Atlas 10" & 12" lathe

Discussion in 'Machine Modifications' started by Bogstandard, Dec 14, 2007.

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  1. Dec 14, 2007 #1
    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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  2. Dec 14, 2007 #2

    cfellows

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    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
     
  3. Dec 14, 2007 #3

    shred

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    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.

     
  4. Dec 14, 2007 #4

    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
     
  5. Jan 15, 2008 #5

    jagwinn

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    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?
     
  6. Jan 15, 2008 #6

    cfellows

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    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
     
  7. Jan 17, 2008 #7

    ronm

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    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...
     
  8. Jan 18, 2008 #8

    jagwinn

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    Thanx RonM.
    Plans would be a great help.

    Also, could you tell me the diameter of the drawbar? Is it 25/64ths?
     
  9. Jan 21, 2008 #9

    ronm

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    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.
     
  10. Jan 23, 2008 #10

    jagwinn

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    Thanks for the link RonM, I do appreciate it!
    And, I did find out the spindle dia. is 25/32's.
     
  11. Jul 24, 2008 #11

    pelallito

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    Hi Bogstandard,
    I have an Atlas 12" stand model. It has a quick change gearbox and Timken bearings. I just put bearings in the feed direction gears and had to make a replacement stud and jam nut for one of them.I would love to learn what you have done to yours.
    Thanks in advance.
    Regards,
    Fred
     
  12. Jul 24, 2008 #12
    Hi Fred,

    I have just sold mine, but I will list a few of the mods that I did, I am sure I can't remember them all.

    1 Fitted detente ball on back gear selector handle to stop the back gear jumping out of mesh.

    2 Fitted modified Myford resettable friction dials to cross and compound slides.

    3 Fitted thrust bearings to screws on cross and compound slides.

    4 Fitted a lever under the power crossfeed button to make it easier to operate.

    5 Made my own steel carrier and brass halfnuts to directly replace the mazak ones.

    6 Fitted thrust washers either side of leadscrew end carrier

    7 Made a resettable carriage stop with three adjustable stops.

    8 Made a cross slide adjustable stop.

    9 Made a set of risers to bring the lathe to a better height.

    10 Made and fitted a bronze support bar under where the leadscrew exits from the reverse gearbox.

    I am sure there are a lot of little mods that I have forgotten about.

    I can do you a few sketches of some of the mods if you need them. Shame you didn't ask a few weeks ago, I could have taken pics for you.

    Bogs
     
  13. Jul 25, 2008 #13

    pelallito

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    Hi Bogstandard,
    That is my luck, a day late and a dollar short.:>)
    I would appreciate any advice and information that you can give me. I have considered lifting my lathe to a more comfortable height. I will look into it more seriously.
    Thanks for the help.
    Regards,
    Fred
     
  14. Aug 11, 2008 #14

    biometrics

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    Hi Bogstandard,

    Do you have any prints for the "steel carrier and brass halfnuts to directly replace the mazak ones" -and- the "lever under the power crossfeed button to make it easier to operate.
    " ???

    ...and would you or any other member know where to get a print to make the gear cage on the back of the apron? The Mazak one is very prone to breakage, and I would love to make one out of aluminum.
     
  15. Aug 11, 2008 #15
    Fred,

    To lift my lathe I did it between the metal stand drip tray and the base of the lathe feet. I just got some 4" wide u-channel girder cut into lengths that were the same length as the feet, and one was put under each corner. One side of the channel was bolted to the original mounting holes in the base, then the lathe was bolted and levelled onto the four upper faces. It turned out to be a very rigid setup. If you go down on the first post here,

    http://www.homemodelenginemachinist.com/index.php?topic=137.0

    it shows a pic of the lathe on the risers.

    Bio,

    I don't usually work with prints.
    The Mazak half nuts were replicated the same as the originals, except I didn't put the rounded corners on. Steel for the holder, brass for the actual nuts. The problem with the originals, even when new, you had to file them up to make them slide because of all the casting marks, and by the time you were finished getting them to run, they were almost knackered anyway. If you did a lot of power feeding or thread cutting they were ready for replacement after a year. My modded ones had been in about 5 years and still had loads of life in them.
    If you look at the picture of the lathe in the above mentioned post you should just be able to see the operating lever for the cross slide. Again no drawings, but if you want me to, I can knock you up a sketch from memory, to give you an idea of how it works.
    It is really easy to make, and works like a dream.

    Bogs
     
  16. Aug 11, 2008 #16

    pelallito

    pelallito

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    John,
    Thanks for posting the pictures of your shop and the Atlas. I will have to consider doing some of your modifications once I finish some of the ongoing projects.
    One of which is a carriage stop, that I am building from a drawing that you posted and a picture that Old Biker posted. Sort of a mixture of the two.
    I might raise mine a little, but it is a stand model and it's height isn't too bad. It is perfect for me when I sit on a stool, while using it.
    I am considering adding a backsplash with a shelf for storage.
    Regards,
    Fred
     

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