• This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn more.
[4]

South Bend 9a Restoration (pic Heavy)

[10] Like what you see?
Click here to donate to this forum and upgrade your account!

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#1
A month ago I brought home my first lathe- a 1941 South Bend 9a. I didn't really intend to do a full restoration on it right away since I'm itching to start turning, but one thing lead to another and here I am. I thought you guys might enjoy the process.

Starting out with a nice lathe, but some factory worker (I assume) slathered this thing in paint. This blue crinkle paint is everywhere. The paint is in good shape in some places, and terrible shape in others. This is the starting point:
1_zpsno1vncwv.jpg

4_zpsdssgodkt.jpg

2_zps0gn0pdpk.jpg

I bought some late model leveling feet and in the effort to mount them, I found so much filth. Lots of used motor oil. Decades upon decades of grease & grim. I only intended to take it apart in order to mount the feet, but I just couldn't put it back together so filthy in good conscious. In order to mount the feet, I had to drill new mounting holes in the bed. That process already has a thread on here.

In the process of getting the feet mounted, I used Zep Purple industrial degreaser to clean and strip the lathe bed. I was happy and surprised to find a nice South Bend name plate under all that paint! I used an 8" diameter cardboard concrete form to soak the bed. Most of the degreaser ran out over night, but it worked well enough. I really wanted PVC, but that diameter was just too expensive.
19_zpsg8lp7gsc.jpg

You can see though that the degreaser worked exceptionally well to strip the paint:
20_zpsi9tovyyx.jpg

Now the bed and feet were painted. I'm using Ben Moore DTM Alkyd Low Luster paint sprayed through a HVLP gun. This is my first time using a HVLP gun and all I can say is that I'm not sure why I waited so long!
29_zpsajp2x49i.jpg

Now, to jump back in time for a moment- when I was talking to the previous owner, I was told that the lathe was a 36" model. Therefore I went out and bought a 36" chip pan. Well it turns out that the lathe is actually a 42" model which is great! However, the chip pan would not fit under both feet at the same time. My solution was to simply offset it like this:
9_zpstruhtlcl.jpg

...And that seemed to work ok with the original lathe feet. However, the new later-model feet are much bigger and that REALLY pushed the chip pan further to the right. I ended up having something like 8" of chip pan extending passed the end of the lathe bed. The more I looked at it, the more it bothered me. So in a moment of what I assumed to be poor judgement, I decided to do something about it.

First the old holes in the pan were filled and ground smooth:
33_zps5pe4mub0.jpg

Then I sectioned out a 6.5" section of the pan:
34_zpsns3rmrdi.jpg

I welded it back together and then used fiberglass bondo to blend the seam. I didn't take a picture of the bondo sanded down:
37_zpsduv2fnlw.jpg

Finally I could paint the pan. I did spray a layer of black first, and then covered it with the machine grey color I'm using. What I thought would be cool is to put some sticky letters down on the bed before spraying it grey. Then I could peel the stickers up and be left with black lettering. In the end, the grey paint over the sticky letters left a VERY cool "embossed" look which I'm leaving for now. If the sticky letters start peeling up, then no big deal; I'll peel them all up and have the black letters I originally intended:
41_zpsaog0hzl1.jpg

Overall I'm MUCH happier with the length of the chip pan, and the weld seam is completely invisible. I'm really proud of how this one turned out! 40_zpsq9izecw2.jpg

Next up was the filthy headstock. Now, when I went to purchase the lathe, I saw it in operation. It sounded nice and quiet, smooth, and in really good shape. I'm so saddened to see that there is some gulling on the spindle and cast bearings. One "band" is pretty bad, though the areas around that band seem to be nice and smooth. I really have no idea what to do about this. I've heard that people will stone the high spots, and just move on. Outside of replacing the head and spindle, I don't think anything can be done. This lathe will be used for hobbyist type work from here on out, so I guess it is what it is... :(
43_zps4vqxlexs.jpg

45_zpsvy6lcjvm.jpg

46_zpszijibujq.jpg

The head and drive train were degreased and stripped. I found that the head casting had some kind of rough spots, so I went ahead and smoothed it out with bondo. Not to mention that it had quite a few holes in it that someone drilled. I wanted all those extra holes gone!
51_zpsprydds7r.jpg

54_zpsrfsgjp1b.jpg

56_zpsfkthtndn.jpg

Finally, the head was painted and is looking NICE!
59_zpsj5d3x1qo.jpg

61_zpsvtnlmj1w.jpg

60_zpsofqftmtf.jpg

62_zpspnw37wby.jpg

I painted the non-machined area on the back gear and also did a cleanup on the back gear itself:
64_zpssfvlrchf.jpg

And some other parts with paint:
57_zpsakiskznp.jpg

That's where I'm at right now... LOTS more work to do, but it's coming along!
 

Attachments

Bob Korves

H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
H-M Supporter - Sustaining Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2014
Messages
4,195
Likes
4,390
#4
Try to ignore the damaged section of the spindle and bearing. The remaining smooth sections look good and will support the spindle just fine.
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#5
Try to ignore the damaged section of the spindle and bearing. The remaining smooth sections look good and will support the spindle just fine.
That's what I figured. There seems to be plenty of "meat" left that is unscathed! :)
 

Techie1961

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2015
Messages
131
Likes
153
#7
That's looking really good especially the pan. Hard to believe that it was cut and welded. As far as the headstock is concerned, it is probably okay to use as a hobby machine. If you had to repair it, the best approach is probably to have the shaft metal sprayed and the headstock bushed somehow. Instead of bushing the shaft, you would also get some babbit or epoxy laid in. Nice job though and good to see old stuff fixed up.
 

hermetic

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
450
Likes
193
#8
I really wouldn't worry about the spindle galling, just gently stone off any high spots, do the same in the bearing, refit and adjust. It will run as well as it ever did. It looks like some previous owner has neglected to oil it on every use, and it has picked up a bit. There is PLENTY of contact area, and any low spots will just hold oil. and always oil it every time you turn it on!
Phil
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#9
I really wouldn't worry about the spindle galling, just gently stone off any high spots, do the same in the bearing, refit and adjust. It will run as well as it ever did.
Phil
Maybe I should start a separate thread on this, but I'll just ask here. When one says to "stone" a high spot- I get that you're essentially sanding down the high spot with a stone. But what stone to use? I'm not sure where to get stones, what quality of stones, etc. Is there a "standard" stone used for this sort of task?
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#10
And thank you all for the kind comments! I'd like to say I learned a lot from the drill press restoration that I've been able to apply and do better on this lathe restoration. I'm very pleased with how it's coming along! Like I said, there's still so much work left to be done, but it'll be sweet once finished. It will be so nice to not have 75 years of grease & grim on my workbench. :)
 

hermetic

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
450
Likes
193
#11
Use a small India stone like you would use to touch up a cutting tool on the lathe. Start with a fairly fine grade, and go coarser if it is not doing the job. As I have said, aqny scratches below the surface will just fill with oil, but metal above the surface will break the oil film and cause more damage. I have lapped these type of bearings together with fine grinding paste to finish them off, and to get some idea of the contact areas, but you must scrupulously clean them out afterwards, then oil the surfaces and adjust till the play just disappears. There needs to be a film of oil between the bearing surfaces at all times.
Phil
 

mikey

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Dec 20, 2012
Messages
3,158
Likes
3,092
#13
Great job, Wildo! Lots of nice pics, too. That is going to be a sweet lathe when you're done!
 

eeler1

Dang, buggered that up too!!
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Messages
361
Likes
161
#14
I don't know how it would work, but you might put some blue die on the inner bearing surface and rotate something in it to highlight the high spots. Work it over and do several times until high spots are gone. Just a thought.

Oh, and nice job!!
 

chevydyl

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
1,199
Likes
954
#15
As suggested a fine India stone will work, or a white (hard) arkansas stone, the India is going to remove metal faster, you can get them in lots of different shapes, check ebay. I use the Arkansas exclusively on my mag chuck on the surface grinder. when I'm scraping, during the roughing I use my norton India fine, then the more I bring in the surface I switch to the Arkansas stone so the cut rate is slower and I'm not just stoning down the highs to create more highs that aren't actually scraped in. Idk if you've ever stoned a high spot before but you will definitely feel a high spot with the stone, I would also stone your bed, I can see some divots in it, remember not to put alot of pressure, use spirits or windex as lube, be careful as you can literally stone a low spot into the surface so don't Camp out in one spot too long
 

chevydyl

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2013
Messages
1,199
Likes
954
#16
Oh yeah, and be sure and flatten your brand new stone, I can guarantee it won't be flat out of the box, to flatten it you need a flat surface, and some 220 grit open drywall paper, rub the stone against the sand paper on the flat surface until it's flat, use windex as lube, lots of windex and rinse often
A small square foot glass pane is flat enough to rub against, spray windex on the glass and place the sandpaper on it, helps to keep it from moving around, you can use regular wet dry paper also, I just noticed that the open drywall paper cuts really fast against a hard stone
 

Matthew Gregory

Active User
Active Member
Joined
Apr 27, 2014
Messages
80
Likes
19
#17
What a fantastic job!!!! Every part of it looks great, but I too am amazed at how well the chip pan came out - NEVER would have thought of doing it that way.
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#18
What a fantastic job!!!! Every part of it looks great, but I too am amazed at how well the chip pan came out - NEVER would have thought of doing it that way.
Thank you! I have pretty limited tools when it comes to sheet metal work. Well, to be clear, I pretty much have no sheet metal tools. :) This was the only way that it occurred to me to solve the problem. I really didn't even end up with a ton of bondo on the piece- most of it was sanded off just to get the part smooth. I appreciate the comments!
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#20
Another update on the lathe.

I drilled out the bull gear safety cover in order to install a plastic bushing. This will allow me to tighten the screw that holds this cover in place, while providing a nice surface for the cover to swing on. And a cool side effect- because of the plastic, the tighter I make the screw the more the plastic will "bulge" allowing the tension on the cover to be adjusted. Kind of a cool mod, I think:
IMG_6113_zpsfmpfmlzj.jpg

It seems paint prep is a never ending task on this project...
IMG_6115_zpsrhggvlze.jpg

But I got a lot more of the parts painted:
IMG_6128_zps6bc8ei6j.jpg

I'm not sure if I mentioned this yet or not, but I replaced the bull gear guard as well. I have no idea if the guard that was on it was original or not. I can't find any pictures of early 40's South Bends with a cover like this. At any rate, I think it's super ugly! I just love the flowing curves of the vintage equipment, and so a more round cover was sourced. If anyone has any info on the original cover- specifically if it's actually original or not, I'd be very curious!
IMG_6133_zpsbd6xdy1n.jpg

IMG_6131_zpsjwcpgczk.jpg

IMG_6132_zpsgnaupocs.jpg

Next I turned my attention to the spindle since my new ceramic stones arrived last night. (Thanks for the tip, chevydyl!) Now, full disclosure, I've never done this before. I have no idea if I did it "right" or not, but I'm happy with the results. And let's be honest here- whatever I did to this was better than leaving it with the nasty gulled surface that was there. So... take it a little easy on me. I'm new to this!!!!

I stoned the high spots on the spindle with a "fine" square ceramic stone:
IMG_6134_zpsfmetmfqt.jpg

After that, I wasn't really all too happy with the surface finish left by the stone, so I mounted the spindle between centers on my wood lathe and polished the bearing surfaces with polishing compound. I am very happy with the surface finish now. No "major" abrasives were used, just the polishing compound. I could be wrong, but I think it would take a LONG time to remove even a tenth with just polishing compound and a paper towel:
IMG_6136_zpsxhrkhaat.jpg

DSC_1855_rdc%20copy_zpslyyxgjfh.jpg

The spindle cleaned up beautifully.

The cast bearing surface in the head was another story. I don't think it's even accurate to call the damage there "gulling" as it's more like deep scoring. It wasn't easy to stone this since it's an internal surface. I did use a fine, round ceramic stone which makes sense, but it was still hard to really get at it. Overall, it was a lot of work, but I do believe I got the scoring down to surface height. I slid a steel rule across the surface and it didn't catch anywhere. However, I can't polish this up like I did the spindle- I certainly have no way to spin the head like I could spin the spindle. I don't know if this surface finish is "good enough" or if it needs to be polished, or even if it's more along the lines of "don't even think about touching that surface, you idiot!" But again, remember, the scoring along that one band was pretty severe, and it would have only gotten worse without some kind of intervention. I took care of that with the stone. But now what? I'm thinking that maybe one of those headlight polishing kits with the foam "puff" ball might work connected to a cordless drill with some polishing compound. Is that a stupid idea? Or a smart one??
This one is 3" in diameter which would be about perfect:
autogeek_2268_453084713.jpg

Here's the head after stoning:
IMG_6138_zpslp1vlbl6.jpg

I wanted to put the spindle in the lathe head tonight, but I realized I don't have the proper grease nor the grease zerk for the cone pulley. I just ordered the zerk and it will get here on the 28th. I did have a question about the grease though. Please check this thread if you've actually read this far... http://www.hobby-machinist.com/threads/super-lube-for-lathe-cone-pulley.44898/
 

Attachments

hermetic

Active User
Active Member
Joined
May 2, 2011
Messages
450
Likes
193
#21
Well, you have made a fabulous job of the spindle and the bearing in the headstock, they will not be a problem! Just one thing, and I have to explain here that I have never even seen a South Bend lathe of any type, but is it not usual to lubricate cast iron/steel bearings with oil rather than grease? I fear if you use grease you will be back where you started! South Bend experts please correct me if I am wrong!
Phil
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#22
Well, you have made a fabulous job of the spindle and the bearing in the headstock, they will not be a problem! Just one thing, and I have to explain here that I have never even seen a South Bend lathe of any type, but is it not usual to lubricate cast iron/steel bearings with oil rather than grease? I fear if you use grease you will be back where you started! South Bend experts please correct me if I am wrong!
Phil
ONLY the cone pulley and back gear shaft get the grease. Everything else is indeed oil. Apparently South Bend changed their tune on this at some point along the line. My cone pulley is stamped "oil" but some more modern (that is- post war, most likely) cone pulleys actually say "grease." The main bearings/spindle bearings absolutely use a very lightweight oil. :)

Thanks for the compliments on the lathe! I'm trying very, very hard to get this one right. So much so that I'm even contemplating having the ways reground. Not sure if I'm willing to fork over the $1K+ for that job though.
 

roadie33

Active User
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
773
Likes
537
#23
If you live close to chevydyl, see if he can help you scrape your ways. :)
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#24
Unfortunately I don't, but I do have a drill press spindle heading his way for him to play with....
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#25
Well I'm happy to say I was right on the Mothers Polishing Ball!! It was a tight fit in all but the front spindle hole, but it worked ok. The head bearings aren't quite as "mirror" like as I was able to get the spindle, but you can still clearly see reflections. I'm now satisfied that I have corrected the scratching to the absolute best of my ability.

IMG_6182_zpsqpvcxhpi.jpg

Toothbrush reflection:
IMG_6178_zpsawljui6i.jpg

All four bearing surfaces cleaned up nicely!
IMG_6181_zpsygzu9svv.jpg
 

Attachments

4gsr

HM Shop Superintendent
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
4,481
Likes
2,782
#26
While you are at this point, install the spindle without the cone pulley and bull gear or oilers in place and check the fit in the bearings. Place a dial indicator on the spindle and put some leverage on it and see how much play you get in the spindle. Do this before putting all of the jewelry on the spindle and assemble. If there is problems with accuracy, you can work on adjusting it now rather than tear everything down to fix.
Nice Job so far!
 

firestopper

H-M Supporter - Premium Member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Oct 21, 2014
Messages
1,145
Likes
1,998
#27
Very nice job. Its gonna be a sweet lathe when your finished.
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#28
While you are at this point, install the spindle without the cone pulley and bull gear or oilers in place and check the fit in the bearings. Place a dial indicator on the spindle and put some leverage on it and see how much play you get in the spindle. Do this before putting all of the jewelry on the spindle and assemble. If there is problems with accuracy, you can work on adjusting it now rather than tear everything down to fix.
Nice Job so far!
That's a really great idea!! I geared up to do that tonight, got the spindle installed, messed with the nightmare of a job getting the shims in place, and then I stopped. I realized that I haven't yet bolted the bed to the bench, and so testing this is going to be super hard... Seems like every task on this project needs five precursor tasks completed first...
 

4gsr

HM Shop Superintendent
Staff member
H-M Supporter-Premium Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2011
Messages
4,481
Likes
2,782
#29
I know most people think that the 9" SBL needs to be bolted down solid. Wrong answer in my book. Yes, have a solid bench to set your lathe on, ideally would be a piece of 1" thick or thicker steel plate to set the lathe on. Anyways, the headstock end should be bolted down with 3/8" bolts. The tail end of the bed should not be bolted down. Doing so may create a twist in the bed. Shimming helps, but over time things shift around and creates a twist in the bed. Just leave the tail end bolts loose hand tight. Does the bed need to be leveled? No, all you need to do check it for any twist in the bed and adjust it out if possible.
 

wildo

Active Member
Active Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
Messages
381
Likes
347
#30
I can see that, but my point was that the manual says to put 75 pounds of force on a 2' long bar inserted into the head stock in order to check the bearing clearance. It would be hard to put 75 pounds of force on the bar and not raise the end of the lathe off the bench. Therefore for performing this test, I'd think the lathe would need to be bolted down.
 
[6]
[5] [7]