View Full Version : 9" SB lathe numbers

04-16-2009, 02:09 PM
Found a South Bend model "A" for $700, with a couple chucks and a bit of tooling. Trying to research it a little bit, but meeting with internet resistance (namely my inability to use the computer). I'm told that it's either CI or CL 644, A bed length no.4. I know it's a 9", and some folks think it is not the most rigid machine made. I cannot inspect this machine without traveling about three hours, so the more I know about it beforehand, the better.

Does anyone either know what these numbers mean or have a link that I might follow to find out?


04-16-2009, 02:28 PM
this may help


main site


all the best.markj

04-16-2009, 02:29 PM
Replying to myself. Found that model # is CL-644-A. Still digging.

04-16-2009, 07:22 PM
See the following:

on wswells.com I only see it in the 1942 catalog

CL = Threaded Nose
644 = 12 speed Model 9A
A = 4' bed length

If you find out the serial number - stamped on the tail stock end of the bed you can make a ballpark estimate of the age by looking here:

List currently has several 644-As dating from 1942-1964, without the SN or a pic that's as far as I can narrow it down.

If it has 2 chucks and isn't a rusty heap $700 sounds like a good price - start driving...

04-16-2009, 07:39 PM
Just bought a 9" SB with a quick change gear box, 3 jaw, 4 jaw, face plate, centers live and dead and steady rest fo $1000. In great shape no mounting I am pleased with my purchase, Yet to gt it under power. Fred

04-17-2009, 07:40 AM
The machine is on hold for me until next week. Can't get there this weekend. The old guy told me that he had it mounted on a 2" micarta slab to stiffen it up a bit. I don't think I've ever seen 2" micarta! What a chunk! The picture shows the table, but couldn't tell what it was.

Anyway, thanks to you guys. This thing will probably end up in my garage next week if not totally junk. I have bookmarked all the SB links for it.

04-17-2009, 08:04 AM
Just because I trust this guy to hold it for me, here is the link to it. I have emailed him back and forth for a couple of days now. I think he is on the level. He states that of course there is some wear; the thing is old. It is still in service, so I can throw a chip or two before committing.

Anyway: http://youngstown.craigslist.org/mat/1102280324.html

I think it would (will) be big enough for my little hobby shop. I ain't makin shuttle parts, and I ain't makin locomotive parts either.

04-17-2009, 08:18 AM
You could do worse :)

IMO, a Step up from any Atlas/Craftsman...

Another 100 lbs of Cast Iron and No Zamak...

4.5 Inch OD in Cast Iron is pushing it a bit tho :)

Still did the job....

04-17-2009, 09:28 AM
Looks Great! They are heavy!! Bring help. Fred

04-17-2009, 11:05 AM

If you find out the serial number - stamped on the tail stock end of the bed you can make a ballpark estimate of the age by looking here:


made me grin :D

amongst that list somewere is a navy lathe, with a boat anchor on it.


04-23-2009, 12:16 PM
OK folks, the play date is set for Saturday to go look at this little machine. It's a three hour drive one way. So, what are the obvious alarm bells while I am looking? The machine will be under power and the owner says he will chuck up a piece and put it through it's paces. I am not in a position to take critical measurements because I wouldn't know how to do so anyway.

Otherwise, if it looks like a lathe, smells like a lathe, and spins like a lathe, is it a lathe?


Bill Pace
04-23-2009, 01:13 PM
At that price and for what it is - a 9A SB with the long bed and chucks with 'few extras' its gonna have to be pretty beat not to be worth it ...

That little SB -the 9" in the A model is possibly the most well known of all the lathes out there, and is possibly one (if not the-) most sought after of lathes for the HSM'er - and - with good reason! Its small enough to allow fitting in many situations, yet robust enough to tackle most anything you can fit in it, -- has a huge following which translates into any bit of info you can dream up to ask about, somebody will know the answer -- parts availiability is large with MANY aftermarket vendors suppling more and more new parts -- it really doesnt have much of a downside.

So, if this one is in any kind of decent condition - jump on it!!