Verploegen Tool and Die

In the last year, I have consolidated all my tools into the one car garage, making it my shop.  When the race car sold, I invested in a mill and a lathe to make parts for the TV1.  I also had the floor coated.

The mill is a Bridgeport Series 1 with 1HP and a 30" table, which is smaller than most tables.  They say these were used on ships.  It was built in 1950.  It sits where the closet for the office should be.  The garage is just steps away from the living room, which is nice for family.  In Michigan I was in another building.

The first step was to install 3-axis digital readout for $140 courtesy of Ebay.

Mounting the scales was a little tricky, especially on the quill.


Fuzzy picture of the X and Y axis scales.

The mill came with a power feed for the X axis which needs 110V.  It also has a 110V lamp.  I was running an extension cord, as I didn't have a 110 plug in the corner where the mill sits.

I went for the mill without variable speed to save money.  Changing belts to change speed is a bit of a pain though.  I was also using a static phase converter to run the mill off single phase power, and it made the motor run warm.  Then I came across a used Variable Speed Drive for free from work.  It's the box on the left, and Baldor is the company I work for.  Now I have variable speed on the mill, and it creates three phase power.

I fell in love with the variable speed, and learned that the VFD can be powered with a wired remote, so I ran wire through the attic to feed the lathe.  I'm in the process of acquiring a three phase Baldor motor for the lathe to complete the project.  The wiring goes as follows: 220V single phase from the panel to the outlet box.  110V is wired off one leg, then the 220V goes back out and to the VFD.  Then 220V three phase leaves the VFD and goes to the old forward reverse switch of the mill, where I will make a new label for Mill/Lathe, rather than Forward/Reverse.  From the switch 220V three phase either goes to the mill, or through the attic to the lathe.  Then I wired 4 conductor sprinkler wire from the VFD to the Lathe for the remote start button and the 5K ohm potentiometer to control the lathe speed. 

I scored a new front panel for the VFD that gives me a digital readout for speed and current.

Finally, I rebuilt the head on the mill.  I couldn't handle not knowing what everything did inside.  It also needed a couple bearings, and I had the head sandblasted and powder coated.  Here is the before picture:


This is the lathe.  I bought it from a guy who owned it since 1976, and he bought it from the original owner who bought it new in 1947!  It was in amazing shape.  The last owner used it only for making wood violin bows.  Note the countershaft on the back.  This is the original configuration, and the motor is below it.

This is a 1 hp motor I scored from work.  3X the power of the original motor.

Less belts and pulleys means less vibration.  The VFD gives me the speed adjustment.  I tried to bypass the thermal breaker on the motor because it was tripping due to the VFD, but I messed something up and I let the smoke out.  So I stepped up to this inverter rated 1.5 hp motor.

I paid $500 for the lathe, then I sold this milling attachment (which I don't need since I have a mill) for $175 on Ebay!

This is an older less valuable milling attachment.  I listed it today and it sold for $100.  Finally, I listed the old tool posts and tool holders and they sold for $75.  That brings my net price for the lathe down to $150!

Power is coming out of the attic, as well as my air line.  I mount the air compressor in the attic to keep the noise down.

This is the new quick change toolpost from Shar's.

A video if you want to see it in motion.

Finally, some fly cutter experimentation. 

This is the nicest finish I have ever put on a part.  It's nice to have the right equipment for the job.

It's about time to start carving some real parts for the TV1.

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