Old Sebastian Lathe
Hi there, new to the forum but I think it will help me out a lot, from what I have read so far anyway.
My lathe is labelled 'Sebastian, Cincinatti Ohio'. It is not quite complete and looks to have been messed about a fair bit in it's no doubt long career. No idea of the history of it, I got it off ebay a year or so back, and that guy I bought it off had only had it a few years and supposedly only used it to turn bits of wood?
I have used it to make a few bits and bobs for my car project, but I haven't spun a lathe since high school, so I'm pretty rough. You know the story, always wanted a lathe, then one comes up cheap and you're like "what do I do now?"
I'd like to restore it a bit (once car if finished I think) and make sure it's in good working order. If anyones got any tips on specific things to check it would be great. I plan to turn a test lenght to check alignment, but I don't have a tailstock centre yet. Would I be right in assuming it's a Morse taper No. 2? Can anyone tell from the photos?
Anyway, even though it's probably a hundred years old, It's still got a bit of life left, with any luck it might last another hundred.
Will post pics in a minute.
OK, fair enough, you got me there. I'm an Aussie and don't have to type Cincinnati very often.
Here are pics of mine. Sorry some are a bit random.
On comparing them just now mine does look a little different. Slightly newer maybe? Can anyone date it? I wonder how it came to be in Australia and what it has been up to?
Welcome aboard! Although I can't help with dating your lathe, just a couple of observations....
First of all, it looks to be in pretty good shape and quite useable. No abuse and that's good. It should come in handy for many projects you didn't even know you needed a lathe for!
Did you get a small pile of threading gears along with it? If not, you'll have find/make some if threading is called for. For straight turning it should work fine. Run it slow...those old spur gears weren't meant for "high speed". Just keep them lubed and enjoy your new power to create.
The top of the carriage is something I've never seen before on a small lathe. Those T slots would be VERY handy........most lathes have them only on the carriage "wings". Frankly, I wish I had something similar on my lathe.
I can't spell Cinn....Sinnsanat........I can't spell it either!
Whoever repowered it from its overhead line shaft days had no clue about how slow it should go. If that is the usual 1750 rpm motor your Sebastian goes way too fast. Tough on the old plain (bronze or Babbitt) spindle bearings.
Here are the various taper specs:
Wasn't the above lathe actually a former treadle lathe? Judging by the treatment of the legs and comparing it to the lathe in the link below, it would seem so.
I see many similarities, and just a few differences---mainly that nice T-slotted carriage, whereas mine had T slots on the saddle wings. The tailstocks are different as well, though the 2 treadle lathes appear the same except the handwheel.
If I had to guess, I would say the above Aussie lathe is much older than the Sebastian I show. Mine was factory equipped for an electric motor and intergal countershaft.
Agree that it might have been a treadle lathe originally, as overall construction is pretty light for lineshaft power. Looks to be in OK shape, but as noted, the gearing could use a bit of lubrication.
Thanks for the info guys. Yes it probably was a treadle lathe. The legs seem to have some holes that may have held an axle thru the middle as per the pictured one. The motor arrangement is not exactly factory style so I thought it was either line shaft or treadle.
I hadn't thought much about the T-slots, other than that they would come in very handy, I figured they would have been pretty standard. I might look at getting an angle block and a milling vice for it as I have a need to mill something at present.
I have a same lathe as the picture mine had a broken gear on the main spindle which I made a new one. It's missing the flywheel and linkinge needed to make this work with the foot pedal. My goal is to bring it back to original. Somebody had put a motor on it but it's coming off. Could you tell me what size the o.d. of the flywheel is on the largest diameter. Does anyone know the original color
thanks for your help
Actually it’s just Cincy to those of us who grew up there. Parts for your lathe are still available from a company in Covington Kentucky (Across the bridge from Cincy) though I am at a loss right now remembering the company’s name. Mine is a bit newer. Earl
Originally Posted by johnoder
Don't forget Australia uses a 50 Hz power supply, so the most common single phase motor runs at about 1425 RPM. If this is a 1425 RPM motor, and the countershaft drive pulleys are 3" and 10", this would give the intermediate direct speed about 425 RPM, still a bit fast, but probably not enough to cause major problems in light usage?
If the pulley on the motor is 3" and the countershaft one is 12" this would give an intermediate direct drive speed of around 350 RPM, which should be somewhere about right for this lathe, should it not, or is that still a bit fast for Babbitt? The recommended direct drive intermediate speed for my old similar sized lathe which has bronze headstock bearings was 300 RPM, which gives a top speed of 600 RPM at the fastest belt setting.
Not wanting to hijack the thread,but Bigearl67 posted a picture of a Sebastion gear head that looks similar to one I have. What I need are the spindle rpm numbers on the two shift levers on the headstock. On the left lever the numbers in the top row(yellow) are visible,but the second row ,the red set has been hammered out due to storing the chuck wrench by hanging between the levers. All the numbers or writing on the right lever are unreadable. If Earl or someone else could E-mail me this info Iwould be grateful.
One thing to be very careful of on the gear head Sebastion lathes (and possibly the cone heads) is not to run the cross feed to the extremes under power. There is no slip clutch, or shear pin, and you will break some of the bevel gearing in the apron. The last of the series had a rather crude mechanism to kick the feed off, when facing outwards. This was at the edge of the apron, to the right of the cross slide, and it was very apparent what it was there for, and how it worked. The gears could still be broken facing in an inward direction, however.
Herb is right about running the cross feed to its extreme, here is what happened to mine and the ensuing repair.
Paul, Mine are buggered up as well, however I do have an original manual if you or anyone else needs it I can make a copy. Just PM me. Earl.
That t-slotted cross slide could well be a later shop-built addition, patterned after a Myford lathe. Casting kits were (and still are) available to make the modification on various lathes.