Hi, I'm unable to get into the garden to do any work due to the constant bad weather; it was bad enough when pouring with rain or hail and temperature hovering just above freezing with a chilling wind blowing at me but enough is enough I call it a day at sub zero temperatures with ice and snow. I was fully committed to getting stuck into the garden at the middle of last year with no outstanding jobs hanging over me in fact I was looking forward to gardening for a change; it's usually poor weather here on the valley but all last year the rain seldom let up and today we've got 3C temperature but with rain; sleet; snow; hail and high wind; I've called it a day in the garden and have started a new project in the workshop. I fully restored a very rare Lorch Schmidt German made precision engineering lathe a while ago and have seldom used this lathe since; it is fitted with flat drive belts which I dislike and the tooling is unique to Lorch in that standard Morse Tapers do not fit into either its headstock or tailstock. I could sell this lathe for quite a bit of money because it's so rare and Lorch lathes are highly sought after and respected. I considered buying a more modern Boxford lathe a couple of weeks ago this Boxford coming with tooling and at £1,000 I could easily afford it; the sale of the Lorch would cover this amount without problem but I've been having a very good look at the Lorch which I truly like and would be loathe to part with it. The Lorch is in excellent condition showing no signs of wear even though its so old but before I bought it the Lorch had been stored in a scrap yard for over twenty years; I made a top job of the restoration and this Lorch has much to commend it so I decided to keep it and to modify it to suit me but also try to retain its originality as much as possible. During its restoration I upgraded the electric motor to a top quality Brook Motor (I worked at Brook Motors here in Huddersfield for 24 years) I also installed the correct Direct On Line starter so the Lorch now has safe electrics. My plan is to upgrade the Lorch further adding VFD (Variable Frequency Drive) these drives give many functions to the motor like full speed control; jogging; braking; forward and reverse etc. I did a similar VFD conversion to me Union Graduate woodturning lathe when I restored the Graduate so I'm conversant with VFD drives. I already had a suitable 1.1KW 3 phase inverter rated motor; Brook of course; the Graduate has an identical motor so can I rig up the wiring from the VFD to power both the Graduate and Lorch lathes? A VFD costs around £90 but I want to experiment a bit rather than just throw money at it after all I've a reputation to keep up being a tight Yorkshireman and I want to try using one VFD for two lathes. I've just come out of the workshop having spent three hours in there today enjoying myself. One of these lathe updates looks so easy once completed but just taking measurements for mounting the new motor is quite difficult because it's like measuring fresh air; however I'm a mechanical engineer by trade so there are easy ways around such complicated problems. At the rear of the lathe headstock is located the back gear shaft with its gears and guards this shaft right in the way of the new belt drive so after thinking about options I set about rigging up a mock motor support using a large can of paint and wooden spacers; now I could actually see what I wanted rather than imagine what I wanted; a few adjustments with thickness of timber spaces the position of the motor was now quite near but adding the drive pulley to the motor would make a lot of difference; as yet I don't have the needed 100mm dia Poly-V pulley so I wanted something as a substitute; I could turn a dummy wooden pulley but looking around I found an old 100mm Bull gear wheel so this saved a bit of work and once it was slid onto the motor shaft I was in business; I could fine tune the position of the motor allowing me to take accurate measurements. In my steel offcuts I had a pair of welded angle iron brackets which looked promising so I cleaned these up using an angle grinder to remove the old paint; holes were drilled as required and additional mountings welded on taking a lot of care to get this just right because welding is very easy but once welded an item takes a lot of removing if not located correctly. By doing the mounting mock up I saved considerable time and the new motor mounting came together quickly as seen in the pictures below; I've added an 18mm thick base for the motor to sit on but won't drill the motor mounting holes until I have the correct pulley and drive belt to hand; the motor mounting holes need to be slotted to allow for drive belt tension adjustment; I'm adding a 100mm Poly-V drive pulley to the motor shaft but am leaving the original three stepped headstock pulley as is; I'll need to strip the headstock once again in order to install the new drive belt. Ideally I'd have installed the motor beneath the headstock but this Lorch is a very strange design; the headstock drive belt as original has to be joined by stitching in the lathe; the front of the drive belt runs down through the headstock but the rear of the drive belt runs upwards outside the headstock which is a major problem when installing this drive belt; the new Poly-V drive belt won't need cutting and stitching due to my updated design so can be installed as an endless drive belt making me a lot happier. Once the Lorch is modified then I can make my own tooling either from scratch or modify new/second-hand tooling to suit; I'm trained in engineering so won't find this too difficult at all. It's been nice to get out of this terrible weather and play in the workshop; it felt very strange indeed as I settled into the workshop after many months spent in the garden; I recently bought a metal cutting bandsaw and also an oil cooled Oxford 180A arc welder so it's been a pleasure for me to use both these on this project; it's really nice to get my hands dirty once again. In an engineering works lots of departments would be involved in this type of project; design; research & development (R&D) drawing office; health & safety; production; installation; testing; the work would be further split into mechanical & electrical all this costing a great deal of time and money and of course on big projects there's no way around this but in my home workshop I do the lot from the first idea to success; I love this kind of project because it keeps my head and hands busy. I'm at home engineering but in gardening I've much to learn. I'm unable to post regarding what I do in the garden but I can post about what I do instead of working in the garden in the hope of encouraging others to try something totally different as an hobby. I hope my ramblings are of interest but realize this is a gardening forum and I'm a square peg in a round hole posting about engineering but at least I'm different. This project is ongoing and I'm not in a hurry to complete it. Kind regards, Colin.