Chesapeake Area Metalworking Society

Museum Machine Shop Restoration Project

History from the year 2002

In late 1999 the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association contacted CAMS about the possibility of working with them to move an antique machine shop and set up a new museum at Tuckahoe. What follows is a history, in reverse chronological order, of this project's progress during the year 2002.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #63, Saturday, November 23, 2002

A crew consisting of Vince Iorio, Dick McBirney, John McCalla, Denis Mengele, Frank Rabbit, and John Webb continued work on the machine tool restoration project at the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum. We are happy to welcome Denis Mengele to the crew. Denis brings to the project the most sterling of all qualifications--a love of fine, hand-crafted doughnuts.

On the subject of doughnuts, John McCalla brought two bagfulls. We aren't sure of the total quantity, but the supply seemed adequate to the task--an outcome that might not have occurred had two certain crew members not been absent.

The day's labors included a good deal of schlepping. With the help of the whole crew, John McCalla returned to the storage container a truckload of "trade goods" that had been taken to Steve Stallings' for the CAMS yard sale back in September. We had hoped to return this material to Tuckahoe earlier, but weather and other factors conspired to thwart our plans. Fortunately, Steve played the gracious host long after the yard sale ended, for which we owe him a further round of thanks. In addition, Steve donated a reprint of a turn-of-the-20th-century F. E. Reed lathe catalog for our on-site archives. So, thanks, Steve--twice over!

While we are talking of heavy lifting, John Webb brought a Brown & Sharpe tool grinder which was unloaded into the museum building and added to the collection. (John had earlier circulated a photo of this unit to the CAMS mailing list in an appeal for information on the unit. The appeal still stands.)

Because at least two of the volunteers present had never had a proper initiation to the machine tool collection, we ran the Pratt & Whitney Number 10 horizontal milling machine and the Smith & Mills shaper. (We probably should run the restored machines once and a while between annual shows to keep the lubricant circulated. It is our plan, of course, that one day they and many of the machines that are undergoing restoration will be ensconced in their own recreated machine shop building, where they will receive regular use during the year.)

We attempted to clean some more parts for the Barnes drill press, but parts cleaning is essentially an outdoor job (at least the way that we pursue it, with a bench-mounted wire wheel and an angle grinder fitted with a wire cup brush), and the cold weather militated against having too much of this form of fun. Hence, three of the crew (Dick and both Johns) turned their attention to the John T. Burr and Sons portable keyway cutter. The cutter needs to have some repairs made to its cast-iron body (specifically to have two missing drilled and tapped lugs replaced, probably by welding), and to procure or fabricate some missing parts (especially the hand crank that powers the rig).

Finally, one of our more seasoned parts scroungers (John McCalla) took measurements for a third crank handle needed for the Rockford planer in order to search for a replacement.

Due to the press of the holiday season, we have not yet set a date for our next work session. (The prevailing sentiment seems to be to hold off until January.) To be advised of the next date, or for any other information on the restoration project, please contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #62, Saturday, November 9, 2002

An average-sized crew, consisting of Dick McBirney, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, John Webb, and Luther Dietrich turned out to press forward with the machine tool restoration project. Dave Welser was unable to attend, so the doughnut supply was limited to a dozen Boston Cremes. (With a larger crew, the Boston Cremes wouldn't have lasted the morning. We managed to stretch the supply to provide us with an afternoon snack.)

This work session was pretty much limited to work on the two drill presses. We managed to finish cleaning the nooks and crannies of the column casting for the W. F. and J. Barnes drill press. With a final inspection and wipe-down, it should be ready for a coat of primer.

Our work on the Excelsior drill press proceeded in a quirky fashion. In a previous work session, we had slipped the column into the base casting, but had proceeded no further with assembly. This time, we first noted that the spindle counterweight chain seemingly had disappeared from view from the slot at the top of the column. Fortunately, the hook was still reachable with a sturdy pair of needle nose pliers. We found, though, that the chain had slipped off of one of the pulleys that guide it around the curve in the column. After a period of trial-and-error lowering and elevating the column (happily the Excelsior machine is fairly small and light), we managed to properly align the chain with all of the guide pulleys. With a bit of oil on the pulleys, the counterweight was persuaded to ride smoothly up and down.

Emboldened by this success, we assembled the spindle, slipped it into its carrier, then secured the assembly to the machine. Next came the two tables. Then we test-fitted the various pulleys. (There are two cone pulleys for speed selection, plus a set of right-angle pulleys to transfer power from the rear of the machine to the spindle.) Almost before we knew it, we had all of the parts in our possession assembled into something approximating a complete machine. (True completeness will come when we fabricate a motor mount and procure a pinion to drive the spur gear integral with the lower cone pulley. Then we will be in a position to belt up the machine and start making holes.)

Our next work session is set for Saturday, November 23, around 10:00 a.m. at the Rural Life Museum of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association. For detailed directions to the site, or for other information on the project, please contact Vince Iorio at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #61, Saturday, October 26, 2002

A full-strength crew, consisting of Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Eric Stefan, John Webb, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich resumed work on the machine tool restoration project at the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum. We were happy to welcome another new volunteer, Eric Stefan, to our ranks. As many CAMS-ers know, Eric has been busy restoring an elderly South Bend lathe for his home shop, so he brings a strong interest in machine tool restoration to the crew.

In addition to the CAMS crew, we were joined by Don Worley, a friend of John McCalla. Although Don had only intended to pay us a visit, he fell under the spell of the project and joined us in painting some drill press parts. Thanks, Don--come again!

Because Dave had initially indicated that he would not be present, the Virginia Contingent brought a dozen doughnuts, evenly divided between Boston Cremes and Sugar Glazed. Dave had a last-minute change of plans that allowed him to attend, so he brought 14 additional doughnuts of at least four varieties, plus a bag of doughnut holes. Possibly as a minor consequence, our morning labors didn't seem to be quite as productive as they have been on other occasions.

A corollary of our restoration effort is that we seem to have become widely known for our doughnut consumption. Although we're not at all sure that we set out to accomplish this result, sometimes fame finds us despite our best efforts to the contrary. Why, just the other day, one of our fellow CAMS-ers (Stephen Barmash by name) put his nimble fingers to the keyboard to relay to us a message relating the perils posed by diseased doughnuts. (Such is the regard in which we are held by our fellow CAMS-ers!) This warning very graphically delineated the etiology of Mad Doughnut Disease. (At least that's what we think they were talking about--the message was laced with a bunch of scientific terms that we wouldn't have had a prayer of pronouncing if you were paying us cash money [and lots of it] to do so.) We are gratified to know that our health and well-being are the subjects of concern, and we are very pleased to announce that there is little cause for worry. No beginners at this matter (collectively, we have well over three and a half centuries of doughnut-eating experience under our belts), we have evolved a strict protocol for safe and fulfilling doughnut enjoyment. First, we pause for provisions only in reputable places of purveyance. (As a case in point, one Virginian reports participating in the following mildly cryptic exchange at his favorite doughnut shop, located somewhere in the wilds of Springfield: Counter person [in Vietnamese-tinged English] "You come here before, right?" [Answer mumbled in the affirmative.] With obvious pride: "This independent shop! Not a chain!" Now, what stronger indicator could we have received that we were in the right place?) Second, we take pains only to accept plump specimens with sleek, glossy coats and alert expressions. Third, we speed the little critters pell-mell across three jurisdictions nonstop to Tuckahoe. (At least the Virginia Contingent does. We can't state this for a fact, but there have been occasions when we have suspected that Maryland-sourced doughnuts have had to wait patiently in the truck while their handlers ingested breakfast in one of the eateries on Kent Island.) Fourth, we seldom let mundane considerations, like unloading tools and supplies, come before our initial doughnut break. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we never, never, ever take a doughnut on the sit--we always spook them up a bit and get them up in the air before we bag them. (Healthier for us, and much more sporting that way.)

We made considerable progress in reassembling the New Haven planer. While the machine was in stripped-down form (with only the bed and legs assembled), we used an engine hoist to lift it onto a Mil-spec aluminum pallet on loan from Dave. We plan to secure it to the pallet so that in the future we will be able to move it more easily with the Tuckahoe forklift. (This planer is no more than about six feet long, so it fit onto the pallet fairly easily. Unfortunately, this sort of undertaking would not be feasible with some of the bigger machines.) After it was temporarily palletized, we used the engine hoist again to mount the upright supports to the bed. (We say temporarily palletized because we have not yet settled on a mounting method. A minor complication is that the machine is lacking the customary holes in the legs through which it would be bolted to the floor.) We appear to be missing the nuts for the vertical elevating screws; one of our team will check on their whereabouts with the machine's previous caretaker.

We continued to clean the column of the W. F. and J. Barnes drill press. Almost all of the paint had been removed in prior work sessions, so we undertook the detail work of cleaning some of the last bits of paint, grease, and other crud from the fillet corners and other nooks and crannies of the casting. (In one such cranny, we found, embedded in the old paint, a couple of glazier's points--an unusual filler material!) With one more such detailing session, the column should be ready for painting. In addition to our work on the Barnes machine, we also applied a coat of black finish paint to the base and column and most of the small parts for the Excelsior drill press.

Before this work session, we had several spirited exchanges of emails regarding the desirability of procuring some pieces of equipment, principally a media blasting cabinet and a parts washer. Art Lyman (a regular Tuckahoe person and a CAMS lurker) brought to our attention that there is already a parts washer in the shop area of the Tuckahoe Gas Engine Building. Accordingly, we made a mini-field trip to that building to check out the facilities. We found that with a little cleaning, the parts washer should fill the bill. In addition, the Gas Engine Building has an air compressor that should be adequate to support any blasting activities that we would want to engage in.

We want to acknowledge with profound gratitude a contribution made by another of our fellow CAMS-ers. As many of you are aware, Rich Kuzmack has a strong interest in dividing methods, to the point of having authored several articles on the subject in "Home Shop Machinist." (See "The Universal Plain Dividing Head," Parts I-IV in the March-April through September-October 1997 issues, and "The Old Compound Indexing Table Reworked," in the January-February 1998 issue.) Rich brought his dividing skills to the fore in making us a replacement for the 45-tooth ratchet wheel in the table cross feed mechanism of the Smith & Mills shaper. (Several teeth were missing from the original.) Now we will be able to use and demonstrate the machine without having to manually advance the table for each stroke. Thank you, Rich!

Our next work session is scheduled for Saturday, November 9, at around 10:00 a.m., and, as recent work reports have indicated, we gladly welcome newcomers. We have been gently taken to task for reporting in the past that the Tuckahoe show grounds are five miles north of Easton, Maryland, on U.S. Route 50; the objection being that this information is only relevant if you are coming from the direction of Easton. As it happens, there are no really good reference points north of Tuckahoe. If you maintain a sharp lookout for such things, the grounds are located between Mileposts 58 and 59. Also, the site is about four or five miles south of Wye Mills, where Maryland Route 404 heads east from Route 50, if that is any help. If not, please contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #60, Saturday, October 12, 2002

Five machine tool restoration team members--Dick McBirney, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich--turned out to move the project forward in the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum. We had the pleasure of welcoming a newcomer to our ranks, Dick McBirney, who brings a background in mechanical engineering to the team.

Dave came through for us again with a generous supply of doughnuts, divided between yeast-raised sugar glazeds and coconut-covered. We had expected to be joined by one other crew member, but illness took its toll for the day, so we had to reallocate the doughnuts and wolf down more than we otherwise might have. Somehow we survived.

Dave also transported to the site a very generous donation by Robert Vogel of ten vintage electric motors, two vintage generators, a modern magnetic chuck (as for a surface grinder), a cast-iron setup table, two cast-iron shelf brackets (Victorian?), and two lead battery trays. Thank you, Robert! We have a number of machine tools that will benefit from having period motors, some permanently, and some until we have a facility with overhead shaft drive.

Most of our work for the day involved the W. F. and J. Barnes drill press. We applied ourselves to disassembling and cleaning some more of the subassemblies, such as the cone pulley/bracket that receives power from the line shaft. (Let it be well known that some of these subassemblies do not come apart willingly!) We also finished cleaning the main column castings (except for some detailing). There is a good chance that we will be able to start painting this machine within the next two work sessions.

In addition to the Barnes drill press, we also made progress on the Excelsior drill press. A number of parts were prepped for painting, and we actually applied primer to a few.

Our next work session is set for Saturday, October 26 at around 10:00 a.m.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #59, Saturday, September 21, 2002

The crew of Vince Iorio, Charles Keeney, John McCalla, and Jerry Tuwiner resumed work on the antique machine tool restoration project at the Rural Life Museum of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association. The crew was a little smaller than usual, but there was no shortage of doughnuts--in the happy words of one sated participant, eight or so "were dispatched to Pastry Valhalla in a ritualized ceremony."

A good deal of the day's work involved gathering, cleaning, and packing Objects of Obvious High Value to be included in the CAMS yard sale on Saturday, September 28. Some cast-iron machinery legs were brought out of storage and cleaned, along with a cast-iron, curved-spoke flywheel, and other treasures. Also offered in some quantities, in various types/sizes, were genuine Holland Manufacturing Co. tacks (fast disappearing from the scene, never to be had again).

(For those who missed the yard sale, it maintained the high standard of conviviality for which CAMS events are noted. Mechanical artifacts of every description changed hands, immense quantities of food and beverages were consumed, and lots of shop talk and war stories were enjoyed. We succeeded in grossing $113.00 for the CAMS/Tuckahoe machine shop building fund. We thank our fellow CAMS-ers for their support, and we offer profuse thanks to event host and organizer Steve Stallings.)

After the yard sale items were squared away, Jerry and Charles concentrated on cleaning some the parts from the Barnes drill press donated by the Holland Manufacturing Co.

John and Vince continued their efforts to assemble the small New Haven planer (also donated by the Holland Manufacturing Co.) Although we are not planning to restore the small planer until after we complete the Rockford planer restoration, we did carry out a badly-needed cleaning of the inside of the machine. About two inches of crud had accumulated on the inside ribs, and most of it was not chips. We attached the four shafts that are on the bottom of the planer to help keep it assembled temporarily. Everything will need further cleaning before the planer parts will really fit together correctly. Some of the bolts were galled and will need to be chased or replaced. Also, we will need to undertake more assembly work before we can be assured that the small planer is reasonably complete.

Our next work session is scheduled for Saturday, October 12.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #58, Saturday, September 7, 2002

After a brief late summer respite, the machine tool restoration project crew resumed its work in the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum. Present were Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich.

Also present (relatively briefly) were six Boston Creme doughnuts, three sugar-glazeds, and three beignets, plus a bagfull of several varieties from an undisclosed source somewhere in Maryland. We estimate that we started with between 1 1/2 and two dozen, and ended the day with no more than two.

We made progress on several fronts. We applied spot glazing putty to rough spots in the primered base of the Excelsior drill press. We also finished our prep work and applied primer to the small castings of the Excelsior.

We had received a small New Haven planer some months ago as part of the treasure trove from the Holland Manufacturing Co. Unlike some of the other machine tools from the Holland site, the New Haven planer traveled a circuitous path to Tuckahoe. Partly in consequence, it had been disassembled, and it is less than fully obvious that it is complete. Accordingly, we began reassembly of the components on hand to determine if anything is missing. If it is complete and restorable, it will be an interesting counterpoint to the big Rockford planer--sort of a Mutt and Jeff display.

We also made encouraging progress toward further disassembling and cleaning some of the smaller components of the W. F. and J. Barnes drill press (also donated by the Holland Manufacturing Co.) In addition, we were able to move the main base/column assembly outside, where we were able to remove about 70 to 80 percent of the old paint and remaining grime.

We wish to acknowledge with gratitude the contribution of a box of hand-forged cutting tools (including some drill bits!) by Andy Berdine, of northwestern Pennsylvania. Having these on hand will greatly enhance our ability to show museum visitors how things were done back in the good old (pre-high-speed-steel) days. Thanks, Andy! (And thanks also to Al Haracz for bringing them down to us from Pennsylvania.)

Our next work date has been set for Saturday, September 21. One of the principal tasks for that session will be to see if we can identify and transport some surplus goodies to offer at the CAMS yard sale on Saturday, September 28, with proceeds to benefit the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association machine shop building fund.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #57, Saturday, August 10, 2002

A small but determined crew, consisting of Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, and Luther Dietrich, continued work on the machine tool restoration project.

"Accountability" is a word very much in vogue nowadays, so we offer herewith our own effort at accountability: One dozen fine, handcrafted Virginia doughnuts were delivered to the work site. Present were: Four Boston Cremes, four yeast-raised sugar-glazeds, and four beignets (we have heard that on the north side of the Potomac these are called "crullers"). Our accountability sags and droops a bit (much like our waistlines) when we try to remember exactly what happened to all of them, but we do recall completely disposing of the Boston Cremes. When we left for the day, the second-shift foreman took the remaining specimens into custody.

We had better luck during this work session in disassembling both the Excelsior and the W. F. & J. Barnes drill presses. At the end of the day, nearly all major components of the Barnes drill press had been removed from the main body casting. We are not completely out of the woods yet, though--some of the subassemblies pose their own resistance to further disassembly. Nevertheless, we started cleaning some of the pieces (mainly degreasing and paint stripping). In the course of this cleaning, we discovered still more setscrews and (more disconcertingly) oil holes that had been completely covered by the machine's most recent Sherwin-Williams overhaul. With a few more work sessions during the remainder of the summer and fall, we should be positioned to do our painting and assembly indoors this winter and spring.

After thwarting us last week, the Excelsior spindle was persuaded to come apart. We continued cleaning some of the Excelsior components, and began to apply spot glazing putty to the rough, low areas of the base casting.

We examined the broken cross-feed drive clutch component from the Rockford planer and brainstormed over how it might be duplicated. The original was cast and machined from iron, and it could be duplicated in that way, or machined from the solid (albeit with a large amount of waste). We are also considering whether it may be feasible to fabricate a replacement from steel or other materials.

A date has not been set for our next work session. A local kennel club will be using the Tuckahoe show grounds for a dog show on August 16-17, which also happens to be the weekend of the Rough-and-Tumble engine show in Kinzers, Pennsylvania (which some of our number hope to attend). To be advised when we will meet again, please contact Vince Iorio at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #56, Saturday, August 3, 2002

Five crew members--John Davis, Vince Iorio, Frank Rabbit, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich--turned out to resume restoration activity after the successful annual show in July. Some of us, Frank and Dave in particular, put in some valuable labor between "formal" work sessions to move into storage some of the heavy items that had been offered for sale during the annual show. (Although the sale activity garnered approximately $1,900 for the machine shop building fund, it seems that some items were destined not to succeed in finding the owners of their dreams. At least not in this round.)

Bill Hires, a Tuckahoe member from Toms River, New Jersey, returned the cast-iron base for the Excelsior drill press very neatly media-blasted, so we applied a coat of primer to it. We made efforts to dismantle the spindle of this machine for inspection and cleaning, but were unsuccessful. We had greater luck in cleaning the lower cone pulley and a couple of other small pieces.

We also attempted to disassemble a number of components relating to the downfeed mechanism of the W. F. & J. Barnes drill press, with only limited success. (Our tentative conclusion could be that old drill presses were assembled a little more tightly than some of the other machine tools we have worked on.) One problem we encountered was that a number of holes for set screws, oil, etc., as well as other details potentially relevant to disassembly, have been covered by multiple layers of paint and grime over the years. Although we generally attempt to do our heavy cleaning outside the museum building (to keep our dust and grit away from other museum exhibits), we had to do some occasional spot cleaning with scrapers and angle grinders to reveal what we hoped would be keys to disassembly. We predict greater success for our efforts in future work sessions.

We discussed our priorities for the new work year, and determined that our main projects would be continuing our restoration of the Rockford planer and initiating restoration of the Barnes drill press. We also recognize the need to move the Dietz, Schumacher, and Boye lathe indoors. (It is currently stored under tarps just outside the museum building.) We will need to plan that move carefully--the weight of the beast is such (approximately two and one-half tons) that we will not be able to move the major components in and out for cleaning as readily as we might for a smaller machine. Hence, we will probably have to do some disassembly and cleaning work before or during the move.

Special Addendum to Work Report 55: We were mortified to learn after releasing the work report covering the 2002 annual show that we had somehow failed to thank Fred Schirrmacher for spending the better part of a day helping to make signs for our exhibit and rounding up items for the sale. We also failed to note that our visitors during the show included Mr. Jack "Woody" Woods, donor of four of our machine tools. To Fred and Woody we offer our apologies, as well as our heartfelt thanks.

Our next work session is set for Saturday, August 10.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work/Show Report #55, Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, 2002

Ten volunteers (an unprecedented number) turned out to staff the antique machine tool exhibit in the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association's Rural Life Museum during what may have been the largest annual show ever produced by the Association. Closely associated with the exhibit was a sales area in which we offered choice memorabilia (and tacks--cartons and cartons of tacks) donated by the Holland Manufacturing Company and others. Participating were: John Davis (Friday), Pierre Huggins (Sunday), Vince Iorio (Friday through Sunday), John McCalla (Thursday through Saturday), Frank Rabbit (Thursday through Sunday!), Stan Stocker (Thursday through Saturday), Jerry Tuwiner (Thursday through Sunday!), John Webb (Thursday through Saturday), Dave Welser (Thursday through Saturday), and Luther Dietrich (Saturday and Sunday).

There were approximately 1,000 visitors of record to the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum (plus an unknown number who could not be persuaded to sign the visitors' log), and we handed out over 330 sets of CAMS/machine tool exhibit flyers. We were happy to welcome a number of CAMS-ers to the exhibit, including a number of "repeats" from previous shows. It was encouraging to note how infectious the spirit of volunteerism was as one CAMS-er, Richard Peyton George, joined us behind the ropes to greet visitors for a period on Saturday. In addition, we welcomed an unprecedented number of Significant Others, family members, and friends, several of whom saw our exhibit/worksite for the first time.

Special thanks are due to Stan Stocker, who, volunteering for the first time, worked with us Thursday through Saturday.

Special thanks are due also to Jerry Tuwiner and Frank Rabbit, who worked the exhibit all four days! (Frank also put in a number of days on site before Thursday the 11th in preparation for the show.)

We were especially honored with visits from Mr. Donald Holland, of the Holland Manufacturing Company, donors of a very substantial amount of line shafting, hangars, and pulleys, as well as at least seven metalworking machine tools and other machinery, and from Mr. George Cohen, donor of our Rockford planer. Mr. Cohen was very pleased to see the progress we had made restoring the planer. (He has offered us a Heald surface grinder, as well as machining services.)

Two machine tools, the Smith and Mills 16-inch shaper and the Pratt & Whitney Number 10 horizontal milling machine, were under power for visitors, and one of them, the shaper, was actually making chips. We managed to reduce the height of a block of aluminum (approximately 1 1/4 inches by five inches by six inches) by an inch or so. No doubt we could have reduced it to smaller dimensions a lot faster, but we restrained ourselves for safety's sake. We found that by keeping the depth of cut shallow, a light, feathery chip ("swarf" for our British readers) (Do we have any British readers?) was produced--desirable because it posed little or no danger to visitors. This is an important point because casual visitors cannot be expected to come attired in safety glasses and safety shoes (or even in long pants). Shorts and sandals were typical garb, and at least one lady was barefoot--not a good time for us to be producing sharp steel or brass chips! Our informal impression is that in general, visitors seem to be enjoying our exhibit a little more each year. (It's amazing how far a little mechanical motion and chip production goes toward pleasing the crowd.) It was particularly gratifying to see the youngsters--girls as well as boys--observing the action closely and asking plenty of questions. One heart-stopping moment occurred, though, when one young lady observed a little too closely, leaned over the ropes, and attempted to clear some fresh chips from the workpiece WHILE THE SHAPER WAS RUNNING! Happily, disaster was narrowly averted by a blood-curdling shriek from the machine operator. We will definitely re-engineer our future demonstrations to preclude this sort of thing!

CAMS-ers Bill and Paul Therry spotted an "Excelsior" drill press (a small floor model with provision for an electric motor to be mounted on an integral extension to the cast-iron base) among the goodies offered at auction and made the offer of a generous cash donation to support its acquisition. Seasoned auction bidder John McCalla nabbed the unit for a measly 65 dollars. Frank "field stripped" it (thus giving the show weekend something of the character of a regular work session) and sent the cast-iron base to Toms River, New Jersey, with Bill Hire for media blasting. (Mr. Hire, who was one of the Tuckahoe people instrumental in moving the Rockford planer from Camden to Tuckahoe, owns an auto body business, and has offered media blasting services in support of the restoration project.)

Two visitors from Rising Sun, Maryland, Richard Bibey, Sr. and Jr. (father and son), made the indefinite loan of a lapping plate and master square (which they delivered during the show) said to have come from the DuPont car manufacturing company (active from 1915 to 1933).

Sales from material from the Holland Manufacturing Co. tack factory (and other sources) exceeded $1,800. These proceeds will be applied to Tuckahoe's fund for the future machine shop building. Essentially all of the sales activity took place before Sunday, when rain pretty much closed down the outdoor sales operation. Despite this, we did manage a swap on Sunday: a flat belt-driven buffer (currently owned by blacksmith Bill Walker, of Kent Island, Maryland) for one of our surplus flat-belt driven grinders. The buffer is said to have come from the shop of noted knife maker William F. "Bill" Moran, Jr. (For information on Mr. Moran and his work, see:

We were approached near the end of the show by a member of the Rural Life Museum staff, who asked if we would consider developing a one-day antique machine tool class, similar to the steam and internal combustion engine classes taught by some of the Tuckahoe folks through Chesapeake College. There is little need to practice calling us "Professor" yet, though. If this project comes to fruition, it will probably be some time in the future.

On a final note, we passed up our usual and customary ration of doughnuts in favor of the foodstuffs available at the show. (Burgers! Fries! Chicken dinners! Scrapple and egg sandwiches! Funnel cakes! Beaten biscuits! Ice cream sandwiches! And more!) Thus we succeeded in retaining waistlines that would have marked us as borderline prosperous during the era when our machine tools were manufactured.

As is usually the case after the annual show, we are treating ourselves to a rest break. Consequently, we have not yet set a date for our next work session. To be advised of the date when it is set, or for other information on the restoration project, please contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #54, Saturday, July 6, 2002

A bumper crop of volunteers--John Davis, Pierre Huggins, Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, John Webb, and Luther Dietrich--turned out for one of the more intense and productive work sessions yet on the machine tool restoration project. (We contented ourselves with a mere dozen doughnuts; such was the level of our industry and determination.)

Frank had spent a considerable amount of time since our last work session painting the Rockford planer's main bed and supporting structure components, so we operated largely in assembly mode. We installed the elevating leadscrews and linkage for the cross arm, then, using elemental muscle power and a clever jig that Frank devised from scraps of wood, we mounted the cross arm itself. We had intended to completely assemble the cutter head/clapper box, but we discovered a significant bend in the tool height adjustment leadscrew. (That component went home with John McCalla for straightening. If it returns by show time, we may install it during the show for a little added spectator interest.) Finally, we used Dave Welser's engine hoist and some cribbing to install the table (all 1,000-1,200 pounds of it).

We did not completely assemble the planer because several components (especially those relating to the cutter head drive) still need work before the machine can become operational. Nevertheless, we ended the day with a ten-foot planer. (If you stand back about ten feet, it looks pretty durn good.) (We hasten to add that this assessment relates only to the machine's current state of completeness. In terms of its finish, after weeks of intensive prep work, it surely qualifies as at least a one-footer.)

Thanks to some quality time spent fabricating a reproduction motor mount in his home shop, Vince succeeded in putting the Pratt & Whitney Number 10 horizontal milling machine under power, using a period-correct 3/4 horsepower motor. The old girl looked and sounded great running again after who knows how many years! Vince also remotored the Smith and Mills shaper, this time using a substantial one-horsepower unit (also period-correct) in an effort to avoid the great motor burnout debacle of last year's show. (Vince also returned on Sunday to apply a little more paint to the Champion post-mounted drill press and to perfect the wiring on the shaper and the Pratt & Whitney mill.) So this year, we will be able to exhibit two machines in motion during the show.

John Davis and Pierre applied copious amounts of elbow grease to cleaning the 20-inch swing W. F. & J. Barnes drill press from the Holland Mfg. Company's Baltimore tack factory. We have not yet had a chance to undertake any restoration work on this machine (although John and Pierre did succeed in freeing the table for both vertical and horizontal movement), but it is now clean enough to show well.

We attempted to clear away some of our restoration work mess, but were only partly successful. Our plan is to store the rolling carts, tool boxes, storage rack, and other large items in the 40-foot container during the show. The container, however, is partially filled with machinery and boxes of tacks and nails that we hope to sell during the show. We need access to the container to remove the sale items, so we are hoping that the first people to man the exhibit/sales tables will be able to bring about the switch.

As we have mentioned several times before, the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association's 2002 show will take place from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14. The show this year will feature John Deere tractors and equipment. (Poppin' Johnies and antique machine tools--what a winning combination!) The event is held at the Association's show grounds on U.S. Route 50 about five miles north of Easton. For more information, the Association's web site is at:

Department of Correction and Amplification: Intrepid traffic engineer Vince has subjected certain claims made in our last work report (#53) to empirical testing and reports that Tuckahoe is between the 58th and 59th mile markers on U.S. Route 50. (In the interest of keeping things simple and less confusing we will not repeat the directions we originally gave.) According to Vince, both our work report and the Tuckahoe web site misstated the mile markers; thus, we stand corrected!

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #53, Saturday, June 29, 2002

The team of John Davis, Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, John Webb, and Luther Dietrich moved forward the CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration project. John Davis and Luther demonstrated the principle of independent evolution of good ideas--each brought at least a dozen doughnuts. (As a measure of the intensity of the session, we note that none were left at day's end.)

Although we had anticipated painting the Rockford planer, we made a relatively spontaneous decision to continue sanding and priming the machine to achieve an even better final finish. In doing so, we made the de facto decision that finishing a restoration project in advance of the annual show is for sissies--Real Men work up until the last minute (and beyond?), then do their cleaning and organizing while the show is in progress. Oh well--it won't be the first time!

We finished cleaning the final three pulleys for the planer, then discovered a handful of parts that had been overlooked for cleaning earlier. (We didn't really think that we would escape without that happening!) The cast-iron idler pulleys received an initial coat of primer, while our thinking at this point is to leave the two-step aluminum driven pulley unpainted.

Working after our regular work session, Frank made the unhappy discovery that the cast-iron clutch band for the planer's cutter head drive mechanism is broken. We will probably have to fabricate a replacement, but that project will have to wait until after the show.

Speaking of the annual show, we remind everyone that it is set to take place from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14, at the show grounds of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association on U.S. Route 50 approximately five miles north of Easton, Maryland, between mileposts 57 and 58.  (As you approach Easton from the north, the show grounds will be on your right.) For more information, pay the association's website a visit at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #52, Saturday, June 22, 2002

The CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration crew consisting of Vince Iorio, Frank Rabbit, John Webb, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich resumed work on the restoration project. The festivities were kicked off with a bountiful supply of doughnuts, thoughtfully provided by John and Dave.

More heavy lifting ensued as we rearranged most of the machine tools to offer a more dramatic exhibit for the viewing public. The Rockford planer (easily our biggest machine) is now angled at about 60 degrees to allow the smart side (i.e., the side with the operator controls) to be more easily seen. The short bed, 16-inch swing F.E. Reed lathe (one of the least-restored machine tools in the collection) is now against the back wall behind the planer. The Smith and Mills shaper, the Pratt and Whitney horizontal milling machine, and the Garvin horizontal milling machine have all been repositioned to put the more thoroughly restored machines closer to the viewing public. Our "new" drill press, a B. F. Barnes from the Holland tack factory in Baltimore, is in front and to the right of the planer. The Barnes will replace the J. E. Snyder drill press formerly in the exhibit. The Barnes is larger, of the same era as the Snyder, and considerably more complete (and, so far as we can tell, in working order); hence we feel that it will make a better subject for restoration.

This is as good a time as any to alert our fellow antiquarian CAMS-ers (There are more of us our there, aren't there?) that the Snyder drill press will join other machine tools (including two Willard overhead-belt-driven lathes, one with countershaft, and another drill press of uncertain origin) in being offered for sale by auction during the forthcoming annual show of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association on July 11-14. In addition to the machine tools, other useful or collectible artifacts will be offered in some quantities (Genuine Holland tacks in all shapes, colors, and sizes! Lightly patinated tack cans fairly redolent of America's proud industrial heritage! More, much more!) at auction or for direct cash sale. Proceeds will benefit the Machine Shop Building Fund.

In addition to moving machine tools, we finished cleaning all but about three parts (pulleys for the belt drive system) of the Rockford planer. We also began test-fitting some of the planer components preparatory to final assembly. Frank plans to visit the museum during the week and start painting the machine (several detachable components have already been painted), so with luck we should be able to start, and perhaps finish, assembling the machine during our next work session on Saturday, June 29.

We continue to appeal to other CAMS-ers to join us in staffing the exhibit and the tack sales tent during the annual show. In addition to interpreting the machine tool exhibit, this is a good opportunity to make some good contacts for CAMS and for the metalworking trades/hobby. Please don't be bashful about stepping forward. For more information, contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #51, Saturday, June 15, 2002

John McCalla, Kevin McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich turned out to move the CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project a few feet forward. We were happy to welcome Kevin McCalla (John's son, and a recent graduate of Rutgers) to the crew.

Mercifully or not (depending on your perspective), the doughnut supply was limited to half-a-dozen from somewhere in Virginia. Whatever efforts may have been made to recreate the miracle of the loaves and the fishes from this meager basis were unsuccessful; hence we limited our caloric intake mainly to the excellent lunch provided by the ladies of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association.

While we continued to work on the Rockford planer, we also returned to the "heavy lifting" aspect of our project. Dave brought an engine hoist, which we put to application in several projects. First, we elevated the planer table (which we had removed from the planer late last summer) and placed it on blocks to permit us to attempt to remove the section of rack with the broken tooth. (Although we were able to remove the bolts with no trouble, our initial efforts were unsuccessful--we believe that the rack, which sets in a milled slot under the table, is essentially "glued" in place by the grease and oil that may have seeped beneath it over the decades.)

We also used the hoist to aid in starting to assemble a small New Haven planer from the Holland tack factory that arrived in the Museum disassembled. It will need to be consolidated and removed from the area in time for the annual show. Thus far, we have succeeded in assembling the bed to the legs and mounting them on a metal skid that Dave provided.

Additionally, we moved a number of small "works in progress" into temporary storage outside and behind the museum building until after the show.

Kevin received his baptism of gunk and grease by cleaning a medium-sized, belt-driven power hacksaw that has been donated to the collection by Eric Harvey. Kevin applied himself to the task with cheerful enthusiasm and did a good job, but he was strangely noncommittal when we asked when he would be returning.

Yet to be accomplished is the initial cleaning and moving of an overhead belt-driven Barnes drill press from the Holland plant. Unlike the other drill presses that we have worried with over the past two years, this one is complete and probably in running condition. (We still plan to restore it sometime after the show.)

Also to be accomplished is the rearranging of the machine tools for the show. We have added machines far faster than we have added exhibit space; hence, some shoehorning is in order to show the restored machines off to best advantage.

As is our custom, we continue to encourage our fellow CAMS-ers to join us in the restoration effort. This time, though, we seek a slightly different form of volunteerism. As we have mentioned before, the annual Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association show will run from Thursday, July 11, through Sunday, July 14--one more day than in the past. We would be greatly appreciative if others would join us in staffing the exhibit area during the show, particularly on Thursday and Sunday. As inducements, we offer (a) no heavy lifting, and (b) free food and beverages. The only real qualifications are to be able to identify and explain the differences among lathes, horizontal milling machines, drill presses, shapers, and planers. (On-the-job training is available!) To sign up, or for further information, please contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #50, Saturday, June 8, 2002

The crew of Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, John Webb, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich was present for yet another session of work on the CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project.

A copious supply of doughnuts arrived from at least two different sources to fortify the crew. (That we were richly endowed with doughnuts may be inferred from the fact that there were at least a few left at the end of the day.)

Cleaning, preparation, and painting of the Rockford planer again claimed the lion's share of our attention. It seems that no matter how many parts we clean of our "project" machine tools, we always discover some that we missed. Happily, by day's end only one major component--the compound slide--remained uncleaned. We plan to disassemble and clean it during our next work session. Of course, given that we are only attempting a cosmetic restoration of the planer by show time--July 11-14--we still have substantial work to do in the future, particularly on the gear train that drives the table, on the table itself, and on the electric motor that powers the beast. Still, if we continue to make meaningful progress on painting, our initial objective should be accomplished by showtime.

Based primarily on research undertaken by Frank, we conclude that the planer is nearly ten years older than we had estimated earlier, i.e., it appears to date from 1919, rather than from the late 1920's. We have also tentatively settled on gray as the basic color, perhaps with black handles and removable parts to enhance operator visibility. Given the preparation work that members of the crew have done (especially Frank, John, and Jerry), we predict that it will look sharp.

As a postscript to this report, we were happy to learn that Frank, who lives much closer to the Tuckahoe grounds that any of the rest of us, visited the site during the week after the work session, and located the missing piece of the broken cast-iron gear from the Rockford planer. Eric Harvey, a welding and blacksmithing guru from the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association, then welded the three pieces of the gear together. Some machining will still be necessary to ready the piece for application, though, and it will probably be a good idea for us to continue to seek a one-piece replacement before we undertake any serious work with the machine.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #49, Saturday, June 1, 2002

A full work crew was in attendance to further the CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project at the Rural Life Museum. Present were John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, John Webb, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich. We were pleased to welcome John Webb to the team. CAMS-ers who attended the April meeting in Burtonsville should remember John as the gentleman who showed his shop-made compact toolmaker's vise and distributed "hand-cad" drawings of it.

As usual, we owe thanks to Dave for providing a generous supply of morale-boosting doughnuts.

The Rockford planer continued to enjoy the major focus of our efforts. We resumed the sanding and priming of the major castings. We also continued to clean and paint the smaller parts that we had removed earlier. One of these small parts (which is not to be painted) is a spur gear from the cutting head traverse mechanism. The gear is broken and will have to be replaced. The specifications (taken from Dave's post on the subject to the CAMS list server) are:

0.880" wide, flat sided
64 teeth
6.698" in diameter

We assume from the age of the machine that the gear is 14 1/2 Degree pressure angle.

The gear has a "double hub" on one side that we can use to press on a replacement gear, but we would not turn down an exact replacement. If anyone has a gear that matches these specifications that they would consider donating to the cause, please contact Dave at: welserda@WORLDNET.ATT.NET

In the strong interest in giving lots of credit where credit is due, we would like to thank Frank for doing in two or three weeks what the rest of the crew has failed to accomplish in two or three years: He has neatly organized the work area! Although our resolve has been strong, and we had even made a few tentative efforts, we had still failed to keep aisleways clear, carts and racks for parts and tools out of the immediate work area, and work surfaces free of a jumble of tools, parts, supplies, and miscellany. Happily, Frank brought his machine shop experience to our aid, and order now reigns!

In addition to rescuing us from our messiness, Frank has posted several pictures of the restoration project, including detail shots of the planer, on his website at:

As we have mentioned before, we plan to work each Saturday from now until the annual show on July 11-14. (Of course we will be working during the show itself, but hopefully at a more relaxed pace.) We continue to hold the proverbial welcome mat in readiness for new recruits. For information, please contact Vince Iorio at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #48, Saturday, May 25, 2002

It was a severely abbreviated crew, consisting initially only of Frank Rabbit and Luther Dietrich, and later augmented by Art Lyman and David "Bullet" Wooters, that continued work on the CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project at the Rural Life Museum of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association. As usual, we were comforted by a dozen assorted doughnuts. (In light of the sparse turnout, it could be argued that we each enjoyed a little too much comfort from this source.)

The focus of the day's activity was the Rockford planer. Using lots of manual labor, plus assistance from Art on the forklift, we moved the cross arm outside the museum for a reasonably thorough cleaning. We then removed the elevating mechanism for the cross arm from the planer uprights for cleaning, as well as to expose the lead screw recesses in the uprights for possible painting. (The jury is still out as to whether we should paint these recesses.) We also began cleaning the cross girt for painting. We did succeed in applying an initial coat of primer to the lead screw/drive rod recess in the cross arm, which was our initial purpose in removing the cross arm. (Memorandum to the crew: We need more small paint brushes!)

Our plan for the next two work sessions is to continue painting the planer cross arm, uprights, and cross girt (as well as any other areas of the planer that we have the humanpower to paint), so that we can reassemble the machine in time for the annual show on July 11-14.

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #47, Saturday, May 18 2002

The CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration crew of Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Frank Rabbit, Jerry Tuwiner, and Luther Dietrich resumed work on the machine tool exhibit at the Rural Life Museum. Unfortunately, Dave Welser, who normally endears himself to the crew by providing doughnuts was absent, so the Virginia Contingent filled in (so to speak) with a dozen from the Old Dominion (or at least with what was left of the dozen after the drive over).

The day's work took place pretty much in and around the museum itself, i.e., we took a mini-vacation from the heavy lifting and moving discussed in recent work reports. We started by removing the four-jaw chuck from the 16-inch swing F.E. Reed lathe to determine if a faceplate we had on hand would fit the lathe. (It did--but if it hadn't, the faceplate might have finished its machine shop career as a table for the Champion Blower & Forge post drill press.) The old chuck came off with a level of difficulty that left us convinced that we were seeing spindle threads that had not been seen by human eyes for forty years or so. (Probably an exaggeration--but not by much!)

We finished assembling the Champion Blower & Forge post drill press components that we have on hand. Yet to be fabricated are the automatic feed eccentric link and the gear shift lever. We determined that we also need a wrench or an adaptor with a male hex of about 1 1/4 inches across the flats to fit the ratchet on the table-elevating mechanism. (John McCalla is working on this item in his home shop.)

We also continued our preparation work in the course of painting the Rockford planer (not Rockwell, as we erroneously stated in Work Report #45). Like most large planers, this machine has numerous large surface areas that fairly cry out for a high-quality finish. Our technique thus far is to apply spot glazing putty in layers to the obvious low places, sand, then apply primer. We then sand the primer to reveal any areas that need additional work. (The putty and primer should be compatible.)

We also removed and disassembled the cross bar/vertical slide/clapper box assembly from the planer. Although we did not initially intend to disassemble the shaper to quite this extent so close to show time, we decided that by so doing, we could do a much better job of painting the recesses behind the lead screw and vertical slide drive rod. As a bonus, we now enjoy unfettered access to the cross-girt, which carries the cast lettering identifying the machine. With luck (lots of luck!), we will get all of this nicely painted and reassembled in time for the show.

The crew plans to meet for a work session every Saturday from now until Tuckahoe's annual show on July 11 through July 14. (Of course, we will be manning the exhibit during the show as well.) As always, we would be happy to welcome additional CAMS-ers to the project. In this vein, we quote from the most recent "Tuckahoe Newsletter": "The CAMS guys...welcome any pairs of hands looking for something to do on a Saturday. They are a congenial group and they always have donuts." For more information on joining this congenial group, please contact Vince at: To let us know what varieties/flavors of doughnuts you favor, please contact either Dave at: welserda@WORLDNET.ATT.NET or Luther at: (If your fancy runs towards Bavarian Cremes or coconut-covered yeast-raised, you had better arrive early!)

missing report # here ????

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #45, April 20, 2002

The machine tool restoration team of Pierre Huggins, Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Jerry Tuwiner, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich welcomed a newcomer to the team from the ranks of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association--Frank Rabbitt. Frank is a former machinist with experience on a planer very similar to our 1920's vintage Rockwell, so he is a truly welcome addition to our team.

Work for the day took place on at least two fronts. Inside the museum building, we continued to work on preparing the Rockwell planer for painting by sanding the spot glazing putty that had been applied to the areas where paint had chipped away. We then applied fresh putty to the remaining low areas. This is a process that will probably take several sessions to complete. (Our plan is to complete a cosmetic surface restoration to the planer before the annual show in July. After the show we can, at our relative leisure, undertake our customary disassembly-cleaning & repair-reassembly sequence.) One minor issue to be resolved is the color that the planner is to be painted. Probably at least a simple majority of the team would like to paint it a deep dark green like that found on a lot of old cast iron machinery. Does any one have any info on exactly what color that would be? We would still probably paint the planer first with the black Duron "urethane-modified" paint because it holds up well to oil. This will serve to seal the current finish, including the spot glazing putty filler. (It is still unclear how well the spot glazing putty will hold up in service to oil.)

We also cleaned the remaining two major castings (the flywheel and the drive pulley) for the Champion Blower & Forge drill press and prepared them for painting. We took measurements in order to design a replacement for the missing eccentric link in the self-feed mechanism.

Outside the museum, we cut holes and installed four louver panels for ventilation in the storage container. With luck, they will make working inside the container relatively bearable during hot weather.

We continued to move tons (literally!) of machinery components from the Holland Manufacturing Co. tack factory in Baltimore into more secure storage. We were assisted in this by Tuckahoians Art Lyman and Eric and Pat Harvey. Because this effort coincided with a general work day of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association, Eric was able to secure the loan of a New Holland loader (similar to a Bobcat) from a local equipment dealer/leasor. This loader, which could turn on its own axis, was considerably more versatile than the regular Tuckahoe forklift. (The fact that it had brakes--compared to our usual forklift--was also a major bonus!) Consequently, we were able to move several skids of line shaft components to the container and to the Tuckahoe storage shed--much better storage space than the pavilion where they had been temporarily located, and where they would definitely have been in the way during the annual show.

During our labors, we had the opportunity to assist two of the Tuckahoe work force in an unusual job--removing the canopy from a steam tractor for maintenance. It was lighter than we expected and was lowered safely to ground quite easily. During the "good old days," these tractors would putter from job to job over country roads at stately speeds of under five miles per hour. As a consequence, aerodynamics were not of great importance in designing canopies. In current times, however, these machines are trucked to shows at modern highway speeds, thus requiring the canopies to be in a high state of repair and maintenance (or perhaps removed for transit).

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #44, March 23, 2002

The CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration project crew subjected itself to another day of heavy lifting. In attendance were Eric Harvey and Art Lyman (of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association), and CAMS-ers Vince Iorio, Pierre Huggins, Jerry Tuwiner, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich.

Eric, Jerry, and Dave used their trucks and trailer to haul more treasure from the Holland Manufacturing Co. of Baltimore. The day's chief booty consisted of several pallets of open-topped tack cans (originally used to store and move finished tacks within the factory). These beautiful, delightful, and useful objects fall within the "no shop is complete without several" category; hence, we hope that we will be able to sell scads of them at the annual show of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association this coming July 11-14. Of course, our principal tack-canner, Dave Welser, could probably be motivated to make some available via advance purchase to shrewd, brainy CAMS-ers who want to be the first on their block to possess, display, and use these sterling artifacts of industrial Americana. Dimensions are approximately a foot-and-a-half long, about a foot wide, and eight inches or so deep. A handy lifting handle is welded to each end. Further negotiations may be had with Dave at: welserda@WORLDNET.ATT.NET

The crew did some serious organizing in the 40-foot container. We assembled several pallet racks from the Holland facility and placed them along one interior wall to allow us to store items above floor level (and still have them accessible in the future). The container is becoming the repository of most of the Holland line shafting components, as well as a considerable number of items to be offered at auction during the annual show. Thanks to artful deployment of the Tuckahoe forklift, most of the tack cans have been stored (if you can believe it) on top of the container. (The orchestrators of this plan mumbled something about how the pallets of tack cans, properly tarped, would help reflect the sun's heat from the container.)

Happily, not all of the day's activity took place in storage efforts. We made significant progress towards restoring (with Bondo glazing putty) the surface of the Rockford planer preparatory to painting it. We also reassembled the available drive components of the Champion post drill press. (A few components are missing and will have to be replaced with pieces of modern manufacture. Dave has already started this process in his home shop.)

Our immediate work plans include completing the cosmetic restoration of the planer before the annual show, and installing some ventilating louvers in the container. To be included in these exciting developments, contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #43, March 2, 2002

It was a day of heavy lifting for the CAMS/Tuckahoe machine tool restoration project crew. In attendance were Lee Hall and Art Lyman (both of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association), and CAMS-ers Vince Iorio, Jerry Tuwiner, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich.

We started the day by unloading two (pickup) truck loads of machinery parts and wooden patterns salvaged from the Holland Manufacturing Co. in Baltimore. At the same time, we transferred into covered storage several lineshaft components that had been left outside. With the trucks thus freed for moving railroad jacks and cribbing, we proceeded to place the new 40-foot container on a firmer footing. (The container had been temporarily positioned on some logs and timbers.) Using the railroad jacks, we lifted the container one end at a time, removed the temporary supports, and positioned new footings, consisting of small concrete slabs and cut-down railroad ties.

When the work on the container was completed, we spent the rest of the day filling it with the lineshaft components (especially the pulleys) from the Holland site. (These components had been placed in temporary covered storage in the Tuckahoe machinery pavilion. Although they were essentially protected from the elements there, the pavilion space must be cleared before the annual show this coming July.) We succeeded in transferring several pallet loads of wooden pulleys--yet to come are the cast iron and pressed steel pulleys and lineshaft brackets.

Although Lee and Art lightened our labors immeasurably by pressing the Tuckahoe forklift into service throughout the day, there was still plenty of grunt work for us to do--so much so that no one complained very much when rain brought the project to a halt nearly an hour before our usual quitting time.

The date for our next work session is to be determined. We invite any bashful but industrious souls (We know that you're out there!) wishing to bathe yourselves in the glory of the machine tool restoration project to contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #42, February 9, 2002

A CAMS/Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association work party consisting of Art Lyman, Dave Welser and Steve Vandercook spent two weeks, from January 18 to February 1, 2002, and Saturday, February 9, at the Holland Manufacturing Co. tack factory in Baltimore salvaging industrial antiquity from the dust and dirt. We were joined for some of these days by Lawrence Patrick (President of the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association, Eric Harvey (Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association), Andy Koch (director of the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum), and by CAMS-ers Pierre Huggins, John McCalla, Jerry Tuwiner, and Luther Dietrich.

The Holland tack plant has been in place since 1900, and so have the machines and line shafting. We are not sure that it has been cleaned much since things went in way-back-then!

We have so far collected about 240 feet of lineshaft, a ton of hangers, and 100-plus pulleys (wood, cast iron, leather and pressed steel, with a couple of others that weigh a ton and appear to be compressed paper). We also have several leather belts and pieces of other assorted hardware, too numerous for our minds to recall. The Holland family also generously donated a Brown and Sharp surface grinder, a small shaper (but not too small), another 14-inch swing F. E. Reed lathe in good condition, a large drill press and perhaps a small planer (5' long maybe). All of this is overhead-flat-belt-driven. We have countershaft sets for all of these machines, as well as the flat-belt-driven generator that provided the DC power for the surface grinder's magnetic table. We also have a tack-making machine and a wire-staple-making machine that we can run for the enjoyment of show attendees at Tuckahoe.

Editor's note: The word "ton" is used advisedly twice in the above paragraph. This equipment is heavy!

We hope that the lineshafting, countershafts, and related components that we have acquired from the Holland family will form the backbone of the overhead power transmission system that we will need to design and install to make the contemplated antique machine shop building at Tuckahoe a reality. To provide storage space for a good part of this trove, Vince Iorio and Dave Welser have procured a 40-foot container that has been delivered and sited adjacent to the Tuckahoe Rural Life Museum. The monumental volume of our acquisitions gives rise to new demands on our time, energy, and other resources. Hence, we are appealing to our fellow CAMS-ers and Tuckahonians for aid in inventorying the material, as well as in cleaning, conserving, and storing it. For more information, please contact Vince at:

CAMS/Tuckahoe Machine Tool Restoration Project

Work Report #41, January 12, 2002

The Chinese New Year found the CAMS/Tuckahoe crew of John Davis, Vince Iorio, John McCalla, Jerry Tuwiner, Steve Vandercook, Dave Welser, and Luther Dietrich back at work on the machine tool restoration project at the Tuckahoe Steam and Gas Association’s Rural Life Museum.

Dave is clearly a team player of the first water. Once again, he supplied the team with a generous supply of fresh, hand-crafted doughnuts (including some of the coconut-covered yeast-raised ones!) and sweet rolls. He was joined in the “CAMS Canteen” by John McCalla, who resumed his duty as coffeemeister. (Leaving nothing to chance, John even brought a supply of hand-drawn Virginia water to assure a consistent, high-quality output.) Thanks, Dave and John!

We made more progress toward reassembling the Champion Blower and Forge post-mounted drill press. This time we assembled the drive spindle and gear shaft. (Together they carry the gearing that provides two drilling speeds.) We have tentatively concluded that we are missing the shift lever or other mechanism for changing gears, so we have made firm plans to bring our early drill press archives to the next work session to try to divine the workings of our beast. As we indicated in our last work report, we had to procure a 1/4-inch straight key to install the gear set. One of our number completed one of the requirements for his Master Machinist Merit Badge by hand-filing exactly .015" off the key to assure a smooth installation of the gear set.

In addition to doing some re-assembly of the drill press, we also primed and painted some more of its components.

In an effort to provide ourselves with some drive components to power the 14-inch swing, long-bed F.E. Reed lathe by show time this July, we began cleaning and otherwise rehabilitating a small countershaft assembly that had been used earlier to transfer power to the 16-inch Reed lathe. (Dave then took several major components from the countershaft home for further cleaning and painting.) This countershaft is really too small to properly run either Reed lathe (plus it lacks a cone pulley), but it may be useful in transferring power at a single speed for limited demonstration purposes.

We also did some work on the long-bed F.E. Reed lathe cross slide to correct a binding problem caused apparently by a loose bolt securing the nut to the cross slide casting. We took measurements to machine custom bronze washers to tighten up the excessive backlash. In an effort to correct binding or roughness during manual movement of the carriage, the apron ballcrank handle and gear assembly were removed. These parts will be separated off-site using an arbor press and evaluated for wear and the possible need for sleeving.

We finished painting the two rolling contractor’s carts that we had begun during the last work session. Jerry brought Masonite inserts that he had made for the tops of the carts, which we plan to mount during our next work session (when the paint will be thoroughly dry). The third cart is in rougher shape, and should probably receive some rehabilitation before we try to paint and otherwise finish it. One of the finished carts is earmarked for cleaning and personal supplies--shop rags, paper towels, hand cleaner, tissues, first aid supplies, and the like. The uses to which the others will put is still to be determined, but given the amount of painting supplies, tools, and other materials that need a home, we have no doubt at all that they will be well-employed.

We conducted an experiment on the chipped paint of the Rockford planer using a spackling compound and a glazing-type auto body putty. At our next work session (after a long drying period) we will evaluate the results and determine which preparation (if either) is suitable for restoring a smooth finish to the planer's large, flat surfaces before final painting.

Everyone on the crew was too preoccupied with planning for Cabin Fever (January 26-27) to focus on setting a date for the next work session. To be advised of the next date, or for other information on the project, please contact Vince at:

When we do meet again, we will need to bring the following:

1. Paint thinner.
2. Paint remover.
3. Acetone. (Luther's area of responsibility.)
4. 12 each 1/4" ball bearings for the post-mounted drill press. (John McCalla has volunteered to provide these.)
5. A 7/16" x 2 1/4" bolt needed for the drill press.
6. A 7/8"open end (single end, old style) wrench that can be permanently assigned to the compound of the long-bed F.E. Reed lathe. (This wrench, in order to effectively reach and turn the two nuts, must not be thicker than .460", and it must not be too bulky in its profile. An old wrench may need to be modified on a bench grinder to suit.)

The end, or actually you have reached the beginning of the Tuckahoe chronology for the year 2002.

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