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toyjeep73
04-01-2009, 07:27 PM
I have read a lot on here and get the impression that Atlas lathes are pretty low end. One has come up for sale at a pretty low end price near me that I can readily afford. This would be my first lathe to learn on ...

Is this price about right?
Should I wait for something better?
What should I look for to make sure it is not ruined?

Thanks,

http://jacksonville.craigslist.org/tls/1102154642.html

MickeyD
04-01-2009, 07:38 PM
That does not look like a bad deal. If everything works and it is not too worn, you could do a whole lot worse.

ClintonH
04-01-2009, 07:38 PM
Speaking as new to this hobby/addiction I would. I paid twice that for a new 10x18 and now I wouldn't mine if it were bigger. That looks like a nice size and price to me but lathes are way too expensive up here.:)

camdigger
04-01-2009, 07:42 PM
A 10" lathe less than $500?!? That'd be a bargain in my neck of the woods!

With 3 and 4 jaw chucks, all the change gears, and a milling attachment to boot, if it turns, buy it. Be prepared for some wear issues though (backlash in the apron feedscrew, and possibly near the chuck end of the bed).

JBL37
04-01-2009, 07:45 PM
At that price bye it. You can part it out on Ebay and double your money. My lathe is the same and I am very happy with it. I paid more than that price for my lathe and had to scrounge for the four jaw chuck, the milling attachment, and other accessories. Yes, Buy it! Jim

J Tiers
04-01-2009, 08:35 PM
The lathe is easily worth $500 or more.

The milling attachment adds $150.

Collet adaptor , depending on what really is there, could add $100. The variable speed may be DC, in which case it is hard to estimate an adder. At least $120 if were VFD

So for $425 (assuming it is still available, which is doubtful) you get what should sell for $750.

So why have you not gone off to do the deal? Someone else probably did while you were typing.

Tim Clarke
04-01-2009, 08:36 PM
Hopefully, you've already bought this. As previously mentioned, even if you trash it, the scrap value is more than the price. Get it, learn on it, maybe it'll be what you need. If not you will not loose any money.

TC

Mark Hockett
04-01-2009, 08:53 PM
I too would jump on that deal. Assuming it is usable it would be a great lathe to learn on. I doubt you will be trying to hit tenths while you are learning so if it is worn thats not a big deal. If you get it you might find that it's all the lathe you will ever need. But if you do out grow it or decide you want something different you would not loose money on that one. It is also nice that it has legs so you won't have to worry about a bench to put it on.

toyjeep73
04-01-2009, 08:53 PM
Well, I sent the guy an email since he did not post a phone number. Hopefully I hear back.

CLARKMAG
04-01-2009, 09:33 PM
I paid $500 to the widow of a friend for a 12x36 with the same tooling.

If that lathe has the Timken tapered roller bearings and not the babbit bearings, it is a very good deal.

With the good bearings, that 350 pound 12x36 will do what the 1200 pound 12x36 lathes do, just much slower.

greentowtruck
04-01-2009, 09:41 PM
I just paid 500 for a craftsman (atlas) with similar tooling it is a 12x36 with what looks to be a old washing machine motor on it so no variable speed except the pullys

tony ennis
04-01-2009, 10:16 PM
That's a good price. The milling attachment looks like it came off a lathe that's much larger.

You'll be able to sell it for what you have in it when you're ready to move up.

Parts are freely available on ebay too.

Peter.
04-02-2009, 03:02 AM
I had one of them for 3 years as my only lathe. Goodas a starter-lathe (especially at that price) but quite frustrating and slow. Be careful of the carriage-feed workings as they tend to come loose and break - the parts are lightweight and fragile. I made loads of small stuff on mine but ultmately got frustrated with it and bought a bigger newer machine. The motor is over-sized as is the milling attachment but you can still use them. Can't go wrong for the money.

I have the gear settings scanned if you need them.

barts
04-02-2009, 03:25 AM
I used a 1940's era 10" Atlas for 24 years; I built a steam engine for my 19' boat, and lots of other interesting things on it. Good machine, but don't get in a hurry; they're just not built to take rough use.

Bigger machines may be available, but a machine you can move w/ two strong people in a station wagon or mini-van has a certain charm; the 15" YMZ that replaced the Atlas took a dual axle drop bed trailer to move.

- Bart

toyjeep73
04-02-2009, 04:21 PM
Ok. I am going to look at it tomorrow. Supposedly he has about 7 people interested.

He said the ways are in 'pretty good' condition. What should I look for to decide if 'pretty good' is 'good enough?'

Peter.
04-02-2009, 04:28 PM
Adjust the gibs near the headstock for no clearance and then wind the carriage along and see how far towards the tailstock end it will get. If it goes all the way without sticking - you're on a winner!

camdigger
04-02-2009, 04:37 PM
x2 for what Peter said. That's the easiest way to make sure the ways are the same size all the way along. Just make sure the ways are clean of any surface rust before doing this.

toyjeep73
04-02-2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the replies. That should be pretty easy to accomplish.

I forgot to mention that it has been sitting for 3 years since he got a couple bigger lathes.

camdigger
04-02-2009, 05:49 PM
I forgot to mention that it has been sitting for 3 years since he got a couple bigger lathes.

All the more reason to make sure all the surfaces are clean before doing any testing. If the seller outgrew the Atlas, chances are fair to good it is still in good shape. OTOH, the Atlas might be thrashed and he elected to move up a size if he had to buy another lathe anyway...

CLARKMAG
04-02-2009, 06:01 PM
You guys got me to go out a adjust my Atlas gibs:)

RobbieKnobbie
04-02-2009, 09:37 PM
If I remember right, doesn't that machine have square section, or BOX, ways? you could check the wear by putting a mic on the way about 6" from the head, and again all the way out at the outboard end.

It's quicker than adjusting the gibs - especially if the seller doesn't want you mucking about with any adjustments before you plunk down your money. Of course, it won't work with most machines, just ones with square ways.

If the wear is bad, you should be able to feel a ridge as you run your finger across the way, perpendicular to the bed. The saddle only contacts the bedways along a 10mm wide contact patch that, as it wears, leaves a 10mm wide rut.

CLARKMAG
04-02-2009, 09:57 PM
Yes,
The calipers measure 5.755" down at the tail stock, and 5.753" down in heavy wear territory.

toyjeep73
04-03-2009, 09:44 PM
Well, I went and looked at the lathe today. The ways are a little more worn than perfect, but I am picking it up on Sunday.

Hopefully this turns out to be a good experience because I am very interested in the HSM hobby. There is light surface rust on most of it since it is in NE Florida and it has sat idle for 3 years. So, I guess a good cleaning is in order before I get to make chips. The owner is hooking me up with lots of tooling and stuff to try and make this good for me I think. He has 20+ yrs of stuff laying around and is making sure I have what I need to get started. Hell, he is probably reading this post ....

I think I am getting a good buy.

doctor demo
04-04-2009, 05:58 PM
Well, I went and looked at the lathe today. The ways are a little more worn than perfect, but I am picking it up on Sunday.


I think I am getting a good buy.


the most important part of the deal is that You are happy with it.
Good luck with Your new toy, enjoy!

Steve

Peter.
04-04-2009, 06:23 PM
Well, I went and looked at the lathe today. The ways are a little more worn than perfect, but I am picking it up on Sunday.

Hopefully this turns out to be a good experience because I am very interested in the HSM hobby. There is light surface rust on most of it since it is in NE Florida and it has sat idle for 3 years. So, I guess a good cleaning is in order before I get to make chips. The owner is hooking me up with lots of tooling and stuff to try and make this good for me I think. He has 20+ yrs of stuff laying around and is making sure I have what I need to get started. Hell, he is probably reading this post ....

I think I am getting a good buy.

WD40 and a green scotchbrite can work wonders with that surface rust :)

CLARKMAG
04-04-2009, 11:38 PM
Scotch BRite color code:



Dark grey Blending/finishing of stainless steel, weld blending
Brown Blending, deburring, weld cleaning, oxide removal, rust removal
Dark green Heavy duty cleaning, oxide removal
Light green Cleaning, equipment maintenance, blending, intermediate finishing
Maroon Fine finishing, cleaning, paint keying, light deburring, blending
Light grey Very fine finishing, light cleaning, die polishing, denibbing
White Light cleaning, will carry compounds very effectively

biometrics
04-06-2009, 12:18 PM
I would use the GREY scotchbrite pads with oil to remove the surface rust. It is a much finer grit than the green ones. You can get them in home depot or lowes or the equivilent type store.

mototed
04-06-2009, 02:32 PM
That's great that you got there in time. My first lathe was a 12x36, built in 1946. I built a lot of stuff on that machine, and learned even more. Like others have said, take it easy on the old gal. I mostly used HSS tool bits. but did have some luck with a small set of carbide bits. What I loved about mine was it was a relaxing pace, being new, to learn with.(BUT IT CAN STILL HURT YOU :( )
I sold mine for $500.00 in about 10 minuites. I could have got a lot more for her. Now I wish I had her back for odd and end jobs. If you do move up in a couple of years you might want to hang on to her ;)
Enjoy
Ted

toyjeep73
04-06-2009, 07:05 PM
Thanks for all the advise. As soon as I completly reorganize my garage and dispose of about half of it, I will be getting to cleaning and using it. Here are a few pics:

http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll21/toyjeep1/Atlas1.jpg
http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll21/toyjeep1/Atlas2.jpg
http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll21/toyjeep1/Atlas3.jpg
http://i284.photobucket.com/albums/ll21/toyjeep1/AtlasTooling.jpg

He threw in a 4 drawer tool cabinet as well. Hopefully I have most everythign I need to get started. I also have the original parts list and a reprint (1981) of the original manual that came with it.

tony ennis
04-06-2009, 08:05 PM
If that's he lathe you got for $425 then you are The Man. /golfclap

That's $1000 worth of lathe.

CLARKMAG
04-06-2009, 08:45 PM
If I were there I would have a tooth brush, a can of oil, and some paper towels.

I would be cleaning that lathe and inspecting it.

Giving your baby an oil bath is the first stage of bonding.