Wayne, I have a 15"X 96" Sidney belt drive very similar to your 19" X 96". Mine however did not come with the electric motor/clutch drive that I viewed with your machine. I trying to figure out how to drive mine. I have been unable to find a manual or info for my lathe. Did your drive come with your machine? Do you have any manuals on your machine? Any suggestions. Thanks. Jim
Bob, Thanks for the reply. These manuals are for the newer Sidney lathes according the the company I conversed with. They evidently do not cover the older belt driven lathes. I am a relative newbie and may be wrong? Thanks. Jim
Unfortunately the drive on my lathe is one of a kind made by a man named Jim Vearner. He was the father of my former employer Don Vearner who is about 80 years old at this time. I have no manuals or any other info on my lathe other than the brass tags that are mounted on the machine itself. However if it will help you I'm more than happy to snap a pic or describe the info on the tags.
As for the drive well there's lots of ways to go about this. Mine has a gearbox made specifically for the adapting of a line shaft driven machine to a self contained drive (unfortunately I think they stopped making these back in the 30's or so). A transmission is definitely nice and a it's definitely possible to modify a good manual car or truck transmission for this service. But it will require some work (a good bit of it lathe work) to make a good build out of it.
If there's anything I can do to help just let me know. Please be patient since I'm rather multitasked out at the moment with my wife in the hospital.
Wayne, Thanks so much for the reply. Pictures of the drive and how it is attached and pictures of the drive itself would be a great help. The picture I saw looked like you had a mechanical clutch by by which the belt went to the lathe. Is that the gearbox you describe? Also, what size motor are you using? In the article you said your machine was limited to 500 RPM. What is the limiting factor?I have very little experience with a lathe but lots of mechanical ability. I fell into the machine a couple of years ago and just got my shop built. Now it is time to set up the lathe. I'm a career fireman getting ready to retire and I've always wanted a machine shop. I've got a book on lathe operations as they were done in the 30's coming. That may help quite a bit. Thanks again for the reply. I hope my uneducated questions are not too much of a bother. I wish your wife a speedy recovery. Jim Bratcher