Katou's Hendey 16x54 Lathe Restoration
If all goes well, this lovely brute is to be mine:
It seems like a good deal, in a working shop, not used for production, not covered in filth, and best of all (for me starting out anyway) the seller has a 5hp single phase that he will sell for a good price that I can use to drive the beast instead of the stock 3 phase motor. Yes, yes, a converter is in the cards, but I promised myself I wouldn't buy a project lathe, or a lathe that I couldn't just plug in when I got it home. Ok, so I'll have to make a motor adapter plate, that's about as close as I'm going to get for the money.
I have worked with smaller lathes at work of course, but this is my first large lathe because I have found that old and big (but still accurate) is about 1/3 of new and small.
There are a few 3jaw and 4jaw chucks included, and a faceplate, but no other tooling such as follow rest, drills, dead centers, dogs, etc. I'm happy with that, the things I'm missing aren't major money like chucks are. Oh, original paint, not worn off anywhere. The owner sounds like the sort of fellow that would pay attention to the maintenance of his machines too. Everything sounds good!
So, can anyone point me to a manual for this machine? I'd also love to find out more about where this came from, what it was used for, age, etc.
I've read a bit here and there lately, and come across Hendeyman's excellent information about these units, it seems he has the direct line to the master list! Perhaps he will poke his nose in and help me out with some of that huge knowledge base.
BTW, I know of a pretty fair size Hendey that is in Ontario, probably available for the price of scrap, I think it's a 16 or maybe even a 20 x 60. Conehead I think. If anyone's interested, I may be able to get more info, the dude was supposed to be sending me some more info this evening, I can go bug him again. I'm so out of the running if it's a conehead. The pictures he took were terrible. I mean, how bad does the picture have to be such that you can't tell if it's a conehead or a gearhead?
Highly unlikely it's original paint, sure looks like two layers are showing the picture you have there.
You will likely find that retaining the 3 phase motor and assembling a cheap rotary is simpler than retrofitting a single phase motor.
Manual scan here - thanks to Greg Menke for hosting:
For such a fine old SMOOTHIE it would be a travesty to me to fit it with a rough running single phase.
Thanks, I really appreciate the manual, I'm going to start reading it tonight.
I'm kind of surprised to hear you suggest a RPC, I had the cost of one pegged around $300-400. How do you build one cheaper than that? I mean, other than getting really lucky with salvaged capacitors and switches.
I'm happy to build a RPC if it really is that easy. Show me the way fella's.
We have a whole forum section devoted to such.
But basically, if you have a three phase motor somewhat bigger (more hp) than the lathe motor and get it spinning (rope is the most basic), hit two of its windings with the two hot wires of single phase 240V, the third winding will "manufacture" a third phase. Works every time.
All the running and starting capacitors and potential relays ( if such are used) are just icing on the cake - nice but far from essential as far as making three phase that will make the lathe run.
If you show me that larger three phase motor, show me the two pole breaker for the right amps in your panel, show me a suitable size safety switch/disconnect and some wire, I can make your Hendey run inside an hour if you loan me some rope.
Last edited by johnoder; 07-01-2012 at 06:21 AM.
Reason: Make amps relate to idler motor size
Ok, you may have a point.
Ah, okay, I see what you mean. All the designs I keep coming across are
the fancy designs.
I will begin looking for an appropriately sized 3phase motor immediately.
Any idea where Hendeyman gets his info from? He provided incredible info to a fellow I was just reading about. I'd love to know how he found out all that information.
I hope to see the old girl tomorrow if the schedule allows. I will take plenty of pics.
Hendey lathe #32899 was one of three lathes ordered on December 26, 1941 by J. H. Ryder Machinery Company, 55 York Street, Toronto,
Canada (the Hendey Dealer in Toronto, Canada). The order was for (1) 12 x 30 (12 speed), (1) 14 x 30 (12 speed) and (1) 16 x 54 (12 speed),
the respective serial numbers were: 32940, 32854 and 32899. The electrical equipment was a 5hp, frame 284, 1500rpm, 550 volts, 25 cycles
motor. Clutch pulley speed was 500rpm. Special equipment included a Relieving Attachment and a Sub Headstock. The lathe was scheduled for
completion during the last week of April 1942. Because this lathe was shipped to a dealer and at the present I don't have access to some of the
original shipping records, I can't tell you who the original owner was.
I totally concur with the comments made by Johnoder and others regarding the replacing of the three phase motor with a single phase motor,
don't do it. A few capacitors or an idler motor and the basic problem is solved with a modest outlay of cash. The rope start idler motor can
supply a great deal of extra shop fun when visitors ask about it.
My 1894, 16" x 10' Cone Head Hendey came with a shop built rear bracket supporting the countershaft and a three phase motor. Mounted on
the same bracket, next to the bed, is an idler motor complete with starting rope. I had considered putting it back on the over head belts, but
it runs so well, I have just left it alone. When a visitor wants to see the old Hendey operate, I explain to them that the extra motor is one of
the rare Briggs and Stratton built for a short time in the 1920s. To keep cost down, they were built without a starting winding, hence the need
for the rope. A pull on the rope, a flip of the switch and the old Hendey is off and running. For some reason, they never ask about the motor on
top that is driving the countershaft. Before they leave, I explain the reason for the idler motor and assure them that to the best of my know-
ledge Briggs and Stratton never built an electric motor. If you do install a rope start idler motor in your shop, set in up where it can be seen.
People seem fascinated by the fact that you have pull on a rope to start your shop.
Looks like a nice lathe, I hope you get it. Hendeyman is great! He has been extremely helpful to me.
I have a 4C which I am going through a little at a time, and I hope to have it under power in the next couple of weeks. The fellow I bought it from had it on a RPC and between that and the advice of the gentlemen on here I also decided to go that route.
Alright, alright, I will look for a 10 hp three phase starting the day after I get it. I have a have a belt grinder project I may keep the 5 hp for. mu ha haaaa.
Thanks a ton for that information Hendeyman!! You are the Boss!
I will post the pics that I took today as soon as I get them off my camera sometime tomorrow.
The old girl is in admirable shape, I tried out all the speeds, no problem. The seller had a problem with the threading settings. The leadscrew kept stopping. There is a little lever on the top left, that slides the gear over to engage the leadscrew, and it kept creeping over and turning itself off. Odd. The owner was as mystified as I was. He's going to check with his lead machinist and see what is up with that.
The only problem I had was the noise when the leadscrew was engaged!! It sounded like someone threw a handful of change in there. It was loud enough that if you were standing 2 ft away, I'd have to raise my voice so you could hear me. Kind of like a nightclub volume.
The seller indicated that you could not engage the powerfeed for the apron without engaging the threadcutting gears, and therefore the leadscrew and that horrible noise.
I think I could live with the noise if it was only necessary when threading. But if I have to listen to that EVERY time I want to use the powerfeed?...
Can anyone suggest how to tame that racket? It seems to be coming from the quickchange gearbox. Any ideas?
Ps. I forgot to take a video with the noise, darn.
Isolate where the noise is coming from, disassemble and repair it. May be bad bearings or bushings, could be damaged gears.
Originally Posted by katou
If that Hendey was put to work in early 1942 it may not have been turned off for it's first few years. Some war machines need a little more attention than machines that never saw that kind of use.
First off, Hendey Aprons are equipped with an interlocking device that prevents the power feeds from being engaged when the half nuts are closed.
If the seller is correct about similtaneous engagement, you have a problem! A few simply tests will locate the source of the gear noise.
Remove the gear that meshes with the Compound Gear Box, this will allow the Headstock to be operated, but will not allow the Compound Gear Box,
the Quick Change Gear Box or the Apron to operate. With the Intermediate Gear (operated by the small ball handle) fully engaged, start the Spindle.
You will be listening for any abnormal sounds from under the Headstock, these would indicate that the Long and Short Bevel Gears in the singletooth
Dog Clutch are in need of attention. If that is the case, we will deal with it later.
Reinstall the gear, put both gear boxes in the neutral position, start the spindle, check for any bearing noise. Then, engage the Compound Gear Box
and check for gear noise and bearing noise in the Quick Change Gear Box. Next, make sure the Half Nuts and the Feed Clutches are fully disengaged and then engage the Quick Change Gear Box. Check the Quick Change for any abnormal bearing or gear noise. With everything in the Apron disen-
gaged, you should have very little noise because the Worms are the only thing turning. If all sounds right, try engaging each of the feed Clutches.
Then, with the Feed Clutches disengaged, engage the Half-Nuts. By the time you have done all of this, you should have a good idea of the con-
dition of your Gear Train, Bushings, Compound Gear Box, Quick Change Gear Box and the Apron. Once you determine the problem areas, the repairs
should be straight forward. Good luck with your tests.
pics as promised
Last edited by katou; 07-02-2012 at 11:53 AM.
Reason: duplicate pictures
This is the taper attachment, but I confess, I can't tell from the manual if all the parts are there.
It appears that I have a fair piece of work to determine where that noise is coming from, and most of the work will be in familiarizing myself with the lathe and how it is taken apart.
I have the manual now, thanks again for that, does anyone have a service manual that shows all the oiling points, and a schedule for oiling?
Having a guide to taking the thing apart would certainly not hurt either.
Thanks for all the help so far, please let me know what you see in these pictures, you may see much I do not.
There would be a bed clamp out of the photo to the left associated with the threaded rod on that side. (for the T/A to function the slide that the rod screws into must be held stationary in relation to carriage travel)
This is the taper attachment, but I confess, I can't tell from the manual if all the parts are there
(for freedom of movement in the "Y" or cross slide direction, the horizontal set screw passing thru right rear carriage wing must be loosened, which allows the thrust block to move when directed to by angle set on T/A)
The small hole near center holds a stop rod.
The bent hook spanner laying below is for the L1 spindle nut, but you need a new tough one from Walter A.
I believe the "Mystery attachment" that you took a picture of in post #12 is the commonly missing piece from the taper attachment.
Actually, no. The mystery attachment supports a vertical rod (for collet rack) while the T/A bed clamp accommodates a horizontal rod.
Feedback on pics
Thanks all, I need all the help I can get.
Is there anywhere I can read about how to use the taper attachment? Perhaps a similar unit that has good clear documentation?
That mystery attachment sure does seem like the sort of thing to hold up a vertical pipe, too bad I don't have that collet rack!
I just read about the sub headstock that was originally included, wow, what a piece of work! I sure wish it had come as part of this sale. Anybody know where I could find one?
The seller has fixed the problem of the leadscrew disengaging. He didn't have the lever in the right position it seems.
I think that as Hendeyman suggests, the half-nuts were probably engaged the whole time.
Keep the good stuff coming, I could really use some instructions on disassembly and cleaning.
Anyone have some good links or info for cleaning 70 yr old lathes?
As an addendum to Johnoder's post regarding the mystery bracket, the end of the post clamp is broken off. You will notice that there is a small
projection near the end of the clamp, that is half of the guide for the Knock-out Rod.
Hendey never issued a service manual for their lathes, a Service Engineer would come to your shop to make any adjustments. An oiling chart is
available for your lathe.
The engineering department produced various instructions for servicing the Apron and the Headstock, these were never published but were supplied
to the customer on request. All of these instructions are still in the files along with all of the original drawings.
The mystery lever on the Apron is used to disconnect the handwheel. There are times when a rapidly spinning handwheel can be very dangerous,
so, this is a very handy device to have.
In post #3 there is a link to a manual scan. The taper attachment is described in detail on page seventy-one, plus there are a couple of comments of mine in post #15.
Is there anywhere I can read about how to use the taper attachment?
Post #17 here describes the Hendey threading system related to that lever on the extreme right of the apron:
Hendey lathe "emergency"!
Last edited by johnoder; 07-03-2012 at 01:19 PM.
Reason: fix typos