I hope I posted this in the correct category. I am a complete noob. Never ran a lathe before. I just took a picture of this lathe. All i've been told about this is that its from the 1920's. I was told it's worth about $6k, is that accurate? Can I still find parts for this? Please see the picture attached.
It looks similar to a older 9" South Bend Lathe. 1920 maybe a little old for this lathe. Late 1930's to me. $6K minus 5.5K= $0.5K would be more realistic price. He must be really too proud to sell the lathe.
Look for the "South Bend Lathe" name on the brass tags in the picture. Also look for a serial number stamped on the bed out on the right hand end of the bed between the vee and flat. Either a five or six digit number and may contain letters too.
As you pointed out your a newb and never ran a lathe before. I would look around for someone experienced to hold your hand and give you an appraisal on the condition of the lathe in question. It may be near on 100 years old. Unless it sat unused for 90 years thats a lot of wear there.
I don't envy your quandary of buying new vs. old. Old is generally cheaper and possibly tooled up, but might have wear issues. I don't own a South Bend and am treading lightly here (trying not to offend anyone), but I'm not a fan of what I believe are plain bearings in the head stock for the spindle. Also not a fan of the clutch knob on the apron for the power feeds. Of course, they sold many, many of the lathes so they were doing something right! There are most likely variations of South Bend lathes with over-center lever feed engagement and tapered roller bearing in the head stock if those are concerns for you.
I have a Rockwell 10 x 36 that came out of a local high school, needed a little work on the apron and taper attachment. I could do the work on the Rockwell, didn't need to make the necessary parts on my Atlas 12 x 36. It was completely tooled up (3-jaw, 4-jaw, 4-C collets, tool post grinder, centers, lantern style tool holders).
Also have a Clausing 12 x 24 that came out of the high school shop my dad taught at. No work needed on that lathe, and it was tooled up. The only thing I did was replace the 3-phase motor with a single phase. It came with a 3-jaw, 4-jaw, centers, and a complete set of lantern style tool holders. I've since added a 5-C collet chuck and set of collets. I have a total over under $1500 in those two lathes combined (bragging now, but picked up the Rockwell for a whopping $25 . . . ).
My main lathe now is a Grizzly G0709 14 x 40 model. Paid around $4500 during a 10% off sale. Since then I've added a DRO (~$400), taper attachment (~$400), 5-C collet closer and collets in 1/64" steps (~$550), at least 30 BXA tool holders (~$350), boring bars and other insert style tool holders (~$700). So my new lathe at $4500 is at close to $7000 all tooled up. There's not a lot I can't do on the old American iron at $1500 that can be done on my Chinese $7000 lathe.
Probably the best advice is to watch sales for a few months and get a good idea of what going prices are. Consider what's there tooling-wise as it can add up quickly. Jump in too quickly and you might have buyer's remorse. Also, the seller is selling the machinery for a reason. We have a local farmer that for about 5 years straight was selling yet another pick up with a Western plow on the front. I was tempted but wondered why he was flipping them year after year. He has two newer trucks with blades now, was probably dumping his old junk because he was tired of working on it. Good luck with the shopping and welcome to the forum!
The OP lives in UT, I live in WA. Machines are few and far between in the west and the prices are higher. I keep telling my wife that I'm going to buy a lathe in Indiana where my son lives and then we'll drive back.
The price on the SB is really high for anything in WA that I've seen.
Location does indeed play a part in the price of a machine but $6k is way too much for a 9" South Bend, even in a machinery desert. You could buy a comparable used lathe from the rustbelt for less than a grand and have it shipped to you for a few hundred.
I'd drop one zero from that $6k price tag, then it would be about right......depending on condition.
It does have some pluses:
-it looks in fairly good shape and complete (reversing switch, two-lever quick change gearing, all hand-wheels present)
-it has a collet closer
-it appears to have a taper attachment
-it has a tailstock drill chuck
-it has the threading dial
-it has the full set of recommended lubricants
I'd ask does it also come with:
-3 and 4-jaw chucks
-live and dead centres
-how many collets?
Yep, it's definitely a South Bend lathe. In fact, second look at the first picture, that's a heavy 10 or 10L. But, I'm wondering if that is a 1-7/8" threaded spindle for 11/16 collet capacity or if it's actually a 2-1/4" threaded spindle for 1" collet capacity?