No announcement yet.

New Old Lathe

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • New Old Lathe

    Hi folks. An absolute novice here asking for advice and directions. I've been tinkering with hit and miss engines for several years now and came to the conclusion that it would be fun to be able to make a few parts myself instead of always having to go to the machine shop or ordering them. I therefore went in search of a small lathe. I visited the South Bend users group and found it to be helpful (I was dead set on finding a used SB). However, most of the lathes I found were 600-800 miles from me and required a long trip or $400-600 in crating and shipping. Before I committed to that, though, I found a lathe within two hours of my location. Wasn't a South Bend, but a nice (I hope) Clausing 12 X 36. So I bought it. It appears to be worn somewhat near the headstock, but otherwise quiet running, well cared for, and in great condition. There is not a Clausing users group that I've found, but I've been lurking on this BBS and find it to be interesting and informative, composed of folks who cover a wide range of subjects and seem to have lots of knowledge to share. Now to my questions. My lathe is a 1957, model 6319. What does the 19 signify? Are there manuals available other than the Service and parts manual which is still with the machine? Does anyone else on the list use a Clausing? Have you generally been pleased with it? Can anyone recommend a project book to get started up the learning curve? My job prevents me from taking a machine shop course from the community college so I'm self taught all the way. Sorry for all the novice questions. I'll go back into the lurking mode now. Hope to hear from some of you. Thanks in advance.


  • #2
    Clausing made some really nice lathes (still does, I guess). I don't know much about Clausing lathes specifically, but basically a lathe is a lathe is a lathe, and most of what you'll need to know is independent of the maker.

    Check out Lindsay Publications. They have a reprint of the South Bend book "How to Run a Lathe" that will help. Also see if you can find a copy of "The Amateur's Lathe" by L.H. Sparey. It's British and may be difficult to find, but I think it's really good. The frontispiece piecture of the author in shop coat and tie is worth the price of admission all by itself, but it has a lot of very good information for home lathe users whose needs are not always the same as those in industry.

    Try to make a living, not a killing. -- Utah Phillips
    Don't believe everything you know. -- Bumper sticker
    Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects. -- Will Rogers
    There are lots of people who mistake their imagination for their memory. - Josh Billings
    Law of Logical Argument - Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.
    Don't own anything you have to feed or paint. - Hood River Blackie


    • #3
      You passed up the south bend lathe, but south bend has a good book on running a lathe. Atlas does also.
      Lurk around used book stores and flea markets too. Many good books and magazines.
      Neil's got your name and address so he'll send you an invite to get h.s.m.
      Than there's Rudys $52. video tapes.
      Plenty of places to learn.
      Don't have to lerk around this site, get involved, put your two cents in the kitty with mine.
      That'll make two cents (mine are warped).


      • #4
        There's a Clausing website at

        For parts and service, please call the Clausing Service Center
        (574) 533-0371



        • #5
          There is a Clausing group on Yahoo:

          Congrats on the Clausing 12x36! I've been looking for one myself off & on for a couple of years. If you don't mind saying, how much did you pay for it and what part of the country are you in?

          Mike, near Chicago
          Mike Henry near Chicago


          • #6

            Clausing never made junk. if you take the time to restore it you will have a machine that your kids kids kids can still use. Good choice.

            If the Clausing site cannot help you you may be able to get manuals from Tony Griffiths at - he also sources parts for people.

            Follow all the safety rules and always pay attention - like any power tool lathes and mills can hurt you bad if you are not carefull. If you have questions by all means ask - lots of good people on this board. Have fun!




            • #7

              I have a Clausing also, a 13 inch. I just got it a few weeks ago, I replaced my 10 inch Delta which will now become a wood lathe. I have 30 years in the trade and have run many different lathes, I have never seen or run a bad Clausing. But have run brands that are not worth the steel they are made of.

              You made a good choice, treat her well and she will be around for a long time.

              And to echo others words, keep track of your fingers.

              Paul G.
              Paul G.


              • #8
                I have a Atlas/Clausing 4804. My only complaint is that it isn't more rigid. Otherwise, it performs its job well, as long as I do my part.

                For project books to learn from, I highly recommend the "Machinist Bedside Reader". It is a series of three books (soon to be 4). Lotsa' tips, interesting stories, simple things to make, tools to make, etc. I put Guy Lautard's (the author) web address below.



                • #9

                  One of the best books I've found is offered right here from Village Press. The Shopwisdom of Frank McLean. You can find it in the book section on the home page. It is much more detailed than the manuals published by lathe companies, and contains lots of great projects that you will use on a regular basis.

                  good luck!



                  • #10
                    Hi Folks,

                    I appreciate all the replies. I'm onto ordering some texts as I complete readying my shop for the Clausing. I'm excited about this and eager to get on to making some chips. Yep, I agree with safety first...I've been woodworking for 20+ years and still have all my digits. I also work in an emergency room and fix the mishaps from all sorts of industrial and home accidents. Some days I think crocheting might be a good hobby 8-).
                    Oh, and no, Mike, I don't mind telling what I paid for it....$2400, in NC. Certainly not a steal but not a rip either considering its condition and a fair amount of tooling. Had to save my dimes a long time for this one! Now if I can just convince my wife that "Yes, I really do need a milling machine to complement the lathe", I'll be set. Take care.