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Thread: Helpful info for those learning to use a lathe

  1. #1
    Boolit Man Hdskip's Avatar
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    Helpful info for those learning to use a lathe

    Although this is an old publication, much can be learned about running and caring for a lathe. Ive had this on for the better part of 35 years. I understand it is available for down load and Grizzly may have copies for sale I've been told.

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  2. #2
    Boolit Buddy Scrounge's Avatar
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    Yes, it is, and Grizzly and Amazon have copies for sale. Dead-tree and ebooks are available at Amazon. There are a couple or three South Bend lathe groups at Groups.io, as well. https://groups.io/g/Southbendmanual is one of them.

    Atlas has a similar book for the Atlas Craftsman lathes, also got a lot of good info. Those books turn up on ebay and amazon now and then, and can also be downloaded at Vintage Machinery website. http://www.vintagemachinery.org/ There is also a group at Groups.io, https://groups.io/g/atlas-craftsman They don't have copies of the Manual of Lathe Operations, or MOLO, but there is a bunch of other info there, including on how to tell which version you need for your lathe. The book was published from 1937 until sometime in the 1980's, and quite a few of the versions have the 1937 copyright date in them.

    There are also groups for several other brands of lathe, and the Smithy 3-in-1 machines there at groups.io

    I took a machine shop class in high school, in 1973. Took me until 2008 to find a lathe I could afford, one of the Chinese mini-lathes. Yes, groups.io has a group for them, too. 7x12mini-lathes. Now I've got an HF 7x10, Atlas 10x24, and South Bend Heavy 10L. And other small machine tools. It's an addiction, I tell you!

    Bill

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I love running a lathe, it's my favorite machine to run.

  4. #4
    Boolit Grand Master

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    The best is hours on the machine you have. Each machine is different and a base to itself. I have 3 lathes and all are different. The harbor freight Mini is 7x12. Takes a lot more time and light cuts to make something. Polishing and small clean ups modifications arnt bad though. The 12 X 40 clausing is a fairly solid machine and cuts drills much heavier and faster, It is also a little more accurate. The 16/18 x 40 Nardinni is even better 7 1//2 HP motor under it. Has coolant and read out.
    I took metal shop in high school also it was a lot of information but you also depend on the skill of the instructor. Trade school was very good and normally instructors are card carrying trades man. I started in my first shop at 15 a small job shop 2 old timers and there I learned the most,probably some I didnt need to. LOL.
    once you get your machine makes some things with it and get some time on it. Maybe a night school coarse. The mentioned books are good also

  5. #5
    Boolit Man Hdskip's Avatar
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    I started my apprenticeship in 1972. I spent the next 25 years in manufacturing up to and including tool and die and engineering. The next 21 years were spent teaching high school kids in machine shop. Many went on to have a career in machining. I spend my time in my own home shop making what I want to. It was a rewarding career for me.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Actually found a pristine copy of the book in a dumpster. Kept in my locker for years and when I retired it went south with me. And actually bought another copy when I couldn't find the first one. Frank

  7. #7
    Boolit Bub
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    I have a version of it posted on my web server. It's a little large at 148Meg but I can guarantee it's safe to download. http://www.arcaneiron.com/machines/HowtoRunaLathe.pdf

    Best regards,

    -Ron

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    I never had any formal training on operating a lathe. All I has when I started out was a sears 6x21 craftsman metal working lathe. That and a drill press. Had to learn how to grind my own tool bits before I could make chips. The "how to run a lathe" book was almost a constant companion.Frank

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    I have that book, the Atlas version.. It was gifted to me. A wealth of information, especially on threading.

  10. #10
    Boolit Buddy Scrounge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScrapMetal View Post
    I have a version of it posted on my web server. It's a little large at 148Meg but I can guarantee it's safe to download. http://www.arcaneiron.com/machines/HowtoRunaLathe.pdf

    Best regards,

    -Ron
    I probably have 7 or 6 versions as pdf's on my phone, not counting the copy of yours I'm downloading, as well as 2 in dead-tree editions. I've got a 500gb microSD card mostly full of metalworking stuff. Reading, and setting up my shop. Bought $104 of metal today for making stuff on my lathe.

  11. #11
    Boolit Mold
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    That South Bend book was my textbook in High School Machine shop class back in the late 1970's. Good info then as it is now. I teach Industrial Arts/Tech. Ed. at the middle school level and over the last few years have been bringing back metalworking in our shops here at school. Wrote a grant awhile back and got two small metal lathes currently on order. Just need students! I will be using a copy as a reference when I work with my students in the future.
    Last edited by Paf; 05-29-2020 at 10:46 PM. Reason: grammer

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    I learned how to run a lathe by watching my dad. My shift ended 30 min before his. Since we rode together, I just went and sat by his machine, while he ran it, and he would tell me everything he ran that day. Years later, at a different machine shop, my machine, a boring mill broke down and the boss asked me if I could run a lathe. I said yes, but he would have to point out the various controls. 15 minutes later, I was running good parts. The irony was that I had never run a lathe prior to that, but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt I could run one. Eventually, I bid for a lathe job and got it.

  13. #13
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I enjoyed running working on lathes. My favorite machine to run was the Shaper, It was simple accurate and most were a real beast when it came to metal removal. Also the stress and heat went into the chops not the part. But then every machine in the shop has its use. Having ran lathes, Mills both vertical and horizontals, shapers, jig bores, jig grinders, Blanchard grinders, surface grinders, Plunger edms, radial arm drill presses, od id grinders.

    My favorite lathe to run were the 9 x 24 hardringe lathes had a good spindle bore 1 3/8", plenty of power, quick change chucks ( 1/4 turn and the chuck released) very accurate and solid machines.

    My first job shop ( hired in when I was 15) had almost all converted flat belt lathes and machines. The last was all gear head and proto track controllers on the bridgeports and DPMS bed mills. Also several fadels, charmay, and cnc lathes. It was a big tool room.

    Those big Cincinnati and Milwaukee mills were solid stable machine capable of producing a big pile of chips by the end of the day. running those was interesting. While slower a horizontal mill with a stack of cutters on the shaft could do a lot in 1 pass.

    I started in the first shop the summer before I went to trade school machine trades class. Did 2 years course there so when I graduated I had 3 years of hours from shop and 1 years hours from class.That class was a big help but no wheres near what the 2 old timers in the first shop were.

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