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Thread: Sheldon Lathe
02-02-2010, 11:41 AM #1
I am looking at possibly buying a Sheldon lathe. I was looking at a Birmingham, but would have to drive much further to pick it up and was $800 more than this lathe without all the tooling.
The guy is sending more photos and model number.
He believes it is 12 to 13" swing. By the pictures it appears to be an 11" model.
He says it has a 1-1/2" bore and 54" bed, 3 phase.
About 1200 lbs with 3 and 4 jaw chuck. It appears to be in very good condition and comes with plenty of tooling.
Is this a good machine. How about part avaliability, any problems?
Is there any particular things I should look for if purchasing this machine?
Any help would be appreciated.
02-02-2010, 01:59 PM #2
I have had a 56XL Sheldon for the past 25 years. It only has a 10" swing but I have made a ton of parts on it. I know of no defects with these lathes. My gearbox is worn out but that is because of a lack of maintenance. I would recommend it. However, I have never made a gun part on it, only automotive stuff.
02-02-2010, 02:13 PM #3
I have not personaly run a Sheldon, but they seem regarded as similar in quality to South Bend and Logan, and a bit better than Atlas.
Go to this sight and read it.
The 1.5" bore is desireable.
3 phase should not be a deal breaker on a small lathe. Motors are usualy easy to swap out and VFD's provide a nice solution as well.
The weight (1200) is more than my heavy 10 SB. You wont man handle this into a garage. You will need some equiptment to load and unload.
54" bed should provide enough length center to center for most barrel work (usualy these smaller machines have the bed length include the head stock and tail stock, so you will have about 2.5' between centers.)
What to look at:
1) Parts - look on e bay. Even if they are available, new parts from anyone are prohibitively expensive.
2) Does it have a quick change gear box for threading, or all the loose change gears?
3) Does it have a threading dial?
4) if possable, run it and verify nothing makes any funny noises, work through all the gears in the QC box and all the shift levers on the apron.
5) if its and old design with back gears, inspect the gears carefully make sure the head stock gearing is not missing any teeth.
6) look over the gearing leading down to the feeds- are those gears in good shape.
7) close the thread feed lever (half nut) and see if it has any slack with the lead screw.
8) look anything that protrudes and would be dammaged if the machine was knocked over for signs of repair or replacement.
9) look at the overall level of care and maintaince of the rest of the machines in the shop.
10) fresh paint is a red flag - is the owner trying to hide a repair or is the machine realy in good shape. Compare it to the rest of the machines in the shop. If the paint is freshed up, think carefully.
Go to this sight and read it.
02-02-2010, 05:03 PM #4
I'm not real sure, but I question the 1.5" bore.
02-04-2010, 09:33 AM #5
The Sheldon lathe is a very good machine for gunsmithing. It is a better machine than the South Bend or Logan and much better than an Atlas or any of the economy imports.
They are three sizes, 10", 11" and 13". The 11" and 13" lathes are 1-3/8" through the headstock and accept 5C tooling. There are two versions of the 10", one with 1-1/16", the other with 1-3/8" through the headstock. The actual bore is a bit larger.
The bed is probably 56" length which gives 33" between centers.
Assuming good condition, a Sheldon will give good service for years. Parts availability should not be a problem in most cases if it is in good shape to begin with. Given normal use and care, there is little to go wrong with these machines. They are very simple and most wear would involve commercially available bearings and bushings.
02-04-2010, 09:41 AM #6
The guy I am going to buy this lathe from got back to me with more photos.
The model no. is a TE-1236P, 56" bed.
I can pick this up for $1000. Comes with 3 & 4 jaw chucks, steady rest, 2 tool posts (one like an aloris but not as nice he said), and assorted other tooling.
I've tried to attach a couple of photos but no luck.
Do they have to be on a internet site?
02-04-2010, 09:45 AM #7
I managed to upload the photos. Here they are.
02-04-2010, 09:58 AM #8
If you want, go to the Yahoo Sheldon group. Once you join, you can access a wealth of information that is available to the Sheldon owner.
Also John Knox, a ex Sheldon employee, has a fantastic memory of these old lathes. He can also tell you about what year it was built too.
I am a owner of a R13 Sheldon Sebaston lathe for 30 years now and would not trade that lathe for any newer one today!
02-04-2010, 12:34 PM #9
The number does not match my catalog sheet, but it is a couple of years older than mine. It is mid to late 50's vintage and appears to be the 13" lathe. It is difficult to judge by photos. At $1000.00 with accessories, it would be a very good buy, assuming it is in reasonable condition.
Take a close look at the bed for wear and run it through all the speeds.
02-05-2010, 12:33 PM #10
02-09-2010, 07:30 AM #11
New Old Sheldon Lathe
I just got back from Minneapolis where I purchased a Sheldon Lathe TE-1236P. I was quite a drive as I live in Casper, WY. The roads were terrible but we got the lathe home safe and sound.
I currently have the lathe in my hanger where I will go thru it and make sure everything is operating correctly before moving it back to our house and placing it in the basement where my shop is.
This model lathe has a 1-3/8" spindle, 36" between centers, powered carriage and cross slide. I received 3 and 4 jaw chucks, steady rest, 2 tool posts, holders, and a ton of other stuff.
I think I made a good purchase and can't wait to true up my Mauser actions and rebarrel them.