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10" Atlas - Worth $200

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  • 10" Atlas - Worth $200

    [Edited to add: I meant to put a question mark after the $200 in my thread title.]

    As some of you know, I'm looking for my first lathe, and found a 10" Atlas on CL for $200 described as "well used." Seems to me that even if I get a few good parts from it and a running motor, it would be worth that, but I've never owned or used a lathe, so I'm a babe in the woods here.

    Here's the ad:

    Can anyone offer me any insights or gut instincts on this?

  • #2
    yes it is. the mill atachment alone is worth that. the small table top import lathes cost more then that.

    do you want to start makeing chips now ? or look around for 6 months or more?


    • #3
      With the milling atachment and all the change gears, and it appears to have some sort of chuck, definetly be worth $200.00 around here.


      • #4
        At that price, my "gut instinct" says it won't be there for long, if it's not gone already. Hurry.


        • #5
          I'd get it quick!


          • #6
            Originally posted by flylo View Post
            I'd get it quick!

            Given it's size and the fact it has flat ways, it can be resurfaced fairly easily on a decent sized surface grinder.


            • #7
              If it's like the newer quick change gearbox types (Atlas/Craftsman) it's definitely a piece of crap. Zinc alloy change gears, back gear, etc, etc.

     that price you might use it awhile until a good machine comes along. Then pass it along to some unsuspecting newbie.

              Two years ago I bought a newer cabinet style Craftsman Commercial model at an estate sale for $250. I bought it only because of the low price. Once I got it to the shop I was surprised (more shocked) how bad the newer models are. I sold it for only a little more than I paid, even then I felt bad about selling such garbage.


              • #8
                It's not much of a lathe but then there are times when ay lathe is better than no lathe at all.
                It looks just like the Atlas/Craftsman I have had for 25? yrs. Your not going to build aerospace quality on it but it will make parts........if all I could get for mine was 200.00 it would sit on the bench until I need it,if I ever do again.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by DR View Post
                  If it's like the newer quick change gearbox types (Atlas/Craftsman) it's definitely a piece of crap. Zinc alloy change gears, back gear, etc, etc.
                  Apparently, according to the seller, "it has issues":

                  1. The screw that moves the carriage ("lead screw" maybe? sorry, I don't know terminology) got broken when he forgot to stop the carriage. But he says parts are available.

                  2. The 3-jaw chuck, he said, had been abused by the previous owner and doesn't lock properly.

                  On the other hand, it runs, and he said he used it this week to make something. He said you won't get NASA-grade work out of it, but it will make stuff. (He's an auto mechanic.)
                  It doesn't have a gearbox, but he said it comes with the change gears, even though he's never used them.
                  He guesses it was made in the 1950s or earlier.

                  I leveled with him on my total noobieness on lathes, and the impression I got in talking to him was that he's fairly straight-up. He doesn't sound like a crook.

                  I don't see how I can go wrong for $200. So I'm going to look at it, probably buy it, and will, I hope, be driving you guys NUTS with 5 million questions soon.

                  Thank you all for the replies.


                  • #10
                    Yes, the leadscrew is what moves the carriage. Most likely what's been damaged are the half nuts (literally a nut that's been split in half so that it can be clamped or unclamped from the leadscrew). They were made out of zamak, a low temperature casting alloy and are designed to fail so that the more expensive and harder to replace stuff doesn't. They are easy to replace and I believe the company still has stock available (or you can buy them from aftermarket sellers like Hard to tell from the picture, but that might have the babbit bearing headstock.

                    All in all at $200 I'd buy it.


                    • #11
                      For $200, buy the lathe.
                      You might, if not included, download the Atlas "Manual of Lathe Operation"

                      You'll likely want to talk to these folks, as well. They are the source for Atlas parts.
                      The serial# tag is on the right end of the bed.

                      My 10" Atlas made many times its weight in chips in the 10+ years I owned it......nice little rig.

                      Last edited by rode2rouen; 06-20-2013, 12:07 PM. Reason: speelage


                      • #12
                        Call him & tell him you'll take it. Lock in the deal before someone else does It's worth double that+ in parts. Use it until you upgrade, make a profit when you sell it to help pay for the upgrade. Then get him a deposit or pick it up ASAP as I've lost deals to people who offer the seller $20 more after the seller & I had a verbal deal.
                        Last edited by flylo; 06-20-2013, 12:30 PM.


                        • #13
                          I concur with all who have responded. It will most likely require some TLC, but you can make chips with it, and as previously stated, the milling attachment alone is worth the price. Jump on it ASAP!
                          John B


                          • #14
                            Krunch, let us know when you get it!


                            • #15
                              I have been storing a Craftsman 12" lathe for some time and light it up from time to time. It is quite similar to the one shown in the CL listing. The complaints about Zamak are over-blown not that Zamak is all that robust. The Zamak parts on the old Craftsman will outlast any of the cheap gears on my Chinese lathe - the teeth are huge by comparison. I bought a set of gear cutters just to be sure I have backups of all the critical change gears on the Grizzly.

                              Zamak parts come up on Ebay regularly. I'd heard the same OWT about Zamak on my Atlas shaper and considering where it is used, any abuse of a shaper will break those parts even if made from Spendite Unobtanium+. None of the Zamak parts are impossible to build from scratch from other material.

                              As they say, strike while the iron's hot. Just make sure you have a useful set of change gears on day one.