View Full Version : New to me

01-02-2010, 06:53 PM
I helped a friend erect a carport this afternoon and he asked me if I would like the millling machine someone gave him. I said "sure" since I do not have a dedicated milling machine, Just a mill, drill, lathe. What I brought home today is an Atlas MFB mill. He said it was working when he got it but it sure is stiff. Looks like a winter time project to get it cleaned up and lubed. Little thing was so cute, like to have broke my back picking it up. Haven't even finished putting all the covers back on the SouthBend Lathe after replacing all the wicks. Pictures to follow.


01-02-2010, 08:24 PM
Could that be a MFC mill, a bench top horizontal?

If it is that would make for a very nice little machine for you.

Found a picture of a MFC and no reference for a MFB, that's why I asked as I'm not familiar with either.


01-02-2010, 08:33 PM
Yes Ken, that could very well be MFC. Shop is about 100' from my recliner and my memory isn't what it used to be. Besides I set it on the floor and bending down to read the tag the air gets real thin that close to the floor and makes it hard to breathe. Just took a quick look before heading for the recliner.:D


01-02-2010, 08:41 PM
Ya know a guy is getting old when he locates items as a distance from his recliner, the last stage signs are if the first thing he looks for and reads in the newspaper is the obituary. :D

Since you're in your recliner I guess it'll be a while for the pictures.

Optics Curmudgeon
01-02-2010, 08:43 PM
The MFB has 12 spindle speeds, MFC has 8. Count the grooves in the spindle pulley and multiply by 4.


01-02-2010, 08:59 PM
Obituary watch is very high on my list of reading, but then so are the comics.:D :D


01-02-2010, 09:43 PM
Well Ken, you shamed me into getting out of my recliner and going back out to the shop for pictures.





Plugged it in while I was out there and it does run, I just don't know what all the screws and levers are for. As you can see, it needs a little cleaning and rust removal.


01-02-2010, 10:07 PM
Thats umm.. certianly the intresting knee feed setup!

How big is it? I can't quite make out the scale in that picture.. at first glance it looks like it might be 4'~6' tall! but then the other things in the picture and that its on a table make it look to be 2' tall?

You know your old when you check the obituary to make sure you are not listed.

01-02-2010, 10:08 PM
Looks like a good project, concrats.

J Tiers
01-02-2010, 10:35 PM
it's about 2 feet tall, with a table around 5 x 18"

01-02-2010, 10:41 PM
Black Moons I do believe you're right, it is about 2 feet tall. I think the specs say the table is 18" long so that looks like about 2'.
Hey Rod, yeah another project. Maybe I can get this little thing up to snuff faster than I did the SouthBend. :rolleyes:


Jerry, you typed in while I wasn't looking. Yes you are correct.

Tony Ennis
01-02-2010, 11:26 PM
Something that size would be awesome for my basement shop.

01-02-2010, 11:37 PM
I think the drive shaft is a power feed for the table X travel, not the knee.

Nice little mill and it could be very handy to have. I had the bench top Atlas shaper once but traded it to a friend.

J Tiers
01-03-2010, 12:42 AM
Small mills like that are nice.... I think so possibly because I have one similar. Not an Atlas, but a Lewis.

If you put an overarm support on it (to hold the outboard end of the overarm) you can run some heavy cuts. Maybe not quite as heavy as the Lewis, since you will have a 2MT socket, while the Lewis has a 3, but still much heavier than might be guessed.

Those mills have a useful slow speed, somewhere around 50 rpm or so IIRC, if in back gear. MUCH nicer than the little 'speed mills" that don't get below 150 or 200 rpm. Lets you swing a 4" cutter and still get a decent SFM at the cutter edge.

Yes the u-jointed drive shaft is for the table feed. I don't have power feed (yet) on the Lewis, could be a good feature if it has sufficient range.

Doc Nickel
01-03-2010, 01:32 AM
I had one for awhile, (obligatory link (http://www.docsmachine.com/img/atlas01.jpg)) and they are, actually, pretty nice little machines. Far and away better built than any Taig or Sherline mini-mill.

Unfortunately it was just a little too small for my needs- it didn't take long to eat up that table travel. But other than that, it was a fine and surprisingly powerful little machine.

I 'traded up' to a Nichols, which has proven itself to be very, very handy indeed.

Give that poor thing a good cleaning and you'll have yourself a nice machine.


01-03-2010, 02:59 AM
Power table feed? even cooler. that really is a cute little setup.

01-03-2010, 07:51 AM
The overarm is on there, that is what I picked it up by to get it onto the table. All of the axes are stiff like the gibs are tightened so it hasn't been oiled in a while. At least it hasn't been out in the weather. It is missing the cutter spacers and the shaft that the cutter goes on. Are those hard to find or can I make them?
Doc, since you owned one just like it, I will probably be asking a lot of questions. The first one being, where can I get an operator manual for it. I ordered a parts manual and breakdown from Ozark-something or other, last night. I ran it last night and engaged the 3 position lever on the upper left side and the drive shaft started turning but I didn't see the table move. I shut it off after a couple of seconds cause I didn't know what was happening with the table. I will investigate it more this afternoon after my nap.:D :D


01-03-2010, 09:17 AM
Spacers and cutters are available on ebay or on line. Over head arm can be two different diameters.

01-03-2010, 09:55 AM
I am not sure if it was the same model but one went for $1000 on Ebay about a week ago. I remember the table power feed drive.


01-03-2010, 11:04 AM

J Tiers
01-03-2010, 11:14 AM
BTW, the "overarm support" I mentioned is not the overarm itself, but an added part to actually support the overarm vs the knee.

By restraining the overarm vs the knee, it prevents the "nodding" of overarm and knee that otherwise will occur when taking a heavy cut. All the forces are 'contained", with the column and support in tension.

Without the support, the outboard end of the overarm will bend up, so that there is a bending moment on the overarm, the column, and the knee, trying to pop the knee loose from the column.

Using the support, that bending is reduced and nothing is trying to pop the knee off the column. The bending is limited to arbor/overarm, and across the knee itself, which is quite stiff. Both are supported against the bending at both ends.

01-03-2010, 03:50 PM
I understand now what you were trying to tell me about the overarm support. I looked at a parts breakdown on the Sears website and it illustrated the overarm support. Mine is missing and is NLA. I guess making one is now a project of the future. I appreciate the input J Tiers and all the others. Keep 'em coming cause I can sure use the help.:D


01-04-2010, 04:53 PM
BTW, what would that overarm support fasten to at the bottom. There isn't anything down there to fasten to. It is cleaning up pretty good and the travels are lubed up and getting smoother.


Russ H
01-04-2010, 06:12 PM
The support clamps around the cross (y axis) feed, behind the dial. There was an article in HSM by Rudy Kouhoupt on making one, along with larger diameter dials for vision challanged people like me. I have that machine, great little mill.
Russ H

01-04-2010, 09:18 PM
Thanks for the reply Russ. Mine is missing the arbor and whatever screws on the threaded part of the spindle. It seems the spindle is MT2 but that is all I know about it so far. I have ordered a manual for it and am cleaning it up while waiting on the manual. It runs good but I noticed this afternoon the pulley shaft bearings were getting kind of warm so I shut it down.


01-04-2010, 09:47 PM
The spindle is MT#2 and collets are available as well to facilitate using end mills as well as plain milling cutters.

The overarm support was not furnished with all machines. I believe it was added later in the production of the machine. It does help in preventing the overarm from flexing under heavy cuts.

The Atlas mill is a very good little machine and a nice addition to the small shop. It is capable of real work. Nice score.

Al Messer
01-04-2010, 09:54 PM
Congratulations on your find! Give it lots of TLC cause a piece of old American iron deserves it! You lucky bloke!!!

Tony Ennis
01-04-2010, 10:06 PM
Yep, I just checked, I'm still envious.

Carry on.

01-04-2010, 10:31 PM
There's a discussion group for this mill on Yahoo Groups: Check under Atlasshaperandmillingmachineusersgroup

01-04-2010, 11:30 PM
Thanks HarryG I'll do that.

Doc Nickel
01-04-2010, 11:43 PM
Yep, I just checked, I'm still envious.

-If envy lasts more than four hours, consult your doctor.