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Advice on a Craigslist Atlas 618

Discussion in 'ATLAS, CRAFTSMAN & AA' started by SuperTroye, May 23, 2017.

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  1. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    Hi All,
    I am looking for a beginner lathe to learn on and make small parts for general purpose/around the house type stuff. This Atlas 618 is for sale on Craigslist and I was hoping to get some feedback on the ad.

    It looks like it has the armature attachments. I called the owner and he said everything is original and he thinks it was bought in the 70's. It looks like there is a milling attachment and 4 jaw chuck included.

    Is there a set of change gears that goes with this lathe?

    I know it's difficult to assess the condition from pictures alone, but, any advice or questions you would ask would be helpful.

    Thanks

    https://richmond.craigslist.org/tls/6117542421.html

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  2. Al 1

    Al 1 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Hello, I would think there should be a set of change gears. Check everything out really well. Take the Time and Do this. I see that the steady rest may not be the original and that it has been brazed. You may want to try and see if you can purchase for less. The machine looks like it has been sitting un-used for a while, which means take it apart, clean, lube etc. I would not purchase this machine because it does not have a gear box. And I do not see change gears shown in the picture. Never Pay Too Much. Al.
     
  3. RandyWilson

    RandyWilson United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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  4. Superburban

    Superburban United States Active Member Active Member

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    It has the milling attachment, and the attachment for reconditioning motor armatures, and the jacobs armature chuck. Check prices on E-bay for those two attachments, and you will be surprised.

    http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas-6-inch-lathe-accessories/

    Talk to him, he might have the gears, and colets for the milling attachment, and the 3 jaw, somewhere, just does not know what they go to.

    https://www.ebay.com/p/?iid=222510101162&&&chn=ps

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atlas-Lathe...802055?hash=item33ce241047:g:-scAAOSwpkFY5nHN

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Atlas-Press...603057?hash=item2cbc4b27f1:g:9RwAAOSw2gxY0y~X
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
  5. bl00

    bl00 United States Active Member Active Member

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    If you're patient you can get a small Logan, South Bend, Clausing, Sheldon etc for the same price and they won't take up any more space than that one. I had one of those and an equivalent Craftsman version and would not recommend it at that price. Here's a free Monarch in Gaithersburg: https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/zip/6144886680.html
     
  6. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    That thing is pretty well equipped. It would be a great find for somebody interested in restoration. In that case the price isn't really out of line or at least not that much. As a tool, maybe, but as a project returned to cherry, not bad.

    And I would ask them to look for the change gears.
     
  7. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Troye,

    Yes, the full set count of standard gears that came with a 618 is 14, plus three on the Tumbler and one on the spindle. It appears to have the standard factory default set installed. So there should be 9 more. Go to DOWNLOADS and get the 1950 dated 618 owners and parts manual. The later ones are also there but the 1950 one is the cleanest scan and has had some corrections made that haven't been done to the later ones.

    I see the drawbar and 1/2" milling cutter holder in the photos. So I serious doubt that he has any collets. The collet set that was available for the 618 was pretty limited. And quite rare. Although I am not fond of the ER style collets, for working holding on a 618, they are probably the best choice.

    My opinion is that assuming he has the 9 change gears, it is worth on the east cost about $550, or $450 without. The table I would value at about $10.00. It's too flimsy and too large. It may be pretty heavy but it isn't stable.

    If you were to follow some of the advice above and go for a 10", 11" or 12", (a) don't get anything shorter than 30" between centers and 36" is better. But they will take up twice as much room as the 618. And with the same mix of accessories, expect to pay between 2X and 4X what he is asking. But iIf you really need or want a 6", the 618 is probably the best one ever built..
     
  8. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    Ok thank you to all who have responded. He is willing to go to $650, but the change gears are still not found. Will report back. I may have to find something else. There is a Logan and a South Bend 10K also for sale, for $1500 and $2000 respectively. But, I wanted to start small and work my way up.
     
  9. RandyWilson

    RandyWilson United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Decide what you want to be doing, figure out what size it will take, then buy the correct tools the first time. You can machine small parts on a big lathe, but not the other way around.

    Two + years ago I had a need for a lathe for a specific item. I was living in a 1 car garage townhouse at the time, so was really space limited. I ended up buying a Seig (harbor freight) 7x12 because I could put it on the shelf when not in use. Now getting started is expensive. I ended up spending 2-3 times the cost of the lathe on startup stuff. Then life happened and I now have a country house with a shop. And that Seig is just sitting; very little of the tools and bits can be transferred to the 14" I now use.
     
  10. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    This is great advice... regardless of whatever you're buying (boats, motorcycles, tools, been there done that). My budget and appetite is for a small lathe (directive from the boss). I was looking at the Grizzly mini lathe line, and just couldn't go with plastic gears. So, my work will be limited to go kart parts, gate hinges, small tools, etc.

    In a couple of years if I need something bigger I will trade up.

    Also, the buyer accepted a $550 offer. Picking up tonight.
     
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  11. RandyWilson

    RandyWilson United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Well, a bigger lathe doesn't bite the inexperienced like a liter class bike or shifter kart.

    All that really matters is you're happy with your choice. At least with this one you have something that is re-sellable, either whole or parts, if you decide to move up.
     
  12. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Congratulations. I like it. If you ever decide to move to something larger and you've kept all the accessories you'll probably be able to get your money back. Hell, I'd give it serious consideration as a hobby project.
     
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  13. tq60

    tq60 United States Active Member Active Member

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    Most of us did same...

    Ww have budget and availability limitations so you buy what you can find and watch for the next one...

    Ww had an Atlas or Craftsman 12 X 36 that we picked up that had assortment of tooling and picked up a similar sized Logan from just up the street well tooled and compatible with ours.

    The next person showing up to look at Logan was not happy we beat him to the sale but followed us home and bought our old one for 50 less than we paid for the Logan and we kept most of the tooling...

    Learn on this one and watch for the next one...

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
     
  14. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    Awesome. Yeah I have my work cut out for me. Gonna clean it first and try to hunt down a set of used change gears. Also, is there much interest in the armature attachments? I will never use them and want to sell them and use some of the money to buy tooling. Its the attachment with the electric motor/grinder, and the Jacobs chuck. The original owner bought it specifically to do that.
     
  15. markba633csi

    markba633csi United States Active Member Active Member

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    Be careful cleaning it, there will be mica dust which may have a bit of asbestos too.
    Mark S.
     
  16. Charles Spencer

    Charles Spencer Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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  17. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    The armature mica undercutter uses miniature slitting saw blades that come in a set with different thickness blades. They are mounted on an arbor vaguely similar to the one Dremel uses for its cut-off disks. Besides the motor and arbor, and the vertical positioner for the motor, there are also two Jacobs chucks. The headstock one is a Jacobs 75A. For the 618, it should be on a 2MT drill chuck arbor. The tailstock one is a Jacobs 100 and for a 618 should be on a 1MT arbor. The 100 is a keyless chuck with brass jaws. Not really usable for anything but as a center-rest chuck. The 75A can be used in the headstock to hold small parts for turning. However, do not use it to try to hold end mills or other milling cutters. Hardened jaws against hardened cutter shanks don't hold reliably. And the pulling action of an end mill will eventually pull the armor out of the headstock with possibly disastrous results. A problem that I have unfortunately proved experimentally. :(

    The mica undercutter sets are not common. And eBay today only lets you look back two months. So it isn't too surprising that only one showed up. $75 is pretty cheap for the complete set.
     
  18. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    Wow! Thank you for that wealth of information. Confirmed, the mount looks like a dremel:

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    And the chuck is identified as so:

    [​IMG]

    At this point, this thing is covered in grease and grime and is due for full teardown and clean. I can't seem to pull the chuck out in the tailstock. My guess is it hasn't been removed in 20 years. What is the best way to get it off? Would PB Blaster help?

    [​IMG]

    Thanks for all the replies guys... this whole thing is new to me :)
     
  19. Superburban

    Superburban United States Active Member Active Member

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    IIRC, that tail stock is like many, where you can turn it all the way in, and it will push the chuck out.
     
  20. tq60

    tq60 United States Active Member Active Member

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    The armature set was a kit sold for automotive shop use.

    Back in the day the small shops would have small lathe for reworking commutator on generators as that was a high wear item and the wear was copper smearing and grooving.

    One would clean up the commutator but the copper wound need to be cut between the parts.

    We have the headstock chuck that came with the lathe we sold above and it was handy for holding tiny things.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337Z using Tapatalk
     
  21. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    I guess that most of us probably assumed that you knew that the tailstock was self-ejecting, and had tried that and it was still stuck. If not, as Supersuburban indicated above, turn the handwheel on the tailstock CCW to retract the ram. The end of the arbor on the chuck should hit the end of the ram feed screw somewhere between 1/2" and 0" on the ram and be ejected.
     
  22. SuperTroye

    SuperTroye United States Steel Registered Member

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    Can someone help me assess the value of the armature kit? I have both chucks and the mica undercutter assembly. I'm gonna list on eBay and was thinking of $200 for the whole thing. I'll never use and could use the proceeds to buy the parts that I need (3 jaw chuck, change gears, etc). Is there a demand for such a kit?

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  23. Silverbullet

    Silverbullet Active Member Active Member

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    Don't worry about going bigger, you won't be unhappy.
     
  24. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Troye,

    I'm glad to see that you cleaned the components. They look quite nice. But I notice that there is no line cord with line switch on the motor. If you haven't already attached at least a temporary cord and test run the motor for a few minute, I would definitely do that before listing the set.

    As to demand, no, there isn't much. But that's not to say that if you run it for a while, someone who wants one won't come along. As to asking price (assuming that the motor runs), $200 is as good a place to start as any. I wouldn't go any higher but I would run it as 30 days GTC (Good Til Canceled). If it doesn't sell after a few weeks, you can always add the Best Offer option. And to keep out the riff raff, use the option to set a minimum of maybe $100. Any offer below that will get an automatic reject.
     
  25. Superburban

    Superburban United States Active Member Active Member

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    Before you go hunting down a 3 jaw, check the TPI of your spindle. Don't remember if it was with the original 618's, or the MKII's, but somewhere the thread changed from 1" 8 TPI, to 1" 10 TPI, or the other way.
     
  26. dlane

    dlane Active User H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Does nobody turn armatures any more?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 31, 2017
  27. RandyWilson

    RandyWilson United States H-M Supporter - Premium Content H-M Supporter-Premium

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    Not many. I would hazard that more than 90% of the mom-n-pop automotive starter rebuilders have gone out of business. The few that remain already have the needed equipment. It will be a lot like the vast array of Model A parts I was tasked with selling. Ebay may well be full of parts with high asking prices, but no one is buying. The generation that has interest in those is fading away, and certainly not looking to start building a new car from pieces.
     
  28. wa5cab

    wa5cab Downloads Moderator Staff Member H-M Supporter-Premium

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    SuperBurban,

    The Atlas 612, 618, 3950, 10100 and 10200 all had 1"-10 spindle threads throughout their production. As did the Craftsman 101.21400 and 101.21200. The only Atlas built 6" machines that didn't are the Craftsman 101.07300 built only in 1938, which had 3/4"-16, and the 101.07301 built from 1939 through 1957, which had 1"-8. The Internet disinformation saying that the early 618's had 1"-8 threads is false.
     
  29. tinnerjohn

    tinnerjohn United States Iron Registered Member

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    Although I have no idea what its worth, I would be interested in the armature attachment if I can afford it. I could have used one a couple months ago when I was working on a starter. Let me know if you decide to sell it. If you already listed it, let me know what its under. I just checked E-Bay and didn't find one. Thanks, John
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017
  30. Superburban

    Superburban United States Active Member Active Member

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    Removed post, I see my mistake now.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2017

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