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Old 03-30-2010, 09:49 PM
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SB lathe cant change hi/low gear???

Hi guys, I was looking into getting a south bend 3 1/2 metal lathe for $1000

the seller told me he keeps it in a none heated garage. and when I asked if all is working fine. he said he can't get it out of the one gear to try to get into the other .
says the oil maybe is cold and thats why.. is this something I should walk away from? or is it a easy fix? any help would be great asap

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Old 03-31-2010, 12:37 PM
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Lathe stuff

Chances are your shift problem is a little more serious than "cold oil"..This is a non-syncro g-box, only shifts when not rotating..BUT: these are easy to work on, if a special tool is required it can usually be MM together..First thing to do is take stock of the tooling he has for the lathe, it's very easy to spend more on the tooling than you did on the machine...Tooling is also specialized, unless he was doing exactly what you have planned, chances are you won't be able to fully use his tooling, so look for generic stuff {toolpost and holders, centers and d-chucks, maybe a collet closer}..meanwhile, go looking for parts on the net, their no longer in biz but there's lotza parts out there.
Goodluk, Fustkarr
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Old 04-01-2010, 11:33 PM
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This sounds like a good one to stay away from.

AFAIK, none of the small SB lathes have a gearbox per se. They have the multiple speeds created by the position of the drive belts on various size pulleys, and they have a direct mode and a backgear mode.

In direct, there are no gears in operation. In backgear (used for a lower set of spindle speeds) there's a pair of open gears in operation within the spindle drivetrain. No oil there to get cold as I recall.

Damaged backgears are a common South Bend problem. The seller may well know the backgears are bad and could be simply trying to hide that by claiming it wont go in gear. Been a long time since I ran a SB, but as I recall you open an access cover on the headstock, slide a pin to its outermost position, and then move a lever to engage the backgears. Not much reason for something so simple to be inoperable.

$1000 should buy you something to work with, and not something to work on.
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