Sunday, April 14, 2019

South Bend Heavy 10 (10L) Build

So, with the Heavy 10 Lathe Headstock I purchased to put on my junior bed, after realizing I'd made a mistake and bought an under drive headstock that wouldn't work with the Junior I had, I knew I'd need to just build me another lathe.  This one would be tough because I had to buy a lot of pieces from eBay sellers and then assemble them into a hopefully-functional lathe.  It's a lot of money to throw at a hope, but I'd done it before with the car.

With the headstock, I had to then purchase :
  • Lathe bed
  • Lathe bed feet and adjusters
  • Spindle
  • Spindle Pulley
  • Spindle Bull Gear
  • Spindle drive gear
  • Spindle thrust bearing
  • Spindle thrust (outboard) bearing and lock nut
  • Back gears
  • Chuck
  • 5C adapter for the 10L spindle
  • Face plate
  • Reverse tumbler assembly
  • Banjo
  • Idler gear
  • Gear box drive gear
  • Gear cover
  • Headstock hold down bolts
  • Quick Change Gear Box
  • Lead screw end holder
  • Lead Screw
  • Apron (and gears)
  • Saddle
  • Cross slide
  • Cross slide gib and screw
  • Cross slide hand wheel and screw
  • Compound base and hold down pins/set screws
  • Compound slide
  • Compound slide gib and screw
  • Tailstock base
  • Tailstock hold down clamp
  • Tailstock
  • Tailstock ram
  • Tailstock lead screw
  • Tailstock dial
  • Tailstock hand wheel
  • Tailstock ram spring
  • Tailstock lock
That's a pretty big list.  The "good" thing about this is I can clean up the parts and paint them before assembly.  I started with a 4-foot bed (a little more space over the Junior would be nice).  I didn't get that until late March - and immediately stripped down the bed and feet, scraped it clean (and into specifications) and masked it off to paint.  The bed had serial number "9272RKL14".  The serial card gives :

This is a lathe manufactured March 11, 1957 that had a regular clutch for the power cross feed.  It was shipped on April 12, 1957, but then shipped again on June 24th, 1959 to Grimes Mfg. Co. in Urbana, Ohio.  Grimes Manufacturing Company was started by Warren G Grimes (you know, the guy who invented the navigation lights we see on all the aircraft) in the 1930s, and later purchased by Honeywell.

The lathe itself is a heavy 10 Large (the "L" in "RKL") 10x4 "Toolroom" lathe with undercount drive.  It came with a quick change gear box on a 4' bed.  I got it out of California.  The model is CL8187AB (listed in the Vintage Machinery catalog).  Catalog number is CE2801D.  Gear box is DTG106R, and originally included collets, a collet rack, micrometer carriage stop, and a taper attachment (no threading dial).  For the sale, on June 10, 1959, it was changed to a toggle cam clutch before being delivered.

The lathe bed came with a saddle, and I picked up the compound base and slide from the same seller along with a lead screw for the bed.  He did not have the compound base screws - those were ordered on eBay - nor did he have the cross slide (also ordered off of eBay).

The tailstock was interesting in that someone sold it cheaply on eBay (if you call $60 cheap) because they couldn't get the ram screw, ram, and a drill chuck apart.  That was joyous.  I think the seller didn't realize it's a left-handed ram screw, once I got the screw out.  It had been modified for a hand-lever instead of a hand-wheel.

It was a short and quick stripping/cleaning/scraping of the tailstock.  I then masked off the tailstock and painted that up.  I needed a tailstock screw, so I used the current tailstock screw to measure the surfaces, and then ordered a chuck of left-handed, 1/2" ACME screw threaded rod.  I turned it between centers to get the threads off, then Loc-tite was added to the shaft and a piece of steel was put over the shaft and also pinned.  Unfortunately, I turned the features down BEFORE connecting it to the threaded rod - if you have to do it, turn the features down AFTER you anchor it to the threaded rod.  Luckily, I found out that the features I had turned were the wrong size, so I had to put it back on the lathe between centers and turn it down, so it all worked out.

I got the tailstock painted and re-assembled, and it works excellent!  It was time to work on the cross slide (I had ordered a cross slide from eBay).

I tracked down on eBay a compound slide gib, and from another seller I picked up the compound screw, dial, and hand wheel assembly.  I could not find a gib screw.  I do not have a rotary broach, so I needed to find a gib screw, and ended up taking a chance at a gib screw from an 11" lathe.  Note to self, the 11" lathes used a 5/16-18 gib screw, while the heavy 10's used a 1/4-20.  Still, I turned it down to get the screw head the right size, cut the threads off to get down to 1/4", then put a 20 pitch thread on it.  Works like a champ!

I cleaned the headstock, and masked it off.  I was able to get it painted, but have yet to install the headstock parts I'd ordered.

At this point, I have the carriage/saddle/cross slide/compound slide cleaned, painted, and assembled, the tailstock/parts cleaned, painted and installed, and the headstock ready for parts.

So, I started on the gear box, but I'm having a difficult time removing the tumbler shaft because someone peened over the taper pin holding it in place (probably why I got it for so cheap on eBay) :

I thought I'd have to drill the taper pin out - but I didn't.  A friendly suggestion over on the hobby machinist website ( - and that's not a paid endorsement, though I probably should be paying to endorse that group) pointed out a simple heat up on the cast iron and give it a good whack should loosen it up enough to release it.  I'm going to have to back this up now, as that's exactly what happened.  Don't head it up too much, though, as if it gets too warm too quickly, the cast iron could break.  Note, because I couldn't reach in with a punch, I used my broken ones as "spacers", and gave it a good whack with another punch against that one.

Once the tumbler shaft out, I was able to dismantle the gear box, paint it, and re-assemble it.  I was able to pick up reproduction badges from eBay (I believe the guy who makes them is trying to get out of that, and I don't blame him at all).  I stamped the model number into the new name plate, the bed length, and added it to the gear box.

At this point, I knew I needed to start making a stand so I could lug the thing around.  It's getting brutally heavy, and I don't want to assemble it only to try and lift it onto a stand.  So, a few trips to Home Depot to grab some (I know, some will call this insufficient material) 1.25" square tubing with a 1/16" wall thickness.  I measured a few things up on the lathe base, made some cuts, and started welding :

The most painful parts were the kerf cuts to get the bends, and getting the right angles (14 degrees to get the foot spread for stability) and also those angled cross braces on the back end.  Those all interconnected at the middle in a lot of weird angles (so that the horizontal cross braces in the middle could be level to turn into a shelf and also a motor mount).  I really need to get through this, as the lathe (over the oiled surfaces) is now starting to grow spider webs.

I was finally able to transfer it over to the new stand after a few weeks' delay because of a humanitarian trip.  I was able to bolt the bed to the stand, the headstock to the bed, and the gearbox (and lead screw) to the bed as well (though the gearbox went on first).  I had to piece the headstock together (back gears, spindle, etc is all installed), and I'm missing three screws - one that keeps the back gear lever from over reaching, and two that pin it down from underneath.

I started working on the collet closer I'd picked up :

I was missing the oiler on top, as well as the gear and the pin in the headstock.  I had to drill the headstock (good thing I trammed my drill press table to within 0.002" over 15" a while back), and then tap it.  I used stainless steel to make the closer mounting pin for the headstock.  Then, in my ah-ha moment, I center-drilled the upper screw (the one that should be an oiler).  I made a two-ended nut that fit onto that screw and then an oiler could screw into that.

I still needed to make the gear that engages everything, but I'm one step closer to the closer (I had to say it).  On the Heavy 10 lathe, the change gears are 16 DP, and the spindle gear has 40 teeth.  While though those two numbers are factually correct, this lead me to an improper assumption, and that is that the spindle gear of 40 teeth was also 16 pitch.  That is incorrect (like my password, so many times), but at the time, I botched that one (unknowingly) and ordered a 12" long, 3" round rod of ductile iron that I could cut my blanks out of.  I had to put it in the steady rest so I could bore it out to 1.750" to fit on the spindle.

Unfortunately, my steady rest on the South Bend Junior does not have a capacity of 3".  That required center drilling the end on the drill press :

Once I had a center drilled, I could put it in the chuck and the center support.  I didn't have the center tight enough and ended up with a lot of chatter, but kept turning it down until I found the maximum capacity of my steady rest, which comes in at a large 2.795" (it fits, but it is really not usable with this capacity - I'd suggest using the steady rest for work no larger than 2.750").

I was a bit surprised.  When I center drilled it, I had the center within 0.035".  Sure, that is a lot (it took a few passes before I had the stock round), but it is workable, considering I was on the drill press.  It was at this point, thinking I had to get from 2.79" down to 2.625" for the outside diameter of the teeth.  I thought I better double check it.  I grabbed the caliper for a close-enough check, and found the outside diameter of the existing gear was 2.310" .  Uh..... that definitely doesn't sound right.  I re-counted the teeth.  40 of them, just like I'd counted before.  I plugged the numbers in and the result hit me pretty soundly.  The tumbler and spindle outboard gear aren't 16DP at all - they are 18DP.  I don't have a set of 18DP cutters.  I bought a single #6 18DP cutter just for this 40 tooth gear job.

Anyway, back to the iron.  I first cut a support center out of the cast iron so I could use a center on the dividing head when cutting the teeth.

Here, you can see the tooling holder (the feature on the right) , the basic gear blank layout (feature in the middle), and the surface for a chuck adapter for the dividing head (the feature on the left).  The chuck adapter was completed to get the steady rest in place.

It was about this time I could get the steady rest in there, and that allowed me to part off the gear blank holder.

Next, I first bored it out to 1.76" (should be just enough clearance for the spindle on a 10L as a press fit) :

I turned down the outside (always bore it first so the outside can maintain shape) :

After parting it off, I have my gear blank for the 10L collet closer hand lever attachment :

At this point, I realized I was a half inch too short.  I think I measured up to the original gear, but did not include the gear width.  [sigh].  Time to start over.  This time, I added a boss to the outboard side so that I can potentially add a disc that I can use as a lathe brake, or even an indexing wheel (if I really think it's necessary in the future).  I re-cut the gear blank, and then chucked it up.  Sheesh, getting everything lined up is painful.  It took an hour to make sure that the blank was centered in the indexing head.  Then it took an hour to ensure it was perfectly aligned lengthwise.  I need a smaller hammer so that I don't knock it past the alignment point.  Really.  A 3lb shop hammer is not the way to go.  Anyway, once the blank was installed, I realized the tailstock component was not where I wanted it to be.  It'd be too long on the table.  That forced me to do it without tailstock support.  I got the cutter in position, established the depth of cut, and got slightly in to the first cut when I realized I never did do a trial run.  Whelp, here goes nothin'!

I cut the first tooth slot, and I couldn't test without messing up alignment and potentially scrapping the part.  It was a point of no return.  I counted them off - I needed 40 cuts for 40 teeth.

When done, I grabbed the original and held it in place to ensure it meshed properly.  It was a huge sigh of relief.

Next, because I'm using a Harbor Freight mini mill, I didn't have room to stand it up on end and drill it - so it had to move to the drill press.  I had to re-align the gear the other direction (to drill the boss), and I had to position the indexing head on it's side.  Turns out I needed to use a machinists' jack, something I'd never done before.

After pulling it off the press (three holes), I was pretty proud.  It looks pretty darn good.  It wasn't not done, though, I needed to cut a 1/8" key way inside.  At some point over the next little bit, I realized I messed up on the depth of cut.  So, I had to clock it all back in.  First, clock in the rotational axis on the dividing head :

Then clock in the lengthwise gear to get it lined up with the x axis of the mill :

At that time, I set the gear cutter on center, and finally I could reposition the gear in the dividing head so that the gear teeth were lined up with the dividing head holes.  Once more at re-clocking in the gear back into the jaws, and it's ready to go.  Not bad, really, the second time around is much faster.  I re-set the depth of cut, and cut all of the teeth again.  Since I had teeth already in place, I had to put a mark on it to know where I'd been.  I also used a sharpie to mark the teeth and ensure it was fully cutting.

To cut the keyway, I grabbed my keyway broaching set and realized I did not have a bushing for a 1.75" bore.  [sigh].  There is nothing like making more tools to make parts, right?  I ordered some cold-rolled steel from a local supplier, and opened my broach set.  I had a 1/8" broach, but the base was a 3/16" width.  Overall height was 3/8" for the broach.  Those numbers meant I needed a small end mill.  I needed slightly larger than 3/16 (because the broach has to slide in the groove, right), so I decided to use a 3/16" end mill to make a 3/16 slot.  Note, you really shouldn't do this as you will overshoot your dimensions.  However, in my case, I actually needed to overshoot them ever so slightly.  So I set it all up on the mill.

I checked the fit with the broach :

Once the groove was cut, I took it to the bandsaw and quickly chopped it off.  At that point, I could file off the burrs on ALL the edges (lengthwise, and each corner), and it was ready to use.

Then I could run it through the press and broach the keyway.  It's done!  Installed :

I've picked up a taper attachment, but it came without a few parts.  I have to custom build a few things to make it work right (that's what happens when you buy the $450 attachment instead of the $650 attachment).  The missing parts are the swivel bar, the swivel bar gib, and the associated gib adjustment screw.  The gib's will be a bit easier, and the adjustment screw (I might have to implement a rotary broach to get a hex socket on it).  The swivel bar needs to be 0.885" x 16" x 2.750", so I've already started working on getting a cast iron flat bar for that.  Once I have it, I'll have to machine in the dovetail (machine down 0.480" for the sides of the dove tail (also, 14.250" long), then cut in the dovetail (1.740" across as measured with two 0.250" pins).

After spending a month on this chunk of cast iron (the one that was bigger than my mini mill table), I had a flat surface (within 0.0015") that I could use as my register for cutting the other side.  It came as 3.25"x1.25"x18", so I needed to cut off nearly a half inch on the flat surface, and a definite half inch on the edge.  Here's the deal.  I'd been checking eBay for some time, hoping I wouldn't have to make it.  When I finally gave up and started making it, I dropped the bar and the corner cracked my finger.  Today (a month of working on it), I dropped it again - and yes, the corner re-broke my finger.  I typically don't feel pain, but I did get loud for just a bit.  Feeling frustrations there, I stepped inside, and had the idea to check eBay once more.... and there it was, a PT869R1.  Someone added it to eBay right when I was dropping my bar of cast iron.  So.... the bar of cast iron goes onto a shelf for a potential later use, and I can stop trying to make a part I don't need to.

Once I had the swivel, I started by taking everything apart and preparing to replace the cross slide screw.  My brain has always been a little wrapped around how this thing would work, and once I saw it laid out, I started to see how it would.  Here are the two cross slide screws.

The non-taper cross slide screw is the one on the left.  The screw in the middle is the taper screw on the apron side.  It has a bore in it on the opposite end to take the actual screw, and it has a key in it to turn the actual screw.  The actual screw is on the right (already starting to thread the cross slide nut onto it).

I removed the compound rest and cross slide, then I could remove the screw and install the handle half of the taper attachment screw.  With the handle on, I threaded the cross slide nut onto the loose half of the taper attachment screw as far as I could.  Assembled, everything looks good... except I am missing three parts (sheesh!).  I was missing the upper gib, and also missing the washer and nut on the end of the taper attachment cross slide screw.  The lathe is unusable in this state, so if you are going to make one, do it earlier when your lathe is still functional.  I have the luxury of using the Junior lathe to make the washer.  I cut a nut in two, and then used it to bind up the screw.  Here it is before :

For the gib, one of the previous gib screws for a 13" also came with a gib.  Of course, the size was way off (it was 7-8" long, this needed to be 3.5" long), and it was thicker (and had the wrong taper).  Being my own industrial self, I did the math and installed the sine bar on the mill.

It was my first run at the sine bar, so I took my time.  I started on the small end of the gib so I could test fit between each pass.  I'd mill 3.5" of the taper, take the gib out and test fit.  I wasn't checking to see if I got it lengthwise, just taper-wise.  If I could wiggle it on one end when it was shoved in, it didn't have the right taper.  Depending on the end that shifted and wiggled, I'd stuff a feeler gauge in to check how far out that end was, and make the appropriate adjustments on the sine bar.

Once I had the right taper, I could then mill the it down slightly to get it the right width.  Then, debut the edges, and mill the slot for the screw head.  I ran it on the belt sander to make sure I had the surface smooth enough, then installed it.

Woohoo!  The taper attachment is fully functional!

I also needed a micrometer attachment to get closer to the original lathe.  I picked one up and installed it.

I was able to track down the keyway cutter (it's not a milling attachment that everyone describes it as, it's only for cutting keyways).

Also, I tracked down a steady rest.

Sometime in the last few months, I also got the countershaft completed.  I used a spindle pulley (because it would match), then made slugs for the ends to be able to cut new holes for a counter shaft.

I then chucked that assembly into the Junior lathe, centered it up, and drilled out for the countershaft itself.

With that fitting the shaft, I could bore it through.  Once bored it through, I turned the teeth down on the bronze gear to use that as a pin surface.  I then drove the pin through everything, and peened it on both sides to keep it in place and to act as a driving key.

Then it was on to a frame with pillow blocks, and then onto the lathe where I could glue up a new belt.

With that done, and with the potential for rain, I really had to get it off the back porch.  Sure, it was covered, but we had a rain that was nearly horizontal, and that caused some surface rust flashing.  I built a lower rack with pulleys and castors that I could lock it up and roll it, then lower to be stable.  I based it on this video over on youtube (  I finally did that, and now I have the lathe in it's final resting place, and need to do some more clean up on it to get the surface rust off.

It was at that point that someone asked about a dowel and shoe for the dials, and I went out to check dimensions.  Apparently, I missed getting the dowel and shoe into the cross slide, but not the compound.  Phew!  I pulled the thumb screws from the dials and grabbed measurements.  Both are identical at 0.566" over all length, with a #10-32 thread.  I grabbed a chunk of 3/16" stainless steel rod I had laying around, cut off 0.200", and grabbed my brass - a 9/32" hex bar (sigh).  With the Junior lathe having been taken apart, and with this one still not running, I "cheated" - I chucked it into the drill press and grabbed a file.  I used the file to "turn it down to diameter" (about 0.156") and sliced a 0.8" length off in the band saw.

With the dowel and shoe in place, I need to install the motor.  With my worries about where to put things so I didn't fry controller boards for the motor, I had to install a heat sink, and then place switches where they felt the most comfortable.  This lead me down the path of PVC conduit pipe from the local big box hardware store (you know, ten times the price while stocking items that barely made it past quality control).  It was a lot of the following :
  1. Hold the [box/conduit/switches] in position.
  2. Mark the bend and angle needed with a sharpie.
  3. Walk to the back patio with the conduit.
  4. Fire up the heat gun (you know, the under-priced hair dryer from Harbor Freight that gets a little warmer)
  5. Be careful not to hold the heat on one spot too long or get too close and burn the PVC.
  6. Quickly run back to the lathe and hold the parts together and in position until they've cooled and the bend has become permanent.
  7. Determine fine adjustments.
  8. Make the adjustments.
  9. Repeat.
So, after a couple of weeks, I ended up with three "manifolds".  These three "squid" things should be able to snap together, no pipe glue ups.

The intent is to set all three in position, and pipe clamp them against the frame to lock everything in place.  Once that is done, I heated up next to the manifolds on each pipe and at each end to allow it to fully settle in position.  It shouldn't move at all.

With the wiring in place, I was able to fire it up.  She runs!  First step.... turn some chuck back plates.  I had my 4" 3-jaw chuck from the Junior.  I pulled the existing back plate for it off, and cut the new one to match.  While I was there, I cut another backplate for an ER40 collet, and bolted that together.  In the following picture, the little 3-jar sits on the saddle.

I finished my concentricity tool using the hand-lever 5C collet attachment (which this originally had), and then had time to finish the backplate for the 8" 3-jaw.  That chuck is immense.  I almost don't want to leave it on in case it bends the spindle, but I have a fairly large capacity.

It does bog down a bit on not-so-heavy cuts, so I'm going to have to figure that one out.

My last few projects to make this fully functional are :
  • Cut another backplate for the 4-jaw independent I'm porting from the Junior
  • Make a 127-tooth metric gear conversion compound (I already made the dividing plate) which should give me nearly limitless capabilities in terms of threading
  • Make a cover to protect the motor from swarf
This thing is going to fit my needs for quite a while (I don't have space for anything larger).