Craftsman 101 metal lathe

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kstoerz
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Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 9:46 pm

Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby kstoerz » Tue Mar 15, 2011 11:49 pm

Hello makers,

I presume the gorgeous Craftsman metal lathe belongs to darus67. I'm quite smitten with it, and look forward to getting to know it better.

I haven't turned metal on a lathe since high school, but I've been reading quite a bit about general theory as well as the Craftsman 101 in particular. I cleaned up the lathe a bit and checked through the various bits and pieces to see what parts it has. I'd love to get some practice in on a non-CNC lathe and outfit the Craftsman with a few more toys and goodies. This thread is where I'll dump useful info and reference material. I suppose I'm looking for the blessing of the owner to tinker a bit and get the machine properly lubricated and adjusted.

Here is some nice reference material and photos about this series of lathes:
http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsman/page5.html
http://www.lathes.co.uk/craftsman/page7.html


Here are some repairs/adjustments that I think the lathe could benefit from:

a new belt
The belt from the motor to the jack shaft is fine, but the main drive belt looks ready to give up the ghost any day. It appears to be a big job to take the headstock and backgears apart far enough to get a new belt in. Fortunately, they make modular belts that both circumvent this issue and also supposedly run quieter/smoother than a traditional V belt. I believe this is a 3/8" belt (of undetermined length), and a suitable link-style replacement belt appears to be about $25 from McMaster-Carr. I plan to measure it up and order something sometime soon.

a new/different power switch
I noticed that the motor-mounted power switch is kind of spooky. It's open for the majority of the switch throw, only closing at the very far end, and sometimes you need to press on it a little to make a reliable connection. The location requires reaching over the headstock with your left hand to shut it off. It's also near plenty of finger-grabbing belts and pulleys; a poor place to reach in a hurry when something goes wrong. I propose a good old fashioned light switch in a handy-box (or a nice push/pull machine switch if someone knows where to find one) mounted to the bench front and center. A dedicated extension cord from the neighboring drill press bench to the lathe area would be super handy, too.

disassembly/cleaning/lubrication/adjustment
Mainly of the carriage and the compound rest. Both axes of the rest turn pretty hard, and the main carriage sliding on the ways moves pretty easily. It would be a good idea to carefully disassemble each set of ways and gibs to clean off the decades-old oil and re-adjust for the best combination of free movement and precision. This is not rocket science, but is no small task, and I would definitely want the permission of the owner.



Here is the beginnings of my personal wish list of accessories:

three-jaw chuck
The four-jaw chuck on the lathe is perfect for rough work, but it's very difficult to mount an existing turned part precisely on center without a long trial-and-error process. Three-jaw chucks are designed to automatically center a cylindrical object with little to no fuss. Note that they are more delicate and sensitive to abuse than their four-jawed bretheren, being precisely machined to align perfectly every time. They shouldn't be used for rough work, but hey, that's exactly what that four-jaw is for.

tailstock chuck
All that is needed is the correct combination of adapter(s) and/or chuck(s) to allow a Jacobs-style chuck to be mounted in the tailstock. This would allow drill bits, countersinks, etc. to be precisely guided into the end of a workpiece by the tailstock ram to make hollow or cupped parts. In the toolbox, there is a morse-to-threaded adapter and a very small matching keyless chuck that does not want to operate (rusted/dented). A new inexpensive chuck that matches the threading on the threaded adapter should do the trick.

boring bar(s)
I'm pretty sure this can be easily made in-house. It's a long tool holder that can reach inside the end of a cup-shaped opening to precisely face the inner surface. I've got one project in particular that will require me to make or improvise some kind of small boring bar.

dial indicator mount/arm/thing
There's a nice Mitutoyo dial indicator floating around with the lathe stuff, but I don't see any tooling to mount it to the lathe for measurements or setup. This kind of thing can be purchased, but I bet I can make something very functional from hardwood. This is the official way to center something in a four-jaw chuck. In my experimenting thus far, I've been grazing my workpiece with a pencil to see if it's fairly centered based on where the mark is/isn't. Ghetto.

more cutting tools
There are a whole bunch of hand-ground cutters in various states of sharpness and correctness piled in a box on the lathe bench. I'm planning to study up on grinding such tools by hand. With appropriate permission, I'd love to re-grind the worst of the tools into more useful shapes with proper angles and sharpness.

mcsteve
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby mcsteve » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:13 am

I've worked on that lathe a bit myself, and I agree on all points. Do you know if those link-style belts are solid & reliable? I considered getting one a while back. I also have a decent website bookmarked somewhere which shows how to dismantle the headstock for belt replacement. It's a chore, but it's not that bad.

I have cleaned and lubed that lathe on occasion, including the screws and bearings of the compound rest. Unfortunately, the main axis of the compound rest (proper name escapes me a the moment) has a slightly bent lead screw. Also, the bushings are showing the signs of many decades of wear, and the backlash is pretty bad. I believe the site I mentioned has some leads on replacement bushings, so I'll post a link here once I find it.

I can't speak for the owner of the lathe, but I doubt there would be any objection to re-grinding some of the cutters. I had been meaning to learn that skill myself. I will also provide some additional HSS blanks if needed.

Oh, and I most definitely agree about the power switch location. I'm headed to the hack factory for the meeting tonight, and I believe I may have the parts required (light switch, handy-box, cable clamps) to add a more accessible power switch.

-Steve
If it ain't broke, your version is outdated.

mcsteve
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby mcsteve » Wed Mar 16, 2011 8:17 am

Ah, here we are: http://www.deansphotographica.com/machi ... atlas.html

Lots of good stuff there, and in the rest of the guy's website as well.
If it ain't broke, your version is outdated.

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metis
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby metis » Wed Mar 16, 2011 9:09 am

we don't currently have a a tool repair/refurbish budget, but do offer up funds as they're available, or the owner (i believe it's dezarius) may be willing to contribute. i'd suggest putting together a little repair budget with "good enough to be safe and useful" and "ultimate refurb" pricing options.

kstoerz
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby kstoerz » Thu Mar 17, 2011 4:09 pm

mcsteve wrote:I've worked on that lathe a bit myself, and I agree on all points. Do you know if those link-style belts are solid & reliable? I considered getting one a while back. I also have a decent website bookmarked somewhere which shows how to dismantle the headstock for belt replacement. It's a chore, but it's not that bad.


I've heard lots of good things about the Fenner link belts, such as:
http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=27771

I measured the belt in question, and it appears to be a 3/8" wide ~36" long belt. McMaster's nearest-sized solid V belts are 33.5", 35.5", and 37.5". Subtracting a little from my circumference measurement since I was using a mouse cord, the 35.5" sounds about right.

McMaster-Carr part number 6173K36
Adjustable-Length V-Belting
$6.31/ft
"Simply twist to couple or uncouple this belting. Made of a polyurethane elastomer reinforced with multiple plies of polyester fabric, it transmits the same horsepower as standard V-belts with less vibration. Color is red."

I called McMaster and they verified that this is the read deal from Fenner, not a cheap copy. I'll get 3 feet with my next order of goodies.

Unfortunately, the link you posted deals with a slightly older version with plain bronze bearings. I'm not certain what other steps would be involved with our lathe, which uses roller bearings. Since the precision of the main bearings is one of the most important parts of what makes a lathe a lathe, the link belt sounds pretty attractive. I like the projects that guy has on his site!

I have cleaned and lubed that lathe on occasion, including the screws and bearings of the compound rest. Unfortunately, the main axis of the compound rest (proper name escapes me a the moment) has a slightly bent lead screw. Also, the bushings are showing the signs of many decades of wear, and the backlash is pretty bad. I believe the site I mentioned has some leads on replacement bushings, so I'll post a link here once I find it.


A little of the backlash in the main crosswise axis (whatever it's called) can be adjusted out with the nut behind the crank. I tweaked that, and it's reduced to about 0.018" of play as indicated on the dial. The bushing looks like a little brass jobber that is held in place by the same screw that mounts the swarf cover on the back of the slide.

I can't speak for the owner of the lathe, but I doubt there would be any objection to re-grinding some of the cutters. I had been meaning to learn that skill myself. I will also provide some additional HSS blanks if needed.


Sounds like there are a few of us looking to learn about grinding cutters. Pete mentioned it to me and said he has a nice grinder for doing such things. Perhaps we can all end up in the same place at the same time some evening.

Oh, and I most definitely agree about the power switch location. I'm headed to the hack factory for the meeting tonight, and I believe I may have the parts required (light switch, handy-box, cable clamps) to add a more accessible power switch.
[/quote][/quote]

Looking at it in person now, there isn't enough room to mount a handy box to the top of the bench beneath the bed without it being completely in the way of the carriage, but a box mounted right below the headstock on the front edge of the bench would fit nicely.

Perhaps have the switch control an outlet mounted behind the motor that the motor plugs into. Then you have a handy idiot-proof way to make sure the machine can't come on unexpectedly by just unplugging the motor. This way the power cord coming out of the switch can be nice and long to reach to an outlet and not need to be unplugged frequently.


I also measured the spindle threading for chuck shopping. It's 1"-10tpi. I'm not certain if this is very common or not, but I do know that 1"-8tpi is seen with some frequency...

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otto_pjm
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby otto_pjm » Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:05 pm

Suggestion:

How about we get the informational bits about the lathe and it's current state and needs into a Wiki page for the Lathe?

Round about here maybe?

Pete

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metis
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby metis » Sat Mar 19, 2011 9:42 am

actually it may make sense to have EVERY tool have it's own wiki page with where it's located, what you need to know about it etc. not necessarily a replacement for training, but that way if you've got training on the lathe, and want to find the manual to be sure you're remembering th order of which nut to tighten first, you know right were to go.

easier than retyping EVERY tool in the tool locations list.

kstoerz
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby kstoerz » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:33 pm

I'm a big fan of the wiki system. But what does it take to edit the wiki? I don't see how to create/request an account, but I didn't look super hard yet.

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otto_pjm
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby otto_pjm » Sat Mar 19, 2011 5:40 pm

The logins should be integrated with your forum login.

In the upper right corner you should see a "login" link. Once you login the edit option becomes available, and you can create new pages.

Pete

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pyrodogg
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Re: Craftsman 101 metal lathe

Postby pyrodogg » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:43 pm

Right now, people still need to add themselves to the WikiUser group. Instructions here.

I haven't gotten around to rewriting the script to use group permissions vs. group membership.

yada, yada.

I've gone ahead and added kstoerz. You will need to login to the wiki separately but it will be with the same credentials that you use for the forum.


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