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My first lathe - don't laugh

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jaredbeck

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#1
Hi y'all, I got my first lathe. It's pretty exciting for me but it's very basic, probably not too interesting for other people. It doesn't even have a chuck, just a faceplate and dead centers!

Like I said in my intro. post last week, I'm looking to get a real machine, like a Grizzly G4003 or a PM-1236. But, in the meantime, I found this lathe for free (no motor) on the Syracuse craigslist and I thought I could learn something about how to operate a lathe while I wait to get a real machine.

sears_lathe_1.jpg

I took apart the carriage and tailstock, dunked everything in degreaser and ran every part through my new parts washer. I oiled everything, put it back together, and I don't have any parts left over, so that's good!

Side note: I wanted to replace a taper pin, then I looked up what an assortment of pins costs, and just reused it as is. :) The assortments don't even cover the really small pins like this machine has (0.090", size #5/0) so .. well I know this is going to be an expensive hobby! :D

sears_lathe_2.jpg

The lathe is at least as old as me because when I was a kid, Sears and Roebuck was already just called Sears.

I borrowed a 1/3 hp motor from my dad. I have a feeling it'll be enough to turn little stuff, but I don't know, what do you think?

lathe_motor_1.jpg

lathe_motor_2.jpg

It has a forward/reverse switch right on the motor, so that might come in handy.

lathe_motor_3.jpg

Now I just need to mount everything to my bench. I have a belt, and both machines have cone pulleys .. so .. will the belt fit both? I don't know anything about belts. I probably need some advice about that.

Well, I hope that wasn't too boring. It's exciting for me. I've been watching machining videos on YT for at least a year, so I'm stoked to finally get a lathe to play with. Maybe you can relate to getting your first machine tool? :)
 

tweinke

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#3
Belated Welcome! I'm sure no one will laugh at you because that is not how we roll around here. I share your excitement and hope your "new" lathe works out for you. Probably a good way to start because the intimidation factor wont be as high as a large machine. Get your hands on some lathe bits and jump in and please ask questions if needed! :encourage: Also feel free to ask anyone here about the cost of this obsession, I mean hobby, seems expensive at times but for me at least the smile on my face and satisfaction of finishing a project big or small makes it worth it.
 

francist

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#5
Hey Jared, that's a cool little lathe! Nothing wrong with starting out small and building from there. It'll cut metal, it'll teach you things, and you'll learn lots. And really, that's the name of the game.

And for total giggles, here's a (small) pic of my first woodworking lathe 40 years ago! Yup, four pieces of wood, two dowels, some ill fitting screws and candle wax for lubricant. Power was supplied by my left hand pulling a cord wrapped around the blank and running to a clothesline pulley hanging from the ceiling. Uglier than sin, but it got the job done. Sometimes it's not what you've got but what you do with it that counts.

Happy turning!

-frank
 

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dlane

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#6
I like it the 1725 rpm 1/3hp motor should be good for it, find a chuck and start making chips.
And you can't beat the price :big grin:
Frank I'm at a loss for words on your first lathe except ok , do you still have it.
 
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francist

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#7
Derek -- yeah, still have it. Pretty brutal isn't it? its been in the scrap box more than once but I keep dragging it out. My mom always remembered it, I think she liked the "make do with what you have" feel about it.

-frank
 

mark_f

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#8
Welcome and congratulations. Wow ...... I had a little Sears lathe just like that once (about$10,000 ago) that I got for free from a friend. Now I have a complete home shop where I can build almost anything I want ( and have done so). Even though I have been a machinist all my life, l didn't start it as a hobby until I retired about 10 years ago. You will start upgrading as you learn more.
 

Ulma Doctor

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#10
congratulations jared on the new lathe!
you'll need to make or get some drive dogs, but that is easy enough.
you'll learn how to turn between centers first off, and that will turn the most accurate work possible on your new joy!
have lots of fun learning!
 

dalvorius

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#13
Hi y'all, I got my first lathe. It's pretty exciting for me but it's very basic, probably not too interesting for other people.

<snip>

Well, I hope that wasn't too boring. It's exciting for me. I've been watching machining videos on YT for at least a year, so I'm stoked to finally get a lathe to play with. Maybe you can relate to getting your first machine tool? :)
Absolutely - and jealous.

For the many of us 'watching' and without (yet) a lathe or mill, this is very exciting.

Congratulations :)
 

wrmiller

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#14
The pistolsmith I worked for had a small Craftsman lathe (made by Atlas?) on a bench right next to the handwork station. We used that lathe all the time for things like screws, firing pins, barrel bushings, etc., etc.. On some days, it would get used a half-dozen times or so, while the big lathe was never even turned on.

I built my first competition pistol on a smaller lathe than that.

Enjoy what you have, and have fun learning about your new lathe and what you can do with it. You will surprise yourself. I did. :)
 

richl

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#16
One thing is for sure, if you ever decide to get a bigger lathe, you will completely love what it offers over this one. Congrats on the Lathe! I really hope you get as much fun outta this hobby as I do.:)

Rich
 

Douglas F.

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1/3 HP is as much as it can handle, so the motor will fit it great. You can't beat free! Congratulations and have fun! Ps. Take very very light cuts with the machine while you get the hang of it. The 109.xxxx series of lathes need to be treated with care of the spindle may bend.
 

kvt

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#20
It looks bigger than my first one, It was a little hand me down Sherline 4000, Bu it would cut stuff if you took light cuts. So yours should also. Sit back and have some fun. Find a bunch of scraps, and just turn them down to get the hang of it. then start having more fun.
 

ericc

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#21
Check out my post in shop made tools. These lathes can make stuff. You just have to work within their limitations.
 

T Bredehoft

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#23
Once you get used to hand cranking to feed the tool, you'll not want to give it up when you get a larger lathe.
 

jaredbeck

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#24
Wow, thanks Bob, what a wealth of information!

.. for total giggles, here's a (small) pic of my first woodworking lathe 40 years ago! Yup, four pieces of wood, two dowels, some ill fitting screws and candle wax for lubricant. -frank
Awesome. Reminds me of the stuff Matthias Wandel does (https://www.youtube.com/user/Matthiaswandel) That guy can do anything with wood. Check out the bandsaws he designs and makes.

.. find a chuck and start making chips.
I found this list of people who sell chucks: http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsman/index.html

But, how do I remove the faceplate? Does it thread on, or just jam in a taper? Is there a spindle lock? I can post some close up pictures if that would help.

As far as 109 series go that is a rare one I think, not many around
very collectible, congrats
Mark S
Huh. I did not consider that lathes could be collectibles, interesting. I guess there's a collector for everything, huh?

1/3 HP is as much as it can handle, so the motor will fit it great. You can't beat free! Congratulations and have fun! Ps. Take very very light cuts with the machine while you get the hang of it. The 109.xxxx series of lathes need to be treated with care of the spindle may bend.
Thanks for the words of caution. Glad to hear the motor's a good choice.
 

jimbob

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#25
One like it was my 1st lathe. Made a lot of money rebuilding motorcycle starters with it. Paid $75.00 for it and sold it some years later for $300.00 my asking price.
Moved on to a Craftsman 12" which does everything I need and still have it.
 

Bob Korves

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But, how do I remove the faceplate? Does it thread on, or just jam in a taper? Is there a spindle lock?
It should be just threaded on. I would soak it from the front and back of the faceplate with penetrating oil and see if you can free it up. Let the penetrant sit overnight, then turn it first in the tighten direction, followed by the loosen direction, counter clockwise. Do not force it or you might bend the spindle. If it does not come free with moderate force, do the penetrant thing again, try to work it loose, lather, rinse, repeat until it comes off, and it will eventually come off. It had decades to get stuck on there, you have days or weeks or whatever to get it loose if necessary. Patience, grasshopper...
 

dlane

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#27
If no spindle lock , might try wedging wood between pulley and casting being careful not to bend or break anything , or a strap wrench on pulley , are there any gears in there ?. Might get a couple pics of headstock pulley set up.
 

markba633csi

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#28
It's threaded Jared; 1/2"-20 thread or 3/4"-16 but probably the former.
Try grabbing the belt and twist it up tight with one hand and tug on the faceplate with the other, that might get it.
Also use the penetrating oil (like Liquid Wrench) or similar like Bob suggested.
I don't think there is a spindle lock on this machine
Mark S
 

bfd

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#29
my first home lathe was a 6" craftsman ( atlas) basket case I got it at a salvage yard in downey ,ca the guy at the salvage yard asked me what I was looking for and I answered what have you got he said wait a minute and returned with a shopping cart with a lathe torn apart in a shopping cart I bought it and took it home minus the cart. rebuilt it and used it for a couple years then sold it to a boss at work. at that time sears still had some parts for it. the best part was a new headstock that used tapered roller bearings, the old headstock used bronze bushings. best upgrade to that lathe ever. bill
 

Bob Korves

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Lathes UK said 1/2"-24 spindle thread for Jared's model. Oddball... And small! It will not take much to bend that spindle. Be careful with it!
 
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