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Springfield lathe info?


Oct 30, 2021
I bought this lathe today and can't find much info on it. Any info that could be passed on would be great.



Hot Rolled
Aug 8, 2004
Doc's restore is the closest thing to an online tutorial that you are likely to find on the web. His workmanship is exceptional and his narrative is very entertaining. I followed it all the way through and all I have is a "lowly" South Bend. Looking back, I can't believe how many years it spanned, so be prepared and good luck. (plenty of pictures also please) Jim


Cast Iron
Mar 30, 2016
Yep, contact Doc for advice.

P.S., I saw that one stay up for a while. Looked like a screaming deal to me. Hopefully it treats you well.


Jan 8, 2005
Southcentral, AK
[cracks knuckles]

For the "inside story", I have a fairly full rebuild here on PM under Saving a Springfield. Yours is a slightly newer unit- I'm not an expert on all the variations, but mine's a '43, I'd guess yours is closer to the mid-50s. Much past that and they started looking a lot more angular and modern.

For a little bit of tool porn, I have a quickie video of it in action, and of course for a little more historical information there's always Tony's article on Springfields. That latter is mostly 30s and earlier, but a lot of the same info and details still apply.

Apart from that, what do you need to know? It's a fairly conventional heavy lathe, yours looks like a 14" or 16" (16" or 18" actual swing) somebody's given it a quick wrap-and-squirt paintjob, and what little I can see of the ways and other surfaces looks like it was reasonably well cared for.

If it's original, it'll probably have a 5 or even 7HP 3-phase motor, probably 1140 RPM, 12 spindle speeds ranging from somewhere around 20 RPM to about 600 or so, probably an L1 spindle, and the bore through the spindle will be less than 1-3/4" (mine's 1-9/16".)

One interesting thing that leaps to my mind is, I don't see either an external oil pump or a 'cleanout' door in the hadstock base. On mine, the pump up by the chuck pressure-feeds oil from a sump down in the leg, up to the gearing. Yours may be splash-oiled, or have a fully internal sump-and-pump. I'd be curious to know, if you, y'know, ever come back to actually read any of this. :D

Generally speaking, for anyone else reading this who might care, I've been using this off and on for a good portion of the year now, and I'm very happy with it. I can't say it's quiet, there's a lot of straight-cut gear whine, but no rumbling or other indications of bad bearings or the like. The clutch is smooth and firm, the feeds are smooth, the controls are solid and reliable, it's very accurate, and it can peel steel like I've never done before. :D

I may have piled way too much time and far too much money into it, but it's damn near a brand-new machine. The worst issue is that due to wear, the tailstock is about ten thou low, plus or minus. I figured I'd just shim it for now- been meaning to get to it, but the bloody thing weighs like nine hundred pounds. :D