View Full Version : Should I buy this lathe?
04-29-2004, 04:24 PM
It has a 16" chuck and is 10' long. I can get it for $400. It would be a big brother to my 10 by 24 import. :confused:
04-29-2004, 04:29 PM
is it 3 phase ? if so, do you have the ability to power it
04-29-2004, 05:03 PM
1 Does it run?
2. Do you have a use for it?
3. Do you have time to restore it?
If it has been sitting a while, like it looks. The "Reeves Drive" Variable sheaves are probably froze.
I think for 400 bucks I'd probably get it. It would be a fun restoration.
And it would be interesting to hear about the project, like Cutter's vise.
Three phaes power is no problem. A rotorary converter is fairly easy to make.
04-29-2004, 05:57 PM
Offer scrap price. At least you'll get your money out of it if it won't run. It looks like vintage WWI or maybe earlier. You will also probably have a tough time finding parts.
04-29-2004, 07:48 PM
The thing that would concern me is how long it has been sitting out in the parking lot. If it's been sitting there long, the bed could be warped.
Would I buy it, DAMN RIGHT! 10 feet of bed is a driveshaft machine!! Also cannon barrels if you have those people in your area.
Driveshafts alone will make your money back QUICK, and there aren't many long beds left.
Moving it will be fun, but not impossible with some timber and a roloff. Don't forget to crutch the center of the bed before any movement.
04-30-2004, 04:32 AM
The maker is American Tool Works. I am guessing 1940's. Maybe earlier. I don't know if I need another project. :rolleyes:
Here is a link to a earlier version. Note the use of a Ford 3 speed transmission.
04-30-2004, 04:36 AM
Also, I can get free delivery, it is close. The weight is probably 3500 pounds. How many caster wheels would I need to move this in my garage? :D
04-30-2004, 08:04 AM
Here's a British sight with a lot of good lathe information.
The Reeves Drive on the lathe kinda looks like an add on. don't try to shift soeeds on it without it being running. I've seen a lot of those running pumps. the top driving sheave is adjustable. The bottom output sheave is tensioned by a big spring. Reeves was still in business last time I checked. Replacement belt for the drive, and other parts are exspensive, although with a little research there are aftermarket belts available.
Harbor freight has auto moving dollies that you might be able to adapt.
MSC, or Wholesale Tool has leveling feet to plumb the lathe.
If you have the time and resourses this looks like a challenging project.
I'm like Cutter, I love to see old Iron save from the scrapper and restored. I have an old 13" southbend lathe from that period.
Keep us posted on you progress.
04-30-2004, 08:50 AM
I'd go for it, buut then I'm nuts. :)
A few comments:
The drip oilers and bearing cap design indicate plain bearings. These can be... interesting.. but they run VERY smooth and hold extremely tight tolerance, if in good shape. The MUST be kept lubed, and depending one the condition and design, may need to be repoured with Babbit.
Does it have a thrust cage setup on the outboard end of the spindle? If so, lubrication can be messy, but maintainance is not bad. Allows for real heavy cuts and excellent facing at the expense of a thru spindle hole. If it has the thru hole setup, the bearings can be a bit more awkward.
Does this have good flat-belt shivs on the spindle? Flat belting is available, though can be pricey, and the pulleys are easy to make.
For note: we run a 1885 Harrington with a 20' gap bed and a 1910 Harrington (54" swing, 16?' bed) from belt, both plain bearing heads. The gap bed needs the ways scraped, tho. It's cutting about a thou off over 3'. They both get regular use. Very smooth.
04-30-2004, 12:54 PM
2- 4 x 6 planks bolted to the legs of the machine prefferably with tapered ends. Build a belly crutch from the planks to the center of the bed.
3- pieces of 2" pipe long enough to span the planks.
04-30-2004, 03:02 PM
I didn't take a picture of it but all 3 legs are bolted to a steel plate. I didn't check how thick it is yet.
I just looked in a catalog and a large 3 jaw chuck would cost about the same as the lathe.
Part of me says to get it, the other part says to run away. :p
04-30-2004, 04:22 PM
With equipment that big, thats a large committment, in time and money. You have to ask your self. Do I have a use for it. Sometimes you just have to walk away.
04-30-2004, 05:14 PM
I used to rebuild these back years ago as the co. I worked for would buy old equip. and make up machines for special jobs. Check the ways and see how dished they look. If they are dished it will cost an arm and leg to get them milled. Some of them have been converted with teflon slides. if that is the case you would have to probably have to reline them because as soon as you slide them over all the rust you will enbed them with alot of steel. I would recomend that you pull off the slides and clean them up before moving them. If you have the time and things aren't wore to bad they make very good machines. Parts are hard to come by on alot of the old machines but if you check out ebay and old bone yards you can get parts and tooling cheap sometimes. Good luck
05-02-2004, 06:30 PM
The only reason I wouldn't buy it is because I have no place to put it. Well I do, under a shelter in my yard. I'd buy anything old and cool like that cheap enough.
05-02-2004, 07:31 PM
I keep promising myself I won't buy any more challenges. Unless they're like free. But dammit, I'm a liar. :D
05-02-2004, 11:16 PM
He's already posted this lathe on 2 boards tryin to convince himself not to buy it.
Good thing the machine ain't within 100 miles of me, or I'd already have it in the shop.
05-03-2004, 12:37 AM
Aw shucks.......you discovered my method. I am going to look at it again to see what size the spindle bore is. :rolleyes:
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