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Irreversible modification

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jwmay

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I found this machine on Craigslist. I didn’t really want to flame the guy, but would say this is a blunder that should have been avoided.2445F6CF-2E10-4569-B0BE-90B580456D77.jpeg
 

Chipper5783

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You are probably correct, however there may be another perspective. I agree with you that notching the bed is a sacralidge, however to notch the non travel section of the tail stock ways does not compromise the function of the lathe and gives you a little more swing to get that certain job done.

In other words don't be too quick to point out someone's mistakes. Perhaps it was not a goof/blunder - maybe it was on purpose?
 

jwmay

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I hadn’t thought about it from that view. It’s a fair point. I suppose if the job you did with it, saved or made you the dollar amount you’ve spent on the machine, a person could conceivably justify it. I do believe it was on purpose and for a reason. Truth is, I saw that, and figured it’d be interesting to read the forums comments on it. So, I thank you for your viewpoint.
 

john.k

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Not uncommon...seen it done to very large lathe so a job could be turned.....They broke out the bed with sledgehammer and chisel. I have bevelled the ways to swing a slightly oversize job...........needs must when the devil drives.
 

GrayTech

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It's a gap bed lathe, just not the sort that you would normally think of. I have one of the "normal" type and love it. Looks like that was likely just an out of the box solution to an immediate problem. Pity it's a bit of a hack job, but looks like it could be cleaned up.

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benmychree

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I saw one lathe that was about 16" swing, that had the bed cut away down to the level of the leadscrew for nearly 12" in length, that was quite extreme to say the least, I think good blow could have broken it in half; I have seen a good many other lathes that the ways or portions of them cut away for some special job, it is not uncommon. I think that if it is done, it should be done neatly; having said that, I would never do so. If you need a larger swing, block the headstock up, even just temporarily. Where I apprenticed, they had a 40" lathe blocked up to swing 87"; at one point it was blocked up even higher, but this was later removed, as it was too unstable, even with braces to the wall and floor.
 

Nogoingback

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Easy guys... We have a lot of Craftsman/Atlas owners on this site.
 

Aukai

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Necessity is the motherhood of butchery......:eek:
 

jwmay

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So let me make sure I understand. I posted this as something that should not be done. But pretty much all of you believe it’s completely acceptable, so long as you can justify it with a temporary income stream? ( as if we were all in a room together and you could all shake your heads and say no, no that’s not what I meant..)

So since it’s so common to do, does that mean you’d buy, or recommend the purchase of a machine with its ways cut to a brand new hobby machinist? Would you recommend, to a person who came here with no machining background, to cut their lathe bed ways in order to complete a HOBBY project?( once again, I’m imagining you all grumbling “no, you don’t understand what I said right”)

I do happen to like Atlas Craftsman lathes, but my feelings are intact. Our opinions differ, but I’m sure you have good cause for yours. Mine’s actually just silly. I think they are some of the prettiest little lathes I’ve ever seen. And I don’t give a hoot about practical matters, because if I did, I wouldn’t be a hobby machinist, I’d be a practical one. Aaaand I’ll stop there.
 

jim18655

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When I see something like this I just think it's his tool/machine he can do as he pleases as long as it doesn't hurt other people. I'm sure he had a good reason to make the modification to do a job instead of buying a larger machine. I only care if someone damages or modifies a museum piece.
 

Cadillac STS

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If you got it then at least it could be cleaned up to look like it belongs like that. At least look like it belongs to the casual observer not anyone knowing better. And the size might come in handy from time to time.

Could also be a big element to bring up negotiating price.
 

Nogoingback

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I

Could also be a big element to bring up negotiating price.

Exactly. If it came time to sell that lathe, it could be hard to sell, and definitely affect the sale price.
 

Cadillac STS

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Exactly. If it came time to sell that lathe, it could be hard to sell, and definitely affect the sale price.
Right, after many years of using it and enjoying having a lathe to use the price is the price on both sides.
 

NortonDommi

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I would not buy a machine that had been this badly treated.
I look at that photo and think "well that has to be a few bucks off" The metal removed is not affecting the structural integrity and as has been mentioned a bit of a tidy-up and it would look factory to those not familiar with the model.
A LOT of my tools have come from O.P.R,(Other Peoples Rubbish),that with a little time and labour I have resurrected or refurbished with embellishment. A tool or machine would have to be utter crap before I would condemn it and as I know what it is like to have grand dreams and an empty wallet I can say any tool is better than no tool. I also have no hesitation in modifying tools or machines to make them fit for purpose.
 

john.k

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Its easier to be holier than me.......but you have a ship laid up ,costing a $1000 a day port fees,and the only way you can do the job is by modifying the lathe in the shop,then you must make a decision.........needs must when the devil drives.
 
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Nogoingback

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And when the customer has a ship costing thousands a day, you can charge pretty much what you like for the parts, which would pay
for a new Craftsman lathe. :)
 

WalterC

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"I cannot, in all good conscience, buy a lathe that has been desecrated in such a manner- it is a sacrilege to my profession. Quick,- discount it 30% before I change my mind, and I shall forgive you're transgressions"!!!!!


That's what you say.



Duck down and right if he swings at you. lol
 

Superburban

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It's a rare option. Very few exist.
 

Cadillac STS

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Is the craigslist ad still up? Would be nice to hear the actual story of what happened with that. Maybe one of grandpa's war stories?

Could be it was mounted in a ships machine shop and the ship is hit and going down, need to turn a new part to save the ship. Maybe a plug to stop the sinking... Some hero saved the day. Or too much beer in someone's garage?
 

WCraig

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There are lots of cases where a job needs to be done NOW. There's no time to buy a bigger lathe. There's no time to block up the headstock, tailstock and tool rest. We need it NOW--fill in your own reason why. Like: "The crop is ready to be harvested but the combine has broken down." Etc, etc.

We might not like it but any one of us would do the same if cutting a chunk out of the lathe bed was the only reasonable option in the circumstances.

Craig
My Atlas 618 had slightly smaller chunks out of it when I bought it. No effect on use so far.
 

jwmay

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Is the craigslist ad still up? Would be nice to hear the actual story of what happened with that. Maybe one of grandpa's war stories?

Could be it was mounted in a ships machine shop and the ship is hit and going down, need to turn a new part to save the ship. Maybe a plug to stop the sinking... Some hero saved the day. Or too much beer in someone's garage?
i can’t find the ad anymore. I can tell you it was described as being in excellent condition and asking price was 1100 dollars.
 

Nogoingback

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I guess everyone has their own view of what "excellent condition" means...
 
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