Jump to content

My "new" lathe - Input?


Recommended Posts

This lathe was pulled out of a barn up the road that is being restored and was earmarked for metal scrap. I am not a machinist and have no idea how to actually use this, but it was just too cool to see it go to scrap. Therefore, it is now in my garage with me wondering what I'll end up doing with it. (My wife still loves me.) To my uneducated eyes, it appears to be all there - including the books which were in a drawer with a number of other goodies. I see that it is a South Bend Lathe Works lathe that, incidently, could be purchased for $94.00, or just $24 down and monthly payments of $7, from the Osborne & Sexton Machinery Company of Columbus, Ohio.

 

Any comments or information? I'd love just to clean it up and get it running, but I have no idea if there is any kind of a market for this sort of thing.
IMG_0311.thumb.JPG.6cbca06a07e60fcbb82ebd2163d1b4ab.JPGIMG_0309.thumb.JPG.b3c13dd8ac37a7944adde45177d644bd.JPGIMG_0306.thumb.JPG.2fe6ea51753b678c9aa9a484b9c6f8d5.JPG

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

South Bend lathes are nice machines.  I would make it a restore project.  Once restored you can learn up on how to use it or resell it for more profit.  Soak everything with some type of solution to aid in removing rusted bolts and parts.  Good luck.

Link to post
Share on other sites

What ;you have is a short bed version of the classic South Bend '9' lathe.  These lathes remain quite popular today due to the fact that many, like myself, first learned to use a lathe in high school machine shot on a South Bend 9.  Yours is a fairly early pre-war model but would still be a very useable unit once rebuilt.  I have  a WWII era 9, with the Navy department anchor stamped in the right hand end of the front way that still works very well.  The nice thing about these things is that there is a large following for them, even a club exists, and a good supply of new, used and replacement parts available.  The 9 is a perfect machine for the home hobbyist and many attachments are available to extend it's capabilities.  With all of that said, a machine like yours isn't an expensive piece so I'd check around for pricing before I put a large amount of money into it.  You may find a machine in good working order for less than what you would spend on fixing yours up.  The other part of all of this is coming up with the necessary tooling, which I don't see in you photos and am assuming you don't have.  You can invest some serious bucks in acquiring a good assortment of things like a complete set of collets, centers, taper attachment, center rest, etc.  Then there are the more esoteric items, like a milling head, if you really want to get deeper involved.  Good luck with  you find, have fun. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a manual gear change machine so I assume there should be some loose gears that come with it; if so, don't let them get away. The serial number??may be  found on the right side of the machine, in the bed, near the ways.

 

https://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/south-bend-lathes/south-bend-9-workshop-lathe-248916/

Edited by dep5
add link (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Minus the rust, it looks exactly like the one my Grand Father and then Father had when I was growing up.

 

They had the motor and drive assembly mounted on the wall several feet above the lathe.

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the Practical Machinist web site... they have both an "antiques" sub-forum and a South Bend sub-forum. There are plenty of folks there who will be able to guide you. Also, get a copy of "How to Run a Lathe" - it was published by South Bend and is still the best basic work on the subject regardless of what machine you have. I know it is on the internet but it will be far more useful to get a real copy - it's cheap and readily available.

 

By the way - that doesn't look to be in bad condition at all. The lathe I run every day was far rougher when I started. But, there are things to avoid and proper ways of going about recommissioning it so it would be best to get some knowledgable advice before you start pulling things apart.

Link to post
Share on other sites

A relatively light duty lathe but is fine for what you will likely use it for. If your chuck is a 4 jaw that is really all you need for 99% of your jobs. If not 3 jaw chucks are readily available as is almost anything you might need. The rust looks like surface rust and even lite pitting is not a problem.

Google will be your friend. Find out all you can before simply mucking about.

Personally i dont know how one can get through life without a lathe (and mill).....bob

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the responses! I don't have ANY knowledge or experience in maching and I don't really see myself getting into it much — too many other things to learn first! This was just way to cool for scrap. Thank you for all the links, too. I will educate myself a bit before fussing with it. I've added a picture of all the "goodies" that were in the drawer of the bench it was attached to. From my quick perusal of eBay I see I do have a number of the ancillary parts. As to making money on it? Not really interested. Right now, just a free project to toy with when the weather gets warmer and I'm not working on a car. If someone comes along and really wants it, I'd sell it modestly, thus keeping it in circulation!

 

IMG_0313.thumb.JPG.086ea1efd818abbbb57a0b7899ec985c.JPG

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

  As related above, have a look at the PM site, and if you decide to move it on that may be the place to do it.  If you decide to learn to use it there is a learning curve.

  I think your machine is a SB 9"Junior model, if so heres a picture of mine which I got from a neighbors widow around 1976 and have used restoring and maintaining several cars. It is surprising how much I use it.

  My Junior is around 1930 production, sold originally with a 'silent chain' overhead drive, replaced somewhere in the cloudy past with present v-belt drive.

Jim

 

DSCN0127.JPG

Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, JimKB1MCV said:

  As related above, have a look at the PM site, and if you decide to move it on that may be the place to do it.  If you decide to learn to use it there is a learning curve.

  I think your machine is a SB 9"Junior model, if so heres a picture of mine which I got from a neighbors widow around 1976 and have used restoring and maintaining several cars. It is surprising how much I use it.

  My Junior is around 1930 production, sold originally with a 'silent chain' overhead drive, replaced somewhere in the cloudy past with present v-belt drive.

Jim

 

DSCN0127.JPG

 

There is something that fascinates me about old machinery. Can an old tool be said to be beautiful? To see one being used is a grander thing yet.

Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

A relatively light duty lathe but is fine for what you will likely use it for. If your chuck is a 4 jaw that is really all you need for 99% of your jobs. If not 3 jaw chucks are readily available as is almost anything you might need. The rust looks like surface rust and even lite pitting is not a problem.

Google will be your friend. Find out all you can before simply mucking about.

Personally i dont know how one can get through life without a lathe (and mill).....bob

 

 

All of this is spot-on, especially the last line.

 

Some of the necessary goodies are there in the drawer.

 

These lathes are much sought after in Aus, and normally sell for $700- $1,000 if they are complete. I have an Australian copy of the later 9" South Bend, known here as a Hercus model A. A bit light for some jobs, but indispensable for small work. In the last few days it has given me a new set of bronze bushes for leaf springs, a seat insert for a carb float needle, and several other small pieces. Just the thing for making metric bits for the 2CV. Have fun with it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Bush Mechanic said:

These lathes are much sought after in Aus, and normally sell for $700- $1,000 if they are complete. I have an Australian copy of the later 9" South Bend, known here as a Hercus model A. A bit light for some jobs, but indispensable for small work. In the last few days it has given me a new set of bronze bushes for leaf springs, a seat insert for a carb float needle, and several other small pieces. Just the thing for making metric bits for the 2CV. Have fun with it.

 

Hmm. Since I just happen to own a 1956 2cv van, your comment brought a smile!

 

...or was your comment because you already knew I had one? :)

Edited by zipdang (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Those loose gears in the photo of the drawer are VERY important. Your lathe doesn't have a quick-change gearbox. The gears are needed to cut threads. The chart you posted a photo of will tell you what combinations of gears are used for each thread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My own Logan lathe was given to me and was also found in a garage by a friend hired to do a clean up. It was in cleaner shape than yours and has a quick change but runs the exact same drive system with a motor pulley to jackshaft pulley to flat leather belt. I’ve been loving it ever since I got it. Picked a nice Alliant vertical mill with all the essentand a ton of tooling for $1,750 including a 5hp phase converter. They can be found out there for the right kind of money. 

 

In that box along with those feed screw gears are some guards for the belt drives. I see a face plate and other things in that box. It’s a goldmine of parts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your 'new' lathe!  A lathe is essential for working on vintage cars...and vintage anything!

 

My first lathe (1938 Sheldon 11") looked much worse than yours, so don't fret.   

I just recently started my second lathe (1948 South Bend 9"), but it will be kept as 'original' as possible...just like my cars. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

That is a great find. I want to warn you, a lathe is possibly the most dangerous piece of equipment in a machine shop. Not trying to scare you, but instead make you aware it is very easy to get injured if inexperienced in operating one. If you choose to restore and use it, I would recommend enrolling in a beginning machinest course at a community college. Not only will you be safer, but will learn to do things on your lathe that would be difficult to discover on you own. I can tell you that lathes are a very neat piece of equipment and are fun to operate.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

What mike said. Also, when running a lathe, no ties, scarfs,  loose shirt cuffs, long hair, gloves and NO rings. I might opine that the piece of equipment in the shop most likely to hurt one is the buffing wheel...............Bob

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey C Carl, we have a "matched set". We were learning to shape copper bowls in H. S. metal shop and with the lathe still spinning after I shut it off, I though I could slow it down with my hand. Well I couldn't and it gave me about 15 stitches and a 2" scar to remind me not to try it again. Do kids even have metal shop anymore?

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was wondering the same thing as I tapped out (I also should have taken typing with the girls - who knew ?), my bloody experience. From what I gather, now EVERYONE learns to type very well, but don't learn one end of a screwdriver from the other end of a wrench.   -  Carl 

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I was in training to be a machinist the first class we had, before ever going into the machine shop, was safety training.  The instructor was an old machinist with about 30 years experience. We were in a classroom but he was wearing his safety glasses. He asked the rest of us to put on a pair. Then he took his glasses off and held them up in his left hand. He told us, "This is the most important piece of safety equipment you will ever have. Companies will hire a machinist with fingers or toes missing but they won't hire a blind machinist". Then he held up his right hand to show he had a finger missing to prove his point.  After some discussion about safety glasses he held up a chuck key for a lathe. It's a simple, harmless looking tool that is essential to using a lathe.   He said, "This may be be the most dangerous tool you will use in a machine shop. If you turn the lathe on with it still in the chuck you may be badly hurt or killed". This is some good advice for someone using a lathe for the first time.

Link to post
Share on other sites

When I worked in the tool room leaving the chuck key in on a lathe or drill press was a mandatory  day off without pay. When I started my dad told me to never trust a machine. It will sit doing it's job day after day for years and years, and the whole time it is just patiently watching and waiting for someone to get careless. .............Bob

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Dalton made lathes very similar to the South Bend. My Nine by Four Dalton has been a really nice piece of equipment that I've use many times making parts for restoration projects.  This one had some surface rust when I got it but cleaned up nicely - WD40, steel wool and plenty of elbow grease (and time), but was a fun project in itself.

 

20180205_201915.jpg

 

Here is a pre and post restoration of a lathe in a condition similar to yours

image2(22).jpeg

image1.jpeg

Edited by Stude Light (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Stude Light said:

Dalton made lathes very similar to the South Bend. My Nine by Four Dalton has been a really nice piece of equipment that I've use many times making parts for restoration projects.  This one had some surface rust when I got it but cleaned up nicely - WD40, steel wool and plenty of elbow grease (and time), but was a fun project in itself.

 

 

 

Here is a pre and post restoration of a lathe in a condition similar to yours

 

 

I have a Dalton Combination Machine. A big old beast. I recently moved it from SoCal to Central Texas. Loaded and unloaded it by myself. Would have been tough at 40. A lot tougher at 71. It's in the shop and I have all my fingers and toes and a functioning spine

Edited by CarlLaFong (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for the input - especially for the tool-specific safety items. I've done a fair amount of woodworking and still have all my appendages - scarred maybe, but still present. The tips on cleaing this up are also very helpful. Since I'm planning on taking a welding course in the future, it would be easy to see what's out there for the machine work. I'm sure I'll have more questions when I get started on the project when the weather warms!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...