Re: decoding a South Bend manufacturing card


Bill, looking at your numbers made me hunt up my Serial Card again - copy attached.


I had always thought of mine as being a 'Pearl Harbour' period lathe, but now, on second look, I interpret the card a bit differently.

It was rec'd at the agent's warehouse - Cosiger Machinery Co, Dayton, Ohio, on 9/10/1941  (only roughly a month earlier than yours, so mine was 80 last month!)

It stayed at Cosiger for 3.25 months until it was dispatched to The Quartermaster, War Dep't Air Corp, Planehaven, California, on 12/19/1941.

Part of the problem was we read the dates the other way round down here in NZ. We go Day/Month/Year.


So, it must have been manufactured late August/early September 1941.

It is an 8187AN, so, also a Toolroom model, with a 4-foot bed.


It was just the basic machine when I purchased it, but I then spent 7 years searching E-Bay & corresponding with SB Lathe forum members and have managed to purchase all the items it would have had when originally built, including all the 5C collet gear, plus the complete metric transposing set and large-dial taper attachment & telescopic screw from Ted.


The gearbox was fully rebuilt by the 2nd owner (a toolmaker) before he passed.

He also incorporated a lever-action clutch into an enlarged UMD countershaft driven wheel as he screwed shafts for large building clock assemblies with it.

Just nudge it with your left elbow and everything stops!

He also built a very substantial steel cabinet to mount the lathe on.

I purchased it from his estate through a family connection.




From: [] On Behalf Of Bill in OKC too via
Sent: Saturday, October 16, 2021 4:06 PM
Subject: Re: [SouthBendLathe] decoding a South Bend manufacturing card


Mind interpreting mine for me? Mine is an 8187-RN 10L x 4 1/2 102 headstock 102 DIC 102-5C 100 for most everything else. 13-3/4" spindle. SP. Hole 1-3 It was sent to the Ruritan, NJ Arsenal 10/14/41, as a toolroom lathe, so 80 years ago yesterday. I got two 5C collet closers with it, and both regular and turret tailstocks, as well as a taper attachment. It lived in a leaky barn for five years after Bill Hinkle got it, and he sold it to me because he was about the same age as the lathe, and didn't think he was going to get to restore it himself. He didn't get to see me restore it, either. COVID-19 interrupted us both. Thanks for whatever you can tell me.

Bill in OKC

William R. Meyers, MSgt, USAF(Ret.)

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion,
butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance
accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new
problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight
efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
LAZARUS LONG (Robert A. Heinlein)

On Friday, October 15, 2021, 09:37:28 PM CDT, wlw19958 <wlw-19958@...> wrote:



Hi There,

On Fri, Oct 15, 2021 at 06:25 PM, j eric townsend wrote:

If I understand things, "RKL" means:

R -- Heavy
K -- Gearbox
L -- Spindle type? Is this the 5C for a heavy?

Your close.  The "R" was for the 10 inch (Heavy) lathe.  The
"K" is for the Quick Change Gearbox, Friction Clutch Apron
and Underneath Drive.  The "L" is for Large Spindle, Standard

The Heavy Ten with the large spindle (a.k.a. 10L) does use 5C
Collets with the correct adapter.

According to your catalog number, 8187AB  your lathe is a "Toolroom"
version with a 4ft bed. 

Good Luck!
-Blue Chips-

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