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  1. #1
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    Default Need help identifying a new to me lathe & lookinf for resources for novice machinists

    Hello All,

    I recently picked up a lathe in Canada on my way up to Alaska, and I am looking for some input on it as this is my first lathe. I mainly plan on using it to make parts for other tools, and want to be able to cut threads, bore and achieve a nice surface finish.

    Having watched many videos on turning i figured it would be fairly straight forward. I mounted it to my bench and fired it up and very quickly realized I don't know what I am doing.

    I would very much appreciate some direction towards good resources for novice lathe operators, as well as some help identifying the lathe. Ive watched many videos and they all cover about the same information. what a facing cut is vs a turning operation how to turn the lathe on and off, the mind numbingly straight forward information. I am looking for more information about changing the speed and feed of my lathe.

    My main question as of now, is what are the various gears and levers called (I labeled them in the pictures below for easier reference) and how do I go about matching them to cut threads, most videos I have watched are using quick change gear boxes. Also b/c this lathe was in canada, I assume the gears i got with it are for metric and the plate in the picture would corroborate that. which leads to question two, can anyone help me read the plate attached to the gear cover? third, with a cone pulley set up which is my highest speed and which is my slowest?

    Another line of questions I have relate to tooling, I dont know the rpm of my lathe, I dont have a tachometer, but the lather came with mostly cemented carbide tools and a few HSS blanks. the first thing i chucked up was a piece of mystery steel round stock, I figured it was mild steel but the cemented carbide could only take the slightest of cuts without chipping, so what am I doing wrong? the dials on the cross slide handles have a lot of play in them making it difficult to read exactly how deep a cut i was taking but it was negligible.

    Thank you very much for any help.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_20191223_152144.jpg   img_20191223_152246.jpg   img_20191223_152330.jpg   img_20191223_152321.jpg   img_20191223_152314.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Get a good book. South Bend’s book “How To Run a Lathe” will answer most if not all of your questions.

    From the thread chart, you do not have a metric lathe.

    In pic #2, the red handle is used to engage the back gears. To use them, you should find a pin that locks the large gear nearest the chuck to the large pulley next to it. Pull the pin out. In pic #3, the red handle controls the tumbler gears, which reverse the direction of the gear train. Try both of them, but not under power.

    Not trying to be nasty here, but your question about which pulley setups will give you the highest and lowest speeds makes me wonder if running a lathe may not be for you.

    Get a good book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SJDangelo View Post
    some help identifying the lathe.
    I get that you're new, and don't know what you're doing yet, but how could you buy a machine and not know what you're buying?

  5. #4
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    Ancient handy info for running old lathes

    http://vintagemachinery.org/pubs/1617/5795.pdf

    If you digest all the CONCEPTS in here, you will be a little further along

    Probably a bit presumptive to expect forum members to basically write all this down again for you - that is why the book was published

    On Edit - one of the first things you point at is the back gear lever. You may have already noticed it swings the "back gears" toward and away from engagement with the spindle gearing. The back gear provides three additional SLOW SPEEDS - but it don't work unless you know about the other item - referred to as the BULL GEAR CLAMP. You have to release the "bull" gear from the spindle cone pulley in order to use the back gears

    Thumbnail illustrates - which I got from above linked book

    Second Edit:

    Add thumbnail with end gear names. If you look on the chart on the cover you will see STUD and SCREW columns

    Third Edit:

    Add thumbnail for COMPOUND end gearing - you will definitely need this when you are trying to slow feed the carriage for reasonably nice finishes - like when NOT threading
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails back-gear-stuff.jpg   end-gear-stuff.jpg   compound-end-gearing.jpg  
    Last edited by johnoder; 12-27-2019 at 10:21 AM.

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    I suggest you join here:
    The Hobby-Machinist

    Lots of knowledgeable, helpful and patient people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhoopee View Post
    I suggest you join here:
    The Hobby-Machinist

    Lots of knowledgeable, helpful and patient people.

    Once again WHY ARE YOU REFERRING PEOPLE TO THAT SITE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tdmidget View Post
    Once again WHY ARE YOU REFERRING PEOPLE TO THAT SITE?
    Because people on THAT SITE will patiently answer the most rudimentary questions without feeling the need to demean the person asking. Because the rankest newbie with a machine whose name may not even be mentioned here is welcomed and encouraged. Because the questions asked in this thread would not receive an answer such as "running a lathe may not be for you." And because he asked.

    This forum is intended for professionals who already know what they're doing. Referring somebody who is not there yet to a forum better suited to their needs should be encouraged.

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    I gotta say “how to run a lathe” is absolutely the correct answer to this post. It covers every one of your questions and then all the questions that will follow those.

    To give you something to tinker with as you wait for the book, I will answer some of your questions. But if this is something you want to do you really should start with that book.

    Rpm for pulleys:

    Speed of driven pulley- driving diameter x rpm / driven diameter = speed of driven pulley


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    I’d also suggest researching how to adjust gibs and then Doing that if needed. Just a lot of stuff nobody will think to tell you. You need to start out by researching more. Look over your machine and find every component and make a point of learning what each thing is doing. Down to the last screw. Maybe even take it apart and clean each component if that doesn’t scare you. Then you will know most of the basics.

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    I hope you have good luck with your new lathe. I literally grew up with machinery, so basic lathe operation isn’t too big a mystery to me, but I can see how it might be intimidating to someone just starting out! Your lathe was made without a quick change gear box and needs a set of change gears to make different threads. You have A set of gears on the machine. The thread chart you picture has the tooth count of the gears for positions on the back of your lathe.
    As far as the carbide chipping, there are several reasons it could be. If the picture you have is the part and the setup you used, the place you were cutting was WAY to far away from the chuck and if it was not supported by a tail stock center, I doubt it would cut- just vibrate all over and break the carbide (carbide is very hard, but also brittle like glass).I agree that you would probably get more and better help, at least initially, at the home shop site. You might want to look at Tony’s lathe U.K. site for all kinds of information on old lathes and mills. Don’t be afraid to come back and ask questions when you get a little more sophisticated at the subject. I’m sure that if one of us crusty old timers here was to go out on a commercial fishing boat, we would have a good chance of being thrown overboard for being exasperatingly dense! So don’t take it personally!!

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  17. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhoopee View Post
    Because people on THAT SITE will patiently answer the most rudimentary questions without feeling the need to demean the person asking. Because the rankest newbie with a machine whose name may not even be mentioned here is welcomed and encouraged. Because the questions asked in this thread would not receive an answer such as "running a lathe may not be for you." And because he asked.

    This forum is intended for professionals who already know what they're doing. Referring somebody who is not there yet to a forum better suited to their needs should be encouraged.

    Suggest you search "Practical machinist" and "Nelson Barksdale" to see what kind of nut case you are in love with. If you love it so much, maybe it's where you belong.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtndew View Post
    I get that you're new, and don't know what you're doing yet, but how could you buy a machine and not know what you're buying?
    Damn guy, you have to live a little! The most fun and the best stories have came from getting into things where I had no idea what I was doing. The worst scars as well.

    I take it you have never been married?

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    You've already been given some good information. And I've been at this more than long enough to know all the forum posts and YT videos in the world are at best only a fairly good addition to some proper and old school reference books. I'm only a hobbyist and will never be anywhere close to a real machinist. I wouldn't insult one by even thinking I might. But if you don't already know enough to tell who's full of shit and who isn't how do you then know who's information or videos you can trust to be accurate and correct? You also need to know enough to even ask the right questions. That South Bend How to Run a Lathe is pretty good, even better I think is the one Hercus lathes in Australia published for there clone of those South Bends. Try googling Hercus Textbook of Turning PDF.

    While it's mostly for and about the Myford Super 7 lathe I've learned more about machining in this one book https://www.teepublishing.co.uk/book...rkshop-manual/ than everything else I have combined. No it ain't free, but how much is the proper instruction worth to you? It's roughly $50 delivered direct from Tee Publishing in the U.K. and a whole lot cheaper than the reseller Ebay bandits want for the exact same book in the U.S. After at least 40 + years I think I can say there's no fast or cheap method of learning what you need to and I'm still adding to my machining education all the time. Having a real mentor would be a lot better, but if that's not available as it isn't with me then those reference books are a distant second with the forums and YT an addition and not a replacement to the books. Secondly buy yourself a used 1940's - 1980's copy of Machinery's Handbook. You should be able to find something in decent condition on Ebay for $20 to at most $30. The reference books are tools as well and just as important as anything else.

    Edited to add, I'm also in Canaduh and anything with metric feed screws mostly gets stopped at my property line. That lathe is more than old enough it's highly doubtful it's metric based unless it was special ordered. Your threading placard giving the available thread pitches and the hand wheel divisions will tell you for sure what you have.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrWhoopee View Post
    Because people on THAT SITE will patiently answer the most rudimentary questions without feeling the need to demean the person asking. Because the rankest newbie with a machine whose name may not even be mentioned here is welcomed and encouraged. Because the questions asked in this thread would not receive an answer such as "running a lathe may not be for you." And because he asked.

    This forum is intended for professionals who already know what they're doing. Referring somebody who is not there yet to a forum better suited to their needs should be encouraged.
    I agree, a lot of sharp replies lately. I was introduced to this site by a friend who is an engineer by training and a machinist in a specialized shop. His word of warning was some of the guys can get awfully sharp with replies. Now I know what he was talking about.

    To answer OP,,,, you tube Mr Pete AKA Tublecain. He is a former teacher, his videos are very informative and most importantly,,, give accurate information.

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    looks like an OK lathe. Be sure oil is getting into both sides of the the spindle head.Check your gears and make a list of what common threads you can do with them. Rag wipe (damp not wet) clean the whole works, don't use spray cans but wipe clean, oil mixed with a little solvent is good wipe. pick out chips from gears , don't air spray them. You might buy a bunch of used High speed steel lathe bits if you did not get some with the machine.
    Get a fish gauge and a caliper, a 10 power loop, bench grinder, micrometers when you need /afford them, set of thread wires. thread pitch gauge. . Practice making a straight part, finishing a part between centers, making a shaft with a step shoulder at one end of both, cut a thread and feel it in with a high grade store bought nut (then check it with three wires. Know turn, face , thread , part off, bore an ID.
    Don't expect the chuck to be .001 close..I have run precision parts on a lathe with .015 chuck error with being quick to between centers finish a part.
    Good habit to roll your chuck to be sure it turns so not being locked in back gear, yes most often the belt just slips.
    Carbide often needs higher speed (RPM), lighter cuts, perhaps a tighter spindle and a very sharp edge..often need a diamond wheel running wet to keep carbide bits sharp. HSS bits are fine for file soft steel and running non production parts.

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    Your lathe looks like an old Atlas or Craftsman. It's definitely one of those marketed in the 60's for the home shop. I wouldn't expect too much out of that lathe, but it's a good one to learn on. If you keep making parts your skills will soon surpass the lathe's abilities, and you'll be looking for something more industrial. The South Bend book was a great recommendation. The carbide chipping could be a result of improper tool height.I would recommend sticking with HSS tools and honing(pun intended) your tool grinding skills.It will give you a better idea of how to select tools for any given job, and how the cutting process works. Since you're in Alaska, you may want to keep your eyes open for a better lathe before you need it. They may be few and far between.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnMartin View Post
    Get a good book.
    +1.

    Congrats on the lathe, a lifetime of fun, learning and making lies ahead. Books are the fastest way to come up the curve from a standing start . Even the old Army one online is a good start (if not tedious) and free. Start asking questions when you don't understand what the book is saying.

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    Oh .. first glance thought it was an old SB #5..or a clone of same. ( Yes I think South Bend was cast in the side of the bed.

    Good for the OP to know the photo shows a bar stock sticking far out of a chuck.
    That would chatter and whip almost any tool bit to bad..and dangerous.
    A tail center in place on the part, or just stick out of perhaps 2 inches.

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    The three vee ways are South Bend-like and the apron resembles that of the South Bend model "C", with longitudinal power feed via the half nuts and no power cross feed. However the spindle bearing caps are not like what is seen on the South Bend Model "C". Also the smallest step on the spindle pulley looks wider than the other two which seems odd but looks intentional. I wonder if this is one of the South Bend "clones" that was made in the past. I feel sure this machine was built before Canada went metric.

    Another forum to recommend is: Forums -

    The Home Shop Machinist & Machinist's Workshop Magazine's BBS


    David


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