View Full Version : My New Sheldon
02-02-2008, 09:35 PM
Well, miraculously enough, the lathe was still available and hadn't been looted. (The widow noted that other tire-kickers had stolen several small items.)
That's as I first saw it. Much of what you see goes/went with it. (Steady, follow, taper, toolpost grinder, 5C handwheel, QC toolpost, you name it.)
Homebrew stand made from heavy steel, runs a 3PH on a VFD (couldn't read the HP) and it's fully tooled. Even has three of those phenolic gears somebody mentioned in the other thread. All brand new. Lathe is in top-notch condition. Not shiny new, but well cared for and/or well-restored.
Still trying to figure out how to get it home.
02-02-2008, 09:53 PM
Looks like it will make you a fine lathe. Good score. Gary P. Hansen
02-02-2008, 10:09 PM
Congratulations, Doc!! Use it with PRIDE!!!
02-02-2008, 10:12 PM
You won't be disappointed. If the shop reflects the care the lathe was given, you have someone's treasure.
The bench looks homebuilt, but the drip pan looks like the one on my cabinet base machine. It also looks like the 56" bed, which is a very generous 36" between centers.
I do see that it has the older handwheel on the clutch, later models had a lever that is quicker and easier to operate. It is not too difficult to modify that to the lever style. All in all it has the markings of a very good score. Congratulations.
02-02-2008, 11:12 PM
It's a major score.
The tray's homemade (it's aluminum with wire-MIG corner welds I'll probably redo) and the bench is definitely homebrew (but beefy and very heavy.)
My Logan has a "wheel" instead of a lever, so it's not a huge thing. I might look into that though.
But it's an L-00 spindle, the green thing on the end is a milling attachment (new, import, probably Grizzly from the color) and it included both the Kennedy box on the far left, and the Craftsman box underneath, both full of drills, lathe bits and the usual machinist debris.
There were insertable lathe tools (the common ENCO 1/2" square sorts) with inserts a foot-long boring bar, drills and taps up the wazoo, a boxful of some big and small gears I presume are extras for the gearbox...
The shelf full of material (mostly mild steel and aluminum, some brass and stainless) went with it, there's a 0-1" mic in there, a set of Starrett radius gages, some expanding plug gages, a couple indicators and some mounting/holding accessories, about three pounds total of 3/8" and 1/2" square lathe tool bits, a set of brazed-carbide boring bar bits that'll fit perfectly with my mill boring head...
The toolpost grinder isn't a "famous" brand but it looks like it ought to work, there's a dozen toolblocks for the post (some homebrew and a bit rough, but usable) and along with the usual set of (import) 5C collets by sixteenths were a handful of new ones by 32nds.
Total cost is more than I wanted to spend, and more than I could afford, but the accessories alone were worth the extra cost.
02-03-2008, 12:54 AM
My advice is to LOSE the toolpost grinder.........
I've decided that they ought to be renamed "way grinders", and I don't ever want to have one cast a shadow on any lathe I don't want to scrap.
This after using mine and despite covering the ways, STILL wiping a lot of crud off them that wasn't there before using the grinder........
A nice sheldon doesn't need an inadvertent way-grinding job.
02-03-2008, 02:23 AM
Actually, I'll probably use the toolpost grinder to make a compact endmill sharpener, using a 5C spindex. (Aren't some people plumbing those for air and making a poor mans' air-bearing?)
I've rarely needed to use a grinder on the lathe, and the few times I've needed it, I've made do without.
Turns out, upon closer inspection, that this is a homebrew jobbie anyway. It uses some repurposed cast-iron casting, which is why I thought it was a factory unit, but it's clear it's some bracket off some big machine.
02-03-2008, 03:33 AM
Make sure you keep the ways grinder and anything else for that matter off the bed.That's too nice a lathe to ruin by using a grinder. ENJOY
02-03-2008, 04:04 AM
Agreed on the grinder, repurpose and keep it away from the lathe. I passed a $50 DoMore on to a friend of mine because I didn't want the mess...
And GREAT SCORE! I think that lathe is going to make you VERY happy. HUGE step up from that Logan! I just wish my Rockwell had been anywhere near that nice OR complete...
02-03-2008, 04:33 AM
Wish I was a bit closer, could use my neighbors trailer, engine hoist, and would have it at your place in no time....
Be sure to tie/rig it so it CAN"T overturn.... Top Heavy....
Pull chuck and tailstock etc....
I joined the Yahoo group, all I have is a few parts of a couple Sheldons... Lots of good info there..
02-03-2008, 06:54 AM
Doc Nickel, you scored, big time! Good for you.
It looks much like my smaller Sheldon, except it doesn't have the lever-actuated clutch. It appears to have the large cross-feed dial, a big plus.
There is a Sheldon lathe group on Yahoo. One of the members was a Sheldon employee and is the resident expert. I put considerable trust in his posts.
You're gonna like that Sheldon!
02-03-2008, 07:17 AM
Well, I flipped through the binderful of manuals that came with it (turns out to be two photocopies and one original, all showing the same data) and I found out what that box of spare gears is.
It's the metric threading kit.
When I was told it was "well tooled", they weren't just whistlin' dixie. :D
I also confirmed one thing I hoped was possible: The VFD allows for remote switching. I'd like to install a physical, analog drum switch (or something that emulates it's physical action) in the same relative location as the drum switch on my Logan, so while in use, the reflex/muscle-memory actions are identical between the two machines.
I'd also like to have an extra E-stop button that (if the thing doesn't do it already) also applies dynamic braking.
From a quick glance over the manual, it appears the switch will be no problem- it's designed for it and easy to wire. (Well, now that I think about it, I'm not sure if it needed a constant contact, or just a momentary button contact...) but I'm not sure about the E-stop.
I'll read it more in depth when I get a chance.
02-03-2008, 11:04 AM
Good haul,every once an awhile the planets align and a good used lathe with no major issues shows up with tooling,enjoy.
02-03-2008, 01:10 PM
The e-stop you desire (with breaking) is going to require a breaking resistor. If that VFD doesn't already come with internal support for use of a breaking resistor, adding it is generally still possible, but becomes prohibitively expensive.
02-03-2008, 03:52 PM
Nice machine. I have the cabinet base version, very similar to that. As to the VFD, I did the same as you are thinking. My lathe has a space under the tailstock end that I mounted the VFD in. I ran control wires up to a small box where the drum switch used to be mounted, it has a start & stop buttons, a switch for fwd/rev and a speed pot. Very convienent.
The AC Tech VFD you have on there will allow you to program it for either maintained or momentary contact switches for start/stop and other controls. It is a very nice VFD. You may need a braking resistor for fast E-stop. That should be no big deal. I found some big wattage resistors of pretty near the right value for mine at a surplus/junk place for a few bucks each. They work great. I have even seen heating elements from electric stoves used as breaking resistors.
Great looking lathe! With my 1946 era Sheldon, there is a second gear plate ("end lever") with handle, different from the standard one, that is used with the metric gearing only. However, my lathe is an earlier model than yours, and has bronze bearings. Highly recommend the Yahoo Sheldon group and John Knox also. You are going to have some fun!!
A.T. (Who spent $1,500 for his 11" Sheldom SE-56 back in 1994, from a maquiladora plant in Matamoros, Mexico)
02-04-2008, 12:41 AM
I have a '46 with roller bearings and it is a great small lathe. I paid $1500 for it about 20 years ago - this with 3-jaw, 4-jaw and a Jacobs collet chuck with a lot of other tools thrown in. In that time, it has paid for itself many times over with the work I've been able to do with it. They are very sturdy and one of the better made brands among the smaller home workshop lathe sizes.