Restoring an Atlas Lathe: Tailstock

I’m trying to restore an old Craftsman / Atlas 618 lathe. It has missing, broken, and oddly-deteriorated parts.

If you’re a qualified machinist, you may want to avert your eyes.



The lock for the tailstock’s ram is made out of a cast material that seems to have swollen over time. Both the upper and lower pieces are stuck in their shaft, so the ram had to be pressed out with a pipe clamp.


After a lot of headscratching, I decided to just go ahead and pull the lower part of the lock out by threading a nut onto its bolt. Little did I know that this would simply break that lock in half.


I used JB-weld to reconnect the broken halves.


I turned a few thousandths of material off the repaired piece using the sherline lathe, and it seems to slide properly now.