Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sheldon 11-inch lathe progress - Part II: Tailstock Threads, Chuck Key

I've been able to check two things off my to-do list for the Sheldon lathe. The first item was the tailstock threads that felt sub par. They were very rough to the feel and the threaded screw felt bent.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sheldon 11-inch lathe progress - Part I: Reversing Tumbler, T-bolt

Here are the specs on my new/old lathe:
11 inch swing
44 inch bed length, 24 inches between centers
Mounted on a cast iron pedestal base with chip tray
Power carriage and cross slide
2-1/4 x 8 TPI spindle thread
MT5 spindle taper

Serial number KBU1764
  K - early 11 inch lathe
  B - ball bearing headstock (apparently very rare, most were either plain bearing or roller bearing)
  U - under drive motor system
  1764 - sequential serial number, dates to late '40 or early '41 (the company started in 1935)

The "under drive" motor system has a transmission of sorts with two levers that poke out the front of the pedestal door. Each lever has two positions, which gives the lathe 4 speeds in direct drive plus 4 more in back gear drive, giving spindle speeds of 45 RPM to 1200 RPM. Most lathes of this vintage required the operator to move belts between pulleys to get different spindle speeds, so this was quite an improvement at the time, and still is even today. The below photo shows the two levers poking out from the lower left door for selecting gears.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Look what followed me home - a Sheldon 11-inch lathe from 1941...

I don't really need another lathe. Or another project. But that doesn't stop me from perusing the local Craigslist for a good deal. This lathe popped up on CL last week and it was just what I was looking for. And it was advertised at a very good price (yes, I'm cheap, er, thrifty). The seller didn't know anything about lathes so he couldn't tell me much about it, other than it is a Sheldon lathe and is old. It did not have a power cord so the seller also didn't know if it actually ran (part of the reason it was cheap), but he'd been told by the previous owner that it did run. We've all heard that before. Here it sits in all its glory (seller's photo):