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Thread: Atlas horizontal mill rehab questions...

  1. #1
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    Default Atlas horizontal mill rehab questions...

    Just bought an old and very dirty Atlas milling machine. I paid $450 with the vise, stand and coolant pump. Lots of things are stuck and there is sludge covering everything inside like dried black tar...with metal chips mixed in! I am slowly scraping and cleaning it out. He also tried to convert the belt drive to the arbor to chain--a clumsy attempt. I will revert to belts if I can find or fabricate replacements.

    Two of the 64 tooth gears are stripped of a few teeth. eBay has some gears from Atlas lathes that look right. Would you think that they are the same? Googled and didn't find a source for new gears. These are really brittle!

    Do you know how the coolant pump worked on these? I got the pump and some trashed rubber tubing in a separate bucket but i am not sure how it worked. Thanks.... Mike.

  2. #2
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    I ordered the ones from eBay and I will let you know how they fit!

    The gear company that popped up first on Google charges $1500 set up charge, so that's not an option for me.

    Thanks--Mike.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikem View Post
    I ordered the ones from eBay and I will let you know how they fit!

    The gear company that popped up first on Google charges $1500 set up charge, so that's not an option for me.

    Thanks--Mike.
    Do they give you a kiss with it?

    I recommend checking the Boston Gear catalog to see if they make a blank that can be finished machined to fit the application. That is what I did for the gears in the feed unit of my Fray mill since I did not have a functioning mill. It was also way cheaper than buying the cutter.
    "I have come to a resolution myself as I hope every good citizen will, never again to purchase any article of foreign manufacture which can be had of American make, be the difference of price what it may."

    Thomas Jefferson 1815

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikem View Post
    Just bought an old and very dirty Atlas milling machine. I paid $450 with the vise, stand and coolant pump. Lots of things are stuck and there is sludge covering everything inside like dried black tar...with metal chips mixed in! I am slowly scraping and cleaning it out. He also tried to convert the belt drive to the arbor to chain--a clumsy attempt. I will revert to belts if I can find or fabricate replacements.

    Two of the 64 tooth gears are stripped of a few teeth. eBay has some gears from Atlas lathes that look right. Would you think that they are the same? Googled and didn't find a source for new gears. These are really brittle!

    Do you know how the coolant pump worked on these? I got the pump and some trashed rubber tubing in a separate bucket but i am not sure how it worked. Thanks.... Mike.
    As a matter of fact, I am in the middle of a restoration of one of these myself. Mine too had rust bundles of sliver like chips and the appearance that the coolant was used profusely and never cleaned up. In my case I completely disassembled, soaked in kerosene, wire brushes and scrapers, then tri-sodium phosphate wash, rinsed, power sanded, masked, primed, painted every casting on the machine...it's a lot of work. To bust up some of the rust blobs, I had to use a chisel.
    Yes, the gears are the same as fit the 6 inch Atlas lathe. The machine also has the same 2 morse taper spindle and the same threads that the 6 inch Atlas used, so lots of tooling is interchangeable.
    The reservoir for the cutting fluid is in the bottom rear of the main column casting. It mounts to a plate that covers the access hole and has 2 long oil tubes with gits tips that come from the pump out through the plate. The switch and tubes are also in the plate. The main table has an oil trough tapered to the rear right corner where a screen and pipe fitting drained the return fluid back through the plate into the sump. The fluid line from the pump needs a valve and spigot to guide the flow to the cutters.
    Before I disassembled mine, I noted that wear in the table dovetail made travel too tight at the ends and loose in the middle, so I knew it would need work. While clean and disassembled is exactly the time to fix this kind of annoyance, so I repaired it. Using the front registration surface of the table, and the ways as a height reference, I first remachined the top of the table on my vertical mill. Although before that the table would rock a bit on my flat mill table, with the top trued up it was nice and flat. I only needed to remove .006 inches. Then the table was set upside down against parallels wedged in my mill table slots as a registration surface, and a dovetail cutter trued up the ways. They had miked .0055 bowed in the center when started and finished under .001 inch along the whole length. I am sure the work will improve table performance when reassembled to the (currently in 300) piece machine.
    The chips and debris was everywhere in the machine, so to me, a complete job was called for. Clean surfaces and fresh grease and oil can work miracles into old iron.
    Good luck with your new machine.
    Last edited by Gary Paine; 08-07-2013 at 06:22 PM.

  5. #5
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    I have one of these and went through it maybe 10 years ago. I also found the disintegrated power feed gears, and never found a good source for them. I'd appreciate hearing if the ebay ones work out. Please post pics. I also had to fab the power feed shaft with the universal joint in it.

    I think chain drive would be a very bad idea. The limited torque transfer of a belt might limit damage in the event of a crash.
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

  6. #6
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    If its that nasty just take the little fella outside and hit it with a pressure washer, or ever better, a steam cleaner, inside and out.
    James Kilroy

  7. #7
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    Gosh.....

    if you want gears, clean up the machine enough to work, get a dividing head, and make your own. With a half hour's work, you can make gears that will cost you $90 per each.... That's a decent hourly rate.....

    Gear cutters do cost something, but if you can make at least two needed gears with one, it should pay off nicely.

    Once you have some cutters of the most used pitches, you will be able to routinely make whatever gears you want.

    Cutters are available used, and in fact, if anyone has any to sell, PM me.

  8. #8
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    How do I figure out the right gear cutter for the atlas gears? I looked in msc and they had a bunch of different ones.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Tiers View Post
    if you want gears, clean up the machine enough to work, get a dividing head, and make your own.
    I actually sketched up a way to do just that using one of the surviving gears as a dividing plate. A spring loaded sprag would index the gear. I'd almost forgotten about that.

    I remember figuring out the diametrical pitch, but wasn't so sure about the pressure angle.
    For just a little more, you can do it yourself!

  10. #10
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    it's old, so the PA will be 14.5 deg.

    If you don't want to buy a cutter, you can grind a single point cutter to use with a 'fly cutter" arrangement. Make your own holder that holds the cutting tool straight, because the normal angled fly cutter is too much hassle to grind for. Grind it to fit nicely with whatever gear you have that is closest to the same number of teeth.

    The selection of a cutter depends on two things. Three actually.... 1) Diametral Pitch 2) number of teeth 3)Pressure angle.

    The existing gears will be 14.5 deg PA, almost certainly, since it is old.

    The number of teeth you know.

    The Diametral Pitch is found by measuring an existing gear. Divide the number of teeth +2 by the diameter in inches, and use the resulting number. For instance, a 44 tooth gear 2.87 inches diameter.... 46/2.87 = 16.027 that's a 16 DP gear.

    The non-integer number is just due to small errors, it won't matter. You are (in my example) determining the difference between 14 DP, 16 DP and 18 DP.... small errors don't matter. There is no such thing as a 16.027 DP gear.....it's always a whole number. In fact, a 44 tooth 16 DP gear should be 2.875 " diameter, so there was about 0.005" error on the diameter of the gear I measured, possibly from wear.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 08-08-2013 at 07:19 AM.

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