View Full Version : I joined the South Bend club

11-17-2007, 07:37 PM
I just brought home a South Bend 9" lathe. A friend of mine who owns/runs a large machine shop had it sitting around for maybe 7-8 years or more and had no use for it and it was just collecting dust. He was going to either scrap it or take the head off and use it for a polisher but he really has no time for stuff like that. Well I offered to pay for it but no deal, he would not take any cash. Instead I'll do some work for him at his house as I'm a painter. Now that is a friend.
I don't know much about South bends. It has a catalog #CL644Z. It has a 3 1/2 ft bed. Full threading gear box and power cross feed. It is on a stand with tray as well . He also through in a 3c collet closer I have no idea how to use and a bunch of 3c collets. It's a production shop so I don't know what they used to use those for. An older quick change tool holder as well with several holders. It's dark out or I would take pics. I have to figure out how to get it out of my f150 bed first. The lathe even came with a big huge birds nest of swarf in the pan.:D
Well this is going to be my next project. I'll snap some pics tomorrow for a good before the restore begins shot as it is quite dirty but I don't see anything wrong with it. I'm a happy camper tonight!

tony ennis
11-17-2007, 07:57 PM
In good shape and reasonable tooling that's a $1000 lathe.


11-17-2007, 08:11 PM
Very nice score! Looking forward to the pics.

11-17-2007, 08:15 PM
Well the price was right:D

11-17-2007, 08:18 PM
Welcome to the Club :)

11-17-2007, 08:20 PM
Around here thats a $2500.00 Lathe.

Your Old Dog
11-17-2007, 10:45 PM
Sounds exactly like what I have. Mine was made in 1965 and the company paid $800.00 for it I believe. Mine still had the receipt in the drawer along with a SB catalog and some advertising stuff! You'll will like it if your just a backyard machinist. I guess they are a little light for the big boys :D Corngratulations.

11-17-2007, 11:57 PM
When I bought 2 Rockwell 10x24's at an auction, I had no equipment to unload them with. As i thought about it on the way home, I came up with a plan. Had a small construction project underway that involved some 4x4's. Backed into the garage, under the attic access. I put 2 4x4's across the opening and hung a comealong from them. Picked up the lathes one at a time, pulled out and set them down. Worked great.

11-18-2007, 12:45 AM
yep, he was even nice enough to loan me an electric winch and several straps to get it out of my truck. So that is my plan. Lighten it up a tad and then raise it out of the bed and drive away. It does not look that heavy really. I doubt it is as heavy as my Artisan lathe. Just sort of awkward to move.

11-18-2007, 01:51 AM
so how many lathes do you have now? 5? 6? :)

11-18-2007, 04:45 AM
i joined the club about a month back with this

200 off ebay


all the best.mark

John Stevenson
11-18-2007, 06:38 AM
Not to take anything away from Steve's good luck and find but I often wonder what would have happened in the greater US market if South Bend had kept up with the times and improved the models ?

For those not in the know Boxford's in the UK took over the wartime production of the classic South Bend.

After the war they decided to go it alone and still using the basic SB design carried out a series of improvements, mainly to the drive systems at first.

Boxfords are still going in the UK but mainly in the education field with CNC trainers, their current manual lathes are imports but this is how they finished up on the SB theme.


LOO spindle, variable speed drive but still recognisable as a SB, note the apron.

The early Boxford wasn't far off the SB, just boxed in a little and changed to vee belts.


But this was soon changed to the UD model which stood for UnderDrive giving a smarter appearance.


I'm sure the far larger US market would have welcomed some of these models.


Your Old Dog
11-18-2007, 09:09 AM
yep, he was even nice enough to loan me an electric winch and several straps to get it out of my truck. So that is my plan. Lighten it up a tad and then raise it out of the bed and drive away. It does not look that heavy really. I doubt it is as heavy as my Artisan lathe. Just sort of awkward to move.

Mine is the same as yours and is easily lifted with a Harbor Freight cheap engine lift. I then put some 4x4s on the engine lifts legs and lowered the bulk of the weight to the 4x4s and wheeled it into the shop on the steel casters. The engine lift has been a godsend in my shop for those things I can't lift myself like my lathe, mill, shaper and a host of other projects. I paid a few bucks extra and got the one that folds up to the wall and presents about 16" profile to the garage wall.

John, thanks for the post. I've always wonderd what the Boxford was all about. I'd give my eyeteeth for a tach on mine !

11-18-2007, 09:18 AM
If need be, disassembly is easy. Two guys (or one strong guy) could easily carry the individual pieces. If you're going to do a thorough cleanup, you'll probably be wanting to take it apart anyway.

11-18-2007, 09:19 AM
You're going to enjoy that SB. Lots of good info here from other enthusiastic owners:


Have moved mine a few times. Removing the headstock, carriage and tailstock makes it much easier.

11-18-2007, 09:52 AM
so how many lathes do you have now? 5? 6?

ahem.. errr.. well... Let's see. Hmmm.... Whelp I have me one of those Chinese 9x20 affairs. It's sort of like a lathe, a crude copy of the Emco compact 8 but I think it qualifies. Then I have Ol' Artisan 11x24 who is a fine looking old chap that we can definitely call a lathe, although he's a little eccentric. I guess we can call the cnc turning doohickey gazinta machine I built from scratch a lathe as well.
And now the South Bend 9" which I gather is also a lathe.
{Steve scratches head...counts fingers....}
Well good golly looks like this is lathe # 4!
I can still make room for a HLV-H or 10EE, heck maybe a little Boley or how about this little feller- http://www.lathes.co.uk/manson/index.html
There is a ManSon on Ebay right now for only $999.00 :D


Think it's possible to have to many lathes?

11-18-2007, 10:05 AM
Here's one for sale.


11-18-2007, 01:12 PM
The 2 best days I had with a South Bend lathe was the day I got it and the day I sold it. :)

11-18-2007, 03:05 PM
Mark, very nice looking lathe.
Chester, I'll be doing a lot of reading over at that forum!
topct- man that guy has quite a nice looking lathe package. He may just get that price from somebody.
IOWOLF, yep it's a good day for me. I won't ever sell it though.
Well I got it out of the truck bed safe and sound. I have a very low garage door height. I had to let the air out of the rear tires and add another 300lbs on the tail gate and then it just cleared. Used a winch to raise it and drove the truck out.
So here it is after a quick cleanup with an air hose. This machine probably saw a lot of use years ago. I see some wear on the front V. I'm not sure how bad this wear is considered? What do you guys think?
I will completely disassemble it to clean and lube and get it in good working order.


11-18-2007, 03:26 PM
Did I mention I made a 500% profit Doing nothing to it but pressure washing it at a car wash for $2.00.

11-18-2007, 03:28 PM
IOWOLF, well now I understand! :D

11-21-2007, 03:36 PM
Well the right side head stock bearing surface looks pretty badly scored/grooved.The spindle does not look to bad though.
Anybody have any ideas? I'm thinking bore out the headstock and install bronze sleeve bearings. The question I have is what is a good method for this?


11-21-2007, 03:51 PM
Here is a site you might find useful for Southbend repairs.


11-21-2007, 04:02 PM
Thanks that is one option.300$ is not to bad. I would like to give it a shot myself though.


11-21-2007, 06:18 PM
What ever you decide to do don't use those felts again. If you promise not to I will gladly mail you two new ones for free. :D

Lack of owner maintenance strikes again.

They are so easy to take apart and clean out, there is no reason for this to happen.

SB9 owners should look at these pictures.

When was yours looked at last? WW2 maybe?

11-21-2007, 07:18 PM
I would never abuse my machines like that and promise not to reuse those felts! This lathe came from a working machine shop and has sat maybe 10 years and was considered worn out and ready to scrap. I have it all apart. 2 issues. The front ways have a .0035-.004" wear ridge and of course the trashed headstock bearings. The cross slide and compound ways are good, no broken or heavily worn gears.
The spindle looks great after a little work removing the welded on bits of iron from the headstock.

I think once the headstock is taken care of it'll be a nice machine, although I am not sure how profound an effect the wear ridge in the front v will have.
I was just reading how one guy line bored his headstock while it was still mounted on the lathe in a past HSM issue. Well that is what I am going to do and then install bronze sleeves. Stay tuned..

11-21-2007, 08:12 PM
It was crap that made the grooves in the spindle bore. A light hone to level it a bit and clean the thing out real well, I wonder if there is enough there for it to function just fine.

I would then be very curious to see what how much slop I could get out of it by removing a layer at time from the shim pack.

11-21-2007, 08:28 PM
The front shim pack is gone. Nah, the front bearing surface is toast.
Never saw such a bad bearing surface on anything.
It'll be more work to rig up the line boring setup than anything else.
But I knew this machine would require some work.


11-21-2007, 10:58 PM
Sir John Here is a pic of my Boxford. It came out of a local school. Do you think this was made in China? I have orded parts from England.


11-23-2007, 02:59 PM
I have the line boring setup ready. I just have to fit the boring bar with a cutter and adjuster and then have at it.
Does anybody see anything wrong with this setup? I am dropping the bore centerline a few thousands as the tail stock center is quite a bit lower from wear. So may as well kill two birds with one stone.
Once the front bearing surface is turned I'll make a bushing for the front and then cut the rear bearing.

11-23-2007, 03:04 PM
shouldnt the other end of the boring bar be supported in some way

all the best.mark

11-23-2007, 03:12 PM
The front cutter will be inserted into the bar less than 3" from the cutter (mini mill head)spindle. The bar is just under 1" diameter so it should be plenty rigid and of course I plan on taking light cuts.


11-23-2007, 04:51 PM

didn't understand what it was about when i first looked at it

now i do .

so that big washer in the back bearing race is the support ...

how do you know it is centred in the race ...when the race is worn...possibly worn more towards the bottom of the race ...oval.

all the best.mark

11-23-2007, 05:20 PM
The rear bearing was not to bad. The bushing supports the rear of the bar. The boring bar is going to be moved along the ways using the carriage feed to advance into the bearing bore. So even if it is cocked some at the rear it should not matter as the cutting tool is being advanced along the ways into the bearing bore and should cut parallel with the ways. When the front is cut then a new bushing will be made to fit and I will cut the rear and that will assure it is inline with the front. Then bronze sleeves will be made on another machine but not fully finished ID. I'll then finish up by line boring them with the same undisturbed setup. In theory this should put the spindle bearings right on with the lathe ways. Unless I am missing something. I'm somewhat copying this setup from the article "line boring a south bend lathe" in the jan/feb 2007 issue of HSM mag.

11-23-2007, 06:28 PM
looks like not many are interested ...

i am though :)

post this on the south bend forum in practical machinist ...
you'll get a lot of attention there .

all the best.mark

11-23-2007, 06:55 PM
looks like not many are interested ...

i am though :)

post this on the south bend forum in practical machinist ...
you'll get a lot of attention there .

all the best.mark

I'm interested.

I think there might be some questions also. I'm not quite sure how to ask them myself.

There may or may not be some "what abouts".

11-24-2007, 08:41 AM
OK bring to top again ..

you should of started this in another thread

here goes :-

bed on lathe looks good ...showing scrapping marks right up to head stock ....so no problems there

your boring doofor ...looks like ......chinese pillar drill .

unless heavily modified ...

1. these have bearings that cant take sideways load .
1a. they have in-precise bearings.

2. when the quill is extended on one of these ...it has a lot of sideways "play"

3. drill still has paint on...so assume you haven't surface ground it . ...how do you know ...
a that quill is concentric with cast iron sides.

4. bet you've already done all this and the job was finished before you started posting ...

All the best.mark

11-24-2007, 12:39 PM
looks like not many are interested ...

I'm interested. I just have nothing to contribute.

I also wondered about the setup, but he seems to know enough to understand the issues and what is important, so again, I didn't comment...

Alistair Hosie
11-24-2007, 03:21 PM
lot's of people don't respond immediately it doesn't mean the are not interested .Perhaps just watching and looking eventually someone will write something Alistair

11-24-2007, 06:36 PM
Mark, Thanks for the input.
Ok, in order that you posted,
No the bed is in bad shape. Lots of wear near the headstock. I had to move the headstock to the rear so I could use the unworn part of the bedways to traverse the boring setup. I measured back there and it was just about nuts on.

This is not a drill head and has no quill. It is a mini milling head from a mini mill x2 Sieg. No problem there it's pretty rigid. I think Evan uses one of these heads on his mill.
I carefully shimmed the head unit to be concentric with the spindle. But think about this for a second. It doesn't have to be dead nuts on as the boring bar is being traversed by the carriage along the lathe's bedways not via a quill that would need to be dead nuts on.

No I had not done any cutting when I posted this. I did it today and am very pleased. The setup was very rigid. I could take a pretty deep cut without any hint of chatter and a spring pass resulted in almost nothing.
I took off about .150" from each bearing. So that'll leave me with a nice .075" thick bronze sleeve.
here is the setup moved back on the bed where it was unworn.-

Here is the original scraping under the headstock-

Here is the setup for the rear bearing. I added a steady rest-

more pics in next post

11-24-2007, 06:41 PM
Here are the finished bores ready to accept bronze sleeves.

I put the headstock on a surface plate and checked the bores. It worked!
Now I just have to make up some nice new bronze sleeves which will be a walk in the park after this job!


11-24-2007, 06:48 PM
well well
i cant pick any faults now

good on you

you do the best ...with what you
got .

and that's exacly what you're doing .

only other route is big dollars to someone else

cant wait to see what solution you come up with for grinding the ways .,...

will save me hurting my head ...from doing a lot of thinking...when you can do it for me :D

Good Work.

all the best.mark

11-24-2007, 06:52 PM
Thanks Mark, but as for the ways, right now I have to admit it is over my head on how to fix them. Perhaps somebody like Forrest could handle scraping them back in. I however do not have the knowledge and skills to do so. But at least I should have a nice running spindle.:D

11-24-2007, 08:04 PM
I've every confidence in you,Steve,
after that job the ways will be a dodle to you

i bet you you can get your ways 80 percent better with that milling head of yours ...with a grind stone attached to it

see you have two ways that will be unworn ...

the v that the tail stock slides on and the flat it slides on ..

make a rig to slide along these ...and put your milling head at the right angle ...and bobs your uncle .

all the best.mark

11-25-2007, 10:57 PM
i bet you you can get your ways 80 percent better with that milling head of yours ...with a grind stone attached to it

see you have two ways that will be unworn ...

the v that the tail stock slides on and the flat it slides on ..

make a rig to slide along these ...and put your milling head at the right angle ...and bobs your uncle .

Well that would be a brave undertaking! I have read of a few guys giving it a shot. But I am not going to join that club! I'll just deal with the wear.
So I decided to have a good look at what the bed wear actually does to the tool tip path instead of flipping out over what the D.I. reads along the V's. Since the lathe is apart and cutting a test bar is out for now I did the next best thing. The tail stock ways are very good still and of course that is what the headstock rests on as well. I mounted a D.I. on the lower half of the tailstock and measured off a 123 block mounted on the carriage.
The wear from the ways causes the D.I. to move from the 123 block a max of .005" from end to end of the bed. It also drops a max of .010" which has much smaller effect. So figure a max taper of .004", maybe more with real cutting forces in effect.
From the chuck to about 7" out, the DI moves only .002" with little drop. So the wear is fairly uniform near the chuck.
Once the lathe is running I'll take test cuts and map out the error every inch and add witness marks. So it will be possible to compensate with the cross slide.
A good lathe file will be close by to this machine and all should be well.