Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

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SusanX
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Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by SusanX » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:44 am

Hi,
This is my 1st post ever on this site :D.
I am originally a woodworker who decided to also learn metal working since I would like to build a belt grinder to sharpen my woodturning tools. However, I also am looking forward to being able to make metal stuff, in general. Since my 1 car garage already is crowded with woodworking equipment, including my 53" long vintage Delta lathe, I decided to buy a 6" Craftsman 101 lathe that is almost just like the Atlas 618. I would like to add a quick change gearbox to my new old lathe; however, I cannot find any pictures online of a 6" lathe with a qc gearbox. Does anyone here have a quick change gearbox on their little 618 lathe? I see plenty of gearboxes for 10" lathes, but no 6". I am guessing I will have to make my own gearbox. On ebay, I have seen gearbox housings for 10" lathes for sale. I would like to preserve the vintage look on my lathe. Should there be any reason why I shouldn't buy a 10" lathe empty gearbox to use on my 6" lathe?

John Evans
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by John Evans » Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:58 am

None of the 6" ever had a QC box,and trying to adapt one off a larger lathe is going to be a bit of a fool's errand and a exercise in futility. And starting with the empty box makes it even more so!! Nothing is impossible but you you have a better chance of winning the lottery. If your lathe has the change gears learn how to use them. Not to mention you will also need a milling machine +tooling to even think about pulling this off.
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Russ Hanscom
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by Russ Hanscom » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:04 pm

If you want the quick change feature, then you will be much better off to find a lathe so equipped. As John mentioned, a QC conversion is a serious project and will require milling capabilities.

SusanX
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by SusanX » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:39 pm

Ok. For now, I will simply focus on just learning basic use of the lathe since I already put money into this little lathe. Should I really get into using the lathe and want a bigger ine, I'll make sure to the bigger one has a quick change gearbox already on it

John Evans
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by John Evans » Wed Jan 18, 2017 12:56 pm

Good thinking ! LOL That little Atlas/Craftsman is MUCH better that the 7X12 etc import toys. Learn to grind HSS tooling [see Harold's posts] get tool on center line and have at it. I highly recomend either the Atlas/craftsman or the South Bend books on how to operate a lathe. A world of knowledge in either. My first lathe 40 + years ago was a Atlas 12" and it came with that book,was a great help to have it I'll tell you.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:11 pm

A guy named Lex Liberato made a QC box for a Chinese 7x lathe. Not sure why anyone would do a thing like that, but I was certainly impressed.

http://www.swarfrat.com/MiniLatheGearbox.htm
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

earlgo
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by earlgo » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:05 pm

Much to every-one's dismay I will say this.
It takes less than 5 min to change gear ratios on a non-qc lathe. I do it only for threading. Otherwise I depend on my biological computer (hat rack) to choose and apply the proper feed rate, unless it is a long involved job. Consequently I don't make professional looking parts, but they work as they are intended. Choose your result, as it were, pretty or functional, or both. Time is the coin.
( Having said the above, gun parts get the professional touch.)

--earlgo
Before you do anything, you must do something else first. - Washington's principle.

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Jan 18, 2017 4:23 pm

Maybe she is more interested in the project than the time savings.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

dly31
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by dly31 » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:36 pm

I seem to recall seeing, somewhere on the internet, a copy of an old article on building a QC gearbox for an Atlas 618. It may have been an old Popular Science article. I agree that it would be a major undertaking. I think CNC conversion would be easier.
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Glenn Brooks
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by Glenn Brooks » Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:53 am

Hello Susan, +1 for the advice above, about staying with the standard gear set. One thing you might wish to do - simple really- is paint the existing stud and change gears for turning on your lathe a different color. This so you can readily identify them and separate from the change gear stack when replacing them with other gears when setting up your lathe for thread cutting.

I have a old 1919 7" Dalton Lathe, with Standard gears, and made the mistake of not marking my standard turning gears when I removed them and set up a thread cutting job. Had to go online and ask some old time Dalton users which turning gears belonged back on the banjo for Standard turning when I was finished! I wasn't careful enuf to mark or separate them from the stack, and latter couldn't remember which was which! Even a dab of paint on one surface is enuf...

I wouldn't worry much about not having the QCGB. It's nice to have on production machines, but Its just a minor convenience and you won't really need it once you get into machining with your Atlas.

Regards
Glenn
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neanderman
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by neanderman » Thu Jan 19, 2017 7:58 pm

Welcome! Consider adding your location to your profile; it doesn't have to be really specific, but it can be helpful with some questions.

I have a 6" Atlas, as well, about to upgrade to a LeBlond. I've only cut threads a few times, but never found it too much of a hassle changing gears.

Also, there is an Atlas-craftsman group on Yahoo that is very helpful. And a potential source for parts, if needed. Just be aware, part prices can be inflated due to the popularity of the lathes.
Ed

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spro
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Re: Newbie Quick Change Question For 6" Lathe

Post by spro » Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:15 pm

Yes. I believe the Dalton has a spring clip with a thumb end on the bushing so it is quick changing them. I think the Atlas Craftsman is a shouldered bolt and no big deal. It has a keyed bushing. There was the other lathe (AA) with 1/2" X 20 TPI spindle. These used similar gears, not quite the same. The teeth have a central pitch close to the Atlas gears.

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