metal lathe

Lathes are great fun to use. They can manufacturer almost any shape in metal given enough skill and ingenuity.

South Bend lathe model C cone pulley problem

So I started tearing into the lathe out of a desire to A. figure out how it all works, and B. to clean up all the gunk, dried oil, and swarf.

Almost immediately I found the first problem which is that the headstock drive cone pulley has a broken tooth where it engages the back gear. Looking on ebay I see that I can probably get one for $40 or so, and that is probably what I will do.

Found a South Bend 9" lathe!

I set up google alerts on craigslist for any mention of south bend lathes, southbend lathes, southben laths, and any other silly misspellings. After waiting several months, missing several reasonable deals, and ignoring several apparently solid gold south bend lathes in "perfect" shape, I finally found what seemed to be a good deal. I drove about two hours to get it, and had another enjoyable conversation with a fellow machine tool fanatic.

Step one, buy lathe

I found an old Taiwanese Jet 9X20 lathe on craigslist for $600. When I went to take a look it had obviously been neglected and there were some broken parts. I talked the guy down to $500, loaded it in the Honda CRV, and headed home happy. I bought some replacement parts, and made a new compound clamp for it, and it worked OK. Here is what it looks like.