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hal9000
04-24-2012, 01:57 PM
Hi all, I'm sure that what I'm asking has been covered ad-infinitum, but I'm hoping nobody minds going over a few obvious tips one more time for a beginner....

I just did some horse trading for an old Craftsman Mk 1 12" lathe. The lathe is complete and comes with an extra motor, 6" 3 jaw chuck (I also have a 5" 3 jaw and 4" 4 jaw that I inherited) and a full set of change gears, but with minimal tooling and no manual. I'm going to have to do some shopping and tool fabrication before I do anything else I think. I'm hoping that I can use the lathe to make a few automotive and bicycle parts and do a little gunsmithing if everything works out.

Anyway, aside from the obvious tips like "read the manual", I was wondering if anybody had any advice to give. I'm thinking of maybe beginner mistakes that you might have made and can save me from. I've heard that the craftsman lathes aren't super rigid and you have to keep the tool relatively close in to the tool holder to prevent it from catching and breaking parts. My question is "what else do I need to know?" I'm very mechanically competent, but lathe work is new to me, so I could use all the friendly tips you guys can give.

Also, the lathe ID tag is missing. Is there any way to ID the exact lathe model without the ID tag or S/N?

Thanks all

MaxHeadRoom
04-24-2012, 02:32 PM
If new at running a lathe, pick up a copy of How to Run a Lathe by South Bend Lathe Works, should be lots on ebay. (170674668254).
First published in 1914 it is still relevant in running basic lathe operations etc.
Max.

legendboy
04-24-2012, 02:54 PM
Don't leave the key in the chuck......ever!! :D

hal9000
04-24-2012, 05:11 PM
Thanks Max. I found a pdf copy online for free (I like free!) I'll have to peruse it over a beer this evening.

Leaving the chuck key in is one of those dumb things I'd be likely to do... might even have done it once (or twice!) in my drill press to my everlasting shame.

customcutter
04-24-2012, 07:52 PM
I'm kinda new also. There are some excellent videos on you tube. I think he goes by MrPete88, has some good basic videos.

hope this helps,
Ken

rock_breaker
04-25-2012, 12:07 AM
I have a Clausing 100 MK3 that I think is closely related to your lathe. Mine has timken tapered bearings so I did not lube it as well as I should have-- it has not been damaged but I feel bad that I wasn't aware of the lubrication points on the headshaft. It has 4 points that get more lube than required but I feel better about it now, in fact most people would say the machine is swiming in oil but I like it that way.:D

Good luck

Ray

big job
04-25-2012, 05:39 AM
Maybe join the Atlas Crafsman Yahoo site they also have all this stuff in
file section, Also as said but Ill correct it >> get on Utube type in MrPete222
then join his channel its free. All you want to know is there.

gfphoto
04-25-2012, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure if I'm even up to the basics yet, and this might be very obvious, but grinding your tools anywhere near properly makes a huge difference.

Gary

hal9000
04-25-2012, 11:08 AM
Hey thanks guys! I'll have to check out the youtube videos.


Also while I'm thinking about it, I recall reading something about HSS being more "appropriate" than carbide tools on the old craftsman lathe's due to the speed they run and their less than completely rigid nature.... I don't know any more than that so if anybody could explain, that would be great.

Thanks again.

Don Young
04-25-2012, 09:35 PM
I would advise starting with HSS tools. Some of the inexpensive carbide tools tend to be easily chipped and not very sharp. Carbide is very hard and can stand high speed with the resulting heat. Since it may not be very sharp, it works better when run with high speed and heavy cutting. Since it is somewhat brittle it breaks or chips very easily if the cut is not smooth and continious. Small lightweight lathes tend to flex under load and that can cause 'chatter' where the tool cuts, digs in, breaks out, and cuts again. That will generally quickly ruin a carbide tool.

Light lathes work much better with very sharp tools. Just remember that the tool must touch the work only at the very top cutting edge, not below it or on either side of it. In other words, it must have 'clearance' in order to 'dig in' and do any cutting. The cutting edge generally needs to be very narrow, but a real sharp point tends to break. A blunt point with a sharp top edge is a decent basic starting point.

Get started, be careful, have fun, and learn what works and what doesn't. Always be guided by manuals and good advice but don't over-complicate things.

hal9000
04-25-2012, 11:46 PM
Thanks Don. I've started looking through those youtube videos and they're very helpful. The tool shaping videos in particular answered a lot of the basic questions I have. I'm going to put some hours in watching those for sure.

Thanks again for all the tips everybody.

hal9000
04-26-2012, 09:33 PM
I just got back from picking up the new (to me lathe). My donor buddy didn't realize the ID tag was on the back side of the lathe. It's a model 101.07383... Early Craftsman 12" with babbitt bearings if I'm not mistaken. I've got a few cheap cell phone pics I can post, but apparently I have to go open a photobucket account first....

Anything anybody can tell me that I sould look for in terms of problems, or do in terms of immediate or long term maintenance aside from oiling the bearings? Anyplace I should look for a PDF of the original manual? I don't remember if the lathes.co.uk site had manuals... Guess I'll head there in a few minutes to check.

EDIT: Here's the photos of the lathe. Sorry for the low quality shots. My real camera is dead. The motor in the corner of the first shot is a spare that came with the lathe. It also came with a full set (I think) of reversing gears for threading (err, is that what they're called?)...

http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y316/yaeffinhoo/Lathe/Lathe2.jpg

http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y316/yaeffinhoo/Lathe/Lathe1.jpg

Maybe not the best lathe ever, but not bad for a free lathe (I traded a jewelry/dental casting burnout kiln that was given to me. I've got another anyway).

gfphoto
04-27-2012, 10:29 AM
Maybe this was mentioned...I found a Quick Change Tool Post (QCTP) to be very helpful. Like the ones here (http://www.tools4cheap.net/proddetail.php?prod=wedge).
My tools are a hodge-podge of sizes and profiles and I had been shimming them and still not always getting the height just right and so often getting crappy results. I don't generally have all that much time so anything that wastes it is just frustrating. With a QCTP you put the tool in the holder and adjust a knurled wheel to get the height perfect and then lock it down with a lever or wrench. The angle is also easy to adjust. If you need to switch to say a parting tool and then back and have a couple of holders it's really simple and fast.
Gary

hal9000
04-27-2012, 11:04 AM
yeah, I'm watching fleabay and craigslist for tooling including QCTP's. Don't want to spend a bundle on anything right now. It's kind of turning into a game to do things on the cheap for the moment.

I've built a wooden workbench on casters that the lathe will be going on. Old 2 drawer hutch/cabinet and a solid core door to create a larger counter top. Between the cabinet/door (which I got at our prop. surplus dept), casters, and enamel paint, I'm about $20 deep on the whole project so far :)

BTW, I've found PDF copies of the OEM Parts list, "how to run a lathe" by South Bend and "Lathe operation and machinist tables" by Atlas for free online. If anybody happens to know where I can get a copy of the actual owners instruction manual that would be cool.

Chuck K
04-27-2012, 10:15 PM
Congrats on your new lathe. The best thing you can do, aside from getting a QC tool holder, is learn to grind hss bits. There's some satisfaction in watching c's and s's falling from your bit when you get it just right. You might want to check chaski....

http://www.chaski.org/homemachinist/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=75969

Lots of good info on grinding chip breakers and selecting the proper grinding wheel for the job. Good Luck

J. Randall
04-28-2012, 01:31 PM
I just got back from picking up the new (to me lathe). My donor buddy didn't realize the ID tag was on the back side of the lathe. It's a model 101.07383... Early Craftsman 12" with babbitt bearings if I'm not mistaken. I've got a few cheap cell phone pics I can post, but apparently I have to go open a photobucket account first....

Anything anybody can tell me that I sould look for in terms of problems, or do in terms of immediate or long term maintenance aside from oiling the bearings? Anyplace I should look for a PDF of the original manual? I don't remember if the lathes.co.uk site had manuals... Guess I'll head there in a few minutes to check.

EDIT: Here's the photos of the lathe. Sorry for the low quality shots. My real camera is dead. The motor in the corner of the first shot is a spare that came with the lathe. It also came with a full set (I think) of reversing gears for threading (err, is that what they're called?)...

http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y316/yaeffinhoo/Lathe/Lathe2.jpg

http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y316/yaeffinhoo/Lathe/Lathe1.jpg

Maybe not the best lathe ever, but not bad for a free lathe (I traded a jewelry/dental casting burnout kiln that was given to me. I've got another anyway).

Hal, not a bad lathe to get your feet wet on, I started out on an old 10" Atlas with babbit bearings, if you like it you will probably start wanting to upgrade in a yr. or two. Your lathe has a backgear built in, but no quick change gearbox, so the set of gears you are referring to are probably the change gears.
James

Don Young
04-28-2012, 07:58 PM
That Atlas manual you mentioned seems to be what came with all Atlas lathes for instruction. I think Sears made minor changes and included it with with their Atlas made lathes. So I don't think you will find anything that gives much more specific information on your lathe.

Congratulations, that lathe looks like it would give you long and faithful service! Just recognize that it is a workshop lathe, not intended for high volume heavy duty production work.

hal9000
04-28-2012, 09:05 PM
I'm not planning on doing more than make items to support my other hobbies so low volume is fine with me.

You're right that the spare gears are change gears. I couldn't remember while I was writing that last post what they were for...

So after checking the lathe over, I've noticed that two of the smaller gears in the gearbox are worn to points, but all of the larger gears are still nice and square. I'm assuming this is not unusual. Are replacement gears available anywhere? Also, there's some play (maybe 1/64" to 1/32" up and down play) in the axle that carries the large v-belt pulley (intermediate pulley? It's the one between the motor and the gearbox). There's no adjustment so I think the only fix would be to install a set of bushings or a larger axle. I just don't know if it's important enough to address at this time.

Other than that everything looks good. The babbitt bearings are nice and tight, The compound and tailstock seem to be in good shape, though are definitely in need of cleaning and adjustment, and the stays look pretty good.

Here's a photo of it mounted to the bench. I still need to wire a decent on/off switch, but it's basically done. Now I just need to hunt down some tooling. Probably most of it will be off ebay since I'm in a small town and the local pool of resources is very small.
http://i1025.photobucket.com/albums/y316/yaeffinhoo/Lathe/Lathe3.jpg

mickeyf
04-29-2012, 08:00 PM
I've heard that the craftsman lathes aren't super rigid and you have to keep the tool relatively close in to the tool holder

With the best lathe in the world it's still best practice to keep the tool stick-out as short as possible.

As mentioned, making sure the tool is exactly the correct height can make all the difference between frustration and satisfaction. One simple way to set the height is to lightly pinch a piece of shim stock or (carefully!) your 6" rule between the tool and the workpiece. If the shim is dead vertical you are on center, if the top is leaning towards you, the tool is too low; if away from you it's too high.

hal9000
04-30-2012, 02:51 PM
I wouldn't have thought of that trick! Thanks. I'm sure I'd have ended up measuring tool height from the stays for a long time.

J. Randall
04-30-2012, 11:31 PM
I wouldn't have thought of that trick! Thanks. I'm sure I'd have ended up measuring tool height from the stays for a long time.

Hal, not picking on you, but what you have been referring to as stays, are actually called ways. It takes a while to learn all the terms, just keep after it and you will get it all down.
James

hal9000
05-01-2012, 10:28 AM
No offense taken. I realized I was using the wrong term last night after I was finished posting. Correct terminology is always one of my trouble areas. I don't translate what I want to say into words very well a lot of the time even when I know the right terms. Thanks for the gentle correction.

schoolie
05-01-2012, 12:45 PM
I have the same lathe. I thought I got a good deal on mine at $50! Mine was missing the tailstock and most of the change gears, and needed to be stripped and cleaned to get all the dried up oil and gunk out of it. Good find :)

I found the parts list for this lathe here: http://home.insightbb.com/~antinice/101.07383.html
It's not the best quality scan, but it's better than nothing.

This is for a different model atlas lathe (Quick change gear box instead of Change gears, and Tapered roller bearings instead of Babbitt), but the diagrams of the carriage assembly and most of the headstock are the same as our lathe, so it's helpful as well.
http://www.machinistweb.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1014

I got a quick change tool post, and I love it. I bought mine here:
http://www.tools4cheap.net/proddetail.php?prod=piston

hal9000
05-01-2012, 05:36 PM
I think I read somewhere that the headstock was MT-3 and the tailstock was MT-2 but now am not sure where I got the info. Can anybody confirm this and save me the trouble of measuring? I have the tools and skill to measure, and the tables of taper dimensions that I downloaded the other day; but I'm busy (and lazy) so wouldn't be able to get to it till the small hours some evening when I should be getting my beauty rest....

Obviously I'll need this before I order some of the accessories I want.

Thanks all.

schoolie
05-01-2012, 10:15 PM
Everything I've read says the headstock is MT3 and the tailstock is MT2, but I've never measured to confirm. I've purchased some tailstock tooling, but since I made my own ram, that isn't much confirmation for you...

hal9000
05-03-2012, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the backup on that. I'll probably measure this weekend while I'm cleaning things up anyway.

riceone
05-07-2012, 06:35 PM
Wear no loose cloting. Keep sleeves buttoned or rolled up. Don't reach over chuck while it is turning. Never walk away from the lathe with it running. If you wear and apron make sure the neck and waist strings will break if caught in chuck. If they are strong they will pull you into it. Even a small lathe has lots of power if it catches your clothes. You learn by doing, you cannot cram for experience.