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Atlas 6x18,Sears 101-21400 Lathe

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  • Atlas 6x18,Sears 101-21400 Lathe

    I just picked one of these up & the more I learn about the more I like it. I have a 13x40 Import gap Bed, Gear Head lathe but this little on really has class. I also live by Kalamazoo & found that many parts are still available at Clausing in Goshen In. only 50 miles south. Does anyone else have one of these? I also have an Atlas wood lathe/grill press from before 1920 & one of thier last tools a small metal cutting horiz/vertical band saw. New tools are great, but like airplanes I like the old stuff.
    "Let me recommend the best medicine in the
    world: a long journey, at a mild season, through a pleasant
    country, in easy stages."
    ~ James Madison

  • #2
    i have the craftsman version of the 6x18 and use it quite a bit. i also have a rockwell 14x40. i like the craftsman for small,fine work because i can get close to the spinning chuck with a magnifying glass and not worry too much about getting my shirt ripped off. i went thru mine and replaced a bunch of parts and it works great if you dont overload it. i once saw a pic on the net of 6 of these lathes on a large table,3 to a side,back to back, with 6 women operators. rough stock started at lathe #1 and when it came off lathe #6 it was a part for a Norden bomb sight in WW2.

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    • #3
      I also have a little 6x18 (Atlas, I believe, and relabeled by Sears?). It came complete with all the gears and attachments. I added a little Aloris wedge toolpost (smaller than the AXA) and a Bison 3-jaw chuck, and I use it for small stuff only. Got it dialed in last week so that it cuts straight (virtually no taper) in nearly a foot, and it cuts beautifully. Part of the trick was to leave the tailstock gibb a little loose to move it around and snug it up when the tailstock is approximately where you want to use it. Ditto for tightening the tailstock quill clamp.

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      • #4
        My first lathe was the little Craftsman 109. Cute little machine that just wanted to work, but it was just too damn small and I eventually lost patience.

        I ended up trading up to an Atlas 101. I was a little reluctant to get another "mini" lathe after the 109, but she was dirt cheap, so I figured it was worth a shot. What a huge improvement... the 109 was a toy that looked like a lathe. The 101 is an actual lathe writ small.

        I've since traded for a South Bend 9 which I'm finding to be wonderful, but if you're tight on space, the 101 is a pretty nice little machine as long as you understand its limitations and respect its size.

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