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Old 12-14-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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Default Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

I have an old 10" Atlas lathe, and have done a fair amount of work on it, including some that are not mentioned elsewhere, so I suppose they are unique, plus I have got it very accurate.

If anyone has one of these machines and would like to do a few 'mods' and tweaking, I might be able to point you in the right direction.


John



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Old 12-14-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

John,

35+ years ago I used to work in lower downtown Denver, Co and took the bus to work. Every morning (and evening) I would walk past a local outlet store that had brand new Atlas lathes on display. I was young, married, and raising a family, so didn't have anywhere near enough money to buy even the 6" lathe. But I can't tell you how many times I would stop in and drool over those lathes on display. Still warms my heart to think about it!

Chuck



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Old 12-14-2007, 10:26 PM   #3
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

I was flipping through some of John's pictures and thought his lathe looked familiar.. it's a similar vintage, though different brand from my recently-acquired 10" Sheldon. It's kind of interesting how similar-looking and acting a lot of lathes from the 30's are (the story is the Sheldon guys started out by knocking off a Monarch design, and I'm pretty sure a Logan and SB or two were around in that design shop as well). It's also entertaining how similar the basic specs are to the brand new Chinese 10" lathes-- I guess those old guys knew a thing or two

In any case, a 'machine mods' section could be handy.

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Old 12-14-2007, 10:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe


As far as I can ascertain my lathe was made either 1937 or 38, and when I first purchased it, it had a Babbit head on it. Eventually this was so worn it could not turn very accurately, and I was unable to get it recast and bored, so I fitted a second hand Timken bearing head on it. I had a friend regrind the bearings for me because I couldn't get a second mortgage to pay for the cost of the 'special' bearings. Bearing heads are very good on these machines as long as you let them warm up for a few minutes to get the spindle to the correct length and take the roughness out of the preload on the bearings. But the Babbit head definitely gave better results when it wasn't worn out, a lot smoother all round.
I will miss it when it has to go. I just hope it can go to someone who will appreciate it as much as I have over the years. There are a lot better lathes available than this one, but to me, if you can use a lathe to its full abilities and get used to its little idiosyncrases, then you can get them to sing, and this one is like a diva.

John
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Old 01-15-2008, 07:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

I have the Sears Craftsman Commercial 12" and would be very interested in a set of drawings to make a collet chuck for the machine.

Also, I have a question about the wiring. It uses a 110/220 Craftsman motor wired for 220v., and a Dayton reversing switch.

When going from forward to reverse or vice versa, it will continue in the same rotation unless I allow it to slow til I hear a "click". If I wait for the click, it will change rotation.

I thought it should be more instant than that. Should it be? If so any ideas on making it so?

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Old 01-15-2008, 08:19 PM   #6
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

The part of the motor that determines direction of spin is in the starter circuitry and the reversing switch. The click you hear is a centrifugal switch, in the motor, that activates the starter ciruit when slowing down and deactivates it when speeding up. Without the starter circuit, the motor is happy to run in either direction.

That's actually probably not a bad safety feature. Reversing the direction of a lathe motor at too high a speed can have adverse affects, like causing the chuck to come unthreaded and go spinning across the shop. Ask me how I know that!

Chuck

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Old 01-17-2008, 04:51 AM   #7
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

A single phase motor will not "instant reverse" like a 3-phase. I remember the "grunt" those old South Bends in high school shop would make when you reversed them to brake the spindle...I agree w/cfellows, it's not necessarily a good thing, if your lathe has a threaded spindle...
Jagwinn, is your lathe the 101.28990? That's what I have, they are a nice lathe, about the last ones built by Atlas. I found plans for a collet setup on the web. I'll see if the printout has the website listed. I made mine for 3C collets, Atlas used 3AT, but it seems 3C's are easier & cheaper to find.
Ron in CO...

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Old 01-18-2008, 05:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

Thanx RonM.
Plans would be a great help.

Also, could you tell me the diameter of the drawbar? Is it 25/64ths?

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Old 01-21-2008, 04:28 AM   #9
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

Hey jagwinn, sorry about the delay. I was away from the computer for a couple days...here is the link to the collet chuck I mentioned. I sort of loosely followed the plans, adapting to my lathe & the material on hand. I used a piece of John Deere hydraulic tubing for the drawbar, it's 3/4" od & thinwall, 5/8" ID. I used the 3C collet dimensions, as I mentioned before. I was able to buy a set of 3C's quite reasonable from a member of a Craftsman lathe group I belonged to at the time.
http://users.aol.com/lughaid/collet.htm
HTH-Ron in CO...
PS-I didn't use the split collets he shows as part #6, I just got a set of 3C's, replacing what he calls part #5.

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Old 01-23-2008, 06:44 AM   #10
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Default Re: Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

Thanks for the link RonM, I do appreciate it!
And, I did find out the spindle dia. is 25/32's.



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