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South Bend Lathes 1920 - 1930
Pre-1920    1920-30     8" & 9"    Light Ten    Heavy 10"    Clones    The Factory 
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South Bend Junior 9" backgeared screwcutting lathe with the maker's optional "Horizontal Drive Unit" (any form of enclosure for drive belts was a rarity at this time) with a 0.5 hp. 1200 rpm motor and drum-type reversing switch. This 1929 lathe, showing clear evidence of the famous South Bend lines, was available with between-centres capacities of 11", 18",  23", 29" and 36" with prices ranging from $163 to $190. This was South Bend's first attempt at a smaller lathe and was, in effect, a 10" lathe with reduced centre height. As a consequence parts from the larger lathe - the screwcutting gearbox and power feed apron can, with a little fiddling, be made to fit although unfortunately bits from the later and much more common 9-inch cannot be used - a good example would be the tumble-reverse mechanism that, as on the 10" lathe, featured a spring-loaded, solid-bronze lever and brass-covered handle with positive indent location. The later lathe, with its 50% narrower bed, had a much simpler tumble reverse with a plain, cast lever clamped in place with a bolt and different pitch gears.

A wide range of industrial-quality, backgeared, screwcutting lathes was manufactured by South Bend and, so similar in appearance were the various sizes that, at a distance, it is sometimes very  difficult to tell exactly which is which. The lathe above is the 11" model with screwcutting gearbox and the model below the 18" version. The models in between were available with 13", 15" and 16" swings over the bed and with between-centres capacities ranging from 16 to 64 inches. Prices started at $585 for the short bed version and went up to $810 for the longest.  Missing from the South Bend lathe range until 1920 was the option of a screwcutting gearbox; rival makers had offered such a fitting for many years and South Bend's slowness to appreciate what a useful and profitable accessory it was is difficult to understand.

South Bend Large-Swing lathe. Jacking up the headstock and tailstock of a lathe is nothing new, as shown by this late 1920's machine. The lathe was constructed from standard parts, taken form the contemporary production series, but mounted on hollow, cast raising blocks which blended smoothly into the machine's original lines. The aim was to produce a lathe capable of not only  very-large diameter boring and facing, but regular work as well.  Three belt-drive models were available designated Models 1, 2 and 3 with swings of 32.5", 36.25" and 42.25" respectively. The same range of lathes was also available with a built-on countershaft unit with "Silent Chain" drive from an electric motor - when they became known as the 301, 302 and 303. Prices started at $488 for the smallest belt-drive model and rose to $1880 for the long-bed, chain-drive version.

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South Bend 1920 - 1930
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9-inch "Workshop"