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New to me Craftsmen Atlas 12X36

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Farmass

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#1
Thought I would post it here too and hopefully get a little information. I bought it from a gentleman 92 years young. Everything seems to be tight and in perfect working order. Anyways the model number is 101.28970 with a serial number of 004624 Can anyone tell me what year it was produced?
lathe6.jpeg lathe7.jpeg lathe8.jpeg lathe1.jpeg lathe2.jpeg lathe3.jpeg lathe4.jpeg lathe5.jpeg

lathe6.jpeg lathe7.jpeg lathe8.jpeg lathe1.jpeg lathe2.jpeg lathe3.jpeg lathe4.jpeg lathe5.jpeg
 

wa5cab

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#3
First production was more likely in 1958, based on Sears catalogs and their probable printing schecules. The Atlas 3991 (Craftsman 101.28970) was produced up into 1967 when it was replaced by the 3996 (Craftsman 101.28990). The only change known was that the pull-knob power cross-feed was replaced by a lever. Except for the knob instead of lever, your photos could be of my 3996, even to the heavier aftermarket 6" 3-jaw chuck. Very nice looking rig.

The casting date of the bed is in raised numerals on the back of the bed. If you can read it. Otherwise, the only other date actually on the machine is engraved into the two spindle bearings. But you have to pull the spindle to read them.

Robert D.
 

Armor

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#4
So Atlas made the Lathe?

When Sears had some real cool tools back in those days.


Jeff
 

wa5cab

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#6
So Atlas made the Lathe?

Jeff
Yes. Atlas made and Sears sold under the Craftsman badge 9", 6" and 12" lathes. Sears also sold Atlas made horizontal mills and shapers. And they sold the Atlas 1614 Universal Compound Vise. Atlas made drill presses but I'm not certain whether Sears sold them or not. Unfortunately, there's no clue in the Sears catalogs to who actually made anything. That information is in the machine model number. 101 means Atlas. 109 means AA and/or Dunlap (they also made 6" lathes that Sears sold). Prior to the Sears 1951 catalog, the catalog numbers bore no resemblance to the model numbers which makes using the catalogs to date-range the various lathe models difficult,

Robert D.
 

gi_984

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#7
Looks good. I've got the same machine. Put a Aloris AXA or Phase 2 Aloris clone on it. Order the 3/8 turning kit with the indexible HSS from AR Warner. You'll be amazed at how much better your cuts will be compared to the original tool holders.
 

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#8
I agree with gi_984. I bought an Atlas 10x24 and dreaded having to set up the lamp post tool holder. Bought a QCTP and never looked back. Now it's a joy to use and more of a precision machine. Roger
 

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#10
First production was more likely in 1958, based on Sears catalogs and their probable printing schecules. The Atlas 3991 (Craftsman 101.28970) was produced up into 1967 when it was replaced by the 3996 (Craftsman 101.28990). The only change known was that the pull-knob power cross-feed was replaced by a lever. Except for the knob instead of lever, your photos could be of my 3996, even to the heavier aftermarket 6" 3-jaw chuck. Very nice looking rig.

The casting date of the bed is in raised numerals on the back of the bed. If you can read it. Otherwise, the only other date actually on the machine is engraved into the two spindle bearings. But you have to pull the spindle to read them.

Robert D.
On the back of the bed there are cast numbers of 058-016 Is that a date code 1958?? Or is it a part number? Also I had to take apart the lathe to get it into the basement and there is a 3/8" steel plate under the chip pan, would that be something the previous owner added?

Thanks
Fred
 

wa5cab

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#11
Fred,

No, 058-016 is the casting and part number for the 1/2" ways 54" bed. I couldn't find anything else on the back of my bed either. I think it may have been on the Atlas Lathes UK site where I read that the 1/2" ways beds had a casting date on them. Maybe some did and some didn't.

Yes, the PO must have added the 3/8" plate. It is not shown on the parts list page showing the cabinet and pan and I don't see any need for it. Normally, the pan sits on 4 rubber grommets on top of the cabinet and the right leg. The grommets stick through the pan and part way through 7/16" USS flat washers. The bed legs sit on the 4 washers.

Robert D.
 

Dranreb

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#13
Also I had to take apart the lathe to get it into the basement and there is a 3/8" steel plate under the chip pan, would that be something the previous owner added?

Hi Fred, that looks like a very nice buy, well done. I think the 3/8 plate would have been added to add mass which really does help damp out vibrations and chatter, you should keep it in place as lathes can't be too heavily mounted.

Bernard
 

Farmass

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#14

wa5cab

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#15
Fred,

You will find the Craftsman manual (brief operating instructions and illustrated parts list) on your machine in the Downloads section. I am gradually getting all of the manuals uploaded there. You can sometimes find the less machine specific but much thicker "Manual of Lathe Operations and Machinist's Tables" on eBay. But you need to watch the copyright dates - you want one dated 1959 or later. You can also buy new the final edition from Clausing for under $25. Wherever you find it, you will be glad that you got the latter manual.

Robert D.
 

wa5cab

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#16
The RoseAntiqueTools site has most but not all of the Sears Power Tools catalogs from before 1931 to 1973 available for download. Unfortunately the 1958 and 1967 editions are missing. Which results in a two-year uncertainty of when the 1/2" bed models came in and when the lever operated cross-feed change was made.

Another site with a lot of text and photos of all of the Atlas lathes is http://www.lathes.co.uk/atlas/index.html

Robert D.
 

wa5cab

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#17
Fred,

Whether you keep the 3/8" plate or not (I don't personally think it is necessary but my 3996 is firmly anchored to concrete in six places) as long as you have the bed off of the cabinet you should take this opportunity to replace the four rubber bushings. You can get them from Clausing.

Robert D.
 

stevecmo

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#18
Fred,

Nice looking old iron. I think the Atlas / Craftsman gets criticized too much. They can produce good parts, particularly in the larger size lathes. Nice find.

Steve
 

Jeff in Pa

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#19
Nice lathe with plenty of attachments/tooling. Congrats.

Fred,

Nice looking old iron. I think the Atlas / Craftsman gets criticized too much. They can produce good parts, particularly in the larger size lathes. Nice find.

Steve
For the hobbiest, they work very well. When compared to an industrial machine, they fall short ( because they were NOT designed for that type of heavy work)
 

Farmass

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#20
Thanks Steve,

I feel i did quite well with all the tooling and such it put me back $1000. I was looking at the smithy 3-1 and some chinese lathes and mills, and started doing some homework. I decided I wanted to buy some American Iron. I had the opportunity to buy this or a bare bones southbend 13". I chose this as it was much easier to get down in my basement and had all the tooling. The thing with the southbend is i know it isnt going anywhere as it belongs to a friend of the family and he said if he "needs" to sell it he will let me know before he sells it. So if I outgrow this lathe I should be-able to re-coup a good portion of that money and get the southbend.

Now if I can only find a Van Norman #12 around michigan I would be a happy camper. Anyone know of one or wants to sell one?


Fred,

Nice looking old iron. I think the Atlas / Craftsman gets criticized too much. They can produce good parts, particularly in the larger size lathes. Nice find.

Steve
 

Tamper84

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#21
1,000 bucks!!!! You got one heck of a deal!!!! I would of bought that as well!!!!

Chris
 

macrnr

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#22
Now if I can only find a Van Norman #12 around michigan I would be a happy camper. Anyone know of one or wants to sell one?
There is one at auction in Indiana
http://gsaauctions.gov/gsaauctions/aucbystate/
Click browse by location, click Indiana and voila there are two mills one being a Van Norman and a threading machine. There is also an assortment of interesting looking lathes.
 

wa5cab

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#23
Fred,

I didn't notice it when you first posted your photos but that is a very nice pair of storage shelves built into your machine. Looks factory. I wish that I had those on mine.

Robert D.
 

Farmass

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#24
Fred,

I didn't notice it when you first posted your photos but that is a very nice pair of storage shelves built into your machine. Looks factory. I wish that I had those on mine.

Robert D.

He did an great job of framing in the shelving, all level, square and sturdy. Best part its not only pretty but is functional, its a great space saver for all the attachements.

macnrn, thanks for the link......anyone need a K&T beast should buy this and I'll take the Van Norman out of the lot :))
 

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#25
Can anyone tell me what these are and what they are for? I got a set of 5 collets......but I cant figure out what these are. A few have threads in the top :thinking::thinking:?? IMG_1901.JPG

IMG_1901.JPG
 

wa5cab

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#26
Fred,

I've never seen anything exactly like that before. To me, they look somewhat like unfinished 3AT or 3C collets.

Robert
 

gilo

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#27
Why rubber bushings necessary? If one is concerned about flexibility, and many appear to be, why would you mount a lathe on rubber? Please enlighten.
 
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