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SGW
04-04-2009, 08:32 PM
I saw a note over on the small engines board pointing to this thread http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=177783 on the PM board.

We may as well discuss it here, too. :D

In brief, the owner of Grizzly has bought South Bend from Leblond and is coming out with a new line of SB machinery...based on the original SB designs. He promises SB quality. Follow through that thread; there are several posts by the owner of Grizzly explaining exactly what his plans are.

If he can really do it, it sounds good.

BillH
04-04-2009, 08:38 PM
I wonder if Rong Fu is making the new lathes...

SGW
04-04-2009, 08:52 PM
They're being made in Taiwan. (Not mainland China.)

thistle
04-04-2009, 09:17 PM
What you will get is a South bend clone, made to a price , (which is what HSM ers would part with ) so time will tell if you get "South Bend " quality.

sorry cant get all warm and fuzzy over this.

tony ennis
04-04-2009, 09:32 PM
I'd welcome an alternative to the ubiquitous ChiCom 9x20.

Evan
04-04-2009, 10:17 PM
Nobody can make a business of making a lathe the way it was made in the 1930s ,40s and 50s. The definition of South Bend Quality must change. In what way remains to be seen. One of the most likely victims will simply be the mass. The SB9 model C with 3 foot bed, which is the lightest of the three 9 inch Workshop lathes, shipped at just over 450 lbs which included no chucks.

BillH
04-04-2009, 10:55 PM
Well I said the magic words Rong Fu on PM and like magic, my post was deleted. You gotta be kidding me! The insanity is such that it has become hilarious.

MickeyD
04-05-2009, 12:17 AM
When you play in Don's sandbox you have to abide by his rules. Just wait until Indian machinery becomes common over here and he will try to get your isp to cancel your account.

sansbury
04-05-2009, 12:20 AM
Nobody can make a business of making a lathe the way it was made in the 1930s ,40s and 50s.

What I find interesting is that the SB9 in its heyday cost, IIRC, around $700 new, at a time when a good new car could be had for around two grand. This makes me wonder about how the typical HSM back then was different than he is today. I wonder if they were higher income or maybe had fewer hobbies to spread money across. I know more than a few guys who easily have 10-15k of skiing, golf, fishing, boating, etc. equipment.

JoeFin
04-05-2009, 12:33 AM
I saw a note over on the small engines board pointing to this thread http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/showthread.php?t=177783 on the PM board.

We may as well discuss it here, too. :D

In brief, the owner of Grizzly has bought South Bend from Leblond and is coming out with a new line of SB machinery...based on the original SB designs. He promises SB quality. Follow through that thread; there are several posts by the owner of Grizzly explaining exactly what his plans are.

If he can really do it, it sounds good.

Did they ship all the machinery to China

oldtiffie
04-05-2009, 01:30 AM
If I recall correctly, until recently at least, SB was getting a lot of stuff made in "China" and branding it as SB. There didn't seem to be much concern about that at the time as I recall.

A lot of the discussion has been to do with having it made in the US - which is understandable - but there has been little or no comment about "jobs" in the US or the conditions, rates, benefits, "prospects" etc. nor skill levels etc.

It could (would/will??) be that a whole lot more, if not most, today, will be automated to the extent that skilled help will be at a minimum.

It will be a "buyers market" for those wanting labour and manufacturing capacity. The competition will be desperate and cut-throat as the "buyer" can pick the eyes out of what-ever labour and capacity there is - and get rid of it just as easily as there is going to be quite a queue of the willing and desperate at the door.

There are going to be a lot of "buyers" sharpening their edges and a lot of "sellers" sharpening their pencils.

If a seller of product can find and fill a niche profitably they are in a good position of strength and leverage all round.

There is a lot of hopelessness and desperation about and of people clutching at straws. And it seems it won't get much better anytime soon.

I am NOT saying that the new owners of SB are considering doing ANY of this but they'd be silly to think that none of their potential competitors were not at least thinking about it.

Putting lots of any manual machines into lots of school/college shops is not likely to happen. Putting computerised manufacture certainly is - read CNC and CAD etc.

A lot of what may happen in a CNC/NC-ed machine can be pretty well simulated - as can many other things in ways not even dreamed about not so long ago.

I realise that there will always be a need for skilled help such as machinists, Tool and Die Makers etc. but they will be a progressively reducing number both in %-age and absolute terms. Many will be not much more than machine/process minders/workers - and there may well be more of them than there are worthwhile jobs for them.

In would guess that many who buy SB will be SB fans or hobbyists or older people in small niche businesses.

I would be interested to see how many competitive businesses buy the "manual" machines. I can understand mechanics, technicians and technologists and small jobbing shops buying them - or even the maintenance and development department shops in larger manufacturers enterprises.

If any machine falls into the "discretionary" spending category, it will need to be pretty good value for money else it may not be bought at all as people are going to be much more careful with what-ever dollars they have.

If they have ready cash or finance.

Personal or business credit - if available, and if so on what terms and conditions - may be another "dampener" as well.

I wish the new SB well.

macona
04-05-2009, 02:28 AM
When you play in Don's sandbox you have to abide by his rules. Just wait until Indian machinery becomes common over here and he will try to get your isp to cancel your account.


Paula reigns over that little piece of the sandbox...

.RC.
04-05-2009, 03:09 AM
Did they ship all the machinery to China

Nah, the last South Bends were apparently made in Australia by Hercus..

These ones are being made by an undisclosed Taiwanese manufacturer which will mean they could be very good quality, but they will still be expensive compared to the likes of the cheap chinese stuff...

Paul Alciatore
04-05-2009, 03:35 AM
If you are interested in what Grizzly's plans are for SB, just visit the thread mentioned in the first post above. Shiraz Balolia, the owner of Grizzly, is taking a very active part in the thread and he is asking SB users for ideas. He goes by the name PapaGrizzly on the board.

oldtiffie
04-05-2009, 05:47 AM
I've read the thread on PM and am not the least impressed with the negative comment.

First and foremost, Shiraz Balolia aka PapaGrizzly is a pretty shrewd and successful business man and not necessarily or primarily a philanthropist. So I expect that he has really run the rule over this enterprise and expects to make a good return on his investment in SB. It would be very good business to encourage and promote SB, all of which will be tax-deductible, and no doubt actively encouraged either actively or passively by the US Government which is really looking for investors, investment, jobs and increases in manufacturing an business confidence.

If I recall previous posts on this forum, Shiraz Balolia or his family have interests in if not out-right ownership of BusyBee in Canada.

But to give credit where it is due, he, unlike many here, is not whine-ing and whingeing about anything and everything and blaming anybody and everybody else for the current misfortunes and wanting someone else to "fix it" but is taking on a calculated risk and putting his money where his mouth is so that he and a lot of others stand to benefit substantially if his venture is successful.

Which, I hope for everybody's sake, that it is.

philbur
04-05-2009, 08:46 AM
For the serious amateur there is a large gap between the current oriental offerings and say a Myford. To sell oriental equipment at somewhat up market prices requires both quality and marketing. The use of the SB brand brings the marketing, if the quality lives up to the brand name attached to it then it has a chance of being successful. Imagine what kind of a small lathe the Far East could produce for half the price of a Myford. Bring it on I say.

Phil

JCHannum
04-05-2009, 08:58 AM
In 1934, the cheapest South Bend 9" Workshop lathe sold for $75.00, the most expensive 9" with QC gearbox was $314.00. You could buy a Ford for quite a bit less than $1000.00, so they were not exactly cheap.

South Bend sold all their machines at auction when they went out of business, I attended most of the auctions. The spare parts inventory, drawings and intellectual propery was sold to LeBlond Makino. Grizzly bought out Leblond's interests. The last South Bend 9" & 10" lathes were made from Korean castings and machined and assembled here, while the larger machines were Hercus.

It does sound like Balolia has both feet on the ground with his approach, and hopefully will meet with success.

oldtiffie
04-05-2009, 09:23 AM
That was a good post Phil.

I re-thought my previous posts.

I can't see anything wrong with having the SB stuff all or mostly made "over-seas" which will not only include Asia but South America, South Africa etc. It is really only the quality of the product as it lands in the hands of the user that counts. If SB out-sources it, I guess its no worse than a lot of manufacturers who out-source a lot of stuff that is badged under their own names and for which they provide the warranty and spares and service support.

I'd be pretty sure that the current SB owners will have more than adequate experience in dealing with product from Asia and else-where.

People need to realise that once imported product lands in the US that it is jobs all the way to the end-user.

As example, following on from the recent very good "high speed spindle" threads, I went looking for one for milling and another as an internal cylindrical grinder. The best as regards performance and cost were from Europe where they were made and imported from!! Germany actually. One was "Proxxon" and the other was "Bosch". I will post details shortly. I paid prices that would leave the "for cheap" crowd with a fainting fit - but I am more than happy with it. My best portable drill - by far - is an 1,110W (no typo) "Metabo" drill (Germany again). I have never heard any of my dealers staff grizzling about stuff made anywhere else in the world - Asia included - as it makes them a good living here.

If the new SB provides a good product at a good price and hires US staff, then the US will be doing better than none at all if the old SB was allowed to fade away.

If I were to guess, I'd say that as for cars and motor-bikes - to mention just two - there will be bigger and better sales and margins in spare parts and accessories than the basic machines. I've been stunned at some of the prices asked by makers of some of the older machines in the US. That sort of "take it or leave it" attitude encourage people to "give it a miss" and go elsewhere.

I think it was Bill Pace who bought a geared-head SB lathe that was made in China. I think it was submerged in sea-water from a fairly recent Hurricane in the South of the US. As I also recall, he and Lane dismantled it, restored it, and had a very passable machine at a very good price.

I will be very interested to see how this new SB venture pans out.

Evan
04-05-2009, 10:26 AM
What I find interesting is that the SB9 in its heyday cost, IIRC, around $700 new, at a time when a good new car could be had for around two grand. This makes me wonder about how the typical HSM back then was different than he is today. I wonder if they were higher income or maybe had fewer hobbies to spread money across. I know more than a few guys who easily have 10-15k of skiing, golf, fishing, boating, etc. equipment.


The economic balance has changed considerably for the average family. The big item is housing. Average house prices even including the recent drops are still several times higher in adjusted dollars than they were in the 1950s. While a SB9 may have cost around $500 to $700 in 1955 and a new VW was $1995, you could buy a house for under $10,000, sometimes much less than that. In the early 60s a good wage was $100 per week. A big reason I dropped out of Cal was because I found a job that paid $750 per month fixing Hi Fi audio equipment. A Brand new Fiat Spyder was $2400 and I bought one.

The price of a new HSM lathe hasn't changed much in relation to average income but the quality has gone down considerably. The price of housing has gone up dramatically as has the share of income spent on goods and services that didn't exist back then. We spend about $1500 to $2000 per year on communications alone counting all the services we use. In 1960 telephone service cost a few day's wages for an entire year. There were no computers and a very limited range of electronic consumer products. Most consumer products were mechanical with the odd motor thrown in and were built to last 20 years.

If a new lathe were to be manufactured to the same standard of quality as the original South Bend 9 Workshop Lathe it will need to sell for at least $5000. I don't think there is a viable market for such a product. That is a major reason why South Bend went out of business. Shipping cost alone for a small lathe that weighs 500 lbs would be prohibitive. Product liability insurance for a machine tool that can tear your hand off is prohibitive. Materials costs are much higher proportionately as are taxes and other infrastructure costs, even in China. The Chinese have modeled their income tax system after the US and the rates are similar.

JCHannum
04-05-2009, 11:02 AM
The 9" & 10" lathes were only a small portion of South Bend's product line. Their cost was not the only deciding factor in their going out of business. There is a whole lot of history and poor business decisions behind South Bend that culminated in their demise.

If Balolia concentrates on the 9" & Heavy Ten lathes, and can bring them in at a reasonable price, he stands a very good chance of success. He is a very savvy businessman, and I have little doubt he has a pretty good idea of his chances for success. He has much of the necessary infrastructure in place already, so his investment is far less than it would be for one starting from scratch.

philbur
04-05-2009, 11:03 AM
If a new lathe were to be manufactured to the same standard of quality as the original South Bend 9 Workshop Lathe it will need to sell for at least $5000.
Myford are still in buisness at more than twice that price.


I don't think there is a viable market for such a product.
Ditto Myford.


Shipping cost alone for a small lathe that weighs 500 lbs would be prohibitive.
People are in business shipping 700lb mills from China to you door for an all up price of USD1,000 so I can't see the problem with a USD5,000 - 500lb lathe.


Product liability insurance for a machine tool that can tear your hand off is prohibitive.
Ditto every machine tool.


Materials costs are much higher proportionately
All the more reason for increasing the added value. The material cost (and shipping cost) is then proportionally reduced.

Phil

Evan
04-05-2009, 12:00 PM
If Balolia concentrates on the 9" & Heavy Ten lathes, and can bring them in at a reasonable price, he stands a very good chance of success.

Before South Bend folded their cheapest lathe was over $10,000. The term "reasonable price" is key. The problem is defining the market segment you want to sell to. The higher the price the smaller the sales volume and the higher the markup must be. That is the main incentive to cost cutting. It's a lot easier to make money on volume than it is on high quality / high cost. It's impossible to maintain low cost and high quality at the same time. High quality means more than just a well made product. It also requires excellent after sales service and support. That is expensive as the main component is labor.

When somebody pays top dollar for anything they expect you to be there to hold their hand when they need it. That was my business model and it can work but only on a low volume basis. I sold computers with as much as a 3 year warrantee, no questions asked, if it doesn't work I fix it even if it was a software problem. I would replace the machine if I felt it necessary to keep the customer satisfied. I was able to stay in business even with direct competition from Staples and other discount sellers. Staples makes $50 on a $1000 computer. I made $250 but the customer could bring it to me for repair.

Mr. Balolia has an impossible task at hand if he wishes to maintain "South Bend Quality" but sell machines at a "reasonable" price with essentially no support but parts.


People are in business shipping 700lb mills from China to you door for an all up price of USD1,000 so I can't see the problem with a USD5,000 - 500lb lathe

The Chinese are engaged in a "last man standing" price war throughout their manufacturing sector. They are willing to sell at a loss to kick their local competition out of the market. Price wars are a long standing business practice in China.

QSIMDO
04-05-2009, 12:55 PM
Gentlemen, no offense but I'm quite sure if ANYONE knows how to market machine tools to the home buyer/ small shop owner it's Mr. Balolia.

No babe in the woods there.

His timing may be perfect as well, getting huge deals at the beginning of the recovery bell-curve.

Wish him well, what could it hurt?

dp
04-05-2009, 01:27 PM
If he were to offer good spare parts for popular existing SB lathes the good will done would generate a lot of traffic to his store for other items. Particularly if his store offered upgrade hardware like taper and milling attachments now found only on Ebay. Hell, even kits ala MLA could generate interest. Nothing says you're interested in the hobbyist like kits, and they're cheap to put together. And Grizzly has kits for some things, now. CNC, anyone?

It would also serve to increase the resale value of older SB lathes such that they would be unaffordable for many people. It would also save a lot of the old SB iron from the dismantlers and scrappers which would make the second-hand parts market more profitable. All this would serve to make the sticker shock of new SB systems less astonishing.

Gotta love the way the free market works.

aboard_epsilon
04-05-2009, 01:34 PM
Gentlemen, no offense but I'm quite sure if ANYONE knows how to market machine tools to the home buyer/ small shop owner it's Mr. Balolia.

No babe in the woods there.

His timing may be perfect as well, getting huge deals at the beginning of the recovery bell-curve.

Wish him well, what could it hurt?

He's probably got the ads all lined up ready to go into homeshop machinist magazine..........and your popular mechanics etc .

Going by, how enthusiastic and died in the wool and loyal south bend owners are ...if he makes a good job of making first class lathes ..then he will not have any trouble selling them.

Myfords are the same .with a huge loyal following ..that's why the company still survive.

I've got a South Bend 9A myself ...and I like the quality of it ..and can see why so many swear by them and not at them.

Now, if he puts together a marketing campaigne like Harley Davidson ..then he' got it beet.



all the best..mark

quasi
04-05-2009, 01:38 PM
hsm's in the 50's? There were none around here into the 70's at least. I think 3 things have enabled HSM's, the modernizing and then removal of school shops, the import of Asian tools, and finally the obsolescence of manual machine tools.

dp
04-05-2009, 01:48 PM
hsm's in the 50's? There were none around here into the 70's at least. I think 3 things have enabled HSM's, the modernizing and then removal of school shops, the import of Asian tools, and finally the obsolescence of manual machine tools.

That doesn't explain all the thousands of Atlas mills, shapers, and lathes built at that time. They weren't professional quality systems but they sold a lot of them. I think they started failing about the time "shop class" students were equated with losers and under achievers.

quasi
04-05-2009, 01:58 PM
most of Atlas's lathes were produced for WW2. I have had a couple of 10" Atlas lathes, they are nowhere near as good as a 9" SB.

dp
04-05-2009, 02:01 PM
The military was buying machinery from sears? :)

http://www.petealbrecht.com/atlasmillshaper/atlasmillshaper.htm

JCHannum
04-05-2009, 02:05 PM
hsm's in the 50's? There were none around here into the 70's at least.

What information do you base that statement on?

There was a very large HSM contingent in the 70's and well before. Sears & Montgomery Ward respectively sold large numbers of Atlas and Logan lathes to the home shop market. Popular Mechanics and Popular Science were very heavily slanted toward the home shop through most of their early years. The HSM has been an active hobby for many years.

There is little reason not to believe that Grizzly & Mr. Balolia can't do it. They have a market and distribution system in place as well as the manufacturing facilities. Don't look for hand scraped machine, but you can expect a well made and accurate machine. I would not expect a 10" lathe for less than $5000.00, but probably less than $10,000.00. Once you get past the cookie cutter Chicom imports that are in the under $5000.00 range, the next level of quality quickly increases in price. Good marketing and a reasonable volume should result in pricing in the somewhere between the two and I don't doubt there would be a market at that price.

It all remains to be seen, but, as I said, I doubt that Balolia is going into this without having a very good assessment of the probabilities of success.

QSIMDO
04-05-2009, 03:33 PM
One undeniably strong note of encouragement is that Mr. Balolia himself was on PM in the SB section asking what improvements/changes SB owners wanted to see.

If that's just chin music he's got a hell of a band!

Plus, when you consider that Chinese machines are already selling well in the sizes the new SB web page illustrates, even initially marginal improvements should be successful.
Not mind-bendingly so, but none-the-less.

Doc Nickel
04-05-2009, 03:54 PM
I, for one, have had reasonably good luck from Grizzly's imports. I started with a ubiquitous 9x20, and the only real problem I ever had with it was a loose motor pulley. I've been running my big Bridgeport-clone mill virtually daily for some six years now, and it's still working like a champ, excellent accuracy and zero problems. I know a fellow using a 13x40 lathe in his tool-repair shop; he beats the piss out of it but it has yet to break down.

I know a second fellow whose hobby wood shop consists of virtually nothing but green Grizzly machines; it was a case of being so impressed with the first one, he bought the second, which led to a third, and so on. He says he's had to do some tweaking and fiddling here and there, but these days things like a tablesaw need to be tweaked whether they came from China or Germany.

Simply put, Grizzly would not still be in business today if they produced nothing but cheap crap. Yes, some of their stuff is definitely aimed at the low-budget crowd, and yes, all of it is imported, and no, not even their best stuff can be favorably compared to a top-of-the-line American from back in our heyday.

But on the other hand, their mid and low range stuff is still better than some of the old American, like the Atlas and Craftsman.

In general, it's affordable, reasonably reliable, reasonably accurate, and backed by a pretty decent warranty and service department.

Griz noted he'd be making the new SB's in Taiwan rather than mainland China, so we can probably assume the end product will be a little bit better quality and a little bit more expensive. Supposedly he'll be using the same firm that made Grizzly's Hardinge clone, which was, I'm told, very well made and extremely accurate. Of course, it was also $16,000...

So I'm guessing we'll see a lathe of somewhat-better-than-usual Asian quality, at a somewhat-higher-than-usual Asian-import price. That 13x40 was about $2,800 as I recall- even doubling that is still "only" $6,000, and personally, I wouldn't mind a brand-new, reasonably accurate "South Bend" with a few extra bells and whistles (both chucks, faceplate, both rests, etc.) delivered to my door for $5K to $6K plus shipping.

Hell, if nothing else, I'd pay a little more than normal for the same accuracy as the usual import, just because it wouldn't look like the usual blocky, squared-off Chinese machine.

Doc.

Spin Doctor
04-05-2009, 04:08 PM
Personally I wish mr Balbila (sp) well. I know SB lathes have a following that rivals Harley Davidson. And for the life of me I can't understand why. Personally I do not like SB lathes. I find them a pain in the ass to operate. But then I didn't "fall in love" with a SB in HS or JH shop class. IMO that is one reason why so many HSMers love SBs. I was lucky, I broke in on Hardinges and LeBlonds (I don't care for Monarchs either, they operate backwards). Also for mills we had K&Ts, Cincinatti's and Trees. The Tool Room boss would not allow BPs in the shop as he thought they were POS. You may now pick up your bricks and loose stones while I duck behind a tree

Glenn Wegman
04-05-2009, 04:08 PM
I've never been close to a South Bend lathe that I can remember.

Is there nothing presently in existence and in current manufacture/availability that would be similar? I can't imagine that with all of the smaller Asian machines in existence that there is such a seemingly huge void in the 9 to 10 inch lathe market! From what I've read about them, they were flat belt drive without QC gear boxes in some instances. Is that what makes them so irreplaceable?

Is it just a cult type thing with South Bend Lathes?

Just curious:)

Glenn

Orrin
04-05-2009, 04:31 PM
Is it just a cult type thing with South Bend Lathes?
No, it is a "familiarity" thing. I grew up in the '40s and '50s when Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and the like were solidly home-shop oriented; and, almost every issue sported South Bend ads.

My college machine shop was filled with nothing but South Bend lathes. My submarine's emergency lathe was a South Bend. Our local university's student machine shop (now largely unused) has nothing but South Bend lathes in it. I got my first lathe at an auction where, guess what, it happened to be a South Bend.

Good or bad, they seemed to be everywhere. They are the brand that captured the imagination of every would-be HSM back then.

Some of us old-timers who grew up with the brand are still around, still dreaming.

My 2

Orrin

tony ennis
04-05-2009, 04:34 PM
Nobody can make a business of making a lathe the way it was made in the 1930s ,40s and 50s.

That isn't clear to me.

Now we have CNC machines that are far more precise than manual work done in the 40s, more consistent, and faster. And when manual labor is needed it's dirt cheap.

This will be a learning experience for the ChiCom/Taiwanese/whatever workforce. They will have to make better castings and learn to finish it better.

Now, will Americans pay $1800 for a 9" lathe that may not even include a chuck?

Some of this also depends upon which of his own lathes Mr Griz wishes to compete against. Perhaps the 9x20 isn't the rght lathe - perhaps a heavier 10" lathe would be the entry-level model.

tony ennis
04-05-2009, 04:43 PM
Is it just a cult type thing with South Bend Lathes?

No, it is a "familiarity" thing

And a "dependability" thing.

When the ChiCom lathes hit the HSM market, quality was all over the place and overall low. They have made tremendous improvements. Those little elegant beautiful South Bends worked very well. No serious machinist wanted those ugly boxy ChiComs with QC issues.

Now we're getting the opportunity to buy SBs again. Will these lathes be real SBs or hideous parodies? The brand can not withstand a rough debut. That is, if there's another repeat of QC issues as there was when the first ChiCom 9x20s were released it's over for SB.

Doc Nickel
04-05-2009, 04:57 PM
Is it just a cult type thing with South Bend Lathes?

-Nope. It's jingoism. :D

That Harley? A Honda does the same thing, does it faster, lighter, quieter and with better mileage, gives you a better ride, lasts longer and does it all cheaper.

But it's not American.

This "new" Southbend could be finished to closer tolerances and more accurate than a "real" '50s or '60s SB, have better bearings, a more powerful motor, and cost a fraction of what it would have in 1955 adjusted dollars, but there will still be dozens here that will denigrate it purely on the fact that it wasn't built here in the USA.

Doc.

Doc Nickel
04-05-2009, 05:12 PM
No, it is a "familiarity" thing. I grew up in the '40s and '50s when Popular Science, Popular Mechanics and the like were solidly home-shop oriented; and, almost every issue sported South Bend ads.

-That's exactly it. The 9" and 10" SBs were basically the best "home shop" size lathe you could buy from roughly WW2 up 'til the late sixties and early seventies.

It was solid, accurate, reliable and inexpensive. As noted earlier, one would cost a significant percentage of the value of a new car. That's a lot, but nearly any other lathe was going to be significantly larger (LeBlonds or Americans) or considerably more expensive (Monarchs.)

With the exceptions of the even-cheaper Atlas and Craftsman lathes, the SB was it. They were basically your only real choice for an affordable HSM lathe in the US. SB helped that by both advertising directly to the home-shoppers, and offering payment plans.

Today, it's running purely on that name. An old, used, 9" SB is really not significantly better or even different than a 9" Logan or a 10" Sheldon. There's more of them, which helps, but people will pass up the same Logan or Sheldon in order to buy the Southbend, simply because it is a Southbend.

For the same reason someone will pass up a Duster or a Dart or a Firebird or a Javelin in order to buy a Mustang or a Camaro. Everyone "knows" that's the one they've "gotta have", even if they don't know exactly why.

Doc.

Evan
04-05-2009, 05:20 PM
Is there nothing presently in existence and in current manufacture/availability that would be similar?

There is. Standard Modern of Canada still makes lathes in Canada and of the same type and quality that South Bend made. Before anybody thinks to mention the rumours that STandard Modern is making their equipment off shore and assembling it here I called and asked that question directly. The person I spoke to laughed and invited me to visit the factory to see the lathes being made.

Not coincidentally, they cost about the same as the last models that South Bend was selling. The main difference is that Standard Modern also has a line of CNC machines. The 13x34 Standard Modern engine lathe is priced around $14,000 last time I checked. It also has a shipping weight of 658 kilos with no tooling. The Busy Bee 13 x 24 weighs half that and about 1/4 of that is chucks and other accessories. There is no comparison between the two machines.

Glenn Wegman
04-05-2009, 05:50 PM
That Harley? A Honda does the same thing, does it faster, lighter, quieter and with better mileage, gives you a better ride, lasts longer and does it all cheaper.
.

That was part of what I was getting at. Where does the popularity lie?

If Harley Davidson was sold, and the new owners decided to make them in Japan or China because of manufacturing cost being less, what would happen?

Would they still be considered the same and as popular?

The smaller import lathes are generally inexpensive for a reason, they lack in fit, finish, and overall quality. I'm not sure how the new South Bend lathe can be manufactured to be competitive with other Asian lathes as far as price and be of any greater quality. If the quality is vastly improved over other Asian lathes in the same size range, the price will also be considreably higher!

I'm curious as to how many buyers will be lining up to peel off $5,000.00 or more for a South Bend 10" lathe? Personnally, I'd sooner write a little bigger check for a good used HLV-H that would make the South Bend look loke a toy in quality and features!

I don't really have a dog in this fight, it just seemed as though the general feeling is that there will soon be new "top quality" South Bend lathes available at minimal "home shop" pricing, which I cant see happening when compared to what's being presently imported.:)

Glenn

dp
04-05-2009, 06:06 PM
That was part of what I was getting at. Where does the popularity lie?

If Harley Davidson was sold, and the new owners decided to make them in Japan or China because of manufacturing cost being less, what would happen?


I think older Harleys would increase in value and desirability.



Would they still be considered the same and as popular?


Not by me.

But lathes are just tools, not lifestyle altering transportation conveyances with a century of history behind them, so I think I'd be far more forgiving of a good Asian lathe based on Yankee design if it were a standout in some important way. The name alone is not standing out in an important way.

And if it has any sheet metal on it then all bets are off. A modern boxy sheet metal lathe with South Bend on the label is still a boxy sheet metal crate and might as well say Central Machinery on the placard.

lane
04-05-2009, 06:23 PM
On 2/19/1981 I bought a brand new 10K South Bend after waiting a year to get it after it was ordered. and deposit sent . Stripped just the lathe $3183.75 no nothing every thing else was extra Thread dial Taper attachment 3 and 4 jaw chucks steady rest and follower rest Even the drum switch is extra all total $4,607.00 with tooling that was 1981. So I do not care where it is made a new one will cost at least $5000.00 are more . My 13 x40 only cost $5,595 .00in 1995. So how many of you would pay $5,000 for a new 10 inch lathe do not think many would. I would not.

Doc Nickel
04-05-2009, 06:53 PM
So how many of you would pay $5,000 for a new 10 inch lathe[?]

-That's the $64,000 question, isn't it?

On one hand, I thought paying $3,500 for a decent-to-excellent condition 10" Sheldon was a bit much, even though it came with extensive tooling. (Both rests, taper, both chucks, spare backing plate, lots of cutters, QC toolpost, 3-PH and VFD already installed, etc.)

On the other hand, I recall the article in HSM magazine about the fellow that shipped his SB off to get a factory rework. I seem to recall it cost him some $10K plus shipping, but he stated he wanted a new, top-quality machine and was willing to pay the price.

Look at how many will buy a clapped-out 10EE for $2,500 to $5,000, and put another $5,000 into refurbishing it. Some of these guys have to pay $1,000 for a vacuum tube.

So I really can't say. We know for sure it won't sell as fast as the $800 9x20s, but it ought to sell faster than the $16,000 Hardinge copies. Perhaps they'll market it as their "toolroom select" machine.

But if nothing else, I'm at least glad somebody is making the effort to try.

Doc.

TECHSHOP
04-05-2009, 07:06 PM
I doubt we will see a "new edition" of the "old" South Bend lathe. I think it far more likely that we will see the "high end" of what Griz imports being marketed as "South Bend". After all Griz sells "Smith and Wesson" screwdrives, knifes, and such. They bought that "brand name" when the English owned S&W.

Glenn Wegman
04-05-2009, 07:24 PM
I doubt we will see a "new edition" of the "old" South Bend lathe. I think it far more likely that we will see the "high end" of what Griz imports being marketed as "South Bend".

That's kinda how I figure it too. Purchasing the South Bend name seems like a great business venture as he'll most likely sell quite a few initially just because they say "South Bend" on them!

It may very well be a nice machine too! Just won't be cheap if the quality is there.

Glenn

Spin Doctor
04-05-2009, 08:11 PM
I suspect they won't be but I hope the fist "x" number of buyers aren't guinea pigs

John Stevenson
04-05-2009, 08:20 PM
I'm curious as to how many buyers will be lining up to peel off $5,000.00 or more for a South Bend 10" lathe? Personally, I'd sooner write a little bigger check for a good used HLV-H that would make the South Bend look look a toy in quality and features!


Glenn

What you have to bear in mind is that a production run of new lathes may be 10,000 units over 2 to 3 years.

How many good used HLV-H's are out there ?

Doc Nickel
04-05-2009, 08:26 PM
I doubt we will see a "new edition" of the "old" South Bend lathe. I think it far more likely that we will see the "high end" of what Griz imports being marketed as "South Bend".

-Um, has anyone read the PM postings?

They bought the name, the spares, and the plans, and are intending to make a new, somewhat-updated version of an actual Southbend. Griz has gone so far as to buy several examples of older, original Southbends for comparison.

If I understand it correctly, they will be essentially new 9" and 10" Southbend lathes, with a few modifications or upgrades from the originals (such as better headstock bearings, possibly a 5C-capable spindle for the 9", and probably electronic drives rather than pulleys or adjustable shivs.)

There's some talk of keeping the "new" accessories- like taper attachments and steady rests- fully compatible with the originals.

There's some suggestion that there will be an addition to two to the line- mainly, a "9x20" copy made to the same quality as the larger ones, so that'll be pretty much an all-new design (assuming they don't just chop a foot off the end of a 9" SB bed.)

Doc.

Spin Doctor
04-05-2009, 08:50 PM
I haven't checked on the thread lately but I did read enough and ask about shapers (no)

Glenn Wegman
04-05-2009, 09:00 PM
Well here is an interresting question or two to ponder.

Why did South Bend cease production in the first place if the machines were so popular?

How many cases can be cited where something obsolete and popular in it's day went back into production at a later date and was recieved with the same popularity?

Just for the sake of discussion:)

Glenn

JCHannum
04-05-2009, 09:04 PM
If you take the time to poke around on the South Bend site, you will see some of the lathes they intend to market. This is the new site, updated last week. The 10" lathe is from South Bend castings, not a rebadged currently manufactured machine. There are other, not yet pictured HSM sized machines planned. The larger machines are a bit more difficult to identify from the small photos, they might be the standard Asian lathe, or they might be the Hurco lathes SB sold at the end.

http://www.southbendlathe.com/

The reason South Bend failed is a lot more involved than just the 9" & 10" machines. It is not a short or pretty story. South Bend was one of the first employee owned companies. That venture was marked by the employee owners going on strike against themselves. It was bought and sold after that, and was in an ancient facility with out dated worn out production machines. Mismanagement, an outdated product line, high production costs and foreign competition among other things all played a part in their failure.

TECHSHOP
04-05-2009, 10:16 PM
I do recall most of the story of South Bend, and realize why the machines are so popular in HSM circles.

I also "know" that "the owner" of Griz does frequent the sites where Griz products are being posted about and is "upfront" while doing so.

I also have two Griz metal working machines (mill and lathe) in the shop, so that isn't a "sticking point".

I think that the lathe model(s) in question were recently in "off shore production" and then imported here. I also think that the US market is presently "saturated" with small (< 9 inch) import lathes, so there may be an "upgrade" market of buyers that "want" a 9" or 10" lathe.

It is also likely that there are a few factories in Tiawan that want to regain market share from the PRC. They can no longer compete with as the "lowest cost" supplier. I also think that the Griz long standing contacts with those companies, and is also being "hurt" by "the worm turning". Both ends of the supply chain need to "do something" to change their fortunes in the near future.

I just don't think that Griz "cherry picking" SB's "most popular" design and placing it back into production will be the complete story. I fully expect that a whole lot of other stuff will be tagged "South Bend".

Greg Menke
04-05-2009, 11:00 PM
A couple years ago I was buying a couple machines at a local dealer, they had one of the larger "South Bend" branded lathes for sale- looked identical as far as I can remember to the 13", 14" lathes shown on the SBL website. So probably was and will be a generic import.

I'm on the fence about the Grizzly connection. One one hand Leblond wasn't doing much of anything, there are many examples of how that treatment lets a brand of fine machines erode away and this is at least an attempt to do something positive. OTOH I fear that the new machines will be "kits" like much of the rest of the Grizzly line, or too expensive for enough in the way of sales.

I guess we'll see one way or the other...

Greg

Optics Curmudgeon
04-05-2009, 11:05 PM
Those interested in South Bend's problems from years ago might be interested in this: http://www.cesj.org/jbm/casestudies-vbm/southbendlathe.html
A similar fate befell Hyatt Roller Bearings.

Joe

10KPete
04-06-2009, 02:06 AM
Mr. Balolia has made it quite clear in his posting over on PM/South Bend that Grizzly didn't purchase South Bend. He did. It will remain a stand-alone company and the products won't be 're-badged' Grizzly products.

I've been reading, and contributing to, the thread from it's beginning and it's my opinion that Mr. Balolia has purchased SB because he wants to rebuild the SB name and line and because he truly wants to offer a higher quality tool line than he's offering with Grizzly. He has as much as said so if I recall correctly.

I'm feeling quite positive about it so far and I hope that his efforts will result in a return of the South Bend line. I hope...I hope....I hope.

Pete

.RC.
04-06-2009, 02:42 AM
I cannot see it being too successful, there is simply too much competition...Perhaps the name might sell a few but it will all depend on pricing...

If they are going to be belt drive, plain bearing type of the original South Bend style, why would you bother when you can get a really good geared head roller bearing spindle with way more features (like a foot brake) new for the same price... Or if you look around you can get a HLVH or 10EE in good order for the same money...

I wish him luck but I cannot see them being big selling items..

John Stevenson
04-06-2009, 03:50 AM
. Or if you look around you can get a HLVH or 10EE in good order for the same money...

.

OK pick the phone up and order one of these good order HLVH's or a 10EE and get it delivered to your shop.
That's without you having to get off your arse, drive 2,000 miles to look at something that turns out to be junk and has no redress.

As every year goes by the number of people CAPABLE to find and / or restore a machine gets less.
Chequebook engineering will become more popular [a] by lack of good machines and [b] lack of skill sets by people coming into whatever hobby it is from non engineering backgrounds.

.

oldtiffie
04-06-2009, 05:15 AM
Good comment and I'd agree with that John.

But its not just those who can accurately assess and re-condition a machine, but also those of them that even want to or even feel that they have to.

I will stick to the HSM-ers here and not those with a business interest or case.

I, as is the case with many others, can get by very well without a HLVH or 10EE lathe or equivalent mills etc. It is more a matter of what you need as opposed to what you want.

For me - and I suspect quite some others too - its a matter of trimming your ambitions to accord with your budget and buying new - or close to it - with a good warranty.

Fixing up some-one else's disaster bought in the (hope and) guise of a "good deal" is not my way of enjoying my shop or myself now-a-days even if it was once upon a time. I don't mind "making stuff for making stuff" (tools, fixtures etc.) as that is a bit of a challenge - and it is a fact of life in a shop anyway.

With the exception of my HF-45 which is on its own stand, all of my tools are on a bench (10 x 30 lathe, X3 mill, grinders etc.). I have good lifting gear to get anything into or out of a position. That is about sized right for me as I can get to everything I need. My days of lumping big tools and accessories are long gone - I've had too many good lessons and close shaves.

"Cheque-book engineering" has been in vogue for quite a while as "good stuff' at reasonable prices within reasonable distances here in OZ is hard to find and getting harder - as well as more expensive on both counts.

Evan
04-06-2009, 05:37 AM
If they are going to be belt drive, plain bearing type of the original South Bend style, why would you bother when you can get a really good geared head roller bearing spindle with way more features (like a foot brake) new for the same price...

The SB9 was available with a vee belt underneath drive with 12 speeds and a maximum RPM of around 1200. As for plain bearings, they work better than any other type as long as you keep them oiled. They are insensitive to shock and won't be destroyed in a crash. They have less runout than anything else that costs less than a new car. They are cheap to produce and are by far the load bearing champions of the bearing world. Add in some modern surface treatments for the spindle such as Tuff-triding and you have a bearing that will last forever.

.RC.
04-06-2009, 05:41 AM
OK pick the phone up and order one of these good order HLVH's or a 10EE and get it delivered to your shop.

.

Yep it is that easy :D:D

Although I understand I should have mentioned CVA, Dean Smith and Grace and Holbrook as well...

We all know the 10EE and HLV-H grow on trees in the US and CVA, Dean Smith and Grace and Holbrook grow on trees in the UK :D:D

While here in Oz our farmers unfortunately killed all the lathe trees to grow sheep and wheat..

Priced a new 16X60 Ecoca lathe today... $23 000 eeeeeekkkk..

Bill Pace
04-06-2009, 09:58 AM
Hopefully -- and from what I read, hes not -- this wont be an example of what the Grizz is gonna do....

I've read most of his replies on PM, and I like what hes saying and am enthused with his venture.

(Some of you may remember this is the one I brought back to life from hurricane Katrina)

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/pace1980/South%20Bend%20G-26T/SouthBendLathe029.jpg

These were brought in from Taiwan around 1993/4 til 2000/1 in the waning days of the name. As can be seen, it is just another of this type lathe that there are dozens of variations on. It does have flame hardened ways, but for some odd reason they cut it to 36" instead of the common 40" and did not include the gap bed! And the price -- well, see for your self :eek:.

Its a pretty nice lathe, but I sure cant see where $5000-$7000 over, say a Birmingham or Enco in this type lathe, is anywhere worth that difference--And, if its any indication of sales, despite hours of scouring the web, I have found one other a guy in Calif bought from Reliable. Virtually NO info on it. Thankfully Lanes Acra/Acer? (I forget which) is almost the same.

http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b301/pace1980/South%20Bend%20G-26T/SoithBendadpage.jpg

tdkkart
04-06-2009, 01:59 PM
If they are going to be belt drive, plain bearing type of the original South Bend style, why would you bother when you can get a really good geared head roller bearing spindle with way more features (like a foot brake) new for the same price...


This is the one thing that has me wondering just how expensive(or cheap) these "new" machines can be done. Alot of folks seem to think they'll be way expensive, but I have to wonder??
The 10" South Bend is a dirt simple machine, belt drive, babbitt bearings, very simply quick change gearbox. No frills, no widgets, no fancy labeling, no fancy electrics etc. Look at the 10" SB compared to one of the Asian "competitors" and you will see how it could be done very simply. Simpler equals cheaper if done right, even if done with very good tolerances.

I'm looking forward to the 12" model, I don't think I can do a couple of my most frequent operations on a 10" lathe.

I too have no ambitions or dreams of ever having the time or ability to do a hand scraped resurrection of an antique piece of equipment, I also do not have the time or resources to wander all over the country to look at other people's junk in hopes of finding a gem. Unless something like falls in my lap like my MillRite did, when the time comes to buy a different lathe it will most likely be something new.

I think Mr B. has a pretty good handle on what the market is and what the market desires. Remember Grizzly from a few years ago?? Remember when their catalog was barely 1/4" thick?? Somebody has made a thriving business by listening to what his customers want and need, I have no doubt that his latest venture will be successful.

Greg Menke
04-06-2009, 04:52 PM
The thing that might make the machines more expensive include things like filing off & dressing the sharp edges of the castings, putting in good quality motors, good fasteners; etc. Basically, fixing the stuff which so often is wrong with the usual class of import lathes. The old SB's were no frills but the construction is substantially better than many of the import machines- its duplicating (or maybe approximating) those standards that will add the $$$.

It might be enough for the new SB to bring the imports to some prep center in the US, overhaul them- essentially fix the stuff thats broken/inadequate from the factory, then sell the cleaned up machines. Possibly, a more or less guaranteed prospect of not dealing with a lemon will attract customers that have been scared off by bad stories.

Greg

goose
04-06-2009, 05:37 PM
I don't know what's to get excited about, Asian clone machines with a plastic South Bend applique is probably the end result. I wish the Grizzly Co. success though, but since it's target is primarily home shop and light commercial users the only way to go is down in costs and lighter weight. They ain't gonna be made in South Bend ever again, and I guess that's what's been lost, not so much the name.


Gary

philbur
04-06-2009, 05:43 PM
Much better to build them right the first time.

Producing precision machinery requires even larger precision machinery, together with skill operators. That I think is where the cost lies. A bag of good fasteners costs a bag of loose change, and the Chinese probably pay an unskill labourer USD20 a day for dressing 50+ castings by hand.

Phil


The thing that might make the machines more expensive include things like filing off & dressing the sharp edges of the castings, putting in good quality motors, good fasteners; etc. Basically, fixing the stuff which so often is wrong with the usual class of import lathes. The old SB's were no frills but the construction is substantially better than many of the import machines- its duplicating (or maybe approximating) those standards that will add the $$$.

It might be enough for the new SB to bring the imports to some prep center in the US, overhaul them- essentially fix the stuff thats broken/inadequate from the factory, then sell the cleaned up machines. Possibly, a more or less guaranteed prospect of not dealing with a lemon will attract customers that have been scared off by bad stories.

Greg

Twmaster
04-06-2009, 05:53 PM
I for one am happy to see the re-emergence of the South Bend machines. Even if only in name. LeBlond wasn't going to bring the name any further.

PapaGrizzly seems to be a genuine fellow. I also enjoyed reading his explanations, comments and answers to questions. I wish them well. If they offer a quality product and do indeed walk the walk then I would be interested in a new 9 or 10" machine.

If they are successful it is a win for everyone. There will be some new jobs and a good alternative to the Asian lathes flooding the market.

I wish the new South Bend well.

--
Mike N
Occasional maker of swarf.

Evan
04-06-2009, 06:52 PM
I wonder if Mr Balolia will bring this one back as well?

http://ixian.ca/pics6/sb92.jpg

bob_s
04-06-2009, 06:58 PM
and the Chinese probably pay an unskill labourer USD20 a day for dressing 50+ castings by hand.

Phil

Prison labor costs them nothing!

Thomas Staubo
04-06-2009, 07:13 PM
I wonder if Mr Balolia will bring this one back as well?

What is that?

A lathe with two head stocks!

:confused:


.

Evan
04-06-2009, 09:32 PM
Prison labor costs them nothing!


Don't be silly. China can't produce it's products with prison labour any more than the US can. Both countries use prison labour but it is a drop in the bucket and has no impact on competitive standing.

BillH
04-06-2009, 09:46 PM
Can't wait til Harbor Freight is selling the Chinese Copies of the Taiwan copies of the South Bend 9" lathes.
Every time I read the forum on PM about all of it, I nearly want to throw up at all the ass kissing going on. OOhh Ohh, I want the south bend leather jacket!!!
Well damn, why don't I bring back the Baldwin name and have steam locomotives made in Taiwan, and sell Baldwin leather jackets made from the skin of executed prisoners...

sansbury
04-07-2009, 12:26 AM
Well, here's a data point:

Wabeco closest to 9x20 size I could find
http://www.mdaprecision.com/Products/Wabeco%20Products/LATHES/Lathes%20Manual/D3000E/D3000E.html

Price is ~$5000, but the design is very different. I imagine the linear bearing ways could be a lot cheaper to build than cast and ground ways, but I've never gooten to use one so I can't comment on performance.

Anyone have any experience with these? I've seen little Internet chatter about them.

Doc Nickel
04-07-2009, 12:48 AM
Well, here's a data point: [snip] Price is ~$5000[...]

-And the other data point is the Grizzly 9x19 for $925 (http://grizzly.com/products/9-x-19-Bench-Lathe/G4000). It's virtually exactly the same lathe that Jet sells for $1,200, and Harbor Freight sells for $700.

Doc.