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lathe for sale; thoughts?

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ARC-170

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#1

pontiac428

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#2
That is a Craftsman "Commercial" 12. It looks like it is all there, and what is visible in the photos can be cleaned up. He has a milling attachment with it that is worth $350-400 on its own, and the QCGB is worth $300 at minimum, so if the lathe is toast you can part it out and recoup your losses very easily. Yes, parts are widely available on eBay. Manuals and knowledge on Atlas/Craftsman machines are all over the web. It would be a perfect machine to learn on.
 

Norseman C.B.

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#3
Go get it !!!, like Pontiac said, you can re-sell parts and come out ahead.
That bein said it looks like it will clean up and be a good user/learner machine to me ............
 

cjtoombs

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#4
I have basicaly the same one but without the stand and underslung drive (which I would prefer). Yes, well woth the price. The lathe looks a bit weathered, but these were sold as hobby lathes, not production machines, so they are seldom worn out. I like mine, the 12" comercial has thicker bed ways than the normal 10-12 Atlas/Craftsman lathe. I paid 550 for mine, without the steady rest and milling attachment, it did have a qctp, to give you a price point. Cosmeticaly it looked about like that one. Good luck.
 

Cooter Brown

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#5
If he won’t take $500-600 for it then keep looking......
 

CluelessNewB

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#6
Looks like a pretty good deal to me. Make sure you get all the goodies that go with it. Wait too long and it will be gone.
 

cjtoombs

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#7
If he won’t take $500-600 for it then keep looking......
You're probably right, for Detroit. Cali tends to have higher prices for machine tools, as it doesn't have the manufacturing history that the upper midwest does.
 

westsailpat

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#8
I would like to see whats behind door #2 & 3 , IMO $850 is a good price considering the milling attachment and steady rest . You will want a QCTP to go with it , those aren't that expensive . The condition at first glance looks not so good but I think it is just light rust and will clean up quickly . One thing we cant see are the ways . Good luck .
 

markba633csi

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#9
It may be a good deal; I paid 840 for my bench model of that machine with no steady rest (I could care less about the milling attachment) and it needed cleanup, but it all comes down to condition- gears, bearings, ways, etc. Some parts are expensive to replace
mark
 

ARC-170

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#10
Thanks everyone. It was sold. Oh, well. Now I know a little bit more.
 

Cooter Brown

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#11
You're probably right, for Detroit. Cali tends to have higher prices for machine tools, as it doesn't have the manufacturing history that the upper midwest does.

The best state to hunt for great deals on machine tools is Ohio....... I have had the most luck there..... Everyone in Detroit thinks these machine are made from solid gold.....

I love this store, Its like going to the zoo.....
http://www.mckeanmachinery.com/


This in a bathroom stall there..... lol
IMG_0047.jpg
 
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ARC-170

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#14
I just found this one for sale for $400:
Atlas lathe in great condition, just really dusty from many years of storage. I believe it's a model 101.07403 with threading capability. Bed is 24", base is about 48" long so may have been for a 36" model. I believe the swing is 9". Great size for a home garage. I think the motor is a replacement. This lathe will clean up very nicely and will want to be oiled / greased before being returned to service. Comes with an extra head and some gears. Whatever parts and tooling I can find will also be included.

I emailed him, here is his response:
Called but didn't reach you. I've had several messages about the lathe just this morning so we're holding firm on the price. I'm helping an older couple sell it and will be there tomorrow around lunchtime, so if you're a serious buyer at the asking price and want to see it tomorrow let me know.

Here are some pictures. Thoughts?
atlas lathe 1.jpg atlas lathe 2 gears.jpg atlas lathe info.jpg

The model number he references is a 12" swing.
 

wa5cab

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#15
The lathe is a Craftsman 12" built by Atlas. It will have a 12" swing (US practice). That means that the distance between the spindle center-line and the bed is just over 6".

If the length of the ways (including the part under the headstock and tailstock) is about 48", then it is a 12 x 30 and it was made before 1948 (the year that Atlas quit selling 36" and 48" beds). It has a Timken headstock and if the lead screw diameter is 3/4" rather than 5/8", it is a 101.07403.

Another identifier would be if it has a pull-out knob sticking out the front of the apron for engaging power cross feed. I can't quite make out whether it does or doesn't in the first photo.
 

Cooter Brown

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#16
I would look for a lathe with an adjustable gearbox..... Pass on the Atlas.....
 

ARC-170

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#17
I would look for a lathe with an adjustable gearbox..... Pass on the Atlas.....
What do you mean by adjustable gear box? I thought lathes came with change gears for threading. And I thought the belts on this one are used to change the speeds. Could you please clarify? Thanks!

Here's some more pictures:
atlas lathe 3 gears.jpg atlas lathe 4 belts.jpg
 

Nogoingback

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#18
Smaller lathes come in 2 flavors:

Change gear lathe, where you have to remove the gears and re-install to make a speed change:

lathe.jpg

Or a lathe with a Quick Change Gear Box, which allows changes by changing lever position. Notice the unit at the left end
of the machine with two handles.

8129368417_c618a06ea2_b.jpg

Not talking about spindle speed here. That is controlled by belt position on pulleys, or on larger machines with a different gearbox. This applies
to the speed of the shaft (under the edge of the bed) that drives the carriage when power feeding.
 
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mickri

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#19
That lathe has not been used in a long time. There is no grease/oil on any of the gears. I would not run it for more than a minute or two without oiling the bearings. It does look to be in decent condition. If the paint is original it has not been used much due to a lack of what I would call worn spots in the paint. For $400 I would be there in a heartbeat and be standing first inline to look at it. Call the guy up and see if you can be the first to look it tomorrow morning. Not worth haggling on the price unless you find something really wrong with it when you look at it.

I blew up the picture and there appears to be a pull out nob on the cross slide.
 

ARC-170

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#20
Smaller lathes come in 2 flavors:

Change gear lathe, where you have to remove the gears and re-install to make a speed change:

View attachment 279009

Or a lathe with a Quick Change Gear Box, which allows changes by changing lever position. Notice the unit at the left end
of the machine with two handles.

View attachment 279010

Not talking about spindle speed here. That is controlled by belt position on pulleys, or on larger machines with a different gearbox. This applies
to the speed of the shaft (under the edge of the bed) that drives the carriage when power feeding.
Thanks for the clarification. That's what I thought you were talking about, but I wasn't sure.
 

ARC-170

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#21
That lathe has not been used in a long time. There is no grease/oil on any of the gears. I would not run it for more than a minute or two without oiling the bearings. It does look to be in decent condition. If the paint is original it has not been used much due to a lack of what I would call worn spots in the paint. For $400 I would be there in a heartbeat and be standing first inline to look at it. Call the guy up and see if you can be the first to look it tomorrow morning. Not worth haggling on the price unless you find something really wrong with it when you look at it.

I blew up the picture and there appears to be a pull out nob on the cross slide.
This does seem like a good deal, but only if it has the 10 change gears that it needs. Are those hard to find/expensive? I think Clausing made this lathe, so do they have the parts for something this old?

I can't get there until later in the morning, but I emailed the seller to tell him that. It's not far; about 30 minutes away.
 

ARC-170

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#22
BTW, anyone know what this weighs? Can two people load it in a truck from a table about the same height as the tailgate on a full-size truck? I couldn't easily find any weight info online.
 

mickri

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#23
IMHO it is a good deal even without a complete set of change gears. Complete sets of change gears are always for sale on Ebay from just over $100 and up. You may not need a complete set depending on what threads you plan to cut.

When I got my 12x36 I took everything off that I could. I did not remove the headstock or the QCGB from the bed. I loaded everything by myself into the back of my pickup except for the bed/headstock and the stand which the seller helped me move and load into my truck. I loaded the stand in last because I wanted it to come our first. When I got home I unloaded everything by myself. It would have been better and easier if I had some help unloading. But I got it done. You should be fine with a helper.
 

ARC-170

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#24
IMHO it is a good deal even without a complete set of change gears. Complete sets of change gears are always for sale on Ebay from just over $100 and up. You may not need a complete set depending on what threads you plan to cut.

When I got my 12x36 I took everything off that I could. I did not remove the headstock or the QCGB from the bed. I loaded everything by myself into the back of my pickup except for the bed/headstock and the stand which the seller helped me move and load into my truck. I loaded the stand in last because I wanted it to come our first. When I got home I unloaded everything by myself. It would have been better and easier if I had some help unloading. But I got it done. You should be fine with a helper.
Do you have this particular lathe or a similar one?
 

wa5cab

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#26
To clarify, when one speaks of speed in reference to a lathe, milling machine or drill press, one is or should be referring to spindle or quill RPM. The majority of 12 inch swing and smaller lathes ever built are belt driven and to change speeds, you either move the belt to the pulley set(s) that give the desired or on a few usually more expensive machines, you turn a knob or a handwheel which adjusts the pitch diameter of two pulleys. Larger and more expensive machines are usually equipped with a gear box and you change speeds by selecting a different gear ratio.

However the spindle speed is adjusted, most lathes built since about 1930 have an arrangement of change gears driven off of the spindle which in a variety of ways drives the carriage so that you can turn or thread workpieces. How fast the carriage moves is determined by the gear ratio and how fast the spindle is turning. If the change gears are temporarily mounted on a bracket usually on the left end of the headstock, you have a Change Gear machine. To use it, the operator would install the gears necessary to drive the carriage a few thousandths to a few ten-thousandths of an inch for each revolution of the spindle and then machine the part except for any threads. Then, if the part had any threads, the operator would reconfigure the change gears such that the carriage would move forward one thread pitch for each revolution of the spindle. He would also usually slow down the speed of the machine by changing the belt or gear ratio . How much he would slow it down would depend upon the thread pitch and how good his reflexes are. For the record, the number of gears in the standard change gear set for an Atlas or Atlas-Craftsman 9", 10" or 12" machine is 15. The 6" up through mid 1972 had 14 and after that 13. This includes any gears installed on the change gear bracket (AKA Banjo). This does not include the spindle gear, four back gears, any gears associated with the machine's FWD-OFF-REV function, or any gears in the apron (the front of the carriage). All of these latter gears should always be installed on the machine.

Somewhat more expensive machines have the majority of the change gears installed in what's commonly called a Quick Change Gear Box (QCGB for short). The QCGB is adjusted by moving one, two or three levers (without getting your hands greasy) whose position for various feeds or thread pitches is usually shown on a chart attached to the box. To mechanically couple the spindle to the QCGB, most machines will still have a banjo with a few change gears on it. As there is a practical limit to the number of ratios that can be stuffed into a QCGB, most machines will come with instructions of how to set up the machine to cut uncommon thread pitches by changing the default gear set on the banjo and properly adjusting the QCGB. One common reason is to cut metric threads on an Imperial machine.
 
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mickri

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#27
I have a craftsman 12x36 model number 101.28910 which is 36 inches between centers and a newer model but is essentially the same lathe with a 6 inch longer bed than the $400 lathe that you posted above. My lathe would be slightly heavier but not much.

The lathe in your post #25 is a smaller lathe and according to the description the tailstock is damaged and missing parts. No idea if parts are available. It also does not have the same range of spindle speeds as the craftsman 12 inch lathes. My craftsman will go down to 28 rpm whereas this lathe only goes down to 90 rpm. The top speed on the craftsman is also higher. With the correct gears you can also cut the common metric threads on the craftsman 12 inch. Don't know if you can do that on this lathe. My worry would be parts availability and you have a lathe that needs immediate repair. I would pass.
 

wa5cab

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#28
Parts situation is probably better on the Atlas and Craftsman lathes than on any other badge. First, they probably hold the record for number of machines produced. Second, although you will pay today's prices, Clausing (which used to be Atlas Press) still sells a lot of new parts for at least the later lathes. Third, many common parts are all over eBay. Fourth, some parts are still available from Sears Parts Direct, although they are usually cheaper from Clausing. And finally, many factory drawings of parts that Clausing no longer carries are in our Downloads.
 

ARC-170

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#29
I bought it! $400. Turns out it's a Craftsman model 101 07403. The bed (including under the headstock) is 36" long. Swing is 12".
1. The spindle turns, but it feels crunchy, not smooth. Ugh.
2. There was only one change gear.
3. All the "turny" parts turned, but they were hard to do so. The side gears would not easily engage.
4. This whole thing desperately needs oil; it's bone dry.
5. The motor works, but it's got some kludgy wiring. Where does the wire into the machine go? Looks like a ground.
6. It cam with all kinds of tooling (see below) and I grabbed a bunch of other stuff on and around the lathe just in case.

Next steps:
7. Take apart and clean. Where do I find advice and instructions for that? I've taken things apart, but not precision machinery! Any trick/tips/etc would be appreciated.
8. What cleaners do I use? What oil/grease is used and where?

Should I start a restoration thread? I tend to just ask one question per thread, rather than have one long one.

Let me know your thoughts and comments!

Some picture for your viewing pleasure:

FRONT:
craftsman lathe (2) small.jpg
BACK:
craftsman lathe (1) small.jpg

GEARBOX:
craftsman lathe (3) small.jpg

CARRIAGE, FRONT:
craftsman lathe (4) small.jpg

CARRIAGE, REAR:
craftsman lathe (5) small.jpg

CHUCK:
craftsman lathe (6) small.jpg

TOP GEAR BOX:
craftsman lathe (7) small.jpg

TOOLING:
craftsman lathe (8) small.jpg craftsman lathe (9) small.jpg

MOTOR CONNECTIONS:
craftsman lathe (11) small.jpg
 

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mickri

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#30
Way to go. Looks like you got a good deal. These lathes are easy to take apart. I would give all of the nuts and bolts a good shot of your favorite penetrating oil every day for a couple of days. Look on the atlas/craftsman forum and you will find lots of info on what to do to resurrect your lathe. Vintage Machinery will most likely have the owner's manuals that you can download and download a copy of the Manual of Lathe Operations. Commonly referred to MOLO. You are on your way.
 
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