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South Bend model A, mechanical variable speed

nicecar

Plastic
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
Does anyone know about the variable speed mechanism used on this 1966 South Bend model A, Catalog number: CL 8870AD, Serial number: 12752KKX7. I am looking for documentation and anyone that knows about them.
I love restoring old machinery, but this is my FIRST metal lathe. Frankly, I am trying to figure out what I have before I mess the restoration up thus ruining its value. How rear is this machine? (Should I leave it stock, or modify it?) Are there any parts out there?

[email protected]
 

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BDRetz

Aluminum
Joined
May 10, 2014
Location
Ohio
The mechanical variable speed was available for two years in ‘66-‘67 so that aspect of the lathe is fairly rare.
Get the rebuild manual and felt kit for the top half. If the drive manufacturer is still in business, they might be able to help with parts for the bottom half.

Looks like a good lathe, take care of it. Hope this helps.

Ben
 

Earl Sigurd

Aluminum
Joined
Jun 6, 2013
Location
N59 W3 UK
The belt on the vari speed pulley looks somewhat narrow, could be very worn or the wrong one. You may not be able to get full high speed. My Boxford VSL has a similar drive but the belt is probably an inch or so wide.
 

M.B. Naegle

Titanium
Joined
Feb 7, 2011
Location
Conroe, TX USA
Delta/Rockwell metal lathes had a similar Reeves drive set-up. Having unworn parts makes a big difference in their functionality however. Go by the belt numbers in the manual, not necessarily what's printed on the belt when ordering new ones. Our Rockwell had issues getting the full range of speed and would stall at higher speeds, before I figured out the belts were too short. New belts of the correct size and it works perfect. It's nice being able to change speed mid cut to find the sweet spot (though you can do that with a DC drive or VFD drive too).
 

nicecar

Plastic
Joined
Jul 30, 2022
The mechanical variable speed was available for two years in ‘66-‘67 so that aspect of the lathe is fairly rare.
Get the rebuild manual and felt kit for the top half. If the drive manufacturer is still in business, they might be able to help with parts for the bottom half.

Looks like a good lathe, take care of it. Hope this helps.

Ben
Ben,

Thank you so much for your timely response. The information was very beneficial, and the pictures were a great help.

Is the lathe pictured in the info you sent me your lathe?

Would you know if both V-belts on the Variable-speed Drive are supposed to be the size. On my machine they have clearly been changed and are of different sizes and widths. This does not seem correct. I have been unable to find any parts info.
 

swells

Stainless
Joined
Dec 29, 2004
Location
Indiana
Does anyone know about the variable speed mechanism used on this 1966 South Bend model A, Catalog number: CL 8870AD, Serial number: 12752KKX7. I am looking for documentation and anyone that knows about them.
I love restoring old machinery, but this is my FIRST metal lathe. Frankly, I am trying to figure out what I have before I mess the restoration up thus ruining its value. How rear is this machine? (Should I leave it stock, or modify it?) Are there any parts out there?

[email protected]
Here is bulletin 6620 circa 1966 for the 10K variable speed drive.

Steve
 

animal12

Cast Iron
Joined
Apr 9, 2009
Location
CA USA
Some Logan lathes also had that variable speed setup . You might do some looking around here
animal
 

BDRetz

Aluminum
Joined
May 10, 2014
Location
Ohio
Ben,

Thank you so much for your timely response. The information was very beneficial, and the pictures were a great help.

Is the lathe pictured in the info you sent me your lathe?

Would you know if both V-belts on the Variable-speed Drive are supposed to be the size. On my machine they have clearly been changed and are of different sizes and widths. This does not seem correct. I have been unable to find any parts info.
Unfortunately not my lathe. I have only seen the variable speed version in pictures. I do not know the belt specifications for the drive system. Hi-Lo manufacturing is still in business and might be able to help you identify the belt profile the system was designed for.
If the current belts you have are in serviceable condition and provide for the full speed range without slipping excessively, then run them until they stop working.
Hope this helps.
Ben
 

jmm03

Hot Rolled
Joined
Aug 8, 2004
Location
ventura,ca.usa
Robert, you would be ahead of the game to remove the belt from the drive and check the condition of the moveable sheave bearing. Lack of lube can cause a lot of wear on the shaft. Reeves is still in business I believe, although you might get sticker shock at the prices. If the shaft is worn out you can bore the moveable half and bush. Nice looking machine, keep it lubed and you will have a long life with it . Jim
 








 
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