Lathe - Bed Questions



Measuring wear on the v-way length? (Mar 28, 2001) Lathe bed (Jul 6, 2003)
acceptable wear on bed ways (Dec 17, 2001) Fixing ways? (Oct 1, 2003)
Heavy 10 bed (Feb 21, 2002) Bed replacement (Nov 20, 2003)
Heavy 10 bed or 9 bed (Feb 22, 2002) Bed woes (Dec 17, 2003)
Ways dimensions on SB lathes (Aug 18, 2002) How to tell if a SB has hardened ways? (Mar 22, 2004)
10K Hardened ways (Oct 12, 2002) Difference in ways (May 17, 2004)
Bed replacement (Oct 21, 2002) Bed Burrs Question (Jun 16, 2004)
Lathe Beds (Dec 3, 2002) What is acceptable bed wear? (Sep 8, 2004)
Bed evaluation (Jan 13, 2003) Bed wear question? (Oct 15, 2004)
Nicks on the ways (Mar 30, 2003) 1936 9"B Bed Refurbishment (Oct 16, 2004)
Heavy 10 way dimensions (Apr 28, 2003) Changing the bed on a SB9A (Jan 18, 2005)
Chrome ways (May 17, 2003) Question about bed length (Jan 26, 2005)
Measuring wear on the v-way length?
I am in the process of acquiring a 10" South Bend Lathe and would like to know how you measure wear over the length of the bed with accuracy to 0.001". I want to find this out first, so I don't set it up and then discover that I should have gotten the bed reground. Jim (415)
I mounted a magnetic stand and dial indicator on the carriage. Indicate off the flat tailstock way (usually very little wear) that is the closest to the V way (the worn one). Crank the carriage from one end of the lathe to the other. You can put some downward force on the carriage corner nearest the indicator just to make sure you take up any play. The indicator should push in as the carriage drops lower near the worn part of the way (near the headstock). Scott (418)
acceptable wear on bed ways
I am wondering what people in this group consider to be an acceptable amount of wear on the V-shaped ways of the lathe bed. I have an old Heavy 10 with less than .005" of maximum wear (vertical) from the saddle rubbing over the V-ways of the lathe bed, around an area not far from the headstock. Far from this area, there is no apparent wear. As long as the wear is purely vertical, rather than horizontal, I am figuring that this is not going to affect accuracy very much, because of the following trigonometry argument: For a 1-inch diameter shaft that is being turned, the amount of radial error that will be introduced from a toolbit being misaligned vertically by .005" is: 0.500" X [1 - cos(.005"/.500")] = 0.500" X [0.00005]= 0.000025" This is much less than errors that will be introduced from other problems with the lathe. What are other people's thoughts about this? Am I missing something important here? I don't want to regrind or rescrape my lathe bed unnecessarily. Jon (2460)
I buy that. Now what if the bed is worn more in the front than in the back, making it effectively twisted? I'll guess the center height is probably about half the distance between the ways, so I think you would see an error in your cut depth of around half of any difference in the wear from front to back. Not sure of that, just thinking out loud... Chris Stratton PS - I'm lucky in a way, while the parts I make need to be very smooth with no cyclic or periodic errors, most of them are tapered and I don't have to hold absolute tolerances over long distances. Christopher (2461)
Yes, that makes sense. If the wear is uneven, I suppose the best way to check the effective twist is with a precision ground cylinder carefully mounted. Then use that as a reference, with an indicator placed where the toolbit would go, checking for horizontal misalignment. Scraping either the front or rear bed way the extra amount could compensate for uneven vertical wear. (2463)
Surf over to www.mermac.com and read the "klunkers" write-up. If the machine makes acceptable parts, then the wear is acceptable. Ken (2470)
My lathe has a bit of wear on the ways, more in front [seems the previous owner may have had a habit of not loosening the carriage lock completely before engaging the leadscrew--don't ask me how I figured this one out]...and I'm not going to say that the error introduced is more than the measurement error induced by inconsistency of my micrometer technique on the workpiece. Even if the wear were enough to throw the levelness off by 5 degrees [a half-inch across 6 inches--sin5=.087 and .087x6=.522] the worst effect is that an indicated .001 on the cross-slide would actually be .000996 [cos5.0=.996]...and I'm not sweating .000004 because any workpiece I can possibly fixture springs more than that. I get more inaccuracy from the tool not being exactly on the centerline, and without gazillion-dollar laser-unobtanium accoutrements to get it right THERE, that's just the way it is. Having the tool .020" below center on a 1" dia workpiece means I'm about 1.5 degrees below centerline [for that diameter piece--sin1.5=.02] and therefore since cos1.5=.9997, it causes .0003-per-inch worth of error in the cross-slide reading...which if just fine; I'd rather take an extra cut than start over. I get more inaccuracy from the taper induced by the fact the indicator line for the compound protractor on the cross slide is [and always has been] off by about 15 minutes of arc when using the compound set to 0 degrees [compound leadscrew parallel to bedways] for short cuts...that error alone adds up to almost .0009 per inch and it has been there since day one. Besides, anytime I'm working to THAT close a tolerance any of this becomes relevant, I'm so far out of my skillset's league it isn't funny. Anything requiring that close a tolerance is likely something I'll likely turn oversize and send out for centerless grinding to get the finish I need anyway. To put it in perspective, any and all of the above errors don't amount to that induced by a pinhead spec of swarf getting under the carriage where it rides on the ways. Anytime I have a *real* accurate piece to make, the first thing I do is disassemble the compound and carriage and solvent-wipe the ways to remove any dust or debris. (2474)
This analysis is probably right in the sense that moving the cross slide a given distance will cause a change in the cut depth which is very nearly what was dialed in, even with substantial tilt to the carriage. However, if the carriage is tilted due to twist in the bed, then very larger errors in cut depth could appear along the length of the workpiece as the carriage traverses over the bed. At any point an incremental move of the cross slide will still have nearly the same effect, but the cut depth achieved with a locked slide could vary by an amount equal to half or more of the bed twist. However the wide spacing on the bearing surfaces of a typical carriage may give you some protection, and many long turnings would need to be supported by a follower rest which would largely take out the effect of bed twist. The problem would thus be most serious if taking a long cut on a workpiece that is large enough in diameter to be self supported over a long distance. Chris (2476)
Heavy 10 bed
I have a heavy 10 with a 4 ft bed in a 1943 configuration of one pin gear box. Does anyone have any experience in replacing this style bed with one with a newer 2 pin box or bed and box? I have ran 10 in southbends for over 30 years but never got into the restoring of one and my bed is old and tired and I would rather replace with a good one than send off and have reground and all. I would also like to upgrade where possible as in a longer bed I know I can go to 4.5 with a new screw but 2 pin box beds are more available if anyone knows if they will work without major altering. Also how far would one have to go to change to 2 pin box and all to upgrade that. Any info greatly appreciated and or whereabouts of nice bed for sale. Grumpy (3351)
I just replaced my Heavy 10 - 1944 model bed with one from about 1970 vintage. The newer one was drilled for the two lever box, but I just transferred over all my other stuff. Works fine. I did need to drill one hole in the side to mount the lead screw cover, just right of the gearbox. The holes in the newer bed lined up with my gearbox and the feet from my old 4 1/2 ft bed fit just fine. Since the new bed was only 4 feet I had to cut off the lead screw some and turn the end down to fit the tailstock end bearing. Good luck finding a lathe bed in good, I just got lucky! B.G. (3358)
B. G. I thought the bed would interchange if a guy knew what he was doing but I never tried. Do you have any idea after doing that if a complete gearbox upgrade to 2 levers would be a major trick or not. I am guessing it would be easy if a guy had all the gears from the box to the point where it would be completely changed over and the pull push stick taken out. Any Idea since you have looked closer at this project than I . Grumpy (3360)
I'd just look for a complete lathe with a bad spindle, carriage etc but with the gearbox, bed and lead screw, and maybe you could transfer over your spindle, tail stock and etc, I think you get the idea. I could sell you my old 4 1/2ft bed and you could have it re-ground. B.G.  (3365)
Heavy 10 bed or 9 bed
Somewhere in southern Ohio is a 3 foot bed in excellent condition for a 9 inch SB. It should be hanging out with both castings for a countershaft. Some how FedEx decided I didn't need my new cast iron and lost all three of the castings. Can someone tell me how 100 pounds of cast iron can just disappear? Gee, and I thought only UPS could do something like this. So it looks like I am still in need of the two castings for the countershaft and the handle. I didn't need the bed and I would have preferred to have a longer one but this one was supposed to be in excellent condition and I was going to use it for a project. I am going to try and mount a gear box from a heavy 10 on a 9 inch lathe. Any one have a extra set of castings for a countershaft? Gerald (3359)
Did you need the rear drive or underneath drive version. Glen (3369)
Gerald, Are you needing the castings for the rear drive unit? I just bid on ebay for the main drive wheel. I should have everything but the shaft, overcenter handle and rods and the oil cups for the main leg. If Glen can't help you let me know. I though you adapted the Non-adjustable unit. Tom (3372)
Gerald, I just bid on a handle on E-Bay. I haven't won it yet. I did win the main drive wheel. I don't think I have the smaller drive pulley. Tom (3374)
Tom, I did adapt the fixed one to suit my purpose which was to get the lathe up and running but I would really like to covert it over to the correct countershaft. I won the two castings for the counter shaft for $30 total and I was hoping to get it finished. Gerald (3377)
Gerald, I'll have to see what I have in mine. The e-bay item number for the handle is 1708290172. My max bid is $10. You might keep an eye on it or over bid me. If your parts/castings aren't going to show up, I'm sure we can work something out. It might be best if I sent out all the parts I have and then you could make a shaft and have a fixed stand to sell. Let me know. Tom(3393)
Ways dimensions on SB lathes
I have an SB 11" lathe that's worked well for me but didn't come with much tooling. I need to get a steady rest for it, but unfortunately since they didn't make that many of this model tooling for it is hard to find. I'm hoping I can find a steady rest for another more common SB model that will at least sit right on the ways so I can modify its height to work with my 11. On my SB 11, the distance between the center of triangular peak on the ways and the center of the flat on the ways across from it is 4.125" Is this ways dimension shared with any other SB lathes, such as the 10 or heavy 10? Paul T. (5844)
My Heavy 10 measures 3 5/8" or there about (I don't see an easy way to measure this very precisely) between the center of the triangular peak on the back inner way and the center of the flat on the front inner way. So it looks like the heavy 10 is not a good candidate (although those steady rests are likely pretty expensive anyway). As long as you are going to find a steady rest from a smaller lathe (like a 10"), and you have to make a spacer anyway, why not make the spacer accommodate different way configurations? If you make an adapter with a female V-way spaced 4 1/8" from a suitable flat on the bottom (to fit your ways), and on the top a male V-way with a different offset from the center, or 2 V-ways, or 2 flats and edge guides or whatever (to fit whatever steady rest you can find), I expect you could use a steady rest from any of many 10" (or 9") lathes. You could then pick something priced right, and I expect many used machinery dealers to have a pile of them from various orphan lathes. I think that getting decent alignment between for instance a single female V-way on the bottom and a single male V-way on the top would not be very hard, and a steady rest does not put very tight constraints on perpendicularity anyway, as far as I can tell. Frank (5872)
10K Hardened ways
I was looking at a mid 80's manufactured 10K that is represented to have hardened bed ways. My South bend experience is limited to older machines where I have typically used the presence of the "frosting" remaining on the bed ways to help judge bed wear. This lathe has no frosting on any portion of the ways. Is this typical for a light Southbend lathe with hardened ways? Other then the obvious ridges and nicks can anyone offer any special precautions when evaluating a lathe with hardened ways? Jim C (6617)
To my knowledge, SBL put a label on their beds with hardened ways - toward the tailstock end. I have seen these on 10k lathes. However, my own 10k does not ha!) said he thought it had hardened ways. Frank (6619)
My 1979 manufactured Heavy 10 has flame hardened ways and has a tag affixed to bed of lathe. These ways were originally ground. Unless the ways have become tarnished due to rust or stains this grinding can be easily seen near the headstock area where no wear can occur. This area can be compared to other areas of the ways which are subject to wear. I have never checked the hardness of the ways, since I do not have a portable hardness tester but would be interested in knowing the hardness. This depth of hardness can extend from about 1/16 inch to 1/8 depth I have been told. Therefore regrinding of ways can be accomplished without removing all of the hardened area. (6632)
My 1957 heavy 10" has hardened ways (judged by no scraping or frosting marks anywhere on the bed, including under the headstock, as well as some judicious file testing), but no label to that effect. As you note, later heavy 10s I have seen with hardened ways had the label. I don't know when they started using the labels. For that matter I don't know when they began offering hardened ways. I see no mention of it in the 1952 catalog. It is offered in the 1957 catalog for lathes 10" and larger (for about $160 extra on a 4' bed 10" lathe, a notable piece of change in 1957). The catalog also mentions that the hardness is Rockwell 50-55 C. Frank (6636)
I have a hardened bed from the 70's for a 10K South Bend. These were of Korean manufacture. When I bought it, I was told that in earlier models, the hardened ways were a rarity. I can't remember the exact letter, but I think it was either 'X' or 'R' in the serial number that denoted hardened ways in older lathes. Tom (6641)
I have a 10K that is dated 1986. My lathe bed has the hardened ways and they are smooth with no frosting. The bed has a plate verifying hardened bed ways. I purchased the lathe from the original owner and I received all original paperwork. The pictures in the paperwork also verify no frosting. I hope this helps. Kris (6647)
My serial number is 9139RKX14, where the X apparently just means "special" according to the SB literature. Based on your recollection, perhaps what is "special" about mine is the hardened ways. Thanks. I had not figured out what the X meant until now (assuming your recollection about X is correct). Frank (6649)
Bed replacement
I have a sb 9" model a with a long bed. I would like to replace it with a shorter bed just to save some room in my small shop. Would it work to use a model c bed that I have located? Will I have trouble modifying the model c's lead screw for my gearbox? Do all the holes line up for the gear box? (6725)
The "C" bed will be missing one hole to mount the gearbox. It would be much easier to shorten your model "A" leadscrew than modify the "C" leadscrew. You would have to mill the keyway in the "C" leadscrew among other things. Glen (6726)
One more thing I would like to add, make sure the shorter bed you get still has the rack gear with it, or you will need to use the longer one and cut it down. You really need to keep the longer Rack Gear with the long bed so it will be easier to sell it. Clint(6730)
You can use the bed, but will need to drill out the 3rd hole that mounts the QC to the bed, the Mod A leadscrew is easy to cut down to fit the bed, all you need is turn the end down to fit the bearing and cut it off. It would not be theasable to try to use the Mod. C leadscrew, if your Mod A is OK, just use it as I mentioned above. Other than that I can not think of any thing else that would require ant modifications. Clint(6731)
One more thing to think about. I would make sure you are swapping the same type of beds, ie underneath drive or horizontal. I think we are assuming horizontal drives. What length of bed do you have at the moment? Some of the other board members might be interested in swapping parts. Tom (6732)
I guess we never really answered his question of converting a 'C' lead screw to an 'A' lead screw. He might want to convert back to the longer bed sometime in the future or want to sell the longer bed. The longer bed would be worth more with its original leadscrew. To convert the 'C' lead screw to 'A', you will need to shorten and thread the left end and mill a slot along its length. Since you already have and 'A' lead screw, you could get the dimensions from it. Just subtract the difference in the bed lengths. The main concern with this is milling the slot. Many on this board don't have access to a full size Bridgeport mill or horizontal mill. I would say a horizontal mill would be best. Still a Bridgeport type mill is capable of this, even without the right angle head. I would figure out the width and depth. Clamp the lead screw in one of the slots with many clamps. Mill an undersized slot (say .020 less) and .005 from final depth down the length. I would mill in sections, undoing the clamps along the way. After it is roughed out, then take a cutter of the correct size. I would think the slot would be .002 over the key width, but measure your original lead screw. Here's were I'd say experience would come in. The cutter will pull to one side. I would offset the mill cut a bit say .001-.002 to comp for this. (practice on a scrap piece of stock). Still you might not get this with the interrupted cut due to the threads on the lead screw. Cut in one direction, clamping and unclamping as you go. You might go back down the opposite side to widen the slot a bit. It would be better on a horizontal mill though. Tom (6744)
Lathe Beds
There are 12 SB 9 or 10K lathe beds in an auction on E-Bay. Some are UND 3-1/2 foot bed length. The conditions vary. There are some 3 ft A's and C's and 3-1/2 foot A horizontals. I think Bug was looking for a UND. The item number is 1921879383. They must be picked up. Any need for some of these beds in the Midwest or East around Pennsylvania. Still trying to figure out where in NY he's located at. Tom (7716)
Tom, et al, He is in Newburgh NY, about an hour and a half from me. I thought about buying this and selling them all separately but 12 lathe beds is an awful lot of metal to move. If there is enough interest, I'll go for it. Peter (7718)
Peter, Where are you located. I would be in Harrisburg PA over Christmas. Maybe splitting the lot might help. I think one of our member of the board needs a 3-1/2 ft UND bed. Still some logistics to work out. If there's enough interest, I could haul a few south to PA or a bit beyond and some to the Midwest (i.e. south of Indianapolis). I'll also have to check and see if my brothers pickup is available or how many I can stuff into my Ford Contour for the trip home. Who know maybe the Jeep Comanche can make the drive. Tom (7720)
Tom, I would gladly give you $75.00 for a 3 1/2 HD and meet somewhere between NY and OH. I live in Cleveland, OH. Jim
I've got a 9" horiz 3.5" bed that I'm using as a door stop. Come take it away. Dave (7723)
I've purchased from this guy before with mixed results. Dave (7726)
Looks like about 40 or 50 miles up the Hudson River from NYC. Anthony (7733)
Dave, I've gotten some stuff from him off of E-Bay. The pieces have been good. Still, its hard to judge the condition of the beds. What condition are the ways on that door stop? I have a bed coming from Ohio, but still have to determine the condition of the ways. Mass is a bit far to drive for me. Still someone might be interested in it nearby. Tom (7734)
He's about 50 mi to the right of White Plains. Along Rt.84 I believe. Dave (7735)
The ways have a good ole' dip in them. An ambitious soul could scrape it but it's not gonna be me. This was the original bed that I had on the 9" and I replaced it with a 4.5" bed that was almost new. I'm moving soon, just sold my 9" 10" and really have no use for the thing. If it would be useful to someone they're welcome to it. Dave (7736)
His prices aren't the lowest, but I've never been disappointed with anything I bought from him. (7737)
Exactly, also be sure to confirm that anything you buy will fit your machine. I've purchased parts from him made the drive to NY only to find the actual pieces were for a different style machine and wouldn't work. If I'm going to buy a couple grand in parts and drive 6hrs round trip the last thing I want to see is a shrug and "too bad" when the parts turn out to have been misrepresented. He didn't seem too concerned about repeat business. He's got a house packed full of machines that he parts out. I saw some really nice stuff that he'd taken all apart to sell off individually as parts. I thought it was kind of a shame. You don't mind so much when it's a work out machine being used to keep several other going but he proudly showed me a couple of heavy 10" that he'd found at auction still in the original parking grease with the delivery parts literature in the drawers. Toolroom machines with collet closers and taper attachments. First thing he did after getting them home was to rip each one completely apart and sold them off piece by piece. He explained that he gets a lot more for them that way. I just loaded my stuff and left. Dave (7739)
If anyone buys these beds is going to pick them up personally (or goes there for any reason) please contact me privately. I m interested in some Sheldon parts but from what I've seen in this discussion I d prefer to have someone look at them personally if he has them. Lew (7740)
I did win the auction for the lathe beds. I haven't seen them yet. If anyone needs a lathe bed let me know. E-mail off list with your name address and phone number. I will be driving from Indiana to Pennsylvania over the holidays. If its along the way, I could drop off a lathe bed. The seller offered to give me some more lathe beds. I'll have to see the condition of the beds and what prices to charge for them. Tom (8010)
Tom, I would be interested in a horizontal mount 9". I am in between on your trip, Cleveland Ohio. Let me know the particulars and I can meet you somewhere at your convenience. Jim (8017)
To all who replied: I do have a few request for the UDN lathe beds. Probably at this point I have sold the three that where listed. The seller did mention some extra beds. I do have a request from Anthrodes for a Heavy ten bed. I'll see what he has. For Jim Wilson, I did not get your phone number. I will be away and out of e-mail over this time. If you could send your phone number to qbox09 ( I hope he doesn't mind), I'll see what I can do. I think there was a request from someone around Cleveland for a UND also. I don't know if I was bidding against him for the lathe bed in Toledo or not. I stopped bidding on this item. If you still need a UND bed, you'll have to leave your number with qbox09. (again I hope he doesn't mind). I am trying to work out deals, without knowing what I am getting. Also, I'll be away from my phone, and I don't want to give out other people's phone number over the general web. I hope people don't get angry if this deal doesn't work out to their liking. But its a work in progress. Tom (8046)
There weren't to many usable lathe beds in this deal. The UND beds weren't in any condition that I'd sell them. One might have been good to be scraped in. Another, might be repairable with Moglice. I can't be sure of this as I didn't clean them thoroughly and inspect them real well. I got two good usable lathe beds and one worn but usable bed and maybe an Atlas lathe bed out of this. As a note on the UND beds. the two I saved had an 'X' cast into the bed rib under the headstock (underneath side). This might be the X that would determine if the bed was a hardened bed. I sold one of the horizontal beds a 3ft. The other bed I am keeping and another 3.5ft bed I still have to determine if its saleable or not. It does have some wear and the peak or nose is starting to show on the ways. This wasn't worth the effort to me. Tom (8537)
Bed evaluation
With regards to a 9" South Bend, how do you evaluate the condition of the bed? I understand the use of the carriage lock to indicate that wear is present in one area compared to an unworn part of the bed. But how do you quantify (in .001"s) the amount of wear? How much is too much? Can a straight edge and feeler gauge be used? Finally, how do you evaluate a used, naked bed? Could a person file off the ridge that forms at the top of the VEE and make a junk bed appear to be serviceable? It's a jungle out there. (8671)
I have used the technique that is described in the Connelly " Machine Tool Reconditioning" book. It is to put a straight edge at right angles to the ware area with a piece of paper at each end and measure ware with feeler gages between ends bridging the ware area. Of course there is ware on both sides of a V way and also ware in the saddle ways, so the drop could be a fair amount. Most of the 9" SBs out there have some ware that can partially be corrected for by using the SB " How to run a lathe" in that you level the bed by the cut you take on two spaced diameters . Also read the Meridian " In praise of the Clunker" on his web site. The difference between a worn bed and getting it reground say for a Heavy 10 is about $ 1000 , so you better be in love with it to get this done. A few guys do love them so spend the money. Walt (8682)
Some how I thought this was addressed to me and from the guy in Minnesota. I was referring in the previous post about a horizontal bed I have. Qbox is looking for an UND bed. Sorry for the confusion. Also, besides the amount of wear in depth, you have to look at the evenness of wear and in relation to the length of parts to be machined. Tom (8683)
I'll have to recheck the one bed I have available and see if its good enough to sell. Determining what I would consider usable or not might be different than yours or someone else's. As far as filing off the vee, this wouldn't take care of some of the other problems. The bed would still be bowed. You would have accuracy problems, since your tool would be rising and lowering during the cut. Possibly for what work you want to do, this would be a problem. I would say the wear in a bed would be somewhere is the .005-.010 range that would be going bad. More than a few of the beds where beyond that. I think the bed I have available has about .005 wear, maybe a bit less. I'll try and inspect it in the next couple of days. Tom (8684)
Tom, Sorry if I caused any confusion. What I was after was the best method to use for evaluation of a bed. How do you evaluate bed wear on an assembled machine and also if you are purchasing a "naked" bed. (8704)
The bedways on a South Bend are a triangle with the apex truncated. The carriage ways are narrower than the face of the bedway. Any filing-off of the ridges at the top and bottom of the face of the v-way would narrow the width of the v-way at the base, which would then be measurable. Off the top of my head, the drop in the carriage would be equal to half the amount of the narrowing of the ways at the base for a 90-degree V [90 degree included angle at the apex], and .866 of that amount for a 60-degree bed [60-degree included angle]. [.866=sin 60]. Lurch (8706)
Qbox, I would say an easy way to judge a lathe that is assembled is to take a cut off of an aluminum piece of round stock. Aluminum doesn't create as much tool nose pressure as steel. Then measure the diameter along the length of the piece. This should give a good indication of what the lathe is capable of cutting. This is assuming that the lathe is properly leveled. There was a thread on leveling SB lathes a while back. Other lathes have different ways configurations. I was working on leveling a DnynaMyte 3000H at the time. It has flat ways and 90 degree ways on both rails of the bed. I used parallels and a level. The SB is not so. You will need two 'V' blocks, and hope to find some unworn ways sections. I did read the page on the internet site Lurch posted. I have a few problems with it. First, I'm not sure what configuration of ways the Myford uses. From the description and other knowledge, I would think it has Boxed ways. I think the Europeans like boxed ways. Atlas lathes have boxed ways. I think the though on them is that they are easier to produce and to regrind. The 'V' ways are said to provide better side deflection stability. The other problem I have is using a caliper to measure parts. The page states .0005 accuracy. I think there is one to many zeros there for a dial caliper. I wouldn't use a caliper of any sort for +/- .001. I also think this might be irrelevant for our SB. I guess you could put a 'V' block over the way section and measure. Still, I have an Atlas lathe bed I got in that E-Bay deal. It does have some wear. I don't think measuring with a flat anvil would give the correct wear. The flat is only worn in about a 1/3 across the width. If you determine what type of measuring would be accurate with the lathe bed you are looking at, then I'd use Lurch's suggestion of about 1/2 of that measure would be the difference of the cut. Its hard to find a good lathe bed. Its hard to determine from a picture the amount of wear. Tom (8710)
Nicks on the ways
Could anyone tell me what they have used to remove small nicks in the bed ways. Scott (10010)
Scott, I keep a Norton hard India stone for this. They are very flat and wear very little in use. Use with oil. The 1x.5x4 is handiest. MSC sells them. RichD (10012)
I hope that it is obvious that you only remove the metal displaced upward. You just live with the depression. (10039)
Heavy 10 way dimensions
Does anyone have a drawing showing the dimensions in cross section of the heavy 10 ways. To be used for making a custom attachment to take on and off the bed. Otherwise just measuring will be close enough. (10530)
I would assume that measuring it will be close enough. If you measure 3.36, it probably is 3.75 and so on. But, that is just a guess. Dave (10533)
Chrome ways
Bridgeports are notorious for being worn out in the center. Adjust the gibs, crank the handles to each end and see if they tighten up. chrome ways are HARD and do not wear out as fast. Series II Bridgeports (CNC) are typically chromed as they will last way way longer. it would go from ground ways, to hardened to chrome as the progression. Dave (11178)
It is my understanding on Series 1 Bridgeports that the saddle and not the table ways are chromed. As such the center part of the table itself still wears, and the gibs become either loose in the center or tight at the ends, even on machines with chromed ways. Frank (11181)
I have only noticed the ways being chromed, as I have not taken one apart. I've seen them chromed on every model so far. not every mill, but at least one of every model. Not saying that is the answer, but chrome does make it slipperier so regardless what gets chromed, the life is extended. Dave not the table ways are chromed. As such the center part of the table itself still wears, and the gibs become either loose in the center or tight at the ends, even on machines with chromed ways. (11184)
Lathe bed
I am wondering if I can find a longer lathe bed for my 9" SouthBend as mine is 24"es between centers, I don't know the actual measurement of the bed, but I would like to be able to turn a longer piece than 24"es. (12528)
I seen a 48" bed on ebay this week, you can get aprox 36" between centers with it Sounds like you have 42" bed. Clint (12530)
I recently made a 36 inch thick walled drill press column. put the steady rest on and cut half the shaft at a time. And I love the added room. not bad for a 24 inch length on my 9" Dave (12539)
On a 9", the headstock and tailstock use up about 18" of bed length. Therefore you would need a 54" bed to be able to stick 36" between centers. I don't think I have ever heard of a 54 incher, but maybe they're out there. Got to be rare. The idea of removing the tailstock and using your steady rest is a good one and I've seen posts here of guys building bed extensions. Rick
Last year I saw what might have been a 13x120. it did not have a large headstock, but the bed was 120. nice lathe. Also the welding shop near me has one of those 120's too. uses 8 feet for storage. Dave (12543)
The 9" came with 36", 42" (yours), 48" and 54" beds. Keep an eye on ebay as they do show up from time to time. Won't be cheap but if you want one. (12551)
Fixing ways?
I searched through the SB FAQ's sheet, and couldn't seem to locate anything on fixing the ways on the lathe bed. I have a SB 9A with a 3' bed, which I bought on Ebay. In certain spots on the ways of the bed, there are some pretty good dents or chips. This doesn't seem to hinder the motion of the saddle or tail stock, when I move them on the ways of the bed. A friend of mine suggest using epoxy to fill in these dings/chips? Has anyone done this? I might just look for a 4' bed with ways that are in good shape. It looks like my 3' bed is beyond a re-scrape. (14221)
If the chips and dents do not have raised edges, just leave them alone. If there are burrs or small raised areas around the spots you can dress these down carefully using small sharpening stones or a scraper. If the carriage can be adjusted to give even drag over the length of travel you probably have plenty of contact area. If they really irk you, JB Weld can be used to fill them, it might stick if you degrease the spots really well. I have filled a few spots on some tooling with this. Liquid Steel brand might match better for color. Don't use a standard 30 minute or two hour clear epoxy, it doesn't cure hard enough for this application. The last thing you need is a burr getting embedded in the epoxy and scratching the carriage v ways. Stan (14222)
Bed replacement
My 9" model A has a noticeable ridge on the front way. Suppose I bought a new, in-better-shape bed - what is involved in swapping them, other than the obvious component transfer? Is any scraping/fitting involved or is it just a bolt-together project. Or am I crazy to even consider it. John (15090)
Not sure of the involvement of scrapping and fitting, but you might want to look at the ways of the saddle also. These wear with the ways on the bed. Tom (15091)
The saddle looks nice and smooth, so I figure (perhaps naively) that it is just riding a little 'lower' than original, and should ride fine on a newer bed. Then again I'm really happy with the machine, so perhaps I should just leave well enough alone. (15093)
I have toyed with the idea of bed replacement myself for my 1954 Heavy 10 lathe. It too has a noticeable ridge on both the front and rear ways. I would guess it is about 10 to 15 thousands high. So far, I have let several good looking beds go, since I am not convinced that the project is a simple swap. Since the saddle wears in with the bed, it will eventually mate with the ridges in the ways. After talking to a machine rebuilder here in Cincinnati, I found out that normal procedure was to re-grind the bed, and then scrape in the saddle to mate with the bed. Then they scrape in the cross slide and compound. Without doing this, the saddle will not mate properly with the newly ground bed. It is also possible that the cross slide will not cut perpendicular to the axis of the lathe. I suspect that all the same issues would surface with a swapped out bed. I also thought I could send out an extra old worn bed and saddle for grinding and scraping, but by the time this is done, I would be out about $800- $1000 (South Bend wanted $1200 which did not include shipping). Don't forget the cost for the bed and saddle in the first place either. Before you know it, you can run up a bill that makes a new Asian lathe look like a great buy. The ways on my machine show pretty even wear since it is only a 3 ft bed (has a large spindle bore though). As it is the lathe still turns out pretty good work. Adjustments can also be made to work around worn ways. I think the true test lies in what kind of work you can do on the machine. It's a lot like Dave Ficken says on his website; "If you are not going to make space shuttle parts on it, it will do just fine." I also have a 9" South Bend that has much better ways on it so if I need extra precision, I can go to it as an alternative. One further note; I know of two individuals in the gun club where I am a member who are turning out wonderful work on amazingly old machines. When I got my 1954 South Bend, one of them said "Oh, you got a new one!". It turns out one of them is using an "American" (forerunner to LeBlond) made in 1897, and the other is using an 1888 Pratt Whitney. The guy with the American told me some local historical buffs once asked him if he would be willing to donate his lathe to a museum! Of course not, it's a working lathe! Both were originally line shaft lathes that have been converted to motor drives. Makes me look like I am using space age equipment! I'll bet most of the lathes the people in the group are using show moderate to significant wear on the beds. Perk (15094)
Perk, I'm going to leave well enough alone and save the price of the 3.5 foot bed that's on ebay right now. This lathe is new to me, and I've got cleaning/tweaking fever right now, which is what got me thinking about a bed swap when I saw one on ebay. The space shuttle part comment hits home - heck I haven't even measured the performance of the machine yet since it hasn't been an issue for what I'm making. John (15095)
Bed woes
For those of you whose SB bed has seen better days, if you replaced the bed with one in good shape (from Ebay etc.), adding you headstock, tailstock etc. from the original lathe (with worn bed) - I am curious as too the accuracy obtainable in machining parts? I have always thought that the headstock/tailstock etc, was specifically fitted to the individual lathe. Seems like adding the headstock etc from one lathe onto the bed of another, would sacrifice some tolerance of accuracy. The ways on my 9A near the headstock are not the best. Having South Bend re-scrape the bed is out of the question, as this will be over $1,000, close to $1,500. Other than going the epoxy route, I have contemplated locating another 9" bed with decent ways. William (15721)
I can't speak about the accuracy, but if your ways are badly worn, then the ways on the saddle would be too. Also, the ways for the tailstock might be. The saddle is fitted to the bed, from my understanding of the process. So when people part out good lathes, this combination is lost. I wish some would allow a trade-in value. I am in the process of replacing the bed on a 10K horizontal. I am not to concerned with the headstock alignment, but would defer this to someone more knowledgeable than myself. The main concern will be the fit of the saddle to the bed. I have a few horizontal beds and a UND bed. I will probably see which on the saddle I bought fits the best. My tailstock is also worn. Someone put shims in it. I expect to use Moglice or something else to repair its ways. Tom (15723)
The shims in the tailstock could have been put there instead of leveling the lathe. This seems to be all too common. Level the lathe bed first to less than .003"/ft twist and then align the tailstock. You may be surprised as to how little wear the tailstock may really have. JP (15726)
An inspection of the tailstock bottom casting is a good indication of the general state of a machine with regards to wear. If there is a shim between the two castings, it might be that there is wear on the bottom casting. A quick easy test to do is to put a dial gauge in the tool post that can take a reading on the top of the tailstock spindle. Extend the spindle to the maximum and lock it there. Move the tailstock and take readings at both ends of the spindle. If your tailstock is well adjusted, there should be no variation. Machine tool re-conditioning recommends the use of a test bar stuck in the MT hole in the spindle. For a tool room lathe, the difference should be 0 to 0.0005 in difference over a 12 in length. On the their test, they recommend to move the saddle, but if the lathe has not been re-conditioned, the test will not be good because of wear on the bed ways. It is why I recommend to move the tailstock instead. Just to give you a rough figure, my tailstock had worn down by 0.012 in at the spindle end. Shims could be used to bring it back in the original plane. Guy (15737)
How to tell if a SB has hardened ways?
Other than doing a drop test is there any way to tell if a SB 10K has hardened ways? Would there be any indication in the serial or model number? Keith (17878)
Keith, Mine has a plate on the tailstock end, that says Flame hardened ways? Dee (17880)
Keith After re reading your post, mine is not a 10 K so I apologize. Dee (17881)
Keith, I think an 'X' or 'R' in the serial number is an indication of a hardened bed. Also, an 'X' cast in the underneath section on the end where the headstock sits is a hardened bed. In the 9 and 10K, this is suppose to be a rare option. I have two very worn beds that have the 'X' cast in them. The Korean beds for the 10K have a plate stating 'Flame Hardened' or such. Tom (17883)
Keith, I have two heavy tens with hardened beds and one has a plate and one does not. The best way to tell for sure is call Le Blond and ask they have records. The flame hardened ones I have seen though don't have the chipped look. Grumpy (17884)
While checking serial numbers is definitive a file pressed lightly on the right end corner should tell the story. It is an interesting thing to watch the procession of machine building. Flat ways give way to V-crowns. The Atlas lathes had flat ways. I'm sure there were other lathes of this design persuasion. The idea being that a V-crown would wear in not out. However, until the 'flame Hardened' ways came out, there was still a wear or 'saddle' problem. Companies wanted more production and less maintenance. Hard ways were suppose to solve this, but there is a problem with that. Anytime you heat metal, there is the potential for changing the casting. So the bed has an opportunity to twist and hard spot. And of course there is all that grinding. Also a problem. great care will not keep metal from heating against a wheel. So when it cools, you have a hollow in the bed. My opinion is that the industry has been chasing it's tail for nothing. You do not need a ground and hardened bed. You need a well thought-out design that with a little care will last indefinitely...like a 1935 SBL. Main castings use to be cured in the foundry yard much the same way you air dry wood. Left on its own a casting in the ground will sort out all the twist. Then they are planed and scraped. When the hard ways rage hit the scene, we lost an entire industry called scraping. Just another casualty in our throw away culture. Here is another side to the story. If you look in a tool catalog, you'll see mills with square or box ways. NOT dovetails. You'll also notice they are scraped. NOT ground. I guess the wisdom here is that a box configuration is stronger. When I first saw this, I laughed. How do you adjust for eventual wear? Cross your fingers? Scraping is good, but box ways? I'll take dovetails any day, and you can keep your flame hardened box ways. I ran a horizontal boring machine that was built in Romania back in 1960.The guy next to me ran some CNC machining center, (clever term for a piece of junk!) whose name ended with an Xjing or something. It was big, it was yellow, it had hard ground ways, it was under-powered, the main column would shake when the tool took a cut...You could put a billet of alum or stainless the size of a small truck on the table, so what. If the main casting lacks beef and accuracy, it is worthless. Meanwhile, my HBM, same size had no breakdowns and was self-taught. Which one would you pick? I close the rant of the day by saying you can pencil whip anything. But all the CD ROM's aren't worth swarf if the thing they are running is a piece of s....! Ron (18197)
Difference in ways
In my quest for a 9"/10" lathe I am off to look at an Atlas 10" this week. I can't help but notice the ways are different than on an SB. I can't figure out and/or find an explanation for the pluses and minuses of the different arrangements. Anyone want to hazard an opinion? Paul (19090)
I seem to remember that Atlas had flat ways and if any v ways very few where the south bend uses 3 v ways and a flat. I always was informed that this was a much more stable set up with more v ways to keep you in line in all operations of the machine. I am no expert by any means but I would find a machine be it what ever brand that had the v ways set up. Grumpy (19091)
I agree with Grumpy. I have run both having an Atlas at work and my buddy having a South Bend at home. I think the South Bend is a little more on the money with the V ways. (I know some fellow Atlas people may disagree) but I just bought my 10K for that reason. Plus buy what you can afford and find local. Bob (19092)
If you check the big lathes you will find that most all of them have flat ways. Duane (19114)
Bed Burrs Question
I am about to put my 13" SouthBend into service (cleaning and reassembling as fast as I can now). The bed is in great shape, but has a few "beauty marks" from previous owner(s). The marks do have some high spots, so I want to take those down before using it. What is the best way to do it? A hand hone? Looking around I am a little bewildered by the different types of hones (diamond... india...). James (19671)
Flat file if the bed is not hardened. Whenever you stone anything you have the risk of leaving grit emedded in the surface which can cause premature wear on mating surfaces, especially cast iron. Commercial diamond cutters use cast iron laps because the diamond grit embeds itself well into the surface. Diamond grinding works well on fine grain material that can be cleaned, like tool bits. A cast iron lathe bed doesn't fall into that category, the finish is usually hand scraped with a carbide or HSS scraper. If you have to stone it, use a coarse grit aluminum oxide, never use polishing compound on a cast iron wear surface, like a lathe bed. JP (19678)
Actually it is a hardened bed (as I found out from LeBlond the other day). Does this mean I have to hone? James (19682)
What is acceptable bed wear?
On my 1969 10K, up near the headstock, if I lay a 12inch straight edge along the front V-way I can just push a .002thou feeler gauge under the middle of the straight edge. Would this be considered still within reasonable limits or is it excessive wear. If it is excessive what problem would occur as a result of it? (20813)
Most turning is done near the headstock so it is that part of the bed that gets the wear most. Is it excessive? I don't know - I suppose it depends upon what you want to use the machine for. Frank (20815)
As Frank said, most of the wear is usually up by the headstock and the middle of the back 'V' way. Usually by doing short OD turning. In my opinion .002 is good to very good condition. It is very mild wear. Excessive wear might start around .010 or more. Still, even this might be OK depending on what tolerance of work you are doing. If your finger nial just barely catches on the grove of the nose wear, it should be good for most work. Tom (20817)
My guess is for an older lathe its probably acceptable unless you are a rocket scientist. The problem is the saddle has more wear than the bed. I suggest you follow the South Bend Lathe book " How to run a lathe" and follow the alignment procedure . See if the results you can live with. This is a very interesting question and would like to see some follow up. I wonder if a seller would allow a potential buyer to perform the same test you used and you knew what the wear number you wanted to live with. Walt (20818)
I would not be too concerned about 0.002 in wear if the wear is even on both inverted V ways. A thing that is easy to do as a check (once the lathe is well leveled) is to put a master precision level on the saddle in the direction of the crossfeed motion, and move the saddle from left to right (or right to left) and monitor the motion of the bubble. If it stays steady on the same mark on the full length of the bed, you are laughing. Your lathe is accurate enough to do work within less than 0.0005in diameter accuracy. Otherwise, record the variations of the bubble. With some math, it will tell you the variations of diameter you can expect over the full length of the bed. (0.0002 in over 10 in per graduation gives a variation of 4 seconds from the initial reference plane) My SB 10K has at least 0.006 in wear. Divide by cos 45, it means that the saddle has gone down by at least 0.01 in. (excluding the saddle wear) I was able to see the bubble moving quite a lot when moving the saddle. I am in the process of reconditioning the bed by hand scraping. Hopefully, I will bring it back to the original standard. (Impossible mission? we will see. I am currently reconditioning the tailstock ways as a beginning because they have less wear than the others. Then, I will use them as reference standard for the saddle ways). Guy (20820)
When I looked at my Heavy 10 prior to purchasing, I did exactly that. Laid a straightedge along the ways and did not see appreciable daylight. Then, per Dave at Mermac's info, I tightened the compound screw down with it at the headstock and backed off to where it would barely move. Then I ran the compound down the bed. It got tight and stopped about halfway down. Now, how much bed wear is there? I could get the compound moving again by just a little turn of the screw, and could not catch a nail on what little groove I thought I saw. In the end, I still need to level the thing properly and align the head and tailstocks, then turn a piece between centers. That according to my South Bend manual is the method of 1)levelling the lathe, 2)adjusting the head and tailstocks, and 3)determining bed wear. Brian (20827)
Bed wear question?
When examining a lathe bed with V-shaped ways for wear, what is the most critical part of the way to consider? Some South Bend beds show a wearing of the "Vees" near the headstock almost to the point of the inverted Vee being somewhat scalloped, or concaved, but is this the actual surface that the carriage rides on? I had assumed it was more or less a guide for the carriage and the actual bearing surface was the flats. TJ (21343)
My Heavy 10 has 3 "V"s and one flat. The two outer "V"s align and support the saddle. No part of the saddle rides on a flat. The tailstock aligns on the center V and rides on the flat provided for it. Of course the headstock uses this same V and flat for alignment and as a resting surface. Ways usually wear near the headstock as this is the area of most use. Also chips build up in this area and contribute to wear. There are many accurate ways to determine the exact amount of wear using indicators, etc. However the one of the easiest is just my using my fingernail and the tip of my finger. There will be no wear on the ways near the extreme end at the headstock as nothing rides here. Simply compare that area with the rest of the ways. If you can catch your fingernail on a ridge formed by wear on the ways or feel roughness caused by scouring this is a good indicator of wear. I have seen lathes that you you could barely catch your nail on and others that showed ridges so bad you could just see them by just a glance. In my opinion if a lathe shows enough wear as I can feel it, I am not going to buy it. Of course the amount of wear will only get worse as I use it. Everything must be taken in to consideration. Is the lathe worth the price of a regrind? What type of work will I be doing on it? You can still do some very nice and accurate work even on a worn lathe. There again everything must be taken into consideration, including operator experience, material being cut, tolerances that must be held, etc. The ways are the backbone of a lathe. Regrinding or scraping them is beyond the scope of most people (myself included) and can be expensive. Ed (21360)
As stated in the other post the SB rides on the 'V' ways for the carriage or saddle. Some lathes such as Atlas and European makes use flat ways. Some such as LeBlond use a flat way on one side and a 'V' way on the other. This is a combination of the two systems. There are advantages to both. The 'V' are suppose to have a bit better accuracy. That though depends on the overall quality of the lathe. The Flat ways are easier to rebuild. The wear on the ways depends on what type of operation was performed on it. OD vs ID give a different wear pattern. Also, where along the bed the operation is performed. Usually on lathes the wear occurs towards the headstock, because the parts are short. Doing OD work the wear occurs on the front of the 'V' near the headstock and about the middle of the back of the back 'V' ways. This is where the saddle ends. I might have it backwards though for the wear pattern for the OD vs ID. Make sure you move the carriage to both ends and carefully inspect the ways. Wear can hide itself underneath the carriage. Inspect the both 'V' ways front and back. Still, it depends on how cheap the lathe is and what type of accuracy you need. Still, it is so much easier to be machining on a lathe in good condition. If anybody wants to tell me a skilled machinist can produce good parts on any crappy lathe. Then fine, pay me $20-25/hour and I'll take my time to get the parts right. At least that's what I learned in my 10 years as a machinist. Tom (21368)
This is a slight digression from the original topic. I had purchased a 50s 10L last week. The lathe came with a wealth of accessories, taper attachment, steadies, micro and turret stops, turret toolpost, collets, etc, etc,. A great buy for slightly under $650. The lathe unfortunately is worn out. The bed is so worn you can easily see the ridge. Scalloped as one said but only about 18 inches of wear by the head stock. My options are clear have the bed reground or scrape it down myself. Im so cheap I might try scraping. The idea is to build up the worn areas with bronze brazing or nickel welds. I read about the process of welding and brazing cast iron and did one repair. The question is why hasn't this been mentioned? Is it so impossible or unfeasible that its just not worth considering. I read posts about Moglice and turcite to rebuild ways but not the obvious bronze and nickel. Any comments? John (21369)
Welding on cast iron is tricky. Brazing is OK, but you are applying heat. Once metal is heated, especially locally, then it might or usually will, warp. Then you'd have to grind and fit the bed. I think at that point you are in a worst position than just regrinding the bed. I don't know how bronze would hold up. Tom (21370)
I know, I (we) are going to take a beating with this one but anyway, I have a O/A sprayweld setup with the powders that are made for building up ways. I have not used it yet. I want to try it out on my tailstock but not on the bottom way side but on the flat between the base and the upper casting then have it reground. If it works fine if not fine I am going to order a new one anyway. But I need something to practice on. Bob (21371)
Bob, Was the equipment expensive? I have a mini O/A will it work with that? What kind of metal are the powders? I know most are saying why not just regrind. I plan to build up the wear areas and file and scrape afterwards. Economical and educational. Warping and cracking will be an issue. I plan to minimize it with preheat and postheat. I plan on digging a large rectangular firepit and use charcoal as the heat source. I can get at least 500 degrees which is minimum recommended for preheating. Post heat will simply be to bury the bed in the charcoal and cool as the embers die out. All this done in the hottest days of summer. If I fail then I will try to buy a used bed with minimal wear. John (21374)
I'd first read up on how they use to make beds like yours, paying particular attention as to WHEN it was made. Different methods were used depending on who was doing it. Most good beds were seasoned just like air-drying lumber. That is they were either rough forged and buried or rough machined and buried. Not sure which. But the one thing they all had in common was to get any strains out before finishing. Engine blocks were done in this manner, or why they still work. I would look at your problem as a percentage of work. If you think you need more then a 10% of the bed reground, send it out. Eat the cost and help save a piece of American art. Give it the treatment and then find a relative or close friend to will it to. Once these babies are gone, don't expect to many factories to match the quality. USA firms being the natural exception. I plan on doing this for my 4 grandchildren. They are learning my metal and stone shop. Ron (21375)
We use spray metal in our shop extensively. There are special torches for this work. Powders are available for most types of metals. Our smallest spray torch is about equivalent in size to a journeyman Victor. This size torch is capable of the necessary heat to spray a shaft of around an inch in diameter. Our largest is about the same as a large rosebud. These torches have fittings to hold the powder container and a third tube to transfer the powder into the flame. Our largest unit would not have sufficient heat to do a bed. The metal to be sprayed has to be around 1600 degrees (F) before hitting the powder pedal. I can't imagine the bed could ever be salvaged if subjected to powder treatment. However, I have seen chips and gouges in ways repaired with a TIG torch, but I don't know what rod was used. Jim (21376)
John I am in the process of rebuilding a South Bend 10K lathe. I would not take the risk of metal rebuilding on a large surface like a bed. The risk of warping is too high. I would scrape it, or if you don't have time to spend, get it ground. Chances of metal distortion are too high. 1st question: how bad are the tailstock slides? 2nd question: can you measure the thickness of metal lost on the saddle slide? In my case, on the SB 10K I am rebuilding, the tailstock slide was worn slightly. It was missing 0.001 in at a couple of spots. I started the scraping on the tailstock slides. Once I will be happy about the general straightness of these slides, I will use them as reference to plane down the saddle V ways, using a custom made jig. I have to remove about 0.006 in on each faces. (4). This means that the saddle will be sitting 0.010 in lower than originally. (I am using another saddle in much better condition than the original) After planning, every surfaces will be hand scraped. You have to assume your saddle got as much wear as the bed. Look also at the bottom casting of the tailstock. You will find wear there too. It is important to know the vertical displacement of the top of the saddle from the original plane. This amount has to be compensated with shims between the bed and gear box/ lead screw bearing. You might also put shim between the rack and the bed. Before you start anything, check the general condition of the spindle and spindle bearings. If you plan on rebuilding your machine, read chapt 26 of Machine Tool Reconditioning. It is a must. read and digest this chapter before you start any work. Everything written there has a logic behind. In Home shop Machinist Sept-Oct 04, there is part one of an article on lathe rebuilding. Guy (21377)
Since I don't speak English natively, I have troubles understanding what you mean here; could you elaborate? The reason for asking is that I bought a SB9c a couple of months ago and wasn't able to judge the bed too well: all along the v-ways it has several dents, as if the previous owner did drop something on it more than once. Apart from these dents the ways look pretty good to me, but don't know how to quantify this for the area close to the headstock. While I'm sending a mail now anyway, another question I had is on the spindle and its bearings. I did not yet open this up and wonder if I should: is it possible to get an indication by giving the spindle with chuck attached a spin, manually, and see how long it keeps going? If I do this (when the lathe is just cold), I makes half a revolution only and then stops (of course I loosened the belt before doing this). This seems a bit little, doesn't it? Then finally, related: only one side (closest to the chuck) of the headstock seems to have shims. Is this normal? On this side having shims, these are not enough to keep me from locking up de spindle tightening the bolts, which makes me wonder about their use. It is difficult to get a feel for how tight these bolds should be or if I should take the spindle out the see if the bearings are good or not. I hope you have some heuristic hints and suggestions. Wouter. (21383)
Just joining in on this post, since I was wondering about this myself. I am not sure whether I get this: what do you mean with 'catch your fingernail on a ridge'. Could you explain for a non-native speaker? My lathe (which I purchased a couple of months back) shows a number of dents in the bed and v-ways, all along the bed actually. However, I am not sure how to judge the bed apart from these dents. Another question while I'm at it: to judge the headstock bearings: if the belt is not `engaged' on the spindle pulleys and you give the chuck mounted on the spindle a fair spin with your hand, how long should it keep turning. Mine turns for half a circle only, so there seems to be quite some friction. Is there another (better) way to judge this? Wouter. (21385)
I wouldn't think that localized welding would be any good, you'd be adding all kinds of stresses. Maybe if you could get the whole bed up over 700 or 800 degrees. A professional machine re-builder would just grind it down, then build it back up with a material designed to do so, it would more than likely be better than it was new! Real professionals aren't cheap to have this done right. I wouldn't attempt it myself, but I know you need good straight edges, super precision levels and a fairly big surface plate. Jim (21386)
There is a process called thermal spray welding. Powdered metal are blasted trough an electric arc and on to the object by compressed air. I don't know the exact technique but I think they would warm up the object to no more than 200 degrees Celsius. Such low temperatures there is no chance of altering any hardening or causing stress in the material. This process is used widely in ship (re-)building industry. Worn axles can be built up to original dimensions using this technique. You can also do it on hardened steel, without altering the hardening. This is because it is a low temperature process. The object of course need to be re-machined after spraying. I have no experience with this technique but I think it should be able to build up a worn bed. Torfinn (21388)
Wouter, Dents are not a major problem. As long as they are not excessive. The saddle or carriage still has enough surface area on they ways to ride along. The wear on ways (at least on SBs) occurs about 1/16 of an inch below the top of the ways. The metal may look streaked or smeared over a length. As for the spindle bearing most do a deflection test. I think there are instructions somewhere to do this procedure. If you run your lathe, the bearings should be warm to the tough but not hot. The spin test doesn't seem indicative of anything. So run your lathe for 15 minutes an see how hot the bearing get. Tom (21389)
Wouter In Australia we would understand it to mean as follows slide the end of your fingernail across the surface, if there are any ridges (grooves, ruts) caused by the Tailstock or saddle your fingernail will sense the ridge. So I suspect if you cannot feel any ridge on the machined surfaces then wear is minimal, if any. To give you a real life example of how "sensitive" the end of the fingernail is, move the end of your fingernail over an egg and you will be amazed how coarse the shell is. Just clarify further " the end of the fingernail" is the very end - that end where the ladies always are always filing. Looking at the front of your fingertips your should see the pad at the end of finger and the cross-section of fingernail perhaps 0.5 to 1mm thick and it is this small area that is used as the "feeler gauge" when testing for ridge wear.  (21391)
Tom & Paul, silly me didn't quite understand that the ridge is along the v-ways near the headstock, so you should feel along the `leg' of the v, instead of in the direction the saddle travels. I'm happy though, since now I know the ways do not seem to be in a bad condition at all, and any inaccuracies in things I am making I must blame on myself alone ;-) Never worked much with metal before I have a lot to learn. Wouter. (21393)
1936 9"B Bed Refurbishment
I am slowly arriving at the conclusion that I will need to have the bed refurbished in order to do any very accurate work. Here are my questions. 1) How do I determine the amount and position of the wear that needs to be fixed? 2) Does the saddle need to be resurfaced at the same time? 3) Are all four ways (2 for saddle and 2 for tailstock/headstock) generally ground down by the same amount when this is done. 4) are the 45 deg ways ground with a cup grinder? 5) how much backlash is to be expected in the cross slide wheel, compound wheel, and long feed wheel? (21351)
I will try to answer your questions or at least throw in my 2 cents worth.. (1) Most lathe beds will wear most near the headstock as this is usually the area of most use. Does your lathe show evidence of a ridge in this area indicating wear. I know of no way to "build up" and area of wear on lathe ways, so the entire ways must be scraped or ground. This includes the ways that the tailstock ride on. The tailstock ways may not show any wear but need to be in accurate alignment with the other ways. (2) The saddle will need to be scraped in to properly mate with the new way surfaces. (3)Hardened ways are ground. Unhardened ways can be hand scraped in. I have seen ways ground using grinders mounted on old planer beds and I have seen them ground using state of the art CNC grinders where the grinder head automatically tilted to grind each surface. I do not know what method South Bend uses when regrinding beds, but know they do a good job. (4)There will always be some backlash in crossfeed, compound screws. After installing a new crossfeed screw and nut in my SB the backlash was about 3 to 5 thousands if I remember correctly.. I have used lathes with 50 to 100 thousands backlash and still been able to do good work with them but a tight fitting smooth machine is much more of a joy to use. The bottom line is, how accurate of work do you need to do and what are you willing to pay to get it. A bed regrind and scraping in of saddle will cost about 1200 to 1400 bucks from SB. Although you may be able to get this done much cheaper elsewhere. I chose SB to do mine and do not regret it. First class work and service. Replacement of crossfeed and compound screws and nuts should run another 300 hundred or so. Although these items can be sometimes found slightly used for much less. Hope I have been of help to you and have not confused or discouraged you. The rebuilding of even a small lathe can be a confusing and expensive venture. Ed (21357)
Changing the bed on a SB9A
I have an old 1939 or so SB9A and the bed is fairly worn, I have located a decent bed and I'm wanting to know what problems I may run into fitting all of my parts to the new bed? Is it worth doing? Is it something I shouldn't even attempt? is $200 too much for a nice 42" bed? If it is too much does anybody know where I can find one? Jim (24090)
I would say do it. It's not hard to do. I converted mine to an A from a C and didn't have any problems doing that. Walt (24091)
If your original bed is 42 inches, then no problem. If not, (and shorter), then you'd' need the lead screw. Tom (24098)
I would suggest getting the matching saddle if available. Possibly ask if you can swap tailstocks. $200 is a bit high, unless in very good shape. Still, you will pay a bunch for shipping. Even a state away it would be $50 to ship. If you bed is worn, then more than likely, your saddle is worn. Probably your tailstock plate also. Tom (24099)
Watch E-bay, last month a complete lathe didn't sell and was listed for $550.00 with all sorts of extras. A member on this list IIRC. you should be able to buy an entire 9" C (workshop) for under $400.00. I had contacted a local repair guy who does Bridgeports primarily, but can do much bigger machines. he wanted $1,000 to regrind my bed, then match the headstock, carriage and tailstock to center and the newly ground bed. Mine is decent so it is not worth a $,$$$ to do that. and the shipping would have added even more. I was looking at a 9" A that was pretty worn. but the total cost was way too much for me. For $200,00 I'd say it depends on your skills to re-fit the rest of the parts. The headstock and tailstock 'should' be fine as they started at the same heights. If you want to hand scrape you have hours of work ahead, but will have a brand new bed in the end. Dave (24120)
Question about bed length
The # on the bed 6836TKL13 breaks down to : 13" QCGB UMD large spindle nose. The headstock # is CL 8175 which denotes threaded spindle. Under "bed length" it has 7. It's not 7' between centers but the bed including the headstock may be 7'. I was just wondering. I was also wondering what the difference between the regular spindle hole and the large is. I know it swallowed the 5C collet I stuck in there to check it. (24309)
Bed length is measured from end to end, not center to center. Large Spindle Bore ( approx. 1-7/16 " Through Diameter ) takes 5C Collets. Small Spindle Bore ( approx. 1-1/16" through bore ) takes 2A collets. Ron (24310)
Ron, my lathe must require an adapter to use the 5C collets because the naked spindle bore is much larger. It just swallowed up the 5C I checked it with. I have used SB's with 5C collets and Jacobs chucks and I seem to remember some sort of bushing that went in the nose to use the 5C's. (24311)
Yes to use 5C Collets requires the SB Spindle Collet Adapter Sleeve. Don't know what they are worth new but expect BIG $. Used on Ebay anywhere from $40 to 80+. Ron (24312)
Ron. I'm really excited about this lathe because of the parts availability. Not much around for my Rockwell 10. (24313)
That bushing was #5 Mt to 5c adapter sleeve. There also is a nut that goes on the spindle before the adapter sleeve that allows you pop the adapter sleeve out after you are done using collets. That nut also protects the spindle threads. 9" lathes used a #3 MT to 3C adapter sleeve. Gabe (24314)
Its not 5MT, its a proprietary Southbend taper 1.629" large end and .602" per ft taper. The sleeve alone from Leblond goes for close to $300 but you can get the whole setup, sleeve, spindle nut and handwheel drawbar for around $200 used from places like Sobels in NJ. JP (24317)
JP Do you know what is used to pull that reducer on a cam lock lathe?? I am switching from a 2 quarter 8 thread to a camlock and all the drawbar and etc fits and works but there is no place for the nut obviously sooo ??? I have been told the only way is a brass rod but you would think there is some method a little more proper in this modern times. Grumpy PS: Yes it is not a Morris taper 5 a wide misconception ! (24327)
Could this be a device to remove those sleeves? If it is, I could use one myself. (24363)
Yes Sir You Got IT ! I can see where it would be plus and minus tho. The screws I would have to remove each time I used it or I would hamburger my arm or something. Removing and replacing would be a pain but it would work great. Also wonder what damage the screws would cause if there not brass pointed or something to the camlock hub? The old brass bar would work but would be primitive but quick and I think to eventually damage the reducer also. Any comments on brass rods damaging the reducer or the screws????? And to you find sir I thank you much for the time and trouble to do us the pictures I have them on file.! Grumpy (24369)
Grumpy, I got those pics from a 10L currently on eBay. There are more pics shown there. It's item number 3869752500 . Regarding the screws sticking out, I would think they could be a length where they could be flush with that "plate". They would probably only need to be screwed in a few turns to release the sleeve. Arne would have to remove each time I used it or I would hamburger my arm or something. Removing and replacing would be a pain but it would work great. Also wonder what damage the screws would cause if there not brass pointed or something to the camlock hub? and I think to eventually damage the reducer also. Any comments on brass rods damaging the reducer or the screws?(24373)
I shall check on it more. I think the screws could be flush and I would guess less than one turn on probably any one of them would be enough to break the reducer loose. I thought I would get ambitious and make one one of these days. Grumpy (24398)

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