Friday, January 24, 2014

Craftsman 109 Lathe - Setup

I have been thinking about getting a lathe for a while. When I was building my 3D printers and CNCs, there is constantly needs to make some parts. Some of the reasons are for lower the cost compared to buying from stores. Some of the reasons are just that the parts needed is not available commercially, and needed to be custom made.

So I finally saw this lathe on Craigslist listed for $160. It is for a Craftsman 109 lathe. I knew nothing about that lathe at the time. After some quick reading, I found that this was a really popular hobbyist's lathe in early part of last century. After a quick negotiation, I got it for $140, and went on to pick it up.

A lot of information on this lathe can be found on Internet. The lathe I have has a model number 109.20630. According to the website, it was on sale on 1945. That puts it at almost 70 years old now.

The guy who sold it to me was kind enough to show me how it works. Before that point, I have never operated a lathe. So all is very exciting. I took it home. Of course the first thing I did is promptly strip it into pieces. This model of lathe comes with thread cutting gears. The last owner has never put it up, so they are all in a tin box. After some study, I found that it is missing a few gears. And a search found that Craftsman 109 (sometimes called AA 109 for Ann Arbor who made it for Sears) is a very popular vintage lathe. Parts are are readily available on eBay and also available in the Home Shop Supply (a shop specializes in Craftsman 109 parts), but quite expensive if to get it complete. Oh well, I will figure out a way later.

The other minor issue with it is that it comes with a 3" chuck with only outside jaws. With a call to the last owner, I was told that that's all he has. Fortunately, there is the Little Machine Shop, which sales all the stuff a home machinist will need. $33 plus tax and shipping gets me a set of inside jaws that works with the chuck. It is not arrived yet when the picture below was taken.

This is how the lathe looks like when everything is put back together, spindle straightened, and everything tightened. It is really not too bad for a piece of 70-year-old machine.


Indigo Info said...

I just received one for free from my machinist at work. I'm stripping it down and tuning it up too. Pretty excited as I'm teaching myself all this as well!

Anonymous said...

Remember, if it cuts steel, it also cuts flesh. Always focus on what you are doing.