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rode2rouen
06-30-2012, 09:44 PM
I have just become the owner of a '68 Sheldon R15-6(Ser.# 30102)that has been in the garage shop of a former FoMoCo tool & die man for the past 40 years, essentially sitting idle for the past 5 years.

I've been looking for a precision lathe (read: Monarch 10EE w/30" bed) for a few years as a replacement for my trusty '46 Atlas 10 X 30, with absolutely no
success. The few EEs that came up were either clapped out 20" machines going for stoopid money, or really well kept units (20" and a couple of 30"s) that were commanding big bucks.

I happened to make a trip to an acquaintance's shop to buy some odd bits
a year or so ago, and he showed me his Sheldon VR13. Wow, I had looked at some smaller Sheldon machines, but while they were definitely a big step up from my Atlas, they were nowhere near an EE. The VR13, on the other hand, just knocked my socks off! I had no clue that Sheldon had made a machine of that caliber. I wanted one!!!

Much time has been spent on www.lathes.co.uk looking at info on different brands and models of machines, and I was disappointed that Tony has little info on the Sheldon R/VR series machines. Searching the web, in general, turns up little info as well,but the hunt was on!

Shortly after seeing the VR13, this machine appeared on Craig'sList. At the time the owner's son was asking $5K for it, but as time wore on, the price dropped incrementally to $3250....still too much for my budget.

Earlier this month the R15 showed up on Ebay, opening bid at $2K, but with an
unknown reserve. The auction drew 2 bids, but the reserve was not met, my high bid showed as $2025. The machine was relisted, same opening price, with a reserve, but now with a "Buy It Now" price of $2999. Again it drew 2 bids, mine being the highest at $2025. I figured it would be relisted with a lower "BIN", so I was stunned to see an e-mail from Ebay, the next day, saying the seller was giving me a "Second Chance Offer" at my bid price!! After thinking about the offer (for maybe a nanosecond), I hit the "Buy It Now" button!!!

Today I went to see the machine, in the flesh, so to speak, and pick up all of
the loose bits...10" Buck 3jaw (there's an 8" Buck 3jaw on the spindle), 10" and 12" 4jaw units, 15" face plate, 5c collet draw bar assembly, 40 odd collets and rack, original manuals (!!) and some other bits...and give it look over in preparation to moving it next weekend. Yeah, the Ebay pics showed quite a bit of surface rust here and there, but from a functional standpoint the machine is a beauty!!

A pull on the carriage lube pump left a nice sheen of oil (half a dozen 5 gallon
pails of assorted Mobil lubes are included with the machine!) on the ways as I
worked the carriage back and forth. The feel of the controls is so crisp and
precise, the carriage and the compound glide so smoothly....it's hard to believe that the lathe is over 40 years old! The tool & die man was diligent with his maintenance!!

YES!! HE SCORES!! I am a happy guy, but I'll be even happier when the R15 is
sitting in it's new home next weekend!


Rex

Dr Stan
06-30-2012, 10:12 PM
It ain't official unless there are pics. :)

bborr01
06-30-2012, 10:13 PM
Congrats on your new lathe. Be careful moving it. There have been a few lathe mishap threads lately. Hate to see your new toy be the next one.

Brian

cuemaker
06-30-2012, 10:15 PM
I have been watching the same machine....Not quite there cash wise...

I think I can find the sellers picture..

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&hash=item4d0263cb84&item=330752576388&nma=true&pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&rt=nc&si=WgZ%252ByZxItytc9bLBdaM32hVulVU%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc#ht_1102wt_1344

customcutter
06-30-2012, 10:16 PM
I don't know anything about the lathe or "value". But sounds like your extremely happy with it, so I'm sure it was a bargain, especially for American Iron.

So, that being said YOU SUCK!

Ken

rode2rouen
07-01-2012, 12:37 AM
I have been watching the same machine....Not quite there cash wise...

I think I can find the sellers picture..



That's the one.





So, that being said YOU SUCK!

Ken


Thank you! :D


Rex

RussZHC
07-01-2012, 02:29 PM
Congrats. That lathe would be at the top of the Sheldon heap for me too!

You may want to get in touch with Ray Behner over on PM (shows his location as Brunswick Ohio), I think he has a very similar lathe and I know I have gotten a lot from his posts.

JoeFin
07-01-2012, 03:15 PM
if you ain't got pics ..... it never happened

"We want Tool Porn"

Peter.
07-01-2012, 03:21 PM
Nice chunky lathe there - I would have been pleased at that price too!

I'm looking at the cross-slide and I see a huge dovetail way but no obvious means of feeding the cross-slide to the extremes. What's the secret there?

rode2rouen
07-01-2012, 10:23 PM
Congrats. That lathe would be at the top of the Sheldon heap for me too!

You may want to get in touch with Ray Behner over on PM (shows his location as Brunswick Ohio), I think he has a very similar lathe and I know I have gotten a lot from his posts.

Russ, I talked to Ray yesterday...he's going to lend me the skates he made to move his Sheldon VR13, which is the machine that started all this "I gotta have one..." chit.



if you ain't got pics ..... it never happened

"We want Tool Porn"

Joe, click the link in "cuemaker's post (#4 above) for the Ebay pics. I'll be shooting more when the move happens on the 7th.




I'm looking at the cross-slide and I see a huge dovetail way but no obvious means of feeding the cross-slide to the extremes. What's the secret there?

Peter, the 26" cross-slide top is dovetailed to allow placing the compound anywhere along its length, loosen 2 bolts and move it where ever you want it. Sheldon offered a number of accessory items that could be mounted to the cross-slide. I think I need a second compound. ;)


Rex