And there's Moore... another vintage tool restoration

Discussion in 'Tools' started by Rob Pulham, Oct 5, 2023.

  1. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Happily making models Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Sep 15, 2017
    Hello I'm Rob and I am a tool junkie... or so it might seem.

    During breakfast and morning coffee I have taken to watching YouTube videos on machining, restorations etc. while Chris catches up on the news and current affairs.

    While watching one such video a gent in the states who has a superb machine shop that he inherited from his Grandfather was making an adjustable indicator holder.

    The resulting tool was excellent, but as it was nearing completion I couldn't help but notice that the design was pretty much the same as some adjustable scribing blocks that I had seen on eBay while searching for Moore and Wright tools. Sure enough a search on Moore and Wright scribing block brought up several, ranging from one with some parts missing for £10 up to pristine boxed examples that were almost £100.

    I found one that was complete (if rusty in places) but unboxed, that the seller was asking £15.99 plus P&P for. I put it on watch while I browsed further. As per a number of my recent experiences, by the time that I had found a couple more at sensible (to me) prices, I had received a lower price offer from the seller of £12.99.

    Offer and counter offer is one of the functions of eBay that I really like and I have used it to negotiate a better price on a number of occasions. Being a tight Yorkshireman, I decided that I didn't want to pay more than £10 plus P&P for it but knew that if I counter offered £10 that the seller would in turn counter with £11.

    So I offered £8. My thinking being that the seller would then counter with £10 and sure enough they did. Result and a happy bunny.

    On a side note, I think that if you enter into negotiations like this, it is only good manners to buy the object in question although I don't always take up the reduced price initially offered as sometimes I just put items on watch out of curiosity with no intention of buying them at any price.

    This is what it looked like when it arrived

    Moore and Wright Adjustable Scribing Block.jpg

    I stripped it all down and put all the small parts which were rusty into a pickle jar full of white vinegar (we bought a gallon of it a while back). I left them for 24 hours and then brough them out and cleaned much of them with ScotchBrite but there were lots of small parts and springs that were either difficult to hold or lot's of small crevices etc, to get into.

    Then I recalled another video that I had watched, where a gent (again in the US) with an decent sized Ultrasonic cleaner had put various objects into small pots of different detergents including one of gasoline. These containers were then placed in the US cleaner which was part filled with water and turned on with really good results.

    Another recent purchase was a 5 litre bottle of WD40 so I decanted some into a small container dropped in all the small parts and gave them a 30 minute cycle with the container surrounded by water (approx. 3/4 of the way up the container and above the level of the WD40) but no additional heat. I say no additional heat because my US cleaner has a temperature dial which goes up to 20 degrees, but even with the temperature set to zero, it still gets quite warm.

    I was absolutely blown away with how clean the parts came out and the added bonus of using WD40, not only does it clean, but it doesn't send the parts rusty like detergent or other cleaners might.

    Moore and Wright Scribing Block Parts Cleaned.jpg

    As you can see below there is still some pitting and general wear marks, but from any kind of distance it almost looks new.


    Moore and Wright Scribing Block Base Restored.jpg

    Now as I mentioned at the beginning the plan is to use this as a dial indictor holder rather than a scribing block as I already have a nice Eclipse Scribing block that a friend gave me. More on that in another post.

    This is the finished and reassembled tool fitted with a dial indicator.

    Moore and Wright Scribing Block Restored.jpg

    Attached Files:

  2. chigley

    chigley Full Member

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    Sep 1, 2022
    we used to use those all the time, brake disc run out, piston protrusion to measure head gasket thickness, valve lift etc etc

    Rob Pulham likes this.
  3. Walkingthedog

    Walkingthedog Full Member

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    Jul 30, 2020
    I had one of those. Nice job.
    Rob Pulham likes this.
  4. Rob Pulham

    Rob Pulham Happily making models Staff Member Administrator Feature Contributor

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    Sep 15, 2017
    I mentioned in the post above that I also had an Eclipse scribing block. This was a gift from a friend when he was moving and I was very grateful for it. I am a little ashamed to say that aside from using it a few times with my indicator I have done very little with it.

    Having discovered the WD40/Ultrasonic Cleaning method I decided to see if it was a fluke or whether it really needed the soak in vinegar first.

    Because it was a test I took a few more before and after photos

    Eclipse Scribing Block Pre clean.jpg




    I put all the smaller parts in the pot of WD40 and ran it through the US cleaner for half an hour. When they came out the dirt was loose, but they were not as clean as the items that had been pre-soaked in vinegar.

    On the bright side, I gave them a rub over with ScotchBrite and the dirt came away easily with almost no effort. A second run through the US cleaner had them like new.

    I did the main column with WD 40 and ScotchBrite which did take a bit of effort.

    Eclipse Scribing Block Restored.jpg


    jakesdad13 and Vinylelpea like this.

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