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ThunderDog

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#1
I'm going to take a look at a Sheldon lathe. The price is set firm @ $475.
I've never seen a Sheldon first hand, so I did a little reading on lathes.co.uk. No model numbers listed and the gentleman could not remember bed length, center to center, or spindle bore size. I'll assume it's the 10" variety. It has the original cabinet. One of my main reasons for upgrading to a new lathe is to find something with a larger spindle bore. My current lathe is a Myford M series.
Here is what I know:
It has the double lever quick change gearbox.
It comes with a 4 jaw Chuck, fixed steady, and face plate.

I suppose my main question is whether or not $475 is reasonable and whether Sheldons are decent machines. 20171208_150745.jpg
 

markba633csi

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#2
Unless it's a complete piece of junk (and it doesn't look like it) I would buy it right away; Heck yes Sheldons are more than decent
Mark
ps a machine like that would be 3-4x that price out here
 
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magu

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#3
plus one for what Mark said...

Assuming it checked out okay in person, I'd buy it. Heck, I'm not that far away, if you decide it isn't for you let me know.
 

dlane

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#5
Check the ways, gears, parts are slim to none and pricey ,should have double v belt drive,
it looks similar to my 13" te1236p that needs a complete taredown and cleaning "some week "
 

Dabbler

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#7
It depends of what hobby you are persuing. I LOVE to rebuild machines, and that is more than 50% of my metalworking hobby. If you hate doing all the mechanical and restoration work on machines, it will just sit in your garage until you resell it. :rolleyes:
 

MarkM

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#8
Yes Buy it now! Unless there is something rediculously wrong with it. You have another lathe if parts are needed. It looks like it has been ran latelely as the combo feed lead screw has no rust. If the ways are bad it could still do alot of general machining where a high tolerance isn t needed. 475$ is nothing today!
 

richl

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#9
I paid about that for a delta Rockwell 11" some years back. Complete but needs to be put back together.

Not positive if they are in the same exact class, I believe so. I'd buy it.
 

ThunderDog

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#10
Ok, sounds like this is worth it.

About how much do one of these weigh?
My harbor freight trailer is only rated to 1100 lbs.
May have to call my dad, to borrow his if needed.
 

woodchucker

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#11
Borrow your dads, it's not worth losing it on the road. Use a welded trailer, not a screwed together trailer, and the HF trailers can be twisty.
 

projectnut

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#12
If the machine isn't all clapped out it's well worth the money. I have a little newer Sheldon model MW-56-P, and it's a great machine. There is a Sheldon lathe group on Yahoo. It's run by a gentleman by the name of John Knox. He was an engineer for the company for many years. He is a great source of knowledge. I have spoken to John on a couple occasions when adjusting spindle bearings and rebuilding the drive system on my machine. He is easy to talk to and is more than happy to lend a helping hand and give guidance to new Sheldon owners.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups...lYwN2dGwEc2xrA3ZnaHAEc3RpbWUDMTUwMTc4MjMxOA--

While parts with the Sheldon nameplate and part numbers may not be readily available many of the generic parts are still available. There are still some vendors that carry OEM parts for some models. Bourn and Koch in Chicago comes to mind. In years past they sold Sheldon machines and support them as much as possible. Keep in mind Sheldon went out of business in 1999 or 2000, so it's not like they've been gone a hundred years. There are still quite a few of their machines in repair and production shops.

https://www.bourn-koch.com/

The "lathe" portion of my particular machine was rebuilt by the previous owner. By "lathe" I'm referring to the spindle, carriage, bed, and tailstock. He replaced worn and broken gears, worn spindle bearings, lead screw, carriage (including new feed screws, bearings, and having the ways ground). He also had the bed reground. In short the working parts of the machine were new (25 hrs. of use) when I purchased it.

I just finished rebuilding the drive section and adding a tachometer. The drive on this machine is a Worthington model 3B AllSpeed drive. It's similar to a Reeves drive in that it uses 2 sets of variable sheaves to change speeds rather than change gears. While the machine is 60 years old all the bearings and bushings are still available as off the shelf items from bearing suppliers. The original bearing manufacturer is long out of business, but there are many other brands that cross reference.

As far as controls are concerned Sheldon used Furnas for many years. Like Sheldon Furnas is long gone. However if you need small parts there are still a number of companies with new old stock. If you need major electrical components I would switch to Allen Bradley. The contacts and coils in my machine are still in good shape. However when/if they do require replacement I have purchased a NOS 709 reversing starter system in the factory enclosure for $100.00.

In short almost everything needed to refurbish and/or repair a Sheldon machine is still available. It may take some time to research specific components, but unless the machine is worn or damaged to the point of no return it can be brought back to life.
 

bl00

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#13
I hope you buy it because otherwise it might end up in my garage.
 

richl

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#14
Uhaul rents trailers, they have a 4x8 with ramp that goes in the 20 per day range, a 5x8 in around the same price range. The 5x8 is rated in the 2000lbs range.
I use them all the time.
 

Silverbullet

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#15
Extremely well made machines , up above south bend at the time I think . Worst thing I ever did was sell mine. It was just that machine pictured. I had lever 5 C collets , and chucks . I don't remember the model , but it had variable speed with a crank in front Reeves drive . I do remember it never let me down or didn't have power. Quiet too, with belt drive.
 
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projectnut

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#16
Sheldon's were originally made in their factory on Cottage Ave. in Chicago. They later moved to Knox Ave. They had a Customer support division in Fremont Ohio. The company later became a division of National Acme Company in Cleveland. National Acme went out of business in 1999 or 2000.

John Knox of the Yahoo Sheldon Lathe Group has a Word document with a brief history of the company and his employment with them. It's under the "Files" section on the website.

As for a trailer to transport it I would look for a drop bed equipment trailer. They are available from many rental chains like Sunbelt Rentals.

They have 3 different sizes available. Here's a link to their middle sized one:
https://www.sunbeltrentals.com/equi...0140/6ft-x-10ft-lift-bed-single-axle-trailer/

United Rentals also has a couple sizes available:
https://www.unitedrentals.com/marke...ilers/trailer-equipment-double-axle-special#/

Be sure to call ahead wherever you want to rent. These trailers are quite popular so it may take a week or two to get one lined up.
 
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4GSR

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#17
I've owned two Sheldon lathes over the years. They are good machines, nothing on them you can't fix yourself. Look at the ways and see if they are harden and ground. Serial number is stamped between the front ways at the tailstock end of the bed. I agree with diane, this one is a newer one. Hopefully not too molested. Most of the repair parts available from B & K can easily be made if needed. And there's many of us here that are willing to help you out on any repairs including myself. Ken
 

ThunderDog

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#18
Yeah, I'm primed to get this thing. 4gsr, you've helped me before and maybe you could answer another ultra rookie question. How does one identify that they are hardened and ground? Surely, not with a stroke of a file, right? I just put my newbieness on full display.:eek 2:
 

Dave Paine

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#19
On the Southbend there is an additional nameplate "Flame hardened" which I have on my Heavy 10.
 

4GSR

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#20
Yeah, I'm primed to get this thing. 4gsr, you've helped me before and maybe you could answer another ultra rookie question. How does one identify that they are hardened and ground? Surely, not with a stroke of a file, right? I just put my newbieness on full display.:eek 2:
My last Sheldon I bought, I did a file test on the bed, well, it was after I bought it. Unfortunately, Sheldon did not put a label on the bed indicating it was hard like some of the other lathe manufactures did.
Best way to tell of it is harden is to look for scoring marks or drag marks on the way surfaces. If none, and they feel smooth without any gouges either, they are more than likely harden. Look for ground surfaces at each end of the bed, another indication it is harden. I would say, most later Sheldon's were sold with harden ways.

Ken
 

ThunderDog

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#21
Hi all,

Got to check it out this morning. It was a little annoying to show up and the seller drops the bomb on me that somebody else was ahead of me to look at the Sheldon, rather than what I was told over the phone. Regardless, I'll keep my fingers crossed that the other buyer passes it up.

Staying positive I'll share what I saw.
It has the 1 3/8" spindle bore, 56" bed, everything turns free, it has one broken tooth on the small gear of the spindle(Not the bull gear). It was really dark in the warehouse but from what I could see the ways looked good. That doesn't really mean much, but there were no real signs of any crashes or dropped parts onto the ways. It had some tags as property of a Pennsylvania school district. To me, that is promising because the amount of time in use is probably much lower than a business that would put alot more mileage on it. Ok, enough rambling take a look at the pics.
20171210_091438~2.jpg 20171210_091059~2.jpg 20171210_090959~2.jpg 20171210_090935~2.jpg 20171210_091613~2.jpg
 

Dabbler

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#22
it looks like a great buy, even at a higher price.
 

projectnut

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#23
The gearing in the first picture, and the thread cutting gearing are identical to my MW-56-P. M is the type of lathe, W is the type of drive (Worthington), 56 is the bed length, and P indicates it has a pedestal base. The drive in the cabinet is a bit different. The good news is all the gears for the top end are likely still available from Bourn & Koch. I hope you'll get it. They are nice machines.

As for whether or not the ways are hardened, according to John Knox Sheldon didn't start "intentionally" hardening them until the 1960's. Before that it was a hit or miss situation. They were all heat treated to some extent then hardness tested. Those that were above a certain Rockwell number (can't remember the number) were sold as machines with hardened ways. The only way you would know they were hardened is from the original inspection sheet and bill of sale.

The ways on my machine are hardened, but I only found that out because the previous owner sent the bed out to be reground. There were no identifying marks from the factory to indicate whether or not they were hardened.

You can get more information from John on the Sheldon Lathe Website.
 
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4GSR

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#24
My serial number book says it was born around 1954-1955. For S/N 16433. Looks to be in very nice condition. Very good chance it has harden & ground ways. Personally, I prefer this motor headstock arrangement, where you change speeds by moving the belt over to the next step on the sheave instead of the old Worthington drive. My 15" lathe was that way. It now has only one sheave, no steps and is run by a VFD. Nice!! Hope you get it. Ken
 

ThunderDog

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#25
Santa called me and said I can pick up my new lathe this coming weekend!!
If you can't tell I'm having a hard time trying NOT to smile.:grin::grin::grin:
My dad is going to help me get this one, so wish us luck.
 

woodchucker

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#26
Santa called me and said I can pick up my new lathe this coming weekend!!
If you can't tell I'm having a hard time trying NOT to smile.:grin::grin::grin:
My dad is going to help me get this one, so wish us luck.
Bring an engine crane, and some wood. and don't strap the lead screw.
Great news.
 

projectnut

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#27
I have a little different Worthington drive than the earlier style. rather than using the walking stick mine has a gear motor to change the sheave configuration. It also came with a mechanical tachometer to allow precise speed settings. The mechanical tach is long gone and has been replaced by a digital one. Personally I prefer the push button speed change to belt or gear changes. It can be done on the fly similar to using a VFD.

Here are a few pictures of the machine and drive. Note the drive chain is loose. I was in the process of properly positioning the sprockets. In the second picture on the control station the buttons from left to right on the top row are: Reverse, Forward, Stop. The two on the bottom row from left to right are: Slow, and Fast. To change speeds you hold either the fast or slow button until the desired speed is reached, then release.
 

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projectnut

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#28
Great news. We moved my machine to the drop deck trailer on a pair of furniture dollies. The published weight is 1650 lbs. Once on the trailer we blocked it and tied it down with 2" cargo straps. I unloaded it myself at home by slightly raising it and rolling it on a series of round stock rods.

Just a note, I did not pull the trailer with the Jeep. The trailer and lathe weigh about 3,800 lbs. I only used the Jeep to position the trailer in the garage door opening. Being the Jeep is much shorter than the truck I could make the right angle into the garage without driving over the lawn.
 

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Dabbler

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#29
What a find! Congratulations!
 

larry4406

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#30
Thunderdog - congrats!

Projectnut - I have never seen a drop deck trailer! That is so cool! Is it a commercial shop made trailer or a home brew?
 
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