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Help Requested Identifying Recently Acquired Metal Lathe....


Jul 31, 2015
Hello all.
I am brand new to this forum and this is my first post. I am posting here with a request for help in identifying a metal lathe that I just acquired. Before I go any further, let me say that I am NOT a machinist, so please cut me some slack if I fail to use the correct terminology in part or all of this post.
For what it’s worth, my workshop experience is mostly welding, repairing, and fabricating odds and ends around the property here, as well as some occasional “fix-it’s” for my buddies here and there. I actually got to tinker with this aforementioned lathe back when my father was looking over my shoulder twenty years ago, but I don’t have a lot of lathe experience. I am confident though, that I can keep it from biting me. (A little common sense goes a long way)
The lathe in question was my (now deceased) fathers’, who has been gone fifteen years, and I just acquired it because my step-mom is downsizing due to her age and abilities. I am the only living “boy”, so I have just acquired many, many tools on top of what I already had. This machine was hooked up and still in good working condition before I moved it, although it has sat idle for most of a decade and a half. Dad was into sprint cars, engine building, street rod restoration, and was a skilled trades welder by occupation. (I only wish I could fill those shoes)

I took the time to scour this forum in my quest for identification of this machine, and learned (from a similar post titled “Osborn & Sexton Lathe”) a few things to offer up here as a start of the identification process. First, it was said in the other post that the name plate on the unit is often put there by the SELLER, and NOT the MANUFACTURER. That being said, I will tell you there are two SEPARATE brass plates mounted side by side on the front of the headstock frame. One is a screw chart, and the other reads “Osborne & Sexton Machinery Company, Columbus, Ohio”. Again, from reading the OTHER thread here on this site, popular opinion suggested this OTHER gentlemans lathe was a South Bend. Instructions in reply to his post suggested to look for a serial number on the tailstock end on top of the bed.

Well, I have scoured MY lathe with a putty knife, a roll of shop towels, and a can of WD-40 to do some cleaning, and have not turned up a number ANYWHERE !! There are absolutely no other cast markings, names, emblems etc. of any kind that I can find.
This machine is belt driven as you can see in the photos (I did not attach photos of the wall mounted drive frame and pulleys)that (hopefully) post successfully here, and looks to be in very good condition. I have three chucks, collets, and a whole bucket of different sized gears, and many other pieces/parts that go with it. The bed is six feet long, and the entire machine is about seven and a half feet in length. Heaviest thing i've moved in a while...that's for certain !
I have found hundreds of photos on the ‘net of different lathes, and I am going to guess mine is from the 1930’s or 1940's or so. The closest photo I could find is in a link below:

Photo Index - American Tool Works Co. - American Toolworks Tool Room Lathe | VintageMachinery.org

Also, the other thread that I mentioned earlier is here:


Any help that could be offered here would be hugely appreciated, and any idea of a value of this machine would be as well.
Thanks, Chad


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Last edited:

L Vanice

Feb 8, 2006
Fort Wayne, IN
I can tell from the pictures that the lathe is antique, perhaps circa 1910. So you could post your question in the antique machinery part of Practical Machinist and possibly get a quicker identification. I can only say I do not know the maker. My usual method, given the time and curiosity, is to page through American Lathe Builders, 1810-1910 by Cope and see if one of the hundreds of pictures matches. Your library might have the book.



Jul 16, 2004
Houston, TX USA
The linked thread (in post #1) is now missing the photos of the Series O South Bend, so here is a copy of How To Run A Lathe from 1913 showing the then current Series O lathes by South Bend. South Bend has a huge presence and a serial list data base going back to the beginning - so the serial was important for THAT reason.


Serials on obscure or low production makes have no importance, generally, since there is no dedicated serial number data base for them.

Your ATW photo is very little like your lathe. It has a QC gear box and feed rod out front (the lead screw runs down middle of bed out of sight), where yours has no QC gear box and has both lead screw and feed rod out front

I would guess your lathe is from about 1900 - the somewhat crude gear covers suggest these were shop added later.

It may be an early Bradford


Jul 31, 2015
A HUGE thank you to all that unselfishly spent a moment to reply !
After doing a bit more research, and, after you all steered me in the right direction, I am about 99% sure that this machine was produced by L. Robbins.
As I said at the beginning of this thread, I am new to the forum, and WOW....what a wealth of knowledge exists here !
It is actually a little intimidating. Looks I will be categorized as "plastic" for a while here, because I have much to learn by listening and little to offer in posts (yet).
Thanks again, Chad


Jul 5, 2009
Munster, In. USA
Not a Myers as the build was only 11" swing.
Very close to a Flather in a lot of ways yet some details say no.
Hole pattern match for the rear gear cover. The front cover of your lathe looks to
be a shop repair of the original gear cover.
Related lathes:
~SDC11452[1].jpg~18X48 1.jpg~18X48 2.jpg