What's new
What's new

New Guy From New Zealand


Mar 6, 2019
New Zealand

I have a South Bend lathe ( 5202 NCR 8 ) that has been through a house fire. It has family connections so resurrecting it is the plan.

First off I need to positively identify what model I have , and then I need to source a parts manual so any assistance you guys can offer will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks in advance.


G'day Muzza, Welcome aboard. I am also in NZ - pretty sure there are others on this forum from here also.

My best guess is you have a SB 9 model C (maybe 1947/8?. However, there's a bunch of much more knowledgable people on here who will soon give you a positive I.D.
Have you got the leadscrew for it, I can't see it in the picture?
Yes - the lead screw is there but it is bent and probably not salvageable. I am not overly concerned at this stage but I have all the bits to reinstate it later.

Thanks for your information so far.
You may now have one of the first "Flame Hardened" beds in South Bends history.

But really, is the lathe salvageable? Did any of the aluminum parts melt? If they did, you may have warping that you can never overcome.
If it was aluminium then its gone , same as the plain metal bearings.....

It was in the last area of the house that burnt but it was a fire that destroyed pretty much everything. Fire brigade arrived in time to dampen down the ashes...

I am going to try and rebuild but it may well be that it isnt worth it in the long run . Time will tell.

Still after a positive identification though ;-)
hello, I believe you have a 1947ish 9" Model C

Some more pics of the whole machine will help, include one of the countershaft and one looking down that shows one end to the other....this may be what is loosely termed the "intermediate style bed casting"...if so the webs between the bed will be squared and may have "South Bend" cast into the top of one of the webs.
Finally got a closer look at this machine - the bed is badly warped - probably three mm sag in the middle , so that probably puts an end to resto work on this one anyway. Damn ...

At least all the parts I have - the steadies and face plates and tools - are useable on another lathe. Will keep my eyes out for a replacement .
Nothing is impossible, but that would certainly be a labour of love to restore!

They're only small things, I dare say you could bend it back with a gas torch and differential cooling, make a sand pit.
Electrolysis (another pit, old bathtub or...) would then be the thing to take off/convert the red oxide.

They're common enough, but I see precious few ever for sale.

Where in NZ are you?
So sorry to see a nice vintage lathe all burned up like that.

Your photos look exactly like my lathe, a 1948 9C.

Since it's a family heirloom, maybe you could do a 'display only' restoration on it. At the same time you could also get another similar lathe and build a working 'tribute' machine.

On the other hand, since the fire IS part of the machines' history, you could just do a basic cleaning and then coat it with mineral oil, then display it like that. Just a thought.
sorry for the delay guys - been a bit pre occupied over drastic changes to our firearms laws after a nutter killed 50 people in our country ten days ago. Law abiding gun owners are going to get f*cked over badly so its a wee bit stressfull currently.

Any way , the original burnt lathe is in poor condition. Most everything is locked solid - to the point of the brass parts melting and the plain bearings melting. I have stripped down the cross slide and compound slide. Both of them will need new screw drives and handles. The Tailstock is cleaned up and free , but needs a new handle.

I have been able to buy another , semi complete lathe , as yet uncollected , that is missing the compound slide and a motor. It has a nice folded steel table as well , so I think I can make a workable unit with the new one and the spares from the old one . I have a compound slide feed screw and handle on its way from a guy in California, off Ebay. I can use the motor and control box off my very worn New Granville lathe so we should be all set to go - apart from the 10 hour round trip to collect the replacement .

Thanks for your assistance so far , I'm sure I will be back for more