George Swift 8v3 lathe
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    Default George Swift 8v3 lathe

    Hey Yall,

    Please bear with me. I have started to acquire machining equipment to expand my manufacture ability. I am a tinkerer and a racer, so always need parts modified. I currently own a JD Squared CNC Plasma table, but that is about the extent of my knowledge. I know this is probably the wrong time to ask, but i purchased 3 pieces of equipment. Not sure if i should be discussing them all here or not. I didn't really see many other sections where they belonged. I haven't seen any of this equipment in person, but pictures look like its in decent shape. Cant attest to its tightness for another week or so when i pick it up.

    The one i am most curious about is a George Swift 8v3 lathe. I have googled and searched everywhere, and all i have found is this Swift Lathes which doesn't give much detail. Can yall give any insight to what this lathe is best used for, features, and ball park range of what it may be worth?

    Here are a few Pictures, and what i know:

    Swift 8V3 Engine Lathe 28" x 60 Engine Lathe, 40" Swing in Gap, 18" 4-Jaw, 2.5" Hole, 4 Position Tool Post, s/n 13311

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    The other piece i purchased is a Cincinnati #2MI. Serial: 2J2V5JE

    From Googling the serial number, looks like a 1960, know its vertical but i don't have much info besides that. Once again, anything yall can tell me about this would be great. Potential value's, etc.



    Before i get angry messages about buying stuff that i know nothing about, the prices were too good to pass up.

    Thanks ahead of time,
    Kyle

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    I have a very similar Swift,22x60..........its been a good old lathe ,just about indestructable........the last few years ,I started to do rough things with it.....like turning the teeth off truck gearbox gears......its showing a good deal of wear from the hard steel chips,but nothing has broken.....As you may know,they have large Gamet bearings,rear spring loaded,and massive gears in the head....I think the bull gear is something like 3"wide......Only catch is the bed may not be hardened,and you will need a full set of change gears to cut threads,they use a 64 tooth metric transposing gear .......In forty years ,Ive never regretted buying mine.....it was ex RAAF,and like new when I got it.......

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    I have a very similar Swift,22x60..........its been a good old lathe ,just about indestructable........the last few years ,I started to do rough things with it.....like turning the teeth off truck gearbox gears......its showing a good deal of wear from the hard steel chips,but nothing has broken.....As you may know,they have large Gamet bearings,rear spring loaded,and massive gears in the head....I think the bull gear is something like 3"wide......Only catch is the bed may not be hardened,and you will need a full set of change gears to cut threads,they use a 64 tooth metric transposing gear .......In forty years ,Ive never regretted buying mine.....it was ex RAAF,and like new when I got it.......

    that is good to hear, it was too cheap to pass up. The one i bought and intended on keeping is a Leblonde 12C machine. I wasn't sure if this Swift was set up at all for threading or what it takes. My intent is to look them both over and keep one. I think this one is a bit large for what i need, but if it is the nicer of the 2, there is no point in getting rid of it. Although it looks like its RPM range is only from 14-500 RPM? Im not sure if this is correct, or if its a 2 speed system or what. Like i said in my original post, i know practically zero about lathes. My thought was its a lower range, because its old, before high speed tooling was commonplace.

    I currently only have my cnc plasma table. And last thursday i ended up with this, the leblond 12c, and a cincinnati #2MI, so i may be in over my head haha.

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    These post war Swifts were specifically made for tungsten carbide tooling.....plenty of power and plenty of spindle speed........more revs can be very dangerous with big chucks.....although 18" on yours is a bit small ......mine has 20" 4j and sveral 12" 3 j ...the 3j s are Pratt steel body ,and hardly used........the 4j is also steel body ,and as new Pratt......imagine what a steel body chuck would cost now...a 20"..Anybody for a $20k chuck?......They are a solid non fancy lathe for the donkey work.....Swift did make a fabulous toolroom lathe too,with all the bells and whistles,very rare here.....Incidentlly,the twin of mine,one number away belonged to a famous crooked billionaire of the eighties,in his superyacht maintenance workshop........he ended his days in Spain hiding out ,without any superyachts.

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    " Swift " made a really good lathe. When British lathe makers were well though of in the world. If they are looked after they will last for ever and nobody could accuse them of skimping on cast iron.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    That’s a pretty large lathe for just general shop/automotive type work, you will get tired of cranking all that mass around 500 rpm is slow unless you take advantage of the large swing capacity.
    The Swift is in nicer shape than the Leblond?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

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    The Swift is a 28"HD,the Leblond is a 12" Regal tiddler,.........if you intend to do any kind of paying work ,you will need both.....Not to insult owners,but a 12" Regal is a very nice hobby lathe,not a great deal of use in a maintenance shop,and certainly not a production machine ...............Incidentally,your Swift seems to have raising blocks,and I think its actually the same machanically as my 22"x60....and I might add ,there were times when another foot of centre length ,or another 6" of swing would have been good........I note the feed box says "cuts per 2.54cm"......mine is "cuts per inch".....this is typical of the early days of metric ,when people hadnt woken up to the fact it was useless.........the English system developed over hundreds of years,metric was dreamed up by a drunk Frenchman.

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    I didnt really think about the production side of things. Yes that is where id like to go with it, but will take a bit before im competent enough. Most of what we need a lathe for currently is turning down aluminum misalignment spacers for spherical bearings. And turning down/opening up tube to sleeve it to weld.

    Since i can only attach 5 pictures at a time i included some of the Leblond and the mill i also purchased.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ripperj View Post
    That’s a pretty large lathe for just general shop/automotive type work, you will get tired of cranking all that mass around 500 rpm is slow unless you take advantage of the large swing capacity.
    The Swift is in nicer shape than the Leblond?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
    unfortunately i bought them all sight unseen, all the equipment looks to be in pretty good shape, but wont know til i can put my eyes on it in another week or 2.

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    Your Leblond lathe is 15" swing with 30" between centers. Looks like it has the L1 spindle, so it should be 2 17/64" on the spindle bore. If the servo shift works ok, should make a good general purpose shop lathe. Once you get it, recommend inspecting the headstock gears. It also has the inch/metric gear box.

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    I am corrected...the Leblond is bigger than I thought........ anyhoo,the Cinci mill will be a nice solid machine.......5 ton ,I reckon.....Looks like a workshop full of nice machines liquidated there.....a sad story no doubt...........still their loss is your gain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    I am corrected...the Leblond is bigger than I thought........ anyhoo,the Cinci mill will be a nice solid machine.......5 ton ,I reckon.....Looks like a workshop full of nice machines liquidated there.....a sad story no doubt...........still their loss is your gain.
    So would you retract your statement about the leblond being too small for paying work? I could keep both, but I dont really have a surplus of room. I understand the 30" center to center is a bit restrictive.

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    Obvious answer....only you know your requirements.......but I have found you often get very lucrative jobs for a big lathe,but this will depend on your situation.....I have always done maintenance work,and a big lathe is essential ,and a small one is very nice to have.......my ideal situation,which is what I had was the Swift ,a 15" Nuttall,and assorted small Colchesters.....one of which was always for sale....Be flexible,and you will survive.

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    It just depends on what kind of work you intend accept in your shop.
    Our maintenance shop has a 24"Nebal,a17"Colchester and a 15" LeBlond Regal like yours except no servo shift and no metric threading(BooHoo!).I support large format printing presses(55") and cutting and finishing machines.These are large machines.

    I do 60-70% of my lathe work on the LeBlond and would do more if the spindle hole was larger and the bed was 20" longer.
    I could use that Cinci mill if I had it.We used to have a#5 Cinci horizontal with 60" travel and when I needed it it was great but just didn't need it enough.

    However just starting out like you appear to be doing I would keep the LeBlond and sell/trade the other two and get a 5hp large table turret mill(BP type).You can cover a hell of a lot of machining territory with that set up and then expand to the heavier machines if you ever need to.Nothing against the other machines as they are the class of their field but if you don't have work for them they will just collect dust.

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    So would you retract your statement about the leblond being too small for paying work? I could keep both, but I dont really have a surplus of room. I understand the 30" center to center is a bit restrictive.
    I'm doing pretty much all the same kind of things you're going to be doing but on a much smaller and truly hobby level Logan 11". Certainly I'd like a bigger lathe someday but for my purposes right now, the Logan is sufficient. I'd think the Lebond would be more than enough for building suspension bits for a race car.

    I'm getting ready to make some mis-alignment spacers for my own spherical bearing project. What material did you pick for the spacers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quade View Post
    I'm doing pretty much all the same kind of things you're going to be doing but on a much smaller and truly hobby level Logan 11". Certainly I'd like a bigger lathe someday but for my purposes right now, the Logan is sufficient. I'd think the Lebond would be more than enough for building suspension bits for a race car.

    I'm getting ready to make some mis-alignment spacers for my own spherical bearing project. What material did you pick for the spacers?

    Currently a lot of our suspension stuff comes with the misalignments, sometimes we just have to narrow them a tad to clear shock mounts and stuff. Ours are typically stainless. Most of our race stuff is revolved around desert and offroad racing so needs to be a little extra tough. I am unsure if they are hardened or anything.


    For everybody, I appreciate the answers. We are picking up the equipment tuesday, so i will have a bunch more info and tons more questions I'm sure.

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    wanted to give everyone an update. After 2 weeks of logistics and headaches we have the equipment in the shop and partially running. hired a rigging company to load it out from the auctioneer site, and rented a forklift to do it ourselves on our side.

    The Swift lathe i was asking about here ended up weighing in at the 6500# neighborhood. And unfortunately is useless to me, because while we have 3 phase at the shop, its only 240v. The swift and the knee motor of the Cincinnati are not swappable to 240v. Not sure if this is the right place to ask about swapping the knee motor or what. Im going to post the swift for sale, if it sells for what im asking it is what it is. If not, we will be in a new shop in a year that will have to have 480v.
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    I know a lot of people are not a huge fan of the leblond lathe, saying the servo shift is finicky. I opened up the cover behind the spindle and checked for missing teeth on the problematic gear. Looks a bit worn, but is all good. Fortunately everything is working once we diagnosed a sticky contactor for the hydraulic pump. It is running smoothly now.

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    The swift and the knee motor of the Cincinnati are not swappable to 240v.
    Is there something special about the motors which makes it impossible to swap for different ones? I'd think a 3 phase step-up transformers would fix this too.

    Not that I'm recommending it but this VFD, takes 230 3 phase in and puts out 480 v 3 phase.

    WEG CFW701E0142T2NBN1C3 VFD V01932 - 200-240 VAC - 3 Phase Input / 460V 3 Phase 115 CT or 142 VT Amp, 40 CT or 50 VT HP

    I was just curious if such a thing existed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quade View Post
    Is there something special about the motors which makes it impossible to swap for different ones? I'd think a 3 phase step-up transformers would fix this too.

    Not that I'm recommending it but this VFD, takes 230 3 phase in and puts out 480 v 3 phase.

    WEG CFW701E0142T2NBN1C3 VFD V01932 - 200-240 VAC - 3 Phase Input / 460V 3 Phase 115 CT or 142 VT Amp, 40 CT or 50 VT HP

    I was just curious if such a thing existed.
    yes, as you can see they exist. some transformers work in either direction. (i am an electrician by trade, and we have one that will work as a step up sitting on the shelf im going to see if i can buy cheap enough) however if i was forced to buy a VFD at that price, it would probably be cheaper to replace the motors themselves. Most newer 3 phase motors are multi tap (meaning you can wire them for 480 or 240v. These are older motors that are not multi tap. The one on the knee mill looks like its the original, which means its ~1960. The main spindle motor on the same mill is multi tap, so i swapped it over to 240v, so it has probably been replaced somewhere along the line.

    also worth noting that after i asked those questions i found the american heavy iron section, where they also discuss leblond, so i will probably direct most of my questions over there.

    I still have no idea what this swift is worth, as its in great shape.


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