SB 13 - Potential buyer help
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  1. #1
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    Default SB 13 - Potential buyer help

    Very long time reader but have finally come to the time where I need to ask questions myself. I have been researching which lathe will work best for me and came to the conclusion a 10L would best suit.
    I am planning to do a combination of basic machining and gunsmithing all from a hobbyist stand point. Machine will be in the garage, no basement or steps.

    This past week I am across a SB13 locally that will be sold at a auction and went to look at it last night with a more experienced friend.

    He looked it over and gave the thumbs up on the condition, but is not very familiar with SB lathes. (He uses a Sheldon and has had it for years then I have been alive)

    So my questions / details

    I have not read of any major draw back to a SB13 over a 10L, am I missing something? The machine does have a double tumbler gear box.

    What type of chuck attachment would this machine likely have type D1 or L1 and should this a factor in my decision

    Finally what is a price point on a SB13? I have not followed them the way I have been watching 10L. This machine does not have much tooling with it and comes with a single 3 jaw chuck.


    The SB 13 Serial # is 9664TKX14
    5ft table
    I will try adding photos today.

    Thank you for the help!

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    Photos attempt


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    I’ll start with the serial you provided. The TKX specifically would be T: 13” swing K: UMD/QCGB/friction clutch X: special spindle.

    The spindle would typically either be a 2 1/4” - 8 thread or D1-4 I believe. Some machines had an L type spindle. Since your serial states you have a special spindle there’s no way to know exactly what you have but it’s likely not 2 1/4” - 8 or D1-4. Personally I’d look for a machine with a D or L type spindle as they allow for safe reversal as well as accurate registering of the chuck.

    Onto condition: wether your familiar with Sheldon’s South Bend’s or Monarch, they’re all the same principle. If you understand what the main wear surfaces are you should be able to look at any engine lathe and tell how heavily the main components are worn. Granted he may not know ALL of the places to check, but main places like the ways and screws would be easy to check. I’d take a look into the gearbox and headstock to see if there’s any broken gears or obvious scoring.

    The 13” is basically a 10L on steroids. Do you know if it’s a tool room series? What’s the catalog number? Is there a taper attachment? What type of toolpost does it have installed? Provided you don’t have some crazy uncommon spindle type and it’s not worn badly, I’d go for it. The 13” is much more robust compared to a 10L, especially if it’s a tool room. I wouldn’t worry too much about not a lot of accessories included, there’s plenty of accessories to be found on eBay. The steady and follow rests are readily available and 3MT tooling is abundant and affordable. Definitely check the spindle type.

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    SBL Serial Number File

    The link will help you identify the features on the 13 by the letters in the serial number.
    I think you may want to check the spindle hole diameter between the two lathe's if considering gunsmithing.
    Its most likely a screw on chuck on the 13 threaded spindle.

    The SBL Workshop

    naru was typing as I was

    More information
    South Bend Lathe Works - Publication Reprints | VintageMachinery.org

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    Quote Originally Posted by naru View Post
    I’ll start with the serial you provided. The TKX specifically would be T: 13” swing K: UMD/QCGB/friction clutch X: special spindle.

    The spindle would typically either be a 2 1/4” - 8 thread or D1-4 I believe. Some machines had an L type spindle. Since your serial states you have a special spindle there’s no way to know exactly what you have but it’s likely not 2 1/4” - 8 or D1-4. Personally I’d look for a machine with a D or L type spindle as they allow for safe reversal as well as accurate registering of the chuck.
    Is there a guide to be able to identify the different spindles?

    Onto condition: wether your familiar with Sheldon’s South Bend’s or Monarch, they’re all the same principle. If you understand what the main wear surfaces are you should be able to look at any engine lathe and tell how heavily the main components are worn. Granted he may not know ALL of the places to check, but main places like the ways and screws would be easy to check. I’d take a look into the gearbox and headstock to see if there’s any broken gears or obvious scoring.
    100% agree about my friend who looked it over. He checked all the wear area, bed is in great shape, the gears all look good, no broken teeth or noticeable wear. Headstock was solid with no place, and the ways and screws were all good with him making a comment that some parts of the machine are tighter then his. (sorry dont know all of the correct terms yet)

    The 13” is basically a 10L on steroids. Do you know if it’s a tool room series? What’s the catalog number? Is there a taper attachment? What type of toolpost does it have installed? Provided you don’t have some crazy uncommon spindle type and it’s not worn badly, I’d go for it. The 13” is much more robust compared to a 10L, especially if it’s a tool room. I wouldn’t worry too much about not a lot of accessories included, there’s plenty of accessories to be found on eBay. The steady and follow rests are readily available and 3MT tooling is abundant and affordable. Definitely check the spindle type.
    The catelog # is CL8145B I am unsure of the last letter it looks to be a B. Yes there is a taper attachment on. I am not sure what type of took attachment, I know saying it looked standard doesnt mean anything. Hopefully if I get photos up that will help some. When you refer to it as a toolroom version are you asking if its comes with a taper attachment collet stand and tray with collets, drawbar and thread dial, per the description I have found? If yes its does comes with a taper, collect stand, drawbar and thread dial.

    Based on some more details and knowing it is in good condition what would a fair price range be for this SB13?


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    Quote Originally Posted by naru View Post
    I’ll start with the serial you provided. The TKX specifically would be T: 13” swing K: UMD/QCGB/friction clutch X: special spindle.

    The spindle would typically either be a 2 1/4” - 8 thread or D1-4 I believe. Some machines had an L type spindle. Since your serial states you have a special spindle there’s no way to know exactly what you have but it’s likely not 2 1/4” - 8 or D1-4. Personally I’d look for a machine with a D or L type spindle as they allow for safe reversal as well as accurate registering of the chuck.
    Is there a guide to be able to identify the different spindles?

    Onto condition: wether your familiar with Sheldon’s South Bend’s or Monarch, they’re all the same principle. If you understand what the main wear surfaces are you should be able to look at any engine lathe and tell how heavily the main components are worn. Granted he may not know ALL of the places to check, but main places like the ways and screws would be easy to check. I’d take a look into the gearbox and headstock to see if there’s any broken gears or obvious scoring.
    100% agree about my friend who looked it over. He checked all the wear area, bed is in great shape, the gears all look good, no broken teeth or noticeable wear. Headstock was solid with no play, and the ways and screws were all good with him making a comment that some parts of the machine are tighter then his. (sorry dont know all of the correct terms yet)

    The 13” is basically a 10L on steroids. Do you know if it’s a tool room series? What’s the catalog number? Is there a taper attachment? What type of toolpost does it have installed? Provided you don’t have some crazy uncommon spindle type and it’s not worn badly, I’d go for it. The 13” is much more robust compared to a 10L, especially if it’s a tool room. I wouldn’t worry too much about not a lot of accessories included, there’s plenty of accessories to be found on eBay. The steady and follow rests are readily available and 3MT tooling is abundant and affordable. Definitely check the spindle type.
    The catelog # is CL8145B I am unsure of the last letter it looks to be a B. Yes there is a taper attachment on. I am not sure what type of toolpost attachment, I know saying it looked standard doesnt mean anything. Hopefully if I get photos up that will help some. When you refer to it as a toolroom version are you asking if its comes with a taper attachment collet stand and tray with collets, drawbar and thread dial, per the description I have found? If yes its does comes with a taper, collect stand, drawbar and thread dial.

    Based on some more details and knowing it is in good condition what would a fair price range be for this SB13?

    It looks like the mod will need to approve the photo link prior to posting**

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    I will try posting a direct link to a photo for the time being:
    SB13
    https://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e...sw0h8fivw.jpeg
    Gear box name plate
    https://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e...s3q8whqmb.jpeg

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    That looks like a super nice machine! You are lucky that you have a lot of locally available machines for sale on your Craigslist to get a feel for value. This one being a toolroom lathe leaves not much to be desired and looks well tooled/optioned too. If she runs well; looks like the power cord is cut, was probably hard wired to a breaker box somewhere, so that might work in your favor to get a better deal since that creates an unknown.

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    @KevinT Thanks! Yes here on the northeast we have a lot of old equipment. Unfortunately for a newbie its overwhelming and takes time figuring out what good / bad and standard or very unique.

    I would say it definitely runs, there were semi-recent metal chips in the pan. It came out of an estate with some other metal working equipment.

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    That’s the same machine as I have with a couple newer features. The 8 in CL8145B signifies that it is a toolroom version. According to literature, they’re a more robust and precise version of the 13” lathe.

    There are only a few common styles of spindle in use today. The D1 series, L series, and threaded (antiquated but common). There’s other more uncommon types but they’re rare. The D1 series is a series of holes around the spindle bore with camlocks on the periphery of the spindle. Easy to spot but somewhat more challenging to tell the difference between D1-3 D1-4 D1-6 etc. the L type is a tapered spindle nose with a keyway and a thread on the back of the taper with a retaining nut on the spindle that screws the chuck down onto the taper, again easy to determine hard to tell the difference between different L type spindles. Threaded is pretty obvious. Outside of those 3 spindle types I know next to nothing about any other spindle configuration.

    I noticed you left ‘screw’ in black. By wear in the screws I meant backlash. If you turn the crank handles, it’s the amount of movement until the cross slide or compound starts to move. So if you go one way till the cross slide moves then reverse rotation on the handle, it’s the number of divisions until the cross slide itself reverses direction. That’s known as backlash and is either a worn cross feed nut, a worn cross feed screw, a combination of the two, endplay in components, or any number of other less common causes.

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    I like to buy a machine like this. It's untouched by the sloppy painter or someone that's sanded on the ways.
    You can see it hasn't been molested by a hack

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    " This machine does not have much tooling with it and comes with a single 3 jaw chuck."

    Except, for the box of 5C collets and the collet drawbar! If those go with then great.

    I would say anything less than $800 and you have stole it. Depending on where it is,
    could range up above $1500. For some reason the larger machines like this go for a
    bit less than something like a 10L.

    Do a sanity check to be sure the spindle bearings are not badly trashed.

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    First THANK YOU guys so much for the help!

    Friday night I won the machine at auction! So the journey has just begun for me!

    @Jim Rozen, Thank you for posting about the price point I used that friday night when bidding. **Also spindle bears are good.

    I ended up paying $1000 plus $160 tax and buyer premium. Conveniences was also a factor for me, as they had equipment their to load on a trailer. Now to make sure in my garage (minor task) and coordinate offloading it at my place (larger task).

    Regarding tooling, yes all of those 5C collets and the collet draw bar (I'll admit I have need to read how a drawbar is used) come along with the package. I have not a a chance to go through all that stuff in detail but will likely be back soon with some "what's this questions"

    I'm thinking changing the title to my "SB13 journey" and I will keep you guys update and will definitely be seeking some help along the way!

    Thank you again so much for the help in acquiring this SB13!!

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    Trying to reply to this post! Test

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    OK.. First apologizes for not replying sooner. I kept getting an error message that said I needed a MOD approval to post. Looks like once I cleared the cookies and re logged in I can now posted again.

    Well I bought the SB13 lathe friday night. Thank you guys so much for the help!

    Thank you @JimRozen for providing some price ranges.

    I paid $1000 high bid and $160 for the buyer premium and tax here in PA. One additional convenience is they had equipment on site to load in right on to a trailer that night. The lathe is currently still on the trailer in my parents garage until I coordinate offloading it at my place, so it maybe a little while till its turning.

    I should probably change the forum title to "My SB13 journey"

    Ok I will follow up later today with replies to some of your questions and comments about the machine. Happy I can now post again. This was starting to drive me crazy!


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