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-   -   Atlas Baby Lathe Resurrection (https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=17743)

cutter 11-23-2008 09:25 PM

Atlas Baby Lathe Resurrection
 
5 Attachment(s)
Well, I finally did it. I dug the little 6 x 18 Atlas/Craftsman lathe out of it's hidey-hole in the bottom shelf over on the far corner of the shop. I don't know yet if this was a mistake or not but pretty soon I'm gonna have to figure out where to put it because it can't live on my welding table forever.

Only a very few of you may vaguely recall why I have this little toy so I'll re-tell the terms of the deal.
When I bought my old 3 phase Campbell Hausfeld compressor from David Baker over 4 years ago I spotted a piece of half inch plate laying out in the weeds. David wanted to show me this little lathe he needed to get rid of, said he bought it from some widder lady or something more to help her out than anything else. I think he bought some other merchandise that he did want & the lathe was the last piece she needed to sell, so he gave her $300 for it.

So we looked at the lathe & I said that if I was going to buy anything else I really should buy the steel because I needed to build a table. He said if I would give him his $300 back for the lathe he would give me the steel.
I said, "Deal." and paid him.

I figured the steel would have cost me at least half of that & at the time all the scrap yards around here were closed to the public on account of they didn't need any local sales - everything was going to China. So I calculate I got the little Atlas for about $150 or maybe less.

At any rate, I got this old baby lathe to try & figure out what to do with. According to lathes.co.uk these puppies were in production from 1936 to 1974 in one variation or another and Atlas made some of them for Sears. This happens to be one of those.
The main difference between the Sears and most others seems to be that this one has sleeve bearings instead of Timkens. Just my luck. However, I have plans for remedying that - more later. They all had flat ways rather than v-ways. Seems to be a thing with Atlas.

1. This poor old machine appears to have suffered a lot of neglect. It was so nasty I couldn't find one clean spot to touch it so the first order or business was a bath. That meant disassembly. In this picture you can see a couple of chunks have been knocked out to the front edge of the way. I decided to not worry about them just yet.

By the way, that table top is the same plate steel mentioned above.

2. Look at this mess. I couldn't assess the wear on the gears until I got some of that crud off. Surprising, they show less wear than expected except for the spindle gear, the top one. More on that later too.

3. And scrub a dub dub. I spent my late afternoons at this for the better part of a week and finally just had to be satisfied with "good enough".

4. Even the flat ways appeared to have been heat treated with grease. I scraped for an hour or so before I bothered to dunk the bed. You can see the damage to the way better here.

5. For the record, I did find the data plate. If there was originally a serial number it never showed up so I'm not yet able to determine just what the year of manufacture was. I'm just assuming it's probably about as old as I am. :)

Pull up a chair & keep the coffee on 'cause this one is gonna drag on for a while before I even get to the part where I want to ask ya'll some questions. I want to see if this cheap little machine can be coaxed into doing anything worthwhile & I don't know squat about machining or lathework so some of you will get the chance to hammer on me a little bit. :D

LW Hiway 11-23-2008 09:51 PM

Quote:

I don't know squat about machining or lathework so some of you will get the chance to hammer on me a little bit. :D
Yepper, two or more years down the road and you'll have a mill, a spool gun for the MIG and a shiny blue TIG.:p

Even pigs dress up nice with the right help. This lathe will gleam and be fitted out for work by the time your done with it. No doubt about it. I've always like these lathes. Adaptable in a mini sort of way, but can do their weight in work for the hobbiest/tinker.

I've got a gallon of Navy gray for ya when your ready.:)

madam X 11-23-2008 10:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LW Hiway (Post 243056)

I've got a gallon of Navy gray for ya when your ready.:)


Cutter has been prohibited from painting. :eek:



Maybe you can do it while you're in Lubbock. :p

1911man 11-23-2008 10:07 PM

Now this is good news! One of your sagas is just what I need to get me out of my post 11/4 depression.:)

cutter 11-23-2008 10:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LW Hiway (Post 243056)

I've got a gallon of Navy gray for ya when your ready.:)

ummm, I haven't checked lately - has hell frozen over yet?

LW Hiway 11-23-2008 10:33 PM

Quote:

Maybe you can do it while you're in Lubbock.
It would most certainly be a valued experience and pleasure to do so. I'll even do the detailing.:D
Quote:

ummm, I haven't checked lately - has hell frozen over yet?
That change in the weather may happen about the same time I make it to Lubbock.:D

Uncle Buck 11-23-2008 10:34 PM

I have a 12" Atlas/Craftsman myself. I know they are considered the bottom end of the line on USA made lathes, but the great part is there is no shortage of parts available for them and they perform just fine if you don't push them beyond their limits.

I don't profess to be an expert, but I will be happy to help in any way that I can. If you check at Yahoo Groups there are several dedicated to Atlas machines, and they have large followings, very worthwhile for this project.

Also, you likely already know, but if not; when you have finished fixin er up you will need to get a quick change tool post from Enco (Get the piston type chicom knockoff of the Aloris brand) commonly referred to as Phase II brand. That will make a world of difference in how the machine performs for you.

Go slow and make her nice and pretty! :)

(Don't care who ya are it would be a damned shame to go through a machine from stem to stern and not repaint it)

Paychk 11-23-2008 10:34 PM

Hey Cutter

Sears still shows some parts are available for that lathe:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...7301&pop=flush

Repop manual:

http://www.ozarkwoodworker.com/item/...anual-revised/

More info:

http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsman/page5.html

greywynd 11-23-2008 10:35 PM

Cutter,

A friend of mine has an atlas, If you need any reference pis or measurements etc, let me know, I'll see what I can do for you.

Before I forget, zinc diecasting is used for some of the parts/gears if I recall. Use caution what chemicals you use on them. Also, I seem to recall that some parts are still available from Sears to, maybe a parts manual too?

Looking forward to watching the progress of the project, and your soon to be addiction to machining!

Uncle Buck 11-23-2008 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Paychk (Post 243075)
Hey Cutter

Sears still shows some parts are available for that lathe:

http://www.searspartsdirect.com/part...7301&pop=flush

DO NOT BUY THE PARTS FROM SEARS, BUY DIRECT FROM CLAUSING IF YOU MUST, SEARS IS MUCH HIGHER PRICED AND THEIR PARTS WOULD HAVE TO COME FROM CLAUSING IF THEY ARE NOT SETTING ON THE SHELF!


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