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Question on old South Bend Lathe

 
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  #1  
Old 05-30-2013, 01:31 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY, #50 on the all time best States to live in! and droppin' fast! :)
Posts: 366
Question on old South Bend Lathe

I would like to ask a couple questions of the machinists here if I may?

I may have the opportuinity to purchase a 40 year old (a guess) South Bend Lathe with more than a box full of tools, jigs and attachments. When last seen/used by a friend, Bill (ex Navy machinist) he said it was in very good condition. The owner has passed and did one off parts and the like plus was a gunsmith. Some time ago when he retired, the machine was moved from northern New Jersey to South Carolina but never setup again.

Exact dimensions and specs I don't have. These are estimates from my memory and from Bill, who used the machine 8 to 10 years back to cut an acme leade screw. I was told the machine is about 14" x 40", gear driven 14 or 16 speed, with a variety of tools - cutting, knurling ect. tool rests, supports, a variety of centers, taper attachment(s), threading capable, 3 and 4 jaw chucks (more than one 4 jaw), face plates, collet attachments w/ collets.

I have not seen the machine in more than 10 years and then only a couple times without paying attention to it. It was moved out of state a few years ago. My experience is minimal with a lathe. I did run, actually tend one, many years ago. Setup was done by others and I executed the steps as directed making parts for a machinery repair company.


I know these questions are as wide and deep as the Hudson river but what would something like this be worth? Is there a website somewhere where I could get an idea of $$$?

When I go look at the machine, what should I be looking for in the way of wear and/or damage that would lower the price or disqualify a deal?

What sizes and capacities of the machine would be needed to do my own smithin' - square and true Rem 700 receivers? barrel work -chambering, threading, contouring, brakes ect - any of the work that gets talked about in these threads? Any specific tools or attachments? What about machine speed minimum RPM? what is ideal?

I'm not terribly worried about the electric motor and the like because I have sources and resources to repair and replace these parts.

I'm sure I didn't scratch the surface of what I should know about the machine nor what I should be asking about/for regarding same. Any help and input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Pete
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  #2  
Old 06-03-2013, 10:35 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 22
Re: Question on old South Bend Lathe

Wyle,

Southbend lathes are good lathes and even a 40 year old one if not worn out or abused is good. For gunsmithing work the lathe needs to be a heavy 10L at minimun to really be useful. Quick check is to measure the spindle bore...should be 1 3/8 ". If not, probably won't work well for gunsmithing.
I have a rebuilt heavy 10 that is my dedicated chambering machine and it is accurate and a joy to use. Many match winning barrels have been chambered on that machine.
There is a southbend lathe thread over on the practical machinist page that will give you a wealth of info on SB lathes.
Hope this helps,

Mike
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  #3  
Old 06-04-2013, 08:28 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: NY, #50 on the all time best States to live in! and droppin' fast! :)
Posts: 366
Re: Question on old South Bend Lathe

Thanks Mike,

This one was a 14 and it was newer than I thought - from the mid/late 70's.

Over the weekend I learned the machine was sold. and sold for a lot more than I was willing to spend. Se la Vie'

Thanks again

Pete
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