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View Full Version : Old Metal Lathe given to me . . . now what??



Paul_NJ
12-20-2006, 04:36 PM
You guys were very helpful with advice when someone offered me a free metal shaper. It's downstairs in my barn, but the reality is that it's more likely I would make my first foray into metal working with an old metal lathe that was also given me, several years ago. That is, if it's worth restoring. But my interest in metal working has certainly been raised after the shaper adventure. Again I turn to my new found forum of advisors.

I can't find any brand name anywhere on the machine, except the nameplate on the electric switch, which is Furnas Electric Co. I assume that's the company that made the switch. I have the original motor also, but would likely put on a new one. What do you think? Why are there so many belts? How would I even begin to figure out how to set this thing up, let alone use it? What are those gears for? I assume I could take it apart and rewire and clean it up first. Any thoughts on how to find a manual (without a brand . . how is that possible?)

http://images20.fotki.com/v366/photos/4/490718/1736708/IMGP0739-vi.jpg

http://images14.fotki.com/v371/photos/4/490718/1736708/IMGP0741-vi.jpg

http://images20.fotki.com/v373/photos/4/490718/1736708/IMGP0742-vi.jpg

http://images16.fotki.com/v282/photos/4/490718/1736708/IMGP0743-vi.jpg

Would really appreciate any advice, information, guidance, etc. Thanks

thistle
12-20-2006, 04:52 PM
It is kind of screaming Atlas at me, very early one

look here

http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/index.html

Tinkerer
12-20-2006, 04:53 PM
Look like a atlas 9" should be able to get some info here
altas 9" (http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/page2.html)

So clean that puppy up and put it to work again.

SGW
12-20-2006, 05:02 PM
To a large extent a lathe is a lathe, so something like South Bend's "How to Run a Lathe" book would give you some basic information that would probably be applicable. Lindsay Books http://www.lindsaybks.com/ sells a reprint of it, I think.

IOWOLF
12-20-2006, 05:16 PM
Yep ATLAS, But you better find a tail stock for it or its not worth much to you.

Rex
12-20-2006, 05:24 PM
That is a Sears Metalcraft lathe.
Made in the 1930s and pre-dated the Atlas and Craftsman series that is more common.
I have a PDF file of the operators manual. 12 pages.
Email me at rex at txol dot net and I'll send it.

I probably have photos of other examples of this lathe on my PC at home as well.

I bet a 10f tailstock would be close enough to be adaptable.

Rex B
Keller TX

Tinkerer
12-20-2006, 05:29 PM
Well he could just modify a 10" tail stock with that shaper he has... ;) Ha ha the adventure begins. :D

Paul_NJ
12-20-2006, 05:45 PM
Wow, you guys are great! Tomorrow I'll take a look in that cabinet . . . I'm pretty sure there is a tailstock too that came with it. I'll report back tomorrow night.

Thanks again!

JCHannum
12-20-2006, 05:45 PM
That is the original Atlas 9" lathe that developed into the 10" machine. It was also sold by Sears as the Metalcraft and Metalmaster lathes.

Information here;
http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/page2.html

It was not backgeared, but low speed was accomplished by sliding pulleys in and out of engagement.

It shares many parts with the 10" machines, but the leadscrew is smaller, 5/8" vs. 3/4" and associated parts do not interchange. The tailstocks may be adaptable from the 10", and the 9" ones turn up now & then. All you need to do is reduce the bottom casting by 1/2".

Rex
12-20-2006, 05:55 PM
Are you sure the ways are the same distance apart as the later lathes?

kendall
12-20-2006, 05:56 PM
Kind of like that toolpost, looks like the fore runner of the 4 way.

Hopefully you locate the tailstock, and have a fair selection of change gears.

They are good lathes, and they were seemingly made in the millions, so parts are available almost everywhere.

Also, I think a good chunk of the earlier 10 inchers also had a 5/8 lead screw, my atlas 10 has the 5/8 screw, and while I can't find a timeline for ser no's, it seems like a fairly early one, vertical countershaft, same banjo etc, but the backgeared head and the 'long' legs

With the square legs I'd say it was one of the very early craftsman type, think atlas badged ones always had slightly fancier feet.


Ken.

JCHannum
12-20-2006, 06:11 PM
Are you sure the ways are the same distance apart as the later lathes?

Sometimes, I am not sure of anything. But, Atlas used the lathe swing in the prefix of its parts numbers, and the parts numbers were carried through much of the line. You will find the same part number for a common part used on milling machines, drill presses and shapers that originally was used on the 9" lathe.

Change gears and handwheels for instance are all 9-xx. The lathe bed for the 10" lathes is part number 942B or 954B 42" & 54" being the overall length, so I would assume with some assurance that it is the same casting.

jdunmyer
12-20-2006, 06:54 PM
That thing sure looks like my first lathe, an Atlas 9", vintage about 1933, according to Tony's site. The pair of belts on the LH side are the "back gears"; it sounds crude, but works well enough.

Mine wasn't free, but I got it from an ad in the paper that said, "Best Offer". The deal included 3 and 4 jaw chucks, a Jacobs chuck for the tailstock and one that was threaded for the spindle (!), 3 micrometers, 3 or 4 toolholders, one of those Ideal DTIs, miscellaneous taps and drills, etc. All it really needed was a new set of belts and one gear in the apron. I didn't replace the latter until shortly before I sold it, I just put up with the "clunk, clunk" as I wound the carriage back and forth.

My offer was $100.00, which I considered cheap, even in 1966.

andy_b
12-20-2006, 09:27 PM
It was not backgeared, but low speed was accomplished by sliding pulleys in and out of engagement.


so are you saying all those belts are supposed to be on it at the same time????

other than that, i say oil it and fire it up!!!! you don't need to worry about the tailstock for playing around with short stock to get the feel of the lathe.

andy b.

JCHannum
12-20-2006, 09:55 PM
so are you saying all those belts are supposed to be on it at the same time????
andy b.
Yes, the three belts were part of a reduction drive arrangement. It has been a while since I have had my hands on one, but you engaged and disengaged drivers on the pulleys to effect speed changes, giving a high and low range. Tony's website has a description of the process.

jdunmyer
12-21-2006, 07:33 AM
Engaging the "back gear" is done by sliding a collar AND pulling a pin that connects the RH pulley on the spindle with the spindle, IIRC. It's been nearly 30 years, so....

As I said, it works better than you might believe at first glance.

Rex
12-21-2006, 10:19 AM
Paul
Files emailed direct, Manual and pictures, should help you.
My hobby is more restoring old lathes than using them. I've never had a metalcraft, but I have restored a number of Atlas and other Sears lathes.
Where you have rust, I recommend a product called Evapo-Rust. Just soak the rusted part in it for a few hours, or overnight, and the rust turns to black film that you can rinse off with water. Good product, may be hard to find, costs about $25/gallon.
Enjoy your new toy, and have a merry Christmas.

Rex Burkheimer

kendall
12-21-2006, 11:55 AM
I've not seen anything to prove or disprove anything, but I've heard many statements about lathe sizes and interchange etc.

some are that the bed was made thicker in some cases, but the only thickness I've seen mentioned is 3/8inch, don't know if that means there is a thinner bed (sounds unlikely) or a thicker 7/16 or 1/2 bed that was made (sound possible)

others state a different spacing for the ways, with the earlier lathes being closer again no real info as to the space measurement. Think that lathes.co mentions this, but don't remember any specifics.

Only actual differences I know for sure deals with the countershaft style, vertical, all-belt, or horizontal, along with the normal variation on lathes.

Would be nice if someone could put together a timeline for these old atlas/craftsman lathes, the best I've been able to do is plug them into a possible range of time.

I've got three lathes set up here, and the atlas 10 gets the most use.
(9x20 HF, logan model 200, and the atlas 10x30, that's the 48 inch bed)


Ken.

JCHannum
12-21-2006, 01:18 PM
There is a "second generation" Atlas, manufactured in the 60's that was different in many respects from the original one. That machine had a square headstock versus the art-deco looking one of the earlier machines. This is the best of the Atlas machines, and was available only as a 12" swing lathe.

That machine has a 1/2" thick bed. All of the earlier machines had the 3/8" thick bed.

Paul_NJ
12-21-2006, 02:59 PM
Paul
Files emailed direct, Manual and pictures, should help you.
My hobby is more restoring old lathes than using them. I've never had a metalcraft, but I have restored a number of Atlas and other Sears lathes.
Where you have rust, I recommend a product called Evapo-Rust. Just soak the rusted part in it for a few hours, or overnight, and the rust turns to black film that you can rinse off with water. Good product, may be hard to find, costs about $25/gallon.
Enjoy your new toy, and have a merry Christmas.

Rex Burkheimer

Rex

Thanks so much for the manual and pictures. Good news! I do have the tailpiece. Is the Evapo-Rust for heavy rust? The rust on the machine is surface rust on the non-painted surfaces, eg rails, chuck head, etc. I figure I can clean it off with a Scotchbrite pad, but what is the best way to prevent it from recurring? I use Butcher's wax on my woodworking saw tables, etc. Would you also use that on metal working machinery?

Also, what is the best lubricant to use on all of the adjustment screw threads? They could use some oil. Finally, the belts are really dried out and frayed. Can I simply have my NAPA dealer match them up? They look wider than automotive V belts. Oh, and the motor that was on it (don't know if it is original, but sure looks old enough to be) is 1/4 HP 1750 RPM. The wiring leaving it is fabric covered and frayed. Thought I should replace it. Are those specs good enough?

Thanks

Merry Christmas to you, and everyone else!

Paul

Tin Falcon
12-21-2006, 04:03 PM
Paul :
Use way oil on the ways I useMobil vactra #2. spindle oil Velocolite 10 on spindles . About $12 a gallon from MSC/Enco etc. way iol is also good on gears etc.
Napa should be able to match up the belts. The v-belt for my lathe came from the local auto parts store. They asked what the belt was for . I told them a 1937 South bend lathe. Of course I got a strange look. But they found a belt to match.

Blue Ridge machinery http://www.blueridgemachinery.com/Atlas_Accessory.htm carries parts for the 6" Atlas like steady rests, follow rests, change gears. and chucks. I would check the used market first for what you need. The motor size you mentioned shoud work IIRC my 9"SB has that size motor. A little more power would not be a bad thing. Whoops thought that was a 6" they have stuff for the 10" on the same page.
Regards
Tin Falcon

dan s
12-21-2006, 04:30 PM
Is the Evapo-Rust for heavy rust? The rust on the machine is surface rust on the non-painted surfaces, eg rails, chuck head, etc. I figure I can clean it off with a Scotchbrite pad, but what is the best way to prevent it from recurring?

Paul,

The rustier a part is the longer you let it soak in Evapo-Rust. For surface rust leave it soak for 30 minutes to an hour. It only attacks the rust, so unlike naval jelly etc. you donít have to worry about it eating the base metal. Itís also safe to use, just keep it out of your eyes (no need for a space suit).

You really only want to use abrasives as a last resort, or so I have been told.

Rex
12-22-2006, 09:41 AM
Rex

Thanks so much for the manual and pictures. Good news! I do have the tailpiece. Is the Evapo-Rust for heavy rust? The rust on the machine is surface rust on the non-painted surfaces, eg rails, chuck head, etc. I figure I can clean it off with a Scotchbrite pad, but what is the best way to prevent it from recurring? I use Butcher's wax on my woodworking saw tables, etc. Would you also use that on metal working machinery?

Also, what is the best lubricant to use on all of the adjustment screw threads? They could use some oil. Finally, the belts are really dried out and frayed. Can I simply have my NAPA dealer match them up? They look wider than automotive V belts. Oh, and the motor that was on it (don't know if it is original, but sure looks old enough to be) is 1/4 HP 1750 RPM. The wiring leaving it is fabric covered and frayed. Thought I should replace it. Are those specs good enough?

Thanks

Merry Christmas to you, and everyone else!

Paul

As someone else mentioned, Evaporust will work on any and all rust, heavy or surface. It leaves a dark coloring sort of like gun bluing on parts that are high carbon. Mostly it just leaves bare metal, with a thin film of rust-preventative to keep it from flash rusting.
But if you have only surface rust and are impatient to get going, you can do allright with some FINE Scotchbrite and thin oil. WD40 is good for cleaning but you need to follow it with an actual oil or it will rust.

Some people do use wax on metalworking machines. Most use oil. Way oil is the correct thing for the ways, but many of us just use liberal amounts of motor oil on everything that moves and/or is bare metal (except pulleys). If I were heavily loading the machines in a production setting I'd probably use real way oil. But I use synthetic oil and ATF, whatever I have on hand.

Belts can be sourced at any auto parts store. You will want fractional HP belts, or industrial A-series or B-series. Any parts store will have them. Can't recommend NAPA because that's my competition ;)

1/4 HP motor is fine for that thing. If you replace, I'd go a little bigger, to 1/3 HP. Horses back then were a little bigger than today. A washing machine motor works fine if it has a start capacitor.

You have some enjoyable hours ahead of you this season.
Merry Christmas to you, and enjoy your new toy.

Rex

DougR
12-24-2006, 10:21 PM
Hi,

I have an Atlas 9 inch bed and an Atlas 10 inch bed, both have the same width.

Regards,

Doug

moosebull
05-09-2011, 04:26 PM
My Brother in law passed away and left me a lathe identical to the one in the picture. Like you I didn't have a clue as to what I have. There is no name any where except on the switch. This is the first picture I have found that is exactly what I have. Thanks to everyone for identifing this lathe.

moosebull
06-16-2011, 11:26 AM
I have the same lathe that I inherited and know very little about. If I slide clutch shift collar to the right it frees up the 3-step pulley from the shaft and locks it to the large v-pulley. But the small v-pulley is not locket to the drive shaft, so I can't see how it supposed to work. I downloaded a copy of 1933 owners manual from the internet but it dosen't tell me much.