locksmith who sharpened blades. I don't really notice any difference as long as the reel to cutting blade plate adjustment is correct; the blades seem to 'self-sharpen' with use. Oiling the bearings and all the moving joints is important.
  6. I managed to get the grass cut Saturday, 94 degrees and similar humidity. Lost about 5 lbs in sweat. Like hitting your head against a wall, it felt so good to stop. Nothing like a hot shower and a nap in the AC afterward. At my age, better than a lot of naughty things I managed in younger days.
  7. I have to say one thing about the reel grass cutters, least you wont accidently reverse over your 4 yr old child & massacre her. Read an article couple days ago that a father did that to his daughter, she is really messed up badly. Don't remember where, past couple days have been major brain lapses.

    I remember the reel cutters, we used to have one in CT when I was but a wee thing, course we didn't have that big of a yard to mow so either a reel or push would take care of it, now we need to use the rider but its not giant beast like my neighbor who has a smaller area than us but uses one of them "landscaper" models.
  8. I thought the newer mowers had safety switches to prevent going in reverse with the blades on. Push mowers obviously don't, but you'd have a hard time running a child over with one of those.

    On the other hand, I'm probably not the only guy who still owns and uses relic riding mowers.
  9. From this:


    ...to this...


    ...to this:


    1945 Singer Model 15 'Indian Star'.
  10. L'Onset

    L'Onset Familiar Face

    There are many things in our home that have been either repaired or just brought back to use with just a clean-up. We use some enamel ware in the kitchen that belonged to my grandmother, I have two Montblanc fountain pens, one belonged to my grandfather and the other to my father. Grandfather's one has an inscription on the golden body that says "Gallina Blanca al Alcalde de Huesca" (i.e. a present from a well-known brand of dairy and farm products to the Mayor of the city of Huesca). I use a double edged razor and a straight razor that once belonged to my other grandfather. An old army medical leather pouch is my holder for battery chargers, pencils, and small items. We use also many creel baskets that were bought by my grandmother to gypsies who used to come around selling hand crafted baskets and lace. This happened since the post-war years until the mid-seventies. Most of the baskets are recent (seventies made), but we still use a few of them to hold firewood or pans and they haven't been changed for years.
    A picture of my shaving items is posted on the shaving thread. Here is a little sample:
    IMG_20151005_201659.jpg IMG_20151005_201825.jpg IMG_20151005_202138.jpg

    I have also refurbished some furniture. But after watching what other fellow loungers did, I'm too shy to show my poor skils as an amateur carpenter.:confused:
  11. ingineer

    ingineer One Too Many

    A question for Miss Maine
    How do you accommodate the # and * ?
  12. With a pocket tone dialer, a cheap little DTMF tone generator you used to be able to get at Radio Shack. Hold it up to the mouthpiece, press the desired button, and it sends a tone thru the phone line. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  13. Spudman

    Spudman One of the Regulars

    I should've known fountain pens would be a natural fit for this group. I've collected pens much longer than I have hats. I have a stub nib Sheaffer that I use for signatures because it makes even my bad handwriting look like calligraphy. I'll get some pics after the holidays since I keep most of them at work.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Dirk Wainscotting

    Dirk Wainscotting A-List Customer

    I have a 1940s (could be early 50s) mantlepiece clock which I found in a box outside waiting for the rubbish men to collect. Absolutely horrifying. I took this home and cleaned it and it has been telling the time accurately for about four months now. No batteries and no forgetting to wind it.
  15. Got rather annoyed the other night when I sat down to do my taxes when my trusty 1920's Burroughs Portable adding machine suddenly jammed -- the handle stuck halfway thru the stroke, and wouldn't clear. After percussive maintenance failed -- I hit it on the side to try and unstick it, but no luck -- I got out my tool box and dismantled the thing. Turns out a common pin had somehow fallen into the mechanism and jammed into one of the gears. After extracting it and lubricating the interior of the mechanism I managed to get it operating again.

    I learned a lot about Burroughs machines in the process. It's actually quite an ingenious piece of technology, and quite a ways ahead of its time in that it's constructed along a modular pattern -- each element of the machine is constructed as a unit, and they bolt together. This way the same basic mechanism can be used in any number of different configurations. The printing mechanism is held in place by two screws, which makes it very easy to remove it for servicing. The hand-crank can be replaced by an electric motor by simply bolting one on. And so forth. Quite an efficient bit of design. And since there's essentially no servicing/repair information about these machines online -- unlike vintage typewriters, vintage adding machines and mechanical calculators haven't developed any particular collector following -- this type of modular construction makes it quite easy to reverse engineer to figure out exactly how it's supposed to work.

    The pin, incidentally, seems to have fallen into the machine thru the opening for the type bars. The machine lives on a little work table next to my kitchen table, which is also where I do my sewing -- and in one of my many spillages of my pin box, the pin must've slipped into the adding machine. Clearly an adding-machine cover would be a worthwhile investment if I can find one to fit it.
  16. I know you'd rather die strapping an anvil to your body and jumping in the deep ocean than be one of "The Boys from Marketing," but "percussive maintenance" is an example of their craft at a high level. :). Great story.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016
    Bamaboots likes this.
  17. Benzadmiral

    Benzadmiral Call Me a Cab

    I've got my pre-1957 Underwood Standard in a closet, and am thinking about having it refurbished and operable again. An Ixquick search gave me this fellow: http://www.typewritercollector.com/repairs.html He's in New York, but that's a lot closer to you than to me. You could email him -- he wrote back to me very quickly. Now I have to weigh the typewriter to get some idea how much shipping would be. (My hair may go white when I hear the quote.)
  18. Rodney

    Rodney Familiar Face

    Vintage stuff I use daily...
    I use an old Gillette DE razor. I converted from a cartridge style about a year ago and I'm not looking back. It's amazing that so many of us bought into the cartridge razors. You straight razor guys probably say the same about the DEs. :)
    Most of my woodworking machines are basket cases from the 40s and 50s that I rebuilt. Many of my hand woodworking tools are even older.
    I got into vintage sewing machines about 3 years ago because my daughter wanted to learn to sew. I may have went off the deep end with them. I've got about 25 of them now. There's not a huge demand for old sewing machines so prices are low on most models. They range from the 1890s to the 1970s. I find I prefer the old straight stitch only models over the more modern zigzag machines.
    I've discovered that unless you're spending big money it's hard to get the same quality new as what you get with vintage tools and machines.
  19. BlueTrain

    BlueTrain Call Me a Cab

    I suspect that one reason we don't get the quality that we (supposedly) get with vintage tools and machines is because we have become used to low prices and are no longer willing to pay for quality. But on the other hand, many of the things we used to do with hand tools we now do with power tools, so there's really little demand for high quality hand tools. It is true that power tools have been around for a long time, probably before any of us were born, but originally they were all considered industrial equipment. It was much later that lower cost (as well as lower quality) power tools like drills and saws were introduced for the homeowner who wouldn't be using them all day everyday.

    I had uncles who could do most anything around the house, from wiring to pipefitting to carpentry and cabinetmaking. One even moved his house when they moved out to the country. He thought it was too close to the road, so he and his son moved it back about one and a half times the depth of the house. He eventually remodeled the house from top to bottom and that was the third house he had done such things with. He didn't do any of that stuff as a hobby but purely for utilitarian reasons. But none of the had much schooling.

    The funny thing was, they were among the first to start using new products, to include power mowers and even computers. That same uncle even had a ham license when I was in grade school.They even had a reel-type power mower when I was in grade school. It might be more correct to say we were rather late in getting new things.

    The very first post said something about a coffee grinder. We shopped at the A&P and the coffee was fresh ground on the spot. You can still do that in a lot of stores, too.
  20. Some people buy themselves computer games for their birthday presents. Or books. Or go out for dinner. Or cook their favourite meal or bake a cake or cookies or something.

    I bought myself a restoration project! This:


    Antique, solid brass naval/nautical telescope, with mahogany sleeve.

    When I bought it, it was in VERY bad condition. Tarnished, extremely dirty, and stiff to the point of almost being frozen. And on top of that, it was also broken.

    First step was to completely pull it apart, right down to its various components...


    This is only partial disassembly. The entire telescope can be pulled apart right down to its components.

    The next step was to clean all the lenses and scrape and polish off all the dust and grit. I managed to remove most of it, but there's a scratch or crack or chip or something on one of the lenses which I can't remove. It doesn't greatly affect clarity of view, so I'm not bothered by it.

    I put the telescope back together, and I taped up the threads on the coupling-rings as I went along, to improve the traction between the threads and provide enough BITE for them to hold and not come apart.

    Then came the REALLY tideous bit. Cleaning out 150 years' worth of dust, grime, gunk and crud that had built up inside the telescope.

    Pulling it apart and cleaning it that way would serve no purpose whatsoever. This was deep-seated grime which had worked its way right into the innermost recesses of the telescope. It was causing the draw-tubes to jam, which makes the telescope impossible to use. To clean it, I used WD-40 and buckets of sewing-machine oil to lubricate the draw-tubes and flush out all the gunk - which made its presence known in the form of a greasy black film - almost like liquid soot!

    I twisted, swiveled, opened and closed the telescope thousands of times, adding more oil, flushing out more gunk, wiping it down, and repeating it, over and over and over and over again!! Doing this for several hours every day, it took me about two and a half weeks to clean it entirely!!

    Then came the easy bit - polishing the brass. Doing that not only makes it look nice - it also smooths it and removes MORE CRUD!! which means the telescope works even better. Finally it's done, and I'm proud to say I restored it back to *almost* original, and working condition :)
    Greencanoes and Cocker like this.

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