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Atlas Lathe

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  • Atlas Lathe

    I have read a lot on here and get the impression that Atlas lathes are pretty low end. One has come up for sale at a pretty low end price near me that I can readily afford. This would be my first lathe to learn on ...

    Is this price about right?
    Should I wait for something better?
    What should I look for to make sure it is not ruined?


  • #2
    That does not look like a bad deal. If everything works and it is not too worn, you could do a whole lot worse.


    • #3
      Speaking as new to this hobby/addiction I would. I paid twice that for a new 10x18 and now I wouldn't mine if it were bigger. That looks like a nice size and price to me but lathes are way too expensive up here.


      • #4
        A 10" lathe less than $500?!? That'd be a bargain in my neck of the woods!

        With 3 and 4 jaw chucks, all the change gears, and a milling attachment to boot, if it turns, buy it. Be prepared for some wear issues though (backlash in the apron feedscrew, and possibly near the chuck end of the bed).
        Design to 0.0001", measure to 1/32", cut with an axe, grind to fit


        • #5
          TH54 Atlas Lathe

          At that price bye it. You can part it out on Ebay and double your money. My lathe is the same and I am very happy with it. I paid more than that price for my lathe and had to scrounge for the four jaw chuck, the milling attachment, and other accessories. Yes, Buy it! Jim


          • #6
            The lathe is easily worth $500 or more.

            The milling attachment adds $150.

            Collet adaptor , depending on what really is there, could add $100. The variable speed may be DC, in which case it is hard to estimate an adder. At least $120 if were VFD

            So for $425 (assuming it is still available, which is doubtful) you get what should sell for $750.

            So why have you not gone off to do the deal? Someone else probably did while you were typing.

            Keep eye on ball.
            Hashim Khan


            • #7
              Hopefully, you've already bought this. As previously mentioned, even if you trash it, the scrap value is more than the price. Get it, learn on it, maybe it'll be what you need. If not you will not loose any money.

              I cut it off twice; it's still too short
              Oregon, USA


              • #8
                Well, I sent the guy an email since he did not post a phone number. Hopefully I hear back.


                • #9
                  I too would jump on that deal. Assuming it is usable it would be a great lathe to learn on. I doubt you will be trying to hit tenths while you are learning so if it is worn thats not a big deal. If you get it you might find that it's all the lathe you will ever need. But if you do out grow it or decide you want something different you would not loose money on that one. It is also nice that it has legs so you won't have to worry about a bench to put it on.
                  Mark Hockett


                  • #10
                    I paid $500 to the widow of a friend for a 12x36 with the same tooling.

                    If that lathe has the Timken tapered roller bearings and not the babbit bearings, it is a very good deal.

                    With the good bearings, that 350 pound 12x36 will do what the 1200 pound 12x36 lathes do, just much slower.
                    There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self. -Ernest Hemingway
                    The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything.-- Edward John Phelps


                    • #11
                      I just paid 500 for a craftsman (atlas) with similar tooling it is a 12x36 with what looks to be a old washing machine motor on it so no variable speed except the pullys


                      • #12
                        That's a good price. The milling attachment looks like it came off a lathe that's much larger.

                        You'll be able to sell it for what you have in it when you're ready to move up.

                        Parts are freely available on ebay too.


                        • #13
                          I had one of them for 3 years as my only lathe. Goodas a starter-lathe (especially at that price) but quite frustrating and slow. Be careful of the carriage-feed workings as they tend to come loose and break - the parts are lightweight and fragile. I made loads of small stuff on mine but ultmately got frustrated with it and bought a bigger newer machine. The motor is over-sized as is the milling attachment but you can still use them. Can't go wrong for the money.

                          I have the gear settings scanned if you need them.
                          Peter - novice home machinist, modern motorcycle enthusiast.

                          Denford Viceroy 280 Synchro (11 x 24)
                          Herbert 0V adapted to R8 by 'Sir John'.
                          Monarch 10EE 1942


                          • #14
                            I used a 1940's era 10" Atlas for 24 years; I built a steam engine for my 19' boat, and lots of other interesting things on it. Good machine, but don't get in a hurry; they're just not built to take rough use.

                            Bigger machines may be available, but a machine you can move w/ two strong people in a station wagon or mini-van has a certain charm; the 15" YMZ that replaced the Atlas took a dual axle drop bed trailer to move.

                            - Bart
                            Bart Smaalders


                            • #15
                              Ok. I am going to look at it tomorrow. Supposedly he has about 7 people interested.

                              He said the ways are in 'pretty good' condition. What should I look for to decide if 'pretty good' is 'good enough?'
                              Last edited by toyjeep73; 04-02-2009, 04:27 PM.