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3 hours ago, Frosty said:

Good point. It's not like we actually need the ground rod that deep right? How much ground rod do you need in dry ground to safe a dead short in the panel?

I said that mostly as a joke. I can’t tell you how much ground rod you need for a dead short in the panel (my knowledge stops just past the weather head). I know that we require them to provide a path to ground in case the house loses other paths. I’ve seen faucets in a barn pick up voltage because it lost its ground. Electricity will ALWAYS seek a path to ground and plumbing is usually a convenient one. Spec is a 5/8th rod driven 8 ft deep. 

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I know you were  poking fun at me and intended to reply in kind. Unfortunately I spent too many years dealing with getting steel through soil to get samples and make tests. I get carried away. What is being done more often in soil conditions like I enjoy is to drive more than one ground rod. I have two at the house panel and two at the proposed shop panel. Unfortunately I had to change where I'm going to put the shop panel and will have to see if I can drive 3 and meet code. <sigh>

Frosty The Lucky.

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Steve: By "many places" do you mean widely spread or two rods in each of many places? 

Yes John, YOU have to drive 16 1/2' ground rods, we just held the vote. Don't feel chained to the job but drive on.

Frosty The Lucky.

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3 hours ago, Steve Sells said:

new code is two 8ft rods in many places, due do ground soil resistance

I’m guessing that the soil in those places is heavy sand. Sand and electricity do weird things. My brother found a 7.2kv line hot on the ground in sand. He said when they found it, kids were jumping over it like it was a log. 

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Down it went didn't it?  Nearly sucked up a boat if I remember it being the correct place.. 

Here it's every 6ft or more and 2 rods 1/2 if UL stamped, 5/8 or larger if not stamped.. 

We have a very high water table..  So, I imagine there will be no problem getting a really good grounding..  It is interesting and didn't know this till recently.. That water is an insulator..  It's the minerals in the water that carry the electricity. 

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I think the big thing about glacial till is that it is "unsorted".  I'm in the Rio Grande/Bravo valley and so one corner of my shop was pure sand we stuck a rod it 6' by hand, while about 10' away was a bolder the back hoe had trouble moving.  (Why I'm willing to pay the electrician to dig the 90' trench for the underground secondary!)

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4 hours ago, jlpservicesinc said:

 It is interesting and didn't know this till recently.. That water is an insulator..  It's the minerals in the water that carry the electricity. 

That’s why poles don’t typically catch fire in a heavy rain storm. Rain water doesn’t conduct electricity very well since it is mostly pure. Where we run into problems is when the insulators get dirty. Around here, most of our pole fires happen during the plowing and cotton harvest seasons. In a dry year, the plows can kick up enough dust to coat the insulators. When the cotton gins are running, they produce all kinds of dust as well. If we have a sudden downpour, the rain water can pick up enough minerals and dirt to allow the electricity to track to the pole. If we get a gentle rain, it will wash the insulators clean but won’t arc up because it comes off in droplets instead of a stream. 

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On 5/15/2021 at 11:56 PM, Bantou said:

Electricity will ALWAYS seek a path to ground and plumbing is usually a convenient one. 

Code for new builds requires that the electrical system be bonded to the plumbing system for that exact reason. That way if a nasty short happened the plumbing would not pick up the current and become hot and it would instead go through the bonded system and out the ground rod. I know a good bit about electric, but man is grounding and bonding a hard one. Have you ever read those sections in the code book? It is pretty crazy. Especially when you are moving into commercial and you get into symmetrical grounding and bonding systems where there is a huge ring around the building creating a large ground system around the entire structure. 

We did a smaller facility a few years ago for AEP, roughly 50k square foot office building with another 50k warehouse. The grounding system for this facility had (if memory serves) composed of over 200 ground rods and a few thousand feet of bare copper wire connecting everything and was welding to the rods using thermite one shots. It formed a circular system around the facility to with everything was bonded to.

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I haven’t read the NEC book. My job stops at the weather head/meter base. As a rural co-op, we have our own spec book from US DA. I’m sure it meets NEC requirements for power lines, but I’ve never looked at them. 

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it is interesting how things are written and now or I should say 2020 codes are supposed to be coming up for enforcement.. 

I know many places just stay with the old codes for a very long time or until the new codes come out and then they are about 2 years or so behind implementation. 

For my own stuff i try to stay current.. 

The shop when ordered was indeed ordered to the new higher building codes for higher winds, snow loads and such.. 

When I went last week or the week before to pull the electrical permit the building inspector was there and not a single inspection from this guy..  I had to beg him to come see it and I still haven't heard anything back.. 

Frosty, I found a 200 series drill press up in Blandford, MA and he also had several other drills that look like they came out of a carriage shop..   

The 200 is solidly frozen up.. 

I do a lot with old equipment including items found out in dumps from a hundred years ago and I have never had an item as frozen up at this.. 

The 2 smaller drills freed right up, within minutes with nearly all functions working.. Not like 2 min, but more like 30min.. 

I was able to get the flywheel and the speed gear freed up..  I have never seen something so seized. 





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I have, it had been lag screwed to a birch tree in the front yard for something like 15 years. I couldn't get movement in anything, even the wood on the crank handle was frozen to the bolt. 

Must be nice to live where old blacksmith equipment can be found. 

Frosty The Lucky.


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It took a long while for the tool to rust, decay and lock up.  Unless there is some reason for a deadline, go slow and let each method you try work to loosen things up.  For liquids, give them time to soak in.  Every time you pass give it a light tap with a hammer and reapply the liquid.  

When it dies finally break loose, do not rush to take it apart, but reapply the liquid and only move the part to where the part wants to go.  This works the liquid deeper into the joint and helps lubricate.

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Yesterday I was able to get the hand crank gear freed up and off..  This gear is used for the 2 speed function with high speed and low speed.. 

I put it on the low speed/high torque spur and after heating up the shaft boss a little bit and a liberal amount of Silly Kroil it freed up the flywheel shaft enough to get just a little bit of movement.. 

Last night when I finished up I sprayed everything for the 1000th time and came back again to it today.. 

Because it has the auto feed function (which I don't know what is inside) I have been taking it extremely slow.. Having worked on 100's of old cast iron items the worst thing that can be done is not to take ones time..  Cast is a go/no go kinda thing..  It's crazy just how fast something will crack ands fall off.. 

So, after a few more hours with heat and kroil I was able to get the main shaft turning but no screw movement..  

I was able to get a percentage of the chuck (the auto feed clutch) loosened  but was time to call it quits..  It's been very hot here last few days and I have not adjusted to the hotter more humid temps..  Takes a few weeks.. 

So the only things that really need loosening now are the clutch setup and the high speed shaft, and the hand lever feed gear.. 

I'm always dumbfounded when someone removes part of a device that is warranted in function. 

Arkie,  The 50/50 mix is supposed to be top notch..  Over the years I started to use Kroil and find it to be a decent product.. I should just mix up the Auto fluid and acetone since I have both on hand.. 

Fireball tools did a comparison with like 10 different penetrating fluids and the Acetone/auto mix was high on the list. 

Glenn,  it's crazy just how bad it is..  I've literally dug stuff out of the wet/moist ground that were less stuck.. :) 

There is no seam where the item was in a bucket of water (water line/rust line).. 

It's hard to figure out since there are not the usual markers.. (rust line, crusted up dirt/rust, deep rust where it was resting on another piece of metal, etc, etc)..   On each side of the main lug there is a section of extra rust where it looks like it was sitting upright with the keyway groove picking up rust or dust/dirt and this adding to the depth of rust penetration.  Overall everything is evenly rusted..    Shoulder shrug.. 

Thomas good point about the rust being semi abrasive..  I usually use a light oil to flush the rusty stuff away several times.. 

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So today I was able to get 90% of it apart.. 

The flywheel and shaft are stuck as is the direct connected hand crank gear shaft..  These are the only 2 items still stuck.. 

What a neat design the auto feed is.. 

I will know on the next one what to be careful off and what to look for. 

The thread engagement has got to be in full engagement to remove the unit.  If not the bronze thread chucks will get caught on the housing. 

Also there are 2 very small screws that are used to activate the internal cams to engage and disengage the jaws.. 

Sadly if the jaws are stuck in the outer most position the bronze will be destroyed upon disassembly.. 

These are a soft bronze..  The gear head and gear bolts activate the cams which move the jaws in and out.. 

Really neat.. 

The metal used in the main unit is very soft as well. So be careful and use plenty of protective gear.. 





The pinion gear is pretty rusted out.. I'll have to get a new one made and a handle for the manual feed too. 

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Jen, I have always been an admirer of the mechanical sophistication of late 19th/early 20th century machinery.  It is what I call analog or acoustic machinery, cams, gears, levers, etc..

I have found that many modern folk are baffled by sophisticated mechanisms.  At demos people can be slack jawed at how turning a crank can make air come out the bottom of a forge or how it can continue to windmill after you stop cranking.  My late wife, Martha, was once assigned to demonstrate how old washing machines work at an "old time" event.  She had an appreciation of "acoustic" machinery and preferred to sew on treadle or hand crank sewing machines.  Some of these old washing machines have some complicated gearing to work the agitator and it is all exposed.  She said that she had to keep very close watch to keep people, both children and adults, from sticking their fingers into the moving machinery.  They had never seen anything work like that and had no sense of self preservation that the machinery could hurt you.

Even a mechanical apple peeler can amaze people who have only ever peeled apples by hand.

Just another example of Arthur C. Clarke's 1st Law, "Any sufficiently advanced technology in indistiguishable from magic."

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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George, I love your description "Acoustic machinery"...   Brilliant.. 

When I was very very young I was not very capable so it was a learned process..    Now I absolutely love to see what is/was created to make an item function as it was intended..   

As things got more "modern"  they did get more complex to serve more functions at the same time..  This I think is my favorite time frame for machinery..   Still operated by hand and or motor but the option for both was there..  It only lasted a short time as the electricity and the electric motor became common place.. 

Recently stumbling into the higher line of the Champion drills really does peek my interest..  the feed function is interesting for sure.. 

A machine can hurt you????    Wow, a new concept for many..  that gear spinning around in mid air can take a finger off.. Naw that can't be..  LOL.. 

You would not believe all the comments of the Cannedy Otto video of people saying they would not use it without a bunch of guards in place..  

I can't count on my fingers and toes how many times I have stuck my fingers into the electric bench grinder, getting them pinched between the guard and wheel..  Of course way back then I was super young and maybe not using it the way it should have been with large stock removal..  :) 


So in these photos these are ultrasonic cleaned and you can see the cam bolts and screws.. These are the main operating aspect of the gizmo..  The problem is there is not a lot of leverage to turn the cams and when the bronze blocks get stuck (rusted, damaged, etc) there is no way to move them into the inner position.. 

I can't stress enough how soft both the cast iron is and the bronze parts.. 

So, make sure the thread is fully engaged before removal.. Sacrificing the set screws in the cams might be the only option..  They are just bolts with gears on the ends so they can be driven all the way though the cast iron holder..  The little screws will shear.. 



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Congratulations on a successful tear down, Jennifer. And thanks for the comprehensive narrative...

When the machine guard craze ran through my last Aerospace plant, it was very disruptive.  Fortunately, we were able to keep the "fixers" out of the Tool & Cutter dept., as many operations have to be open gear, period. ('nose to the grind stone' is not 'just' a saying).

Guards where they are sensible, but we do love to to see fine machines doing their stuff...

Robert Taylor

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What I noticed about my 200 1/2 is how much closer all the tolerances are and complex the systems. The bronze bushings are porous oil bushings so water infiltration is held by the bushings and rust grows into the pores. It's a REAL problem for old tools and equipment like this. 

Happily my Champ was literally slobbered with thick sticky oil and everything but the wood handle grip turns freely. I really should drag it to the shop and see about fabbing a table for it. Maybe take a class from Pat and cast one at the next iron pour. 

Heck, breaking up about 2x as much cast iron scrap with a sledge hammer would be good exercise. Ughhh!

Frosty The Lucky.

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