Posts Tagged ‘Iwata’


Today’s posting comes as part 2, of 2, which outlines the restoration of a 1907 Champion Blower and Forge Co post drill press for my cities local living history museum. If you happen to miss part one there is no need to get all worked up. You can view it here.

Previously all the repair work and fabrication had been completed. It was time to move onto the finishing stage. There is not a whole lot that is worth putting into words as I have jam packed this blog posting with a lot of pictures.

In an effort to avoid redundancy I will simple start this posting with some closing remarks. The end product worked out as planned and I am happy with it. For me the absolute best part of the restoration is how well the post drill operates. If there was some way I could get all those interested to turn the handle and experience the ease, and smoothness, of the drill that would tickle me more than anything I’ve seen. Unfortunately you are going to have to take my word for it. I think as far as looks go it appears to have come from the era. Although I made some “non-period correct” changes the bulk of the drill remained original.

I have since returned the post back to its original home that I received it from. The plan is that its use will get demonstrated to the people visiting the facility. Since the drill is now kept in an indoor shop it should stay in good operating condition for many years. It was an enjoyable project of mine and I was happy to have it all work out in the end. Time to move onto something else. Below are all the pictures that follow the completion of the post drill. And BTW…virtual high five to those who decipher the title to this post.


I entered into deliberation regarding the highlighting of the raised lettering. Before I went into finishing stage I thought I would sample the highlight. I used a dark copper model paint and a artists paint brush to raise out the lettering. Still completely unsure if this would be too much. Hmmmm…….


All the components receiving a black top coat were wiped down with acetone and then oil & grease remover. I opted to not set up my paint booth as I was not overly concerned with some dust getting into the finish. All the components then received a coat of Nason primer.


I originally wanted to powder coat everything but it became clear, awhile back, that it would look too “plastic” so I went for conventional paint. I dug out my HVLP spray gun and figured I would Hot Rod black the components. This is the same paint I used on my 1965 Honda CB160 Cafe Racer. It has a decent flat finish to it.


Paint is mixed, filtered, and ready to spray!


Painting results were great, no runs and no missed spots. My intention was to paint the gear teeth and allow them to wear naturally.


I was struggling a bit with the hardware. The drill press came with mismatched square head set screws. I couldn’t cope with that. I found myself on the West Coast of Vancouver for a couple of days and decided to stop in at my favorite hardware store located in Steveston. This place is fantastic! I could spend hours just wandering the isles.


And wander the isles I did! I was able to find the retro square headed set screws that I needed. Score!


All the hardware received and initial cleaning.


Next step everything took its turn in the crushed glass media cabinet and received an exfoliation.


Then onto the black oxide solution where everything got blackened to the same degree.


Once blackened all the hardware received a coat of sealer in order to protect it from rusting.


Hung to dry. I feel better having the finish of all the hardware matching.


The 2 oak handles that I made received a couple coats of stain and then 2 coats of a clear polyurethane finish to aid in the protection.


The next sequence of pictures revolve around saving the drill table from any more damage. At some point in the drills earlier life the drill table was drilled into. In my previous post I showed I repaired the previous holes. I didn’t want the repaired table to get drilled into again so I decided to make a “sacrificial” table hoping it would take the abuse and not the original table. It started off with plasma cutting a 7 inch diameter circle out of some 10 gauge steel.


Onto the milling machine where the center was drilled out as well as 3 more holes spaced 120 degrees apart.


Quickly machined up a center arbor for the 7″ disc.


TIG welded the center arbor to the disc which will allow me to mount the disc into my lather chuck.


With the plasma cut circle mounted in the lathe I was able to trim it down to a precise diameter.


Time to move onto the actual sacrificial plate. I got my hands on a chunk of 8″ wide by 1″ thick solid red oak. I jig sawed out a rough 7 inch circle.


Next is was mounted onto my previously machined 10 gauge steel disc using wood screws.


And onto the lathe it went.


It was trimmed down, and sanded, to final dimensions.


Three 1/4 x 20 steel inserts where installed.


2 coats of stain and 2 coats of a clear polyurethane finish were applied to give it some protection.


I machined up 3 brass pegs to allow for mounting the oak base to the powder coated steel base. This way the sacrificial base can be dropped onto the original drill press base quickly. I also designed it that if the 1″ oak gets drilled all the way through the bit will eventually hit the steel backing. If the operator chooses to continue drilling through the steel base into the drill table then I suggest he/she steps away from the machine and never gets within 10 feet of it again.


Here I am back onto my highlight dilemma. I applied some more of the dark copper model paint to the back side of a flat black mount. I think at this point I am going to decline from highlighting the raised lettering. As cool as I think it would look I need to ensure that post drill looks period correct. Back in the day the manufacturer would not take the time to apply the highlights.


This is most of the hardware that has been cleaned up, refinished, or replaced.


What holds the drill arbor to the down feed acme rod is a couple of 3/16″ pins. Originally there was a “one time use” crush sleeve that went over the pins in order to prevent them from coming out. I opted to machine a bronze sleeve with a set screw to allow for servicing. As stated in my previous post I am aware that this repair is not period correct.


A friend of mine stopped by the garage for a visit so we figured we would have some fun with the assembly of the post drill. If you would like to see all components involved as well as the construction take a peek at the following 58 second video.




Thought I would include a photo of the wood shop that the post drill will live in. This place is super cool! It is run by volunteers and what they turn out of the shop is magical. Right now they are building a carousel for the local zoo. The ride is going to feature all hand carved animals done by the volunteers. I have no idea how they pull this stuff off. It is a pleasure to see the passion these people have for working with their hands.


The remaining 14 pictures and 1 video are not being accompanied with any captions. They are simple showing the different angles, components, and details of the post drill. As much as I do not want to overdo the pictures I like to provide as much visual detail as possible in hopes that anyone else that is looking for information regarding these presses will be able to find some answers here.

















So with the metal art project officially completed it was time to move onto and address some of my own projects that have been getting neglected. First order of business involves making some progress on my outdoor fireplace. I purchased a Heat N Glo Montana outdoor wood burning fireplace about 4 years ago. The fireplace itself is only comprised of the firebox and therefore the surround needs to be created. Last year I actually made a bit of progress and built the steel base for it and then framed up the basic structure. I got so far as to get the unit mounted and installed onto by stone patio. Once I got that far it ended up getting wrapped up in a blue tarp and that is how it sat for the winter.

Well this is the year when this project will see completion. There are no plans for me to follow in regards to building the surround. I have read the installation manual for the fireplace 6+ times to ensure that I understand all the building and safety codes involved. I then proceeded to design my own unit. Part of my design involves building a steel pergola type structure that will hang off the front of the fireplace chimney section. The idea is to simply give the structure a slightly different feel by adding another dimension and building material.

I sat down and AutoCAD’d a basic design. I used the dimensions of the fireplace to base the size, and angles, of the pergola in order to keep things looking proportional. So with the plan in hand it was off to the metal yard to pick up some flat bar and cold rolled steel.

In order to ensure that everything was built evenly I opted to trace out the exact template onto an old garage door. Since the project would involve multiple bends I would be able to compare the arcs I put into the metal to the template. Next I dragged my homemade metal bender out from the corner and proceeded to run a 7 foot length of 5”x 3/16” flat bar through it. The bending was easy and I had no issues creating an arc to match my template.

Next it was off to the band saw where the 30 degree angle was set and a set of 8 support arms where trimmed up. The arms were all cut from 4” x 1/8” flat bar. I would be lying if I said I cut them all to perfect length the first time. Because I was dealing with an arc; 4 pairs of the 8 arms needed to be cut at different lengths. Welding a scrap straight bar onto the 2 outer arms helped me to be able to cut the remaining arms to length.

Next it was time to start rolling some 5/8” cold rolled solid round bar. I was incorporating 3 arcs all on a different radius therefore as I needed to roll each arc tighter as I moved towards the center. I was fairly impressed with myself and my ability to get all the arcs bent as close to perfect as possible especially when using a manual machine.

Next all the previously built support arms had 5/8” holes drilled through them in order to allow me to thread the cold rolled round bar through their centers. I suspect I spent close to 2 ½ hours rough assembling the structure and clamping it in order to prepare it for welding. It was crucial that all the dimensions were set precisely as the purpose of the pergola was purely visual. I often find myself eyeing up structures and construction everywhere I go to see if they were built square, straight and even. It’s important that I know, in my own mind, that the pergola is symmetrical and spaced evenly. When the sun is perpendicular to the structure I want to see my shadow lines hit the ground evenly.

So with the final support plate fabricated and drilled and with the unit structure clamped down it was time to start pouring on the molten metal and hope the pergola doesn’t twist itself up from the heat. Between the Silver Beauty MIG and Miller TIG the welding was completed in an evening and the structure suffered no noticeable warps.

Another couple hours were then spent getting the unit ready for paint. The Silver Beauty MIG really throws down the splatter and so time was spend removing all the little weld marks. Everything was either ground or sanded smooth. The edges and corners all got their sharp edges taken off and then prepped for paint.

Next I moved onto the previously wood framed upper portion of the fireplace surround. The steel pergola was going to get bolted to the top section. Using some scrap 2 ½” angle iron I had in the shop I cut and drilled out some bracing for all the front vertical studs. The idea is to bolt the pergola on using ½” hardware. I confirmed everything was going to work by bolting up the pergola to the chimney frame.

Next, and final step, was to get some paint on the unit. I set up the pergola in the homemade paint booth and bolted it to the chimney section thinking this would be the best way to prime it. Turned out the angles were all wrong and I couldn’t get the paint gun in some of the tight spots. I opted to just lay the pergola down on the lumber frame and use the frame as a bench. Since the frame would never be visible the overspray didn’t much matter. Using my Iwata HVLP gun I laid down 2 medium coats of primer. The top coat was going to be a flat black. My local paint supplier sold me a flat black kit made by SEM. The kit comes with the paint, reducer, and activator and was exactly what I was looking for. With 2 top coats sprayed on it confirmed that the flat black texture was what I was going for.

So with the pergola section designed, fabricated, and finished I can now focus my attention to the fireplace outdoors. It’ll be time to pull out the wood working tools and start ripping sheets and pounding nails.

So the deadline is coming up for the metal art project which meant it was time to get to the painting. By this time all the fabrication has been done, the support bracket that will hold the structure has been installed, and what remains are the painting, clear coating, and installation.

This project was going to allow me to give my homemade collapsible paint booth a try for the very first time. So early Saturday morning I trekked into the garage and set the booth up. My original plan was to hang the booth from the ceiling and create a series of brackets that will allow 1 person to easily, and quickly, set up the booth. This is still my plan and I even have most of the brackets fabricated however the current metal project got in the way and I have yet to install the ceiling brackets. Even with the paint booth collapsed and resting against the wall I was able to set it up on my own in about 40 minutes. I am pretty happy with that.

During the previous few months I had spent time collecting the supplies and equipment required to complete my first HVLP spray job. I researched a HVLP gun to the best of my abilities. Researching any type of equipment that one has no experience using is always a difficult thing. To help relieve some of my confusion I decided I would talk to a bodyman I know from the premier body shop located in the city. This particular shop deals with all the factory repairs on the Porches and BMWs in the city. Well it turns out that I was able to purchase a used Iwata W-400 gun off the head painter for a decent price. From what I read about the gun, and Iwata in general, is that they are well respected guns that perform very well.

Next it was onto the paint. I needed primer, base coat, and clear coat. I headed over to a local automotive paint supplier and talked with them for awhile before deciding on using a Nason line of products. I wanted to ensure that I got something that was easy to spray as opposed to good for the environment. I stayed away from the ultra low VOC water based paints and went with something a bit more “old school”

So with the gun and the paint collected I continued to make the collection complete and got a hold of paint strainers, gun wash, mixing cups, along with all the other odds and ends required. Not sure if was missing anything however time will tell.

So with all my panels prepped it was time to start laying down some paint. I was really unsure if the airflow going through the booth was going to be excessive and therefore end up blowing my paint mist everywhere I didn’t want it. I was also unsure as to how well the booth was going to filter the overspray. I decided to use the base of the sun project as the guinea pig since the finish would all be hidden therefore some failure would still be acceptable. Well I am pleased to say that the booth worked out fantastic. The airflow may be a little strong however it really didn’t affect the spraying at all. The flow was enough that I had absolutely no mist to contend with while painting. The cross flow was great. My exhaust filter was now shaded grey indicating that it was obviously doing some of the filtering. When exiting the booth there was a very slight haze visible in the garage but not much. I wasn’t expecting the booth to catch everything and I would say the amount that finds its way into the shop is well within my expectations.

So with the booth passing its initial field test it was time to start cranking out the work. I spent two solid days plus an evening getting through all the art pieces. The painting went well however far from perfect. I took some time setting up the HVLP gun but still need lots of practice. The clear coat that was laid on all the rays had flaws such as the occasional run as well as some dry spray but in the end it didn’t affect the purpose the rays need to serve.

So as things sit all the rays have been reassembled and laid, protected, inside the paint booth. Onto the final stage which will include installation. I am unsure exactly how I am going to hoist the project up into its final resting home against a wall 10 feet in the air however I’ll problem solve that when the time comes. I guess that would be now.