South bend 13 purchase advice
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  1. #1
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    Default South bend 13 purchase advice

    First post, hailing from Cleveland ohio! I've been reading stuff on here for awhile leading up to my purchase. I came across this Southend 13x24 3 phase power. https://clevelandmachinery.com/lath/2925.htm No tooling included other than a 3 jaw, and pivot tool post. They came out of a school. They want 1595 for one of them. I think I'd like to be at 1300. Beyond the price though, what do i need to look for, what's it worth, and are they decent enough to shell out the cash. Thanks,
    Danny

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    I just picked up a 13" SB in very early spring this year. If you can get the serial number you can do some searching and figure out what year it was made. One thing I would be interested in... does it have flame hardened ways (mine did)? There should be a tag on the bed if it does; I can't tell in the pictures because the carriage is in the area where the tag would be. Also, the original 3 phase Reliance motor that came on mine (~1970 vintage) didn't like running on a VFD (got extremely hot and lots of noise) so I ended up buying an inverter duty motor for it. Probably would have run fine on true 3 phase or a phase converter instead of a VFD. The pictures shows it has the large satin chrome dials which are nice.

    What's it worth? Lots of variables. What's the condition? Flame hardened ways? Age? Do machine tools in your area typically go for high or low prices? The big thing is what is it worth to you??? If this is your first lathe you'll need a lot of tooling to use it much.

    I'm sure others will have suggestions too.

    Good luck,
    Ted

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    Quote Originally Posted by Technical Ted View Post
    I just picked up a 13" SB in very early spring this year. If you can get the serial number you can do some searching and figure out what year it was made. One thing I would be interested in... does it have flame hardened ways (mine did)? There should be a tag on the bed if it does; I can't tell in the pictures because the carriage is in the area where the tag would be. Also, the original 3 phase Reliance motor that came on mine (~1970 vintage) didn't like running on a VFD (got extremely hot and lots of noise) so I ended up buying an inverter duty motor for it. Probably would have run fine on true 3 phase or a phase converter instead of a VFD. The pictures shows it has the large satin chrome dials which are nice.

    What's it worth? Lots of variables. What's the condition? Flame hardened ways? Age? Do machine tools in your area typically go for high or low prices? The big thing is what is it worth to you??? If this is your first lathe you'll need a lot of tooling to use it much.

    I'm sure others will have suggestions too.

    Good luck,
    Ted
    I don't see any pictures

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    There are two things with a lathe that are of utmost importance...

    The condition of the ways, and the play in the spindle. Those are tedious and expensive to fix. Everything else is cheap and easy to rectify.

    So, there's three tools you'll need to check the wear.

    1. Magnetic base
    2. Dial indicator
    3. Machinist's Straight Edge

    Setup the indicator on the ways or carriage, indicating on the chuck or spindle, and pick up on the spindle. See how much play there is. Do the same with front/rear play. This will give a good idea of how much wear is on the machine.

    Then, using your straight edge, check the ways. If you can see daylight between the straight edge and ways, where you see daylight will be deviations in your cut across the length of the part.

    If the lathe is under power, and they are willing to demo it, take along a mic and 1" aluminum bar. Do a 0.001" skim cut the length of the bar then mic it every inch. See how much deviation there is in the cut.

    Anything and everything else is easy to fix by comparison.

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    You'll have to go to the link he provided to see them.

    Ted

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    He's not sure if they're flame hardenred he has to go look for a tag and pull a serial number for me. They'll hook it up and run it but i can machine anything. I'll bring my strait edge and my dial indicator to check for some play. Since they were in a school their whole life stuff being dropped on the ways and the gearbox are my biggest concern

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    The working part of the beds on these are so short and the saddle respectively long, there can be quite a bit of wear on the front way and the lathe will still turn tight parts with little effort. I wouldn’t sweat a bit of way wear(even 20-30 thou of a ridge on the front way.
    The spindle bearing check is ok to do, but it’s pretty easy to adjust if it’s the capped split bearing ( assuming someone has not already been there done that)

    As a reference I just sold my 13” 48” bed(20 something center to center) with taper and lots of tooling for $1750 in Ct. I could have held out for more, possibly another $800-1000, but I needed it gone. I had an ad up here if you care to look
    Keith



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    Quote Originally Posted by Littledanny View Post
    He's not sure if they're flame hardenred he has to go look for a tag and pull a serial number for me. They'll hook it up and run it but i can machine anything. I'll bring my strait edge and my dial indicator to check for some play. Since they were in a school their whole life stuff being dropped on the ways and the gearbox are my biggest concern
    The tag is quite large and right above the legs in the front on the tail stock end. Actually machining something is fine, but if the lathe is not leveled correctly you can expect a taper. If it was moved from the school and into a warehouse or whatever this is most likely the case. You can check the cross feed and compound for the amount of backlash in the screw/nut. If there is a bang or two on the ways they might be able to be carefully stoned to remove the high spots and they won't really effect anything much. If the flat way and V way up near the spindle that the tail stock rides on are banged up it shouldn't bother too much since the tail stock won't go up that far since the carriage will be in the way. Even if you have a steady rest in that area you should be able to adjust the bearing surfaces to overcome this. The compound might be a little beat up if the kids ran it into the chuck, but usually these can be cleaned up and even filled in if needed. I've seen guys braze these up and machine or file them flat.

    Make sure there are no missing teeth on any of the gears, especially the back gears. You'll probably need to remove the covers to check them so take some tools with you, like screw drivers, wrenches, allen wrenches since they might not provide these for you.

    mrpete222 has some YouTube videos on buying a SB lathe that you might want to check out: TIPS #269 Pt 1 of 3 How to Buy a SOUTH BEND LATHE tubalcain - YouTube I'm sure there's more info on-line as well and would be easy to find with Google.

    Ilion Industrial Services sells a nice renovating manual for these lathes. You can buy it along with a felt kit from eBay for a decent price if you buy it and are inclined to spend a little time cleaning things up and making sure everything is getting proper lubrication. I did this with my 13 and am very glad I did.

    Have fun!
    Ted

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    Key is to inspect the actual machine you will be purchasing before making an offer.

    There seem to be about 25 of those 13 inch machines lined up in the photo, and the resolution
    of the pictures is deliberately terrible I suspect.

    If you do buy it insist on a four jaw chuck, rather than the likely scrap condition three jaw.
    If the collet closer metioned a a lever type then the 300 for that is not a half-bad idea.

    No way I would spend their asking price without an on-site look see.

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    I have been watching tubalcain videos for 12 hours strait now. What a wealth of information. Watching him make gears is awesome (I got sidetracked). Thanks for all the info guys. I'll let you know what I come up with next week.


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