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Thread: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

  1. #1
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    Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Dream Team,

    Long story short: I was given the option to receive a Sheldon Lathe with a 56" bed. It is very old. Best I can tell it is from the 1940s. Unfortunately, it is in my aunts basement, so it will not be easy to get anywhere. It has about a half dozen chucks of various sizes and bits, etc.

    The question: is this machine worth my time and effort to tear down, remove from the basement and reassemble? I am just a hobbyist fabricator.

    Also, what do you think it would be worth?

    Thanks,

    Seth

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  2. #2
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    If it was offered to me I'd drag it out of the basement and clean it up and keep it. What it's worth will depend on the real condition of it, where you are and where it is when you try to sell it. I have an old Colchester probably older than that and without a quick-change gear box and cone pulley drive. Yesterday I machined up a non standard nut 7/8" x 20 thread on it to fit a piece I bought off ebay that was supposed to come with the nut but didn't. A lathe can be handy to have it will depend on what you plan to tackle in the future.
    I don't know what the access is like where it is but just in general terms I'd take the legs off and lower it onto a full length wooden skid to move it . It brings the center of gravity down so it is less tippy. Then you can roll it on pieces of pipe or shaft. Have fun.
    ---Meltedmetal

  3. #3
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Quote Originally Posted by Canoecruiser View Post
    If it's in decent shape it's definitely worth some pain to get it IMO. Having extra chucks, collets, cutters, etc. brings the price up a significant amount. The quick-change gearbox instead of loose gear wheels also is a plus. From what I've seen the older lathes sell to hobbyists and at least in the Mid-Atlantic, the smaller ones like South Bend 9 and 10 inch, or similar Atlas seem to sell faster and that puts downward pressure on prices of the larger ones like the soon-to-be-yours lathe. With the stupid prices in the Baltimore/DC area that lathe could fetch ~$2k to $2.5k without much trouble. Location location location matters....it would go for less 100 miles from DC in any direction. Clean, rust-free and no evident tool crashes or damage from ham-fisted use moves the price up.

    This link has a lot of good info in figuring out what you have: http://www.lathes.co.uk/sheldon/

    If you post your location, someone familiar with the situation in your area could give you better guidance.
    Canoe - It is in pretty good shape. My uncle was a lifelong machinist. This machine is in a little town just north of Canton, OH.

  4. #4
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    It looks to be about a 12" swing. The long bed is very desirable. If it has a lot of tooling and a steady rest it would be worth about $2000 around me. I am in wisconsin. The gun smiths like the long bed. If you do not have a lathe in your shop it would be a good addition. I make stuff on mine all the time. I just upgraded last year to a 17" swing lathe and it has already paid for itself with no problem. Mine had no tooling at all. The tooling cost me as much as I paid for the lathe. I paid $1500 for my 17" but it does not have the long bed like yours. Mine is only a 36" bed. They start getting cheaper to buy when they get much over 1000 lbs. My 17" weighes in at 3200 lbs . I sold an old South Bend heavy 10 with a 20" bed last year for $750 .

    Look at the motor HP. That will tell you how solid the lathe is. If it is 3hp or more it is a very solid lathe but is also not a toy . If you get snagged up in it it will not stop until it has done some serious damage.

  5. #5
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Have one just like it!

    Get it and keep it.
    From the desk of Kevin Caron
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  6. #6
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    I have a Sheldon 13" x 48" made in 1952. It has served me well now for 3 years. Sheldon's are solid American iron, well built and accurate. There is a Sheldon's group on yahoo that I encourage you to join. John Knox is a former employee at Sheldon and as such is a great resource for information on these lathes.

    I would keep it.

  7. #7
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    2 strong backs and an afternoon. It'll be wherever you want it. Go for it. It'll make a great addition to anybody's shop!



    But.... What's that funny-looking thing sitting on the headstock?
    Be wary of The Numbers: Figures don't lie,. but liars can figure.
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  8. #8
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Quote Originally Posted by mike837go View Post
    2 strong backs and an afternoon. It'll be wherever you want it. Go for it. It'll make a great addition to anybody's shop!



    But.... What's that funny-looking thing sitting on the headstock?
    That is the "Bat Phone." Direct Connection to tech support.

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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Quote Originally Posted by lakedrum03 View Post
    That is the "Bat Phone." Direct Connection to tech support.
    Bwahah nice!

    I mean this in the most positive way - I think it would be crazy NOT to go get it and spend all necessary effort to bring it online for your growth as a fabricator, hobby or not.

  10. #10
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Alright...... you guys have talked me into it. Really had to twist my arm.

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  12. #11
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    If anyone gave me a lathe I would take it!
    Welders: IdealArc AC/DC 250
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  13. #12
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Hey guys, I am reviving this thread, as I have to move this lathe from out of my uncles basement.

    How in the world am I going to get this up a set of stairs? Does it all come apart?

  14. #13
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Sure, it comes apart. Just make sure to get a digital camera, and take pictures of every teardown operation you perform. I mean DETAILED MULTI ANGLE PICS whenever you remove a component...….prior to, and after removal.

    Headstock comes off. QC gearbox comes off. Saddle, and apron comes off. You can strip it down to the bed.

    Build a wooden sled, or something with a metal bottom, that slides easily. Then using the doorway at the head of the stairs, or something else that'll anchor a winch...….winch it up the stairs. 4x4 piece of lumber across the doorway is good for a winch anchor, although you'll run out of room when you top the stairs. Then ya gotta find something else to attach to. Even consider running anchor cable/rope/chain from another room. Or get a good rope, and your buddies, and just pull it up the stairs.

  15. #14
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    My first thought was to drag it up the steps over a ramp. I would try to get it out in 2 parts. Base and lathe. Minus all the removable stuff like Chuck, crosslide, tail stock... I wouldn't be keen on separating the head unless I absolutely had to. Lathe are extremely unbalanced

    What is then status of the steps, can they be removed?

    A duct lift might be a option. If weight capacity will match and you can get it down there.
    Last edited by tapwelder; 10-03-2019 at 05:53 PM.

  16. #15
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    2x12s cut to length to lay over stairs top to bottom. Make a sled out of 10 ga. with the nose rolled up like a bobsled. weld a pulling ring in each corner in front and have the width wide enough to weld rings on the sides to strap the bed down tight. Legs, tail stock and chuck taken off.

  17. #16
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Value, where is, is negative. You are in a used machine tool Utopia. You will be doing your aunt a big favor getting it out of her house. It will be a useful piece once installed in your shed.

  18. #17
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    It's an old fashioned American made machine, the headstock is probably mounted on the bed ways. Alignment depends on the ways, not any adjustments on the base of the casting. So, it's safe to remove the headstock. It should line up fine when re-installed.

    All the Chines lathes have adjustable headstocks, which makes it a bit hard to re-align them.

  19. #18
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    he got it in there somehow it will come out the same way figure out a weight if its under a 1000 lbs just the lathe unmounted use a refrigerator dolly and stand it on end.and 3 tough guys. I helped pull one out of a basement that had a 90 degree bend in the stairs we built a skid for under the lathe then a track down the stairs then just rolled it up the ramp on rollers with the help of a 4X6 crossed the top of the stairs and a com-a-long. just make sure you are pulling against studs not drywall.
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  20. #19
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Thanks for all of the help. I am heading over there on Sunday to start this operation.

  21. #20
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    While removing some of the above mentioned items, include removing the motor. Definitely remove the tailstock, I've been there. Bob

  22. #21
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    Started the clean out yesterday. Here are some photos of the first load of of stuff. There is so much tooling that you couldn't use it in multiple life times.

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  23. #22
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    More photos.

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  24. #23
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

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  25. #24
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    That oven is going to open up a whole new world for you. Be able to harden, anneal, etc...………………… You've come into a real treasure trove. And, you can think about the previous owner while using it. That means a lot.

  26. #25
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    Re: Sheldon Machine "Quick Change Gear Lathe" ESWQ 56"

    You are a lucky man. Work slow and carefully.

    You might want to lose the crocs for some steel toes. Jest sayin.

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