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South Bend 9" Gap Bed?

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  • South Bend 9" Gap Bed?

    I was browsing through eBay and came across this:

    I didn't know that South Bend made a gap bed 9" and wonder if this was custom made at the factory or whether it was done by one of the previous owners. Wherever the work was done, it looks to have been done well - though the chuck pictured on the lathe overhangs the gap by a substantial amount.

  • #2
    I don't know, but I do know I'm not fond of gap bed lathes. Either the gap isnt big enough to accomodate the workpiece, or you're running the carriage off the end of the gap trying to reach the workpiece. Add to that that most of them won't go back in place correctly after having been removed, and they're no substitute for a lathe that's large enough to begin with.


    • #3
      I doubt it is a factory mod. There would be little advantage to such a small gap at that location.

      There is a crossmember in the bed at the location of the one in the photo. It looks as though it was cut to that point to maintain some rigidity.

      If he gets that price, I will be busy reassessing my inventory. Lathe should be worth a max of $500 having been butchered.
      Jim H.


      • #4
        That is a factory mod. If you look at the bed you can see that the feet are much different than the regular SB. The long ribs that extend from the feet toward the center of the bed are there to add exra rigidity to compensate for the lost gap material.

        I know someone who has a 10K that looks like the lathe on ebay, but I have never heard of a 9" gap bed. In any case, the bed would be the same between the two, so it's not a stretch to assume that both 9" and 10K gap beds were offered.


        • #5
          JC, Looking at the first image, it appears that the "gap" may not be the gap. There is another vertical line about 2/3 of the distance from the gap to the apron, about where a real gap would end. Don't know if it's dirt or the right edge of the gap though.

          added - According to Tony at, gap bed models A, B and C were introduced in 1962.

          [This message has been edited by nheng (edited 12-05-2004).]


          • #6
            I've got a gap bed 10K. IMO it's not a good design. SB took a regular 10K lathe bed and simply made a gap section in it, without doing a thing to compensate for the extreme lessening of bed rigidity caused by that.

            The 9" version you posted the link to appears to have the same problem. If you look at the bed just to the left of the carriage handwheel, and at the bottom of the right-hand side of the gap piece, you can see just how little of the bed is actually left intact at that point.

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