I believe my Sydney is quite old but i really don't know
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  1. #1
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    Default I believe my Sydney is quite old but i really don't know

    Hi everyone. This is my first thread in my life. This is as well my first Sidney lathe. Came across this on sale on marketplace for an amazing price and I don't know how to date it really. I have done quite a bit of research and haven't found any that looked exactly like this. I do know the rack or the top is aftermarket obviously but I still can't find any that has the carriage and stuff like that that are the exact same. I did see in one of the posts someone talking about the t slots on the cross piece mine has t slots as well and like a groove for locking something in. I don't really know a lot about these machines. I started out with just a little bitty shop task three in one which I also got an amazing deal on from marketplace and soon realized I wanted something way bigger so can someone please help me identify roughly the year of my Sydney lathe I do know it's a 17 inch by I want to say 60. Thanks really love to learn some history of this machine. It is surprisingly in phenomenal shape

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    Sidney is a nice lathe..some photos.. or model number might help.

    Welcome to PM Kevinburchett84

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    is this the australian version /

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    Here is a 25" from about 100 years back. Shop number tag interesting but remains to be seen if anyone ever connects such with dates. This is a double back gear cone head and is quite heavy duty for the time. Fitted with a cross sliding turret which managed to break the carriage saddle in half so it was scrapped

    sidney-004.jpgsidney-006.jpgsidney-002.jpgsidney-009.jpgsidney-005.jpg

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    You've told us almost nothing we can help you with. Is it a geared head lathe or an overhead belt lathe? I realize you may not even know these terms if you are new to this but we really do need some pictures if you want a creditable answer.

    Sidney started in business about 1905 but my understanding is that they didn't start building machine tools until around WWI. Prior to that, they built woodworking machines. Here is a photo of mine...a 15" (it actually swings close to 17) with a long bed - about 6' between centers. At one point I was given an approximate date of 1920-22. If that is correct, it was an old fashioned machine when it was new. Nevertheless, I use it practically every day.

    sidney-1.jpg

    sidney-2.jpg
    Last edited by 99Panhard; 06-19-2021 at 09:41 AM.

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    Hi there Panhard, not to derail this thread but if that is your shop it looks like it may be older than your lathe, (which is pretty cool in itself...) Jim

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    Prior to 1940s. I've seen one of the 17" models. Only one. Sidneys were very low production number lathes, only the WWII ones are around in *reasonable* numbers. There is a man on here not far back parting out a 17" that may be like yours, it tipped over in a drop. It was on facebook marketplace, lemme see if I can snag some pics.

    Here is the thread, but I couldn't find any pics. I didn't save the listing or that was back when facebook booted sold things off their site. At any rate, your pictures would be the most help in identifying it. My Sidney is clearly marked to the day it was built (or at least the day the tag was stamped ), so yours should have at least something. I believe their serial numbers were completely sequential, so the number at the tail end of the ways should give some data.

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    Spindle Appears to be 3.5” x 5.3tpi
    (above) Timekiller commenting in other thread

    My Sidney Tritrol Lathes brochure (someone penciled 12/32 on cover) says the 3 1/2 X 5 TPI spindle was used on the 14 and 16. As can be seen in upper photo these were rather ordinary looking gear heads. Tritrols were built to 24"

    scan-04.jpg

    Quote Originally Posted by ClappedOutBport View Post
    Prior to 1940s. I've seen one of the 17" models. Only one. Sidneys were very low production number lathes, only the WWII ones are around in *reasonable* numbers. There is a man on here not far back parting out a 17" that may be like yours, it tipped over in a drop. It was on facebook marketplace, lemme see if I can snag some pics.

    Here is the thread, but I couldn't find any pics. I didn't save the listing or that was back when facebook booted sold things off their site. At any rate, your pictures would be the most help in identifying it. My Sidney is clearly marked to the day it was built (or at least the day the tag was stamped ), so yours should have at least something. I believe their serial numbers were completely sequential, so the number at the tail end of the ways should give some data.

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    Also I cannot find a manufacturer number I don't know where it is I have three brass or I'm sorry I have two brass plates on it it's a 17 inch I know that and pretty long let me get a measurement so from the back of the machine to the face of the chuck is 67 in 48 in to the tail stock point

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    resize.jpg this is the best picture I have currently

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevinburchett84 View Post
    resize.jpg this is the best picture I have currently

    Look at photos in Post #5 above - you will likely see that yours is a good deal like 99Panhard's, which is a 15" from around 100 years back.

    In other words it is a "cone head" - meaning that the spindle is turned by a flat belt and cone pulley - instead of a gear box full of gears

    Vintage Machinery has this over 100 year old four page brochure. I say over 100 because the lathe design does not yet include "raised swing" - such as a 15" catalog size lathe having an actual swing of 17"

    http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/750/17201.pdf

    have fun

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    Yes. Mine is very close to this one. The I do believe that's what you called is the same as that one's but the only thing I do notice differently is a mine is definitely 100% 17 in on the side there is the old carving or whatever in the side that says Sydney 17 in. My brass plates have the dimensions for threading for 17 and 19-in lathe my quick change gear handles look just like the ones in that picture except the reverse of your facing the other direction but I do believe you are probably close to correct when you say you know 100 years old which I think would be neat do you know where I can find the casting number or the manufacturer number I don't know where I can find it

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    Looked on the tail end of the bed between the front V way and the tailstock way? Should be stamped. Might be hidden under rust.

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    I wonder what you need this information for...
    The lathe is about 100 years old - which is what your original question was.
    The company is long gone and even if they weren't the chances they would have anything to do with this machine are non existent. There are no manuals for it - there never were. When it was new, it was presumed that anyone who would buy one already knew how to run one. If you break something you will have to either find it or make it - most likely the latter because the chances of finding another one with usable parts is about nil.

    This is a fact of life for all of us that work with old machines...

  16. #15
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    do you know where I can find the casting number or the manufacturer number I don't know where I can find it
    Post #4 has a photo of a factory number (shop number) - but it helped nobody date it - there is no place (info source) to be looking for that number. There is a broadly applicable serial number book, but in that book Sidney numbers only go back to 1930 and serial 5500 or so

    Seems like you would want to learn about using it, not chasing non existent information on "when"

    Here is a useful little book jam packed with generic USING information

    http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1617/5795.pdf

    ph
    Last edited by johnoder; 06-27-2021 at 07:47 AM.

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    How'd you come to find out that yours was roughly around the year

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    The company started in 1905. That is a matter of record.
    They originally manufactured wood working machines. Machine tools followed. I don't have a date for that but the increased demand brought on by WWI is logical. Orders for industrial products...cars, trucks, machines, guns etc. had a marked effect on the US industrial economy...

    The design of the machine is very conservative. Judging on it's mechanical features a date of 1890 or 1900 would not be exceptional. By the early 20s it was "old fashioned". While cone head lathes continued in use for a very long time after that - indeed are still used by a few of us, new ones were thin on the ground as manufacturers moved to geared heads. This is what Sidney did and the later, geared head machines are more common than the earlier cone heads.

    Years ago – maybe 10 years ago - someone on this site mentioned the name (long forgotten by me) of the company that had purchased the remains of the Sidney firm. Presumably, they had drawings and some parts for the later machines. I called them and asked. It was clear they regarded me as a time waster which, from their point of view, I was. They had nothing for the early machines and no interest in them. The person I spoke to gave me that date...but he didn't look it up and did so off the cuff so I have no idea if it was accurate or he was just trying to get rid of me and get back to work.

    In any case, the exact date was inconsequential. I eventually got the machine up and running and to do so I had to make or repair a few parts. Since then it has given consistently good service although I am not hard on my machines. The great advantage to old machines like this is that they give people like me, who would never have access to modern machines of such capacity, the opportunity to make things. In my case, nearly everything I make is a "one off" project. The most I've ever made of a single item is, perhaps, 10 and that is very unusual. In that situation, the advantage of speed that a more modern machine would have is unimportant.

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  20. #18
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    Another representative from that period

    VINTAGE LATHE - tools - by owner - sale

    have fun

    for posterity..

    00z0z_46edmogvum1z_0ci0t2_600x450.jpg00s0s_8v6knjgida9z_0ci0t2_600x450.jpg00t0t_1uwqqqrexwxz_0ci0t2_600x450.jpg00e0e_buxigaz9ns7z_0ci0t2_50x50c.jpg00j0j_ch2ltq576dnz_0ci0t2_600x450.jpg
    Last edited by johnoder; 06-30-2021 at 03:52 PM.


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