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Buying A Used Lathe, What Should I Know?

Discussion in 'The Tool Shed' started by blalp!, Oct 9, 2020.

  1. Oct 11, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    Some people look at me as odd because I live by a few sayings that I’ve picked up. Some of them are a bit tongue in cheek, but they are focused on positive outcomes. “Besting your best”, and “Green and growing” make me think that you ARE a machinist and welder. Some people just sit on the sidelines of life as apposed to “Playing the game (of life)”. In that spirit, I appreciate all of links, and information. You folks have given me a good deal of direction. I look forward to immersing into this. :)
     
    47v6 likes this.
  2. Oct 11, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    5,165
    I have always lived by the belief that the day I quit learning is the day they shovel dirt in my face!
    There isn't a machinist or toolmaker alive that knows it all, it is an on going learning experience until you retire, quit or die.
     
    blalp! likes this.
  3. Oct 11, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    Here is my South Bend 9", it is a 1943 War production model. This is a before and after photo, taken about a year between the photos, I paid $400 for this machine back in 2003, it was shipped from Pawtucket Rhode Island. I know the history of this machine pretty decent. It was used to make parts for the Mark V gun sites during the war. I repaired a few things, updated a few things and did modifications the factory never did. This is the most manufactured machine tool in the world. Much like the jeep this machine was licensed to every major country in the world and was produced in the USA from 1939 until 1979? It was produced in Australia until the early 90's. Easy to run, simple to repair and new parts are still made and used parts are everywhere.

    SouthBendleftview copy.jpg

    IMG_0164 copy.JPG

    My other lathe is a duplicate but it is 12" longer and 3 years newer, built in 1946.
     
    blalp! likes this.
  4. Oct 11, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    92
    When I come up with one, I’ll be curious to hear about your repairs and upgrades.
     
  5. Oct 11, 2020
    Greevesman

    Greevesman Member 2020 Sponsor

    Napa, Ca
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
    Messages:
    396
    A milling machine will be of more use than a lathe.
     
  6. Oct 11, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    5,165
    While I use my mill a lot I make a ton of parts on my lathe also. Me personally, I use them both about the same. Saying that a mill would be of more use than a lathe would be incorrect unless you know what he is going to make.
    Shafts, spindles, shock mounts, threading and a multitude of other projects. can be done on a lathe. Most of these functions would be tough or near impossible to do on a mill.
     
    blalp! likes this.
  7. Oct 12, 2020
    teletech

    teletech Member

    Santa Cruz, CA
    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2016
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    214
    A wrench makes a lousy screwdriver, A screwdriver isn't much use as a wrench. Different tools for different jobs but you pretty much need both if you are going to do general work. I will agree that I use my mill a lot more than my lathe. I have also used a mill as a lathe and lathe as a mill in certain instances..
    Oh, you should have a surface grinder and a bandsaw too. :)
     
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  8. Oct 12, 2020
    Greevesman

    Greevesman Member 2020 Sponsor

    Napa, Ca
    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2014
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    396
    All my life I wanted both. Then I managed to get both. Restoring lots of old british motorcycles.
    The mill is a king kong drill press too. I just sold the lathe and tooling for $700.
    But a crescent wrench makes a pretty good hammer when working on a jeep!
     
  9. Oct 12, 2020
    Jw60

    Jw60 let's make this complicated! 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Sedalia MO.
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    Oct 5, 2018
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    blalp! likes this.
  10. Oct 12, 2020
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Nov 22, 2003
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    I have the Gingery books & that was my original intention but life interfered & I had to settle for buying a lathe & a mill :(
     
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  11. Oct 25, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    Here are the lathes and tooling from my buddy’s grandfather. I think it’s a pretty good starting point for the price. I have already started to disassemble the South Bend to replace felts, clean and inspect everything. There are couple odds and ends I need to acquire. It should make for a fun winter project.
     
    Fireball, Jw60, 47v6 and 1 other person like this.
  12. Oct 25, 2020
    wheelie

    wheelie beeg dummy

    York, PA
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    Mar 6, 2004
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    Nice. I'll be anxious to follow this process.
     
    Fireball and blalp! like this.
  13. Oct 25, 2020
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Nov 22, 2003
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    :beer: :banana::cool:

    I'm with wheelie- lets see some posts on the cleanup :)
     
    Fireball and blalp! like this.
  14. Oct 26, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    The shaft has a small spot I need to file and polish. The casting on the other hand is certainly not ideal. I pulled some shavings and debris out of the front oil hole (at the edge of the opening). The oilers in the center appear to have been doing their job, as everything was coated with oil. No idea how long it’s been like that, and if someone else has already cleaned up the high spots. Oliver oiled everything, and as there were oil cans that came with the tooling, I have no doubt that he oiled the lathe too. I’m not sure yet how to proceed. Until then, I’ll keep disassembling...
     
  15. Oct 26, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    Clean the bore up with paper and a small fine riffler file. Remove the wool wick, get new ones off of eBay for a horizontal drive 9” lathe, clean out the well, soak the new wicks and install them with the locks. Install the lubed up spindle, remove the locks and spin by hand to insure it is all smooth and well lubed before final reassembly. You will need a fish scale to set the spindle preload. You have my number call or text if you need any help. Polish the spindle with 800 to 1000 grit Emory.
    Were there any brass wire clips in those holes?
     
    blalp! likes this.
  16. Oct 26, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    [​IMG]
    Is this what you mean by the brass wire clips?
     
  17. Oct 26, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    5,165
  18. Oct 26, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    5,165
    Here is a photo of the clips and where they go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Both of my machines have the segmented bearing instead of the smooth bore. Not sure why they changed over the years but most of the 1940’s models have them.
     
  19. Oct 26, 2020
    blalp!

    blalp! Member 2020 Sponsor

    Concord, NH
    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2019
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    I don’t have those clips... I did a quick search, and haven’t found replacements. Are these something that can be bent/shaped to dimension?
     
  20. Oct 26, 2020
    Mcruff

    Mcruff Earlycj5 Machinist

    Albertville, AL
    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2002
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    Its possible your lathe never came with them, There are a lot of them on the South Bend lathe board that apparently never had them.
     
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