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15x8 South Bend lathe

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Tobias2017

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I have what is I believe an unusual South Bend lathe. 15” swing (it measures 7 1/2” from center of spindle to top of ways) 8’ bed, gap bed with bridge installed. Model 37-e (model 137 with gap bed?) Serial number 22481, so made in 1921-22. The lathe is using a geared 4 speed electric motor from Lima for drive.
The lathe has had little recent use, and has been in a wood shop for the last 30 ish years. I have managed to dig up a fair amount of the parts for it including two 3-jaw chucks, a 4 jaw chuck, a steady rest, a follow rest and a few other bits I am not sure what are yet. The lathe seams mostly complete, except the change gears and change gear studs. I am hoping these turn up. Does anyone know if these 15” lathes used the same change gears as other more common models? I am trying to get a feel for what I am in for if I liberate it from the wood shop and get it spinning metal again in terms of locating parts, etc.

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derf

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The cross feed screw is also missing. I've never seen a South Bend with the carriage wheel on the right.
 

Tobias2017

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The cross feed screw is also missing. I've never seen a South Bend with the carriage wheel on the right.
Yes, I have found a fitted a cross slide screw since those pictures, so the cross slide is operational!
All the controls are transposed on the apron so that the carriage can be run over the gap when the bridge is removed.
 

derf

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I guess that would explain that. I didn't notice the gap until I looked closer.
 

Tobias2017

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So I have gotten the go ahead to move this lathe out of the wood shop area into another area of the building where I am setting up some metal working tools. It frees up space for the wood guys and I can put this lathe back to some use so win/win. My initial plan after I move it is to go through it enough to make sure it is functioning properly, and getting lubrication where it needs it. From there I plan to use it, and make upgrades, tweaks, improvements, etc. as needed and as I learn about the machine. So my initial question is wether the ilion book and felt kits for 16” lathes would be useful for a lathe of this era (1920). I think the books/felts are more geared towards later years.

 

63redtudor

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Your 15" looks very similar to my grandpa's 16" that I'm hoping to eventually pull out of the storage unit and get it running as well.


I don't know if I'll tear into it as much as I did the Sheldon, but with the looks of the pictures and the fact that its been in storage for some time it'll need some work regardless. When I finally get the thing moved I'll probably be bugging you for information (with work and "life" it might be a little bit). When I was researching these early gap-bed lathes I came across only spotty information at best. There is a guy on another site (practical machinist) who has a 1930 (?) version and has a post about rebuilding his apron.
Don't know if he is involved on this site (hope so!) maybe he could have some pointers as well.
 

Superburban

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Is that one of the motors with the transmission built in? I almost bought an ATW lathe that was converted using one, but it looked more like two sections bolted together.

94AB892A-5859-4641-9D4E-04325542E175.jpeg
 

Tobias2017

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Is that one of the motors with the transmission built in? I almost bought an ATW lathe that was converted using one, but it looked more like two sections bolted together.
Yes it’s a Lima electric motor, 4 speed. I’ll need to change the oil in it. Seems like a pretty well done conversion. The belt slips a lot right now so a new belt is also needed
 

Superburban

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Yep, Lima is the name I was trying to remember.

Those are cool. I almost picked up an ATW lathe with one, but the seller decided not to sell. It drove a cone pulley, so you had use of the gears, and pulley, giving it 12 possible speeds (had a 3 step pulley). Yours does look to be done better. The ATW looked all cobbled together. Look forward to more pics of yours.
 

Tobias2017

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So I have moved the 15” South Bend and given it a good clean up. One thing I have found is that the lantern tool post is damaged, probably due to using it to prop against for wood turning. Anyway I have been thinking of replacing it with a quick change tool post but I am unsure what size to get. It looks like my 15” is at the upper end of the BXA and lower range of the CXA. The top of the compound rest to center of spindle is 2 1/16”. Anyone have this size lathe Have experience with this?
 

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Tobias2017

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Thank you. I was leaning towards the CXA but don’t have the experience to be sure.
 

mmcmdl

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BXA would be too small , CA too big . CXA is the Goldielocks ! :)
 

Technical Ted

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I use a B on my 15" SB, but made a shim plate to go under it raising it up on center better. Works very well and since it's pinned in place to the holder I don't even realize it's there.

Ted
 

markba633csi

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What are those slots on the top of the carriage for? Follow rest? I have always wondered
Mark
 

Tobias2017

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I use a B on my 15" SB, but made a shim plate to go under it raising it up on center better. Works very well and since it's pinned in place to the holder I don't even realize it's there.

Ted
Is the any advantage to the smaller shimmed bxa over the cxa? Besides initial cost and tool holders, which is an advantage to be sure. I am probably getting and import, so once a bxa is set up and shimmed, as good as a cxa?
 

Technical Ted

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Is the any advantage to the smaller shimmed bxa over the cxa? Besides initial cost and tool holders, which is an advantage to be sure. I am probably getting and import, so once a bxa is set up and shimmed, as good as a cxa?
The size works fine for me. I use a lot of smaller hss tool bits because they are quicker to make than larger bits. You can get 3/4" holders if needed for large tools as well. It's plenty ridgid and a little smaller to use on smaller work pieces.

Holders are cheaper too.

Ted
 
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