Andy Lofquist, the owner of Metal Lathe Accessories, was a pleasure to work with. A few emails and a PayPal invoice later I had a set of castings for the MLA-18 Die Filer on my doorstep.

The basic kit includes a set of drawing, a piece of bar for the table support and castings for the main body, cover plate, table, and yoke. Andy also offers a hardware kit, bronze for the bearings and a casting for the pulley as add-ons. I got the hardware kit but opted to source the bronze and the pulley on my own.

The first thing I did after receiving the castings was to clean up any flash and high spots on the castings with a file. I then gave everything with the exception of the yoke a coat of paint. I used Rust-Oleum forest green. It ended up a little more «John Deer» green than I would have liked but I can live with it.

I painted before machining for a couple of reasons.

First, I had some other projects going on so I was not sure how long it would be before I started the project. My shop is in a stone basement so humidity is always an issue. I didn’t want a lump of rust when I eventually did start.

Second, it would save some masking later on. Generally cast surfaces are painted and machined surfaces left bare. By painting before machining you are left with crisp lines between the painted and unpainted surfaces.

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