Southbend 13"x40"

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Southbend 13"x40"

Post by geraldvowles » Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:18 pm

Hi, I came across this South Bend 13" x40", apparently built sometime in the 1930's and said to have spent most of it's life until about 10 years ago in a lab (can't confirm). The paint looks awfully good but anything is possible I guess. also, with my very limited knowledge, the ways appear to have been scraped possibly??? The fellow is asking $950 USD for it and shipping from the west coast to me would be about the same I think. Any thoughts on it's value and is this considered a decent model? Thanks much. -Gerry
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Post by ALCOSTEAM » Fri Jun 22, 2007 10:30 pm

If it were down the street and moving it was not an issue 950 would be so so on price and only if it were in very good condition. If you watch the online auctions it is not all that often that a 13" southbend will top that mark. There are just not enough pluses to this machine to offset all the minuses.

Bad points that I can quickly think of: Plain bearing headstock, top speed is still quite low, open belt lathe, too far away to check lathe over in person. shipping will be at or over value of machine itself.

Good points, you don't own it and can look for something better and closer. It is american iron.

good luck


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Post by spro » Fri Jun 22, 2007 11:24 pm

I'm with AlcoSteam on the brutal evaluation. That shipping cost and you not able to inspect ... Unless a later 13" it has a MT 4 headstock bore. Great lathes,done great work. There were great horses which became right saddlebacked.The peach is there and this may be it but this is a very heavy machine. It takes up a lot of space. To find one in good condition is something good. To find what is right for you it has to talk to you in a way.

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Post by RET » Sat Jun 23, 2007 10:17 am

Hi Gerry,

The biggest fault you have is that the machine is on the west coast. Other than that, it looks as if you have a machine in good condition that is ready to run. It also has many useful attachments that can be quite expensive if you were to buy them separately.

From the pictures, the machine has a 3 jaw chuck, both steady & follower rests, a quick change gearbox, power longitudinal & cross feeds and a taper attachment. I don't see a set of collets or a faceplate, but then you can't have everything. Both taper attachments and quick change gearboxes were rare on that vintage, it was probably bought as a toolroom lathe.

Granted its an older machine (pre 1940), but its in good shape and will perform very well with high speed steel tooling. It would even handle carbide tooling, but don't expect the performance you would get with a truly heavy machine.

If it were me, I would make a holiday of it, go to the west coast, rent a trailer, take the machine apart & drive back. That way you don't have to worry about any damage to the machine. Its going to weigh about 1300 pounds, more with the attachments.

Just my 5 cents worth.

Richard Trounce.

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Post by geraldvowles » Sat Jun 23, 2007 11:50 am

Hi Richard,

Thanks for the input. Now I know something more about this type of machine. Actually there is a set of collets but he didn't mention a faceplate. Good call on it's history. Apparently it spent most of it's years sitting in the Atomic Energy lab's at Chalk River. The fellow that has it now is an airframe welder and has used it only occasionally he says. It shows I think. Does that look like had scraped "flowers?" more noticeable on the tailstock end?

I'd said the west coast but it's not quite that far away. However, southern Alberta is still quite a way's to go. 7250 km / 4500 mi. round trip. If I were younger and the bones ached a little less I'd probably head for the nearest car rental offering something with good springs, flip up seats and unlimited mileage and go for it.

Hey, maybe I could swing some sort of barter with some of the fellows from the midwest on out (Can or US) that are starved for some good quality iron. Make my deal, deliver it and not have so far to haul it. Dream on eh! ...Sorry guys, your wife is beautiful indeed but one's enough for me!

Seriously though, the holiday idea is a good one but unfortunately, it comes down to the cost for trip and machine.

A Legend in His Own Mind

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