South Bend 13 Lathe: Ways Need Work, How Much Will it Cost?
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    Default South Bend 13 Lathe: Ways Need Work, How Much Will it Cost?

    I have a South Bend 13 that has a lot of wear on the ways. I can see a groove in the front way near the headstock running lengthwise for about 12 inches. I haven't measured any of the carnage yet, so I am just asking generally how much it costs to have ways resurfaced and scraped.

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    Generally speaking, since south bend used 3 V’s and a flat, regrinding and scraping the table, carriage, headstock, tailstock isn’t financially wise. Can you do it? Sure. But you’ll exceed the machines value.

    Something to keep in mind, all of that lowers the apron in relation to the rest of the machine which causes a misalignment with the leadscrew. You can probably reposition it but I seem to recall a discussion mentioning anything you take out you need to add back in the form of a bearing material.

    I may be 100% wrong, thermite will let me know if I am.

    Also, search function and the south bend section of the forum, or even machine reconditioning sections will be better suited.

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    A few dozen hours of a skilled persons shop rate. Probably 5 to 10 times the replacement value of the machine.

    I'd suggest stoning the ways and just using it. No used lathe is perfect. If it has .020" of wear who cares. It can still make fine parts.

    A southbend is pretty low on the food chain. Use it, abuse it and buy something better if you need it.

    I have a lot of machines. A couple of my bigger ones are well used. It doesn't really matter though. They still look OK and make good money.

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    Ignore the ridge on the ways. Level the lathe and see how it cuts. Then re-level it so it cuts straight for the first ten inches conning out of the chuck.

    Every couple of years you'll get a job that is looking enough and precise enough where that won't work. It's just a few twists of the screw in the bed foot to make it cut straight In the right place.

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    contact this WI rebuilder. He can plane or grind the bed. He also havs a you tube show on his website where a fellow does his south bend lathe, He is a good friend of mine and a really really great rebuilder A & D Machine Tool Rebuilding, Inc. | Machine Tool Rebuilders, Way Machining and Hand Scraping, Turcite and Rulon Application

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    Thanks to everyone who replied. As you can see, I am just setting out on this journey. I hope to learn enough about machining to make some useful parts for my automotive and home shop interests.

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    Quote Originally Posted by naru View Post
    Can you do it? Sure. But you’ll exceed the machines value.
    .
    .
    I may be 100% wrong, thermite will let me know if I am.
    You are not wrong.

    Doing it "right" costs just as much in contract planing or grinding PLUS scraping, adding material, then more scraping on a SB as any other lathe of roughly the same-size. Not economically justifiable on a SB. Might not even pay-back on a Schaublin or Hardinge, given most Machinists know rather well how to work-AROUND a(ny) machine-tool's shortcomings to still get decent parts off it.

    $100,000 and up industrial machines in high-volume production - CNC critters especially? Different story entirely. Those can earn the rebuild investment back in under one year because they are working hard, all shift, for years on end at earning revenue.

    Hobby, small-shop, low volume, small money - no fine way to earn it back.

    Those get "DIY" out of love, boredom, or just to prove one CAN, instead.

    That doesn't really have a measurable price or even very much finished value. Might fetch a higher price sold-on, but nowhere NEAR what it cost.

    So some folk JFDI.

    Because they want to.

    More interesting, I am sure, than rebuilding Bic Biro's, Bic lighters, or recapping kid's tricycle, lawnmower, or hand-truck tires...

    I'm good with that. I suspect we all are.


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    I don't think I was clear in my earlier post. Machines don't get rebuilt because they have wear. They get rebuilt because they can't do the work anymore.

    Put the lathe to work. Start your machining adventure with some actual machining. Once you get a little time in, if you can't meet the tolerances for your projects and you're certain it's the machine not lack of experience, then think about a rebuild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fciron View Post
    I don't think I was clear in my earlier post. Machines don't get rebuilt because they have wear. They get rebuilt because they can't do the work anymore.
    And

    A) doing "the work" still has justification at ALL. Read: "Hobby, maybe not"

    B) The rebuild is less-costly than some other option, less-worn used machine high on the list.

    OR.. somebody simply WANTS TO. No justification even attempted.

    Because one cannot justify that, often as not. Light-duty lathes BORN with Iron deficiency anemia in their very DNA least of all...


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    The older South Bends are one of the few lathes that can have their beds ground and the leadscrew/feed rod just shimmed down to compensate without needing turcite between saddle and bed. This is because the castings that hold the rod to the bed are bolted on vertically. If your 13" SB has a hardened bed (rare) and good spindle bearing condition it might be worth it to you to regrind the bed and scrape in the saddle. For industry, no, get a better lathe.

    L7

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky7 View Post
    The older South Bends are one of the few lathes that..
    ... were simply given factory-new beds back in the day. Inexpensive, not that heavy to ship, saved a huge amount of time, even when min wage was only 88 CENTS an hour and a top hand might make but five bucks.

    Nowadays? IF one of the few PM members is feeling generous, one might do OK having an SB bed planed, rather than ground, then DIY scraped, etc.

    Otherwise, a bed regrind just cannot be a "cheap" exercise, as the bedway grinder and wheel - nor the guru who sets it up - don't do a great deal less work if the target is an inexpensive SB, a Schaublin, Monarch, or costly CNC critter.

    NB; Not all of those justify bed regrinds, either.

    Fully burdened staff and machine time is "there", seldom found on discount.

    If one wants to do it, they do it. Even takes a scraping course. Or three. Their pleasure, their call.

    Can't fiddle the numbers to make economic sense as the case, no way, no how.

    Too many better lathes still out there, not all of them needing a regrind - or anything else dramatic - to begin with.

    3CW

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    Blab blab blab and not say anything of value...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Blab blab blab and not say anything of value...
    ipse dixit

    Now walk us through the cost/benefit math, please.

    Include, if it actually matters to improve success, the "investment" in what? Planing? Grinding? Turcite/Moglice? Hand scraping ONLY?

    Two scraping courses? Only one? The books and DVD only? Or might it require three? Each with travel, lodging, time-away from work.

    And then there are SE's, SP's, and tools to acquire? Sharpening equipment?

    What does all that add-up to, realistically, in money? How about time? How MANY machine-tools must one amortize that investment over before it starts to come good? Four? More?

    Folks do this to light-duty / hobby machines, "old iron" and semi-antiques because they WANT TO.


    Not because it makes economic sense.

    Higher-grade machines that can and DO still earn significant revenue are another matter, entirely.

    You, not I, should be the one explaining that distinction.

    Or perhaps you have already done your best to so inform?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Blab blab blab and not say anything of value...
    If that is your way of saying the average SB lathe is not worth that sort of investment?

    Then we are in agreement.

    Folks who WANT TO will still do as they please. But will at least KNOW there is no economic justification.

    I'm good with that. Their dime. Their time.

    et tu?

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    ipse dixit


    Folks who WANT TO will still do as they please. But will at least KNOW there is no economic justification.



    et tu?
    There is where I disagree. There are levels of economic justifications.

    For the US government hell no! It's cheaper to set the machines outside until enough rust gathers to justify selling it at scrap.

    For a huge corporation it's a tax benefit to scrap them after the tax advantage is gone. They could afford to keep a maintenance staff on but, hey this is the 2000's, nobody sane would even think of such a thing,

    In my world there is a huge economic benefit. IN MY CASE buying old machines, repairing and rebuilding them is the ONLY way I would be where I am today.

    My old machines have made me a ton of money over the years.

    Without the ability to purchase older machines at scrap prices and then recondition them I would never been able to acquire the tools to make me money (at this level) and retire at age 62. I would have been stuck riding an ambulance until I was 95!


    Heck after a while many of us get to liking rebuilding old machines.... ( Hello, My name is Miles and I have a problem. )

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    Quote Originally Posted by swatkins View Post
    IN MY CASE buying old machines, repairing and rebuilding them is the ONLY way I would be where I am today.

    My old machines have made me a ton of money over the years.
    But there you have it. You are using them as part of a revenue-generating business. Not as a hobbyist. How many are even light-duty South Bend's anyway? ISTR you have some industrial-grade "old iron" in that mix?

    Consider how much better-off, yet, you might have become if each time out, each "old machine" acquired had been one that needed a little LESS rebuilding, hence was earning revenue sooner, and absorbing scarce resources, less. And....you had steadily kept raising that bar until most-recent additions needed NO significant rebuild at all. Even moved to buying new.

    Tired machines clearly isn't "the only way". or there would not be a firm on-continent buying new machines and earning enough to do it again as they go obsolete or worn-out.

    You - many here - have basically built a business - or a hobby - off the leavings - table-scraps if you will - of healthier faster-moving, more competitive, and generally larger and more profitable firms.

    Heck after a while many of us get to liking rebuilding old machines.... ( Hello, My name is Miles and I have a problem. )
    Personal choice. We all make those.

    Nothing wrong with that, until...... the addicts try to proselytize all-comers onto the same path, whether it fits the "new guy" and his desires or plans.... time budget .... pocketbook..., class of machine or not.

    That is not aiming for a healthy national industrial base nor decent compensation for those who work in it.

    It is aiming for hobbyists, retirees, and marginal operations dependent on a diminishing supply of Old Iron. Can't re-scrape such "good stuff" as has already been smelted. Should not rebuild some of what should have been smelted in its stead.

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    Thermite, When was the last time you walked into a shop? I expect years as you have no clue what is inside the walls of a modern machine shop be it a hobbyist or a plant making new machine tools or an Auto Plant. I have been in hundreds of plants and small one man shops. They all have older machines. Many BIG plants have a maintenance shop and they have manual machines that need rebuilding because many older machines are not built anymore. In a recent job where I epoxied on some Rulon to a gib that a modern plant that makes and rebuild products used in the plastic mold industry. The machine I worked on was sitting next to several new CNC machines and this machine was an old conventional machine, part of a cell.

    Bill, Why do you come inside this forum anyway? Just to get attention? Why don't you go pester folks in the other forums. I can see no benefit of what you write in here. I have tried to ignore you and will probably put you on ignore again. I would also suggest others put him on ignore too. In this forum that I helped create I give advise on the trade of machine tool rebuilding unlike you. You come in here and blab about irrelevant information when it comes to the title of this forum " Machine Reconditioning. Scraping and Inspection" Your last couple of posts gave no value to this subject. If you want to blab about management issues there is another forum on here.

    Now do your regular BS and cut and paste what I wrote. Get your sheep to come in here to back you up. Or are they you with your fake names when you pretend to be different people. You were caught doing before. Pretty sad life you must lead to make PM your play ground.
    Last edited by Richard King; 07-27-2019 at 09:03 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wrenchtech View Post
    I have a South Bend 13 that has a lot of wear on the ways. I can see a groove in the front way near the headstock running lengthwise for about 12 inches. I haven't measured any of the carnage yet, so I am just asking generally how much it costs to have ways resurfaced and scraped.
    Did you contact Rick at A&D machine rebuilding in Roberts, WI? I have a 2nd home in Northern WI and if your near Hayward, on a rainy day like today I could drive over and take a peak at the lathe, maybe help you figure out what to do.

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    I don't have anything to gain or lose here, but I find it is funny that most everyone is saying "not worth it", except the one guy who could profit from it... hmm..

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    Quote Originally Posted by swatkins View Post
    ( Hello, My name is Miles and I have a problem. )
    Hey! I resemble that remark!

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    Hey! I resemble that remark!
    MB you have seen The Beast in action (Steve's Rockford Planner) do you think it would be cost effective to plane it? Or just scrap the machine and buy a Chinese machine?


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