South Bend Lathe Review Guide: Parts, Manuals, Serial Numbers & Lathes For Sale

Lathes have been in use for thousands of years and are immensely useful for home and industrial projects; the SouthBend Lathe is no exception. This lathe is actually a series of lathe machines created by the South Bend Lathe company, which has been in operation in various forms since 1906. South Bend Lathe company is known for producing high-quality lathe machines that are valued by those in several types of industry. The company even sells lathes to the US Navy and US Army for their industrial machining needs.

These machines are long-lasting, but occasionally SouthBend lathe parts will need replacing. The company makes a point of developing high-quality parts that are easily available for customers to purchase when needed. Each lathe machine also comes with a South Bend lathe manual so that customers can quickly replace damaged or missing parts in their machines.

Characteristics of Lathes

Lathes are used to work on a variety of material including wood, metal, glass and ceramics. These machines can fit on a table top or be so large that they stand alone, such as the 1926 16″ Lathe Rebuild, a copy of the original pieces used for metal or wood working.

SouthBend lathes range in size from 8 inches on up to 21 inches in length and weigh quite a bit. Even the 8K Variable Speed Lathe, the smallest of South Bend lathes, weighs a hefty 268 pounds. These machines were meant for heavy duty work.

Buying Parts for a Used SouthBend Lathe

South Bend has been selling lathes for over one hundred years and their oldest machines still work. In fact, many customers inherit used South Bend lathes from older relatives and express an interest in restoring these machines to use them again, even after long years in storage shed and garages.

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SouthBend still sells parts for its older machines, going as far back as those made in the year 1939. Customers can contact the company with the serial numbers of their machines and South Bend will look it up in their card catalog system to determine the parts needed and whether or not it is available at the company.

When SouthBend first got its start, every single machine was handmade and each one was slightly different and unique. All of these machines have a separate serial number that corresponds to a specific card in the company catalog. The cards contain vital information on each and every South Bend lathe for sale on the market today.

SouthBend Lathe Serial Numbers Card Information

Each card for a lathe contains the following information:

Ÿ  Date Sold

Ÿ  Sold To

Ÿ  Shipped To

Ÿ  Serial Number

Ÿ  Collet Attachment

Ÿ  Taper Attachment


South Bend Lathe company also sells copies of these cards to customers who wish to keep one on hand for verification purposes. The customers can call in to request the copies using the South Bend lathe serial numbers of their current machines.

What Happens at the Company?

Contacting the company for this information will help customers looking to purchase replacement South Bend lathe parts. Once customers have the information from their cards, SouthBend can look up the parts needed in their company catalog to see if any are available.

Specifically, customer representatives ask for the serial number of the customer’s machine and look up the right catalog card associated with that machine to determine the proper South Bend lathe manual. The representative will look up the right part number in the manual and enter that number into the computer to locate any parts available in the company warehouse. If the parts needed for the machine are currently on hand, customers can purchase them and have them shipped out for installation. If South Bend doesn’t have the parts on hand, customers can still search around online as many other people sell used SouthBend lathe parts harvested from old machines.

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Typical Parts that Need Replacing

Almost any part on a South Bend lathe will need replacing at some point in its lifetime of use. However, certain parts tend to be more prone to breaking and will need replacing.

  • Drive Belts

The drive belt turns the spindle of a lathe, an essential job. Belts like the South Bend Lathe Flat Drive Belt 51″ X 1 perform a lot of heavy duty work, but after a while that belt can snap and need replacing. The Flat Drive Belt is made of high performance multi-ply synthetic material, making it super strong and a great option for those customers looking to replace belts on old machines.

  • Felt Wipers

SouthBend lathe machines regularly need new felt wipers. These small pieces of felt or wool help regulate oil supply to the bearing surfaces of a lathe machine. They also catch and hold onto dirt particles that can scratch metal. These little felts get soiled pretty quickly with regular use and a machinist always needs a few extra to keep on hand. Each South Bend lathe may use a different kind of wiper, so customers need to look up the serial number of their lathe machine to determine the right wipers to purchase from South Bend 9″ or Lite 10 Lathe felt wipers to South Bend 13″ Lathe Felt Wipers. These wipers from South Bend are all made of the same white felt material, but are different sizes and shapes.

  • Tool Holders

SouthBend lathes can be used for a number of purposes from turning materials to boring holes and each purpose requires a slightly different tool. Tool holders like the Heavy Duty Boring or Universal Parting Blade holder will diversify the machinist’s capabilities when working on a lathe. The Quick Change Tool Post Set from AXA fits works with a South Bend lathe and will make tooling changes a snap for most customers. Customers can also use the piece of steel included in the set to make a T-slot nut to fit the lathe.

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South Bend Lathes

Finding SouthBend lathe parts is a cinch when customers look up the information associated with their South Bend lathe serial numbers. Customers can call into South Bend Lathe company to get information about their machine for free and possibly order new parts. If the customer needs to get parts elsewhere many other sellers have a range of parts from older machines available. Getting a lathe machine, no matter how old, up and running is possible with a little effort and a good South Bend lathe manual.

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