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Questions about QCTP, carriage stops, and machinable collets for an Atlas lathe.

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  • Questions about QCTP, carriage stops, and machinable collets for an Atlas lathe.

    A friend has an atlas lathe like this:

    The swing appears to be 12", and the bed length is about 30".

    What size/brand QCTP would be best for this lathe? He wants to be able to have low-skilled operators change the tooling with having to make any other adjustments.

    The collet arrangement looks like this:

    He's got one homemade collet, but he needs more that he can machine to a special configuration. What type collets are used on this lathe, and where's the best place to buy them?

    Also, are carriage stops available for this lathe? If not, how about some examples or sketches?
    Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.

  • #2
    Carriage stops

    This is a micrometer stop that came with my lathe.

    This is the bottom view.

    The lathe has a 90° V-Way so the notch for it is east to cut with a milling cutter.

    This is a top view.

    Any mechanical stop is handy but the micrometer feature is especially so if you need to face to length or locate a longitudinal feature.

    My 12” Nardini lathe uses the 100 series or AXA QCTP. I have the Dorian Wedge type post. Some of the import clones have been getting good reviews and are probably good enough for the home shop.
    Byron Boucher
    Burnet, TX


    • #3
      1 - AXA or 100-series toolpost
      2 - 3AT?
      3 - With the flat ways on that lathe, they are simple to make. Buy a cheap micrometer for the spindle, and make the rest from scrap.


      • #4
        Even with a QCTP, "low-skilled" operators need to be taught to set the cutter on center or your friend will end up using a ton of toolbits unnecessarily and may even end up with a destroyed lathe.

        While I admire the work put into the homemade collet setup, please suggest he buy or make and always use a spindle nose protector whenever there is nothing threaded onto the spindle. To me its rather like a jock strap, basic protection from a huge pain.
        Last edited by justanengineer; 09-21-2012, 06:43 PM.
        "I am, and ever will be, a white-socks, pocket-protector, nerdy engineer -- born under the second law of thermodynamics, steeped in the steam tables, in love with free-body diagrams, transformed by Laplace, and propelled by compressible flow."


        • #5
          It looks like the collet setup is not standard. All the collet closers I see for Atlas lathes have internally threaded tubes and collets with external threads on the inner end. His closer has a 3/8-16 threaded rod through the spindle to engage the internal threads on the collet itself.

          Who sells machinable blank 3AT collets? He could drill and tap the inner end to work with his closer.

          I mention the spindle cap to him, too.
          Any products mentioned in my posts have been endorsed by their manufacturer.


          • #6
            I don't know what collets fit the spindle on these lathes, I use a separate closer for my collets. But my lathe came with a factory carriage stop which I will try to find a pic of. It uses a simple flat clamp with two bolts for the front way. I made my own tool holder which is very close tot he same size of a AXA which I hear most atlas users, using.

            Tool post: As for centering the tool bit I am sure anyone can be taught to use of of those little level tools for setting up tool height.

            This south bend carriage stop did fit my atlas and was useable but I had two so I believe I sold this one.

            The factory one that I use on my lathe is the one with all the threaded rods in this pic.