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Lathe Rebuild

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Lathe Rebuild

Old 01-02-20, 12:29 AM
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Andrew R Stewart 
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Lathe Rebuild

I have this little Loosy Goosy Atlas 6" lathe, the MK2 version, that I recently got frustrated enough with when the carriage cross slide popped off it's ways as I was trying out a new and more solid tool post. Atlas fans will sadly shake their head because they know that the gibs on the cross slide and the carriage rest slide are plastic, soft and will flex about under pressure . Both of the OEM gibs have cracked off spots where the adjustment bolts seat into half moon pockets. I went on line to my go to machining forum (and elsewhere) and read up. Decided to try making my own, the plastic OEM ones being only .003" thinner then common 1/8" flat stock. So I spent all afternoon between a freezing cold garage where the mill is and the basement where the lathe is (the Atlas 6" weighs only about 90lbs mounted on it's travel board, hence it can go down stairs...). Only had to make one gib a second time Got to use my recently installed DROs, found out that even with the 110AC power adaptor they don't like the cold, just like a cycle computer. Tomorrow I'll start the reassembly and I'll report back when done and tested. First photo shows the new and the old gib.

Why is this on a framebuilding forum? Because this is the lathe that I first tried power mitering with. I have a mill vice (w/ vertical travel) for this lathe and would clamp the tube in it with a hole saw in the chuck. Between the coarse teeth and the lathe's slop I bent a couple of tube ends and hole saws and after a few frames moved on in my mitering. I still made little bits and such but the use of the lathe fell off. The other photo is a scan from a shot taken in 1983. IIRC I was turning out one of the water bottle braze on alignment shafts, shown is a last shot years later in use. I have neglected this lathe for the most part for 20+ years, moving it now 5 times over the 40 years I've had it (bought it new). I have a few building tool ideas calling out for a lathe. It's time to revisit and see if I can make it better and become useful again. Andy




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Old 01-02-20, 09:41 AM
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My lathe had backlash in the cross slide from a botched repair. I tried mitering on it that way and it did work, but it broke teeth off of the saws. I keep thinking about trying again now that I fixed the cross slide, but I haven't done it. The lathe is very useful otherwise
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Old 01-02-20, 09:33 PM
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What machining forum do you frequent Andy?

I had a worn out South Bend 9" that I loved regardless. Needed a cross slide nut but couldn't stomach the cost. Wound up selling it before moving across the country. More recently I was watching craigslist for a good long while waiting for a small lathe to show up, and there were some Atlas's, but I was leary of anything too old because my skills for rebuilding are not up to snuff. Wound up with a chinese mini lathe. Not the super mini that's so popular, one step up. Got it for a price I couldn't refuse.


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Old 01-02-20, 11:22 PM
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Andrew R Stewart 
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Nessism- https://www.hobby-machinist.com/forums/ I sometimes visit others but this is the main one. My limited machining skills and needs are far below most who post there. Andy
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Old 01-03-20, 11:55 AM
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My lathe had a nut that was built in to the cross slide. It was stripped. There was a backlash compensation nut that someone had modified to replace the cast in threads. Took it to work and bored it out for a brass nut and also replaced the screw. Amazing transformation. Now I'm thinking the spindle bearings need to be replaced. I'm sure that is going to hurt.
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