Good question on the saddle. Looks like I need to "mark" it. to see what kind of contact it has on the bearing surfaces ways, right? I have about a 10 inch bar of some sort made by starrett that seems to have nice ground, but I don't think, scraped surfaces. I can use the surface plate at school to check it. My machine shop instructor is a real ace... just a real font of knowledge, and is real encouraging!! At any rate, we can surely tune things up to be some level of "standard". I am gathering a standard should, ideally be longer than the longest item to scrape? I'm new to this so there are big areas I am very thin with. I do have access to a 60 inch granite surface plate just outside my office door that no one ever uses... lucky me!!
First, I plan to use the tail stock to get a grasp on how much wear is on the the outer ways of the new bed in the common wear area. The original scraping is still plainly visible in the headstock area. I would call it 60 to 70 percent. What is a decent number. I can do the same on the old bed as the the center ways are clean in the headstock region.
Looks like there is a period where the transition ocurred in "38-39" by the listings I've looked at. I noted a couple of lathes with top oilers on the list within a couple of hundred serial numbers either way of mine... transition period in the pipeline?
I believe I do have all the change gears. It there something I should look for that is telling me something?
I really am not committed to any course of action other than making a nice serviceable machine that I can do nice accurate work on. I am not against havingthe bed on the 4 1/2' machine as they are, apparently relatively uncommon. It will not go to waste, for sure. If you know of a place to get the ways, saddle, and tailstock done in Nor Cal redone, I am not against that at all.
Put the frosting under the saddle? Ah So!!! I looked carefully and it is all gone. The saddle gib shows traces of frosting. To check place saddle on precision round bars in the "V"s and measure to a Datum on the underside of the saddle? differences show wear and expect the most in the operator side of the saddle?
The base of the tailstock shows no frosting but noticeable wear maybe 1 to 1.5 inches at either end and the center 5 inches or so it is unfrosted but I'm barely able to pickup a fingernail on the worn area.
Only drawback it seems, is the headstock on the top oiler is usually not equipped with a hardened spindle. Generally, being kind to your machine makes that a not so big of an issue. More than any thing else, a power crossfeed is the big ticket item for me as my hands are not so nimble any more.
Thanks Ed, you sure seem to know your stuff.