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Lathe Question: What is the better lathe? 109.20630 or the 101.07301?

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SackOHammers

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Hello all,

I recently sold off my Cummin's Tools lathe to fund the purchase of a pair of Craftsman (Dunlap) lathes. I ended up bringing home a 109.20630 and a 109.0702. The 109.20630 is pretty much in prime shape considering how old it is. The 109.0702 came as a donor but I think I may fix it up. It's missing the gearing and I need to turn a rear bushing, but it's still pretty solid.

I planned the sale of my Chinese lathe to buy something US made. While I was negotiating the purchase of the pair I have now I posted a very simple Craigslist WTB for a lathe under $200, just to see what would happen. Two weeks later a gentleman has responded with a 101.07301 with tooling for $150! It's an early Atlas and from what I can tell it looks superior to the AA/Dunlaps.

So here is my question: Have any of you had experience with the two machines? I'm curious to have a bench test opinion of them from someone.

Just a side note on the buying and selling part. I paid $400 years ago for the Cummins new. Sold it to the first guy that saw it for $350. Got two 109's for $300. My wife made $50.:)

100_4640.JPG 100_4637.JPG
 
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rafe

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#2
I had a dunlap...found it to be nearly useless....I then got an 6" atlas ...much better machine....I now have a 14 1/2 " south bend , and 2 small atlases (craftsman) still come in handy sometimes but the SB is awesome . That is just my opinion on the dunlaps some people like them .....

Oh and you did well on the purchase they usually sell for much more ...parts go high on e-bay ......
 
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Uncle Buck

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Those lathes were made by the Double A company and badged as Dunlap and I think some even wore a Craftsman name. No AA lathe regardless of what variation or style is as good is almost any Atlas, or Atlas/Craftsman lathe. Every AA lathe I have ever seen had V ways and every Atlas or Atlas/Craftsman I have seen had flat ways.

Do yourself a favor and cut your losses now. Unload both those lathes and find a little 6" Atlas, or Atlas/Craftsman. You will be dollars and tons of frustration ahead for doing so. Unload them even if you have to take a loss to do so I bet you will still be dollars ahead!
 

The Liberal Arts Garage

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O.K, You've got me! I used to have bigger brother Atlas, used it for this'n that for years in my business, would do whatever I needed, nothing specially accurate, paid $150 for it with everything. All the same, as a little boy, 109' s looked so LATHEY to me, I always wanted one. I think that is their appeal to us going fast down the other side of life...... BLJHB
 

SackOHammers

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Those lathes were made by the Double A company and badged as Dunlap and I think some even wore a Craftsman name. No AA lathe regardless of what variation or style is as good is almost any Atlas, or Atlas/Craftsman lathe. Every AA lathe I have ever seen had V ways and every Atlas or Atlas/Craftsman I have seen had flat ways.

Do yourself a favor and cut your losses now. Unload both those lathes and find a little 6" Atlas, or Atlas/Craftsman. You will be dollars and tons of frustration ahead for doing so. Unload them even if you have to take a loss to do so I bet you will still be dollars ahead!
:))There's the beauty of it. The little gray was filthy when I got it home. The most I've done is strip it down and gave the insides a good cleaning and inspection. No real wear on it plus it came with a three and four jaw chuck, faceplate, various centers and a MT0 chuck. In a pinch I'm confident that I can get my money back on that one alone. I kind of consider the bare bones one a bonus lathe that got thrown in to the deal.

One thing that galls me on these two machines is the lack of even a basic micrometer dial on both the cross and the compound slide. It must have been a massive expense to stamp or even paint them on the handle shafts back in the day. And the apron wheel being on the tail end of it is awkward. It is workable due to it being such a short bed. Its a slow way to move the carriage, so it forces patience and that's not always a bad thing. I know the Atlas has the apron wheel on the carriage, but I wonder if they put the dials on the slides? I need to look that up on line.

I had read somewhere that the Double A Company was also known as the Ann Arbor Foundry that made the castings for the Dunlap line. The fellow that sold me these was convinced they were Atlas. Which is OK. I knew they weren't. For the money I wasn't to worried about it.

Now all I'm waiting for is the seller of the Atlas to contact me so I can get a look at it. Ah, the thrill of the hunt.
 
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AR1911

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#6
There 101 AKA 618 lathes were good machines. IMO they are more useful than their bigger Atlas brothers, because their proportions were more in keeping with the work envelope. I have had 3 or 4 618s, including the very nice one I have now. I don't use it much, but it's nice to have around for the really small stuff.

That 101-07301 is the least desirable of the 618 family, because it has plain bronze head bearings, and the spindle is a less common size - 3/4-8 or something like that. Just make sure you get both chucks and a faceplate for it, as those would be hard to source separately. Still, at $150 I'd buy it regardless. You can clean it up and never lose money when you trade up later.

I also have a couple of AA lathes. They are restored and sitting on my library shelves. I think that is the best current use for the 109s - as lathe "models".
 

The Liberal Arts Garage

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Hello all,

I recently sold off my Cummin's Tools lathe to fund the purchase of a pair of Craftsman (Dunlap) lathes. I ended up bringing home a 109.20630 and a 109.0702. The 109.20630 is pretty much in prime shape considering how old it is. The 109.0702 came as a donor but I think I may fix it up. It's missing the gearing and I need to turn a rear bushing, but it's still pretty solid.

I planned the sale of my Chinese lathe to buy something US made. While I was negotiating the purchase of the pair I have now I posted a very simple Craigslist WTB for a lathe under $200, just to see what would happen. Two weeks later a gentleman has responded with a 101.07301 with tooling for $150! It's an early Atlas and from what I can tell it looks superior to the AA/Dunlaps.

So here is my question: Have any of you had experience with the two machines? I'm curious to have a bench test opinion of them from someone.

Just a side note on the buying and selling part. I paid $400 years ago for the Cummins new. Sold it to the first guy that saw it for $350. Got two 109's for $300. My wife made $50.:)
Before you get too far in, the---702 is strictly parts. The Atlas will do more in worse condition; the ----- 630 will satisfy more esthetically, but you must make it much better than new. .......BLJHB
 

oldschoolcane

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I have the Craftsman 109 20630, all cleaned up and ready to use but now I am having second thoughts about buying the tooling to go with it? Generally I'd be using it to make small nickle silver parts for rod building but I am just concerned I'll be putting more money into a machine that I won't use for long? Any advice is welcome.
 

ericc

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#9
These little lathes are weaker than they look, but they will do an okay job on fishing rod ferrules. Probably not much more. Although there are a lot of parts available for them on ebay and other various sources, this can add up to some serious money that would better be used for a higher end lathe. Add up what your possible expenditures are for this project and then make a reasonable decision. By the way, once you pass a certain point, the lathe can kind of fix itself, but it will use up your time and raw materials. I think that I am at this point myself.
 

oldschoolcane

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Thanks for your advice Eric, I am adding a motor to the lathe and a new belt and will see how the lathe works before I get too involved with this. I am hoping the lathe will run on a lower RPM so that this will be useful with the smaller projects related to rod building. At least the lathe doesn't appear to have a lot of use, its in good condition.
 

kd4gij

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#11
The pen turning crowd like the 109 because they are cheep and are better than the small wood lathes
 

oldschoolcane

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Mounted the lathe, bought a V belt and added a switch to the 109. Now while running the chuck spins out of line, any ideas on what the issue could be?
 
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Lordbeezer

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#13
Spindle bent.common on 109,s.had a almost new one with bent spindle.mine was 1/2"x 13..made new one out of 1/2" bolt.didn't drill it..618's are much better..
 

Westkeyser

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I have a craftsman 109. 21280 , from what I read , made in England, I think? Has. 1-10" spindle thread.
Was given to me 5 or more years ago. Haven't tried to learn to use it. Well , It needs , a Rack gear ,
Chuck 3 and 4 jaw. May be more, having a mechinist , come look at it.
The widow who gave it to me , looked around his Shop, but could not come up with any Parts. Anyone
On here know where I might find parts for it? Westkeyser
 

wa5cab

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Westkeyser,

The 109.21280 is a mystery machine. From the Sears model number, it was made by AA (Dunlap is a Sears name, like Craftsman) but in most respects is more similar to the 101.07301 than to any of the other 109 models. Except that the spindle nose threads are the same as on the Atlas 618. I believe that we have had evidence of about three machines existing, or four if you count the one shown briefly on Lathes.UK (assuming that it isn't one of the three). But we have essentially no information on it including no good photos that I can find. I have turned up no evidence that it ever appeared in a Sears catalog.

As far as finding the two chucks goes, anything that will fit the spindle nose of a 618 should also fit the 109.21280. So finding them shouldn't be any problem.

For the missing rack, you need to determine the pitch and pressure angle of the gear that meshes with it. It may be the same as used on the 618 and 101.07301 or it may not be the same. You can buy gauge sets roughly similar to thread gauges of radius gauges. My set came from McMaster, I think. Once you have ID'd the spur gear, you can buy rack material from a number of sources, including McMaster.
 
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