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View Full Version : Anyone familiar with both a 10" and 12" Atlas?



jep24601
06-07-2012, 10:21 AM
I recently bought a 10" Atlas and a 12" Atlas/Craftsman from a guy who needed space in his garage and these came from his father-in-law so they had sat in his garage for two years in his way. Needless to say the price was a bargain.

One of these will replace my 6" Atlas in my small basement workshop (with limited power so nothing over 1/2 HP). I have a larger workshop in my yard with it's own 200 amp supply and I have a 13x48 LeBlond there for my bigger lathe but it is nice to be able to stay in the house for simple turning jobs especially in winter when I would have to warm up the workshop.

The 12" is in better looking condition (neither has much wear) and has a longer bed and larger chucks but it doesn't look as rigid as the 10" Atlas - perhaps because of the way the compound sticks up with the extra inch added to it (the 12" is a glorified 10"). Also the steady rest for the 12" looks puny compared to the one for the 10".

Neither has the gearbox - both are change gear so I would go out and use my LeBlond for SAE threading. (The 10" and 12" Atlases can do metric though with the 44/52 change gear combinations). The 12" has the horizontal drive (fully covered)while the 10" has the vertical drive (some exposed belts). Both are Timken rollers.

Any opinions as to whether one machine is in any way preferable to the other?

sasquatch
06-07-2012, 10:26 AM
Any pics, that would be interesting, a good deal you got by the sounds of it?

jep24601
06-07-2012, 11:37 AM
Pics as requested. The 10" is up and running (It needed repair). The 12" isn't running (short on space) but has no apparent issues other than needing the proper two step motor pulley.

The 12":
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/12R.jpg
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/12steady.jpg

The 10":
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/10.jpg
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/10steady.jpg

jep24601
06-07-2012, 11:39 AM
Another pic of the 12" - nice belt and gear covers.
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/12L.jpg

JCHannum
06-07-2012, 11:51 AM
Atlas never made a 12" lathe in that series. The 12" Craftsman was a Sears only deal. I suspect Atlas had some reservations about rigidity with the jacked up castings. That said, I know of more than few folks who are happy with their 12" Craftsman machines.

The better condition and added bed length of the 12" machine are definite plusses, and, considering the availability of a larger machine for heavy work, would consider that to be the better choice for your purposes.

Another approach, since parts interchange, would be the possibility of switching beds if the 10" is more to your liking.

sasquatch
06-07-2012, 02:02 PM
Thanks for the nice pics. Those lathes appear to be in decent shape.

Yup, the 12" would be the best choice in my opinion.

You have some interesting old tools in the background there behind the 12".

Great find.

Gary Paine
06-07-2012, 06:03 PM
I would differ and vote for the 10 inch. I have both and my 10 inch is quite a bit more rigid than the 12. I keep both because the 12 has the quick change gear box and I put a large DC motor and controller on it, but I do find the 12 inch Craftsman lathe requires a lighter touch.

I think the major difference in my case is that the 10 inch is on it's own cast iron legs to which the countershaft and motor mount to directly. On the 12 inch, the countershaft and motor are mounted to the lathe bed and the headstock and the whole is bolted to a bench. With heavy loading in that configuration, I have actually observed the headstock nodding a bit rearward (toward the motor) which requires the bed to twist. I've never had the trouble with the 10 inch. Of course, everything is relative when you are talking rigidity, and one just has to work within the limitations of the equipment.

With a comparatively light lathe for it's stated capacity, the rigidity of either very definitely is affected by it's bench.

jep24601
06-09-2012, 11:17 AM
Your comments Gary do not surprise me and relate to the reason I raise the query in the first place and you are the very type of person I was hoping to get information from - someone who has used both machines.

You see, the 12" compound sits 2.8" above the cross-slide but the 10" compound sits only 1.6" above the compound and this has to have an influence on rigidity of the tool mount at with the compound 75% taller.

Although the 12" has the longer bed this in itself will not help rigidity and one issue that you always hear about where these Atlas made lathes are concerned is the issue of flexibily of a lightly constructed lathe.

I am beginning to suspect that what you found may not be related to the motor mount or the stand. I will have to get the 12" fired up and try it for myself.

J Tiers
06-09-2012, 11:40 AM
Never OWNED both, but from dealing with the machines of others, I agree about the 10"....

I think the 10" is a more "honest" machine in that it is right-sized and proportioned, made to be a 10" decent machine.

The 12" have always appeared to be, and acted like, a "stretched' machine, a bit too big for its britches.... not as rigid. Just compare the headstock and the steadies.....

Someone apparently suggested the availability of a larger machine as a reason to have the 12".... Not sure how that works...

I would suggest the opposite.... thinking the availability of the LeBlond is a great reason to have a smaller machine inside.... why have only big machines? Especially when one will be almost the size of the other, but built 6x less sturdy?

Or figure to move both of them onwards, and get a 10" Logan or a Sheldon. Both have been on CL here recently.

I know a guy who bought a Rivett 608 (not me) in great shape across the river..... he does not look like a "stayer" to me, and may be selling it..... That would be a really nice basement machine... smaller, but the carriage alone probably weighs more than the headstock plus carriage of either Atlas.

JCHannum
06-09-2012, 01:39 PM
Someone apparently suggested the availability of a larger machine as a reason to have the 12".... Not sure how that works...

That somebody would be me. Here's how that works;

Since both machines are basically the same, most parameters in choosing a lathe are equal. The choice between the two comes down to three points, rigidity, capacity (swing and bed length) and condition. The 10" wins on rigidity, the 12" on capacity and condition. Since a truly rigid machine is available when serious machining is needed, rigidity becomes less of a requirement and two out of three wins.

The 12" machine is marginally less rigid than the 10", which would be displayed mostly in operations such as parting and knurling, not in the light machining operations apparently being considered, particularly with the 1/2 HP limitation.

mf205i
06-09-2012, 03:17 PM
I have a 10 inch Atlas, a couple of 12 inch Craftsman’s and an old Monarch for the normal jobs. The 10 inch genuine Atlas is a much better lathe than the 12 inch Craftsman’s. The fit and finish is better and the power cross feed drive is steel, not the zinc part found on the sears product. The 12 inch version was a marketing gimmick for Sears and Atlas never put their name on the 12 inch version. Although both are lightweights, I believe that the impression that these lathes were made of rubber came from the folks that have the 12s.
Have fun with it, Mike

flylo
06-09-2012, 10:10 PM
I'd go with the better condition because you have the LeBlong for the HD work. I found a great motor for My 618. It's a Con-sew 3/4HP variable speed with a dial, reversible 0-3450 RPM/ I get them shipped for $97. They come with a 3" pulley, long cord switch ready to go. These are made for commercial HD sewing machine & weigh 30#s ea. Just thought I'd throw that out because I love that sariable speed dial!

sasquatch
06-09-2012, 10:32 PM
Flylo, how much are those motors??

flylo
06-10-2012, 12:37 AM
PM sent but re-read my post it's in there $97/Delivered.

old_dave
06-10-2012, 01:20 AM
Atlas never made a 12" lathe in that series. The 12" Craftsman was a Sears only deal. I suspect Atlas had some reservations about rigidity with the jacked up castings. That said, I know of more than few folks who are happy with their 12" Craftsman machines.

The better condition and added bed length of the 12" machine are definite plusses, and, considering the availability of a larger machine for heavy work, would consider that to be the better choice for your purposes.

Another approach, since parts interchange, would be the possibility of switching beds if the 10" is more to your liking.

I have an Atlas Press Company, 2019 N.Pitcher, Kalamazoo MI brochure picked up in the late 1970's describing their 12 inch (300 mm) lathe. So it looks like they did sell the 12 inch lathe bearing their own brand.
David

J Tiers
06-10-2012, 02:16 AM
That somebody would be me. Here's how that works;

Since both machines are basically the same, most parameters in choosing a lathe are equal. The choice between the two comes down to three points, rigidity, capacity (swing and bed length) and condition. The 10" wins on rigidity, the 12" on capacity and condition. Since a truly rigid machine is available when serious machining is needed, rigidity becomes less of a requirement and two out of three wins.

The 12" machine is marginally less rigid than the 10", which would be displayed mostly in operations such as parting and knurling, not in the light machining operations apparently being considered, particularly with the 1/2 HP limitation.

I consider it from a totally different perspective...... for some things a smaller machine is just handier.....

So if you HAVE a large machine available, even with some hassle, my choice would be to go with a smaller machine to "extend the capabilities".

You may or may not consider that a valid point, but it depends on the machine. Two machines which are close in nominal size, but differing in solidity seems like the worst of both worlds to me..... They are not sufficiently different to really have different capabilities, but yet the one is a cheap copy of the other in performance.

JEP has an industrial large machine, and a choice of 3 home hobby lathes as a second one.

Perhaps it hardly matters which..... none will be "like" teh industrial machine..... but to me the 10" keeps some of the handiness of a 618, while introducing at least SOME added rigidity and solidity as a sop to the likelihood of getting spoiled by having a good solid industrial machine to work with.

In some ways the 618 is weaker than the 109..... but at least it has all the real lathe features, and most all of those actually work.

JCHannum
06-10-2012, 09:49 AM
Since the 10" and 12" lathes have the identical size holding capacity and speed ranges, there is no advantage in one over the other for small work. Other than the extended bed length and raised height, they occupy the same shop space. An added advantage is that larger work done on the large shop machine shop could be finish machined if needed on the 12".

I guess you will have to explain how the 12" is a "cheap copy in performance" of the 10". It is somewhat less rigid granted, but not grossly so such that that would be a deal killer when the advantages of the 12" , capacity and condition, are considered.

If it were my choice and I had space available, I would retain the 6" lathe regardless of which of the larger machines I chose. It does have advantages for very small work.

If you have any doubts of the capability of the 12" Craftsman, take a look through some of CCWKen's posts. He has had one for several years and is more than satisfied with it.

J Tiers
06-10-2012, 11:11 AM
I guess you will have to explain how the 12" is a "cheap copy in performance" of the 10".

Ummmm you might want to re-read that......

How about a cheap copy of the leBlond...... I was comparing the two 12-13" class machines.....

Unless you are claiming that the 12" Atlas is in every way equal to the LeBlond.

Or perhaps you mean it is superior to the leBlond, as you seem to be suggesting roughing out on the LeBlond and finishing on the Atlas.....

You DO seem to be claiming the 10" and 12" have the identical swing....

The difference you admit between the 10" and 12" Atlas is roughly what there is between a 618 and a railroad axle lathe...... "Aside from the height and bed length they occupy the same shop space"..... Although I suppose that DOES cover them being roughly the same depth.....;)

The 12" Atlas, which I have some experience with, reminds me a lot of the typical "9 x 20" chicom machine...... The basic lathe was modified by raising the tailstock, the headstock, and the compound height, without significantly changing the surrounding structure. That is just how the 9 x 20 was made based on the decent, but much lesser swing EMCO lathe that it is derived from.

It has a distinct flavor of having been "put on stilts".... and seems much cheesier, lighter, thinner, than the decently proportioned 10".

Opinions are like assholes... and are worth about the same.

winker added on edit

caveBob
06-10-2012, 11:31 AM
I found a great motor for My 618. It's a Con-sew 3/4HP variable speed with a dial, reversible 0-3450 RPM/ I get them shipped for $97. They come with a 3" pulley, long cord switch ready to go. These are made for commercial HD sewing machine & weigh 30#s ea. Just thought I'd throw that out because I love that sariable speed dial!

flylo, do you use a jackshaft or something to cut the rpms in half, or just run it @ 1/2 speed tops? Sounds like a nice durable motor for a up to maybe 10-12" lathe. I googled and found a few... saw a couple @ 1750 rpm also. Thanks for the idea.

mf205i
06-10-2012, 03:40 PM
“it looks like they did sell the 12 inch lathe bearing their own brand”

The Ops Craftsman 12 is a raised in the sand, cheaper version of the classic Atlas 10 and Atlas did not sell these with their name on them. The added swing along with 36 inches between centers combined with the light bed makes them chattermatics, very difficult to work with. Don’t get me wrong, the Craftsman 12 lathes can produce good work, but you pay a big performance price for the added capacity.
Atlas eventually did sell a 12 inch lathe. It was a much improved, heavier, different lathe than the ones pictured by the OP.
If you are interested in the Atlas lathe, or any other machines, you can find a lot of information about them on Tony’s great site. http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/page4.html
Have a good one, Mike

JCHannum
06-10-2012, 04:36 PM
I was not comparing the Atlas to the LeBlond, merely rephrasing your statement; "They are not sufficiently different to really have different capabilities, but yet the one is a cheap copy of the other in performance."

jep24601
06-10-2012, 07:17 PM
Here's a pic of the compound on the 12" which is one of the things which led me to wonder if the extra capacity and length of this machine might really be a good thing compared to the 10". You can clearly see in the pic how and inch (actually 1.2") was added to the compound.
http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w23/jep24601/Shop/Compound.jpg

rode2rouen
06-10-2012, 08:03 PM
A number of years ago I bought a 10" Atlas Model TH48 (30" betwixt centers, produced in 1946-7 based on the serial#), and after reading the local Sunday classifieds, a Craftsman 12 X 24 later that evening.

Both machines were "runners" so I used each for a few days, just making chips with various materials, to decide which to keep.

This is the keeper:

http://i721.photobucket.com/albums/ww216/bjorn_toulouse/Atlas%2010%20X%2030/atlas10X30.jpg

The rigidity of the 10" was much better as far as similar DOC, The QC gearbox, along with the 6" of extra bed length were also deciding factors.

Both machines had steady and follow rests, the 12" came with a decent 4 jaw indi chuck, and a full set of change gears.

I parted out the 12" and recouped 90% of my total paid for both machines over the next couple of weeks via Ebay (I kept the bed of the 12" to use as a fixture table).


Rex

sasquatch
06-10-2012, 08:15 PM
Rodetorouen, Nice looking lathe, and at a GREAT price!!