Come use my Atlas metal lathe, Efland NC

Dylan Buffum

New User
Dylan
My father-in-law recently bought and refurbished a 6” Atlas metal lathe. He promptly deposited it in my woodshop, along with several chucks, blades, and other attachments and tools.

I have no idea how to use this thing.

If you (a) know how to use it, and (b) have a project to do, shoot me a PM and we’ll make a time for you to come over and show me how it’s done.









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Pop Golden

Pop
Corporate Member
I don't know how to use it, but it's a beautiful machine. I don't know, but it looks like the old Craftsman lathe from years ago.

Pop
 

Dylan Buffum

New User
Dylan
I don't know how to use it, but it's a beautiful machine. I don't know, but it looks like the old Craftsman lathe from years ago.

Pop
Atlas did make lathes for Sears under the Craftsman brand, but this machine (probably) predates that.

It is beautiful. My father-in-law knows how to restore. He did a WWII Jeep, a 1960’s sports car, and this was a quick little project for him.


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tvrgeek

Scott
User
Much nicer than my baby HF one I dumped. Every now and again, a lathe is very handy, so I'll keep your contact. Not a pro, but can get the job done. Actually, what I remember about metal lathes was what was messing me up so much on a wood lathe!
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
Actually, what I remember about metal lathes was what was messing me up so much on a wood lathe!
I can clearly understand that.
With a metal lathe one cranks the tool in and out, side to side and the tool edge sort of scrapes off the metal. The metal lathe tool bit doesn't change position in relation to the spinning stock. For wood turning, the tool's cutting edge varies radically as to the up and down position. Instead of X-Y axis of the metal lathe, wood requires X-Y-Z dynamics. Wood is also a totally different material, often compared to a bunch of drinking straws glued together. Also, for wood, the cutting edge is significantly different.
 

Oka

Board of Directors, Vice President
Casey
Staff member
Corporate Member
Yeah basic difference between the metal lathe and wood lathe (besides the already mentioned xyz dynamic) is : on a metal lathe there is no give on the tool. Using that set up on wood will cause tearout. I know I have used metal lathes at work to mock something up in wood. It is kinda funny you can really make a mess of the finish if you are not careful. Not to mention the machinist bitching at you for getting sawdust into his cutting lubricant and everything else........ :p
 

Michael Mathews

Michael
Corporate Member
Dylan, I can show you how to use it! Of course I'll have to play with the controls on your lathe a bit to get acquainted. I had a 1952 bench top South Bend metal lathe that I restored. I kept it for about 10 years using it of and on then I sold it. Just didn't warrant keeping it around. Anyway, I used to run a metal lathe way back before I went to college.
 

bob vaughan

Bob Vaughan
Senior User
There's lots of things for a wood shop that can be made with that lathe.
Truing up wobbly pulleys
Boring out pulleys for a special shaft or turning down a worn shaft to fit a pulley of a smaller bore.
Making special router collets.
Special precise router sub bases
Making missing clamping pads for C-clamps
Turning special diameter rub collars for router bits or shaper cutters
cleaning up threads on a shaft that has been damaged
Special spacers and bushings for pen turning or other accessories for the wood lathe.
The list could go on and on.
Yeah, the first few little jobs will be a pain, but that's also short term.
Metal lathes are great for plastics.

Threading shafts for all kinds of things. It looks like there are some change gears there to get different thread pitches.

Yes, you'll need some dial indicators, dial/digital calipers, and maybe some other additional gauging, but those are one-time expenses.
 

junquecol

Bruce
User
Most important tip I remember from metal working class has to do with setting the height of the cutter. It has to be exactly along center line of turning stock. We would use a 6" ruler vertically between bit and stock. With lathe turned OFF, slowly bring bit forward. As ruler got pinched between stock and cutter, it needed to be vertical. If it leaned forward, bit was too high, and if it leaned back, bit was too low.
 

Roy G

Roy
Senior User
With all the after market tooling required for lathes, I'm surprised the enterprising machinery manufacturers don't give the lathes away. They would get quite a kick-back from the tooling guys.

Roy G
 

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