Monday, August 15, 2016

Future Pitching Machine Restoration

I have a pitching machine!
I had originally planned to start this project during the winter, it's still within the realm of possibility, but I'm trying to chase down a couple of other projects with loose ends.

This is built by Masters Pitching machines who make the "Iron Mike." While this A-50 was built in 1981, it looks nearly identical to the machines they currently produce today that retail for three thousand dollars. Why change a perfect design?

The Iron Mike is touted as being insanely reliable. The mechanical pitching arm simulates real life. This is desired because you want to simulate the in-game scenario as close as possible. The pitching arm helps you practice timing, which is better than the spinning tire machines.
The machine as I found it. Completely covered in brush on one side.
I found this at a former batting cage. It was out side with two others and hadn't been used in ten years, but at least it was under a shelter. There were still practice balls left in the feeder.

The price was fifty dollars higher than I wanted, but I called the company and can replace all parts for $400.  Chances are, I wouldn't have to replace everything. That's a lot cheaper than retail.

I bought it and towed it away after cutting down two trees and removing a lot of brush. It weighs about 600 pounds I'm guessing.

To move it around, I used a 2x6 for mechanical advantage and put galvanized pipe under it. The 600 pounds moves rather easily on rollers. I put it on wood blocks in my garage and cleaned i up.

I assessed the condition. Everything had a bit of surface rust, but it was intact. I will replace all belts and lubricate the bushings and the chain. The bushing for the cable end bell assembly was badly worn and needs to be replaced.

The motor will be cleaned up, greased, and then checked to see if it operates. It's the single most expensive replacement part I potentially have to make at $90.

Electrical box.
Torsion spring.
Ball track and stop.
Agitator sheave and pulleys.
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