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Alba 1A Restoration

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It's finally arrived! The new-to-me Alba 1A Shaper.  This is my little restoration project that I plan to beetle away at over the coming months.

Its not going to be a fast project as I also have to completely reorganise my home shop to make way for a new Lathe.  I decided to take the plunge and do the garage workshop as I should have done it not the compromise it currently was.

Anyway, some pics of the little lady as she is, coming home for the first time.  I have seen her running. She could be just cleaned up for rust and ready to rock but I want to do a good a paint job as well.  Maybe a nice classic machine grey.  Something not so dark looking but shiny and "classic".

Any advice on these machines gratefully received.

General overview pics - while there is obviously rusty and some crappy paint things are not looking too bad.  The table box is very clean with no dings. Even have the original handle and feed ratchet system. All the knobs are in place and none of the plastic parts have been broken or damaged.

Some specifics:
The feed system needs some love and its so painted and messy its hard to tell if there are any graduation collars in amongst it all.  Not the end of world as they can be made or a magnetic backed indicator can be added in.  Something I will probably end up doing anyway. I have included a pic of the serial number in case someone can help with how I would identify the age of this wee machine.

The head moves ver smoothly even though it looks a bit worse for wear.  The clapper seems to have no sideways movement that I can detect. When its seated flat there is no wiggle at all.

Motor looks to be original as well.  I'm probably going to power this with a 230V-1ph to 380v-3ph inverter.  I have used that approach successfully on the mill.  The other advantage is that I can improve the speed range and get some very slow cutting speeds.  Worse case is I might need to add a fan in the case to get enough air flow over the motor.

The bull gear and the rocker/eccentric setup looks to be in very good condition.

Belt has seen better days and will need to be replaced but the clutch system and belt wheels all look to be in good condition.


That looks like a very well made machine that will deserve the extra attention that your restoration intends to give.  Have always fancied a small shaper of this sort, Boxford or similar, for the novelty and also the ease of tooling as compared with milling,  but have had to forgo a few opportunities due to lack of 'shop space.  Just wondering if it could be better to move the stop switch, if that will be retained, to a location easier to access in event of a panic...   Dave

What a nice machine Joco. Should be a fun and rewarding restoration.


Dave Otto:
Nice looking shaper Joco.
Looking forward to seeing the restoration process.


After a long pause I have finally gotten things going on cleaning up the Alba.   At the moment I'm in the phase of tearing it all down cleaning and painting parts and noting where there is wear that I would like to address. The eventual game plan will be to scrap some key parts in.  But I need to spend some time learning that skill on some straight edges and practice parts.

The only part I am going to have to repair, from what I can currently see, is the table cross feed nut.  It's been smashed at some point and has lost about 30-40% of its size.  There is still plenty of thread so it will work, but a new one should be made.  I'm not going to try and repair it in case I bugger up what could be my backup.  So a new cross feed nut it will be after all the cleaning/painting is done.

Here some pics of the current state of things.

pic 1: painted parts stack ready for eventual assembly
pic 2: some WIP painting drying
pic 3: parts either cleaned, stripped or waiting on either
pic 4: a bunch of the parts relating to gear train and clutch linkage.  In need of a good clean and some need stripping and painting
pic 5: the base castings separated and waiting on some attention



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