This bed ways are from factory?
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  1. #1
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    Question This bed ways are from factory?

    Hi. I'm about to buy a lathe. The lathe is in good shape, it does not seem to have had much use but the beds caught my attention. Is it possible that they are factory made or rebuilt? Thanks
    img_4212.jpg
    It is the only photo I took

  2. #2
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    Later forties between 1947 and 1950 - could have been rebuilt / bed worked on at least once

    And if I am correct on dating nowhere near "new" enough to have hard ways
    Last edited by johnoder; 10-09-2019 at 11:11 AM.

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    I understand scraping and the reasons for it. Assuming that the milling that was done on the lathe bed is true, what are the plus's and minus's of leaving the bed as is?

    Tom

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    I would leave it as is. if you use it enough to start polishing out the machining marks then lets talk about flaking and scraping it.

    putting oil retaining divots in the bed only helps crap get under the way wipers in my opinion.

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    Without knowing what the bed ways look like at the head stock end of the lathe, it would be hard to say what the true condition of the lathe is. Bed has definitely had some "monkey work" done to it. That does not look like a "true" rescraped bed. More like a "Saturday Night" scrape job to hide wear and create areas to retain oil and crud, which will cause more wear down the road. It can always be fixed later on. Good luck with it, if you decide to go with it. Lots of people here that can help you on getting it up and running. Ken

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    South Bend re-manufactured their own machines at times. I've always got the impression that the "standard" for what passed at the factory would vary at times depending on when it was made, how backed up they were, and who was buy the machine. Not saying they let junk pass as new, but there's a difference between a maintained machine that will cut accurately for 10 years and one that will do so for 50+ years, and not all buyers care.

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    It looks milled or perhaps ground with a cup no? Some Southbend lathes had hard ways didnt they? Im not sure the soft ones were scraped for alignment from factory just planed and 'decoratively scraped'. Theres some argument for smooth guiding ways and scraped/flaked guided ways. As long as its straight, is all good.

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    Thanks for the answers. The bed ways are everywhere the same, with a little fading near the chuck.
    I live in Uruguay, there are not many options to buy a lathe. Apparently in the 40s and 50s came South Bend lathes, it is the second I see for sale in a year. I buy this, I'm still waiting or I buy a Chinese mini lathe. No more options for that money.
    What do you think?

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    So which is it? The 9" came in three styles - fancy Model A with QC gear box, planer Model B without, but still with geared apron, and Dead Last Model C with no QC and no geared apron - which required the use of lead screw for both longitudinal feeds and threads - it had no power cross feed

    You can read all about them here

    http://www.wswells.com/data/catalog/1948-cat-100-G.pdf

    Thanks to Mr. Wells
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails sb9a.jpg   sb9b.jpg   sb9c.jpg  

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    It is 9 inches model A from 1948
    No. catalog 644 A
    4 feet bed

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    Buy it ! Use it until something else comes up to fit your needs better. If halfway taken care of should give you many years of good use. And always, you can recondition them easily with out spending too much money to do so. I've rebuilt a couple over the years that were in pretty rough shape. The beds had some wear on them. Scraped them to almost perfect straightness, but good enough the lathe cut pretty straight again. Good luck with the lathe if you decide to buy it. Ken

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    Quote Originally Posted by pchp View Post
    Thanks for the answers. The bed ways are everywhere the same, with a little fading near the chuck.
    I live in Uruguay, there are not many options to buy a lathe. Apparently in the 40s and 50s came South Bend lathes, it is the second I see for sale in a year. I buy this, I'm still waiting or I buy a Chinese mini lathe. No more options for that money.
    What do you think?
    In poor condition a South Bend is still better than a new Chinese mini lathe.


    Tom

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    I would say the bed has certainly been reworked at some point. As previously stated, a machine from that era would not have ground ways, they would be planed and possibly frosted, maybe left as planed, but would not look at all like what's pictured. It's really hard to tell from the picture if the bed shown has been milled or ground with a cup wheel. Either way it is not in my estimation original, nor a factory rebuild.
    If the work was done by grinding with a cup wheel, and the saddle and other mating members scraped to match then the results may be quite good. This could be quality work of an experienced rebuilder.
    If the ways are in fact just milled, then I'm thinking the work is a lesser quality job. If milling was used to correct for larger errors, I would expect the ways to be finished by scraping.

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    I highly doubt there were any SBL beds harden and ground before 1950 in the 9" size if any of the sizes offered. When they started offering H & G bed ways it was an option all the way up into 1960's before it was considered standard.
    Got to remember, lathe manufactures back them could not get around Monarch's patent on flame harden ways until around 1950. I don't remember the patent expiration date. I recall it being talked about here in years past.
    Most all of SBL beds were planed only. They used a light "frosting" to make the lathes look pretty. They were not scraped for bearing points as it shows to be in the picture above. The lathe has been reconditioned, which is not a bad thing. How it was done, is any ones guess, and really it don't manner how it was reworked as long as the end results is a better cutting lathe!
    Ken

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