Lathe and Knock Off Tool
Lathe and Knock Off Tool
I occasionally surf Craislist.org in search for interesting stuff. It’s an online cliassified ad service that is broken up into regions, so people can list items for sale in your area. I’m always looking for tools or anything car related for sale. A couple of weeks ago, I saw an ad for a South Bend Metal Lathe. It was made some time in the 40s and it was located an hour away. Old tools are often much better made than what you can buy new as long as they were not abused or simply worn out. The owner was a retired German machinist which could have been a good sign, but warned that I would need help loading the machine into my truck. Knowing that when something like this comes up, I had to act quickly so I frantically searched for someone to some with me. Luckily, my neighbor was home, and willing to take the ride south.
When we arrived, I found a lathe that was well cared for with a drawer full of collets and bits. Just buying all the accessories would have cost more than what the man wanted for the lathe.
He also had a drill press for sale for another $50 bucks, and both tools were mounted on sturdy stands. So for $350 dollars I bought both the lathe and the drill press and began the disassembly to load in my truck!
Unfortunately, the owner of these old tools was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and he was not too positive on the prognosis. At 80 years old, he decided that he had no more use for these tools and put them on cragslist. I didn’t try to haggle with him because I wanted to respect his predicament. Instead, I tried my best to assure him that I would take good care of his tools, and that they were going to a good home.
Ricambi America sent me a new knock off tool to try out. I’ve been looking forward to seeing this new tool because it looked like it would do a better job at taking off knock offs than the tools that are currently available.
When I took it over to Francois’ shop to try it out, we found a problem with its fit. Because some knock offs have a “bent ear” the tabs that hold the tool to the knock off have to catch the ears in both directions. The tabs fit great in this direction.
But when turning the tool in the other direction, we felt there was not enough material on the knockoff tool safely hold the tool to the knock off. I showed Daniel at Ricambi and Paul at Hill Engineering our issues and they immediately made changes to their design.
Within a week I got new tabs to replace the short ones on my tool. Replacing them was a snap with an allen wrench.
With the longer tabs this tool is much better than the ones currently available on the market. It’s made from machined aluminum and the contact surface of the tool when engaging the knock off is much larger than the other tool. I’ve used the other tool, and after a couple uses, the steel contact surfaces cut through the protective rubber coating and soon the tool makes small gouges in the chrome of the knock off. The softer aluminum of the Ricambi tool should not harm the harder chromed steel knock off and is a much more elegant design. During the Fall Party I tried the tool on a straight eared knock off and it fit as well as it did on my bent eared knock off. The tool requires a 3/4 inch ratchet or breaker bar and a short extension. I wouldn’t recommend a pivoting head on the breaker bar because the bar could hit the fender of the car when applying a lot of pressure on the knock off. A breaker bar with a sliding head is the best one if you don’t want to use a ratchet. I wouldn’t recommend a 1/2 drive with a 3/4 inch adapter because of the the amount of torque needed to tighten the knock off.
Daniel at Ricambi has these tools in stock, and if you want one. Tell him you saw it on this site.
Just a reminder, I’m looking for a new Vintage Ferrari Project. If you have, or know of a restoration project, please let me know. It would be great to restore another car on this website! My E-mail.
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