The Atlas TH54 10F lathe

After some searching on Craigslist and other sale ads I finally landed an Atlas Lathe.  The machine as I found it had no tooling and instead of a compound slide and cross slide had some sort of T slotted table.  Well the price was right and I could not pass it up for better or worse.  (Hmmm ... that sounds a lot like being married doesn't it?)

This section of the website will detail what i done to recondition or fix the lathe.  Notice I did not say restore the machine, although along the way she did get some new parts.  So hang out and follow along as I get Bertha back in running order and hopefully start making things with the machine.

Below are the videos I made while doing the work on the lathe.  At the bottom of the page I will make available the related documents I have found for the machine in the event that a new user does not want to round them all up.  These documents are available on a number of sites on the Internet, but I thought it would be a nice repository for them nonetheless.  If you have some documentation relating to the Atlas Lathe that I am missing, please email me and and let me know as I would like to gather as much as possible and place them here.

onwards ...

The Lathe Reconditioning / Cleaning / or Whatever it was that I done

Atlas 10F Lathe - 01 - Introduction

Having just recently bought an Atlas TH54 lathe, I thought I would give a quick walk through and talk a little bit about the machine. This isn't probably the best condition machine, but for the little money that I had, I am glad to have it. I will post more videos of this machine covering the setup and some of the repairs that need to be made.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 02 - Headstock Spindle Removal

In this video i remove the headstock spindle from the lathe to figure out why the pin on the bull gear will not engage.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 03 - Headstock Spindle Installation

In this video I re-install the headstock spindle on the Atlas Lathe. I talk about the installation as well as how the pulley, bull gear and drive gear interact with the back gears. You get it all, even my goofs!!!

Atlas 10F Lathe - 04 - Backgear Disassembly and Shim Calculation

In this video I discuss how the back gears are disassembled and the process I went through to determine what size shims I needed between the Head stock castings and the back gear castings to set the proper clearance for the gears. Please note that I made an error in how I performed this but later caught my mistake and corrected it. I will annotate the video where I goofed. I decided to leave it there because I am much less than perfect and am a neophyte hobby machinist.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 05 - Counter Shaft Modifications

This video describes the modifications that were made to my 10F lathe by a previous owner. To me, this seems like a good modification. That is if you are only concerned with running the machine and not restoring it to original.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 06 - Counter Shaft Assembly

This video describes the assembly of the counter shaft of the Atlas 10F Lathe. I discuss my bearing replacement choice and give recognition to some folks that help me along the way.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 07 - Stuff for the Lathe and Current Progress

In this video I cover some of the tooling I have got for the lathe, what I have completed so far and where I need to go to get everything up and running.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 08 - Removing the Direction Feed gear box and Saddle Apron assembly

In this video I remove the saddle and the leadscrew reversing gear box. I disassemble and clean the reversing gear box and explain how it works.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 09 - Updates, Thank You's and the Dark Side of the Moon

In this video i give an update on where I am with the lathe. I discuss a tip I picked up from Halligan142 and give some much deserved credit and Thank You's where they are do. Also, I present the Dark Side of the Moon for your viewing pleasure. If you have not done so, I encourage you to check out Rich's channel, "Makin Somthin From Nothin". Rich has been very helpful to me on my lathe project and has a Number of machining and casting videos which I think are worth a look. Please pay him a visit. You can find him at

Atlas 10F Lathe - 10 - Installing the Lead Screw Direction Change Gearbox

This video discusses the reassembly of the Lead Screw direction change gearbox along with its installation. Additionally I talk about the toggle switch located on the left side of the headstock.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 11 - Installing the Banjo and Change Gears

In this episode I install the Banjo on the Lead Screw Direction Gear box and set up the Lathe change gears for a 0.0035" feed. Many Thanks to Mr. Gagnon for the gears to allow me this setup and the bushing required to run them.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 12 - Banjo and Change Gears Revisited

In this video I revisit the Banjo and Change Gears. After a comment from a user I thought it prudent to give a follow up on the clamping bolt assembly used to lock the banjo in place.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 13 - Looking under Bertha's Apron - Part 1

In this episode I finally dig into the Lathe's Apron. It is disassembled and cleaned and I talk about some of the issues with it. This is part one of probably two parts. In the second installment, I will reassemble the apron.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 14 - Looking Under Bertha's Apron - Part 2

In this episode I reassemble the apron with some new and replacement components.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 15 - Disassembling the Saddle for Cleaning and Inspection

Nearing the end of the lathe clean up, I disassemble the saddle to clean it up and inspect it.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 16 - More New Parts and a HUGE Thank You

This is an update video showing some new parts for the apron and saddle and giving a HUGE thanks to the gentleman who gave them to me. Thank you Mr. Wally.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 17 - Assembling the Saddle and Installing the Apron

Things are starting to come together. In this video I assemble the saddle and install the Apron.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 18 - Measuring the Saddle Play and More Assembly

I talk a little bit about how to measure the play in the saddle clamps to figure how thick of a shim you may need for assembly. Additionally, i assemble the cross slide, compound slide and tool rest.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 19 - Installing the Leadscrew and the Side Guard

In this video i install the leadscrew and discuss a potential pitfall with aligning it as pointed out by a viewer of my channel. Additionally, I install the guard plate on the left side of the leadscrew direction change gear box.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 20 - Disassembling the Tailstock

In this video i completely strip down the tailstock of the lathe. I give an explanation of how the gib works and the conical screws that adjust it.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 21 - Grātiās Vōbīs Agō

A huge thank you to Jeremy Gagnon and Richard Cox for making some parts for the lathe. I truly appreciate it. The parts include a T-Nut for the QCTP, a new hinge pin and a cover catch pin.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 22 - Assembling and Adjusting the Tailstock

In this video I assemble and adjust the Tailstock showing how to install and adjust the Gib.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 23 - More New Parts, QCTP and an Issue with the Back Gears

In this video I discuss some more viewer contributions. I finish the QCTP and i have some questions about an issue the Back Gears are exhibiting.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 24 - Headstock Spindle Measurements

In this episode a take a number of measurements on the Headstock Spindle, including end play, axial play, and run out of the spindle face and taper. I then discuss these measurements and what, if anything they mean.

Atlas 10F Lathe - 25 - How to Adjust the Spindle Bearings

This video describes how the Spindle Bearings on the Atlas Lathe are supposed to be adjusted. This information can also be found in the Atlas Lathe Book.

The Atlas TH54 10F lathe Documentation and Downloads

Below are links to documentation and other related stuff for the Atlas 10F Lathes.  Some of the files also relate to other Atlas Lathes.  To Download, click the icon next to the description.


pdf iconAtlas 10 Bed, Counter Shaft and Motor Mounting Instructions

This document details the requirements for the bench to be used for the lathe, explains how to mount the lathe to the bench.  This document also gives detailed instructions on how to mount the Counter Shaft for the lathe to the bench and finally gives instructions on wiring the motor to the lathe.  To download this document click the PDF icon to the left.  File Size: 4.1 MB