Machinery Rebuilders in CA for 13" 1941 SBL
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  1. #1
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    Default Machinery Rebuilders in CA for 13" 1941 SBL

    Hi,
    My lathe needs the bed reground and other work. I talk to a shop in Orange county and they told me $4500 to regrind and hand scape the parts to fit. It seems like a lot of labor but even so the cost appears high.
    Are there any other rebuilders that work on old SBL's in SoCal that you folks would recommend.

    My lathe may not be worth it, but I've had the old bugger for 12+years and we get along pretty good - so I'm not ready to chuck it in the recycling bin yet.

  2. #2
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    Hi, I've priced lathe grinding and rebuilding all over the west coast - even in Chicago. $4500 is the cheapest price I've seen. I would say you won't do better, unless you do it yourself. In southern cal, apparently only one guy does commercial scraping in your area, so far as I know. It takes time to do and he likes to pay his bills, so it costs $3500+ or so for labor and turcite.

    Don't forget you have to grind, build back up, and scrape everything : the ways, bottom of headstock, tailstock and apron. The tailstock and apron are the big jobs. Sometimes worn down so bad the apron gouges the flats on the ways, and the tailstock is canted to the front left due to wear.

    Still, you could get the ways ground for around $800, then build up the tailstock and apron yourself with turcite. Then scrape to fit. CNC grinding these days produces small tenths- as good or better than scraping-which is the way all Asian lathes are produced.

    Still,it's a lot Bucks! Good luck with your machine -fine old lathe.

    Glenn

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jvaliensi View Post
    Hi,
    My lathe needs the bed reground and other work. I talk to a shop in Orange county and they told me $4500 to regrind and hand scape the parts to fit. It seems like a lot of labor but even so the cost appears high.
    Are there any other rebuilders that work on old SBL's in SoCal that you folks would recommend.

    My lathe may not be worth it, but I've had the old bugger for 12+years and we get along pretty good - so I'm not ready to chuck it in the recycling bin yet.



    My recent experience: and I live in OC. At Orange Coast, who maybe who you talked to: they did my K & T, seems like they did a good job and not that I am cheap, I just don't have a lot of money, so north of 10 it was quite a bit for me, the installed some new electrical, send the table out for re-grinding and scraped the ways, and kinda went through it, lost a couple of basic part which I have been replacing, table trips, and mislaid the draw bar, so I went to start it up that was missing, well, I made a new one, no big deal, but...took a year and a half, so don't be in a big hurry and don't give all the money up front, try a small deposit and pay as you can, maybe that will motivate, really nice guys, but only one or two on the floor so the big jobs will get priority, just don't expect it next day, but they appear to know what they are doing, the old timers are few and far between what I have seen, maybe there are more in LA, I just went there because they were local...

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    Yep, I talked to Orange Coast also. They are the only scraping shop in southern Cal that I know of. There is,one in Portland I never found, and one other in Seattle that isn't interested in talking to you much about what they do. They all Include significant charges to build back up the bottom of the tail stock, saddle and occasionally, headstock also. These components are the time consuming parts, so I've been told. These are then scrapped to precision fit with the bed. You just can't grind the bed as the clearances between the leadscrew and apron, etc will all have changed, so need to be built back up to factory heights.

    An alternative is to have a CNC grinding shop grind your bed, then build up the tailstock and saddle and scrape to fit yourself. Grinding cost for a 48" bed is around $800. Buy the moglice and teach yourself how to scrape (flake) the bed to hold oil. Moglice craves easier than cast iron ways. The guy at the grinding shop said modern equipment will grind flat to small tenths. Which is as good as modern Import lathes. So why not???

    Good luck. Could be a cool project if you have a need and cash is tight -when is it not?

    Glenn

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    Not to start a pissing contest but there is no reason to scrape the bed to hold oil.

    Send the lathe bed out to get the surfaces reground according to the precision you're willing to pay for, but the semi-steel of the 1941 era lathes is so soft, you could get it back into alignment in a weekend with 600 grit sandpaper. (ok, that was a joke, supposed to be funny)

    Aside from trying to get the distance between the lathe bed inverted V ways to fit the carriage without scraping the carriage, (since its worn in usually only one area, do you want the original center distance or the distance the carriage is now?) none of the surfaces are critical, everything else can be reworked for much less effort.


    if the 7 surfaces are ground correctly, i don't think you need to rescrape the headstock. the tailstock has to be lifted up and if you don't want to use shims, you could lower the headstock and that would require irreversible metal removal. but i would just as soon suggest you lift the tailstock with turcite or other material, and lift the headstock to match the tailstock. if you do lift the tailstock and or carriage with turcite, you only need to remove just a few thousanths of an inch of turcite to get the thing back into alignment. the material you will need to remove is according to the variable thickness of epoxy used to secure the turcite to the cast iron, if you smeared it on the surfaces nicely and clamped the parts together properly there is no significant material to remove.(i suppose the variable thickness of the turcite itself is a theoretical problem) but you will have to correct the misalignment of the original surfaces. As you probably know, getting the last .001" of alignment takes just as much effort as the first .010".

    anyhow my point is if you take the headstock off a lathe, epoxy on turcite, clamp it back down, on a good day you only have about .001" of material to remove to get it fitted correctly. if the headstock is a foot long, you might be tempted to just live with .001" of taper per foot.

    What i did was lift the headstock with adjustable screws. once i was satisfied with the alignment i just slobbered some 5 minute epoxy on those surfaces, waited a day and then tightened the bolts to hold the headstock on. i had to redo this the first time. Pulling the spindle out an inch or two (with chuck attached), and slamming it into the headstock with modest effort broke those epoxy joints without any chance of damage(epoxy doesn't stick to cast iron soaked in oil for years anyways). (BTW, when i did this the thrust bearing was removed, low velocity, lots of contact area, no damage done. i could have used a lead hammer instead. )

  6. #6
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    I put a straight edge along my ways and near the headstock there is about 0.012" of a saddle worn. Other than that my bed ways don't look too bad at all, I've seen many with more chips and damage.
    My tailstock had a shim installed between the base and top part. And the base is worn down and a pretty big lip has developed.
    I would pay 1K to regrind the bed, but the another 3500 to have it hand scraped makes no sense to me because at this point the machine is not making me money, but is used for fun & hobby stuff.
    I'm worried if I had the bed reground that I'd mess it up bad trying to learn to scrape. I'd be happy if it would go back together better than it is now with the ways ground without scraping but just shimming it.

    Is that feasible?

    Quote Originally Posted by johansen View Post
    Not to start a pissing contest but there is no reason to scrape the bed to hold oil.

    Send the lathe bed out to get the surfaces reground according to the precision you're willing to pay for, but the semi-steel of the 1941 era lathes is so soft, you could get it back into alignment in a weekend with 600 grit sandpaper. (ok, that was a joke, supposed to be funny)

    Aside from trying to get the distance between the lathe bed inverted V ways to fit the carriage without scraping the carriage, (since its worn in usually only one area, do you want the original center distance or the distance the carriage is now?) none of the surfaces are critical, everything else can be reworked for much less effort.


    if the 7 surfaces are ground correctly, i don't think you need to rescrape the headstock. the tailstock has to be lifted up and if you don't want to use shims, you could lower the headstock and that would require irreversible metal removal. but i would just as soon suggest you lift the tailstock with turcite or other material, and lift the headstock to match the tailstock. if you do lift the tailstock and or carriage with turcite, you only need to remove just a few thousanths of an inch of turcite to get the thing back into alignment. the material you will need to remove is according to the variable thickness of epoxy used to secure the turcite to the cast iron, if you smeared it on the surfaces nicely and clamped the parts together properly there is no significant material to remove.(i suppose the variable thickness of the turcite itself is a theoretical problem) but you will have to correct the misalignment of the original surfaces. As you probably know, getting the last .001" of alignment takes just as much effort as the first .010".

    anyhow my point is if you take the headstock off a lathe, epoxy on turcite, clamp it back down, on a good day you only have about .001" of material to remove to get it fitted correctly. if the headstock is a foot long, you might be tempted to just live with .001" of taper per foot.

    What i did was lift the headstock with adjustable screws. once i was satisfied with the alignment i just slobbered some 5 minute epoxy on those surfaces, waited a day and then tightened the bolts to hold the headstock on. i had to redo this the first time. Pulling the spindle out an inch or two (with chuck attached), and slamming it into the headstock with modest effort broke those epoxy joints without any chance of damage(epoxy doesn't stick to cast iron soaked in oil for years anyways). (BTW, when i did this the thrust bearing was removed, low velocity, lots of contact area, no damage done. i could have used a lead hammer instead. )

  7. #7
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    at this point the machine is not making me money, but is used for fun & hobby stuff.
    And THAT is the perfect reason to just use it, not worry about its short comings. There are far worse out there in daily use

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    My 9inch lathe is from 1939 or early 1940, I had to remove .015" from each side of the front inverted V way to get to the bottom of it, the carriage would rock or tilt from vertical, about .022" as it crossed over the "hole" in the front V way. so its not clear to me if you mean .012" of metal worn from each side of the front v way? if so that means the carriage is about .018" low. there might be an equal or more amount of metal worn from the carriage, so double that number. Or do you mean .012 of vertical drop in that area?


    If you put 1/32" turcite under the carriage to lift it up, my guess is with a reground bed and a lathe with .012" of wear in the ways will have approximately the right height for the gear rack and lead screw. you will need to scrape the Turcite to fit the bed and perhaps more importantly to get the cross slide exactly 90 degrees! If you use Turcite you definitely do not want to scrape the bed! The oil valleys provide means for grit to get under the wipers and embedd in the turcite. Only the moving un exposed parts should have oil valleys scraped.

    In theory when you get the lathe bed back from regrind, you do not need to scrape the headstock for alignment. I think someone rescraped my headstock to match the worn ways at some point in the past, it looked like a real hack job under there. However if you lift the headstock with shims to match the tailstock then you'll have to decide what you consider acceptable alignment.

    If you don't want to mess with the headstock then machine say, .01 to .02" off the base of the Tailstock, then glue 1/32" turcite to it, then scrape the turcite to lower the tailstock back to factory height.


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