View Full Version : 1941 Sidney lathe Im looking at

03-01-2008, 06:55 PM
Hello all

I have been looking at a Sidney lathe. Its tag says its a 14 swing, and doesn,t say what it is between centres. 24-860 RPM Ser #6654 and built12-22-41

This lathe has also has the taper attachment and the face plate. and little else for tooling. the ways have the usual wear, and really doesn,t look to bad.
I have a import 12x37 lathe but this Sidney is built real heavy compared to what I have now.

I have a few questions. I have never seen chuck attachment method like this sidney has, it uses a big colar, and has a even bigger wrench to do it up. Is this just how they did it in those days? The spindle looks like its cut straight through, so I assume turning on centres is out on this lathe?

The top speed on this is only 860 rpm and wonder if thats a little slow?My import willrun 1300rpm and I do use it when turning aluminum.

Where these lathes any good ? Anyone here have one? Soory I have no pics, I wish I did. I did run the lathe today, just to see if everything was working, and it was. I had to clean it off and oil it up real good, as she looked as it was sitting for a very long time. this lathe also has a coolant pump that runs, but has the hoses removed for some reason. All the controls are in working order, though I didn,t try cutting anything. The guy had some pretty sad looking cutters and a grinder that wasn,t worth trying to sharpen anything on.

I also wondering what would be a fair price on this thing, if it goes that far.


03-01-2008, 08:48 PM
Sidney`s Are Good Lathes But Have Only Ran One A 24 Inch With 12 Foot Bed.

03-01-2008, 11:17 PM
Everything I've heard about Sidney's puts them on a par with Monarch. It would be worth pulling the headstock cover to see if it has the herringbone gears. Repair parts are going to be tough to find and very expensive.
Chances are you can put a larger motor sheave on to increase the top end. I wouldn't go over 1200, although I would play with it for awhile before making any changes. I hardly ever get my 12"(14-1/2" swing) and 16"(18-1/2" swing) Monarchs over 800 RPM.
Get these heavy lathes adjusted and tuned up, you're in for a treat. They are truly in a different class.
From your description it has an L type spindle.

03-01-2008, 11:50 PM
Sidney's are the strongest and best lathes I have ever seen and operated. The shop I work part time at bought a 18"x80" Sidney at auction. It came from the Powder plant at Charlestown Ind. When we got it set up and running I machined a trunion on it about 16" dia x 14" long and took .300" DOC with .010" feed passes and the lathe didn't even sound loaded down. I even made one pass with .400" DOC to see what would happen. It took the cut with no trouble. I was using a trigon insert tool cutting the OD.

I was there when the boss bought it and I came real close to outbidding him because I liked it so much and that was before I even saw it run. He was buying it for the company so I didn't bid.

If in very good condition I would think $1500 reasonable since it don't have a chuck. You really need a 4 jaw chuck for it.

03-01-2008, 11:50 PM
All it takes to do work between centers is to make your own chucking center and then drive the work with the bent tail dog on one of the chuck jaws.

03-02-2008, 12:23 AM
You don't have to make centers, you can buy them and they are MT centers.

03-02-2008, 04:17 PM
Thanks for the replys guys

I had a look at those herring gears, man what a weird ass set up that is. I googled them up, and found a pic.Because of that, is it recommended that I walk away for it? Is these gears in the headstock? There is a big cover on the top of this lathe, that should let me get in for a look. The mention of run without oil , on these gear sets and the hard to find, and the expense has me wondering.

I can pick this lathe up cheap, but don,t want a machine that can break the bank later on. I did oil it up real good and run this lathe through all its feeds and speeds, and all seem to work fine.

This lathe has also had the original chuck 3-jaw replaced with a Bison chuck that I would say is a 8inch unit with the bolt on jaw set up. This lathe has also evidence it has been crashed into the chuck, as the compound has the scars on it from this. The bison chuck shows no sign of a crash, so I assume it was with the original. He doesn,t have a 4-jaw for the lathe, only a really beat up looking face plate, with lots of drilled and taped holes in it.

Im allso interested in what this machine weighs? I guessing 3000 pounds?maybe more.

I,m going back over tomorrow to look under the cover, I guess I wil know then about these Herring gears.

It sure is a beast of a machine, I like it. but will have to investigate it out a little deeper.

thanks guys

03-02-2008, 04:55 PM
Buy it! Gary P. Hansen

03-02-2008, 09:02 PM
If all the gears are ok and everything works on it and it is not worn out it will still be running 100 years from now unless someone crashes it. It is built like a bulldozer or tank. I would think it weights 4-5000 lbs.

Wher are you at, I will come and look at it?

03-02-2008, 09:33 PM
Thanks Carld for the offer
Im in Canada so that would be a hell of a trip from KY

4-5 thousand eh? ya your probly right.These things are built like a tank . This lathe appears to me to be in good shape. the only damage I could see was the compound has some damage from crashes into the chuck at some time.

I will be making my way back to the lathe to remove the headstock cover to have a look. I,ll post what I find.

Ive had my 12x37 import for over 20 yrs, but I would like to have a heavy lathe for fast metal removal. I would hope this would be my last lathe I would buy in my life time.


03-02-2008, 10:03 PM
Sidney's are good machines,I have ran two,one old conehead and one later gearhead model.Both had ways that were twice as large as what you normally would see on another machine of the same swing.This is good on two counts,heavier cuts are possible and less wear on the ways since there is much more bearing surface.

If you pop the lid off and don't see any busted gears or metal floating around then it's probably good to go.

03-04-2008, 11:13 PM
Well guys
I did go back to remore the cover off the 41 Sidney. As it turn out, it does not have those Herring bone gears, a good thing from what I understand.
These lathes are really built heavy. It took three of us just to lift the headstock cover.

All was good inside the headstock, no chipped or broken gears or anything. being I had allready looked this lathe over a few days ago, I had a really close look at everything again today, and thought, hey this thing is a really nice lathe, in great shape for its yr.

The guy said he really needed the money, and to make a offer as he hasn,t used the lathe enough to keep it, and that he could use the space it takes up. I was told the story of how he paid 6-grand for it a few yrs back, but he never really learned how to use it properly and again, needed the cash.

End result,,I bought the lathe for 800 bucks! After I had made the deal, and payed him, he said I have a pile of extra goodies that go with the lathe, 4-jaw, steady rest,and assorted tooling that he had sitting on the shelf since he bought it . and some stuff that I will figure out once this thing makes it back to my shop next week.

The shop that its in has a fork lift big enough to pick it up, and load it on what ever I show up with, but I wonder how the hell Im going to get this thing unloaded when it arrives to my door. as I know my fork lift won.t pick up this beast.

Will a U-Haul type trailer carry5-6000 pds? Its just on the other side of the hi-way and thats about only 1-mile in travel to move it. I wondering what the best method of moving this thing. Riggers or do it myself? I have never moved any machine this heavy, and I know that I can,t just load it into the back of a pick up truck.

Extremely happy with the newto me Lathe.
I will get some pic and post them when it gets here.

03-04-2008, 11:30 PM
Because it is only a mile away, ask the guy how much he would charge to diliver it with his forklift. If he will do it for $100-$200 pay him the money and then you will not have to feel so guilty for stealing his lathe for $800. Gary P. Hansen

03-05-2008, 11:33 AM
Have a friend who runs a machine shop in the area and he recommends contacting someone with a rollback style car hauling truck. Has a nice winch to ease a heavy machine on the truck and back off again. Not overly expensive and the drivers are generally pretty good at the customer service end of the job so things tend to go pretty smoothly.

03-05-2008, 03:32 PM
He can load it with his fork lift and you can have an automotive wrecker unload it and put it in your shop/garage. Be sure the wrecker has a cable or hydralic lift boom but if you can get him to deliver it you are ahead.

:eek: my God, you stole that lathe. Give that guy a hug or thank him someway for selling it to you. A Sidney is one of if not the best lathe you will ever see or operate.

I have only operated the one I described but I stood in wide eyed disbelief as it took the heavy cut I inflicted on it. I could not get close to the lathe for all the chips flying and had to use my foot to disengauge the carriage feed.