View Full Version : Lurkers come out of the woodwork!

05-10-2006, 04:15 PM
Having been a lurker for many years, (and I love how insidious that sounds) I though I would share a couple of lathe mods/improvements with you. I have a 12x30 Atlas/Craftsman, which for it's age (1943) does fairly tight work. Being new to lathes, (not allowed at English Grammar School) I've learned to appreciate how the accuracy is created, and have quickly learned to keep everything as scrupulously clean as possible. Although it's been that way since lathes were invented, it's hard to accept that the very chips we produce can screw up that same accuracy, by getting into the wrong places
So what I made was a removeable 1/8" plex cover for my cross-slide and apron, which keeps all chips out of the topslide lead screw. I also attached a split bamboo mat( used for making sushi, i believe) between this table top and the headstock, which can be unrollled to cover the ways and the lead screw. Since it has small slits in it, it's not perfect, but I can always cover it with a cloth to trap tiny chips. The mat can be removed easily, or rolled up out of the way if required. I can also use the plex table to support a small cooling fan, blowing straight at the workpiece, so essential if one is crazy enough to try to work to tenths on such a lathe. (The plex is blue because I had a bit of scrap lying around) :-)
Here come my first efforts at posting pics. Here is the plex table
Here is the table in place on the crosslide saddle/apron
Here is the bamboo mat covering the ways and lead screw
here is the whole thing assembled, with the mat rolled up, and the cooling fan sitting on the table top
Richard in Los Angeles

05-10-2006, 04:19 PM
You didn't have to go buy a new mat just for the pictures! That's a cool idea, especially the plexy shield.

05-10-2006, 05:35 PM
Amazing how the simplest thing come about.:rolleyes:

05-10-2006, 06:41 PM
Holy crap I hope my lathe never sees those pics!!!!!!!!!!!

05-10-2006, 06:45 PM
All right...these pictures are too clean for me. I am in denial!

Great idea, and nice work

Rob :)

05-10-2006, 07:15 PM
I feel cheated, my East Asian lathe wasn't imported with a bamboo curtain. I guess the ol'merican machines really are better!

Hope I got this in the correct thread, you have moving up the charts today.

charlie coghill
05-10-2006, 09:21 PM
I like the matt idea. On my lathe the problem of chips getting on the crosslide screw is nill.

05-10-2006, 09:39 PM