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12X48 Atlas lathe in want ads today..

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  • 12X48 Atlas lathe in want ads today..

    I will be going to look at an Atlas 12x48 with quick change gears 7 quick change tool post listed for $1100.
    I've read Mermac's info on inspecting used lathes.
    I'm looking for opinions on this brand/model of lathe. I know Atlas has a good rep.
    At this time I don't know if it is a Sears or not, and I really don't know much about these anyway.
    Any words of advice or caution?

  • #2
    Look closely at the condition of the ways and check the bearings in the headstock to see if the spindle has excessive end play or shake. Look for signs of abuse. If these things check out, you probably have a real little jewel on your hands---you lucky dog!!


    • #3
      How much tooling comes with it?????


      • #4
        I have an Atlas/Craftsman 12x54, which is probably the same size as this( 36" between centres)Mine is dated about 1946, and has 3/8" thick bed ways, and timken bearings on the headstock. This is also a change gear model, not a quick change. The good news is that most parts for all these lathes are still available from Clausing, who now own Atlas. The later model 12" came with a heavier bed, with 1/2" thick ways, which is obvioulsy preferrable to the 3/8". The Atlas bed is infamous for its twisting ability( which may also be true for say a South Bend of comparable size) but this can be easily straightened out with the three point bolting system.
        You must avoid the earlier Babbit headstock, unless you like pouring Babbit, because by now most of these are well worn out, and also cannot run very fast, which you would need for carbide etc. The timken bearing lathe can run at 2072 rpm.
        In all, you get what you pay for, (this isn't a Clausing or a Hardinge), but the price seems a little high, unless the bed is in almost perfect condition, and unless you get plenty of extra tooling, rests, face plate, chucks etc. Hopefully you're dealing with one careful, highly skilled machinist owner who has kept it immaculaute since being bought new, but this is highly unlikely :-)
        Obvioulsy, from the book you already know about spindle runout and worn beds by the tailstock. My lathe has a little wear on the front ways, perhaps 0.003", but with a little care and patience, I can still get down to 'tenths' fairly predictably.
        Good luck!
        Richard in Los Angeles


        • #5
          Minor point...........

          For what its worth, ATLAS bought and owns Clausing, but they took the Clausing name for the business.

          They are good people. I by chance they do NOT have the part, they will sell a copy of the drawing for it.

          The $1100 is at the high end for my area unless there is a goodly amount of tooling with it. Still, if in very nice condition, it might be a good price even so.

          A Sears by Atlas is essentially the same machine, so no need to feel it is lesser in some way if that is what it turns out to be.

          In my opinion you should for that price get a couple of chucks, that fit and are not beat up, a faceplate, toolpost and accessories (may be a lantern tho) and tailstock tooling, hopefully a steady as well.
          If you are in Alaska, the above does not hold............


          • #6

            If that Atlas doesn't pan out, a friend here in the Chicago area is looking to sell 2 Craftsman 12x36 lathes (one QC and one manual change gear) as well as a Myford ML7, all in pretty good to very good shape (at least IMHO).

            He's a hobbyist that has bought one lathe too many and is looking to thin out the herd.

            Mike, near Chicago
            Mike Henry near Chicago


            • #7
              That ad wouldn't happen to be near Eureka, CA would it?


              • #8
                MikeHenry and Eeler1,
                Could you all email me with some more info on the lathes you mention?


                • #9

                  You should have email from me with contact info.

                  Mike, near Chicago
                  Mike Henry near Chicago


                  • #10
                    I got the lathe for $850
                    This is what I got (at least what I know of so far):
                    Model 3996 Atlas Lathe with stand
                    3-jaw chuck
                    6" faceplate
                    Centech Quick-change Tool post
                    assorted cutters
                    knurling tool

                    There may be more in the box that came with it, but I haven't had the time to really go through it all.

                    I'm HAPPY!

                    A BIG THANKS! To all of you that passed along advice. I printed out some things and I think it helped me.


                    • #11
                      Congrats on the new baby! Have fun, be safe!