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Thread: Clausing lathe
10-11-2009, 04:07 AM #1
I may be going to look at a old Clausing lathe , and I wondered if anyone here has any insight on this particular machine .
The guy selling it says it's a model 100 , MK 2 or 3 (he's not sure) .
The price is low , but he says it's complete , in good shape , with good ways .
Comes with a couple chucks , and other "accessories" .
I have not seen it or even a photo , yet .
Anyway , anything special I should look out for ?
I'm pretty good with machinery , but not very experienced judging something like this .
10-11-2009, 04:23 AM #2
10-11-2009, 06:21 AM #3
I looked at the UK site , and from the info there , the Clausings seem like pretty nicely designed lathes .
And at least I should be able to ID it now .
I just wondered if anyone had any personal experience .
10-12-2009, 08:34 AM #4
I have one of the mk3 lathes. I paid $1000 for it on ebay and it came with a whole bunch of accessories...some of which I have no idea what the stuff does.
I am just a hobby machinist building scale 1/8 military models. I am completely out of my league here with some of the experience and pros on this board. But here is my opinion on it.
I went from a Chinese 7x14 to the Clausing and...wow...what a difference. Someone that already uses a "real" lathe probably won't appreciate the change in quality as much as I did though. The only thing that I had trouble getting used to is that the Clausing only tops out at around 800 rpm on the spindle (at least mine does). I found it easier to turn on the 7x14 with the faster spindle speed.
One word of caution...make sure ALL of the parts are in good shape. These things are next to impossible to find parts for. I have been looking for an original motor mount and the countershaft assy for the last two years. I found both on ebay a couple of months ago, but I missed out on the motor mount completely (sold for $50...) and I lost the countershaft assy in the last 6 friggen seconds (knew I should have put a higher bid in). I finally gave up on restoring it. I know this idea may torque some of the oldtime members off here, but I am going to CNC mine now. Parts are coming already. After CNCing my mill, I've had the itch to get a CNC lathe too. The Clausing is getting the treatment since I already own it.
I believe this was one of the last lathes built under the Clausing brand before Atlas bought the company. The lathe was rebadged as the 4800 and as far as I know, the parts are interchangeable.
The reason for needing a motor mount...the PO made a "new" mount out of 1/4" plate. It looks like a 4-year old used a torch to cut it. The home fabricated belt cover doesn't look much better either...sigh...I probably paid too much for the lathe for the condition it is in, but in the midwest, lathe and mill prices are a lot higher than on either coast. On a good note, my bed does not seem to have any noticeable wear and everything else seems to be in great shape.
Here is a link to the question that I posted about this lathe on PM:
Clausing 100 mk3a
If you don't mind...what price are they asking for the lathe?
10-12-2009, 03:30 PM #5
Well Mike ,
I went and bought the lathe yesterday afternoon . $250 .
It is a Clausing badged MK 3 , or , as I found out this AM , when I purchased a manual from Clausing , a Clausing model 105 , man. date MAY 3 , 1944 .
Long bed - 36" or 40" - I was so happy , I forgot to measure :~)
It came with 3 and 4 jaw chucks , a faceplate , a steady rest , and a few pieces of tooling . And all the change wheels , I believe .
It has the cast iron legs , that have "Clausing" in raised letters , and the original motor mount on the left leg set , but no motor .
I believe it sat in the back of a machine shop and then in the guy's garage , for at least the last 1/2 of it's 65 year life .
It's covered in caked on oil , and a little surface rust , but I scraped some of the crud off the ways , and they look good - not worn in front of the head stock , or anywhere else , as far as I can tell .
The only thing missing , I believe , is the long horizontal lever , that shifts the countershaft sheaves , but I think I can make a reasonable copy .
It's going to need total disassembly and cleaning , new bearings , and a nice paint job , but I think it's got a lot of potential , for the price .
10-12-2009, 04:01 PM #6
Two hundred and fifty dollars?????? Oh how I wish I lived on one of the coasts...
That is quite the buy. I would have bought it for that price just to part it out on ebay.
Speaking of ebay, IF you need any parts, let me know. Once I get mine CNCd...I am hoping by Christmas...I will have a ton of parts left over. I am pretty much just using the headstock, tailstock, and bed. The rest is being replaced with new components. But until I get this done, I can't sell any of the parts. If my idea does not work, I am putting it back together as a manual lathe.
That was a great deal! At least to mid-west standards...
10-13-2009, 03:22 AM #7
Decent machines of any kind are very scarce around this part of the south , especially at a decent price . I had to drive 100 mi , each way , to get this lathe .
I think I just got lucky , this time .
I will keep you in mind , Mike , especially if you have that missing lever ;~)
Seriously , I hope your CNC conversion works out to your satisfaction .
10-13-2009, 04:29 AM #8
Got any pictures?
10-13-2009, 06:28 PM #9
I drove from Mitchell SD to the IL border for mine. I think it was around 500 miles one way. I had just gotten back on a Friday from a two week vacation in Los Angeles (4000 miles round trip) and then dumped another 1000 miles on the Durango that Sunday (two days later). I took the truck in for an oil change on Monday and the guy at the lube station asked if I didn't just change the oil two weeks earlier? Yep...two weeks and 5000 miles ago!
I would love to see pictures of it too.
10-14-2009, 04:37 AM #10
I'll try to get some photos tomorrow . The lathe is out in my new (unlit , at present shop) , and it's pouring rain , and dark as the inside of a cow , right now .
Besides , I want to re-assemble it on the legs , for the photo shoot :~)
I too have driven pretty far for machines in the past (I should tell you how far, and how much it cost , to get a certain Crescent band saw , some day) .
This trip seemed pretty far though , as the air-con in my van went out , right at the start , and I had my MIL along for the ride (don't ask) .
It was a long enough trip .
10-16-2009, 07:08 AM #11
As promised , here's a couple shots of my $250 lathe . Please forgive the poor quality - It was not very good lighting , or a good photographer , for that matter .
I do have the gear covers , just not shown .
I think this may be what Clausing calls a "Dual Lathe" (for metal and wood) , as it has a 2 step drive pulley , and a long bed . The bed measures 46" from the headstock to the end .
There's a stenciled yellow number , on the right leg - I can't quite make it out . Maybe ex-military shop ?
Well Mike , I hope that for your $1000 , you got a working lathe , because for $250 , I didn't .
Problems found to date :
Bull gear - 4 teeth missing . I think I have a line on getting that resolved , with application of $$
Half nuts - the lower is broken in 1/2 at the jaws , upper is stripped . Amazing that there appears to be no damage to the lead screw at all - threads look perfect .
This one is going to be a problem - I think I'm going to have to braze a split acme nut , in place of the bad jaws , or something like that - not sure yet .
Sliding bevel gear (that engages the power cross feed) - I can't figure out , from the Clausing drawings , how this is supposed to mesh with the lead screw , but anyhow it's not doing it .
It goes without saying , that NOTHING is available from Clausing anymore .
So , as usual , I outsmarted myself when it comes to buying machinery - If I can get this guy going for what you paid for yours , Mike , I'll probably be doing good .
I think my judgment gets clouded , because of the rarity of machines like this around here .
Tom ....... trying to think of it as a labor of love
10-17-2009, 12:58 PM #12
10-17-2009, 01:07 PM #13
My cross feed works...I was fiddling with the machine last night turning down some aluminum...not making anything really...just making chips and trying out some cutters, but I could not figure out how to run the power crossfeed. I'll run back down and see if I can figure it out again...I had it working earlier this year.
10-18-2009, 06:10 AM #14
Because of their compact footprint and light weight, these lathes typically ended up in school shop classrooms, and occasionally in a hobbyist's garage. Like Atlas, they weren't heavily built, but with reasonable caution they would manage some decent cuts and do nice work. Unfortunately, some parts were very brittle, and were expensive and difficult to replace even from the outset, so many machines got parted or scrapped as soon as they became non-functional.
With industrial- and scientific-grade machinery being turned loose on the market nowdays, light-duty lathes tended to be the first thing into the smaller scrap hoppers, 'cause they could be lifted in by hand. (yeah, sad, but bigger, and much more svelte machines have been going in, too...).
One suggestion for machine tool rebuilding- Don't arbitrarily jump in and change bearings- this isn't a car wheel. Oftentimes, bearings in machine tools are manufactured and 'matched' specifically for use in a certain application, so grabbing a pair of new bearings and shoving 'em in will not do you a good favor. IF the original bearings have no defects, don't even take 'em out- just clean them up, make sure they don't have binding grit, etc., in 'em, and use proper lubricants.
Be thankful for the oily-cruddy condition of a used machine when you get one- the oil-crud forms a wonderful protective layer for the machine. Once you've cleaned the machine, replace the oily crud, preferably without the crud. Also- don't pressure-wash a machine tool- this drives moisture and crap into precision assemblies, guaranteeing that disassembly will be much more difficult.
You can break the 800rpm barrier by driving the lathe with a 3-phase motor and Variable Frequency AC Drive (VFD). You can also 'liberate' a DC motor and variable-speed control circuit from a discarded treadmill. Either will work, both are pretty inexpensive propositions. Check the RPC/VFD thread for ideas and answers here.
10-18-2009, 09:58 AM #15
I'm converting mine over to a treadmill motor with a Dart DC motor controller. I am looking around for a KB KBCC-125R controller though. The KB has better features.
10-18-2009, 10:00 AM #16
When you first posted these pictures, something did not look "right." It finally occured to me what it is...your lathe does not have the quick change box (I think that is the correct term). Mine has a "V" box on the left side that controlls the lathe apron. I'll try to get a picture of mine and post it later.
10-18-2009, 10:22 AM #17
Here are a couple of pics of my mk3a. I have the cover for the end, I just never installed it after getting the lathe set up. Notice my stand is way different too.
I wish I had your lathe instead of mine. The one you have is a perfect candidate for CNCing. But after messing around with mine again last, I am having second thoughts on doing the CNC treatment to it...I am going to go ahead with the motor conversion and the variable speed controller though.
10-18-2009, 10:43 AM #18
Entirely cast iron and steel , all the gears included .
It is pretty compact , though :~)
BTW Mike , I figured out what was wrong with the powered cross feed sliding gear - there's a little piece of key stock missing , that is supposed to engage with the keyway in the lead screw .
10-18-2009, 10:54 AM #19
Correct , Mike ,
No quick change on mine - just lots of changewheels .
Don't know why you'd envy my lathe , though .
At least you have a drip pan , under your's .
The cast legs on mine do have a provision for mounting a shelf - something I'll definitely do .
Until then , I'll just have to learn to keep the floor clean ;~)
10-18-2009, 11:15 AM #20
I was just thinking...would you be interested in trading lathes (plus some cash for mine)? It would entail a road trip for you, but I can save you quite a few miles. I am leaving for Little Rock AR next Sunday and I will be there until Nov 6th. Little Rock is about 500 miles from Pensacola FL (which I figured as "NW FL") and I will have that middle weekend off. You can have whatever parts you need off of yours to make mine good (the countershaft assy, the pulley attached to it and the motor mount). You can even have my motor attached to mine although I am not sure it is the original one. Mine would be *very* restorable then.
We will need to exchange more pictures though. I would want to make sure that the countershaft assy is the same.
What do you think?