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Southbend Lathe Question

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  • Southbend Lathe Question

    Hi everyone.

    I'm new here and to the world of machining. I'm hoping someone could help me with their guidance and expertise with a lathe I have access to.

    My Uncle owns a shop that fixes electric motors and he has an old Southbend lathe that his employee uses to turn down motors if need be. The problem is neither one of them are machinist so they are not very helpful with information on machining OR on the lathe itself.

    I took some pictures of the lathe. I'm hoping someone could take a look and tell me as much as you know about this lathe. I'm interested in what are the specs and what it is capable of. I'd like to know how to use all the options on it. Maybe someone could point me in the right direction to obtain an instruction manual?

    Here are the pics and thank you in advance!!

  • #2
    As can be seen, it's a model A which denotes a quickchange gear box and powerfeeds in both axes via clutch on apron. I'm no South Bend expert but a good start would be:
    This site has a full rundown on such models. Another reference would be
    "How to run a lathe" which was put out by the South Bend company back in the day.

    There are plenty of SB lathe owners here who will chime in with more.
    I bury my work


    • #3
      Southbend Manual - How To Run A Lathe

      This should help answer a lot of your questions starting out.

      Check out the rest of the W.E.Williams website. Lots of info on the Southbend lathes.


      • #4
        Your's looks to me like a 9/10K ( small spindle ). This site below should have most of what you need. HTRL (How to Run a Lathe) is availabel reprinted on ebay and some others.

        Pretty important on these is oiling, don't overlook this as they need it to last.

        some general how to stuff,

        Steve's main site, lots of info here,


        • #5
          744Z is a 9"x22" model. nice lathe...looks like it's been taken care of.


          • #6
            I am a South Bend Heavy 10 owner, and in the process (seemingly endlessly) of restoring my machine. As a result, I have a good deal of information on the South Bend lathe on my site in this forum:

            (you need to register first)

            In addition, you need to check the Yahoo South Bend lathe group files section:

            (you need to register first)

            the Yahoo South Bend Manual files section:

            (you need to register first)

            You can get some help on the Yahoo SB group from Jim B. (knowledgeable, great guy) and Dennis Turk (very knowledgeable).

            There are other places, but these are the ones I recommend that are newbie friendly.


            • #7
              Here is a ten part machining video course:

              How to Run a Lathe is a good book to read as it is tailored somewhat to the South Bends. The 1950 edition has about 4 times as many pages as the one linked here. I have scanned that edition and believe the copyright has expired due to lack of renewal but want to give Pappagrizzly a little while to produce any evidence to the contrary before I upload it.


              • #8
                Originally posted by fishfrnzy
                Pretty important on these is oiling, don't overlook this as they need it to last.
                Forgot about oiling!

                Here is a link to some lube charts and other info you can use (you need to register first):

       (lube charts for the South Bend 9 & 10)

       (where to buy felts and lubricants for South Bend lathes)


                • #9
                  Wow! Thanks for all the responses guys!

                  That is exactly what I've been looking for, the good places where I can read all about this thing.

                  You have all been extremely helpful.

                  It might be a while before I post again because I have A LOT to read but I'll will be back with any other questions.

                  Probably about tooling.



                  • #10
                    You will want to go to this site too. Then read, read, read,. As already stated the ( How To Run A Lathe ) book is a must and very good read for the beginner. Has speeds and feeds for your lathe in it and you will constantly go back to it for years to come.