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Introduction and request for help identifying lathe

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
Hi all. I wanted to introduce myself, and then ask for some help from those more knowledgable than I. I have been lurking on this site for over a year now, reading everything I could about my old lathe as I try and restore it. I am a not a professional machinist, but more of a machinist wanna-be. I like to work on all things mechanical as a hobby. Over the years I've restored cars, motorcycles, welders, and old machinery. Taught myself how to weld, machine simple things (have a friend with the equipment), fabricate etc. It's sort of decompression for me in what is otherwise a very stressful career at times. I acquired this old lathe (pic below) that had been in storage for a VERY long time. It was grimy, covered in decades of old grease and wood chips/sawdust (they were using it as a wood lathe) but no rust and appeared to be in great mechanical shape. It came with original 3-jaw Chushman chuck, original wrenches, original lantern tool post, original motor, complete bench model countershaft setup, tail chuck, centers, cutting tools etc. but few change gears. I know, I know... few change gears...but for what I wanted it for that was okay. I was determined to restore it as a project and I actually needed a lathe. It sat for over a year because life is busy, but with the coronavirus isolation crisis I suddenly found I had time to work on it. So after a year of research, learning everything I could on these old South Bends, a couple of months ago I finally dug in.

I disassembled the entire lathe, every last nut and bolt and taper pin, bagging and tagging and taking pictures everywhere. Assessing the condition as I proceeded to see if it was going to be worth the effort. I found no chipped or worn gears, the bearings and spindle were pristine, the acme screws had no discernable wear, the half nuts looked like they were never used, and the bed looked great. I was missing a few pieces, notably the gear cover and the carriage chip guard. I degreased, cleaned up, deburred, chased threads etc. everywhere it needed it. I intended to save the old black japaned finish but it literally melted off with the degreaser so had to repaint. In retrospect, I wish I had been more careful and saved the finish because I kind of like my restorations to be just mechanical rejuvenations, and like to keep the vintage patina when I can - I just like the look of honest wear...but I can't undo what's done, so it is what it is. Anyway, after each part was thoroughly inspected and restored, it was masked and painted, then the lathe was lubed, felts replaced etc. and reassembled.

In my process of disassembly I learned how it all worked (which is a great thing - understanding how each part works), and from it's construction and my measurements I was pretty sure what I had. Since the gear cover was missing, I had no brass plate with a model number, but there were clues.

When I obtained it, as you can see in the pic, it had a countershaft that someone had mounted to the legs with a custom fabricated mount (yes, I know the drive pulley is reversed in the pic), someone had also fabricated and attached a chip tray and mounted electrical switches in various places on the legs. These mods were all done long ago. How do I know? Well, because of the wear marks on the mating parts, where grime was and wasn't, the electrical components, vintage switches and wiring etc. The mods were more than 50 years old. (the chip tray that was bolted to it was made from an old tin milk crate that was dated to the 1930's). But once disassembled and cleaned up this is what I found I had:

Casting date 1-8-27, serial #36534 also dates it to 1927.
swing 9”
bed length 3'
6 5/16” between vee ways on the bed
no graduation marks on the tail stock quill
no power feed
eccentric camshaft for back gears
spring loaded lever for reversing gears
bronze spindle bearings without wicks
top oiler
no attachment point on the headstock for a counter shaft adjusting rod (so was a line shaft drive machine and the countershaft was added)
flat belt cone pulley
headstock clamps down to the bed (not bolted)
has factory legs

I looked over many catalogs of the day, read many, many posts, Wells etc., looked at many pics of 1927-28 South Bend 9” lathes, yup, I was certain that I had a 1927 9” Junior. Specifically a South Bend 22-Y. 22 for line shaft 9“ Junior from the catalog, Y for 3' bed and no “B” because mine had factory legs.

So, I went to replace the chip guard on the cross-feed. Found one for a 1927 Junior, bought it, fit perfectly. I also bought a gear cover tagged 22-R which should be the exact same cover that I would need as I have a 22-Y and the only difference is the bed length. Got the cover. Beautiful, original paint and both brass plates and knob, not messed with at all. But it doesn't fit. The distance from the hinge pin to the hole for the spindle is 5 ”. The distance from my bracket's hinge pin hole to the spindle center is 4 1/2”. Okay whats up? I find a pic of another lathe on the forum that is a 1928 9” Junior. Their lathe looks identical to mine, their cover looks identical to mine and their cover bracket looks identical to mine, so why doesn't mine fit? Yet in another pic of a 1928 Junior I see a different bracket. New To Me 1928 South Bend Junior 9" | The Hobby-Machinist So, I figure my bracket must be the wrong bracket after-all and I will have to custom make one or buy a different one. But why would someone buy and change out that bracket to the incorrect one decades ago, when the correct ones were readily available? And that bracket was clearly on my lathe for the better part of 50-100 years. The parts diagrams I have seen show a different bracket than the one I have, but I only have parts diagrams and numbers for the later 9” “workshop” lathe, I can't find any parts listings or diagrams for the 9” Junior model. Curious, I held the cover in place not attaching it to the bracket. Hard to say with certainty (as I am free holding the cover with one hand and manipulating the lever with the other) but it appears the cover won't clear the reversing gears and center on the spindle at the same time - ie doesn't fit my lathe. But I'm not really sure how close to the headstock it is supposed to fit. So I am perplexed. Everything I have read points to a South Bend 9” Junior model 22-Y, yet an unmolested, pristine original 22-R cover doesn't appear to fit, at least not fit the way I see them in pics of other lathes (with the spindle poking through and cover edges tight up against the headstock).

So, questions I have:
1) Do I in fact have a South Bend 9” Junior?
2) If so, isn't this a model 22-Y?
3) If so, why doesn't a model 22-R cover fit?
4) The cone pulley on the headstock looks like (measures) it is for a 1” belt but the 9” Juniors were 1 1/4” (or so I thought) How can that be? I believe the pulley is original but no way to know for certain.
5) For those that haven't noticed already, what is the deal with the reversing lever trigger? The originals I see in pics of 1925's and earlier as well as most 1927's and 1928's were brass, mine is a different shape and is iron but appears original. I did see one (and only one) exactly like mine on a pic of an unrestored 1926 Junior with a serial number only 1500 earlier than mine. Was this a 1 year only part? Photo Index - South Bend Lathe Works - 9" Junior Lathe (Catalog 22-AB) | VintageMachinery.org
6) Another odd thing. No wipers on the carriage. No, they are not just missing, there are no holes drilled there for the screws to hold them. I have read about someone else who had this too, but only that one other example. Every other 1920's 9” Junior had the tapped holes for the carriage wipers. Why is this?

I've done many hours of research and can't figure this lathe out. The only thing I can think of is that South Bend had variations that were not cataloged, but really don't know. Can anyone help? I really want a gear cover and as well as some other accessories, but I need to know exactly what I have. A pic of the lathe when I first obtained it is below. Also attached are pics with restoration underway but headstock not fully assembled as I am awaiting delivery of a needle take up bearing. Pics of the cover and my cover bracket are in the next post.

I hope to contribute as I learn. These are beautifully manufactured machines and using old machinery is a wonderful hobby.
 

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Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
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tommy1010

Hot Rolled
Joined
Apr 21, 2010
Location
northeastern Pa, USA
Nice job so far. The clean up and paint looks great. That handle on the reverser is not original by any means.
I have a reverser for a Junior that is all original along with a pristine leadscrew that came off a 54" bed. I have a compound and apron. The apron has a set of half nuts that need rebuilt. The gears are so-so but the casting is good to the point that the carriage handwheel hole is not worn. If you are interested in any of this stuff PM me.
 

kitno455

Titanium
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Location
Virginia, USA
That is the correct end cover, but it won't fit over the large gearset you have installed now. My 9Jr is the same way. Or, are you saying that the spindle hole does not line up with the hole in the cover?

allan
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
Thanks. Good to hear that at least I have the correct cover. The problem is that the hinge pin on the cover does not line up with the bracket's hinge pin hole when the cover's hole is positioned to line up with the spindle. The distance between the centerline of the bracket hole and the centerline of the spindle is 4 1/2 inches (front to back), but the same distance measured on the cover (cover hinge pin to centerline of the hole in the cover) is 5 1/2 inches. So, if I do have a Jr, and the cover is correct, then the bracket I have must be wrong. I questioned that, but since that bracket had been with that lathe for decades I had doubts. That is why i posted a pic of the bracket (I showed the part number). Is your bracket identical or does your Jr have a different one? Also, when holding the cover in what appears to be the correct position if I did have a different bracket, it appears that when the cover hole is lined up with the spindle, the large gears will clear, but the reversing lever gears won't. Those small reversing gears hit the cover. But if once correctly installed with the correct bracket those reversing gears are supposed to just barely clear the cover (I mean by a mm or so) then it might fit, hard to tell without the bracket and my hand just holding it in place. Would appreciate it if you could take a look see on yours for me. What year is your 9 Jr?
 

garyphansen

Titanium
Joined
Feb 9, 2004
Location
Traverse City, MI
The hole in the gear cover is babbit and was poured and fitted at the factory. It may be wore so that when closed it doesn't aline with the spindle. You could melt out the babbit and repoure it but is easier just to use something like JBweld.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
You mean the hinge pin correct? I had read that, but that would be to 'tweak' it. Can't see how I could gain an inch by doing that. The pin is in there solid, centered and straight, no play ie not worn. I thought perhaps (hoping) that it was an eccentric pin that could be rotated, but it doesn't appear to be. I thought I may have had the wrong bracket, but just found a parts diagram from 1930 which shows my bracket (part 147) and cover (part 146) are both correct. Now I'm really scratching my head.
 

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kitno455

Titanium
Joined
Jul 9, 2010
Location
Virginia, USA
I'll go pull my cover and bracket and take a look. But, a thought occurs to me- any chance your lathe is an 11 Jr instead of a 9 Jr?

allan
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
I don't think there was such a lathe as an 11 Jr. In that era there was an 11 inch change gear lathe though, and there was an 8 inch Junior, so I measured again. I get 4.7 inches from spindle centerline to the tip of the innermost vee way peak. And it is a 3/4 inch spindle bore. So it is a 9 inch lathe, and my understanding is that in 1927 that means it has to be a 9 inch Junior, but maybe not, I am learning but not an expert. The cover and bracket are what they show in the 1930 parts diagram which is before the workshop lathes so they have to be for the Jr, and my cover is marked with that part number and has a brass plate stamped model 22 9 inch swing. So, it should fit, but doesn't. Perhaps this was some sort of transition year IDK, where some covers had one bracket and others another. All I know is that there is no way that my 'correct' bracket and my 'correct' cover will fit on my 1927 9 inch Jr. It is just off by too much to be tweaking or normal variances in production. The bracket holds the cover 1 inch too high and about 1/2 to 1 inch off fore-aft as well. I thought perhaps someone had combined parts from different lathes over the years, but the bed is definitely a wide 9 from 1927 (serial, casting date and measurements) and the headstock is the 1927 bronze bearing, top oiler type. I just can't figure it out, a real mystery.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
I am wondering if it is a 9 inch series "O" lathe. They were also wide 9's so that measurement would fit. What years did they make series "O" lathes were they made concurrently with the Juniors? How do they differ and how would one distinguish between a 9 inch series "O" and a 9 inch Junior of the same year? Does anyone know?
 

iwananew10K

Diamond
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Location
moscow,ohio
there was an 11"
even a somwhat obscure 10" IIRC
a decent measurement from the spindle centerline to the flat bed way will tell.

ps- part/casting numbers are somewhat generic.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
My lathe measures 4.75 inches from spindle centerline to the flat bed way. I know 9 Jr's had a swing of 9 1/4 in. per the factory specs but I assume mine is a 9 incher. But, could it be a 9 inch series "O"? What is the difference? One thing I do know is that my cone pulley is for a 1 inch belt, not 1 1/4 like specs say for a Jr. I just assumed Jr. because I believed all 1927 wide 9's were Jr's. But maybe I am wrong.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
That was my thought. But weren't all model 25's equipped with power cross and longitudinal feeds? Mine is not so equipped. Also it lists 2MT for the spindle on a model 25. None of this is adding up.
 

iwananew10K

Diamond
Joined
Sep 12, 2010
Location
moscow,ohio
the 25 came in plain(like yours) and a power feed version.

the spindles are listed as 2MT WITH a reducing sleeve.

the actual spindle taper is larger(3MT?)....but im not sure about that, might not even be a morse taper.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
the 25 came in plain(like yours) and a power feed version.

Ah! Didn't know that. You may have given me the answer. It just might be a model 25 without power options (did 25's have a wide bed?). If that is the case, what difference is there between that and a 9 Jr? Must be something or they wouldn't have built 2 models. The only thing against this is that the model 25 didn't have a trigger release for the reversing gears (had a bolt). Maybe I've got a few changed parts? Either a model 25 where someone changed the reversing mech or a 9 JR where someone changed the pulley. Could be, but it has all been together untouched for 50 years. It would be odd, but not impossible.
 

Oldmansteve

Plastic
Joined
May 12, 2020
Thank you for that correction and the reference. I was going nuts trying to figure it out. Everything now adds up to a 9 Jr, except the bracket that is. I'll just fab an adapter to make it work if I can't find the right bracket. No big deal. Just needed to know what I had and it wasn't adding up. All makes sense now.
 








 
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