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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to purchase a lathe and mill for quite some time. I came across this lathe and couldn't pass it up. It is in amazing shape with little wear on the ways and a pristine gearbox. This will be my first lathe and I'm looking forward to working on some projects. Will probably pick up a mill in the near future as well. Finally putting my shop to good use. I still have to clean it up and put the remaining covers back on after. An old machinist owned it and his son was selling it after he passed. He kept good care of it.

358121
 

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Official OLD GUY
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Nice find . . .

Congrats on the "new toy".

Doc
 

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Hard to count the number of times I could have put something like that to good use.

Regards, Rick.
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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I have an old Southbend 9" lathe and an 1953 model Index manual mill. Use them all of the time. You will enjoy that lathe. Wish mine was that size but I will make do.
Make some shavings!
 

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FFCobra Craftsman
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22,705 Posts
You will really enjoy that. My old lathe is a size or two smaller but is a lot of fun to use. Being retired helps too. I had the aluminum offset rack mounts in my MkII and wanted non-offset. A chunk of AL from McMaster and way too many hours later I made them.
IMG_20170429_123630193 by craig stuard, on Flickr
Made a hitch ball for my garden tractor. Works great to pull the little HF 40-48 trailer around the yard
20200412_083313 by craig stuard, on Flickr
It is a huge waste of time for most things but they can be custom so that's nice. For instance I could only find hitch balls w/ either a 5/8 or 3/4 stud. I made mine fit a 1/2 bolt which is the size of the hole in the tractor frame. My old MkII FFR has had the coilovers off and on so often and my spacers were all part sleeve and part stacks of washers. So I went around the car and made custom spacers. In that case it made sense to buy steel tube from McMaster predrilled to 1/2 ID.
 

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Congrats on your later model Rockwell 14”. I have my home machine shop fully outfitted with old Rockwell and Powermatic. There used to be a really good yahoo group for Rockwell machine shop equipment. Biggest problem with these machines is finding the accessories and parts. Hopefully you have the steady rest, follow rest and taper attachment. If so, your set. A really nice addition in today’s age is a 127 tooth transposing gear, which enables you to cut metric threads.
If you don’t have those items, watch eBay....every day. When they pop up, they sell same day and they go for several hundred bucks each. Steady rest is a must in my shop, taper attachment is really nice, and follow rest, not so much use.
Another source for Rockwell equipment is Department of Defense auctions. The navy and Air Force (maybe other branches too) used Rockwell.
 

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Super Moderator
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Nice find
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Thanks guys. It did come with a follow rest but no steady rest. It didn't come with a taper attachment either. Hard to find those on the Rockwell machines from the 60's - 70's as I understand it. Same with the headstock clutch/brake. Many were converted to direct drive bypassing the clutch etc. I have the lathe on leveling feet now in it's longer term home in my shop. I set it up, leveled it until I couldn't get on my knees anymore and made some chips. It cuts really well but I think one of my first real projects will be rebuilding the cross slide and compound screws and nuts. Too much backlash. I was able to get down to about 1-1.5 thousandths tolerances but it took a lot of work. Partly my inexperience, partly getting to know my lathe and lastly... need to get rid of some of the slop as described above. The lathe weighs in at just over 1,800 pounds so my engine hoist at full extension supports about 1,000. Once I had the whole thing assembled I used it that way to pick up the full 1,800+ pounds and drop it on casters for the move across the shop. It was surprisingly stable and capable of the lift... it was only 6" up and I cribbed in case it let go but it did well.

First chips in steel. Fairly light cut but was taking baby steps.

Few images:



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358310


This bushing was nearly finished, still had to knock off the edge on the bottom side as shown.
358311
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #9
Congrats on your later model Rockwell 14”. I have my home machine shop fully outfitted with old Rockwell and Powermatic. There used to be a really good yahoo group for Rockwell machine shop equipment. Biggest problem with these machines is finding the accessories and parts. Hopefully you have the steady rest, follow rest and taper attachment. If so, your set. A really nice addition in today’s age is a 127 tooth transposing gear, which enables you to cut metric threads.
If you don’t have those items, watch eBay....every day. When they pop up, they sell same day and they go for several hundred bucks each. Steady rest is a must in my shop, taper attachment is really nice, and follow rest, not so much use.
Another source for Rockwell equipment is Department of Defense auctions. The navy and Air Force (maybe other branches too) used Rockwell.
No steady rest but I did get the follow rest. No taper jig either unfortunately but I can fabricate one as a fun project when I get my mill. I figure I can build a steady rest as well when the time comes. I'm also keeping an eye out for original parts.

The rockwell group has moved here: rockwell-lathe groups.io Group. I found Ken's project 14" lathe where he created drawings of all the parts for rebuilding much of the cross slide and compound along with a few gear specs for the back gear and direct drive engagement.

I have the 16 and 32 tooth stud gears for threading. I haven't read up on whether I can do metric though but I thought I read that a combination of swapping the gear and messing with the speeds I could calculate what is needed for metric. A gear would be great though to make it easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Oh also, didn't mention all the goodies that came with it. Some not great, others a nice treasure.

Beat up Kennedy box
2 precision levels
Mitutoyo Absolute Calipers
Quick change tool post, knurler, parting holder, and 4 other holders (ordered 5 more holders as well)
About 30 pounds of tapered drills
3 Starrett test indicators at .001
A fourth double dial test indicator at .001
Two Starrett Micrometers 1-2", 2"
One unknown brand Micrometer at 1"
Two Jacobs drill chucks
One live center
One work plate for the headstock.. .forgot what they are called... a plate you can fasten stuff to
Lathe motor "upgraded" to 5hp - overkill for this machine so I'll take care not to exceed the machine limits
Older Craftsman depth indicator (really high quality feel to it surprisingly)
Starrett corner levels x 2
Starrett punches x 2
Starrett mag base indicator stand
Two no-name mag base indicator stands
3 aluminum body quick levels (for the shirt pocket)
Nice precision 6" scale
Starrett sliding square with compass and 45 deg
Starrett mechanical tachometer gauge
Several taper inserts
About 10 pounds of HSS blanks both formed and not
20 or so carbide cutting tools left, right, center
2 boring bars
1 thread cutting tool

Several tools I'm not sure about their use

Not sure what these are. On the left, the pointy guys that seem to clamp to bar stock. My guess would be an compass that you attach to a bar of wood or metal with screw fine adjustment. Close?
358321
 

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Yes, that’s exactly what that is... a measuring and layout tool called trammel points.

Sounds like you’ve done your homework. I haven’t had to study up on my machines in a number of years. I know them better than I know myself now and all their personalities. Ive been lucky enough to accumulate all the accessories that Rockwell offered. The guy who is the guru of the Rockwell stuff is up in Detroit. Can’t remeber his name, but he doesn’t like to sell parts, just complete machines. You’ve probably found his name floating around on the inter webs. As far as getting to a thousandths on your first cuts, that’s good. I don’t worry abound crazy perfect leveling. I get it to normal level and cut a test bar, adjusting my bed to perfect from that. You’ll find more opinions on setup than there are machinists in the world. As long as your not cutting tapers, it don’t matter how you do it.
I don’t know what’s more expensive.... car stuff or machinist tooling. Both will make you poor.
 

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I saw you mentioned an old craftsman indicator. Th old craftsman indicators (if my memory serves) were made by Federal. Very good stuff from back in the day.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I've been learning for the last year or so accumulating knowledge without experience. I'm now putting the knowledge to the test and building the experience. That craftsman depth gauge set came in a wooden box with form fitting wooden cutouts so it probably has some age on it. The box doesn't look home made so I assume it came that way. I have lots of machinists in the family and have 3 friends that own machine shops. I have lots of resources locally but I also love to get educated from folks on the web. You get a lot of great ideas that way.
 
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