Basically the process of cleaning everything, derusting, and stripping is very time consuming.
I was able to clean all the small stuff in a hot bath w/ soapy water followed by soak in 1 Gallon Evapo-Rust. Parts in Evapo-Rust tend to develope a dark grey film that's easily removed with a wire brush and more hot water. I then used an old tshirt and blow dryer to keep everything dry. Another good thing about Evapo-Rust was you can just leave the parts in there indefinitely until you've got time to meticulously rinse them off and dry them. Water would always stay in the head of the socket cap screws so I found that holding them up to your lips and just blowing the water out was the fastest method most effective method of drying out that recess.
|Parts after clean and Evapo-Rust|
Next was disassembly of the cutter head. Don't make my mistake of not covering the cutterhead in something before removal. You could hear and feel the carbide cutters scraping against the cast iron as I slid the whole thing out. I think wrapping the cutterhead in packing tape before removal would be a wise idea. I ended up covering the cutterhead anyways so I could get these bearing blocks off.
|Cutterhead removed from base|
|Setup for pulling the bearing block off the cutterhead|
|Bearing block with snapring|
Unfortunately, my cheap HF snap ring pliers were no match for this tough ring so off to the HomeDepot and I got these: Channellock 927 8-Inch Retaining Ring Pliers they are night and day better than the HF version (but they also have a big price to match).
This is really the best time to replace these bearings. I could already feel some grit inside them as I spun them. I then ordered the same size Nachi C3 bearings (6004 and 6005) from vxb.com. I think they are the cheapest place to find bearings. The new bearings feel like they have a really tight tolerance. I can't feel even the slightest play between the races. I'll have to wait until I repaint the blocks before I get the new bearings pressed in at a local auto shop (so to be continued...)
Paint stripping was another big task I'll cover in my next post.