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 (still not purchased)
  • 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 :

Remaining on the collet closer, I need to cut 40 teeth, and then cut the keyway slot in it.  To do that, I need the chuck back plate for the dividing head.  It's a 1 3/4-8 thread.  I bought a tap, but that is really just to clean up one.  Once I part the thing off, I'll flip it, bore it, cut a basic thread (not deep enough, as I'm going to use the tap to get the thread perfect).  Then, after mounting the chuck to the back plate, it should just be a matter of cutting the teeth and then the keyway.

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).

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

My to-do list is :
  • Convert the star knob on the apron to a cam (like the conversion noted on the card for the second sale) - this is a lower priority as the star knob keeps me functional
  • Make the spindle drive gear for the collet closer
  • Machine a dovetail swivel bar (PT960R1) for the taper attachment
  • Build the countershaft/motor mounts
  • Install pulleys and belts
  • Finish the bottom rack to lift it onto castors and move it around (
  • Wire it up
  • Assemble a taper attachment (I have parts, I just need the upper dove tail, gib, and screw)
I'll get this thing running soon enough.  I'd like to get my hands on a keyway cutter (they aren't "milling attachments" like everyone claims), as well as a turret tailstock - just so I could say this thing is fully loaded.  It's already a nice machine, but I wouldn't mind getting it decked out, then breaking into some simple videos on how things work and operate.

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