Just looking for general comments on the differences between the two, assume condition is similar. Is one known to be superior (substantially or minor) in any particular way? Does a used one of either brand "tend to" have more problems or issues?
I've never had my hands on an Atlas, but I own an AMMCO. It is a newer one, with the Rockwell/Delta nameplate on it, but it is the same machine as the later AMMCO.
I've seen photos of an earlier (older) AMMCO (6" stroke, instead of 7") which had several things which I did not like compared to my 7" one:
1) 1 oiler per side of the ram, instead of three.
2) Mounting of the motor seemed to be more of a kluge.
3) The table feed seemed to be driven though a flexible shaft, instead of the eccentric which assured that it moved only during the back-stroke.
Note that the bull gear in the AMMCO (and I think in some others as well) is linen re-enforced Bakelite, not metal. But it seems to hold up quite well.
The Atlas 7" shaper (for which I have a manual, but not the shaper itself) appears quite similar to the AMMCO, except that it has an oil level sight gauge on the far side, which suggests that the bull gear runs in a bath of oil, and thus that it is *not* Bakelite.
You'll need someone else to pop in with information about the Atlas.
However, I would suggest that (assuming that you are not currently faced with the availability of *both* brands) that you simply get one, and start using it. I don't see anything to make a serious difference -- at least in the photos that I have seen on eBay. And any one can serve as a learning tool. If you come up with a preferred one later, you can always sell the first one.
I know that not many people have probably experienced using both, so, a knowledgeable opinion of the diff is not common. I am not in a hurry, just don't like getting and then selling tools...pain in the backside. I fall in love with my tools, and kind of view them as family members, kind of hard to just toss ol' Betsy out on eBay after all the hours spend together...don't know if you follow or maybe I am just a weirdo.....I named my Bridgeport, Colchester and Horizontal......
I own a ammco and I have personally seen an atlas (more than one actualy). While the specs appear similar, the atlas is definately a bigger machine. If I were to buy another one, I would get the south bend. Thats not likely to happen though because I rarely use the ammco.
I own an AAMCO/ Delta. I have only seen the Atlas in pictures.
It may offend some, but I have always thought that the Atlas lathes were a bit cheesy. As in not very well made or sturdily built.
I was very impressed with the pictures of an Atlas shaper, they did not appear to be a product of the same company, as it looked VERY sturdy in construction and well laid out. Same as with the Atlas milling machines. Products of a different mentality than the design of the lathes, I think.
My AAMCO has V threads for the movements of the table , etc. This can be good or bad. They are more prone to wear than acme threads. They are dead easy to replace if you have to. Dunno what the Atlas uses, but I know the South Bend shaper uses acme. May or may not be an issue.
I thought the Atlas shaper looked a bit more solid than the AAMCO.
I tend to agree. But remember that Atlas and Clausing were the came company (at least starting at some point in the past) and that the Clausing line was for industrial use, while the Atlas line was for home hobby use mostly. (Granted, my experience is from the 6x18" one made for Sears (under the "Craftsman" name, and mine is old enough so that it has plain bearings, not the ball or roller bearings found later in the line.)
Hmm ... Is your AMMCO the older 6" size, intead of the later 7"? My 7" has Acme threads on the cross feed and the jackscrew for the elevation -- but it does have V threads on the compound under the clapper box. I keep planning to make a replacement leadscrew and nut, along with a matching dial -- something more convenient than 0.0625" per turn (16 TPI).
And -- most of the later AMMCO uses Acme -- other than the aforesaid clapper compound. Mine is actually the one badged by Rockwell/Delta.
I've not personally seen an Atlas shaper, but I believe that there is a lot in common between all three -- AMMCO/Rockwell/Delta, Atlas, and South Bend -- though the South Bend does have a lubricant reservoir as one significant difference, and I believe pumped lubricant through the various parts of the machine.
O.K. I went down and took another look at it. The threads aren't quite Acme, but also not quite V threads. The root is rounded, and wider than I would expect for a V thread, and the crest is also somewhat rounded.
Well ... mine has a serial number of 114-7622, so it would seem to be a bit later.
Agreed -- but without pulling a lead screw and putting it on the optical comparator, I can't be sure what the thread form really is.