1920's 16" SB gap bed
I am now the proud owner of yet another one of my grandfather's lathes. This one is a 16" gap-bed, s/n G25032, which dates it to about 1922.
Long story short, I remember grandpa having several lathes, but 2 stand out most in my memory. A 10" Sheldon (which I have) and a huge (remember I was about 16 at the time) gap-bed lathe behind it that I helped grandpa once do a job on. I now have both of them, the south bend was a year and a half process to get to the house as it was a 15-hour one way trip. Originally I was under the impression that the 'big lathe' was an American Tool Works lathe from about the same era. My dad was rather surprised when he got access to the machine and it turned out to be a south bend. Apparently there were 2 lathes that grandpa picked up, similar size, but the ATW was incomplete. Somewhere along the line, in the 20 years or so it sat in storage, the memory of the lathes got mixed up. I do have some of the parts to the ATW lathe, looks as though grandpa adapted some to fit the SB. The main things I see right now are the steady rest - with an adapter to fit the SB (my uncle used it as well, says it works fine), and some of the change gears. The gears seem to mesh together quite well (I'll have to clean them to make sure), but does anyone here know if the ATW gears are compatible with the SB?
Right now the lathe is in pieces and really needs to be cleaned as there is 100-year old swarf, oil, grease and whatever else grime on it. However, here are some questions I have right now:
- Does anyone here have a similar year lathe? The controls, while transposed for the gap, are different than my Sheldon and the later SBs that I have used. I think I have an idea of how the feeds on the apron work, but I'm not totally sure.
- I know that many larger lathes have a crane arrangement for the chucks. Does anyone here have one? Where did you find it or did you make one? These chucks for the 16" are way bigger and heavier than for the 10" and I'm not getting any younger....
- So far I have not found an adapter sleeve for a center in the headstock. My understanding is that these are a #3 MT, but its a "big" #3 MT, actually a SB thing. Is there a place (probably ebay...?) where I could find this animal?
- The spindle thread (I thought) was supposed to be 2 3/8 - 6, but I've measured it 3 times and I've found it to be 2 3/8 - 8. Anyone ever heard of this one? The spindle also sticks out quite a ways, almost 3", as though there was some other chuck-holding arrangement and then it was changed. Almost like the Long Taper arrangement I remember on a later SB. When did the Long Taper first come out? Or, did someone replace the spindle? When I talked to my uncle he had no idea. He was there when grandpa picked up the machine and doesn't remember any about the spindle (though that was the late 70s...). Guess its not that huge of a deal, between all of the lathes I can make adapters, its just kinda odd.....
Thats about all I can think of right now, I'm sure I'll come up with more questions as I dig into the lathe (and get the time to do it).
Good afternoon Edwin.toggle quoted messageShow quoted text
Welcome to the group.
There are a couple of members that have some knowledge of the older laths.
You may wish to visit:
Steve Wells maintains a sore with SB catalogs that go back to 1912. Perhaps you can find your lathe there.
SB Gap bed lathes are not common. So its a nice acquisition.
The later SB lathes have a proprietary taper in their headstock. I an unaware IF yours has that one. The SB taper has the same taper RATE as a MT3 BUT the large end is 1.629 inches for 10” and up. The 9” lathes have a large end of 0.938
Most of the later lathes rely on an adapter to fit. Miller Machine and Tooling can supply adapters for these.
The later 10” lathes have a spindle thread of 2-1/4-8, the later 14”-1/2” lathes with large collets, have a thread of 2-3/8-6 But I would go withwhat you measure.
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