Cleaning up Lathe Handwheels and robo dollys

I’m going to start this post with a warning. Spinning machinery has the extreme potential to remove limbs and fingers. Be EXTREMELY careful when operating lathes, drill presses and other workshop equipment. I don’t want to be responsible for any damage you may do to your self whilst replicating the below. Do so in any form at your own risk.

This last weekend I managed to finish spraying final coats and touch-ups on several lathe parts and so decided that it was finally time to re-approach the hand wheels. Originally when I had started stripping the paint off with the sandblaster I’d hit the outside of the wheel in several places by accident which then dulled the finish on the wheel. As a stop gap measure, until I could work out what to do about this I sprayed the whole thing with a primer to stop any rusting. I figured that any attempt to re-polish the wheel would use some form of abrasive and so I may as well remove the primer at that point anyway.

After searching around the internet for a while I came across this website , the results that this guy has with some of his restorations is beyond belief and the end result he achieved with his hand wheels was pretty much what I was after so I decided to copy / modify the process.

Seeing as the restoration of the lathe has resulted in the disassembly of the lathe there was no lathe to turn the lathe parts on… so I had to resort to the wheel mounted on a section of M8 threaded rod mounted in a drill press.

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Once I had confirmed it was mounted securely and wasn’t turning off center I flicked it on and started with 400 grit wet and dry sandpaper, moving through 800, 1000 and 2000 before finishing off with 00 and 0000 synthetic steel wool.

The wheel just after the paint removed,

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and then whilst polishing with the 0000 nylon wool.

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Note in the above photo the drill is turning in a clockwise direction and is pulling pad away from me and out of my hand. I believe this to be the safer side to be doing this on, if your hand slips it’s not as likely to get caught in the spokes of the hand wheel which will definitely result in fingers getting torn off.

After being cleaned up the wheel was masked and then had the first top coat applied. One more coat in a week followed by any touch-ups a week later should finish this off.

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Whilst in painting mode I also put two more light coats of etch primer on the lawnmower deck and then the first top coat. I’ve only got it as it was ex the top coat but I’ll grab a couple of pics of it with the blue top coat on tonight and post them up.

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That’s it paint and photo wise. Here are some videos of the first moving tests I’ve done on the camera dolly. A  model servo should hopefully arrive this week which means I can print the remaining parts to finish off the pan section of it before moving onto the tilt part.






Cleaned & Painted Lathe, Mower and what I’m printing now

So after the Lathe had soaked in the tub for a week it was taken out and all the black crud was scrubbed off with some 3M nylon pads whilst spraying it all down with water. After it was lightly dried it was then rubbed down with phosphoric acid, then washed down again before being quickly dried with hair dryers and towels. The end result was this

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The whole thing was then given a good scrub with IPA before a primer coat from the Killrust range was applied. After drying for a couple of days the first top coat was then put on leaving it looking like this.

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There is still one more top coat to go on but I think I’ll wait a couple of weeks to let the current paint dry. Its starting to get colder and more humid here which I suspect isn’t helping with drying times. There’s still a fair amount to do but once the final coat has gone on and its had some time to dry then reassembly can finally begin again. Most of the parts to get the headstock back together have either been painted or are in the process of being painted and should all be finished around the same time. Stay tuned for experiments in handwheel polishing and masking..

Also this last weekend William and I got the first coat of paint on the lawnmower deck. I’d been putting this off for a while because before painting there was still some finishing that needed to be done on the deck. The amount of trauma that this mower has suffered is beyond belief with numerous cracks on top of the deck, a massive split down one side and a fist sized hole in the other. The fist sized hole was pretty much the main repair that needed to be completed, it had already been patched (probably more thoroughly than needed) but in the spirit or over-engineering I also wanted to weld / solder it together.

I found this product on the internet called Durafix that is supposed to allow home users to weld aluminum together with a MAPP torch and no other special equipment. On their website there is a picture of two aluminum cans with their bases attached to each other with the stuff but I’m dubious aye. Admittedly it could be the stuff that the mower deck is made out of but the finished result hasn’t been as solid as I was expecting. On some of the smaller surface cracks I opened into a V groove with a grinder to get better penetration and the Durafix seems to flow into that alright but I’m not sure how strong the bond is. For example it’s quite easy to flick up the edges of any Durafix that has flowed out of the join and across the deck. I guess what I’m saying is the bond between the two materials doesn’t seem to be the same as say solder and copper… Time will tell whether the fixes will hold up I guess but I was hoping for joins that looked a bit more resilient. Just to clarify both the parts were scrubbed with the supplied wire brush and both were hot enough and were able to melt the Durafix without the presence of the MAPP torch.

All that aside we ended up with the following setup to weld the massive hole together,photo 1 (Resized)

Gas ring to add more hotness. End result.

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This was then cleaned off and ground to match a bit better the contours of the surrounding metal. It won’t win any awards but if it holds together then all well and good.

A couple of other minor holes were patched before it had a etch primer sprayed on.

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Before painting

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and after. This will get one more light coat of primer and then the first top coat in the next couple of days.

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On the 3D printer front I’ve got 2 x new projects going. Firstly the parts for a Mini Kossel have started to come off the I3. Getting there slowly and I have the extrusion so just waiting on some hardware from China before frame construction can begin.

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Secondly I’ve started work on a robotic dolly for a small camera using OpenBeam extrusion. From design through to one finished section.

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Stay tuned..















The Google saga concludes

Three phone calls yesterday, one this morning and a multitude of emails in between.

On the way home from work Google graced me with the following


Thanks for your email. We understand your concern, however please note that Google wallet randomly checks the customer details in order to provide secure shopping environment. whenever customers make use of certain Google Wallet features, Google Payment Corp. is required by financial regulations to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who uses this service.

Please know that you are in no way obligated to provide us with this information. However, should you decide not to do so, your eligibility to use our product may be affected.

Kindly provide us with the requested information within 3 business days by filling out this form:


Basically the same rubbish that I’d been getting from them the last couple of days and still absolutely no valid explanation as to not only why the review was triggered and why they required such personal information (esp considering they still had nothing to cross check it against).

I still hadn’t been contacted by either Justin or Mel (the call center managers) despite being promised on three occasions that one or the other would call me.

Last night as a final email reply I responded to the above with the following

Firstly, If you understood my concerns then we wouldn’t be in this position so please do not try and placate me with feigned sympathy.
Secondly please indicate which particular Google Wallet feature that I have made use of that required Google Payment Corp to request unnecessary and unjustifiable amounts of personal information from it customers for. I have used Google Wallet to purchase applications over the last two years and have yet to experience this issue. I should also note that the original terms and conditions that I agreed to are not the current terms listed on your website. Were the terms and conditions phrased such I would have never agreed to them .
Thirdly please outline the ways in which my eligibility to use your product may be affected. It is important that I be able to make an informed decision regarding this matter
Fourthly it is still apparent that you have not read fully the concerns that I outlaid in my initial email. If you had done so then I would have expected any reply to even briefly touch on the matters raised. I am afraid that I must request you to do so before we proceed further.
I have escalated this issue with the Google Wallet Helpdesk and now must request to do so within the verification department. The fact that you (I would address you by name yet you have not afforded me the common courtesy of letting me know who I am conversing with) find it unnecessary to follow common grammar guidelines by capitalizing the first letter of the first word of a sentence, combined with the fact that you seem to be unable to read my replies leads me to believe that I am dealing with an idiot. As such I do not feel it appropriate to send you such confidential personal information.
Please arrange for your superior to contact me within 3 business days via the details held with the Google Wallet Helpdesk


This morning the final call was made to the “Helpdesk”. I then went and got an iPhone


Why Google wants a photocopy of my Passport!!

To whom it may concern.

Yesterday I attempted to purchase an application using the Play Store on my cellphone. The transaction however was not successful for reasons that I am still not aware of. I then added an additional payment method (in doing so providing all the required and correct credit card information) and attempted to complete the purchase again. This however was also unsuccessful. I therefore assumed that there were issues with the mobile Play Store application and so attempted to purchase the app using the web browser on my computer. This also didn’t work.

My conclusion was that Google was experiencing wider issues with processing payments as neither the card which I had recently been using with my Google wallet account or the new one worked.

Last night I received an email advising me that my account has been limited and that to reactivate the account I would be required to submit to Google copies of not only a recent bill but also of a government issued identity document.

I find this response completely unacceptable considering the situation. An failed attempt to purchase of an application of negligible cost then resulted in me providing all the required information for the transaction to be processed by an alternative payment method. This then escalated and resulted in my account being limited until I provide Google with an amount of personal information that I am not comfortable in sharing. There is a reason that I make a point of not sending credit card details or other personal information that could be used to commit fraud by email or by SMS message.

Considering recent lapses in security at Microsoft, Sony, Target Corporation, Adobe Systems and the uncovering of major security flaws in Open SSL I am not comfortable in any company having that amount of personal information, coincidentally most of the required information to commit identity fraud or make undesirable purchased on my credit card. Whilst I am sure that none of these companies intended to allow extreme amounts of user information to be stolen none the less against their best efforts it happened.

I also find it surprising that Google is requesting this information under the guise of verifying my identity. I can understand that a bank would want to sight a drivers license when you visit a branch as not only are they able to check the details on the license against the copies they have on file from when the account opened but they are also able to check the photo on the card against the person presenting it. I fail to see however in this instance how providing this information to Google will help prove my identity. Not only does Google not have a copy of the information on file to cross check against but I fail to see how they could confirm the authenticity of the information and that I was actually my identity in the first place. Assuming of course that Google isn’t as insidious as some people believe.

Whilst I accept that this is most likely a standard response on the part of Google I find it completely out of proportion considering the circumstances. If my account for example had shown overly excessive usage or out of the ordinary usage then I would expect it to be limited, however I consider the attempted purchase of a $2.92 stocktaking application to be a far cry from this. Furthermore I wouldn’t expect that I would be required to provide a photocopy of a passport / drivers license and a copy of a recent bill to regain access to my account

Since receiving the email I have called the Google Wallet help desk three times, each time they have promised to escalate the case and have a supervisor call me back however thus far this has not happened. When asking to talk to the “Verification Team” I have been advised that it is not possible to contact them by phone and that my only option is to attempt to make contact by replying to the initial email received.

Awaiting your response and resolution

James Taylor

Electrolytic Rust Removal

Whilst stripping and spraying the lathe I’ve had the need to remove oil, grease and paint from a number of parts. Most of these have been small and made from some form of alloy and so have had to have either been bead blasted (none with bearing surfaces) or chemically stripped using a product called “Tergo Strip”. This stuff is amazing, brush it on and then watch the paint flake off. Spray with a waterblaster, dry, scrub with detergent, dry and then paint.

The Lathe bed however has proved to be a different mission however with the paint on this part proving to be a lot more of a pain to remove. The ways mean that bead blasting is out of the question and the requirement to wash Tergo strip off with water opens the door to flash rusting in all sorts of places (this part is not made of alloy). Combine that with the fact that the thing weighs at least a good 40 kg and there’s a problem.

The solution proved to be electrolytic rust removal, a process that seems to be so simple and so effective that I’m still slightly suspicious of it. Basically you suspend the rusty part in a container of water + washing flakes (sodium carbonate), hang a piece of iron in there as well, connect a battery charger to the rusty part and the chunk of iron and watch the rust disappear.

My implementation of this process started with a 160L plastic drum purchased off Trademe, some rebar and a computer power supply. The rebar was cut into 6 lengths, had the ends ground clear of any rust and dirt and then hung around the perimeter of the drum.

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Copper wire was then would around the ends of the rebar and taped to stay in place.

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Four Square provided a box of 44% soap flakes which was then dissolved in 10L of hot water before being poured into the drum with cold water from a hose.

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The Lathe bed was hung from the roof initially with a ratchet tie-down and then using a spare boat winch to facilitate easy removal for inspection. Car jumper leads then provided the connection between the computer power supply GND and +12v1 rail and the lathe bed and copper / rebar ring.

Powering the power supply on results in a slight fizzing sound and bubbles on both the lathe and the rebar (hydrogen and oxygen apparently). 5 minutes of bubbling results in rust scum such as this,

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with a further hour resulting in this cocktail

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Initially the current through the system was higher than was preferable so some of the solution was siphoned off and replaced with fresh water.

Already the paint has started to flake off and any areas that had developed slight rusting have come clean which is very promising. I plan to remove the lathe later tonight after soaking for most of the day and give it a good scrub before replacing it for another soak.

After that it will be a case of cleaning it off and displacing the water in a manner that will allow me to repaint (not sure on this one yet) before masking and getting a base coat on it.

On the arcade front the woodwork is pretty much finished, just waiting on the door that needs to be installed in one side before painting.

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The LCD mount ended up a bit different to that in the plans, basically the screen sits on the mount below with the help of a 3D printed VESA mount. The bolts allow the screen to be screwed up and down whilst the threaded rod allows for positioning on one axis.

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