Shake, Rattle, and Rumble. Those are just a few of the sounds that heavy machinery makes when it is fired up and put into action. The age of the steam locomotive has long faded in the United States, but the tools used to maintain them, rebuild them, and fabricate new parts are very much alive.
I visited a shop whose primary focus is repairing old steam locomotives and building replicas for use around the country (Thomas The Tank Engine is big business). This library features 11 pre–1950s tools that will get your motor running and add texture to your mechanized needs. I hired a machinist to perform the following mechanical masterpieces of the industrial age: Wheel Lathe, Metal Planer, McCabe Metal Flanger, Metal Shaper, Summit Engine Lathe, Summit Engine Rapid Traverse, Hendy Engine Lathe, Vertical Turret Lathe, Bridgeport Milling Machine, Large Air Needle Scaler, Small Air Needle Scaler.
All of the machines have such wonderful qualities that smooth computer-controlled contemporary machines don’t possess. Metal Machines is here to bring on the flap, whirr, grind and whine that your work needs.
One of the highlights for me was this 1910 Wheel Lathe, which is one of two wheel lathes still in operation in the United States.