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Reynolds Hand Morticing Machine restored (finally).

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Bm101

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A few years back I bought a big old lump of morticer from a (somewhat) former member on here, the very kind and affable condeesteso.
Lugged it home in two parts in the van, then sat it up under cover but outside my shed. And there it sat. And sat. And sat.
Sad state of affairs really. Then Ryolith did an excellent restoration job on another brand of similar machine and it set me thinking. Always dangerous. If I wasn't going to use something at least needed to happen.
Ryolith's Resto: triumph-mortiser-restoration-t116867.html?hilit=triumph

What I didn't want to do was spend hours painting mine as I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to keep it so the budget was very tight, even in top condition these don't sell for much more than the paint I'd need. I love the machine but that wasn't enough, it takes a lot of room and I wasn't sure how much use it would get other than for one oak Porch project I have that keeps getting put off for various reasons. How many huge mortices would I ever need to cut other than that?
In all fairness to condeesteso, he did try to warn me!

So I got the grinder out and a box of flapper discs... (hammer)

All the work is fairly self explanatory so will keep details to a minimum. (For once). Lots of pics though.

Starting out in a bit of a sorry state.






Some nice detailing on the counterweight. Some wording is a little lost on the casting.


Beginning to take it apart and use the grinder. Red Iron paint. Nasty job. Filthy, masked up and keeping everyone well away.






The more I took it to bits and cleaned it up the more impressed I got. Looks fairly rough initially but where it matters it is finely engineered. The mating surface of the x-y tables were bang on and the moving parts of arm mechanism also. The threads on the wheels and handles are excellent.

More flapping...




... but I was well aware there were areas the grinder would never get near and was investigating various paint removal techniques like peelaway etc, the modern non trade options being a bit lacking. The trade ones being pricey. Hmmmm...




So I got on with derusting the handwheels and screwthreads and bolts in citric acid, salt and a drop of fairy liquid in the meantime


and started looking for a bigger option for the other parts. My previous Big Red Bucket not coming close.
I raided the abandoned retail units near my house.
Sweet!


Duly filled it with water, added half a box of citric, then left if for the night.
Came back from work the next day. Bleedin' empty! Missed a tiny spit on the seam. Gah! Didn't tell the Mrs I had leaked 200 litres of acid water all over her precious garden either. 8-[
Back over the units for a slightly smaller option with no holes.


See them bubbles? Tastes just like champagne. Honest.



This is where I had a Rather Pleasant Surprise. Yay!

It's only gone and done the paint lads!
Woop! I'm a surprise genius!
It was after that surprise moment of triumph that I realised I could have just dipped the whole lot and not spent several horrible hours on the grinder looking like an extra from Mad Max..... Ah well. Live and learn. Every silver lining has a cloud and all that.

These get a workout with the brass wire brush drill attachment, which finishes them off nicely and removes any last remnants.



Big bits need two dips! Dippy Bin V2. was just big enough to do both halves.




Couldn't fit the base anywhere to dip it, so the hidden underneath bit got a coat or three of Hammerite Kurust. Excellent excellent gear if you don't mind it going black. Here it's hidden so no worries.


After asking the experts (thanks!) on here I went with stove black for the finish. I like it and I think it suits the machine well.
All oiled up and put back together.


Testing it out. It cuts really well. The real deepjoy moment was sorting the bits out and realising this will cut good and importantly narrow mortices with the bits I have. That means it's a keeper after all.
This machine was growing on me all the time.

I haven't fitted permanent wooden beds to it to allow a bit of flexibility. Maybe at some point I will. Not sure yet...

You can raise and lower the main mechanism by undoing the bolts on the rail. The little crank handle on the top takes the weight out of it then you cinch up the bolts again. It's clever.





Didn't highlight the counterweight in orange because I couldn't see where to start and stop on some of the letters. Best to leave well alone I thought.


There were number threes stamped in various parts of the machine. Serial number here?
More important, it shows how you to reverse the direction of the chisel. Unclip, swing the handle 180 degrees and push it into the other spring loaded clip. Tidy!


The x-y and clamp wheels. These all work with one finger more evidence of quality engineering during manufacture. Yes, that is indeed a rubber an O ring on that pin. I didn't have any spare rod the exact imp. size for a perfect interference fit. This metric bit I had spare fits fine, I peined one side off, the O ring means I can take the wheel if if needed. Don't tell anyone. :-$


From the front.


Arty shot.


I was really lucky to get such a wide selection of bits with the machine.


And finally, somewhere to call home. This is just on the wall behind the morticer now. It tapers in width so all the bits fit in nice and snug and stand up straight. :D


All for £12!


Cheers all.
Chris
 

TFrench

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Lovely job mate. Lucky to have all the proper chisels with it! I don't know if you follow Keith Rucker (vintage machinery) on youtube but he has made a gigantic evaporust dip tank for his current metal planer project. He has to lift components in and out with a gantry crane...
 

Trevanion

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I was wondering how you were getting on with this restoration the other day as I saw these on eBay, which reminded me of Rhyolith's restoration and your own comment about starting on yours :D

You've really done that old girl justice, lovely job. Most modern electric morticers don't even come close to the build quality of one of these beauties, and unfortunately, we'll never see their like again. I've only ever seen them in museums so I've never actually got to use one properly, one day though :wink: I imagine it's a lovely thing for a hobbyist as there's absolutely no noise with using it comparing it to even hand morticing. Doing mortices by hand you'll be hammering on the chisel making a right racket and with an electric one you'll have the auger clattering around in the hollow chisel, with this it's just the noise of the timber being chopped out and nothing else, lovely :)
 

Demusss

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Is citric acid better than white vinegar?
I've done a few planes with vinegar.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

Bm101

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adidat":1usxujve said:
excellent resto!!

where would i buy citric acid from?

Adidat
Anywhere from local health shop to amazon Adidat. It's food safe. No nasties here. I use amazon and buy the biggest batch I can reasonably use because 'economy of scale.' Its powdered and comes in a plastic tub so you dont have to store volume like vinegar. You can make huge amounts from a 1kg box etc.
The salt is supposed to speed up the reaction. I add a drop of detergent like fairy because it breaks surface tension on the tank. I think there's probably better solutions but not for the money or the agg.
I find it less aggressive than white vinegar but this is pure circumspection. I always rinse using baking soda and water on smaller metal because I have had flash rusting when I haven't. Not once when I have. It works so I do it. I don't question the quantities.
I have never tried molasses or electro magic.
I believe both also give good if not better results with certain negative effects. What can you do.
:D
 

Bm101

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Trevanion":nlksst1r said:
I was wondering how you were getting on with this restoration the other day as I saw these on eBay, which reminded me of Rhyolith's restoration and your own comment about starting on yours :D

You've really done that old girl justice, lovely job. Most modern electric morticers don't even come close to the build quality of one of these beauties, and unfortunately, we'll never see their like again. I've only ever seen them in museums so I've never actually got to use one properly, one day though :wink: I imagine it's a lovely thing for a hobbyist as there's absolutely no noise with using it comparing it to even hand morticing. Doing mortices by hand you'll be hammering on the chisel making a right racket and with an electric one you'll have the auger clattering around in the hollow chisel, with this it's just the noise of the timber being chopped out and nothing else, lovely :)
Thanks fella.
Someone has been busy on the linisher!
Crikey!
:shock:
I paid that for everything. I was very lucky to buy off a very nice guy.
 

Bm101

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Demusss":36owxclr said:
Is citric acid better than white vinegar?
I've done a few planes with vinegar.

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I think so Demusss. If anything it's worth it for the fact you can store it dry so tiny volumes of space and it doesn't stink. Thats enough positives for me. Plus you can add more or less to a mix.
No expert. Just a hobby chancer. Fair warning.
 

Bm101

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Incidentally, if anyone reading this is in touch with condeesteso (or on facebook? https://www.facebook.com/pages/category ... 381805905/)
I think he would like to see the machine now. If anyone could pass on that its done and the following message I'd really like that.

'It's done. Bit late. The colour was always red lead, the undercoat where it existed was dark grey, you got the chisel out just by twisting it in the end, thanks again, I have more window cleaning supplies if needed, it was a huge pleasure to meet you and your lovely Wife and you were right, I should have taken the vice you tried to give me. Thankyou for being such a top human being. I still have some of the Ash you gave me for free. Trying to get better skills slowly. Thankyou D.C. You made a very good impression. Very Best wishes, Chris'
 

Bm101

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Cheers Andy. :wink:
I love the people on here sometimes.

:roll: =D>
 

Bm101

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I'd say thanks but that's an insult to Wallace.
 

AndyT

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Marvellous!
Having nudged Condesteeso into making the original purchase, I am really pleased to see it getting the love it deserves. It really looks magnificent and will come in handy when you realise you now need to build a bigger shed... :wink:
 

Ttrees

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Great job, love the black, it really suits.
Did you try painting the letters to see what it would turn out like?

I would love to have a go on it 8)

Thanks for showing
Tom
 

Bm101

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Cheers Tom. I blacked it first then was wondering about the lettering and initially thought red but orange seemed a better option for some reason. Who knows?! I just wizzed the grinder over the letters to clean the lines up and remove the blacking and used Humbrol enamel model paint, it's not cheap by volume but by dint of being in a tiny tin. :D 3 or 4 coats was fine on to bare cast to get the colour up.
 
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