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Tell me about a South Bend 13" lathe

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  • Tell me about a South Bend 13" lathe

    I'm on the look-out for a replacement for the NoodleLathe (tm). I stumbled on this:

    I have the right of first refusal, but I better not wait too long!

    I believe this is a South Bend 13". Can someone confirm? It looks a lot like a Heavy 10 according to the site, which doesn't seem to list the 13" model at all.

    This looks like the sort of lathe I could keep for the rest of my life.

    Can anyone supply more information on the lathe? What type of tapers, spindle bore, type of chuck mounting mechanism, etc?

  • #2
    Looks like a cam lock chuck mount. about a 1 3/8 hole through spindle ,Taper in spindle is morse 4 1/2 I think.
    Every Mans Work Is A Portrait of Him Self


    • #3
      You need to get the ser number of the bed. Its behind the tailstock on in between the ways at the end of the bed.

      It is a double tumbler trans, later model even ( like after the war and maybe even 60's to 80's year model). Its has the flame hardened bed ( there will be no scraping marks on the ways), it has the adjustable front foot for taking out bed twist, and it has the large dials.

      This is a nice lathe no matter what size it is. The thread chasing dial I see does like like the syle that comes on the 13" SB lathes. They had two size spindles and either the ser number of the lathe, or measuring the diameter of the threads for mounting will help tell what size through hole and tapers it has.

      Don't even worry with it though, these are nice lathes are your not going to find one much better than this style. If its the 13" ( and I think it is) they are very stout and you will love it.

      Edit , I thnk he is right about the spindle I didn't even look at it. Nice setup.



      • #4
        Of all the SB's I've come into contact with, I think the 13" is the best of the lot. They are stout machines. The one in the picture looks like it has the D1-4 spindle, most likely has a hard bed, and it has the lever apron clutch, much better than the knob. IIRC, it's in the 1200 to 1500 LBS range.


        • #5
          Plus large dials too. More than likely a later machine.


          • #6
            That's a solid HSM machine. You wouldn't want it to make a living on simply because it won't be as fast as a newer machine, but other than slow spindle speeds it's pretty desirable. A guy could turn out a lot of fine work on that one.


            • #7
              Directly under the tailstock in the picture is a black tag that tag says "Flame Hardened Ways"!
              If you do not jump on this machine you will regret it forever and another wiser and more intelligent than yourself will enjoy your lapse in judgement.
              Yes it is a 13".


              • #8
                Almost certainly a 13" --- I recently had the Heavy 10 and am pretty familiar with it, Note the cast iron motor housing in your pic and the one in the pic of my Heavy 10, where it meets the bed the 10 is narrower. And as others mentioned, its one of the later ones what with the "D" spindle, large dials etc - should be a winner!

                If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........


                • #9
                  Serial # is 14341tkx


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Tony Ennis View Post
                    Serial # is 14341tkx
                    14341 = 1974
                    T = 13" swing
                    K = Quick Change Gear (QCG), Friction Feed Apron, Underneath Motor Drive (UMD)
                    X = Special (likely is harden bed, could include other options too)


                    • #11
                      I have a SB 13 and am very happy with it. They are good machines but i would diffidently take the time to do a tear down and re-felt the whole machine. These are plain bearing spindles and use felt wicks to provide lube to the spindle. Same with the gear box and the apron. With age the felts gather enough crud to get very hard and not pass/wick much lube. There is a good following on PM on the south bend forum. P/s don't let the though of a plain bearing spindle scare you, my sb9a made in 1946 and the sb13 made in 1968 show very little if any wear on the spindle or bearings.


                      • #12
                        You'll love this machine. I have it's larger brother a SB 16" with an 8" bed and a taper attachment. Gets used all the time. Mine came out of an oil terminal mant. shop and had very little use.
                        Gave $200 for it in '95 and I'm very happy with it!!!

                        THANX RICH
                        People say I'm getting crankier as I get older. That's not it. I just find I enjoy annoying people a lot more now. Especially younger people!!!


                        • #13
                          Pre-gloat pictures! Excellent. It looks like it could be a good kit if an in person appraisal doesn't turn up any mystery cracks and stuck parts. It looks like the kind of machine that can outlive several good owners.


                          • #14

                            Is it in Michigan? A friend of mine has/had one for sale in Mi.

                            edit: it is probably in flylo's hanger by now.

                            OPEN EYES, OPEN EARS, OPEN MIND

                            THINK HARDER


                            MY NAME IS BRIAN AND I AM A TOOLOHOLIC


                            • #15
                              The 13"SB is an excellent machine.
                              Spindle bore-1.375"(large enough for 5C collet draw tube) Spindle taper-4&1/2MT. There is an adapter to 3MT to mount tooling with that shank. Tail stock barrel taper-3MT. Weight of 13 X 28-1500#. The spindle bearings are the thin shell type. The instructions on the head stock are a little sketchy. As mentioned earlier the Practical Machinist Board has an entire forum dedicated to SB lathes. There's a sticky that will give you step by step photos and instructions to disassemble the head stock for replacing the bearing felts. All of the parts lists and manuals as well as parts sources are shown. Buy the lathe and visit the PM site.
                              Larry on Lake Superior