South Bend 14-1/2 purchase
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  1. #1
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    Default South Bend 14-1/2 purchase

    I bought a Southbend 14 1/2 today and even got it unloaded and in the garage. It was $1100 with 3 and 4 jaw chucks, steady rest, quickchange and regular tool post and a few cutters. It's been well used but I think I got a decent deal.

    It's my 1st lathe so I have alot to learn and I need to get it running 1st. My AC Tech VFD is on the way.

    I got the How to run a lathe book with it but I still would like to find a manual. Anyone know of an online pdf file for the manual?

  2. #2
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    I know of no manual as such. You can find .pdfs of the parts list, lubrication instructions, and how to set up a lathe, all on Steve's website. Use Google and search for "SBL Workshop" and you will find his site. I found all the parts lists excepting the double tumbler quick change gear box and I have a lead on the parts list for it.

    I am also the owner of a 14-1/2" lathe but mine did not come equipped with all the good stuff yours has. I will have a similar amount invested when I get everything I need to put mine back into service. My lathe has an 8 ft bed, Under motor drive, D1-4 spindle nose, double tumbler quick change gear box, and taper attachment. It came with no chucks, faceplates, toolposts or centers.

    Within the last month, there are now three new 14-1/2" South Bend lathe owners here.

    Bruce Norton
    Kingsport, Tn

  3. #3
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    Great thanks for the info. I didn't realize that the 14 1/2 was somewhat rare until I started to look around on here a little more. Sounds like u have a great start on yours I wish I had the taper attachement for mine.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Broncostile View Post
    Great thanks for the info. I didn't realize that the 14 1/2 was somewhat rare until I started to look around on here a little more. Sounds like u have a great start on yours I wish I had the taper attachement for mine.
    Ill trade ya a taper attachment for your steady rest.......

    and Im in Golden Co with a 14.5 also

  5. #5
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    Why not make a steady rest? I like OE parts as much as the next guy, but if you really need one and don't just one a museum piece ...

    Don't get me wrong, I understand wanting to have all the original parts. I love my tools and like them to be complete and happy

    I guess what I'm trying to say is it seems to me that a taper attachment trade for a steady rest is a pretty dern good deal for the guy with the steady. Steady's are easier to make than TA's !

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TMS8C8 View Post
    Why not make a steady rest? I like OE parts as much as the next guy, but if you really need one and don't just one a museum piece ...

    Don't get me wrong, I understand wanting to have all the original parts. I love my tools and like them to be complete and happy

    I guess what I'm trying to say is it seems to me that a taper attachment trade for a steady rest is a pretty dern good deal for the guy with the steady. Steady's are easier to make than TA's !
    mostly the time involved, if I could find one for a reasonable price..........

    Im down for making or modifying tooling but it only makes so much sense...

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the offer but I think I will keep what I have for now. I'm not sure the steady rest is the original either but it does have 14 1/2 - 16 printed on it.

    Is the taper in the tailstock a #2 Morse taper?

  8. #8
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    The tail stock taper should be a #3MT. Gary P. Hansen

  9. #9
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    Good to hear some 14 1/2 stories. As some above have mentioned this is the rarest of the post WWII traditional South bends. It was introduced in about 38 or 39 and made in the single lever quick change version until about 52. The early versions had a 2 1/4 6 TPI headstock spindle, which was thankfully converted to the same headstock as the 16 in model 2 3/8 6TPI in about 52. As far as I can tell, only about 2500 of the double lever QC models with the more standard nose were ever made. How many survive is anyone's guess. Probably about as many or more single lever units were made, but you hardly ever see one today.

    Even though the 14 1/2 splits the swing evenly between the 13 and 16 inch models, it is much more like the 16 inch in overall size and weight. If you set one next to the 13 inch, the difference in size really is startling. If you read over the parts manual carefully, you will see that it has some common parts with the 16 inch, some common with the 13 inch, and some all its own. I have always thought it was a creation of the marketing guys, to serve those who thought the 16 was too big, and the 13 too small.

    Production was discontinued in 65 or 66, and for the last few years only a hundred or so were made each year. As many know at some time in the late 50's South Bend switched the bed casting on the 13 from a straight braced model to an X braced type. I have always thought this was because they started using a different foundry. The 14 1/2 stayed with the same bed casting until it was discontinued. My thought is that South Bend had some previously cast beds, and they basically made the lathe until they ran out of castings. Of course that is speculation on my part, and could be wrong.

    At any rate, if you have the room for it, the 14 1/2 is a wonderful lathe. It has all the heft the typical home shop person would want, but is also fine for the small jobs. Like any used machine, it is more about the condition of your machine than the particular model, but if you are lucky enough to find one in good condition, it is a nice machine. Of course parts and add ons like steady rests are rare and hard to find, but you can't have everything.

  10. #10
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    well I have the double lever QC model then. I hope to have it up and running next week. I ordered a VFD for it and my new Bridgeport mill and they came today. I just need to get the shop wiring over to them and the VFD's wired.

  11. #11
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    i have had a 14-1/2 for 15 years thought i was the only one to own one. mine is the tool room model [1951 ]. it came with 3 and 4 jaw chucks. 5c collect set up. taper attchment with a clutch in the crossfeed screw so you don't have to unbolt the crossfeed nut. telascoping steady rest. 8' bed. a box of tooling and reamers. all that for $1500.

  12. #12
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    I also have a south bend 14.5 completely restored beautiful machine 8 ft bed small bore spindle tho but a awesome power house


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