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View Full Version : mulling a lathe repair



tony ennis
01-11-2009, 11:28 PM
I bought a wreck of an Atlas 12" about a year ago. Work got busy and I kinda forgot about it. Now I am back to getting a shop put together.

My gut tells me that the Babbitt bearings are shot. This leaves 3 options:
1. ignore it and do the best I can,
2. replace them with babbitt metal, or
3. mod that section of the lathe to use a sleeve or roller bearing.

Being a total beginner, I think a sleeve bearing would be easiest - especially if such a bearing can be split. It rings a bell.

If this thing had .001 runout I'd be pretty delighted, lol.

What's a newb to do?

bhjones
01-11-2009, 11:51 PM
source a timken bearing headstock and replace the babbitt unit.

Bguns
01-12-2009, 12:07 AM
It is Probably the Cheapest Simplest Bearing out there...

There are many Websites Explaning how its done.... Before Tearing Lathe down, use it to machine an undersize (in bearing areas) alignment mandrel to pour around, and you will be halfway there...

If you mess up, Fire up the Torch, Melt it out, and redo it...

At worst you end up with a Headstock with the Paint burnt off, ready to try again...

If you are the type that spills boiling Water on Yourself :) You should have someone else do it...

Check around locally for a Antique Engine, Tractor Club, or Model T Ford Mechanic... Babbit will be Known and respected ....

tattoomike68
01-12-2009, 12:16 AM
It is Probably the Cheapest Simplest Bearing out there...

There are many Websites Explaning how its done....

If you mess up, Fire up the Torch, Melt it out, and redo it...

At worst you end up with a Headstock with the Paint burnt off, ready to try again...

If you are the type that spills boiling Water on Yourself :) You should have someone else do it...

Check around locally for a Antique Engine, Tractor Club, or Model T Ford Mechanic... Babbit will be Known and respected ....

many factories and saw mills have made thier own babbit bearing for a long time.

I think it is a skill worth learning. soot the spindle , dam the casting area with clay and pour.

The cool part is if you screw up you can do it again for the price of the fire and the time.

JCHannum
01-12-2009, 12:38 AM
What makes you think the bearings are bad? For the most part, babbit bearings will stand a lot of abuse before crapping out totally.

In the case of the Atlas lathe, they can be inspected in five minutes, adjusted in ten. The bearings are in a split housing, remove the two cap screws and take off the top half. The bearing and shaft are right there for inspection. Unless trashed, adjustment is a simple matter. Here is the pertinent section of the Atlas manual for bearing adjustment:

http://i320.photobucket.com/albums/nn351/jchannum/P1060372.jpg

If the bearing is totalled, the spindle is probably destroyed also. At that point, it would probably be simpler to replace the headstock with a Timken bearing one. They appear on eBay regularly at reasonable prices.