My Craftsman (made by Atlas) 6" metal lathe has been in need of a new feed (lead) screw for several years as it has a badly worn section for about 2 inches where most of the turning / power carriage feed use has been done over the years since my dad bought the lathe new back in about 1962. Have replaced the half nuts a few times over the years but after measuring the diameter of the worn area reached the conclusion that unless the feed screw is replaced the nuts are always going to have a problem being driven over that section anymore. I had priced the lead screw a few times over the years and had always passed on ordering a new one because of the price when the exchange rate on the Canadian dollar was factored in but after hand feeding the carriage the last few times I used the lathe I decided to bit the bullet and get a price on a new screw and if I could afford it order a new one if it was even still available.
Been getting parts for the lathe from Clausing Service Centre since the early 1990's as they offer a lot of the parts for the old Atlas lathes so I emailed a request for a quote for the lead screw, a pair of half nuts and the guide plate for the half nuts this morning. Got back in after cutting grass for about 3 hours this afternoon and checked my email and there was a quote from Clausing sitting in my inbox about 45 minutes after I emailed them this morning before I headed out to the shop - they always seem to have great customer service. Opened the quote (as I was firmly seated in my chair) prepared for the bad news as I had purchased the half nut pair back in 2017 and back then they were 50.08 U.S. and the last time I priced the lead screw it was just shy of $300.00 U.S. if memory serves me correctly. Much to my surprise the items were still available (and in stock) and the half nuts were now only $27.86 U.S.and the new lead screw was $155.86 U.S. so I got on the phone ASAP and ordered them (before they changed the price or I changed my mind). Casually mentioned to the gentleman that the nuts appeared to be about half the price they were 3 years ago and he said that they had recently realigned and changed a lot of the pricing and that the majority of the repair parts prices had dropped significantly. I asked if they still carried much in accessories and he said while they no longer offered any cataloging of the accessories some of the items were still available and if I was interested I could just email them to see if the items were still available and get a price on them. Attached is an old brochure that shows accessories for both the 6" and 12" lathe that were offered by them back in 1990 in case someone wonders what accessories might still be available.
Thought I would do a post on it as some other Craftsman / Atlas Metal Lathe owners may be in need of parts but may be hesitating because of the pricing they got a few years ago. Might be a good time to get an updated price quote as the parts may have gone down as I found out today.