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Resurrecting a rusty first edition 10 atlas lathe

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I’ve restored things of lesser value… I guess it is more the fun of restoring it than what it’s worth. Although these are not wonderful lathes, this particular model I’ve been told is quite rare to find, it was indeed a free find and having a lathe in the shop as is, I don’t really need a new one… It’s the restoration task itself that is attractive to me.

metal lathe stand


Justin, I actually read your thread about that head stock, very nice work. After some “googling” I tried a couple different rust removal techniques myself, it’s been a great learning experience.

turning wood on metal lathe


Here are some of the tests I performed:

The tool post was done with Electrolysis and Evapo-Rust:

Note: While the results were good, I used up a lot of Evapo-Rust considering the cost and how much more I need to clean up.

metal lathe machine


For the tail stock I added an acid bath up front to remove the bulk rust and save some money on the Evapo-Rust:

Note: I was hoping that the acid bath would reduce the amount of time I would need in electrolysis but that wasn’t the case. A good 24 hours is still a must if I want to remove the old paint…

Screws and small hardware are just getting Evapo-Rust baths for 24 hours or more:

So far the following seems to be giving me the best results:

1. Mneral Spirit wash

2. Muriatic Acid (Quick way to remove heavy rust but I don’t like leaving it in there too long)

3. Electrolysis (Removes the rest of the rust AND paint)

4. Evapo-Rust (Removes rust you can’t reach/see, gets rid of flash rusting and protects the surface until I’m ready to prep and prime)

  • 5. Acetone wash and brass brushing
  • 6. Prime and paint

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