View Full Version : Need help quick! (About a SouthBend lathe)

02-10-2008, 10:44 PM
http://cgi.ebay.com/10-South-Bend-Lathe-187R-3-4HP-3-Phase-208-220-MST_W0QQitemZ190196889901QQihZ009QQcategoryZ97230Q QssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

What do you guys think? Whats this bad boy worth - its missing alot of pieces... but on the up side i walk past it everyday on my way to the shop. Its literally about 100 yards from me right now and i've often eye-balled it but not sure how i feel about bidding on it when its missing a tailstock.

02-10-2008, 10:51 PM
You'd want to find a compound slide, too - a lathe is definitely limited without that.

02-10-2008, 10:56 PM
You know what ... i think i actually know where the tailstock and compound are ... let me go check! :D

02-10-2008, 11:29 PM
If you know where they are I'd snag it, if you don't they aren't that hard to find.
Being close like that I'd almost have to pick it up if it were in halfway decent shape.


02-10-2008, 11:53 PM
Didn't have time to check but it looks bigger than a 10. says 18R. Grab it even if you can't find the tailstock and the other half of the compound. Bottom half is there by squinting at the picture. I've seen tailstocks listed on ebay. Good luck. You have a lot of work to do. I spent a year rebuilding one I got for 50, Perfect now. Peter

02-11-2008, 12:42 AM
50 bucks would be a no-brainer but 200+ bucks for one thats not in great shape? I didn't find the compound or the tailstock (it might turn up though) but it does have a taper attachment on it... what do you think as far what its worth? (i know thats a tought question ... i'm sorry)

Change gears/drive train looks to be decent, lots of back-lash in the cross-slide and a little stiff but seems to be more or less consistent across the cross-slide so no noticeable wear there.

Its a bit on the tiny side though ... the cross-slide dial doesn't seem as nice as some. Like the bridgeport mills or larger lathes have fairly big dials so you can estimate a 1/2 thousand fairly easily. On the SB the lines are just so close :eek:

Paul Alciatore
02-11-2008, 02:11 AM
You might want to check the ways for wear. I would think you could easily get $250 for it if parted out. Likely quite a bit more. The taper attachment is likely worth at least $100.

I was able to get a compound for my SB9 on E-Bay in short order when the original one broke. The mount broke off. I still have the old one and it could be repaired with a little work. I plan to do so one day and sell it to recoup what I paid for the second one. Many of the parts are common for the 9s and 10 and if it would fit and if you have a mill, I could sell you the compound and machine a new mount for it. But it would take some milling to mount the mount and I would not have time for that at the present time.

Tin Falcon
02-11-2008, 04:22 AM
That lathe is very similar to mine Mine came out of the university of Penn through a dealer. IIRC I paid around $700 for mine complete severla years ago.
Now for that lathe if nothing else it has $200 in parts value the thread dials alone go for a hunderd bucks .And the taper atachment certainly has value. The other good thing is the spindle and ways are likly in great shape for the age as university lathes were not used for production. As they say in real estate I think that has good bones. Now the downside is to turn that in to a complete lathe will require some work and creative scrounging . The other major piece I see missing is the chip tray It also helps brace the legs on the tailstock end. I think with a little vision, fortitude , perseverance and a fair but not exteme amount of cash that could be a great lathe. But not a project for the faint of heart.

Your Old Dog
02-11-2008, 06:04 AM
I've watched taper attachments for Southbend on ebay and they normally go up-wards of $400. The tail-stock and cross slide might cost you some good money on ebay. Combined with what you've spent on the lathe and you could be talking about some pretty good money in the end.

Much of what I do on my lathe does not require the use of the tail-stock. If I didn't have a tail-stock I could get some use out of the lathe while I waited to find one.

02-11-2008, 07:49 AM
After looking at the pictures, I think it just might be a South Bend Heavy 10. It looks identical to mine, made in 1945. I would say go for it, provided that the ways are not to "chewed up." The 3 phase motor would has to be change. One big advantage is it can be dissambled into much smaller pieces, making it easy to move into a basement. This was a big plus in my case and made moving mine a easy task. While I had it apart, I did a good cleaning and lubing job to get it up and running. Over the years, I have been able to find the missing attachments and now have a well "tricked out" lathe.


02-11-2008, 08:08 AM
If you can see it in person, maesure the bore of the headstock. If it is 1-3/8", it is a Heavy Ten. If it is in any kind of decent condition and stays in the $200 range it is worth the money.

Somebody should jump on those hydraulic tracers. You have no idea how useful they are until you own one.

02-11-2008, 10:43 AM
Somebody should jump on those hydraulic tracers. You have no idea how useful they are until you own one.

possibly why there's no tailstock.


02-11-2008, 10:50 AM
You could not go wrong for $450 or less. I am sure you could part it out on Ebay for atleast that most like a lot more. Gary P. Hansen

02-11-2008, 10:52 AM
by the way. It is a heavy ten for sure. If you look close you can see 10 Sputh Bend on the bed in the photo. Gary P. Hansen

02-11-2008, 11:10 AM
It is a heavy ten for sure.
Is it?

I had a vague idea that one of the R models eventually evolved into the heavy ten. But that doesn't make them the same deal.

That one's an oldie. The single-arm gearbox was dropped sometime in the late 1940s, right?

02-11-2008, 11:16 AM
possibly why there's no tailstock.

It might explain the lack of compound, but the tailstock is used with tracers.

dan s
02-11-2008, 11:49 AM
this should help some.

The full size photo.

02-11-2008, 12:08 PM
It might explain the lack of compound, but the tailstock is used with tracers.

You're right, I was going by the description that said it replaced the tailstock, after posting I asked myself why it would replace the tailstock.


02-11-2008, 12:09 PM
If you want a great lathe and are prepared to put some time into it I'd grab it, strip it down and take the bed to a shop with a long surface grinder and get the ways refinished. Might cost you the price of the lathe but you will be starting out with the basis of a new machine. Get some mechanics blue and scrape in the saddle.Now redo the cross slide, slide it back and forth checking for tight areas and scrape to fit so there is even force required for full travel. I got new cross feed screw and nut off ebay for mine. Lots of millwrights in your area who can show you how to scrape to fit if you don't know already. Lots of good iron there and with some t.l.c. You could end up with a new lathe.Peter

02-11-2008, 12:26 PM
Thank you guys - it sounds very encouraging. If anyone in the mid-missouri area is interested in those hydraulic tracers let me know - i might be able to drop them off for you because i will be taking the lathe (if i decide to bid and win the auction ... so lots of "ifs") to a relative's farm to work on it. Wouldn't mind taking a tiny detour to drop one off. Just something to think about.

02-11-2008, 02:31 PM

It is apparently a southbend heavy 10 - it has a 1.388" diameter hole through the spindle, which i take to be 1 and 3/8 because it has a chamfer on it and i couldnt get my caliper seated quite right.

The bed seems good - only a few minor knicks no more than 1/16" deep right under the chuck, no doubt caused by careless chuck swaps. The cross-slide and base of the compound are another story. They have some pretty serious gouges from where it got into the chuck. The chuck body seems to be about a 7" diameter (is that a 6" nominal chuck? i dont recall ever seeing a 7" advertised from enco, grizzly etc...) and it hits the top of the cross-slide. As far as i could tell all the drive train worked and was in good condition. No power to test it though. Spindle seemed tight, no noticeable play by hand but no way of checking with indicator.

The good news is that the FSAE shop is going to be getting rid of the same lathe except this one has a better cross-slide, a compound and a tailstock. (i actually think the tailstock on the green FSAE lathe belongs to this one because the tailstock is gray) but it has a pretty serious chip out of the bed in one place and seems a little more worn. Hopefully i can get my hands on both, then put together one great lathe and part out what ever is left over to recoup costs. What do you guys think?

ALSO, is it possible to flip the whole thing around? Could i put the spindle and drive assembly where the tailstock would be and put the tailstock on the other end? Basically i'm asking if its possible or wise to take the ways off the legs, turn them around 180* and reinstall so that the spindle and cross-slide live mostly on the generally unworn section of the ways? Just curious - these ways seemed to be in good condition. The movement was smooth all the way through the length of the bed so...

Thanks so much guys!

02-11-2008, 02:43 PM
' ALSO, is it possible to flip the whole thing around?" NO! Gary P. Hansen

02-11-2008, 02:44 PM
Flipping end for end is not possible as the arrangement of the V-ways is different, two on the front, one on the rear.

If the lathe has a long bed, and is worn only at the headstock end, moving the headstock north can shift things such that a good, but shorter bed lathe will be the result. This can be accomplished in some cases.

Buying two and making one and selling the remnants could possibly get you a very good machine for next to nothing.

02-11-2008, 02:52 PM
bed looks good

they can all look good

what you are looking for in the ways ....

is towards the head stock ...there should not be a top hat section ...near the top of the V's

Should have sloped sides ...going up to the flat on the top of the v

if it has slopes then tiny 90 degree uprights before the top of the v ...

then this is the indication of wear ...the taller those tiny uprights are ...the more wear it has ..

compare it with less worn part of the lathe .

all the best.markj

02-11-2008, 07:51 PM
Thanks Mark! That is very helpful - i did inspect the profile of the ways but i was really just looking for inconsistencies between the ways and from one end to the other. There were no noticeable "top-hat" shape but now i know a little more what to look for.

The flat across the top is fairly narrow - i assume its supposed to be that way since almost all the lathes that i've seen with this type of way has like only a 1/6" flat across the top.

Thanks again! Not sure if i'll manage to win the auction but if i do i'm going to have to do a lot of reading before tearing this thing apart ...

02-11-2008, 08:08 PM
someone can disguise wear ...by filling at the top hat section and merging it into the top flat part

then the top flat part would appear narrower than the same part near the tail stock.

all the best.....markj

02-11-2008, 08:20 PM

is it me ...or has that lathe been loosely assembled or has had a serious bang.

notice how the motor cabinet is sort of cock-eyed ..

also one of the QC gearbox levers is missing ....snapped off ...perhaps !

all the best..markj

02-11-2008, 08:48 PM
think the early south bends only had one lever, seen quite a few that way.
Above the qcbox is another lever that I think does the same duty as the second lever for 'regular' qc boxes.


02-11-2008, 08:51 PM
Yep only one lever on these - theres another two identical lathes in the shop and they are all missing the second lever. They do have one directly ontop of the box. The price is inching upwards :( not that i didnt expect it though...

02-11-2008, 10:40 PM
yeah, it appears you won't get it for $200, or even $400. oh well, others will come along.

andy b.

02-12-2008, 12:51 AM
Yep - luckily i still have a dinky little import job so i can't complain.

On the plus side, i found a nice 24" long chromed lead screw with a chrome hand-wheel on it out of a junk barrel. Not a Heavy 10, but still pretty sweet :)

02-12-2008, 08:07 AM
"Fasttrack" "Need help quick"

Those four words tell a lot about a guy who could save time and trouble by keeping his bidding hand in his pocket. You already have a "dinky import". An impulse buy that didn't serve your needs? Spend a few thousand hours and dollars on this junker and you'll have a museum piece (a very common museum piece) that could be used (with some difficulty) to make round things. Will that serve your needs?

Stick your hand in your pocket, your nose in a book, and enjoy Saint Pats. There will be plenty of machinery out there when you need it.

Another thing. If you ever think that you've found a bargain, don't post it here. Any number of unscrupulous members (including me) would steal it in a second.:rolleyes:

02-13-2008, 11:19 PM
Sold US $1,325.01.

Keep an eye out for the buyer picking it up and offer to sell him some magic beans and a big Gold bridge to go with it.

02-13-2008, 11:48 PM
:D I'll try that - i could use some extra cash ;)

Yep you are right ... but i've been keeping my eye out for a lathe that's better than the one i've got and a good value. My projects can usually be completed in a 10" lathe but several times in the past year i've needed larger. My lathe, on the other hand, only swings about 6" so 10" would be a big step up plus with the gear box and style it would be well suited to my needs, for a couple hundred bucks.

Its funny that you mention my id here - i have no idea why i choose that name. I don't generally consider myself to be hot-headed or rash. My friends usually tease me because i tend to take my time with things but i think i chose it because i had heard "fast-track" on the radio during a commercial for a night college and it sounded like a good name for a forum that had alot of car people/mechanics/etc on it.

I've just been wanting a lathe for a while and when i finally caught up with the director of facilities here and he said there was only two days left (after eyeing this thing for a month) i was nervous/excited.

02-14-2008, 12:42 AM
was a nice lathe for $400 or so, unless there's something about south bends that I don't know about it's pretty much junk for $1300 though.

Makes me think I should put my old logan 200, or the 9x20 up on the bay.


Kind of odd about ebay, a while ago I bought four sails, a main (too small for my boat), two jibs and a spinnaker one jib and the spinnaker fit my boat, paid $100 for all the sails, turned around and put the others on ebay and sold them for over $200 each. a couple of the guys that bid on them were bidding when I bought them in the first place

02-14-2008, 08:42 AM
If you need and can handle (move and set) iron that is bigger than a pickup load there are bargains are around. The size rules out most hobbyists, shipping costs anything that is out of the neighborhood and anyone in business should be in a $20k plus budget. I keep an ebay search Business & Industrial> Manufacturing & Metalworking> Metalworking Equipment sorted by distance. Surprising what's around.

I was serious about not bringing bargains to to the attentions of groups like this. It's not too hard to single out an individual member or two who have similar equipment to email questions to. Half these guys can't get out until the spring thaw in July to beat you out anyway. I usually ask the Limes, myself. They won't show up in Rolla with their lories and haypince, hauling iron home.:cool: