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View Full Version : Got my first lathe - Craftsman 6 x 18



TN Pat
12-23-2013, 05:58 PM
Hey, guys. Well, I think I now officially qualify as a home shop machinist - I've recently acquired my first machine tool for home! As the title says, it is a Craftsman 6 x 18 lathe, model # 101.07301.

A touch of backstory as to how I got it - I'm a student in the machining course in a local trade school. I guess I've made a good impression on my instructor in my year of being there. I guess he's saved enough money to upgrade his HS lathe, and instead of selling his old one, he decided to give it to me... he's had it for about 25 years, and he got it from someone who had it yet longer. I was told it's a 1950's or 1960's vintage.

It is a nice lathe, gotta admit. Not the multi-horsepower, 14 x 40 I'm used to at school, but after I did a bit of fiddling, the darn thing will cut pretty well!

Anyway, the purpose of this thread is just sort of to ask you all here on HSM for any advice I might get on using and maintaining this lathe... owning machinery of any kind is a new field for me.

Er, on top of that... I am unable to find a free manual for this model of lathe, that I can download from the internet. It was supposed to be easy, but I can't seem to find one. If I could be pointed in the right direction, it would be greatly appreciated.

On top of that, the lathe is in need of a new chuck... I'm not sure what to look for. Without a manual, I'm unsure of how to remove or replace the chuck, and I'm sort of unaware of the process as a whole. From what I've read on here and other forums, it's a threaded spindle...

And, I'm looking at trying to get a QCTP. Has anyone used the aluminum QCTP from littlemachineshop.com, made for this lathe? http://littlemachineshop.com/products/product_view.php?ProductID=2486 I'm just a bit worried the aluminum could bend or warp. The turret tool post on the lathe now has been warped, and the screws are a tad mushroomed. Actually, I don't think I can remove them...

Well, anyway, thanks to everyone for reading this! I'll try to post a couple of pictures when I get time, though I'm sure by know everyone knows what a Craftsman lathe looks like, hehehe.

JSR
12-23-2013, 06:19 PM
This might be your manual

http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=5329

John

Bob Fisher
12-23-2013, 06:19 PM
It's a good lathe to learn on, not too much power to hurt you. As I recall the spindle thread is 3/4X10. It can be difficult to remove a chuck that has been installed for a long period. A QCTP would benefit that lathe immensely, the aluminum post should be OK for HSM use tho. It appears there are several versions of this lathe, look at recent posts, does your's have a backgear?

sasquatch
12-23-2013, 07:34 PM
If you have a 618 lathe, the headstock thread should be 1-10, unless it's an old model, they were built with 1-8 threads. Has this got babbitt or tapered bearings? The babbitt head should have hold down bolt caps over the babbitt bearings. The roller bearing head won't have this.

Gary Paine
12-23-2013, 08:25 PM
I'm betting you will like the lathe a lot once you get used to it. An accessory I made for mine was an ER collet set for the headstock. I only had to make the part that screwed onto the spindle. I used the nut that came with the collet set. I internally threaded the blank to fit the spindle threads, cut the register and faced it off. Then I screwed it onto the spindle and machined the inside taper to fit the collets and cut the outside thread for the nut. Being made right on the machine it will be used, it will spin the collets as truly as they ever could be.

On the mushroomed screws in your turret, just take out any tools, screw them deep enough into the tool slot that you can get at them, and file off the mushroom with the file held at about 45 degrees. Keep turning each screw to get all around it and file down to the root diameter of the first clean thread. You can also do this with a rotary tool like a Dremel with a stone. You can also just saw them off inside the slot, back them out, and insert new screws. A turret is a good addition to your tool arsenal that will grow - a lot.

Gary Paine
12-23-2013, 08:26 PM
deleted

Optics Curmudgeon
12-23-2013, 08:38 PM
It's a 101.07301, so it has bronze sleeve bearings and a 1"-8 spindle thread. Unless someone swapped in a later headstock at some point, which is not unusual.

TN Pat
12-23-2013, 09:42 PM
This might be your manual

http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/detail.aspx?id=5329

John

Wow, that's exactly it! Thank you!


(snipped) ...does your's have a backgear?

Yessir, it has a back gear.


I'm betting you will like the lathe a lot once you get used to it. An accessory I made for mine was an ER collet set for the headstock. I only had to make the part that screwed onto the spindle. I used the nut that came with the collet set. I internally threaded the blank to fit the spindle threads, cut the register and faced it off. Then I screwed it onto the spindle and machined the inside taper to fit the collets and cut the outside thread for the nut. Being made right on the machine it will be used, it will spin the collets as truly as they ever could be.

On the mushroomed screws in your turret, just take out any tools, screw them deep enough into the tool slot that you can get at them, and file off the mushroom with the file held at about 45 degrees. Keep turning each screw to get all around it and file down to the root diameter of the first clean thread. You can also do this with a rotary tool like a Dremel with a stone. You can also just saw them off inside the slot, back them out, and insert new screws. A turret is a good addition to your tool arsenal that will grow - a lot.

A collet chuck would be a great idea. What size collet did you use, ER16/32/etc.? I'd like to attempt that sometime... and I already like the lathe plenty, hehe. Anything that'll turn metal, I have a fancy for! I'll try and do something with the cap screws too. One of them I actually can't even get out, or get back in... It'll turn, but it won't thread.


It's a 101.07301, so it has bronze sleeve bearings and a 1"-8 spindle thread. Unless someone swapped in a later headstock at some point, which is not unusual.

I believe everything is original... pretty sure the fellow who gave the lathe to me said it has bronze bearings.

Thanks for the help so far, guys. This is why I love HSM.

planeman
12-24-2013, 07:55 AM
The lathe you now have is the one I started on in 1958. I bought it from Sears at the age of 18 with money saved up from working summers and weekends at a local hobby shop. It is a good little lathe and will do a lot of things within its capacity. You say "pretty sure the fellow who gave the lathe to me said it has bronze bearings". I know my lathe had Timken roller bearings in the headstock and it had backgears. You might want to check. And one last thing. The compound slide should NEVER be extended very far out if at all possible, especially if you are cutting something that will give it a pounding like an intermittent cut. The casting will break off! Ask me how I know. Planeman

fixerup
12-24-2013, 09:48 AM
The Craftsman 618 was also my first lathe. I really like and appreciated the 618 lathe, I've learned so much using it. At work I occasionally machine part on a Clausing student lathe which is sturdy and very forgiving of dull cutter or improper set-up.I finally realized all those mistake while working at home on the 618,because it would shatter,squeal like hell,leave an horrible finish or could only take small cuts all because I was doing something wrong. Once I ironed out those issues I was able to make chip and achieve a nice finish. "Planeman" statement about not having the compound slide stick out to much is very true, I broke mine while it was sticking way out, another lesson learned. A good friend of mine welded it back together and I was glad it was working again.
I have a 4 way tool post and setting the cutter height is a chore,depending on the cutter,I have to put shims under to arrive at the proper center height
The QCTP you propose looks like a good choice you won't regret it.
Have fun making chips
Cheers!
Phil

sasquatch
12-24-2013, 09:52 AM
I have the QCTP from Little machine shop, and it is fine, think it is USA made if i remember, and the tool holders are also fine.

mattthemuppet
12-24-2013, 04:28 PM
congratulations on your new lathe, I'm sure you'll have an awesome time with it! My lathe is even smaller and less featured than yours and I can still do fun projects with it. I've learned to use my by making things for it and by stripping it down and rebuilding it. At the least, it would be a good idea to strip down and clean the apron/ cross slide, so you can get it nice'n'snug.

bborr01
12-25-2013, 12:41 PM
I picked up this Craftsman 6X18 a few months ago at a price that even Flylo would think is gloatable. When I was a teenager I told my dad that I wanted one of these and he told me it was a toy. Now days I have full sized lathes but this one was too nice to pass up. I told my wife it is my "nursing home lathe". Model is 101.07301 and it has back gear. Not sure of the vintage.
Anyone got a list of serial #'s and build dates?

Brian
http://i400.photobucket.com/albums/pp89/bborr01/20130916_200315_zps842e0b61.jpg (http://s400.photobucket.com/user/bborr01/media/20130916_200315_zps842e0b61.jpg.html)

flylo
12-25-2013, 11:24 PM
Call Atlas or there is a forum. It has babbit bearings which I don't remember when Craftsman changed but it was much later than Atlas. I paid $225 for mine with Timken bearings & fully tooled. Mayby too much but it's near mint & seen very little use.

TN Pat
12-26-2013, 03:16 PM
Boy, I tell ya what - this lathe makes one heck of a good pencil sharpener! Heheh. Thanks for all the help and everything, guys. I'll try and look for a new chuck, order that QCTP, and I think I'll be pretty well set... thanks again.