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The resurrection of a Greenerd 3 1/2 Ratchet Arbor Press

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Tuesday, January 6, 2015 - 00:49

The story about this press (this page was started 12/24/2014 and will be updated as progress is made):

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My father stopped by one weekend and seen a 12 ton hydraulic pump jack press (one of those import $125 jobbies) sitting in the corner of my basement. We got talking alittle and he started to say, with a smirk... "I know wheres theres an arbor press"... i jumped in and was like... "yeah, Tracy tossed one back in the woods when i was a kid" (which was about 30 years ago). So off to my fathers we whent. He called the "new" neighbor (whos been living there for the last 15-18 years) and asked him about it, the neighbor said yea, i pushed it in a hole back there years ago when my kids where little. I brought a 1/2 piece of bar stock with me and started to stab the general area he said. About 5-10 mins later... ting.. got lucky and hit the press. Dug down about 18 inches or so (the hole was being back filled with yard clippings, dirt and misc stuff) and the base of the press was in sight. Dig some more so we could get a strap wrapped around it and then pulled it out with my father truck. Got it up on alittle trailer and brought it down to my house.

Here are some images of the press in the ground.

On Saturday, Dec 20 2014 the rusted, dirt covered press with a broken hand wheel, bent leverage bar and all moving parts rusted still sat in my drive way. That night i washed/sprayed it down with hot water (to at least get the dirt off). The next day i spent around 1-1/2 hours with a right angle grinder and a flap wheel cleaning off all the heavy rust.

Later that night i drug the press into the basement. Once in the basement i sprayed alittle Aerokroil on some of the joints along with the quill housing. For the next couple days i squirted alittle more Aerokroil while trying a pipe wrench on some of the parts. The hub of the broken hand wheel started to spin.

Now Wednesday has come. The hand wheel hub started to spin alittle easer. The screw which held it to the shaft was broken off so i drilled it out. After it was drill out i started to spin it a long with prying it off the shaft. This didnt take much force and the hub came off. Next was the collar on the same side. The set screw which holds the collar in place was rusted up pretty good, tried a screw driver which didnt work, then moved on to vise-grips which worked. The collar started to spin. Took some emry paper to the shaft and got it cleaned up and smooth, then started to spin the collar with a pipe wrench and pryed at the same time. Moved the collar far enough where i could get a hammer in there and was able to knock it off the shaft pretty easy.

After that grabbed a 3lb hammer and started to whack the swivel base and it broke free. Worked it around a bit then was able to pry it out off the bottom of the presses base.


Not sure how to go about freeing everything up, research lead me to Electrolysis Rust Removal and Evapo-Rust. Did alittle research about home-brew/basement Electrolysis (for rust removal) and read through the process while the rust breaks down so does the water. With water being H2O, i was not comfortable with hydrogen floating around in my basement so i first choose Evapo-Rust. The size of the press was rather large to completely submerge so i picked up a rectangle 28"x24" x 8" plastic tub, a fish tank pump and heater, some tubing and splitter. Got the press into the tub, all the lines hooked up and pured two gallons of Evapo-Rust in. The Evapo-Rust was flowing for 1/2 hour or so and then the pump died, which is where the project sits as of now. With tomorrow being Christmas i will not be able to get another pump so ill work on cleaning up the swivel base.... To Be Continued.


Update (12/26/2014)

Started the Evapo-Rust shower.
Started the first session at Friday (12/26/2014) around 11:00am. After 2-3 hours i noticed a different in a few things, the lever bar started to jiggle. The arm was loosening on the shaft. The shaft, quill and pinion are all still suck, but the arm is moving. Also i could poke down the side of the pinion between a few teeth, some teeth i could push a file down about four inches, some less then half an inch. At around 5-ish i shut down the pumps did alittle clean, scrapping and shot some air then reposition the press for another shower. Hooked the lines back up and will let it site over night.

Also took the bottom swivel base and tossed it on the lathe. Cleaned up both side and turned the OD. Both sides are parallel with in a tho ( 0.001 ). There was still a bit of rust on the cut outs so im try a Electrolysis bath.


Update (12/28/2014)

Made some head way with the leverage arm assembly. On saterday 12/27/2014 i was able to get the leverage arm assembly off the press.  Soaked the arm in some more evapo-rust to try and free up the spring loaded locking pin. After 15 hours or so pulled it out, cleaned it up and got it moving (video). Also tried to remove the main gear with no luck. Tried heat along with a gear puller. Started a eavpo-rust shower for 8 hours, still would not move, then changed over to a bath, which is where it sit now.


Update (12/30/2014)

The ratcheting gear is off (video). Roughly 2-1/2 days in an Evapo-Rust bath and shower, pulled the gear off with a gear puller and alittle help with the three pound hammer. Now the only thing left is the pinion-shaft and ram, which are now soaking in two fresh gallons on Evapo-Rust. Once all the parts are removed, i will start the "nitty-gritty" cleaning of everything and evaluated the parts to see what will need to be remade and then make a decision. As of now, ive bought 4 gallons of Evapo-Rust , a plastic tub, fish tank pump and heater along with some tubing, in all around $125. Cant see the cost of material for remaking some of the parts being much more then that, so im hoping for around $250 ill have a fully functional Greenerd No. 3 1/2 Arbor Press.

A week or so ago i sent Greenerd an email asking for a manual. They sent me a photo copy of the manual in pdf form - thank you again Carl.


Update (01/03/2015)

Everything is completely disassembled (video).
Roughy 5 days of different Evapo-Rust baths and showers, heating, hammering and prying; all parts are free and disassembled. Next stage will be hand cleaning and make any new parts which need to be remade. Right now the "lock/stop collar" which prevents the lever arm from rotating all the around is broken. While tring to make alittle room between this collar and the ratcheting gear so the gear pullers finges could get back there, i broke it. And the drive pin for the ratchet gear needs to be remade. The lock collar will be made from 1018 or a piece of pipe then a side bracket of it will be welded flat stock. The lock pin will be made from O1 and then hardend. By the looks of it, the pinion might be good (have to clean it), but, if so,  im gonna have to fix the one end which i was hammering on to brake it loose, this end of the shaft is just for the retracting hand wheel. After everything is cleaned up, im gonna try to reassemeble and see how its works, will shoot alittle clip when that time comes.


Update (01/05/2015)

First re-assemble test (video)
After getting the RAM and Pinion cleaned up along with the housings bores, i tried alittle test fit with the RAM and Pinion. As you will see, the pinion is eatin pretty bad in spots. Requested a qoute for some parts from Greenerd and it was a few dollars so ill be placing an other with speedymetals for matrial and make a new pinion, "ratcheting drive pin" and collar stop for the leverage arm. Having some computer problems now, will upload some pics at a later date.



Video Clips

It seams like theres gonna be a few videos so im just gonna post links to each one.
Heres a link to a playlist which will group all my youtube Greenerd Resurrection videos together.

12/26/2014 - (1:30 mins) Evapo-Rust shower part one.
12/26/2014 - (3:15 mins)  Evapo-Rust shower part two
12/26/2014 - (7:10 mins) Swivel Base: Electrolysis Bath Part One - I would not bother with this one unless your really bord.

12/28/2014 - (6:40 mins) Leverage Arm Disassemble

12/30/2014 - (4:40 mins) Ratchet Gear Removed

01/03/2015 - (9:00 mins) Free and Disassembled

01/05/2015 - (6:10 mins) First re-assmeble test


Some resources links


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I am really enjoying watching your videos. Your ingenuity and perseverance are an inspiration to people thinking of taking on complicated restoration projects. I'm happy to see Evapo-Rust helped you.
Best regards,
David Harris
Harris International Labs

Joe's picture

Thanks Dave.
This is the first project of this kind for me and has been quite an "adventure".
Speaking of 'inspiration', right now im on the 5th gallon of Evapo-Rust, does Harris International Labs have any inspiration of sending me some cheeky

Thanks again for your post of encouragement.

- joe

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