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I just bought an old Atlas/Craftsman lathe (mod. 101.07360, built in 1936).  I've procrastinated buying a lathe for years now, mainly because,  despite  all  the  positive  discussions  of  the Chinese mini-lathes, I still mistrust them.  Also, I just really love old machinery.  So I finally decided that I'd rather take my chances tuning-up an old lathe than being stuck with possible inaccuracy limitations from the get-go on a new one.

I haven't received the little beast yet, but the seller assures me it's in excellent condition - smooth and tight, he said (yeah, right).  I probably paid too much for it, but at least the photographs indicate that it hasn't seen much use.  It comes with a pretty good range of tooling accessories - but no collets.

Might anyone know something about these old Atlas lathes?  They sure were popular, and apparently there are still quite a number of them around.  It has the old-style "lantern" tool post, and I'm thinking that I might want to convert it to accept the more modern quick-change style.   Anyhow,  I'm  hoping  that  some  of  you gear-heads might be able to give me a few tips or advice on setup, maintenance and/or and operation.  (Bill Harms)

    I've been using a cheaper Phase II quick change tool post for a few years on my South Bend Lathe.  While its not a Cadillac Aloris, it serves me quite well for all aspects of machining. You will have a much easier time with this tool set up that's for sure. The bonus is that Enco is selling them for about $110 for a set.  The  other tool  I really  like is  the diamond  tool cutter from Bay-Com. Its a bit pricey, but it's a turning, facing, threading cutter that is easy to grind and work with. My only worry with you buying a lathe is that the book will never get done.  (David Rinker)

    I hope you are happy with your lathe purchase.  But for the mini lathe who ever sold you on the idea the it is not  a good machine is nuts.  My lathe from Harbor Freight is accurate to .0005??? and only needed the tailstock adjusted. For less than $400 I was up and running making ferrules and reel seat hardware. This thing has a variable speed control, cuts threads, tapers, automatic feed and micro feed plus more.  Your Atlas is definitely a better machine for large projects but for making fly rod components  the mini lathes are just the ticket. By the way that Quick Change tool rest will set you back about $300+ about the same as I paid for my mini lathe.  (Adam Vigil)


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