1917 South Bend model 34 lathe

Labradigger1

New member
Star knob, clockwise tightens clutch (enables power travel).
You could get these lathes any color you wanted as long as it was black. They were a Japan black gloss finish.
 

dkamp

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Okay, thank you on both parts.

If one were to back the star knob off, how many turns would it take to fully release it, and if one continued turning, would it just unscrew? Mine makes about 3/4 of a turn, then gets tight.
 

Labradigger1

New member
Sounds like somethings gummed up. The apron is easy to remove for repair/cleaning/lubrication. It is heavier than you think though.
 

dkamp

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I got it!

I had to hose it down with penetrant from underneath, then work the heck out of it, and finally the star wheel loosened up in a 'good' way (it didn't go snap, crunch, or uh-oh...). now it moves free... and the round knob lever moves to engage/disengage too.

I got the tailstock leadscrew free, so the cross-slide is all that's left, and it's moving about an inch so far. More penetrant!:salute:

Oh, and stamped in the ways, at the front left corner of the headstock, is a letter B... and not far away, the number 4... anyone know what the meaning of this would be?
 
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windmillman

New member
So I'll proceed with cleanup, and a simple protective coat of paint, oil, free up stuck stuff, clean them out and apply protective lubricants, then start a search for a chuck or two, or at least, some appropriate backplates for chucks, and some change gears, a live center, mebbie faceplate and dogs...

Oh, and the countershaft, a belt, and a motor. kinda important, yes?

Unless I happen across a bona-fide proper countershaft, i'll probably just make up a flat-belt sheave driven by a V-belt reduction by a 3phase motor and a VFD... because I have 'em on-hand... I'll just hafta be careful with the dynamic braking and reversing, as it'll back the chuck off right quick if I don't.
I have seen this done with a manual automotive transmission also.
 

dkamp

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Yep, and there were aftermarket manufacturers that did just that... I got a really weak spot for continuously variable speed... and if it had a D-nose, I'd have dynamic braking and reversal, but there's no way to keep the chuck from unthreading, so I'll nix that... or at least, make the accel curve REALLY gentle.
 
Most lathes used a simple cone clutch controlled by the star knob. Over the years congealed oil forms a very effective varnish like "glue". I usually spray good quality solvent up under the apron to soak the clutch, then tap (NOT smack) the center of the star knob while working it back and forth. Once it loosens up, I shoot 30 wt. hydraulic oil on the clutch mechanism. You might want to loosen your gib screws on the cross slide of course, just to make sure it's not binding before trying to force anything.

Note: 30 wt. hydraulic oil (NOT engine oil) is an excellent substitute for the mineral oils used on these machines when they were new. It does not contain additives, just pure lubricant, and a five gallon pail will last you for years. I use it on all of my machines any more. It is NOT a substitute for way oil however, although I've mixed it with some STP and it seems to work fine that way.

Regarding VFD's.........these are the slickest invention since sliced bread. My 1920 16" lathe has an antique Century 2 hp, 3 phase motor controlled by a VFD. I put a 3" flatbelt pulley on the motor shaft and run a flat belt to the largest pulley cone on the lathe. With the VFD I have three phase in a single phase shop, fully adjustable speed control at the turn of a dial, and reverse capability if I need it.
 

dkamp

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Thanks George!

I WAS able to work it free... I did everything as you noted, with exception of tapping on the star knob... didn't have to, and I was avoiding that simply because I didn't want to find out that there might be something fragile in there somewhere. After hosing it down with engine degreaser (which I find is a very effective penetrant for dry-and-rusted-patina machinery recovery), I worked the knob both ways, then hit it with some bona-fide penetrant, and it released on it's own.

I'm a big proponent of VFDs on spindles... basically, everything in my shop with a spindle, has a VFD...
 

Duey C

Subscriber
Old #975 13x6 here still sports his original black paint thankfully.
Perhaps consider semi-gloss or satin black kinda like Labra suggests about Japan Black Gloss.
SWEEET lathe!
Man, oh man, you have some cool accessories on your modern lathe! And they're freeing up!
I needed to order a new gear to do some threading I needed and used the lathe to face the gear off to suit and cut the keyway at the bench with a hacksaw. Fun days.
:)
Keep us posted!
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
Hi Duey!

Yes, I found some satin black, I'll apply it gently with a brush. The pressure washer littered driveway with lots of colors of flakes, the original finish still exists on lots of it, but other areas are bare to iron. This'll protect and preserve it.

Right now, the only part that's still tight, is the compound, which I have soaking in penetrant in the shop, awaiting an inclement weather opportunity. I'm whipping up a steel base that I can affix the machine to with fork pockets for easy moving with both forklift and pallet jack, that way I can move it from storage to workshop quickly and safely. I already have a Monarch 10EE, the only thing this SB has on it, is an extra foot of bed, so it won't be a machine taking the precious heated workspace. If I haven't found someone in worthy need of a good small-shop lathe to learn-and-grow on, it'll probably end up with all my other stored machines, in my new workshop building when finished.:salute:
 
Your comment about several paint coats reminded me of the adventures I had with MY 1913 South Bend many years ago.......

Oh, it was a glorious machine! Of course the first order of business was to get rid of all that old paint and gunk, then repaint it either satin black or machine shop grey. As I removed the ancient paint I found layers of hardened grease! Arrgghh! I used mineral spirits and finally got most of it off......

Then I had a more knowledgeable friend stop by and ask me "Why did you strip of the tar set?"

"The what?"

"Tar set. A mixture of tar and a bit of linseed oil. It's the very old equivalent of Bondo........smooths out the raw casting for final paint."

Sigh. We all learn....sometimes slowly. :(
 
Your comment about several paint coats reminded me of the adventures I had with MY 1913 South Bend many years ago.......

Oh, it was a glorious machine! Of course the first order of business was to get rid of all that old paint and gunk, then repaint it either satin black or machine shop grey. As I removed the ancient paint I found layers of hardened grease! Arrgghh! I used mineral spirits and finally got most of it off......

Then I had a more knowledgeable friend stop by and ask me "Why did you strip off the tar set?"

"The what?"

"Tar set. A mixture of tar and a bit of linseed oil. It's the very old equivalent of Bondo........smooths out the raw casting for final paint."

Sigh. We all learn....sometimes slowly. :(
 

dkamp

eMail NOT Working
I got a coat of satin black on it last night. It's not the prettiest, but I did get a protective layer on it, and it'll be functional, preserveable, etc.

Next is to make a solid base to keep the legs protected, but make it so I can safely move it into and out of storage with pallet jack and forklift.
 
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