We have entered the New Year with great direction. New vintage drill press idler pulleys arrived and a lathe tool holder to make threads on a set of tapping machine parts.  Also how to mount a Levin lathe and what remains of the Levin lathe accessories refurbishing process and finally what is the status of work edict?


  • New Year focused direction and a fresh YouTube.
  • Machine and tool rebuilding progress.
  • How we keep our Machine Shop and Workshop organized professional and really clean.

NewTube for YouTube


Welcome to the New Year and our commitments to the making of our YouTube Series titled, Shop Adventures through 2019. This commitment means that for this new year, we are going to film 52 videos for just our Shop Adventures weekly series but we also would like to share something new for the New Year.

Specialty Videos

New video mini series coming to our Active Atom channel. While we still do not have a name or a thumbnail color for these videos, they are going to be placed in the YouTube category Educational.

We currently place our weekly Shop Adventures videos with the blue thumbnails under Science & Technology category.

We do know that this first pull out video is a mini series of videos sharing the in depth step-by-step procedure of disassembly care, reassembly and testing of the head stock bearings for a Levin lathe with tolerances that must be held to 50 millionths TIR (total indicator runout) over the length of this spindle.

Production Machinery Rebuilding and Refurbishing


The micro machinery, machine tools and machine accessories rebuilding and refurbishing continues.

Levin Lathes

Levin Lathe chip bed, motor mount, idler pulley layouts and final location installation completed. Science in the field of gravity was required in the placement of these two Levin Instrument model lathes on the maple table tops.

What was required for installing the Levin lathes and one cannot buy, is the knowledge from the decades of running these fine precision instrument lathes. What time shares is based on how we ran the lathe machines and how we utilize both the machines themselves as well as the accessories or attachments for these lathes in the making of the part types we produce that we would know best from the standard general layout of these machines provided by the factory as to how they best fit and work in our particular machining applications out side the general middle of the road factory specifications. This is not the factories fault, it is just the general default as they have no choice but to provide their customers.

German Drill Press

New idler arm pulleys arrived to replace the current very old brass originals in our German Micro Drill Press. These two new pulleys have ball bearings installed that should help make this new machines addition into our workshop area a bit quieter.

The ball bearing style pulleys for our idler pulley arm went on really well and when we first fired up the machine, it was amazing how quiet the fused round green belt travels from the Bodine motor pulley up over the idler pulley arm, out to and around the main micro drill press spindle pulley, back over the adjacent idler arm pulley and back down to the Bodine motor completing a full loop.

German Tapping Machine

The Active Atom team received a new lathe tool holder allowing us the ability to cut the required thread of 14mm inside bore diameter by a very fine thread pitch of 0.5 mm or ½ a millimeter thread pitch which is needed to finish these two bearing nuts Patrick machined on the lathe but had since placed on hold until the tool got here. So now we are scheduling this final machine turning operation into our schedule.

Lance has but only 3 Levin Lathe accessories to finish the disassembly, inspection, cleaning, polishing and replacement of components ordering (if any are requiring replacement) to get through before the bins of components head back over to Patrick for final reassembly, oiling, adjustment and repeat-ability testing. And finally placing them back into the workshop, making them available for continuous service in the near future as many of these lathe accessories will be utilized in the making of our machined product that starts soon.

Dress Code Etiquette


  • Dress Codes in the Workplace
  • Keeping Things Clean at Active Atom

We are Active Atom precision machining and we specialize in design, engineering, programming, micro machining and finishing of high tolerance aerospace grade materials. Basically Active Atom is a very clean and precision products makers place. The work we perform is on a small scale and our customers of the past from the watch movement parts, timing device parts and instrument parts industries expect us to have ethics, credibility and integrity when they visit our Workshop or Machine Shop.

How you dress is important as it afforded these people to look the part of knowledge while they might actually be still gaining additional knowledge on many levels of related interest. People that produce things sometimes called makers are never finished learning new technology, skills, or even in the honing of there current skills in an approach called mastering of skills. You see, you are never to be done learning in the manufacturing world for if you are, you are surely nearing retirement times.

The watchmaker and the micro machinist are similar in the way they are to dress in the workplace and this also stems from a time of the machining of components in American factories during the 1940’s maybe earlier when the US Government War Effort of those times set this ethics type of proven approach into motion.

Manufacturing Dress Codes

The machinist tool and die maker or any journeymen were to dress in proper styled shoes, long dress slacks, a collared short sleeve shirt (short sleeve was selected over a long sleeve due to the risk of getting a sleeve caught up in the mechanical machinery one might be operation on, in or near. A tie might as well be required and may be dependant of the position of the worker say a shop floor men or workspace area leadman in his title or status however the tie would be secured inside the shirt through the release of one single shirt button placing the tie and tail into the is slotted opening of the dress shirt to prevent it from becoming snagged or snarled into equipment on the shop floor.

Watchmaker Dress Codes

The uniform of the watchmaker is more maintained then that of the current machine shop or manufacturing plant employee. We understand times change but should the American ethics?

The watchmaker wears a nicer shoe of the dress class, fine dress slacks of the wearers choosing though not of the load or bright style viewed in the public domain of current times. He the watchmaker also wears a white coat, clean to the eye and feel. Under this fine working clean coat is a collared short sleeve shirt and a fine conservative in style and colors, and neck tie that are displayed only when the watchmaker exits the watchmaker floor for any other activates.

Maintaining Working Environment


Clean work environments are easily maintained between the end of one day and the start of the next even between the end of one shift and the start of the next. This is applicable to 2 and 3 shift manufacturing operations in general.

Here is how we at Active Atom approach keeping our machining and finishing operation in the ready mode.

You are last to use it you clean it, you service it, you oil it. This does not include our vintage machines with the daily oilers as those are to have a few drops of oil added at the beginning of each use and then oil is added as necessary throughout the time it is being operated.

We keep many materials, cleaners, lubricants and the likes in close proximity to the areas of work known as a workstation so we keep supplies, materials and such cut to the sizes most likely to be utilized around that particular workstation or general shop area. So we always keep plenty of things like polishing cloths and finger cots to mention a few items at the workstations.

At the end of the day during the workstation cleaning of the main machine and the machine table and floor inspections, we refill and top off all supplies, liquid or solid in nature that are running even slightly low for two reasons.

  • Reason 1
    We determined years ago that there is a certain number of most supplies or sizes an operator is able to go through in a single shift so that is how we always maintain enough of most all supplies in a workstation area, preventing unnecessary movement or materials hunt during peak machinery operating times.

  • Reason 2
    When a shift nears its end and the operator is doing the cleaning and supplies topping off, they will discover if a particular supply from the supply fulfillment area is also running low and can add it to the daily ordering list and this method has proven we never run out of any supplies early.

We at Active Atom, take great pride in our work areas as it makes working in these areas much more efficient and pleasant while showing a professional and clean environment to anyone who happens to visit us.