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atlas spindle bearing oil cups

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aforsman

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#1
I am restoring an Atlas TH54 and have questions about the oil cups that sit on top of each spindle bearing. I've read somewhere that there is supposed to be a piece of felt or something that allows oil to slowly drip into the bearings. If that's the case, then I don't have them - I can see straight through the hole to the bearing race on both of them. Where can I get replacements or what can I substitute? Also, are they really even necessary as long as the bearings are oiled every time the machine is used? Any advice would be appreciated.

Allen
 
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#2
I assume that your lathe has little oil cups similar to the ones on my Logan. I normally put a couple of drops of oil in each cup once every hour or two of running time, and I always have a little oil to wipe off when I'm done. Rarely does it drip off though, so I don't think I am overdoing it. As for felt in the cup, I cannot say that I have even seen felt in the little oil cups like my lathe has, but some of the larger oilers (hold several ounces of oil or more) use a wick.
 

pdentrem

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#3
My 10F24 had those cups. Had no felt while I had the lathe. Whether they had from the factory, I do not know. I added oil at the start and cleaned up the oil off the bench at the end.
Pierre
 

schor

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#4
My th54 with the timken bearings does not have felt. I've only seen felt in motors that have bushings.
 

Dranreb

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#5
Neither of the Atlas lathes I've had came with felts, all the bearings were fine.

The bearing dust covers seen to retain just enough oil to cover the bottom of the outer race, which helps.

Because some gritty sludge was present in the bottom of the pool of oil I just use a small piece of felt in the cups to act as a filter, those chips get everywhere!

Bernard


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GK1918

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#6
Hey Wormie, I gottcha beat, the old man said; "boy see this-use it" so I turned into an oil can freak by habit. If I dont use a quart a day Im not
working. The mess? he use to say "soap & water washes anything but a dirty mouth" I'm thinking nice brass glass drip oilers "yes"
 

aforsman

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#7
Thanks to all for the info. Once I get it running I will just add a few drops when I use it. I plan on posting pics of the final project when it's all done.
 

itsme_Bernie

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#8
I think you are fine without them- I really think most machines with felts have sleeve bearings, not roller bearings. These bearings "wick" the oil off of the surface of the felts, which are in direct contact, and gravity feed is just used to keep the felt loaded.

In the case of oilers over roller bearings, a lighter, more porous felt IN NO CONTACT to any bearing surface, will allow gravity to slowly drip-feed.

I think as long as you don't put anything that will disintegrate into the cups, you can put any felt in there, and just watch to see that by the end of the day the oil level is just a little lower. As was mentioned above, it doesn't require much oil per hour.

Bernie
 

schor

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#9
Before you first fire it up, load it up with more than just a few drops of oil. I would dump 20 drops worth in the first time. After that a 3-4 drops/hour of use should be fine. I use 20 weight motor oil.

Thanks to all for the info. Once I get it running I will just add a few drops when I use it. I plan on posting pics of the final project when it's all done.
 

aforsman

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#10
Is 20W50 OK? I can't recall that I've ever seen straight 20 weight oil.
 

wa5cab

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#12
aforsman,

No. 20W50 is going to also be high detergent, which is hydroscopic, which will cause rust in all but super-dry climates. Use straight mineral oil. Today, as you may have already discovered, straight SAE 20 is almost unobtainable from common sources like auto parts stores and hardwares. You will need to look at machine shop supply sources and probably under ISO equivalent. ISO 68 is approximately correct. Last that I bought was Mobile from Enco. Available in gallons.

itsmebernie,

No. The sleeve bearings are sintered (porous) bronze and don't especially need felts in the oil cups to meter the oil. If you run an open oil cup over tapered roller bearings you will have too much oil initially, which can lead to bearing overheating. Shortly, you will have dry bearings which leads to scoring and overheating. The felt meters the oil being delivered to the rollers.

Robert D.
 

GK1918

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#13
I dont know Bob, my napas got straight 20? For yrs like a car #10 winter #20-50 summer of whatever, rust no problem, they dont have time to rust.
I cant afford leaving the heat on in the winter, but the shop wont go below 40* overnight. "yet" , nothing is turned on until room temp.
Im just sayin.
 

schor

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#14
3in1 motor oil is non detergent and you can get it everywhere. http://www.3inone.com/products/motor-oil/


product-motor.jpg


aforsman,

No. 20W50 is going to also be high detergent, which is hydroscopic, which will cause rust in all but super-dry climates. Use straight mineral oil. Today, as you may have already discovered, straight SAE 20 is almost unobtainable from common sources like auto parts stores and hardwares. You will need to look at machine shop supply sources and probably under ISO equivalent. ISO 68 is approximately correct. Last that I bought was Mobile from Enco. Available in gallons.

itsmebernie,

No. The sleeve bearings are sintered (porous) bronze and don't especially need felts in the oil cups to meter the oil. If you run an open oil cup over tapered roller bearings you will have too much oil initially, which can lead to bearing overheating. Shortly, you will have dry bearings which leads to scoring and overheating. The felt meters the oil being delivered to the rollers.

Robert D.
 

wa5cab

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#15
Yes, the day about a year ago that I went looking for SAE 20, I found it at Ace in 3-In-One. And bought a can. But it is quite expensive for the quantity that you get. I can't recall now what I calculated that a gallon would cost but it was over $100. If anyone still has a NAPA that carries SAE 20, you are lucky. One of the dozen or so stores I went to the day I did a search locally was a NAPA. They didn't even find it in their catalog. Nor did any of the other places. I ended up buying a gallon of Mobile ISO 68 from Enco. And put the can of 3-In-One SAE 20 on the electronics bench with a can of 3-In-One SAE 10.

Robert D.
 

itsme_Bernie

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#16
aforsman,

No. 20W50 is going to also be high detergent, which is hydroscopic, which will cause rust in all but super-dry climates. Use straight mineral oil. Today, as you may have already discovered, straight SAE 20 is almost unobtainable from common sources like auto parts stores and hardwares. You will need to look at machine shop supply sources and probably under ISO equivalent. ISO 68 is approximately correct. Last that I bought was Mobile from Enco. Available in gallons.

itsmebernie,

No. The sleeve bearings are sintered (porous) bronze and don't especially need felts in the oil cups to meter the oil. If you run an open oil cup over tapered roller bearings you will have too much oil initially, which can lead to bearing overheating. Shortly, you will have dry bearings which leads to scoring and overheating. The felt meters the oil being delivered to the rollers.

Robert D.
Hey Robert,

I don't understand your correction when I said what you did. A felt in place in a vertical cup to allow a drip feed would work fine with either style bearing. Just NOT in contact with the bearings in a roller bearing machine.

Bernie


Bernie
 

aforsman

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#17
I just bought a small bottle of the stuff from Ace to get me started. It was only $2.49. I probably only use my 7x14 a few times a month, so I can't imagine I'll be using this one much more often. That $2.49 bottle might last me all year :)).
 

pdentrem

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#18
Tractor Supply sells SAE 20 non detergent. Kendall, Amsoil, Accel and most oil makers lists it. Also motor (electric) shops are users of non detergent oil. When I ran the parts counter at our local GM dealership we stocked Mobil One SAE 20 non detergent as well. Only one case but it moved, mostly old car owners were buying it. Those without oil filters on their engines required this type of oil.
Pierre
 

aforsman

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We have a Tractor Supply in town. I'll check it out next time I'm there.
 

itsme_Bernie

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#20
3in1 motor oil is non detergent and you can get it everywhere. http://www.3inone.com/products/motor-oil/


product-motor.jpg
I love the 3 in 1 and the 3 in 1 20w. I used them for a while before switching to the Mobil Spindle oil- which I only switched to because I had the SB 10L around. I did fine with the 3 in 1 20w before then.

Bernie
 

Sundossa12

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#21
3 N 1 is a great Idea, Im going to look for some today.
 

aforsman

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#22
Yeah, the little 3-in-1 bottle is perfect size for adding drops here and there. If I can find a larger bottle for about the same cost, I'll use it to refill my little one.

I hate to get off-topic, but since I started this one maybe no one will complain. :))

I just got the drivetrain on the lathe I'm restoring running tonight. It's very smooth and quiet. I didn't know what to expect since I've read several posts about them being noisy. Needless to say I'm very happy. I just needed to tell someone who may care - there's only so much excitement that the wife can muster about such things.:)) I still have a lot of pieces-parts to put back together, but it's all downhill from here. It should be ready to go with a few more hours of work.
 

shoeboxpaul

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#23
Hi Aforsman,
My 6" Atlas has no felts in the oiling cups nor on the spindle shaft, just the bearing shields to retain some oil. The manual shows no felts. Since it is basically a total loss system, just keep it oiled, doing so before usage or during or both - your schedule. Any excess will be expelled almost immediately. As for the type of oil, here is my situation. I leased an Esso (Exxon) station back in the early 70s and that is when I purchased the lathe. I would use whatever can was open and clean basically disregarding which viscosity motor oil I used. I live in southern PA now and the lathe is in my garage. I use Amsoil exclusively because I sell the stuff on the side and always have some around. It has basically been lubed with detergent motor oil since ownership. I have no rusting issues and the bearings are original. Detergent oil holds moisture in suspension and it does not release it until the oil gets to engine operating temperatures. As for weight, a straight 20 is a good choice. A multi viscoscity such as a 20W-50 is a 20 weight until the oil gets up to operating temperatures. With the operating conditions of a hobby lathe, it will not react as a 50 weight oil - the temperature is too low. In my area, it is not unusual for the humidity to be above 60% in the warmer months. If humidity is a concern in your area, use compressor oil. I talked with a tech at Amsoil and he made that suggestion to me. It is made to deal with humidity in an air compressor and some of them operate outdoors all year long while lubricating bearings.
Just keep it oiled and have a rag near by. I hope this is helpful.
Paul
 

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#24
Bernie,

Sorry. I was referring to your statement that most lathes with felts in the spindle bearing oil cups seem to have sleeve bearings. The confusion stems from two sources.

(1) Very few of the machines on this list were bought new by the current owners. So the current owner has no way of knowing what was actually on the machine when it originally left the factory.

(2) The Atlas and Craftsman parts list prior to around 1960 do not list a lot of small or miscellaneous parts like set screws and felts. The later manuals do. So the fact that your parts manual may not show a felt in the spindle oil cups or a set screw in the bull gear or most collars does not mean that they aren't or weren't originally there. Unfortunately, Sears does not seem to have done a corrected parts manual (after about 1960) for the sleeve bearing 6" machines so I can't say whether they had felts in the spindle bearing oil cups or not. As far as bearing oiling goes, I would say that they really aren't needed with the sleeve bearings. However, they can serve a secondary purpose of keeping swarf from getting down into the cup neck.

The spindle oiler felts are one piece and only in the cup body. They do not extend down through the neck and do not touch the bearings, regardless of bearing type. Also, the small oil cups on the QCGB, carriage and underdrive countershaft do not have felts.

Robert D.
 

aforsman

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#25
Thanks to all for a lot of good information about the machines and the oil. I oiled the roller bearings marginally before reassembly of the spindle and then I put about 20 drops of oil in each cup before starting up the machine. I only ran it for a couple of minutes and I plan to add more before starting it up again.

I'm guessing that motor oil doesn't evaporate very quickly, especially in such an enclosed environment, and that at some point there will be enough oil trapped in the system for the bearings to self-lubricate as the bottom of the bearings roll through the pool of oil (assuming no leakage past the shields). Does that seem like a reasonable conclusion? If so, then how do you know when you have enough? I'm guessing you'd know for sure you have enough when oil starts flowing over the ID of the shield. :))

By the way, Paul, being located in South Mississippi, I would LOVE for our humidity to be as low as 60% during the warmer months. :))

Allen
 

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#26
I'm guessing that motor oil doesn't evaporate very quickly, especially in such an enclosed environment, and that at some point there will be enough oil trapped in the system for the bearings to self-lubricate as the bottom of the bearings roll through the pool of oil (assuming no leakage past the shields). Does that seem like a reasonable conclusion? If so, then how do you know when you have enough? I'm guessing you'd know for sure you have enough when oil starts flowing over the ID of the shield. :))
Allen
Yep, reckon you've just about got it sussed now... you're aware... so doing intermittent home shop work you will be fine...:thumbzup:

Now get those chips flying :biggrin:

Bernard
 

itsme_Bernie

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#27
Bernie,

Sorry. I was referring to your statement that most lathes with felts in the spindle bearing oil cups seem to have sleeve bearings. The confusion stems from two sources.

(1) Very few of the machines on this list were bought new by the current owners. So the current owner has no way of knowing what was actually on the machine when it originally left the factory.

(2) The Atlas and Craftsman parts list prior to around 1960 do not list a lot of small or miscellaneous parts like set screws and felts. The later manuals do. So the fact that your parts manual may not show a felt in the spindle oil cups or a set screw in the bull gear or most collars does not mean that they aren't or weren't originally there. Unfortunately, Sears does not seem to have done a corrected parts manual (after about 1960) for the sleeve bearing 6" machines so I can't say whether they had felts in the spindle bearing oil cups or not. As far as bearing oiling goes, I would say that they really aren't needed with the sleeve bearings. However, they can serve a secondary purpose of keeping swarf from getting down into the cup neck.

The spindle oiler felts are one piece and only in the cup body. They do not extend down through the neck and do not touch the bearings, regardless of bearing type. Also, the small oil cups on the QCGB, carriage and underdrive countershaft do not have felts.

Robert D.
I understand Robert,

I agree, whether it was there originally or not, that felts are a good thing. I added them to one of my Atlas 618's in the past, not even knowing if it was there before.

I was unclear in my reference to felts "touching cintered bearings", as I was actually referring to, what i should have written as "as on many other machines". My SB Heavy Ten has many felts that are gravity fed, and designed to run in contact with a bearing surface. They are even spring loaded.

I wonder how so many of the felts become completely missing from the Atlas cups?? I have never found one WITH one in place! :)

Bernie
 

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#28
Bernie,

I don't know why so many are missing the felts. It's even possible that Atlas didn't install them in the early machines, although I doubt it. But more likely is that PO's pulled them out and never put them back in. Why they pulled them we'll likely never know. Some no doubt were gunked up and then dried to a rigid solid.

That's interesting about the SB felts. It wouldn't hurt the sleeve bearings in the 101.07301 to have the felts touching. But the construction of the oil cups Atlas used makes it somewhat impractical.

Allen,

The shields on the Atlas Timken equipped headstocks are just shields, not seals. Their primary purpose is to exclude trash. They will only hold oil up to the lowest point at the bottom of the shield ID. Any above that will quickly run out.

Robert D.
 

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#29
I know this is well past time but if anyone is still wondering the felt plugs came on the 1974 12 inch model 3996, P/N for the felt plugs is 557-047.
Also the recommended oil for Timken bearing headstock is SAE 20.
GR
 

wa5cab

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#30
Atlas (or Clausing) apparently intended that they be retrofitted to all earlier machines as the final (probably) revision of the 618 manual calls for two of M6-83 Felt Plugs. However, what's odd is that although it's logical to assume that when they decided to add the plugs they did it to all that they were going to do it to, the 6" felt has an Atlas style number but the 12" has a Clausing one. So we can't use the part number style as any indicator as to when the felts were added.







s
 
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