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Old 10-12-2014, 09:29 PM   #1
conn.rod
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Default lathe

so,I picked up a small benchtop lathe for 200,I do not not much about lathes but want to learn.It is a very old craftsman/atlas lathe,the seller said I could turn mild steel,what are your thoughts,you guys work with these things.



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Old 10-12-2014, 09:54 PM   #2
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Default Re: lathe

with some measuring tools you can make bushings - cut back a nut that is too long - thin a washer to just fit under the nut or bolt head -

teach your self what different speeds do with or with out fluid cutting - alloy - steel - brass - cutting bits can be had at harbor freight stores cheap

dont use your fingers YET as you will slice your self up real good if not carefull on edges- inside and out spin on a file first - get a flat / 1/2 round in different sizes / fine toothed file -- its fun to learn and it is even more fun to be able to make what you need when you need it, as it makes what your doing YOURS not something someone else did for you --

what you have is on the small side BUT its a good start --jz
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:05 PM   #3
conn.rod
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Default Re: lathe

it came with a dozen cutters including a few carbide bits,3 different heads that spin and the drill chuck attachment,inside measurement is 12" and vise can handle up to 7/8 stock.I was hoping to try and cut some mild steel (solid and tube)and practice with this.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:13 PM   #4
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Default Re: lathe

That's a good little machine you have. should be able to do a lot of handy things with it. Also parts are available off ebay and pry a number of other places. I had one several years ago and since I have seen them at auctions and garage sales.

I believe they made attachments to grind and mill with them.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: lathe

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Originally Posted by conn.rod View Post
it came with a dozen cutters including a few carbide bits,3 different heads that spin and the drill chuck attachment,inside measurement is 12" and vise can handle up to 7/8 stock.I was hoping to try and cut some mild steel (solid and tube)and practice with this.
I think you're referring to the chuck that can handle up to 7/8" stock, it's not a vise, if that's what you were talking about?

You can do small work, light cuts as it's a bench top machine. Just be careful, you can still get hurt if you are not careful.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: lathe

yup,I meant chuck,I am trying to learn and hands on and questions are the best way to do that.I always appreciate the feedback I get whether it be neg/pos as that is how we all learn.thank you all,I will be careful
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:27 PM   #7
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yup,I meant chuck,I am trying to learn and hands on and questions are the best way to do that.I always appreciate the feedback I get whether it be neg/pos as that is how we all learn.thank you all,I will be careful
One starting point, make sure you're tool is on center.
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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One starting point, make sure you're tool is on center.
what does that mean?tool on center
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Old 10-12-2014, 10:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: lathe

looks like a gunsmith lathe, check the run out and see if its worn. tooling is going to be high so start watching ebay,its your cheapest place. also "DONT FORGET" TO remove the chuck key before you turn it on and dont get your sleeves cought in it. being a machineist is a art so go slow and ask many questions. good luck and be safe.
p/s 200.00 bucks is a steal if run out isnt bad...........
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Old 10-12-2014, 11:37 PM   #10
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Default Re: lathe

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Originally Posted by BCOWANWHEELS View Post
looks like a gunsmith lathe, check the run out and see if its worn. tooling is going to be high so start watching ebay,its your cheapest place. also "DONT FORGET" TO remove the chuck key before you turn it on and dont get your sleeves cought in it. being a machineist is a art so go slow and ask many questions. good luck and be safe.
p/s 200.00 bucks is a steal if run out isnt bad...........
Those are maybe the most two important things to remember. A dinky little machine with a small, fractional HP motor can injure you BAD - and happens quick.

Congrats on a cool score.

-Bill
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Old 10-13-2014, 12:06 AM   #11
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Default Re: lathe

There is a great little book by the south bend tool company and it explains everything and gives you the names of the parts involved :

http://www.ebay.com/itm/SOUTH-BEND-h...item4870492d26
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Old 10-13-2014, 01:18 AM   #12
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Default Re: lathe

Thats a good little machine to learn on, wount rip your arm off. With these little bench top lathes you just have to be patient, grind your cutters real sharp and take small cuts. Your best bet getting started is to have a machinist buddy come over for beer and show you the supplementarys... after that you'll figure it out by trial and error. You will need to invest in measuring tools for sure.

Cutters cutting point hight needs to be adjusted in the (cutting)tool holder to the exact center of the stock you are about to turn to get good results.

I'm sure YouTube has some good info for you. Big machines or small ones... the basic principles are the same.

Cabide tool bits.... ehhhh... I think your machine will be lacking in spindle speed. Lear to grind your tool bits.

Best of luck, smart investment

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Old 10-13-2014, 05:38 AM   #13
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Default Re: lathe

Conn,
I think what Andy was saying is the cutting tool has to be on center or just below. Take a machinist ruler against the part and lightly run your cutter up to it just enough to hold it. If it is straight up, your centered, if it is leaning back your under center and if it is leaning away from ya, it is over center.

Also, take a piece of known straight round stock, center it with the 4 jaw chuck, and run the tail stock up to it, the farther away from the chuck as you can. Then mount a dial indicator in the tool holder, run it up to the round stock and then move it side to side from the tail stock to the chuck. This will tell ya if the tail stock is centered, the more off center it is, the more taper you will have on parts you cut.

And as others have said, this is a machine, if ya dont respect it, it will hurt ya, please be carefull and have fun with it.
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Old 10-13-2014, 05:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: lathe

I recently got a 1948 Logan 10 inch lathe. I never used a lather before so a machinist friend came over to check out the machine and show me the basics. He said the best part of the machine is the modern quick change tool holder.
I learned to make all sorts of bushings,spacers etc turn shafts etc. It's amazing how an old lathe can be so handy..
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Old 10-13-2014, 06:18 AM   #15
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Default Re: lathe

thank you all for the input,it is helpful
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Old 10-13-2014, 07:44 AM   #16
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Default Re: lathe

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Originally Posted by little d View Post
Conn,
I think what Andy was saying is the cutting tool has to be on center or just below. Take a machinist ruler against the part and lightly run your cutter up to it just enough to hold it. If it is straight up, your centered, if it is leaning back your under center and if it is leaning away from ya, it is over center.
Yes that is correct. You can also get it close by eye and then take a face cut. As you get close to the center you'll notice a "tit". Turn the machine off and look closely, is the tool too high or too low, you want it in the center of the "tit", thus removing it and being on center.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:13 AM   #17
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Default Re: lathe

Cool little lathe. I'd love one but can those little suckers handle doing stainless like 304?
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:33 AM   #18
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Default Re: lathe

I have a bigger Craftsman / Atlas lathe. It's a great machine. I would suggest that you look into buying a Quick Change Tool Post. Saves a bunch of time setting up.
http://littlemachineshop.com/default.php These guys have atlas lathe start up kits. It's about $175.00, but it comes with a Quick Change Tool Post, Carbide insert cutting bits, tailstock chuck and a bunch more. It may sound expensive, but it's worth every penny. You might also want to buy a 4 jaw chuck. I didn't see one in the picture you posted. The jaws on these move independently, which is nice for turning odd shaped pieces. I also didn't see thread cutting gears. This is a huge plus as you can cut tons of different threads. There is also a small milling attachment you can get. Those have a tendency to be priced on the high side, so check Ebay, estate sales, flea markets and garage sales. They're not all that common. I'm waiting to find a good deal on one then I'll snatch one up. You also might want to think about checking out another forum dedicated strictly for hobby machinists.
http://www.hobby-machinist.com/content.php?tabid=131 I hope it was okay to post up another forum on here. They have a section for many different interests. Some of the work that members have done is downright amazing. Like others have said. BE CAREFUL!!! It might be small, but it could fuck you up or at least ruin your day. I have several different brands of micrometers and calipers. I've compared them to the ones at Harbor Freight. They're good measuring tools. Not the best, but I doubt it would ruin your work because of a bad measurement. Well worth the purchase. I'll stop because I can go all day.
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Old 10-13-2014, 08:34 AM   #19
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Default Re: lathe

I have a big Logan, but have seen those little Atlas lathes in action. Guys love 'em...sharp tooling, right speed/feed and small bites I can't see any reason why they couldn't handle stainless.

Looking at the background, seems you have some strange combination of office/kitchen workshop!

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Old 10-13-2014, 08:44 AM   #20
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Default Re: lathe

The South bend book that was mentioned "How to Run a Lathe " is good . Don't try to clear the chips with your fingers. Watch your hair, sleeves and don't ever touch anything while it is turning. It will cut stainless ,chrome moly , anything you want. Not only will it get you out of jams . you will think up projects you can make on it. Look into a tool cutter called Diamond Tool Holder. You can see it used on youtube. This is in addition to the quick change post. You have the lathe now all you need is the milling machine . Good score -- enjoy it !
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