Every South Bend Lathe sold between 1929 and 2008 has a serial number card on file that includes vital information necessary when ordering parts. We are offer scanned PDF versions of these cards for only $25.00 each. It is very important that you provide the correct serial number, since this cost is non-refundable. Please provide a valid email address when placing your order to receive the scanned PDF. Please note that we cannot send hard copies of serial number cards and we cannot look up a card without first receiving payment.
The serial number is stamped on the tailstock end of the bed between the flat- and v-ways. It is used to determine the size and type of lathe, plus any special features or attachments. The earliest records show that lathes were numbered sequentially, beginning with 700, in July, 1910, and ending with 186,514 in March, 1947. After that date, a new numbering system added a three-letter code to indicate 1) the swing, 2) the gear and apron combination and the location of the drive, and 3) the spindle hole size, type of swing, and special features.
For example: "2345" "RKL" "7" is the 2,345th 10" lathe built. It has quick change gears, friction feed apron, underneath motor drive, a large spindle hole, and standard swing. The number 7 is the model number, which is changed when modifications are made to the machine that do not change the overall characteristics. Each swing size begins a new numerical series, starting with the number one.
Click here to purchase a serial card.