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  1. #1
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    Default South Bend Indexing Centers

    My apologies for this shameless tool gloat, but you see so few of these around that I thought that some of you might like a glimpse of the one I recently refurbished. I've only seen one other set on this forum, that one belonging to atwatterkent, though I know there must be others. A decent example sold on eBay about a year ago:

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...in/INDXCTR.jpg

    The South Bend Indexing Centers (CE9635) is another one of those accessories that seems to have more value as a collector's item than a useful tool. Nevertheless, it is nicely made, and though of rather small size, is fully capable of precision work. Here is a catalog description from 1956:



    I acquired my set of Indexing Centers from another SB forum member, 'shakermountain', who came to the forum looking to sell some SB accessories, and disappeared about as suddenly as he arrived. Now, I had been kind of looking out for a set of these centers for some time. When I saw that 'shakermountain' had one for sale, I PM'd him an offer, he countered, and I accepted. I wound up getting them for less than half their new cost (adjusted for inflation). Though the "shepherd's crook" index pointer was missing, all appeared to be in pretty good condition (the clamp dog on the right was not included):



    When the item arrived, I was pleased to find that it didn't look like it had ever been used. There was still a fair amount of cosmoline gumming up the wormshaft mechanism, and no evidence any wear whatsoever. There are a few "storage dings", but after a thorough clean-up, a few minor repairs, paint job, and a new pointer, here is the result:





    I've got a project coming up where I need to make several small gears, and I just may be using this tool for the job.

    Paula

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    Cool

    I am planning to build one thanks for the pics...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    Absolutely splendid. Are these tools still for sale new somewhere ?

    For my sub-par hobbyist skills it's exactly what I was looking for.

    Question 2. Do you have a link to a thread detailling the process for these kind of restaurations ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coligny View Post
    Absolutely splendid. Are these tools still for sale new somewhere ?

    For my sub-par hobbyist skills it's exactly what I was looking for.

    Question 2. Do you have a link to a thread detailling the process for these kind of restaurations ?
    Maybe someone that has one can measure the gear's and i am sure they are avail off the shelf somplace and the rest is simple metalwork...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    Smile

    Well, by golly, that one is worth a gloat, Paula!

    Very, very nice restoration.

    Clemson

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    Default

    Paula:

    When are you planning to open "The Museum of Restored South Bend Machine Tools"? Nice job! Gary P. Hansen
    Last edited by garyphansen; 02-04-2009 at 04:10 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Coligny View Post

    Are these tools still for sale new somewhere?
    Well, there are certainly tools for sale now which function in the same way. What is fairly unusual is for the dividing head and tailstock to be mounted to a single member. Most often today one sees a "semi-universal" indexing head sold, with an optional, detached tailstock attachment, like this:



    Sherline makes a unit which looks quite similar to the South Bend, though it doesn't look like it uses a worm drive -- perhaps just a single gear, with some kind of detent mechanism. An advantage of Sherline's unit is the threaded/MT1 spindle, which allows for a wider variety of mounting options:

    Sherline Indexing Attachment

    One thing to note about the South Bend unit is that it is really only suitable for work which can be mounted between centers. For work which could more easily be mounted in a chuck or collet, one would need to fabricate some kind of custom mandrel for mounting between centers. I have toyed with the idea of making a different spindle for the South Bend unit, with a 3/4-16 threaded nose which would accommodate the Sherline chucks. Wouldn't be that difficult to do.

    As Bob said, making your own wouldn't be terribly difficult. The hardest part would probably be indexing the degree markings for the worm wheel (should you elect to do so). A 72-tooth worm wheel seems an ideal size, as it gives a 5-degree movement for each rotation of the worm.

    Question 2. Do you have a link to a thread detailling the process for these kind of restorations?
    This kind of general information is scattered throughout the forum, but here is a post where I describe my process for metal finishing and painting:

    http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb...&postcount=127

    Paula
    Last edited by Paula; 02-08-2009 at 04:56 PM. Reason: Spelling

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    Man, oh, man. Like you, (but a heckuva lot less skilled in machine tool), I love doing restorations. It's like to tool comes back to life...and perhaps it does in a way.

    Thank you for the post, Paula...and the superb resto!

    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paula View Post
    My apologies for this shameless tool gloat,<snip> Paula
    Never apologize for a tool gloat - you earned it - you obviously put in significant time and effort restoring it to like-new condition!

    I love seeing pics of your cool stuff. Now let's see it in use on that South Bend shaper I think you have......


    Dale

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    Cool

    Looks like you can get 2 gears from mcmaster for about 115 bucks and the rest is just simple metalwork. Looks like another project...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    Bob

    Are you speaking of a worm gear set? Don't forget about the adhesive backed protractor disks that you used for your lathe degree disk - I use mine quite often. In one of Rudy K. books he describes making a small (9 inch long) indexing set - working on one now and it is a quite simple in design.

    Dennis

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    Paula,

    I have two of the Indexing Centers, two of the Rotary Indexing Tables, two of the Universal Tables, two of the........, well that is enough tool gloating for now.

    Rob

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    Default Nice job Paula!

    I have one of these rascals and have used it for fluting a few oddball taps and reamers over the years. I've scribed divisions a few small dials with it too. Very handy and it's quite accurate. It came with my SB Shaper, along with a SB Rotary Table. Both are in good condition, although with some oxidized oil on them of course.

    Thanks for showing your great restoration Paula.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dconway00 View Post
    Bob

    Are you speaking of a worm gear set? Don't forget about the adhesive backed protractor disks that you used for your lathe degree disk - I use mine quite often. In one of Rudy K. books he describes making a small (9 inch long) indexing set - working on one now and it is a quite simple in design.

    Dennis
    Yes Dennis a worm gear set. I have a Boston gearbox in the shop i could convert to something usefull. I remembered about the sticky dial after my last post, thanks for reminding me. Maybe i could make the gearbox like an index head with the plates...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    Thanks for the nice comments, everyone! Notice that I didn't call this a 'restoration', though. It just doesn't qualify as that. It was mostly a case of being in the right place at the right time.

    Quote Originally Posted by aametalmaster View Post

    Maybe someone that has one can measure the gears...
    Bob, I checked the gears on the SB indexer and they are 22 pitch (believe it or not). The worm gear has 72 teeth, with a 3.273" pitch diameter. The worm is .750 O.D., single-lead. Notice that the worm gear on the SB unit is cut away, such that it can slide sideways on the spindle to disengage from the worm. This is a handy feature, but could be just as easily accomplished with a standard worm gear by having the wormshaft pivot away from the worm wheel, as in the SB rotary table, should you desire such capability:



    The index plate idea is a good one -- gives many more possible divisions, but quite a bit more complicated to make. I believe the Rudy K. model (first featured in Home Shop Machinist) used index plates.

    Paula

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    Thanks Paula...Bob
    Bob Wright Metal Master Fab
    Salem, Ohio Birthplace of the Silver and Deming Drill, all others are copies.

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    Although this was designed for use on their shaper, the indexing attachment can be very useful when used with a milling attachment on a lathe too. I mounted it to a piece of 1" stock:





    Another accessory that is even more scarce was built by Boxford, the British clone of South Bend, that included indexing plates:





    I hope this works, I haven't posted pics in a long time.

    Nice job Paula
    Last edited by Paula; 05-03-2009 at 03:09 PM. Reason: Inserted some spaces for easier viewing

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    I'm green with envy Paula.

    That's a beautiful piece of equipment and, as usual, a beautiful job of cleaning it up.

    Pete

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    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Lang View Post
    Paula,

    I have two of the Indexing Centers, two of the Rotary Indexing Tables, two of the Universal Tables, two of the........, well that is enough tool gloating for now.

    Rob
    Robert - a serious tool gloat must include PICTURES!


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    I came across an eBay ad for an interesting set of indexing centers, and though I'd mention it in this thread, as they seem quite similar to the South Bend centers. The obvious departure is the presence of six sets of index holes on the back of the worm gear. Curiously, unlike the SB unit, the B&S unit does not seem capable of indexing via the worm crank:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll...m=230380022237













    Though the item got no takers at 500 bucks, the price seems emminently commensurate with the quality.

    Paula


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