Repairing the cross-feed miter gear on an Atlas/Craftsman 12″ Lathe

I bought an old Atlas lathe on craigslist last year for $50. It was in need of a good cleaning and was missing a few parts, but all in all fairly sound. Joe made a replacement tailstock ram for it, and I’ve bought a new chuck and toolpost, and a few other bits. All in all it’s working pretty well after about six months of working on it off and on.

One of the last features left to get working was the power cross feed. On this lathe, the cross feed is driven through a bevel gear set. The drive gear slides over the lead screw, and is supposed to be driven by a key that engages a slot in the lead screw. The bevel gears are ZAMAK castings, and the key appears to have worn away or broken years ago.

Before Repair

I ended up taking a 1/4″-20 hex head bolt, milling down the head to fit the keyway in the lead screw, and inserting it into a hole I’d drilled through the miter gear and its lock ring.

The parts

Good as new

I ran into one last snag when I put the gear back into the apron. The nut interfered with the housing for the traverse gear assembly. A little work on the nut in the mill let it just clear. Good enough for who it’s for 🙂