I just posted this on PM as well, but more thinkers are always better, so...
Just toolin along (no pun intended) on my 9" South Bend A, and all of a sudden the spindle seized up. No noise, no warning. Just stopped. And it was quite tight untill I got it apart.
Took it apart, and found nothing really wrong. Bearing surfaces look good, spindle looks good... with the exception of one tiny spot. Yes, a round spot; about the size of a small case "o" in size 8 font. A little itsy bitsy spot that can catch my fingernail. But that's all.
Why, and how? The oil wicks are fine, though I will change them now just for sh*ts and giggles. So is it possible for a small piece of crud or a chip to get in between the spindle and the bore? I've been doing a lot of aluminum of late, and the stuff seems to go everywhere.
I just don't know where to look or how to prevent it in the future. It scared the royal zap out of me though. It just stopped.
Oh, and I could use a source for the new wick assemblies, springs and all.