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Atlas 10F-28 purchase questions?

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unioncreek

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#1
I currently have a Harbor Freight 8 x 12 metal lathe, but need something with a longer bed. I found an Atlas number in the gear cover is 10f-28. I haven't looked at it yet, doesn't have a quick changer gear box, has babbit bearing. The bed length I'm assuming is 48 inches, owner says it's 36 from the chuck to end of bed. I've never dealt with babbit bearings how great of advantage/disadvantage are they. Not having a quick change gear box is a disadvantage for me, as long as I can still thread (comes with change gears) rifle barrels.

He wants $400.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#2
A 10" Atlas with a 48" bed would be a 10x30. With the babbit bearings and that change gear cover, it should be an early relatively rare 10F. Deciding factors are if it has a 5/8" diameter lead screw and no power cross feed, it is a 10D. If it has a 3/4" diameter lead screw and power cross feed it is a 10F. There weren't too many babbit bearing 10F's sold. Look on the rear of the bed for a nameplate. If it is still there, the modal number should be either V48 or H48, depending upon whether it has a Vertical or a Horizontal Countershaft assembly.

The two main disadvantages of the babbit bearings are that you don't want to run them too much above say 1000 RPM. Which is definitely not an issue when threading. And if they are badly worn, replacing them today usually means another headstock. It is possible to re-pour them but it definitely is not a Saturday afternoon project. Otherwise, a lathe with babbit bearings can produce just as good work as pne with roller or ball bearings. AFAIK, all of the South Bend lathes of the period had somewhat similar bearings.

What you would want to do is to pull the two bearing caps and check the spindle journal condition. And measure the remaining thickness of the two shims that should be under each bearing cap. From the factory, the original shims consist of five 0.002" thick shims laminated into one 0.010" shim. As the bearings wear, laminations are removed to take up the clearance. When you remove the bearing caps and shims, be sure that you keep up with which shim was front and which was rear because when adjusting for wear, you would first remove one lamination from say the front and put the cap back on and check clearance. If still excessive, you would remove the cap and remove one lamination from the rear shim. And so on.

How good a price $400 is depends on a lot of factors, chief among them are location, overall condition, spindle and bearing condition, bed condition, and what else comes with the lathe.
 

unioncreek

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#3
Thanks for the info. I would say it's a 10F, I can see the knob that you use to engage the crossfeed. I'm located in eastern WA state, and the lathe is about 90 miles away. There are no accessories that come with the lathe, it just has a three jaw chuck.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#4
OK.

If the bearings and the bed are in decent condition, $400 probably isn't a bad price. Someone from the Washington area can disagree if I'm wrong. Too bad that it comes with no accessories. Just about any three of them will cost as much as the lathe.

One thing occurred to me this afternoon that I need to mention. The bore through the spindle is 25/32" (just over 3/4"). A friend who I helped to get one of the later 12" Atlas machines and who uses it for gunsmithing says that if he needs to put the barrels through the spindle, he usually has to remove the front sight.
 

unioncreek

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#5
I will probably pass on the lathe. Too many negatives at that price. I'll probably just keep looking for something that will fit my needs better and has more accessories with it.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#6
I didn't mean to imply that I thought that $400 was over priced for a good condition 10F with all the change gears. But merely that the inclusion of a few accessories would have moved it toward the bargain category instead of just a fair price. However, if you know going in that the 3/4" spindle bore is going to be a hindrance, then you should look for another make, as all of the Atlas built machines except for the 6" ones have this bore. Just be prepared to to usually pay more for equivalent condition.
 

unioncreek

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#7
I decide to make the owner an offer after it was on Craigslist for a week. Offered him $200, he accepted the offer and I traveled the 90 miles the next day to pick it up. A relative had owned it since the 60's and when they passed away the previous owner got it. He said he used it once or twice in four years and decided he needed the space. The Craigslist add didn't list any extras, but he remembered he had some things in a box. I'll probably sell the four inch Chinese three jaw, unless it works better than the one on my Harbor Freight.

It's a model H54, serial number is 025552.

I checked the play in the Babbitt hearing headstock, put a 16 inch bar in the chuck placed an indicator on the ways and have .002 inches of play vertically and horizontally. What's an acceptable tolerance? I'm going to remove the carriage and clean it good, the power cross feed is frozen up and can't move it. The lathe was pretty dirty, but it was oily dirt so everything was protected. I pulled the right side Babbitt bearing cap and the front shim is one piece of .007" brass and the back shim is .011". Didn't look at the left side yet. Is there a certain torque for the cap screws on the bearings.

Bob
 

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wa5cab

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#8
I checked the play in the Babbitt hearing headstock, put a 16 inch bar in the chuck placed an indicator on the ways and have .002 inches of play vertically and horizontally. What's an acceptable tolerance? I'm going to remove the carriage and clean it good, the power cross feed is frozen up and can't move it. The lathe was pretty dirty, but it was oily dirt so everything was protected. I pulled the right side Babbitt bearing cap and the front shim is one piece of .007" brass and the back shim is .011". Didn't look at the left side yet. Is there a certain torque for the cap screws on the bearings.

Bob
From the one photo of the lathe, it appears to be complete.

0.002" vertical movement of the spindle would be excessive. However, the bar is 16" long, some of which would have been inside the chuck. Where, relative to the chuck, did you measure the 0.002"? The proper way to do it is to remove the chuck. Stick a 3/4" OD (or a little smaller) round bar or pipe through the spindle. Place the indicator to indicate under the register (the unthreaded area between the threads and the spindle flange), zero the indicator, and then pull up on the bar. Any vertical movement will indicate clearance between the spindle journal and the bearing. It should be essentially zero. Repeat with the Indicator against the front of the register. Pull forward and then push rearward. Add the two.

The original shims were 0.010" thick and were made up of five 0.002" shims stuck together. Go to

http://www.hobby-machinist.com/resources/babbit-headstock-bearing-adjustment-pdf.3218/

for the factory instructions on adjusting the two babbit and one ball bearing. Note that whomever adjusted the shims last apparently didn't follow the instructions. They must have removed two shim layers, both from the front shim. They should have removed one layer from each shim pack.

On the proper torque for the bolts, the factory instructions do not say. I just went through several bolt torque tables and found the numbers to vary. Plus bolt torque tables are intended to give the figures for developing the rated tensile strength of the bolts, which is of secondary importance here. But in any case, guessing at an appropriate torque requires first knowing the bolt grade. Which if anyone ever told me, I've forgotten. Look at the bolt head. The standard way of marking bolt heads to indicate grade (rated tensile strength of the bolt material) is by stamping raised lines in the head. No lines indicated Grade 1 or Grade 2. So assume 1. Two lines from near the center to near the outer edge and in line with each other is Grade 3. Three lines at 120 deg. is Grade 5. I'm sure that they won't be Grade 6 or 8. So look at the bolt heads and report grade.
 

unioncreek

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#9
Just looked at the bolts and they just have 1035 on them they look like they could be original. The back shim is not original, the front one looks like it is. it's shaped like the bearing cap. The back one is just apiece of rectangular stock. I haven't looked at the left side yet. I'll try and remove the chuck this week and get a better reading on how much play there is in the spindle. What is an acceptable tolerance on the Babbit bearing.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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Bob,

I'm not certain when the head marking standard actually went into effect. I thought that it was before WW-II but perhaps it didn't get into common use until during the War. As I said earlier, the manual doesn't really give a clue. So as the bolt heads aren't marked, assume that they are Grade 1. If they are 3/8"-16, oil the threads with the same SAE 20 ND as used most everywhere on the machine and torque them to 20 lf-ft. If they are smaller, let me know. The manual doesn't say.

The manual excerpt that I posted the location to earlier doesn't give any clue as to running clearance. Because of the slight but definite drag mentioned in the bearing page I uploaded, I had assumed that the clearance was zero. But as Jon mentioned this morning on the Yahoo list, there is an oil film. So just go by the "slight drag" description. I don't have a babbit bearing headstock to play with.
 

unioncreek

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Thanks for all the info. I'll buy some shim stock this week and hopefully work on getting the bearings shimmed correctly. I believe you are right on the size of the bolts in the bearing caps, they looked like they are that size. The lathe is pretty complete the only problem that I have run into is the power crossfeed does not work. The crossfeed gear is proabably broken, I'll get to that one day. Will probably tear the lathe all the way down and clean it up and repaint this fall. What color were the Atlas lathes originally? Mine looks like it was dark grey.

Bob
 

Round in circles

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#12
Robert ,
Would the play likely be reduced if there was fresh correct grade oil in the oil pots & if it had managed to circulate round the bearings once they had become warmed up say after 1/2 hr of running ?
 

unioncreek

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That's possible. I'm going to pull the spindle and get it all cleaned up and get all the years of accumulation of grease and grit cleaned up. It's been sitting for at least the last four years that the previous owner had it and I don't know how many years prior to that. At least is had a layer of oily grime on it and so it didn't rust up. I'm going to pick up some shim material this week and start with the original thickness of shims and go from there.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#14
David, the half hour warm up period has to do with lengthening of the spindle due to temperature rise. Which the Timken bearing headstock Technical Bulletin implies is around 0.002" total. So it would apply to the ball thrust bearing, although the babbit bearing instructions that I copied out of a MOLO and put into DOWNLOADS don't mention it. And I don't know that 0.002" is the correct figure for the babbit case. But the spindle is much longer than the journal diameters. So for the same temperature rise, the increase in journal diameter would be much less than 0.002".

I've no experience with babbit bearings except in internal combustion engines. And there I have always had a manual that gave the hard numbers for the clearance. And had a way to check it, but I can't recall the name of the material that you do that with right now.

Clausing might just possibly still have the shims available. I never asked them.
 

unioncreek

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#15
Wa5cab,

Are you thinking of Plasti gauge?

My grandson has been staying with us for the last week and went home yesterday, so I had time in the evening to work on this. I bought shim material and cut a bunch of shim for the right hand bearing, so I had 0.010" of shims for the front and back. I was able to get it shimmed to .008 both front and back and torqued to 20 pounds before it started to drag. I then checked how much movement was in the spindle (removed chuck) with the indicator on the register of the spindle. I used a 3/4" round bar and was able to get 0.0015" of movement vertically. I need to check the left hand bearing tonight and see if that needs shimming. I'm going to get some Plasti gauge and check bearing clearance just out of curiousity.

I filled the oil cups and run the lathe for about 15 minutes. The oil in the right hand cup only lasted about 3 minutes before I needed to put more in. Does that have to do with loose bearings or how does the oil stay in? Just due to tight clearances?

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#16
Yes, Plasti-Gauge was what I couldn't recall the first word of. Thanks.

When checking the drag, the other bearing cap must be loosened. If it wasn't, loosen the bolts and see what you get for drag with only the right bolts torqued. Then only the left ones. And then both. Note the instruction to loosen the bolts 1/8 to 1/4 turn at spindle speeds over about 800 RPM.

On the oil usage rate, yes. The rate should be inversely proportional to the clearance. I would suggest putting a low density felt plug in the cup, as the factory dig after around 1950. Top it up before every use or every morning.
 

unioncreek

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#17
Yes, I loosened the left hand bearing cap. I noticed loosening the bolts when turning over 800 rpm's. I'm going to check the clearance with Plasti gauge just to see what it is.

I was wondering if the oil cups needed felt in them, I have some around and will have to find it. And get some correct weight oil for the lathe.

Bob
 

wa5cab

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#18
The factory recommendation on oil was SAE 10 ND until 1957 when they switched to SAE 20 ND. For a time, SAE 20 was hard to find in a lot of places in the US. So I was using a Mobile ISO 68 Heavy Medium Circulating Oil. But recently several places including Tractor's Supply began carrying it in gallons. Although the factory never mentioned it, I have always used way oil instead of straight SAE 20 on the ways only. For the change gears, the grease that Atlas recommended is no longer made. A French company (Total, pronounced "toe-tal") bpught the maker and almost immediately discontinued it. Use a graphite bearing grease with a high temperature rating (not because it is actually a hi-temp application but because the hi-temp greases won't liquefy under normal operating conditions.
 

unioncreek

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I decided to redo the right hand bearing and check with plastic gauge, plastic gauge said .002 clearance, but couldn't even rotate the spindle. I started back over with .010 shims and worked down from there, while torquing to 20 ft pounds. Ended up at .006 on the shims, both ends and torqued to 20 ft pounds and was getting .0015 movement in the spindle. Torqued to 25 ft pounds and was down to .0005 movement in the spindle. I'm going to back off to 20 ft pounds tonight and recheck the drag, will probably leave it there unless accuracy in turning is not enough.

The oil cups drain almost immediately when filled. I'll run them like this for a while to see if that slows when I put some felt in. I cleaned up the chuck and cross slide last night soaked the in Purple Power for an hour and the dirt and crud just came right off. Noticed under all the crud that the compound had been brazed at one time, it was machined smooth on the bottom and looks like a good job. If it doesn't hold up I'll find another. I might as well paint it whiles it's torn down. Any recommendations on paint color?

Bob
 
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wa5cab

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#20
I assume that you must mean 0.0015" @ 20 lb-ft bolt torque, since you reported 0.0005" at 25.
 

wa5cab

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#21
From the beginning circa 1932 up until about 1957, all Atlas machines were painted (or close to) Dark Machinery Gray. Some time in 1957, they changed to just Machinery Gray, which is lighter. Prior to 1957, the ones that Sears sold had been just about every basic color you can name except yellow, orange (one year at least some of them were gold), purple and gray. From 1957 to 1981 they were painted Machinery Gray, same as the Atlas badged ones.
 

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#24
OK. I corrected the .0015 in your earlier post. And OK on the paint color.
 

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#25
I set mine as per the Atlas instructions, i.e. light drag on spindle rotating by hand(bare spindle fitted with thrust take up components only, don't need to eliminate end float, just minimal clearance)
It turns freely with 2/3 fingers until you get down to more or less correct clearance, as soon as it requires more pressure applied to rotate the spindle it's measurin' time.
Using the lift test(bar through the spindle, dial indicator set vertical above/below spindle) I ended up with .0015" clearance when well oiled, .002" after a few days of sitting idle, not getting fed any more oil.
From memory I settled on 20ft pound for normal operation, 15 for hi speeds. I'll double check, tension wrench should still be set.
Too little clearance is bad, spindle will get hot, expand.....
 

wa5cab

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#26
OK. Sounds as though the machine should be usable. At least as far as the spindle is concerned.
 

unioncreek

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#27
Yes, useable for now. Right now I'm slowly taking it apart cleaning the dried up grease of and painting. The only issue I've found is the miter gear that fits on the lead screw, the spline/key the fits into the slot in the lead screw is worn out. I can get by without it, but will find another so the machine is complete. Carriage is all painted and I'll put it together today. Then it's on to the tailstock and then work my way to the other end. Doing if a little at a time since its summer and I have a lot going on.

Bob
 

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#28
That is unfortunately a common problem. Last that I heard, Clausing still had the gear, but it wasn't cheap. There have been a number of reported repair methods, most involving boring the remainder of the worn key out and then broaching a key slot in the gear and drilling and tapping two screw holes. Or various methods of gluing or brazing the key into the slot. Unfortunately, you can't just put the key in loose as it will very quickly walk out of the gear and cause other damage as it falls into something trying to turn. And there is no economical way to cut either a Woodruff key slot or a square key slot that doesn't extend out the ends of the gear.
 

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#29
You might try fixing the mitre gear. It does not have a keyway in it, there are little pins, I believe designed to break and bend if you crash the lathe. Drill small holes and drive tapered pins of the correct length into it.

I have a spare but I am not selling it because this is one of the first things to go if you crash the carriage.
 

unioncreek

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#30
I have a small mill and have thought about cleaning the bore out. Cutting a shallow recess and then drilling a tapping the gear and key together.

Just a thought though. It will take me probably to the end of the year to get it cleaned up and painted, then put back together. I still want to build a better bench or stand for it. Thinking about making a drip pan at work.

Bob
 
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