Re: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Update on the lathe 109
- On Jun 1, 2010, at 12:22 AM, Dean wrote:
> --- In email@example.com, Scott Henion <shenion@...>Dean, thank you for stepping in before I could.
>> On 5/31/2010 11:40 PM, jerdal@... wrote:
>>> IMO the article is of little practical use......... but then IMO
>>> the 109 is
>>> of little practical use (I had one once), so.......
>> Yes, same here. IMO, one of the sloppiest lathes out there.
> Meh. Anyone can get good work out of larger lathes.
> So the 109 is a small one, and a bit of a challenge. It'll turn you
> into a machinist. Teach you things. Make you listen to it.
> If it's what a guy's got, he can get some stuff done, if he's
> Original poster; I still don't know what info you're looking for in
> the update article you mention, but there are some things you can do
> to help the lathe do a good job for you. Go to my webpage and scroll
> down to the Craftsman 109 section, right beneath the Atlas section:
> Good luck, and have some fun with it.
Yup the 109 is a limited machine with a few issues that need to be
However, to simply dismiss the thing is truly uncalled for.
I am among the few folks who seem to like the old 109 series machines.
With some effort they can be made to do good work. The main
consideration to keep in mind is that the machine is a light one. Make
the improvements mentioned in the the "aa docs" file and elsewhere and
you can make good parts with a 109.
OP... Many of the things you were asking about are covered in the AA
docs files found in the 109 files for this group.
Now go make some chips.
- Those defending the 109......................whatever.....
I had one and I got good work off of it. I got rid of it, and I DO NOT miss
Yes it will teach you things. Not all of them will you really want to
But the various "features", such as the crosslide, which as-delivered
advances 41.66666... thousandths per turn, etc, etc, just make it
un-necessary to consider it seriously when there are much more usable lathes
around. If you wanted, you could fix many of the issues, but....
I WILL say that the crosslide is a lot heavier than the lace-like network on
some Atlas 618.
If you like it, and consider it in some way "ideal", more power to you...
maybe you like "hair shirts" too.
For myself, I COULD NOT do the work I do on the 10" Logan on that 109, and
neither could you. It just would not fit, and even if it did, the prospect
of spending hours nibbling off tiny threads of metal while listening to the
ear-splitting clanging/ringing din of the back gear housing does not appeal
in any way.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Scott Henion" <shenion@...>
Sent: Monday, May 31, 2010 10:51 PM
Subject: Re: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Update on the lathe 109
> On 5/31/2010 11:40 PM, jerdal@... wrote:
>> IMO the article is of little practical use......... but then IMO the 109
>> of little practical use (I had one once), so.......
> Yes, same here. IMO, one of the sloppiest lathes out there.
> The AA_109 group does have a text file in the group files area that has
> tips on getting better results with the 109.
> Things like using brass gibbs, impreved bed clamp, hack-saw trick on
> saddle, truing the spindle and other tips.
> One thing I though of after I unloaded my 109 was replace the set screws
> on the gibbs with longer allen-head screws with nuts on them. Then you
> could set them and tighten the nuts (like on teh A/C lathes.) I had
> problems with them working loose.
> Probably would have done it, but i had replaced the cross slide with a
> Sherline slide. Had less slop and gave me 0.050"/turn graduated dial. ;)
> Scott G. Henion
> Craftsman 12x36 lathe:
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- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, <jerdal@...> wrote:
>What's a "hair shirt"? It is some reflection on a guy who only has a 109 lathe?
> If you like it, and consider it in some way "ideal", more power to you...
> maybe you like "hair shirts" too.
>Well, of course you couldn't. And if you needed to machine a 20" diameter prop shaft, your Logan might as well be a boat anchor.
> For myself, I COULD NOT do the work I do on the 10" Logan on that 109, and
> neither could you.
It's like saying other people buy the wrong sized shoes because they won't fit on your feet.
Every lathe has a work envelope. That doesn't make the lathe bad. It means if your work is to large for your lathe, you need a larger machine.
Whatever machine you have, part of using it is realizing it's limitations, and every make has them.
I have an Atlas, and it will do more than the 109. And the 109 will do more than a Unimat. The Unimat will do more than a Clisby, and so on. The 13 x 40's where I used to work would do more than all of them, but it wouldn't fit on the bench in my small shop, so it's useless!
If what a guy has is a 109, that's what he's got, and he's a long way ahead of a guy with no lathe at all. I never heard anyone say my work was poor because I used one, and I didn't blame the machine for my short comings. If you see crummy work from my shop, it's my fault, whatever machine I used.
- Silly silly....
Who said work from a 109 had to be bad because of the source? Someone is
putting words in my mouth..... perhaps projecting their OWN feelings about
the machine onto me.... Which same I do not appreciate a great deal......
My point is that working with a 109 has so many un-necessary limitations due
to the basic design of the machine that it is a royal pain..... Size is
obviously an issue which is inherent, we won't blame it for it's size... a
machine is or is not a 3" (6") machine. But, other things, such as the tiny
0.5" size of spindle, the lack of any dials, and the uselessness of a dial
if you DID put one on, the extreme noise from teh back gears, the severe
limits on depth of cut, wear from poor geometric layout and lack of wipers,
etc, etc, etc are quite limiting.
The design choice of a 24 tpi (non-integer feed per turn) crossfeed, when 20
tpi was a sensible alternate, is really the worst..... it is hard to
change, and completely defeats the idea of a dial. I put a dial on mine,
made on the 109, at that, but could not get around that 0.0416666 advance
per dial turn... after a while of figuring out how many turns and divisions
made 78 thous, or the like, I was just fed up. Changing the tpi was not
something I wanted to do just then, although it could probably be done by
boring and sleeving.
Yes, each "complaint or quibble" could be laboriously fixed......several
dials, new crossfeed and compound screws, etc, etc, but it seems like a
lot of work to sink into a machine that does not pay it back easily. I
opted to sell mine, and even then, I had to tell several folks that I
wouldn't sell it to them, because it would not do what they wanted.
The basic machine is limited, but usable. I had one, and I made it do
things that a 109 cannot do. I early-on made it a follow rest, and that
one thing improved operations a ton. That and throwing the lantern toolpost
into a corner, using a shop-made block toolpost instead.... LARGE
improvement from those.
But I'd rather use a larger 10" machine for most things, and my $25 Boley
watchmaker's lathe for small stuff.. BTW, the cost to me of the Logan, with
accessories, was within $40 of the highest cost I had (up to then) seen a
109 sell for..... and I have since seen a Logan sell much cheaper, and a 109
for more. So the cost differential is definitely not prohibitive.
Use whatever you like.
BTW, a hair shirt is an uncomfortable and scratchy sort of clothing,......
another version of "sackcloth and ashes" as self-imposed punishment for
sins..... and thus strangely relevant here....
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dean" <deanw@...>
Sent: Tuesday, June 01, 2010 8:26 PM
Subject: [atlas_craftsman] Re: Update on the lathe 109
> If what a guy has is a 109, that's what he's got, and he's a long way
> ahead of a guy with no lathe at all. I never heard anyone say my work was
> poor because I used one, and I didn't blame the machine for my short
> comings. If you see crummy work from my shop, it's my fault, whatever
> machine I used.