Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

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pete
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by pete » Sat Apr 22, 2017 12:16 am

I sure can't judge the Atlas lathes Spro since I've never owned or even operated one. Other than those damn Zamak gears my little Atlas horizontal is pretty stoutly built for such a small machine. With the addition of the MFC vertical support I've watched Youtube videos showing them taking quite heavy cuts that a Chinese vertical mill couldn't do at 3 times the weight and twice the HP. And those off shore verticals don't have multiple built in X axis power feeds right from the factory.

And it isn't just Atlas that went light in the bed area. My much more modern 11" x 27" Chinese lathe looks to have an ok bed cross section. But they pulled a fast one. At the bottom of the bed between the bed feet they added a lip to the casting pattern. The bed thickness in that area looks to be a lot heavier built than it really is. If you feel with your fingers you can then tell that lip is there without turning the machine upside down. My guess is that lip makes pulling the pattern out from the sand a lot harder and it probably gives no real added strength. It's just for looks. Making the vertical area under the ways that full depth that the lip is would have made a large difference in bed stiffness and mass to help resist the cutting forces much better. It's simply cost cutting and reduced shipping costs with maybe a bit of "lets fool the buyer" thrown in. I've tossed around the idea of carving out a center bed foot of cast iron and bonding and screwing it into place and a permanent part of the bed. Maybe someday.

I remember running 10" South Bends back in high school that still had the rocker tool posts. I'd rather not go back to those thanks. :-) But Atlas and to maybe a lesser amount the smaller South Bends were built down to meet a price more could afford. I think they should work just as well today as they did then if you don't try to push them past there design limits.DS&G, Holbrook, Monarch, etc are a different machine class altogeather. How many home shop guys could afford a new one when they were being built. Without the Chinese machines many simply couldn't afford this as a hobby. The same was true when Atlas were selling new machines.

But have a look on Ebay for what the little Atlas horizontals and South Bend shapers are going for now. The easy supply of good used ones seems to have dried up and the prices seem to be steeply climbing every year. Good heavy 10 SB lathes or the 11" are going way up as well. SB shaper vises, the original 4" rotary tables, the very rudimentry Atlas dividing attachments that used the lathe change gears are going for insane prices today.

earlgo
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by earlgo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:04 am

Pete: you are right that this was an inexpensive lathe for hobbyists. My dad must have saved for a while before buying this. Here is the original invoice.
Atlas 12 in invoice_Page_1.jpg
Atlas 12 in invoice_Page_2.jpg
He did get a lot of tools for start and all of them are still with the lathe except for the end mills.
--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

earlgo
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by earlgo » Sat Apr 22, 2017 9:23 am

Yesterday I did more with the tail-stock.
First I chucked the ram up in the 4 jaw and checked the concentricity of the Morse #2 taper. Good.
Second I put in the original Jacobs #6A chuck with a ground rod 3" long and rotated the headstock. .014 tir at the chuck and .028tir at 2" away. Replaced the 6A with a similar Jacobs 33-34. .005 tir at the chuck .012 tir 2" away.
Maybe Jacobs sells a rebuild kit for #6A chucks.
Third I did as SteveM suggested. The tailstock was moved to the unworn end of the bed to check the straightness. Held the DT stationary and pushed the tailstock with the ram extended along the ways to check for tilt. .002 low at the outer end, so there is some tilt.
Fourth, I put in the 33-34 Jacobs chuck with a ground bar 3" long in the jaws and did the same with the DT and push along the ways. At 0° the tilt was -.006. At 90° the tilt was -.009. At 180° the tilt was -.001 and at 270° the tilt was +.001. The chuck was marked so the orientation can be utilized.
More needs to be done here, but it was obvious that the #6A chuck was worn too badly for much accuracy.
Ain't we got fun, but I am learning more each day with the board help. Thanks to all.
--earlgo
Crapin,crapout.
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

pete
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by pete » Mon Apr 24, 2017 11:27 pm

Well that was probably still a lot of money when it was bought. $365 for there 12" x 36" I'd guess somewhere in the 1960's or very early 1970s? Looks like a well rounded set of accssories also. I can't say just how true it is but I have read more than a few posts on PM saying the new Jacobs rebuild kits don't fit the older models of there chucks. Might be better to find an old NOS rebuild kit on Ebay?

spro
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by spro » Tue Apr 25, 2017 12:08 am

Pile of information. I still like the Atlas brand and always will. I did see a huge Huge structure come down. Atlas Press in Gainesville Va. Heck it wasn't widely noted about. Dang, it is a Target or shopping center now. I wished I could have visited before or what. More dry tears and inability to change the course of things. The wheels were set in motion before and came down in bombus years. One little large thing.

whateg0
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by whateg0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:04 am

SteveHGraham wrote:This thread explains my fear of old precision machines. I can fix an old band saw. Even highly skilled machinists can't fix a worn-out lathe.
If you believe that, go check out some of the rebuilds done to the Monarch 10ee on PM. Even Monarch buys old machines and makes them new again. I haven't read the last half of this thread yet, but I believe that any machine, with enough time, effort, and money can be made new again. If it was a mediocre machine new, it'll be a mediocre machine restored. But it can be made to perform to its original level again. Of course, for most of these machines, it'll take far more time and money than the machine will ever be "worth", but the satisfaction in making it that is often worth more than that in itself. To some degree, I guess some of that depends on how worn-out the lathe is. Or maybe not. Just takes more parts. I'll have to go find the rebuild thread and read it now because I'm curious about the process, but if you didn't have everything ground and then scraped in, I'd call it a "freshening", but not a full restoration. Just my 2¢.

Dave

whateg0
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by whateg0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:12 am

John Hasler wrote:Buy a new EE10 and I bet you'll soon take on projects that will cause you to curse its limitations.
I don't want to hijack the thread too much, but... My 10ee is far from good, but it's so much better than the lathe it replaced, it's unreal. My buddy tried for years to get me to buy one, and finally last fall, I did. I doubt I'll ever spend the time and money that some do rebuilding it, but it does need some work to not cause itself more harm. The saddle is riding on the inner flat way, for example and the HS end gib bearings aren't even close to the bottom of the ways. But I'm already doing just what you say - taking on new things that I'd have never considered with my old machine.

I have often thought of rebuilding my old Weidenhoff, not because it's worth it, but for the experience of having done so. It'll never be a silk purse. I know that. We did turn a new spindle for it, which fixed many of the issues it had. But it still has a lot of wear and lacks features that would make it really nice to have. I bought it before I knew what I didn't know, and have learned a lot since then. Having it also made me learn how to compensate for a machine's limitations, too. Even with the wear it has, I was still able to hold most dimensions well enough. Needing anything within tenths required leaving material and filing, sanding, or grinding.

Back to the 10ee, have you seen what Monarch sells the new-old ones for? I'd like to be the guy who can afford that!

whateg0
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by whateg0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:16 am

pete wrote:... For some of the high end and very well built machines parts are still no problem but you'd better have very deep pockets....
I called Monarch about the cost of a new saddle - just the casting that spans the bed, nothing else - and it was "thousands". They wouldn't give me an exact price, and at that point, I didn't ask for one. I barely have "thousands" into the whole machine at this point, though that will climb when I get around to fixing the worn saddle.

whateg0
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by whateg0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:37 am

earlgo wrote:Pete: you are right that this was an inexpensive lathe for hobbyists. My dad must have saved for a while before buying this. Here is the original invoice.Atlas 12 in invoice_Page_1.jpgAtlas 12 in invoice_Page_2.jpg
He did get a lot of tools for start and all of them are still with the lathe except for the end mills.
--earlgo
Less than $16 for freight! I can't ship a piece of a paper for that anymore!

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:46 pm

whateg0 wrote:
SteveHGraham wrote:This thread explains my fear of old precision machines. I can fix an old band saw. Even highly skilled machinists can't fix a worn-out lathe.
If you believe that, go check out some of the rebuilds done to the Monarch 10ee on PM. Even Monarch buys old machines and makes them new again. I haven't read the last half of this thread yet, but I believe that any machine, with enough time, effort, and money can be made new again.
You can fix any machine for a million dollars. If you have enough money, you can take your washing machine and have it turned into a world-class lathe (more realistically, you can pay someone else to do it). I'm talking about the real world. Fixing hardened ways that have rust damage and wear is not a realistic goal for a home workshop.

Virtually all of the "restorations" I've seen have been paint jobs. The factory-refurbished Monarchs you mention cost over $100,000. You will never buy a rotten EE for $3500 and bring it back to new condition yourself.

I saw an Abom79 video where one of his buddies bought an EE that had been sitting in the rain for ages. Thick rust everywhere. His buddy sanded and painted it, and it looks great, but it's not restored. If it were, he could sell it for $75,000 and beat Monarch's price.

If you have enough money to fix a destroyed lathe with hardened ways, you have enough money to buy a new one or a good used one, so why would you back a loser?
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

whateg0
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by whateg0 » Fri Jul 14, 2017 4:58 pm

I do believe that a lot of folks think that what Adam's buddy did was a restoration. And to be fair, a lot goes into interpretation. That's not what I'm referring to, though. There have been several sufficiently full restorations on PM. In fact, I was reading about vettebob's 10ee today while looking for diagrams to take the ELSR control rod off of mine. It cost him $1600 to have the bed reground, and whatever it cost for Moglice, bearings and other stuff he couldn't make, but he did most of the work himself, including all of the scraping and machine work, and ended up with one fine machine. Is putting $5k (or whatever it cost him) into a 10ee the same as putting $5k into an Atlas? Of course not! But aside from the grinding of the bed, most of the other work can do done by the home shop machinist. The point is, it depends on the end goal. You stated that an worn-out lathe can't be fixed. I disagree, but you are right that there's more to it than new paint.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Rebuilding(?) a worn out lathe.

Post by SteveHGraham » Fri Jul 14, 2017 7:05 pm

whateg0 wrote: You stated that an worn-out lathe can't be fixed. I disagree, but you are right that there's more to it than new paint.
I think you misunderstood me. I said, "Even highly skilled machinists can't fix a worn-out lathe." That's true. Ask Harold if he can fix one. I mean without paying other people to do a lot of the work. I never said it's impossible, for a person who has extraordinary skills and equipment. Almost no one fits in that category. How many people have a grinder big enough to hold a lathe? You can pay for the work, but paying someone else to fix it isn't fixing it.

"Restoration" means "like new." If the bed isn't ground and the screws aren't replaced, "restoration" is too strong a word. I almost bought a used mill from a professional scraper, but when I started asking what he had done to it, I realized I was getting a worn machine with some scraping and paint. Better than a worn mill fresh from the dealer, but not restored.

Abom's pal has a lathe that has been warmed over pretty well, but if you saw the heavy rust that was on it when he got it, you know it has lost enough metal to affect the performance, and his friend doesn't have the ability to fix that.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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