View Full Version : 6"Craftsman lathe ???

09-16-2003, 06:13 PM
I am completely new at this and feeling my way along using books. I flipped a small arm behind the inner part of the head stock thinking that this is how to get into back gear but it just binds the gears up tight and the belt just spins around the frozen pulleys. How do you get into back gear? Thanks fo the help, I'll learn this stuff somehow (?).

G.A. Ewen
09-16-2003, 06:24 PM
You have to disengage the spindle pully when using the back gears. I am not familiar with your lathe but there should be a pin or a bolt with a knurled head the turns with the spindle pully. Hope this helps.

09-16-2003, 07:05 PM
Go to this page for a detailed description of how to engage backgear on your lathe. It is not obvious.


09-16-2003, 07:12 PM
what kind of 6" craftsman do you have .. ie serieal #, i have a 39' 6" craftsman atlas , I might be amble to help... on my lathe you must open the headstock "lid" and look for a pin on the face of the large drive gear, there will be indexing hole on the outer rim and if you slowly hand turn your headstock there should be a "pin" just in away from the indexing holes that can be pulled in the direction of the head stock,releasing the meachanism that is required for the back gears to run. someitmes they are sticky, my machine required a teardown because the oil that had been used on it the last time (30) years ago had turned into something similar to cosmoline ie sticky on all the wrong places. let me know if there is anything else that you need help with... i would also like to mention that there is a yahoo groud dedicated to atlas/craftsman lathes and machines.. they really helped me get to know my machine..



[This message has been edited by Samuel (edited 09-16-2003).]

09-16-2003, 07:30 PM
Hey, Thanks Guys, I was feeling a bit retared that I couldn't figure this out

09-16-2003, 08:06 PM
One thing I don't think anyone mentioned is, there is a plug screw you need to remove and oil a bearing that is spun only when in back gear. It looks like a set screw that a flat blade screwdriver fits. It is usually between the drive belt pully and the bull gear housing. It doesn't hold anything and is just a plug to keep crud out. Good luck,play safe and have some fun.

09-16-2003, 09:15 PM
you have it figured out now laddy?
I have seen 6" craftsman by atlas. They did not look like the link showed. Samuels description is like the ones i have played with. And finding that pin's home when you wish to go back to normal is rough. So when you find the pin (if yours is as sam describes) make the teeth on both sets of gears then when putting the lock pin back in you find the pin, turn the left hand gear until the teeth mate and push it in hard.

Derned if that don't sound sexy! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
edit comment: MARK (not make) the teeth. and if you didn't do it this time you will probably do it sooner or later.

[This message has been edited by docsteve66 (edited 09-16-2003).]

09-16-2003, 10:26 PM
On my craftsman 6", you have to loosen a set screw before you can pull the pin as mentioned earlier. The set screw is at the bottom of a hole drill through the teeth of the gear. Also, the previous owner put a mark on the pully where it aligns with the pin on the gear -- good idea.


[This message has been edited by tenfingers (edited 09-17-2003).]

09-17-2003, 08:57 PM

If you have an Atlas Mk2 like the one shown in Evan's reply (with the rectangular cover over the gears), and are still having problems disengaging the backgear, let me know and e-mail me offline and I will walk you through it.

There are various versions of Atlas lathes. Apparently, some have some sort of "pin" that has to be "screwed, unglued or tatooed" (I don't know which), but the MK2 has an "unusual" release mechanism at the end of the spindle shaft. It requires "pulling" this "locking collar" out (horizonally) until it disengages from the step pulley that is driven by the motor belt.

It sounds a little complicated, and is somewhat difficult to explain in an email, but it isn't as tough as it may seem.

If the above sounds familiar, let me know and I'll be happy to go over it in detail. If it doesn't make sense or doesn't seem to apply, well....... sorry for the interuption.



09-17-2003, 09:37 PM
I was hoping some one would explain this to you easily -

look at the big gear closest to the chuck - this is the bull gear. If you examine it you will see that it is not part of the step pully. Look on the inside face (the face closest to the chuck. Not the gear teeth - the side face of the gear. Rotate the gear by whatever means necessary. You will see a pin sticking out of it. You will need a small screwdriver as a lever (or have small fingers) in order to pull this pin out. Once it is out you can spin the pully and see it drive the left side gears across the back shaft to the bull gear and chuck. The pin (out) disengages the bull gear from the drive pully. If you have back gears engaged and the pin in (pully and gear engaged) you can't turn anyting - it is all locked up.

09-18-2003, 02:01 PM

That's all well and good, "IF" the guy has the type of lathe that those instructions apply to. However, if he has the lathe that is shown in the link that Evan gave, I suggest that it is of no use.

That lathe uses a "different" method for releasing the pulley from the spindle.

While all information has some merit, some information is only good if it applys to the problem at hand.........



Al Messer
09-18-2003, 04:20 PM
The 6" Atlas I bought in 1973 worked just like Davestea described: needed a small screwdriver to pull the pin. One last thought: those 60 holes in the bull gear sure were more accurate when indexing than using the teeth of the Bullgear and a scrap of wooden dowel pin.

09-18-2003, 09:37 PM
the 6" atlas i have seen are exactly as you describe, including the tiny holes and pin for indexing. I think the question was about a lathe of unknown parentage sold by sears roebuck (when did roebuck get dropped?). But it is good to know this, after all, ALL information has merit, some does not? am i confused again?

09-18-2003, 10:33 PM

I didn't mean to offend anyone, just trying to answer the original question. Giving info to someone about at machine (like how to release the backgear) for the wrong model doesn't seem to benefit the person asking the question. I realize that there are other Craftsman lathes (like the 101.XXX & 109.XXX versions that were made by AA or Dunlap or whoever) that utilize different methods for engaging/disengaging the backgear. So the info about those methods isn't necessarily wasted. Someone will benefit from it.

I also suspect that Atlas (or Atlas/Clausing) made various models that use various designs for the same purpose, but that doesn't matter. I was only speaking of a specific model and the method required for that model.

As far as the lathes that show up on the site that Evan posted. The 1st picture shows an Atlas/Clausing 6" Mk2 (the type that I have). Unless there were other models, it should be a Model 10100 (the series may vary, mine is Series 001689).

The 2nd picture shows a lathe made by Atlas/Clausing for Sears. It is my understanding that they have similar, although not necessarily identical, methods for releasing the backgear.

Steve.....As far as Sear, Roebuck & Co. is concerned, they never did drop the "Roebuck". They still use it. Just most people tend not to use the complete name. They started in 1886 as the "R.W. Sears Watch Co. Later the owner (Richard Sears) moved to Chicago and hired an Indian watchmaker named Alvah C. Roebuck (Sears wasn't a watchmaker, just a salesman). In 1893, they joined forces and created the Sears, Roebuck and Co. The rest is history.......



09-18-2003, 10:53 PM
Thanks Al and Ten -

Not sure what got Rodg's nose out of joint -

Evan had a great link but I don't see where laddy specified which model he had -

that's why I put in my 2 cents -

What says Evan's link was the correct model -

Laddy said thanks - and I hope he got it into/out of back gear - would be nice if would drop a note and let us know just what model he does have ..

Ya think?

09-18-2003, 11:10 PM

I wasn't angry....or even upset, just trying to explain....Sometimes the written word just doesn't convey the correct tone.

I agree, there wasn't much to confirm that Evan's link had the correct info. Just the impression I got, I guess.

As I said....didn't mean to offend.


09-19-2003, 07:18 AM

In fact the link has directions for both the early and the Mark 2 versions contained within it's attachments. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

09-20-2003, 10:37 AM
Sorry for the slow response the hurricane took me off line. My Craftsman 6" was bought at a car show. It has the craftsman badge on the gear housing. The machine is of the 1939 style and has the decal Tapered Roller Timken Bearing equipped. I was told by the man I bought it from it was made by Atlas. I think it is model 101.21400
Thanks to all those who have helped me. I did get it into back gear, but haven't tried yet to get it out. Thanks again Laddy