email: tony@lathes.co.uk
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South Bend Series 20 "Model 520Y"
Photographic Essay
South Bend Series 20 Home Page


Produced for perhaps just 18 months during 1934 and 1935, like most South Bend lathes, the example shown carried a Catalog Number tab, the figures on which depended upon a number of factors including the type of mounting supplied - bench or stand - the drive system, distance between centres and particular specification. As supplied from the factory this example was intended for mounting on the owner's bench and listed as the Model 420Y; however, fitted to a pair of the optional cast-iron legs it becomes a 520Y and is fitted with two desirable extras: a taper-turning attachment and a handwheel closer to take 3C collets.
Purchased in 2007 from the great niece of the original owner, a retired tool and die maker who had died some time just before WWII, the lathe had sat unused for 40 decades. However, although the paint had faded to a muddy brown (just what did South Bend use?) it was well preserved and its condition pointed to very careful use and proper maintenance. Fortunately the original blue finish was discovered intact under the tags on the changewheel cover and has been matched exactly for the restoration - the latter proving to be, as the lathe was in outstanding condition and quoting Dennis Turk the owner, "a piece of cake".  The most serious problem encountered was obtaining a good paint finish and, after a couple of attempt, a switch to a brand of paint supplied in "rattle" spray cans produced the desired result.
One fortunate survivor was the suppliers tag, A.C.Colby of 183 Centre Street, New York City, a store just 35 miles from where the lathe was found - the accompanying picture below shows the shop with, reflected in its window, a number of early to mid-1930s cars..
South Bend Series 20 Home Page

Simple, non-power cross feed apron

Compound slide rest assembly with the top slide carrying a standard "American" pattern toolholder equipped with a contemporary threading tool

Original on/off/reversing switch and bed-mounted carriage stop


Headstock with collet nosepiece and the early-type bearing oilers

Perfectly-preserved Model Number and supplier's tags

The desirable taper-turning attachment

No. 2 Morse taper, set-over tailstock

Original South Bend "double-friction" countershaft


South Bend Series 20 Home Page

South Bend Series 20 "Model 520Y"
Photographic Essay
email: tony@lathes.co.uk
Home   Machine Tool Archive   Machine-tools Sale & Wanted
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