When I first started the garage I worked at had one of those machines along with in the car cylinder boring machine (not just a hone), hand operated commutator lathe, brake rivet machine and a bunch of other machines that are no longer used.
I was fortunate enough to learn how to use them.
Very elegant. When I used to change brake shoes on my '65 Comet I realized the arc wouldn't be ideal but also that the pads would slowly "work in". It braked straight enough with new pads and I took it easy until the pads were fully bedded. It didn't take all that long either as far as I could tell (though I have to admit I didn't take the drums off to check).
Not nearly as elegant as what they show in the video but I suspect it was what most people did in those days. Nowadays it would have to almost everyone because who has an arcing machine anymore?
And yes it would be a real health hazard if you were arching asbestos shoes.
Would this be from junk shoes?
Never wanted to deal with drum brakes. Never wanted to know how to fix them. Then dad bought a classic car... And I bought my truck. They aren't bad really. Wheel cylinders are cheap.
* The narrator sounds like Tony the Tiger.
This machine, along with a bunch of other similar machines of yesteryear, is why mechanics were deaf and died of lung cancer.
I remember a local mechanic who used to have one of these, along with a brake shoe reliner, who did brake jobs.
The rivets on the brake shoes had to be done perfect or the friction material would loosen up and eventually fall off.
We're talking about an 81 year old Alvis with cable operated 14" ID drum brakes. Linings need to be 100% concentric inside the drum and have 100% contact to be effective.
Good luck finding parts for an Alvis at NAPA. Or an Auburn.
What do you do if need something for a long defunct machine?. You make one.
There was a small engineering shop in my home town that used to do just that. Make a clutch from scratch?, no problem. Water pump broken?, Give us the old one and we'll make one just like it.
Of course the invoice for the time and knowledge were astronomical, but you had a part made or a static museum piece.
I think those are new shoes. They just have a slightly different radius than the drum.
Those drums look new (or were refurbished and machined smooth). There's a small difference in the radius of a worn then machined smooth used drum and a new OEM drum, so even a well made shoe might not mate exactly. And that's what they're correcting. It wasn't too bad when they started, but by the time they were done the fit was exact.
In this litigious day a perfect fit might be important.