Log in
  • Part 2 Refurbishing a South Bend Lathe

  • Tags: metalworking

    Painted parts of the lathe

    This post covers painting the South Bend Lathe that was torn down in the previous post. After going through the process of cleaning the lathe down to the bare metal, it is very satisfying seeing it progress back to functionality. Like the teardown, it had to be done in stages because of the space limitations in my workspace. However, I rigged up flat areas in the workshop that could hold quite a few little pieces.

    All the pieces took several coats. I also cut the paint slightly with a fluid designed to slow the drying process a little. The purpose of that was to help eliminate brush strokes.

    Here is a picture of the painting of the bed. The plywood behind was used to block sunlight in the morning that would hit directly on the work.

    Painting of the bed

    Adjustment lever

    As an aside, I noticed that this lever for tightening the belt to engage the motor had a date of 1945 stamped into it. I believe that the lathe itself dates from 1947. So, it implies that the lever is officially older than the lathe. I am guessing that there was a huge amount of inventory left over after World War II, and so the backlog of parts remaining were used as they were needed.

    Painted parts

    Here are some of the gears after being soaked in the Evapo-Rust and cleaned with a toothbrush. Some of the larger gears had been painted on their castings, so after they had been cleaned, I painted those too.


    Here is the motor and supports painted. The little bulge on the side holds the capacitor that gives the initial kick when the motor is started. The housing for it turned out to be something that looked to my eye at least like tin. Here is one side and the other.

    Motor painted

    Oil pan painted

    As a measure of the chaos associated with all the parts, here is shot of my workshop with little piles of parts everywhere. On the ground were various reamers and end mills that got soaked for rust removal.

    Also shown is the oil pan, now painted. There are mounting holes in it. Apparently, over the years different holes needed to be made. It is my intention to sometime learn welding, and I will cut out and weld in patches. For now, I am using one set of holes and the rest are ignored.