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 Post subject: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 2:18 am 

Joined: Sun Jun 07, 2009 5:20 am
Posts: 33
The Illinois Railway Museum Steam Department is attempting to restore its Putnam Wheel Lathe to operating condition. We are trying to locate any manuals, parts lists, lubrication guidelines, photographs, or other information which would help us return this machine to operation.

We have no manuals. We have no detailed photographs or drawings of the parts or assemblies. Knowledge gained by those who previously worked on the lathe restoration has disappeared. Our recent attempts at a simple task like assembling the tailstock traversal clutch have been frustrating. We seem to be missing some pieces, but we don't know what the parts should look like, so it is difficult to search for them or to build replacement parts! A good set of reference material could be a big help. It is time to become serious about searching for that information.

So far, we have been able to collect a small number of overall photographs and catalog drawings, and we've found a few mentions in scholarly texts. These resources have been of limited use in our recent restoration efforts. Our internet searches have found neither Putnam Wheel Lathe manuals nor detailed pictures. We have not found any indication that there are any other extant Putnam Wheel Lathes. It is hoped that the wide range of RYPN participants will help us find that extra bit of information which makes our job more achievable!

Some readers will be interested in the lathe's history. I don't know a great deal about the lathe's history as I only recently began volunteering in the Steam department. I understand that a museum member acquired the lathe then donated it to the museum many years ago. It is reported to be a 90" lathe with the capability of turning drivers of up to 84" in diameter. Company research leads us to believe that it was built some time between 1913 and 1929. We have not located a serial number. I do not know which railroad or shop the lathe came from.

When the lathe was delivered, it was placed 180 degrees off of the preferred orientation with respect to a nearby door. The plan previous to delivery was to load wheelsets onto the lathe using a large forklift which would enter thru the nearby door. Because of the rotated placement, it was quickly determined that it would be impractical to use the forklift to lift wheelsets over the toolposts. It was impractical to rotate the machine. Plan B was to build an overhead crane. This setback seems to have put a damper on restoration efforts for many years.

There has been a recent increase in wheel lathe restoration interest. Perhaps this activity was spurred by the recent need to send out a wheelset from Frisco 1630 for tire replacement, turning, and journal machining. Or perhaps in anticipation of other potential wheel work. This year, a 10-ton overhead crane was erected over the lathe to lift wheelsets onto the machine. With the exception of electrical hookup the crane is ready to go. We have been designing and reviewing the electrical circuitry to control the 7.5 horsepower tailstock traversal motor and a Variable Frequency Drive which will run the 50 horsepower headstock motor. We have returned to the long-delayed repair work on the tailstock traverser clutch. There are many other tasks ahead before making chips.

Thank you in advance for helping us find the information which will help bring this machine closer to operating condition.

Regards,
Bob Milhaupt
Illinois Railway Museum Steam Department volunteer


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2009 5:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:38 pm
Posts: 37
Location: Northern Illinois
talk to Bob kutella in the freight dept.
it appears that the Putnam machine tool company made wood lathes as well, and OWWM has info, he may be able to at least point you a good direction


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 9:28 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 2:14 pm
Posts: 457
Location: Essex, Connecticut, USA
Dear Bob:
Perhaps as a starting point you might ask Dennis Daugherty about the machine. He was the one who found the machine (Illinois Central/Jackson, TN as I recall), dismantled it, moved it to IRM and set it on a foundation. I believe he is still a regular member of the museum.
J.David


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Sat Jun 13, 2009 11:08 pm 

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 12:45 am
Posts: 443
Location: Illinois
J.David wrote:
Dear Bob:
Perhaps as a starting point you might ask Dennis Daugherty about the machine. He was the one who found the machine (Illinois Central/Jackson, TN as I recall), dismantled it, moved it to IRM and set it on a foundation. I believe he is still a regular member of the museum.
J.David



...And Nick is still in regular contact with Dennis, and should be able to provide you with contact info.

Jeff

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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Thu Jul 23, 2009 10:27 pm 

Joined: Sun Sep 12, 2004 1:41 pm
Posts: 814
Location: Bowling Green, KY
Turning the lathe is not an issue. Were it preferable it would cost under a thousand to do if the floor is at the same level around it. Is the lathe sitting on a proper foundation? That is, is it sitting on a slab of 3-4ft thick concrete???

For literature you can try:

http://www.mcspt.com/shop/P.html

They list putnam as a manufacturer at the least.

Also, it looks as though what is left of the Putnam Machine Company may have been bought up by kennametal

http://www.cutting-tool-supply.com/Putnam/index.htm


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 Post subject: Re: Seeking Putnam Wheel Lathe info for restoration effort
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2009 8:04 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 21, 2006 12:04 am
Posts: 665
Location: Northeast Ohio
Register for the forums at www.practicalmachinist.com and ask your question there in the antique machinery forum.


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