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Old SB, maybe ATW lathe(s)

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63redtudor

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It looks like I will be inheriting another of my grandfather's machines. This was "the big lathe" that I dimly remember as a teenager (over 20 years ago....) and didn't have the room for a few years ago. What I remember is that it was WW1 era, originally overhead line-drive shafting adapted to a motor, a gap bed, and was 'big' (I realize that this is relative, but I'm trying to remember over 20 years ago). As I live several states away (about a 15 hr drive), its not very easy for me to get over to the storage unit and look at it. My dad lives near by and finally got the chance to look at the thing. No pictures (yet), but he did get the s/n and a quick look at it (its in the back of a FULL storage unit). What I had always understood was that it was an "American" (American Tool Works?), surprise, turns out to be a South Bend.
So, here's what I've been able to glean from my dad (who only had a short time to look at it) and an uncle. There were 2 (!) 'big' lathes that grandpa picked up and somewhere along the line and the memory of which one was which got mixed up. I'm not sure what happened to the second lathe, though we're pretty sure it was never complete and the bed ended up scrapped. What we do know is that the complete lathe is a South Bend s/n G25032 which puts it at around 1921-23 or so (correct?). It is a gap bed (drop-out is still there/installed) and by my dad's quick measurements about a 15-16" lathe, with the drop-out removed he estimates something 30" or so could be turned. The counter shaft appears to be homemade and there is a 110 ac motor on it (unsure of hp). There is a bunch of tooling for it, and a lot of extra parts, which might actually be for the other lathe. Most of this seems to be pretty consistent with what I remember, other than the make of the machine (?).
So, what should I have my dad and uncle look for as far as data plates and/or markings? I'm a little bit familiar with the later South Bend lathes, but I'm not finding as much about these of this size and era. Research has also been hampered by the fact that this machine has been in storage for 20-odd years, kinda 'forgotten' about by the family and that there is a bunch of junk around it. Right now is a busy time for me, so getting over there is out of the question. Hopefully one of them can spend a bit more time looking at it and maybe even get some pictures so I can wrap my mind around what it actually is and where I will put it. Fortunately the wife told to keep it in the family (!) and we now have room for it (something we didn't several years ago).
I know that there is a SB section here, but for now till we figure out what is actually what, I figure its best to post here. Thanks for any info that anyone can provide (considering that fact I can give only a little as it is).
 

markba633csi

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#2
Pics will give us a lot more to go on, sounds like a nice machine
If it is a 15-16" lathe it should really be rewired for 220 volts for the sake of efficiency
mark
 

brino

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Hello @63redtudor,

I am accustomed to seeing a "Catalog Number" associated with most South Bend Lathes.

However, I just had a look at an old 1920 (PDF version) Southbend catalog and see what they simply call "No. of Lathe" with numbers like "37-B" for 15-1/4 inch and "40-E" for 16-1/4" lathes.

If you let me know any more info you can find out, I will see if I can find more info.

Cheers!
-brino

1533861662440.png
 

63redtudor

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Brino, can I assume that these model numbers will be on the lathe somewhere? If so, where? Also, where did you get the catalog, vintage machinery?
It does help that both my dad and uncle have a decent knowledge of machinery, so they should be able to give fairly accurate information. When they can get to the lathe anyway.
I know that 220 will be better for the machine, 3 phase as well, but for now I'm hoping/trying to figure what all I'm getting myself into. Thankfully we have 220 wired into the shop, not sure I'm going to bother 3 phase, just take one thing at a time with this. The last machine I got from grandpa took over a year of cleaning (in spare time) before it was usable, and that was his pride and joy. Much of his stuff has been in storage for a long time and the last few years of his life he wasn't totally mobile or with it to take care of things.
 

brino

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can I assume that these model numbers will be on the lathe somewhere? If so, where?
For my 1937(ish) 9-inch it is on one of the machine plates, on the gear-end cover, here (in the yellow oval):
20150109_132012.jpg

Also, where did you get the catalog, vintage machinery?
Actually I bought a CD full of PDF versions of old Southbend manuals off ebay, and just try to help people out when I can.

220V is nice because it reduces(halves) the current required; the lights won't dim when you turn it on, and the lower current is easier on the switches.

Do you know what motor it has? If it has a 3-phase motor, you could run it from 220 singe phase using a phase converter. The other advantage this gives is motor speed control. Of course, it comes at a cost. Search around here for some info on choosing and installing them, if interested.

There are a few different versions of the Southbend book "How to run a Lathe" here:
15th edition (1914)
27th edition (1966)
It is a great reference.

I agree, do it one step at a time.
You will be in a better position to learn and figure things out when you have the lathe in your shop.

Good Luck and have a safe move when the time comes.

-brino
 
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