Sheldon ks990 lathe?

isaaccarlson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
205
Location
NW Wisconsin
I am going to look at a lathe (11×36) tonight. It's an older one, but is supposed to have few hours on it. It was owned by an older gentleman for decades as a hobby lathe and then was bought by the person I am going to see tonight. He said his part-to-part repeatability was .001", so I am pretty excited. I was told it has bronze bearings. Not sure if that matters or not, but I don't plan on using it all day every day.

It has a pile of tool holders, tooling, quick change holders, change gears, micrometers, steady rest, face plates, boring bar holder, 2 3 jaw chucks, but no 4 jaw.

I figure I can make a spider for the chuck end and a cathead for the steady rest.

Any thoughts? Is it worth looking at for gun and general home shop work?
 

shortgrass

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2010
Messages
3,318
Location
Weatherford, Oklahoma
Condition is King! Any idea of spindle bore diameter? Always remember, "It's the Indian, not the arrow". An absolute novice may own the finest machine made and not do satisfactory work, where an older experience guy can make an older used model do what he wants. Bronze bearing are those older made, small lathes (and some of the big ones, too!). Those can be replaced, just as rollers can (if needed).
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
LRH Sponsor
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,391
Location
Social Circle, GA
I am going to look at a lathe (11×36) tonight. It's an older one, but is supposed to have few hours on it. It was owned by an older gentleman for decades as a hobby lathe and then was bought by the person I am going to see tonight. He said his part-to-part repeatability was .001", so I am pretty excited. I was told it has bronze bearings. Not sure if that matters or not, but I don't plan on using it all day every day.

It has a pile of tool holders, tooling, quick change holders, change gears, micrometers, steady rest, face plates, boring bar holder, 2 3 jaw chucks, but no 4 jaw.

I figure I can make a spider for the chuck end and a cathead for the steady rest.

Any thoughts? Is it worth looking at for gun and general home shop work?
Reall depends on what you are going to use it for. The cost is another factor along with the tooling. You may get a good deal. Tooling is VERY expensive. However are all the components GOOD? Do all the cutters need to be sharpened or replaced?
If you are going to chamber rifles you need to accurate and repeatability. how good are the chucks? What is the spindle size? How much are you buying it for? $3-4K. New lathes with DRO may not be much more.
Unless you plan on spending a lot of money making improvements to do gunsmithing -will it be worth it. How much experience do you have in machining metal or gunsmithing?
We just renovated our shop with new equipment just so we have the best for chambering rifles and building a shooter. You can have machines that were built in the 30s and 40s and are still the BEST for gunsmithing.
I will say that if you get an older lathe or machine you need to know how to work on it and replace fix parts if needed. If you don't it will cost you a fortune for someone else to do it.
 

tobnpr

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
392
What Shortgrass said.

I have a Sheldon that is dedicated for chambering work. 11 x 36, known as the Mobile Machine Truck lathe. Used in the military (mine is circa 1950, engraved USAF), light use, no wear ridge, short headstock perfect for barrel work.

The 11/12 Sheldons all had 1-3/8" spindle bores far as I know, most with 2-1/4-8 spindle noses- same specs as the SB Heavy 10's.
Bronze bearings- if in good shape- are perfectly fine. Old ones have top oilers (which I'd be more concerned about due to age).
More recent ones have front oilers, and the latest models had Timken roller bearings.

Since it was apparently a hobbyist machine it's whole life I'd DEFINITELY give it a serious look. Not familiar with the KS990 model...
There is also a Sheldon owners forum that has a lot of info (old-timer moderator was a manager at Sheldon and is a wealth of knowledge). Parts aren't as easy to come by as they are with SB's (mine can be seen behind the Sheldon), but they are remarkably similar in operation and construction. These old lathes can last **** near forever with light to moderate use and care, OIL....

Happy to help, PM me if you like. Here's mine:

qosbMGH.jpg
 
Last edited:

Coyote Shadow Tracker

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
LRH Sponsor
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,391
Location
Social Circle, GA
tobnpr just posted a very nice LATHE


Isaac if you can get a lathe in this condition at a good price go for it. Just remember the spindle size will limit you.

tobnpr-VERY NICE SET UP!!!! is this a refurbished unit? when did you buy it and when was it manufactured? I am always interested in the older extremely well made machines.
Please elaborate on you shop and what you use it for. REALLY IMPRESSED!!!!! Lathe looks better than it came off the assembly line.
Thanks
Len and Jill
 
Last edited:

isaaccarlson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
205
Location
NW Wisconsin
I just got home and I think I fell in love. It looks good and is nice and quiet. The only real noise is from the motor. We turned a piece of aluminum and the surface finish was amazing. It has power feed in both directions. I could not feel any movement in the head bearings. There is only one chuck, but there are 10 quick change tool holders and at least a dozen lantern style tools. The steady rest came with the lathe originally and looks great.

The price is under 2k.
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
LRH Sponsor
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,391
Location
Social Circle, GA
I just got home and I think I fell in love. It looks good and is nice and quiet. The only real noise is from the motor. We turned a piece of aluminum and the surface finish was amazing. It has power feed in both directions. I could not feel any movement in the head bearings. There is only one chuck, but there are 10 quick change tool holders and at least a dozen lantern style tools. The steady rest came with the lathe originally and looks great.

The price is under 2k.
GOOD LUCK and many projects to be completed. If you need contacts for some tooling or advice on turning threshing plese contact us.
Len & Jill
6378-427-6168

send us pictures!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Last edited:

lyle2231

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2014
Messages
244
Location
Hollywood
I just got home and I think I fell in love. It looks good and is nice and quiet. The only real noise is from the motor. We turned a piece of aluminum and the surface finish was amazing. It has power feed in both directions. I could not feel any movement in the head bearings. There is only one chuck, but there are 10 quick change tool holders and at least a dozen lantern style tools. The steady rest came with the lathe originally and looks great.

The price is under 2k.
Go for it!
 

jrock

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,330
Location
Idaho
With the Grizzly and Precision Matthews 12x36 lathe's now around $5k, you probably should go for it.
I would caution about "feeling" for play and use indicators. Cutting AL is not all that impressive but gunsmithing doesn't need high HP, high RPM machines. It sounds like this machine will give you a few options for chambering and turning with some extra accessories. For under 2k, I'd seriously consider it for low usage. Plus, local machines mean you can save on shipping.
 

257X50

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2013
Messages
53
Is one of the 3 jaw chucks a “Buck” Chuck?
One that you can indicate a part in?
 

tobnpr

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 30, 2013
Messages
392
is this a refurbished unit? when did you buy it and when was it manufactured?
Len,

Picked it up about 5 years ago along with a small knee mill from a guy that used to use them for prototyping but had gotten out of the business long ago- it had been mostly sitting for 15 years prior to that. I had torn down and rebuilt my SB a few years prior (with the help of a manual), so it was mostly straightforward with the Sheldon. Wicks need to be replaced every 7-10 years so given the partial disassembly/time needed to do that I did a more substantial tear-down and painted it while I was at it.
 

Coyote Shadow Tracker

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
LRH Sponsor
Joined
Dec 9, 2020
Messages
2,391
Location
Social Circle, GA
Len,

Picked it up about 5 years ago along with a small knee mill from a guy that used to use them for prototyping but had gotten out of the business long ago- it had been mostly sitting for 15 years prior to that. I had torn down and rebuilt my SB a few years prior (with the help of a manual), so it was mostly straightforward with the Sheldon. Wicks need to be replaced every 7-10 years so given the partial disassembly/time needed to do that I did a more substantial tear-down and painted it while I was at it.
AWESOME job on the refurbish. Like I said very nice setup you should be proud of your shop.
Thanks for sharing!
Len
 

isaaccarlson

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 11, 2011
Messages
205
Location
NW Wisconsin
Here are some pictures. The picture of the tooling on the table is what it comes with and then there are close up pictures of the items. The change gears look like they have never been installed. He made the new large pulley with the green belt on it and replaced the leather belt with rubber. The original motor is a bit rough, so I may replace it with a treadmill motor for variable speed like I did on my drill press.

The guy said he is an engineer/machinist for work and he has a machine shop in his garage. He started on this lathe and now has a bigger one. He put this "kit" together to help someone get started. There are 10 quick change tool holders, a few were sitting on the lathe. I was hesitant to drive almost 2 hours to look at it, but I am glad I did. I'm pretty sure it will fit in the back of the rav.
 

Attachments

  • 90F47361-4B6A-4FE8-AC38-26456CE7119B.png
    90F47361-4B6A-4FE8-AC38-26456CE7119B.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 109
  • 498849E7-E921-4339-B49A-2BCA0FE902E4.png
    498849E7-E921-4339-B49A-2BCA0FE902E4.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 108
  • E2191A64-F85F-49D9-8DA0-44D509F1E926.png
    E2191A64-F85F-49D9-8DA0-44D509F1E926.png
    1.1 MB · Views: 105
  • D742F6E2-D950-4779-A6DF-86B501B83955.png
    D742F6E2-D950-4779-A6DF-86B501B83955.png
    1.4 MB · Views: 101
  • 68A00DE9-EC2F-46C6-ABDF-04E61DFC200F.png
    68A00DE9-EC2F-46C6-ABDF-04E61DFC200F.png
    1.3 MB · Views: 100
  • 557C28F1-9D83-44F7-9659-2A7FC2D699CB.png
    557C28F1-9D83-44F7-9659-2A7FC2D699CB.png
    1.5 MB · Views: 94
  • EBBDA775-FCA3-4C96-9810-92BB2AA4D136.png
    EBBDA775-FCA3-4C96-9810-92BB2AA4D136.png
    1.8 MB · Views: 94
  • 846EC43F-F6C5-40C6-8D73-C75D2740AAE2.png
    846EC43F-F6C5-40C6-8D73-C75D2740AAE2.png
    1.7 MB · Views: 111
Last edited:

ButterBean

Well-Known Member
LRH Team Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2012
Messages
5,940
Location
West Terre Haute Indiana
Here are some pictures. The picture of the tooling on the table is what it comes with and then there are close up pictures of the items. The change gears look like they have never been installed. He made the new large pulley with the green belt on it and replaced the leather belt with rubber. The original motor is a bit rough, so I may replace it with a treadmill motor for variable speed like I did on my drill press.

The guy said he is an engineer/machinist for work and he has a machine shop in his garage. He started on this lathe and now has a bigger one. He put this "kit" together to help someone get started. I was hesitant to drive almost 2 hours to look at it, but I am glad I did. I'm pretty sure it will fit in the back of the rav.
You scored big
 

Recent Posts

Top