Newbie to machining - just acquired a South Bend 9C (early 1940s vintage)
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    Default Newbie to machining - just acquired a South Bend 9C (early 1940s vintage)

    I am a fairly new learner in the world of metal turning. I have a need to make spare parts for my tiny fleet of tractors and ranch buggies (and a couple of vintage automobiles), I just bought an old South Bend 9C (think made in 1941) to help me. This machine, although small, is built like a battleship. But the 5" chuck is really worn and sloppy and should be replaced (plus I need to do some work that is too big for this chuck). I don't do any precision work, so I think a 3-jaw 6" with reversible jaws should do nicely.

    I don't know anything about what chuck brands are considered the best and which are the worst (nor in-between). Can someone advise what brands might be best to look for and what to avoid? I have an old used 6" Rohm chuck, but don't know much about it. Perhaps it is worth restoring???

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    5" is a more appropriate size for a 9" South Bend and was recommended in the catalogs.

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    So far as "rebuilding" a chuck, the thing that usually wears is the chuck body itself since the jaws are harder than the body. I can't think of any practical way to refurbish a chuck that's worn.

    I think you'd be better off to buy a 4-jaw independent chuck which is much more versatile than a 3 jaw. True, you'll have to learn how to center work in the 4-jaw but once you figure that out, it goes pretty fast and with the 4 jaw chuck you can hold stuff other than round stock. You can also center work down to "0" if need be which you can't necessarily do with a 3-jaw chuck.

    Bison chucks are very high quality and not hideously expensive. Some of the other imports from the "Pacific Basin" can be pretty good as well and much less expensive.

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    Good info. I see what you mean suggesting a 5" over a 6" - that old Rohm 6" chuck i found is massive and seems like a lot of mass to hang off that little spindle on the SB9. But I need to make a bunch of pin bosses and donuts that may be up to 3.5" diameter ( but very short). So a 5" chuck might work if it had reversible jaws ( my current chuck does not and I can't chuck anything larger than 2" ). I certainly get the flexibility of a 4-jaw, I never envisioned me having the patience to do the centering, but just as you said, I will get used to it and then it will be second nature.

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    I found a very old 8" 4 -jaw independent chuck that is very rusty. Maybe it can be cleaned and polished enough to be usable. Interestingly, it is much lighter and not as thick as the Rohm 6" 3 -jaw. It is so wide that I probably couldn't open the jaws much without hitting the bed. I don't know if it's jaws are 2-piece or reversible (not looked at it yet).

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    I agree with Dobermann (and tubalcain).. if you are only gonna have one chuck, make it a 4 jaw!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CPOSanta View Post
    I am a fairly new learner in the world of metal turning. I have a need to make spare parts for my tiny fleet of tractors and ranch buggies (and a couple of vintage automobiles), I just bought an old South Bend 9C (think made in 1941) to help me. This machine, although small, is built like a battleship. But the 5" chuck is really worn and sloppy and should be replaced (plus I need to do some work that is too big for this chuck). I don't do any precision work, so I think a 3-jaw 6" with reversible jaws should do nicely.

    I don't know anything about what chuck brands are considered the best and which are the worst (nor in-between). Can someone advise what brands might be best to look for and what to avoid? I have an old used 6" Rohm chuck, but don't know much about it. Perhaps it is worth restoring???
    A wimpy ass little South Bend 9" is NOT built like a battleship. It is a barely adequate as a lathe although some people do like them.

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    Chuckle, come on moonlight give him a break, he is just learning. I'm sure he will come to realize a second lathe bigger and stouter will come in handy based on what what he's working on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodge View Post
    Chuckle, come on moonlight give him a break, he is just learning. I'm sure he will come to realize a second lathe bigger and stouter will come in handy based on what what he's working on.
    Yeah, I know. These SB knuckleheads think there is nothing else in the world. They all need to spend some time on a Lodge & Shipley or a Monarch to get some perspective.

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    When many of us learned how to run a lathe - was inside the High School and in my High School they had South Bend lathes (I had run a Leblonde in my Dads shop first) They were rugged machines compared to Atlas and could take a beating as some kids crashed them often. So the younger generation is at a disadvantage because most High Schools no longer teach machine shop. Sad.....so the new kids on the block come here for advice.

    Times have changed and if we can, we need to Help and not criticize. LOL...Yes I did look in the mirror. I am trying to change so we can Make America Great again and teach the younger generation how to be a machinist and not a machine operator and in my case a Machine Tool Rebuilder!
    Last edited by Richard King; 07-08-2018 at 03:53 PM.

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    moonlightmachine wrote:

    "A wimpy ass little South Bend 9" is NOT built like a battleship. It is a barely adequate as a lathe although some people do like them."

    I guess you drive a Rolls Royce then - no crappy Fords or Toyota's for you.

    Anyone can make good stuff on a big expensive lathe - a true craftsman has the skills to do it on either!

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    I own a south bend 9 inch lathe and find it very useful in a small farm world. Im putting together a 16 inch south bend because the 9 inch is not always big enough. We all live in different worlds. To the op it is a tank in his opinion. Maybe all he has seen is ebay table top lathes.
    Every one starts somewhere. A 9 inch south bend is a good machine to learn on. There are better. He will discover that with time. He may graduate to bigger and better. The lathes limitations will speak for it's self
    The statement that its not a tank is true by comparison to some other lathes. He is here to get help on a 9 inch south bend

    Cposanta
    Your lathe is what a lot of members bought to start with. If you take interest and apply yourself to your lathe you can make nice parts with your lathe. If its cutting rough make adjustments to try to discover why. Don't let the machine win if you have problems with it. You can make it do what its capable of within it's limitations. Ask for help here. Your the operator. It requires patients and skill that you will develop with time. Problem
    solving skills. You may spend more time working on the lathe for a while. Time will tell weather or not you want to graduate to a larger lathe. Be proud of what you bought. Make it work. You will get help here. Try to ask good questions by searching first so your questions are educated.
    Calling it a tank brought criticism. You will get that here. Listen to what they say. Its not always personal even if it appears to be. everyone has their right to an opinion. Develop a thick skin

    It will make a nice sholder bolt for classic car clutch linkage among other parts.

    Be careful. It can hurt you bad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    A wimpy ass little South Bend 9" is NOT built like a battleship. It is a barely adequate as a lathe although some people do like them.
    Thanks for your opinion.

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    62 years ago they served to open my eyes to the concept - it has had a lasting effect.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails scan-56whs04.jpg  

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Yeah, I know. These SB knuckleheads think there is nothing else in the world. They all need to spend some time on a Lodge & Shipley or a Monarch to get some perspective.
    You ship one here. I'd be happy to have it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Yeah, I know. These SB knuckleheads think there is nothing else in the world. They all need to spend some time on a Lodge & Shipley or a Monarch to get some perspective.
    Right, Moonlight, because everybody who's interested in machining has access to a Monarch.

    The fact remains the SBL 9 is a real machine tool, with real capability to make real parts, and it's sitting in his shop right now ready to teach him without risk of serious injury, death, or bankruptcy. Why do you feel the need to pop somebody's bubble just because they didn't run out and buy an 8,000 pound monster as their first machine?

    Sorry, but you're the knucklehead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnoder View Post
    62 years ago they served to open my eyes to the concept - it has had a lasting effect.
    That's a great picture John. Our country's schools are making big a mistake taking the shop classes away.

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    I run a 1000 ha mixed farm here and I started out with a colt 7"x20" (Myford super 7 knockoff) lathe and very quickly found out it's limitations. As I got more experience and my jobs got bigger I grew tired of the slowness of the work so I upgraded to a Colchester Master Mark 2. Has the HP and swing I need for majority of my repairs and builds and haven't looked back since. I see a bigger machine on your horizon

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    Horses for courses. A Monarch 10EE or the Hardinge HLV I use at work are both far "better" machines than my Logan flexi-lathe that I use at home. In spite of that, the Logan is way better for the kind of things I do than either of the former. They both weigh a lot and need more power. They're both annoyingly short. The Hardinge tailstock hurts my arthritis when I move it, plus it doesn't stay aligned when loose, so you can't quickly drill and ream by sliding it. Tooling for the Logan is way cheaper and easier to find. That means I actually have what I need, as opposed to wishing I had what I need. Case in point- I can do any metric thread because I made the necessary transposing gears. We can't do any metric threads at work because nobody is willing to buy the expensive gears and new banjo needed for the Hardinge. IMO, the Southbend is a great place to start, and they hold their value well when trade-up time comes, if it ever does. BTW, does anybody know how well battleships are really built? I'm betting a brick s***house isn't what it used to be either.

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    I got my first lathe in the fall of 1963, I was 13 at the time.

    The instructor of the 7th grade shop I was taking at school the time couldn't figure out why I lost interest in the nice 9" SB lathe
    in the corner, that he wouldn't let us touch.

    I got an old Barnes lathe from the late 1800's, It made the 9" SB the OP has look like the a battleship.
    No micrometer dials, and 12 pitch cross slide and compound screws to boot.

    It served me well for 15 years till I upgraded to a SB 10L that I have had for 40 years now. Still own the Barnes, it has been on loan at various shops over the years.
    Yes I own a couple of Monarch 10EE's but much prefer the SB for most smaller work for reasons Conrad has stated. I regularly oil up the ways and slide the T/S for reaming operations on a hundred parts at a time.

    The "inferior low RPM" 75 year old iron headstock bearings give a kick ass surface finish when compared with most lathes below a Monarch, Hardinge or LeBlond class, any of these lathes cost more than a classroom full of 9" or 10L's to boot.

    I didn't know I wasn't supposed to run carbide and CBN inserts at 400 RPM or so, works well!


    "BTW, does anybody know how well battleships are really built? I'm betting a brick s***house isn't what it used to be either."
    I dunno, seems we had a couple badly damaged from collisions lately!

    Bill


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