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"new" Lathe


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#1 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 08:35 PM

I've been working on restoring a lathe I picked up a few months ago. It is an Atlas 12". It had been sitting outside (under cover) and had a lot of surface rust on it. Additionally, some of the assemblies were frozen.

 

But the critical surfaces were true and not all scarred up, and I got it for a really good price!

 

Atlas's are considered "hobby class" lathes and are not as rigid as the more robust South Bends, Clausings, and LeBlonds, The 12" is "relatively" light at about 400 pounds. It is critical that you mount them solidly, so I built a VERY sturdy table to mount it on.

 

Once everything got cleaned up and freed up, I put a coat of machinery paint on it and got it wired up. Runs good now.

 

And to make it GT applicable, I put it to it's first "real" use to clean up and true a mower deck pulley for the 316 onan deck I am rebuilding!

 

This lathe will take up residence in Florida, and is repacing a 7x14 chinese lathe. My big lathe is in the shop up in Tennessee - that one is a Hendey 16x48 - a 6,000 lb monster that runs on 3 phase power! But I still do projects in Florida some times, so the bigger lathe will come in handy.

 

Heres a couple pictures of the Atlas......

 

IMG00756-20130114-1717.jpg IMG00760-20130114-1718.jpg

 

And the old lathe it is replacing...

IMG00759-20130114-1717.jpg

 


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#2 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 08:43 PM

You did a great job on that Atlas! Congrats on the upgrade too! That is so... much better than the little Chinese one.



#3 JRJ OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 08:45 PM

Now we all know where to ship our machine work in the future.

 

 That is a  very nice machine and table which should serve you well. When I was in the service my shop was next to the machine shop and I always thought how nice it was for them to take a block of metal and end up with a useful item.

 

Dick



#4 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 15, 2013 - 09:51 PM

Nice lathe! I know a lot of people bad mouth the Atlas, and I'm sure it has limitations. But the fact that so many have survived and are still in use, tells me their not at all a bad machine.

Wish i had one in my shop!


Edited by JD DANNELS, January 15, 2013 - 09:53 PM.


#5 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 12:58 AM

You've done a nice job. Machine tools will allow you to make parts you need.

 

Atlas deserves a lot of respect. Before and during WWII most good sized gas stations had lathes, horizontal mills, and shapers. Many had Atlas brand machines because they didn't need to be as heavy duty. Atlas also made 6" and 9" lathes for the home shops. In my area there were alot of basement subcontractors with Atlas lathes making parts for Pratt and Whitney during WWII. Atlas were used in many schools too. In the 70s many gas stations gave those machines away as the old mechanics retired.

 

I have two Craftsman(Atlas) 6'' lathes. a Southbend 10" lathe, 2 old monster lathes, an Atlas Horizontal mill, an Atlas 7" Shaper, and a Linley Brothers Jig Boring Machine. Right now none are set up. For some reason, the older 6" lathe is the most fun to use of all the tools. The ten inch SB is the most useful. I hope to get several of them set up this winter if I can finish three tractors in the basement and get them out.



#6 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 08:45 AM

Glad you got one. I always wanted a lathe maybe someday lol , , Keep us posted of the projects you build using it , Al

#7 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 09:43 AM

Thanks guys!

Boyscout (BTW, having been a scout, packmaster and troopleader, I love to see people recognising the scouting program...), in many ways, the "old" equipment is kind of like our garden tractors. Something from another era, when things were made to purpose and to last!

 

This Atlas spent most of it's life as government property, and was recently DRMO'ed. I wish it could talk and tell where it worked and what it did. Would be some interesting stories.... And while they WERE built lite, that was an asset in that they could be easily moved and set up. And in the hands of a technician that worked within the parameters of the equipment, they were a capable machine.

 

I was able to get the build info and original owner info on my Hendey lathe. It was built in 1929 and was shipped to the "Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company" - which became Curtis_Wright that same year. So who knows, there most likely are airplane engines and parts out there today that were built on MY lathe! I think thats cool!

 

Heres a couple pictures of the Hendey when I first got it and was moving it into the shop. We had used a crane to put it ON the trailer, and a big backhoe, tow truck, and lots of iron pipe rollers (just like the Egiptians...) to move it off the trailer and into place.

 

IMG00434-20110426-1930.jpg IMG00451-20110501-1707.jpg

 

 


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#8 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 10:59 AM

  I started out with the same Speedway lathe and used it to machine all the parts needed for my first diesel conversion. For the $299  I paid for it . I have no complaints and neither does the individual who owns it now. While not a big fan of Chinese equipment, it did allow me the opportunity to get reacquainted with operating a lathe and laid the ground work for the purchase of the larger lathe owned today. 

 I enjoyed following your post and reading the included information. It would be neat if these older machines included a log book so their experiences could be relived.

 Looking at your Hendey it sure reminds me of a Monarch. 


Edited by Cvans, January 16, 2013 - 11:01 AM.

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#9 John@Reliable OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 11:10 AM

Very nice, like others have said someday I too will have one. Been looking for the right one ($$) over the years, as it's not at the top of my list, but someday :thumbs:


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#10 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 12:22 PM

Shop around guys. One 6" Craftsman cost $35 from CL the other was $65 on the local Supermarket bulletin board. The Shaper was $60 on CL last spring. The stuff is out there you just have to look alot. Around here in warm weather are a lot of "tag sales". People cleaning out their houses especially in the spring. You can find anything, often at good prices. It usually pays to ask "any guns, tractors, or big tools." Sometimes there is a treasure that they just can't move and are happy to almost give it to you. I used to go with my truck and trailer and sometimes come home with them full. Happy hunting guys.



#11 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 02:56 PM

You've done a nice job. Machine tools will allow you to make parts you need.

 

Atlas deserves a lot of respect. Before and during WWII most good sized gas stations had lathes, horizontal mills, and shapers. Many had Atlas brand machines because they didn't need to be as heavy duty. Atlas also made 6" and 9" lathes for the home shops. In my area there were alot of basement subcontractors with Atlas lathes making parts for Pratt and Whitney during WWII. Atlas were used in many schools too. In the 70s many gas stations gave those machines away as the old mechanics retired.

 

I have two Craftsman(Atlas) 6'' lathes. a Southbend 10" lathe, 2 old monster lathes, an Atlas Horizontal mill, an Atlas 7" Shaper, and a Linley Brothers Jig Boring Machine. Right now none are set up. For some reason, the older 6" lathe is the most fun to use of all the tools. The ten inch SB is the most useful. I hope to get several of them set up this winter if I can finish three tractors in the basement and get them out.

That sounds like a nice collection of machine tools! I wonder how many people shy of half a century would even know what a shaper is and what it will do?


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#12 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 04:12 PM

I can tell you what a shaper will do if your work isn't clamped down good.  :smilewink:  

Darnedest piece of equipment I ever worked with. Talk about remove metal. 

I haven't seen one in 40 years though. 

 



#13 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 04:48 PM

An old timer told me that a shaper can make you anything but money. I have a lot of good tools and projects but not enough room to set them up yet. Its discouraging sometimes.



#14 Tennblue59 OFFLINE  

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Posted January 16, 2013 - 10:55 PM

I had a chance to buy a 16 inch Shipley-Lodge shaper a couple months ago. While it went for close to scrap metal prices, it was going to be more of a deal than I wanted to get involved in at the time. And it was big and heavy - about 5,000 lbs!!!

 

Shapers were "mostly" replaced by the milling machine, and since I alredy have a mill, I passed on the big monster. If I could find a small one right, I would get it though... They work slow, but are kind of cool to watch work...

 

Actually, compared to the 7x14 lathe I ws using (and it made a lot of stuff over the years I had it...), I am enjoying the Atlas. It is bigger and more powerful than the 7x12, and having the power cross and longitudinal feeds is really nice. This one has the QC gearbox as well, so no more changing gears to cut different threads or feed speeds!


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#15 Cvans ONLINE  

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Posted January 17, 2013 - 12:22 PM

I had  a relative that purchased a Smithy Granite for a project and then it sat for years. Many of the boxes had never been opened. When I contacted him about it he sold it to me for a song. Like your Atlas it had a lot of surface rust but otherwise was like new. After several days cleaning it up it turned out to be a nice machine. I'm mot crazy about these combination machines but for my limited space it has worked very nicely and once I've gotten used to it, changing operations goes quickly. To tell you the truth I'd be lost without.


Edited by Cvans, January 17, 2013 - 12:23 PM.

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