South Bend Lathe Information Needed


I've come into posession of a South Bend Model A, Catalog Number CL644A.

The motor does not have the standard nameplate one would expect, so I'm not sure if it's three phase or one phase, or what voltage it might take. There's a red plate on the motor that says "For higher voltage" and then some connection scheme like T1-T5, etc.. then below that "For lower voltage"

The cable feeding the motor comes from the wall assumedly (3 wires, green/white/black, about 16 gauge stranded), to a roundish box with a lever switch that has 3 positions, and then to the motor with the same sort of cable.

The wires had no plug on the end, and the insulation is decomposed and brittle beyond the point where I would consider using the wires.

Inside the wiring box on the motor itself, several wires are electrical taped together and connect to the various green/black/white from the cable. The wires coming from the motor windings themselves are cloth braid shielded but crunchy inside too.

So I guess my questions are, does anyone know if this is one phase or three phase, voltage, and if it's even worth messing with the old motor.

If I am to scrap the old motor, would this lathe take a standard modern motor? i.e. is the motor footprint compatible with what they use today?).


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FWIW, I have a 11" SB lathe with a three position drum switch (forward, stop and reverse). It's got a 1/2 HP motor that runs on 120V. My real reason for responding though is to suggest a couple other resources that may be of help. They are:

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Good luck,


Reply to
Peter Grey

It's most probably a single phase motor. I suggest you put on a plug and give it a spin. It sounds like you're about to scrap the motor anyway, so you have nothing to lose.

Old cracked motor wiring can often be nursed along by judicious use of heat shrink tubing.

Doesn't the motor have a nameplate? A couple of motor nameplate tricks: if you cannot read the nameplate, first thing to try is to see if you can maneuver a digital camera down and take a picture of it. Once on your computer, you may be able to make out the lettering. Second trick is to take some modeling clay, reach way over down and back (or whatever) and smush it onto the nameplate, then carefully peel it off and try to read it even though it's mirror-image reversed.

I've done both of these with success.


Gigs wrote:

Reply to
Grant Erwin

Yeah, you think I could try it with the series lightbulb trick in case it's shorted?

I couldn't find a nameplate at all. The red plate just has hookup information, not nameplate rating sort of information.

Thanks, Jason

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Thanks for the tips, those look like very active communities.

The links on that site already led me to some more information about the lathe based on the catalog number.

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It's the 4 foot model.

From the site it also says it's a 1/3 HP motor, 1725 RPM.

Useful stuff!

Thanks, Jason

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From what you've posted, Hi-voltage usually refers to 220, and low voltage refers to 110 (when it comes to AC motors).

Not sure if 1/3 hp motors come like that, so perhaps you have a larger motor.

Yes, you can replace the motor no sweat. Go to the front of a Grainger catalog and they have the frame information for all motors. (Bolt spacing, shaft diameter, height of shaft.) Figure out what you need.

T> > Hi,

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Based on your discription..its a dual voltage SINGLE phase motor, capable of running on 110vac or 220vac. Replace the wiring if its cracked.

And can get a modern motor to fit. The "frame size", which is a standard based on motor size, center height of shaft, mounting bolt hold pattern and so forth. Once this is can find motors both new and used that will bolt right up.

Or put a DC or 3ph motor on it and use a controller for variable speed, braking and fast reverse.


"Pax Americana is a philosophy. Hardly an empire. Making sure other people play nice and dont kill each other (and us) off in job lots is hardly empire building, particularly when you give them self determination under "play nice" rules.

Think of it as having your older brother knock the shit out of you for torturing the cat." Gunner

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Reply to
Mike Berger

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