Help with SB 117E
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  1. #1
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    Default Help with SB 117E

    Hello all,

    I recently picked up this south bend at an auction for the low low price of $100. I have next to no machining experience so I thought I’d ask here.

    To start, there’s no plug on the lathe. I do somewhat know the person who put it in the auction and he had just got a new machine, so I’m assuming he kept the plug for the new one. I’m wondering how to find out if this lathe is 3 phase or not. I can’t seem to find the serial number on the lathe anywhere. There’s just a tag that says: 16” swing, 8’ length of bed, and catalog 117E.

    I really don’t know anything about this machine so any help would be appreciated. My shop is only setup for single phase, so any help in that department would be great too. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Check the motor tag. Will tell manufacturer (Westinghouse,Louis Allis,Century, etc.),Horsepower,Phase(single or 3)and voltage(220/440) and single or two speed. I doubt someone would have put a 120 volt motor on. If the motor is 3 phase, you have several options to power it up. A static phase converter, a rotary phase converter, or a VFD(variable frequency drive), all different prices to fit your need. If you can contact the previous owner, that's certainly an option to find out the electrical hookup needs. PB

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    I can’t help you with the machine, on mobile and just don’t feel like going through all of that.

    As for the 3 phase debacle.. there usually wouldn’t be a plug on the machine regardless of 3 phase or not. You’d preferably always hardwire machinery to a service disconnect instead of a plug. There’s no information on the lathe specifically that would tell you if it’s 3 phase. Just take a look at the name plate on the motor and it will tell you. As for the serial number, it’s stamped on the bed operator side at the tailstock end. Should be on the flat closest to you a few inches from the end.

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    Look at where the power goes into the lathe, if its three phase it should have a three phase disconnect box or a three phase motor starter.
    Not sure how old a 117E lathe would be{maybe too old for a magnetic motor starter}..

  5. #5
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    Not sure how old a 117E lathe would be{maybe too old for a magnetic motor starter}
    Still for sale in catalog 100-F August of 1946

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  7. #6
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    Here are a couple publications submitted by Mike Lutz and Dennis Black to vintagemachinery.org
    .South Bend Lathe Works - Publication Reprints - South Bend Lathes Catalog 100B | VintageMachinery.org

    South Bend Lathe Works - Publication Reprints - 1947 South Bend Precision Lathes | VintageMachinery.org
    Both catalogs should cover your lathe series.
    'More great S.B. resources.
    The SBL Workshop

    My 1942 117e has a magnetic starter
    I couldn't find catalog 100f that John speaks of.

  8. #7
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    I couldn't find catalog 100f that John speaks of
    Might be in these four pages

    The SBL Workshop - Catalog Index

  9. #8
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    If he returns with a serial number we could get him narrowed down.
    He should be overwhelmed with reading material for a day or two.
    His first three phase could send him here. https://www.practicalmachinist.com/v...rters-and-vfd/

  10. #9
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    Thank you guys for all of the replies, I have a lot of reading up to do. Sorry I've been out the last couple of days. I combed over the machine this evening and was able to find the serial number (it was damn near rubbed all the way off) and a tag on the motor. I also took a couple pictures of the on/off/reverse switch box if I can figure out how to post them.

    Lathe serial # is 75230

    From what I could read on the motor:
    Type CSP Induction
    HP: 2 Frame: 221
    60 cycles 50 cycles
    220/440 volt 220/440 volt
    5.8/2.9 amp/turn ??/3.2 amp/turn
    1735 rpm 1445 rpm
    40 c. rise cont. 50 c. rise cont

    Class: 1
    Style: 1442151
    Serial: 6412

    I wasn't able to decipher the manufacturer of the motor

    The plate on the motor was difficult to read so some of those numbers may be off. There are also a total of 12 terminals on the on/off/rev switch.

    Edit to add: Thanks again for all of the reading material. My father-in-law has been a machinist for a long time and is planning on coming to visit here in the next few weeks, so I'm hoping to have the lathe up and running by then so he can show me the works.

  11. #10
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    Your lathe was made in 1937.
    Go down the list of serial numbers until you see where yours would fall in between higher and lower numbers.
    South Bend Lathe Serial Numbers
    When you can post pictures of your lathe.

  12. #11
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    lathe5.jpg

    Trying to figure out how to post pictures.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails lathe1.jpg   lathe2.jpg  

  13. #12
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    Good chance the rotary switch is taking the place of the mag starter that came later

    I have a rotary switch that was completely used up starting and reversing a 15 HP motor - weighs about 30 lbs

  14. #13
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    Back in the days of those big switches you could order a set of contacts and replace them. I use to set up machines that we did a lot of jogging during setup. When a relay started chattering we replaced the contacts. Those days are gone. There are still some replacements contacts around but it's not the norm to rebuild a switch. Don't file them flat. When the silver is gone they start welding and sticking.

  15. #14
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    Where did you find that s# ? Looks alot like my 117E that I've determined is a 1942 via sw wells s# database..mine has the original motor that's 3phase I used an old rotary phase converter to run it in my home shop?


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