David “PeeWee” Erlbacher was a fourth generation machinist. He started his own machine shop in 1960 making race car parts. As the machining business changed over the years, the parts got larger and larger. Erlbacher Gear and Machine Works is primarily a gear shop, however, with CNC mills and lathes, it has become a full service precision machine shop. Upon seeing a vintage CSM, PeeWee’s interest was piqued. He knew he would be able to reverse engineer the Gearhart CSM. With the help of other Gearhart mechanics and enthusiasts (and with a lot of thought, headaches and mistakes) he finally did it. A lifetime in a machine shop and he has said, “The Gearhart CSM has been one of the most difficult things we have ever made in the shop.” This is quite a compliment to the machinists of the original product.
The machines are made of a combination of steel and 6061 T6 aluminum (vacuum degassed), which is an aerospace grade. We have kept the machines as close to the original as possible, however, we have had to make a few minor changes.