age by serial #'s

fred eisner

hi all
to get the age of your south bend lathe visit this website

From: "rdarr" <rdarr1@...>
Reply-To: southbendlathe@...
To: <southbendlathe@...>
Subject: Re: [southbendlathe] Re: 9" lathe
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 2003 20:41:12 -0800

Thanks, I am going back to Ohio this summer for a visit and will pick up lathe then. I am told this is a "cream Puff" although other description was used. I actually have 2(will have) 9" steady rests now). I'm keeping one for the machine and selling the other one on ebay. Both are in almost new condition, except for paint. I don't know if its appropriate to mention or not, but its listed now. I am calling uncle on New years, will find out model number and if it I am hoping its a model A. thanks again for info. russ
----- Original Message -----
From: Woodchuck
To: southbendlathe@...
Sent: Tuesday, December 30, 2003 7:12 AM
Subject: Re: [southbendlathe] Re: 9" lathe

On Mon, 29 Dec 2003, rdarr wrote:

> Thanks for answering. I don't know what model it is. It is an older
model, possibly'30's, my uncle tells me. There is some tooling with the machine, but don't know how much. It does have 3 jaw chuck, face plates, few dogs, lantern and newer quick change tool post. Some cutting tools. I would only use it as a hobby machine, using it to make some parts for projects.

:-) 1930's is not "older", that is a "middle-aged" SB lathe. The one
I'm working on is 1927 vintage, and it WILL turn again!

> I have a older 618 Atlas lathe, that I bought off ebay and got
snookered on. Its so loose that if you pick it up and shake it it sounds like Santa's reindeer bells. I've started rebuiling it, but would probably have more money in the 618 than in the SB 9".
> Your answer was a lot of help and much appreciated. Russ

You can date your prospective new lathe, given the serial number
from the bed right hand side. Some older SBs have the date the bed
was cast, well, cast on the bed. (on the far side, inside, near the
headstock on my two late 1920's Model 82's).

A Model A has a quick change gear box and power cross feed, and
longitudinal feed via a worm and clutch. The Model B likewise,
except no quick change box. Model C had no QC box, and only
longitudinal power feed, and that via the halfnuts. Model C lacks
features, but does not lack quality; South Bend didn't really ever
offer a "hobby grade" product. After fifty to a hundred years, i.e.
now, they're beat up and worn enough to be called "hobby grade",
and compete in price with new imports from Asia. And, unlike certain
imported items, they were originally made to last forever, i.e. to
be repaired and refitted.

To survey the lathe see, a dealer in used machinery,
he has a page about checking out prospective lathes and milling
machines. Read his page "in praise of clunkers", too.

$700 for a working SB is not outrageous, but you will want to check
it thoroughly. For a creampuff model A it is a steal, for a beater
Model C, a little high, unless it has all the change gears and they
have all their teeth. If you can get your uncle to deliver it to
you at that price, well go for it! Condition matters a LOT. Freight
costs are the enemy of the amateur machinist.

Tooling is expensive. A follower rest, a miserable hunk of cast
iron without any really precision parts, just sold for $135+ on
ebay, a collet closer for over $300 (zounds! was it made of gold?
Ebay item 2583115677, buyer's name hidden. Must be a wealthy foreign
collector). So root around in all the bushel baskets and orange
crates at your uncle's place. Anything that looks "lathey", put
it in a pile and get it. Do not let rust stop you. Look real hard
for the other set of jaws for that chuck, for one example. The
little Williams or Armstrong wrenches are good to find, too.

Dave "Fellow Newby"

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