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Atlas 10 lathe, setup

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oldschoolcane

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#1
I am finally able to setup my Atlas 10 lathe, its been stored in a crate for several years due to some space issues and life in general. Trying to get the tool out and on its stand so I can begin cleaning it up and to use it. When I bought it, it was mounted to a cast iron lathe stand - is this original to this lathe? Iron legs and wood shelves, I assume it is but would it be better long term if I built a heavy workbench for the lathe instead? Also, I am trying to figure out how to get it from the crate/floor and onto the lathe stand its just heavy enough I don't think I can do it by myself? I may be able to get my son over to help but that's hit and miss, any ideas on the best way to move the lathe? It appears the lathe bolts down to the wooden top shelf and into the steel legs but the wood shelf is loose until you have the lathe bolted down, seems like a problem - anyone have any thoughts on best way to get started with this 1940's lathe? 20180314_073824atlas.jpg
 
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Moderatemixed

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#2
Good morning! I have 2 Atlas 10 inch lathes and have for the last 4 years been rebuilding them. As I understand it to be the case, yes, the legs would be original and the wood top as well. I have mounted mine to a 2 inch thick maple bench top. Rigidity is paramount on a “lighter duty” lathe and on that bench top I get results that I am very happy with. If you are going to take it all apart and clean it up, the Atlas 10 inch lathes come apart very easily in “chunks”. Headstock, Tailstock, Saddle, Bed and “Driveline”. In that case you will be able to take it apart, clean it up and reassemble it with little or no help. I chose a slightly different route and put a 4 inch I-Beam in my shop (in between the floor joists of the ceiling of my basement shop) with a 1/2 ton chain fall on a carriage , a sort of “gantry crane” setup. That thing is worth it’s weight in gold! An engine hoist is also a great option if you are in a garage or slightly larger space and one can often be rented very affordably. I am a big fan of the Atlas and despite what some might say about it, have been very happy with it. Enjoy you Atlas and put some time into making it as rigid, Level and square as you can. The legs and old wood top usually sell very quickly to furniture and antique shops to be repurposed, and likely will give you a fair portion of the funds you’ll need for building a good solid bench. If I am not mistaken the Atlas Lathe book suggests a wood top of at least 2” thickness; someone correct me if I am wrong. Lastly, take a picture of it in its current condition and then again once it is done. I personally love to see what other guys are doing in their shops and the Atlas community is generally a very good bunch. Very best regards, Cheers.


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hss cutter

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#3
hello I too have the 10 I have spent days on securing to the concrete and leveling it don't be happy with close enough. It take time but mine is dead level on the bed ,next was aligning the head and tail stock. than I took apart the quick change box cleaned it all up re greased it set the bearing pre load. Mine is one the cast legs with an oringal shelf below and a 2 inch for the deck but what I did was to add a coolant pan to run coolant with my lathe. just my two cent. enjoy
 

wa5cab

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#4
The cast iron legs and top and shelf boards do sound original from Atlas. Whether they may be original to the machine or not can be determined from the following dimensions. I had always assumed that the legs were not attached to the top board with the same bolts that attach the lathe to the board. Atlas originally made the 10" machines with four different length beds (36", 42", 48" and 54" corresponding to 10x18, 10x24, 10x30 & 10x36). They also made the floor stand boards in four lengths, 39", 45", 51", and 57". According to the original drawing, the four holes that were in the board from the factory are spaced 27", 33", 39" and 45". From that, determine which size lathe the board was originally made for. If that is the size of your lathe, then the factory intended that the same bolts that attach the board to the legs also attach the lathe to the board. Let us know what you find out.

On the other subject (that of removing the lathe from the crate), although it is true that it is fairly easy to remove the major components from the bed, I would judge it nearly impossible to do so with the lathe in the crate. Your simplest solution is probably to borrow or rent an engine hoist.
 

oldschoolcane

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#6
Thanks for all the good information, I put together a pretty serious work bench to use with the lathe over the weekend which still needs the top and shelving below. I will have to measure the lathe but I believe it has a 4 ft bed. I had second thoughts about the lathe stand but I am pretty happy with the current work bench.
 

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pdentrem

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#7
Mine was installed a very similar wooden stand. The top was hardwood and simply covered with a sheet of aluminum for ease of clean up.
51450730-F278-464F-8BC4-E27177198644.jpeg
 

wa5cab

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#8
Thanks for all the good information, I put together
Your bench looks good. Make the top out of at least two layers of 3/4" plywood glued together and it will be as stiff as the original. If you decide to sell the original legs, top and shelf, try to sell them to another Atlas or Craftsman owner. Tpp many of them have been "repurposed" on their way to the landfill. Measure the board length pr the distance between mounting holes so that you can tell a prospective buyer what size machine it was originally made for.
 

oldschoolcane

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Last night, I added a 2 x 10 to the middle of the bench for added stability. Next step is to complete the shelves and add the top. Will have to wait til I have the lumber now. Will 2 x 10's work for the top as I am not sure I can find maple? Or would the suggested plywood be a better option?
 

wa5cab

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If you are going to bench mount the lathe, countershaft and motor, it will take more than one 2x10 to get the required width. So you would need to joint the mating surfaces and use either dowels or biscuits to reinforce the joint.

As for as the pros and cons of plywood or solid wood, either one will work about as well., But odds are that the solid board will look better longer.
 

oldschoolcane

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Robert,
When you write to join the mating surfaces are you saying to use dowels between the sides of each 2x10? Or are you suggesting the dowels be used to support the 2 layers of lumber as laminated together?
Thank you for helping with this.
 

wa5cab

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#12
I meant to put the dowels or biscuits between the edge-glued 2" sides for reinforcing.
 
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