Old shop equipment

Ok folks, who’s finally found a use for their old shop equipment that’s been gathering dust all these years? what neat old machines did you get to play with? Being an old car guy, I can appreciate the beauty of the old stuff…here’s my 1946 South Bend lathe at work, fixing a control at the end of the fix-it window today.

This robot stuff is neat…so many disciplines for the students to learn about…

well we got to work with an ancient tool (i don’t remember excatly what it was) that had, get this, an on-off switch for a PERMENANT magnet. that’s right, this was from before electromagnets made it into many commerical devices. I don’t remember exactly how it worked, but it was something else

The Bridgeport milling machine that my team owns is at least 60 years old, but we still love it. Our lathe is not isn’t that old, but almost every other powered tool in our school’s shop still has “Made in the USA” metal plates on the side of them. Except for one of the drill presses, which has a lot of “character”, most of the tools still work perfectly fine despite being decades old.

I recently took home an old (year unknown) Atlas 618 lathe from the local community college machine shop and cleaned it up a bit. When I got it, almost everything that was meant to spin was totally siezed. The carraige would not move on the ways. The spindle was wobbling beyond belief in the headstock.

Anyway, I fixed all that, and it seems like it could be made functional again, but it is still missing a motor, chuck, tailstock accessories (drill chuck, center, etc) and change gears. Also, the clasp nut is not engaging the lead screw properly. So, it would probably take $300-400 bucks to get it going again, but even then it would just be so so. I like the 18" between centers on this thing, but for the price, I could just get a brand new Asian 7x10 or maybe even 7x12.

I have a lathe a lil smaller than that but just as old (if not older) in my basement that still will remain my favorite piece for years to come

I’ve certainly never found a use for it, but in the shop we use at TTS, there’s a large Fritz-Werner mill from 1935. Apparently, before the advent of easily-available ground-to-size die blocks, it was used to make 1/2"-deep fly-cuts in annealed steel…

Here’s the Bridgeport mill I use in our shop. I haven’t had a chance to look up the serial number to find out when it was made but I suspect we’re about the same age. It’s seen some abuse as it used to reside in the auto shop but it’s cleaned up fairly well and works well.

Wow, that looks like it was made before my parents were born…

The oldest tool we have is probably the table big clamp we got from a mentor, it’s probably from the early 40’s…

We have a dewalt drill that still works, we got it the year the team started 5 years ago, it still outperforms our new genric brand drill…

The oldest tool Ive ever used on a FIRST team was well over 8,000 years old

hard to be certain of the age, it was definately prehistoric. We used it on heat shrink tubing.

very primative - very dangerous if you were not carefull!

Ooooh, I think I may have used that same tool on some IPA in my hotel room sink.

Ken, was it an original or a copy? I suspect the latter…


absolutely original

when you are building a robot there’s no time to wallow in the mire!

Wow that is almost the same Bridgeport that we have!! We got ours from Mobil when they closed a facility near us. Its a great machine and with some money from our Sponsor BMS we had it upgraded with digital readouts, its an awesome tool.

We also have an old Monarch Lather I could not give you a build time, bur probably shortly after WW2, its an awesome lathe!

We have two Bridgeports that look very similar to the ones posted here. We also have a lathe that I am told was made some time between WWI and WWII.

The lathe is a Monarch… circa 1940. Our bridgeports are almost the same, but one of them has a digital readout