New (to me) South Bend Lathe

I may have a decently equipped garage, but one thing that I didn’t have until recently was a lathe.  Well now I do, a metal lathe that is:

I’m really excited to get this lathe running, but a few challenges remain.  As shown in the pictures above, I transported it to my garage and was able to get it on the floor.  No small feat, as this machine is 800 pounds (measured with a handy truck scale before and after it was loaded).  Moving it off the truck by hand was out of the question.

Per a suggestion, I called a local tow truck company (these guys – if you’re into tow trucks they have some interesting pictures), and they were happy to help me move it into my garage.  It wasn’t cheap, but the guy that showed up didn’t act like this was an unusual thing for them to do.  We had it on the floor in no time.  Well worth it in my opinion.  I suppose the other option would have been to call a moving company, but since my driveway is very steep, I have no idea whether or not they could do it.


before degreaser

As pictured, I rested both ends of the lathe on pieces of plywood.  This will hopefully help if I need to move it at some point in the future.  Additionally, as shown in a few of the pictures, I’ve started degreasing everything with a product called “Citrus Blaster” (I think this is it from Amazon)  This worked well with my manual mill, and has been effective on the lathe as well.  A little oil after degreasing was used to keep things from getting rusty(ier).

The challenges that remained to getting this machine running again were:

  • Replacing the 3 phase motor with one capable of running at single120 VAC power, as in what is available in my garage.
  • Replace the broken belt that translates force from the motor to the spindle.

Obviously, the other challenge will be learning to work with this lathe.  I’ve used a lathe before (such as to make my bolt-action potato gun), but it’s been a while.  I’ll be writing about getting this machine running in future posts, and hopefully I can start expanding my capabilities with this machine tool.  For more information on the machinery that I currently do have running, check out my CNC section!


  1. How to make very small pots with a tree branch or trunk - pingback on January 4, 2013 at 5:59 am
  2. A Wooden Warrior Dart Holder - pingback on February 9, 2013 at 12:29 pm
  3. A pencil holder made from a Small Tree Trunk - pingback on April 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

Trackbacks and Pingbacks: