American Tool Works Co. B Style Zip Shift Lathe
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  1. #1
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    Default American Tool Works Co. B Style Zip Shift Lathe

    Hi Folks,
    I'm a long time listener, first time caller. I went to a guys shop to do some trading for a shaper and got home this had followed me there. I was just wondering if any of you fellow (or ladies)have much experience with this model and/or could offer any friendly advice, do's, don'ts, and so on before put the power to it. I have a lathe that I'm perfectly happy with and really don't have the room to accommodate this ones stature, but I would like to make a chip with it before I start finding it a new home.

    Thanks
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_20190403_154023.jpg   img_20190407_100739.jpg   img_20190407_101123.jpg   img_20190405_160717.jpg   img_20190407_100721.jpg  


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    I can't be of much help with machine specific info. I've run a Pacemaker, which from your photos, I believe predates your machine. Yours looks to be in very good shape, if it is as good as it looks, I suspect that once you do "make a chip with it", you will be ruined for all other lathes and will no longer consider selling it!

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    That sir I am fearful of indeed. I wish I had more room than I do. It was made in 1972 and seems to be in decent shape compared to my trade school finds.

  5. #4
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    Its a 14" Pacemaker with "Automatic" instead of "Standard Shift"

    As long as the HYDRAULIC system we see in your photos is PERFECT, it may just do what it is supposed to.

    Bourne & Koch can likely provide input - like an appropriate manual mated to your 1972 serial

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    Thanks,
    I've got a pile of paperwork with it from shipping info when it was new, check sheets, options, you know, a list of all the cool things that came with it new that could probably (definitely) never locate. Even something that says "manual" on it that is obviously newer than the other documentation, but its mighty thin for such a mighty thick machine. We'll see.?!?. I'm sure I'll be back with more specific questions. Right now getting it off the trailer is the short term goal.

    Thanks again.

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    Thats a nice looking pacemaker, and not too large to be a keeper either! I would always find room for that if the zip shifting controls work. The zip shift machines are heavier than the standard lathes of the same size too. The weight of that thing might surprise you. Is it about a 16 x 30?

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    I'd be interested in swing, between centers, and weight myself. If it's a 16" swing, I'm guessing over 6,000lbs, which is 50% more than my import 16x40.

    [Added in edit] I see John says 14" swing. I'm still guessing over 6,000lbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfriedberg View Post
    [Added in edit] I see John says 14" swing. I'm still guessing over 6,000lbs.
    Nameplate 14 means it swings 16 1/2". That's how lathes were sized at one time. Two anda half inches over nominal.

    The guys in the service department at American Tool called this model the "Strip Shift" but I sure wanted one. In the late seventies I think the price was about $60,000.

    They didn't sell many

    You could buy their nice beginner cnc machine at the low introductory price of $86,000. Went to a hunnerd thou pretty quick tho.

    See the "Wyle" on the name plate ? I think he went insane. Fisher was the next owner and he went to the slammer for tax evasion or something. Or maybe I have them backwards. Anyway, when machine tool companies start sliding, ownership can get 'interesting.'

    One of their guys ended up being the bigshot at Mazak in Florence for many years so when you buy a yamazooki ricearoni, you can think Trained by American Tool

    Condition of that looks beeyootiful. I bet you end up keeping it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Biolog View Post
    Thats a nice looking pacemaker, and not too large to be a keeper either! I would always find room for that if the zip shifting controls work. The zip shift machines are heavier than the standard lathes of the same size too. The weight of that thing might surprise you. Is it about a 16 x 30?
    Yes Sir. It's a 16x30. A very large 16x30. I'm assuming they were looking to skip over any rigidity issues. Or power issues at 15hp.

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    8000lbs. Ugh.... I think the tail stock is 10% of it. On the way home with it we were joking about moving around .020" at a time if there were any handling issues with the trailer.

  13. #11
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    I see John says 14" swing
    I just look at my ATW stuff - Style B - in the Thread title - say 14"

    Of course by then, ATW's 14 would swing about 19 over ways

    As to Style B, see page 36

    http://pounceatron.dreamhosters.com/...n-110-1958.pdf

    Of course ATW may have dropped the 14" in the 14 years between the brochure linked and the subject of this thread

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    1972 B style 14x30 weighs 7900 pounds, swings 18" over the carriage wings and 11" over the tool rest

    The lathe pictured is missing the lead screw reverse handle at the apron or the pull bar reverse control under the head stock cover.

    Does the Zip shift lathe have a hydraulic shift for the lead screw?

    The zip shift control rod appears to pass through the tail stock advance/retract gear box. How is the modified gear box used?

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    I'd like to claim first right of refusal, should you decide to sell it.

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    The leadscrew reverse handle is there.
    From what I can see someone put the clutch rod in the wrong orientation and just bent the clutch lever(s) to suit..

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert R View Post
    1972 B style 14x30 weighs 7900 pounds, swings 18" over the carriage wings and 11" over the tool rest

    The lathe pictured is missing the lead screw reverse handle at the apron or the pull bar reverse control under the head stock cover.

    Does the Zip shift lathe have a hydraulic shift for the lead screw?

    The zip shift control rod appears to pass through the tail stock advance/retract gear box. How is the modified gear box used?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Panza View Post
    The leadscrew reverse handle is there.
    From what I can see someone put the clutch rod in the wrong orientation and just bent the clutch lever(s) to suit..
    A quick review of past PM posts on the Pacemaker cleared up the mystery.
    The Pacemaker gear shift is controlled by the electric push button and not by the lever next to the spindle speed dial.

    I was expecting the lead screw reverse rod to be near the bottom of the apron instead of the top position.
    My unzipped version of this lathe has casting plugs in the lower head stock, apron, and rear rod support bracket were the lead screw reverse control rod would be placed.

    The internet DuckDuckgo photographs show adjustable stops on the upper control rod. It appears that a carriage bump to one of the adjustable stops will cause a lead screw reverse.Can someone verify this?

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    It appears that a carriage bump to one of the adjustable stops will cause a lead screw reverse.Can someone verify this?
    I'd say most if not all LSR rigs PUT IT IN NEUTRAL, not reverse

    In other words the shifting is a three position concept

    Be kind of dopey to have things backing up while you were snatching a drink of water

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    LSR is a feature I'd very much like to have on my 16x40 lathe, along with an actual clutch.

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    That looks to be a very nice lathe indeed. If everything works as it should there's nothing on the ' new ' manual lathe market today to equal it.

    Regards Tyrone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C.Lemmons View Post
    Hi Folks, I was just wondering if any of you fellow (or ladies)have much experience with this model and/or could offer any friendly advice, do's, don'ts, and so on before put the power to it.

    Thanks
    The oil flow in the head stock sight glass should be visible within a few seconds of engaging the spindle clutch. If you do not see the oil streaming by it is time to change the oil filter. This is WIX part number 51049 or Napa part 1049. There is a provision for a pressure gage to be screwed in next to the filter. The gage will show about five psi.

    The oil in the sight glass is over flow from the oil distribution plate sitting above the head stock gears. The lathe must be level to insure that the oil from the plate is being equally distributed.

    Before putting power to the lathe verify that the head stock tapered roller bearings are not too loose or tight. The bearings can be adjusted using a worm screw accessed below the oil filter.
    Put the feeds box in the OUT position( or the lead screw reverse in neutral), the head stock in Neutral, and then turn the spindle by hand using the chuck. There will be some resistance to rotation but it should not be difficult to turn. If it seems OK leave the adjustment alone. The bearings can be easily damaged if the preload is set wrong particularly if the lathe is operated at the high end of the spindle speeds.

    Until you know for sure that the Zip shift is working for all gears, rock the chuck back and forth after a gear shift to verify gear engagement before engaging the spindle clutch.

    The usual warnings about sludge in the apron, feeds box, head stock, tail stock and Zip shift hydraulics apply.

    The way wipers may have become brittle. This is a problem for the soft tail stock ways. Try to clean out any trapped chips under the wipers to prevent scratching.

    The tension on the motor pulley belts is normally done using a screw between the floor and the motor mounting plate. This is not essential. You can also use a wood wedge between the lathe frame and the motor to adjust the belt tension. It works and avoids having to drill a hole in the floor.

    The usual warnings about switching over from 480 volts to 240 volts on the motor and the need to adjust the voltage to the contactor coils apply.

    Verify that the spindle cam locks are adjusted correctly.

    Do not engage the spindle unless the chuck jaws are clamped onto a bar. You already know about that hazard.

    The maximum spindle speed for using the lead screw reverse is 200 RPM.

    Inspect the braided copper cable used on the three phase power shut off switch. The cable may have become damaged after 45 years of service.


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