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I Guess I Got A Little Carried Away...now What?

MARVIN GARDENS

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#1
Hello all.

I have sort of dilema I have been interested in and planning for my machining hobby for about twenty years. A few of my friends are gunsmith/machinists and moldmakers. I am retired from a major law enforcement agency have returned to private Practice as a Certified Public Accountant. I mention this as an attempt to mention that we are not wealthy. However, we are comfortable empty-nesters. We did not purchase a McMansion as did so many of our friends and now reside in our paid for home.

I have always been a pretty good scrounger. I started buying some equipment last year and seem to have found too many good deals. I now find myself with more lathes than I have space and probably, use for. Taking inventory in my garage shop as well as my storage unit, I now note the following equipment.

South Bend Heavy 10. Excellent condition, four foot bed, very well tooled, 1953 USAF contract model with cam lock spindle. This was my first lathe.

South Bend 12” x 60, well tooled, with a cam lock spindle. Good machine but could use a (mainly cosmetic) going through.

South Bend 12” x 60, older than than the other, both have quick change gear boxes and taper attachments. Good ways and bed, needs to be gone through. Taper has screw on chuck spindle.

Axelson 16” x 30. Good machine, very good condition. Taper and tracer attachments.

Monarch 10EE. 1938 Model. Nice machine but still a restoration project.

I don’t have the space for all of these machines. The 10EE is going to be one that I keep. I am looking forward to the project and hope to make use of it.

I am inclined now to keep the Heavy 10. T is in very good condition and the narrow headstock seems well suited to gunsmith work and chambering.

Part of the work that I am doing and plan on doing more of is building target rifles. This would include smallbore rifles, AR match rifles, and long distance target rifles in chamberings uo to .50 BMG.

My situation is now that I have 5,000 pounds of Axelson lathe with only 30” between centers. I am also concerned is although the 12” South Bends have five-foot beds, are they heavy enough to handle long and heavy barrels such as thoughs used in .50 BMG target rifles?

I am currently weighing options. One being to sell the Axelson and the two 12” South Bends and replace the three with a Monarch, Mori Seiki, or other lathe wit a five or six foot bed. I could do this when finances allow and the right machine comes along. My thought being that one lathe could take the place of three.

Any thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

Bob
 

rrjohnso2000

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#2
Nice collection. Very. It sounds like you have a good overall plan. Keep a big one and another.

You mention using it for the work you do now and the future. You are the best suited to answer if a machine will preform for what you want it do. Use it for what you intend and see if it performs.

Often we can get by with a lot less machine than we would like, but it sure is nice to have too much. I say you get machining and time and experience will tell you what to do. Good luck
 

itsme_Bernie

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#3
If you have room, you may want to keep one lathe, the least "pretty" separated from the others, and dedicate it to a tool post grinder since noone likes to get their grinder dust on their favorite machines

Bernie
 

MARVIN GARDENS

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#6
Thanks guys.

I already have a tool grinder and using a lathe for one would take up as much space anyway. (-;

Thanks again.

Bob
 

Strtspdlx

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#7
You can never have too many tools. Let alone lathes. I'd say you have a good start. So
Maybe now it's time to start purchasing mills


Regards-Carlo
 

Holescreek

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#9
Keep the EE if it meets your future requirements and then keep the lathe with the largest diameter spindle bore for gunsmithing work.
I do the majority of my turning (99%) on a 12.5" x 18" traytop. Seldom do I need extra length or a bigger bore. For the rare occasions that I do, I have another lathe that gets very little use.
The Axelson 30" c-c length isn't a negative in my book, space fills up quick enough in a shop without parking extra iron and the majority of barrels you're ever going to turn will be 25" or less. On the ultra rare occasion you want to turn a barrel longer than 30" there are ways/accessories to make it work. The taper attachment will probably come in handy for some barrel work too.
 

Reeltor

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#10
Axelson 16” x 30. Good machine, very good condition. Taper and tracer attachments.
Holescreek beat me to it, keep the 10EE and the Axelson. Remember, the "old timers" always turned barrels between centers.
Take a look at some of Keith Fenner's (Turn Wright Machine Works) when he uses his Tracer attachment. The tracer alone is a reason to keep this lathe; plus you would be more likely to need to turn something larger than the SB 12" swing will allow than needing the longer bed.
This is the internet, everyone has an opinion or three :)

Mike
 

higgite

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#11
Hopefully, he has already made up his mind in the last year and a half. ;) Would be interesting to know what he decided to do, though.

Tom
 

Doubleeboy

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#12
1938 EE is a Sundstrom Drive I believe, Monarch gave up on them right quick and went to Motor Generator for good reason. If you can get your money out of it and get a later machine you might be miles ahead. The later machines as you may know have more swing, larger range of feeds, and while Monarch does not support the MG or tube machines anymore there are a zillion of em out there to rob parts off, not so on Sundstrom Drive.

nice collection of tools
michael
 

Tony Wells

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#13
His last visit with us was April 2016, so we may not see him, or he may come back with a brand new setup to tell us about.
 

old_dave

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#14
1938 EE is a Sundstrom Drive I believe, Monarch gave up on them right quick and went to Motor Generator for good reason. If you can get your money out of it and get a later machine you might be miles ahead. The later machines as you may know have more swing, larger range of feeds, and while Monarch does not support the MG or tube machines anymore there are a zillion of em out there to rob parts off, not so on Sundstrom Drive.

nice collection of tools
michael
Why did Monarch drop the Sundstrand drive for the motor-generator-DC Ward Leonard drive, Michael? Or maybe more to the point why didn't they use the DC drive from the beginning? After all that technology was already known.

The "standard history" (as I like to think of it) of the 10EE that's out there indicates the switch in drives was made in 1941.

And Bob/Marvin Gardens, if you are still out there, I'd be interested in the serial number of your 10EE. The "standard history" shows the serial numbers of the first 10EE's delivered were 6156 and 6207/6208.

A bit off topic, but I found this history of Sundstrand interesting: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/sundstrand-corporation-history/

David
 

Doubleeboy

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#15
My understanding from the one person I have talked to that has run a 1939 EE was that the Sundstrand drive had difficulty with reliability in terms of consistant torque and or speed. I know that more than one company that ran numerous 10ees would only buy MG machines as they were simple for their shop maintenance people to maintain. I believe the tube machines with their feedback loop were able to maintain better speed and torque control than the MG and that is why they went that direction. Even with very old tubes in my machine and original transformers except for one grid transformer my machine maintains very good stability up to 2300 rpm, above that I am a bit wonky but I can live with those speeds. My machine had 56000 hours on meter when it broke, who knows when.

Alex on PM is the guy who knows Sundstrand, but I don't think he shows up there anymore, I suspect he moved on to other exotic interests. Last I heard he was playing with a 1000EE dimming all the neighbors lights when he turned it on.

michael
 

MARVIN GARDENS

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#17
Hi Guys.

Sorry to be away so long but time certainly has a way of getting away from me. Things have changed a bit here as far as equipment goes. The Heavy 10 and the 10EE are here. I made a mistake and stopped by a friend's machine shop. He is mostly a CNC facility but does have several manual lathes. My mistake was spending the afternoon running his Mori. In the desire to make more space, both 12" South Bends have found new homes. I regretted it almost as soon as I did it but the Axelson went to a good friend in order to make space for the Mori or Whacheon I am now looking for. At least I know where the Axelson is and can go visit it.

I did find a very nice Bridgeport variable speed mill and picked it up along with a 20"Clausing drill press, a 3D pantograph, and a 6 x 12 Boyar Schultz Challenger surface grinder. The latter was all a package deal.

I did luck out and find the correct vintage cover the 10EE was missing along with a taper attachment. I will make it a point to check in with the forum much more frequently.

Thanks for the interest and information.

Bob
 

MARVIN GARDENS

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#18
Why did Monarch drop the Sundstrand drive for the motor-generator-DC Ward Leonard drive, Michael? Or maybe more to the point why didn't they use the DC drive from the beginning? After all that technology was already known.

The "standard history" (as I like to think of it) of the 10EE that's out there indicates the switch in drives was made in 1941.

And Bob/Marvin Gardens, if you are still out there, I'd be interested in the serial number of your 10EE. The "standard history" shows the serial numbers of the first 10EE's delivered were 6156 and 6207/6208.

A bit off topic, but I found this history of Sundstrand interesting: http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/sundstrand-corporation-history/

David
Hi David.

Sorry to be so long in replying. I saw your post and then couldn't find it again when I had the information on my 10EE in hand. My machine is serial numbered 6872 and was built in October of 1939.

Thank you for the link to the Sunstrand information. I too found it interesting.

Regards.

Bob
 

old_dave

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#19
Hi David.

Sorry to be so long in replying. I saw your post and then couldn't find it again when I had the information on my 10EE in hand. My machine is serial numbered 6872 and was built in October of 1939.

Thank you for the link to the Sunstrand information. I too found it interesting.

Regards.

Bob
Thank you very much for the serial number and clarifying the build year as 1939, 1938 seemed a bit early to me.
David
 

old_dave

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#20
BTW Monarch uses a single serial number series for ALL their manual lathe models. I understand that it's not really possible for them to give an exact number of 10EE's built. This makes me think their records are filed by serial number so it would be necessary to go through ALL the records, well over 50,000, and pull out all the 10EE's for a count.

Monarch started assigning serial numbers in 1927 starting with 1000. Before that they used lot numbers where a "lot" consisted of 4-20 machines of the same model. This information is from an individual who used to work at Monarch.
David
 

Cal Haines

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#21
Also, serial numbers were assigned when machines were ordered. If the order was cancelled, the serial number was not reused. Sometimes an order would sit on hold for a year or more before the machine was built, which results in some odd pairings of serial number and build date.
 
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