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Southbend cone pulley advice

Colin L

Hello all,

Well I bought my first lathe - and of course I had to take it apart ( actually it did not look like it had been used for some number of years so I didn't feel comfortable running it for long without checking the condition of the internals). I have only cleaned the end gear train and pulled the spindle so far. Unfortunately I'm not happy with the cone pulley, the re is some galling and what I believe to be minor damage to the spindle. I'm looking for ideas. So far I've come up with the following options: 1) leave it, clean it, lube it and don't use the back gear. 2) gently use a 8000 Waterstone to carefully remove any high spots on the spindle and somehow manually flatten out the high spots on the cone pulley bore (brake cylinder hone? Lapping compound on a close fitting wooden dowel? Other ideas?) 3) install a bronze sleeve through the galled area 4) install a bronze sleeve through the entire bore 5) buy a new(ish) cone pulley

I'll attach some photos.


Well-Known Member
You're not dealing with a brand new machine so it likely isn't a huge issue. Does that galling grab or damage the belt in any way? If it's just the pulleys and nothing that could hurt the bearings or bushings trying to clean it up with emery cloth may be the most reasonable way to deal with it.. but pictures would help.
Also how does that have an impact on your back gears?

Colin L

I should also mention it's a Southbend 9A (I think).

The back gear is relevant because there is only differential rotation between the spindle and cone pulley bore when in backgear. Otherwise the cone pulley is locked to the spindle when not in back gear.

The galled area is only on the last 1/4" of the bore, on the large pulley end.

I'll make an attempt now to upload the photos.


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ersatz engineer
Can you feel any high spots on the shaft? - If so, they can be removed with very fine emery paper or scotchbright in a lathe (rumour has it that there are a few in the group). Don't take too much material off.

The pulley bore is a bit disturbing. Once again, checking for high spots and removing them without changing the diameter too much.

Then you can use it, well lubed, of course.

Colin L

Yes I can feel a very small amount of unevenness in the spindle shaft,in the area of the spindle immediately adjacent to the key in the spindle photo. It's pretty minor, maybe a tho (?) and I'm not too worried about it but I do want to remove any high spots.

The pulley bore I'm not too worried about either, given that it's very localized. But I don't want to just put it back and risk further damage to the spindle. So I want to bring down any high spots. I'll try the Emory cloth idea but I think the depth may be too great (20 thou ?? I'm guessing, I have not measured it but it's significant). If those are 20 thou *low* spots then I suppose it's not so bad, but again I have not attempted to measure it yet and I'm not sure how feasible that would be anyway.

Thanks to both of you for your feedback so far, I'll keep you posted on my progress.