Free 50 Best Homemade Tools eBook:  
Remove advertisements
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
  1. #1
    hardtail69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    wilmington NC.
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 82 Times in 28 Posts

    I need advice on lathe purchase

    I have an opportunity to get a lathe it is some old American iron which appeals to me and the price is less than 2 grand and that is also appealing. but until today i had never heard of this particular brand. It is a Sidney lathe. A14 x 32 Sidney lathe, Serial Number: 5883. It looks to be from the forties but who knows. It was in operation till recently and still works but i believe they simply bought a newer one. ok that being said is this looking like a good brand? the size is perfect and it is not unbelievably far away so it could be managed. all i am asking for is a nose,er, i mean an opinion, ok same thing, everybody has one. if i am going to pay more than this for a lathe then i am gonna buy me a grizzly brand new. but this is a bit tempting. I must say. I have been wanting a lathe now for 40 years lol. i might just git me one soon.

    rob

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
    This is a piece of good old American iron. Granted it is probably 50+ years old, but that also gives you a sense of just how well it was built, in Sidney, OH BTW, It is also probably a War Board piece of equipment made during WWII which means it had to pass all the mechanical & electrical specifications, but non-functionality specs such as the paint job could have been waived.

    Many, many home shop machinists would just drool over a find like this.

    One comment on accuracy. As I said it is a 50+ yr old machine so it will not hold tolerances like it did when new. If you need a lathe to make extremely accurate parts you'll find yourself compensating for the wear. One option would be to perform a complete overhaul including resurfacing the bed. This can be accomplished by hand if you know how to hand scrape machined surfaces (this is how the bed was finished at the factory). It could also be resurfaced by someone with a planner and a tool post grinder or a lathe bed grinder.

    Keep in mind this machine could very well still be running well after a brand new 2015 Chinese lathe has been sent to the bone yard.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Dr Stan For This Useful Post:

    hardtail69 (04-20-2015)

  4. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Buying an older lathe

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Stan View Post
    This is a piece of good old American iron. Granted it is probably 50+ years old, but that also gives you a sense of just how well it was built, in Sidney, OH BTW, It is also probably a War Board piece of equipment made during WWII which means it had to pass all the mechanical & electrical specifications, but non-functionality specs such as the paint job could have been waived.

    Many, many home shop machinists would just drool over a find like this.

    One comment on accuracy. As I said it is a 50+ yr old machine so it will not hold tolerances like it did when new. If you need a lathe to make extremely accurate parts you'll find yourself compensating for the wear. One option would be to perform a complete overhaul including resurfacing the bed. This can be accomplished by hand if you know how to hand scrape machined surfaces (this is how the bed was finished at the factory). It could also be resurfaced by someone with a planner and a tool post grinder or a lathe bed grinder.

    Keep in mind this machine could very well still be running well after a brand new 2015 Chinese lathe has been sent to the bone yard.
    You should check out the shaft to see that it runs true, that it meets the live center properly, and especially see if the drive center shaft's threads aren't too worn (safety factor): see if your/any chuck engages properly and the chuck does not wobble when secured. The shaft collar should be perpendicular to the bed (an easy fix if not) to allow the chuck to run true. Make sure that the banjos can be secured to the bed easily and not at the end of their lives. Good luck and enjoy!

  5. The Following User Says Thank You to aaron0641 For This Useful Post:

    hardtail69 (04-22-2015)

  6. #4
    jere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    200
    Thanks
    183
    Thanked 113 Times in 69 Posts
    Make sure to check that the bedways are good and flat, every part that turns, turns as it should, and make sure there is lots of tooling ,tool posts, chucks , tailstock, extra gears if it is not a quick change gear box. With any of the above missing it is going to be hard to find Parts for a machine that are no longer available. at that price being 1000- 500 dollars (at least around where i am) high i would expect a lot. i passed on a machine of similar size and area that was selling for $ 300. The seller was just waiting for a sucker to get rid of a hunk of negative value scrap metal for him.

    There are some good deals out there to so don't be afraid to walk away. As soon as you buy the machine another better more complete cheaper one will show up.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to jere For This Useful Post:

    hardtail69 (04-22-2015)

  8. #5
    hardtail69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    wilmington NC.
    Posts
    69
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 82 Times in 28 Posts
    I am sure you are right and in the end I had to pass this one up because I was too late to bid on it... Then the metal angels did me a real favor and a guy I know actually gave me a south bend 9A....for free. Sure I will have to repair a few things... but FREE! hell I will put a few hours and a few hundred into it for sure... but Free! Oh hell yea. Did i mention it was Free? ....... ( doing my happy dance) it ain't pretty but it's FREEEEEEEE!

    Any of you south bend aficionados out there. I could use your advice on restoring this old American iron to it's former glory. So lay it on me. I already know it has one gear with missing teeth. not sure which one it is yet as i only saw a glimpse of it and that was a few weeks ago. I never thought the guy would just give it to me. I was at his home garage turning out some head tubes for him on his delta lathe and saw the old south bend sitting on the floor. Never thought it would be mine lol so I didn't exactly notice every little detail. I should get it this weekend though. I will want to go through it with a fine tooth comb.
    Last edited by hardtail69; 04-21-2015 at 06:53 PM.

  9. #6
    Content Editor DIYer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    3,072
    Thanks
    306
    Thanked 603 Times in 545 Posts
    Wow, a great project to sure!

  10. #7

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    60
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 13 Times in 10 Posts
    One huge advantage of the SB is the availability of parts. Also when (not if but when) you have a wreck parts are less expensive and there is usually less damage due to it being a belt drive and much lower HP. One of the first things to do is to convert it from a leather belt to a serpentine belt on the drive unit. Huge difference in the power transfer.

    There are many sources including FleaBay and also good ones like Little Machine Shop and Tools For Cheap. They have some replicas such as threading dials and steady rests which are as good or better than the originals.

    The first thing to do is buy a copy of the South Bend Lathe Manual. Numerous sources have them available as reprints and some originals are also out there.

    There is a company called South Bend Lathe which bought the inventory, name, blue prints, etc of the bankrupt SB Lathe works. It now manufactures SB lathes in Taiwan and/or mainland China. The owner of Grizzly is also the owner of the new "SB Lathe" company. If you decide to do business with them I'll just say be careful. Some people think Grizzly is just great and others not. I happen to be in the latter category.

    So congrats on the acquisition of a 9" SB which just happens to have been the very first lathe I ever ran in the Navy's Machinery Repairman Class A School located at that time in San Diego, CA. I had one until about 4 or 5 years ago when I traded for my Logan 14X30.

  11. The Following User Says Thank You to Dr Stan For This Useful Post:

    hardtail69 (04-22-2015)

  12. #8
    jere's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Posts
    200
    Thanks
    183
    Thanked 113 Times in 69 Posts
    Congrats free is always my favorite! Southbends have a really nice following so there will be plenty of parts and tooling around. Lots of information on how to fix them and upgrade them. They are a great starting point and doing your own repairs will teach you a lot.

  13. #9

    Join Date
    Sep 2015
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Congrats on the new free acquisition....that's the best kind for sure !!

  14. #10
    Toolmaker51's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Midwest USA
    Posts
    834
    Thanks
    1,790
    Thanked 873 Times in 471 Posts
    South Bend's are likely the premier or very high in the group of most favored lathes; for all the reasons given above. Untold scores of them were first machine tools a budding machinist would be exposed to. My lathe is not SB, but I still need one more lathe, and SB is one of 3 I'd search for. What is called 'user-friendly' now, was ergonomics. The SB is very natural to run. They have utility, can be configured for many operations right up to intermediate production volumes, parts and literature is everywhere. Perhaps a couple dozen other names have the same qualities other than popularity. To me, single most critical lathe feature is in the design, I won't accept flat bedways. All the mechanical recommendations made to you apply. There are many who make a living with one. There are experts who make a living as a conduit for parts and all the SB connections.
    Sincerely,
    Toolmaker51
    ...we'll learn more by wandering than searching...

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •