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12-11-2010, 07:25 PM #1
Craigslist super find Hardinge HLV-H 3953 TFB or South Bend
Hello everyone, I got my start in tool and die work at machine shop in high school,graduated in 78 and at 50 years of age have decided to dive back in.
I am making custom cafe bikes and have designed a titanium exhaust that needs close tolerance, exhaust port, pressure fit bungs made with stainless steel. I have been doing the prototype work using my woodworking tools (Crazy! I Know!)
Anyhow my first dedicated metal machine is going to be a lathe for turning the 1.75 " bungs.
I found a Hardinge HLV-H-3953 300 miles away with 4 chucks, misc stuff? and no coletts, asking price 2.5k
He also has a 12x48 belt drive 1960's south bend, not sure the model and he says it's not marked.
Seller said I could have one or the other but that he was keeping the one I did not take home (talk about a difficult choice!)
Both machines operate fully and will be hooked up when I go to see them.
The only problem that I see is there is no threading gears on the Hardinge, it's a TFB-H
I never did like threading on a lathe but that was in HIGH SCHOOL! do you think I will be kicking myself for getting a threadless? Does it really affect the resale that much? what else can this feature be used for?
Also 2.5 is the top end of my budget so for me to get a machine that threads it will defenitely not be a Hardinge.
The only reason I am even considering a Hardinge is the price, I always thought they would be way more money.
Thanks for listening, I think I am just looking for a shoulder to lean on.
Last edited by jimbocafe; 12-11-2010 at 07:30 PM. Reason: still trying!add pics
12-11-2010, 07:50 PM #2
I don't know anything about threadless Hardinges, but that photo seems to have the controls for threading. Can't see the leadscrew area well enough. I can't imagine only owning one lathe that couldn't cut threads. The Southbend can cut threads, has a taper attachment and the various bits and pieces will be less expensive when you need them. If the Hardinge absolutely positively can't be outfitted to cut threads, I'd go with the SB. Otherwise I'd consider the Hardinge. Don't forget that the working envelope of the Hardinge is quite small- think about your future size requirements.
12-11-2010, 09:55 PM #3
The photo is pretty blurry, but it's apparent the halfnuts lever is missing
off the carriage. So it probably is a TFB. You can do a lot of threading
with a die head, or even with ordinary dies in a tailstock die holder. My
favorite these days is acorn dies.
12-12-2010, 02:09 AM #4
I'd say it depends on your needs. My first Hardinge was an HC Chucker, and it did not have the thread cutting attachment. I bought a Geometric Die-Head for a good price and acquired the threading jaws as time & money allowed. The next lathe I bought was an import gear-head engine lathe; I cut only a few threads with it. Then I bought an HLV-H, and never cut a thread. Next I bought a late model TFB followed by a Feeler clone of an HLV-H and yet another HLV-H. Due to various reasons, the Hardinge TFB is my #1 lathe of use and the Feeler gets used for the 1 or 2 jobs per year that really require the ability to cut threads on a lathe. I have a couple of ways to use the Geometric Die-Head on the TFB. One is to use a 5C toolholder on the toolpost, install a 5/8" collet and "bingo", die-head mounted to the carriage for hand feeding. The other method is, I use a 5/8" endmill holder that I slightly modified to accept 5/8" shank tooling from the HC Chucker. The endmill holder has a MT#2 shank, and I use it in the tailstock.
Now, if you anticipate cutting a lot of threads over 1/2", then you really need to get a thread-cutting lathe, I just have not experienced that need all that often.
12-12-2010, 08:25 AM #5
Die heads can do a lot and do it well, but I've always found even a good used setup to be expensive, especially if you need a couple head sizes. FWIW, our HLV at work doesn't have any metric change gears, so I've been making parts on it, then transferring them to (gasp!) a tiny Sherline with a 4-jaw to add some metric threads. The Hardinge is otherwise so desirable you should probably get it, then find a small SB or Logan or something for your threading needs. Just think, a used SB or Logan can be had for the same price as a new die head and chasers!
12-12-2010, 11:39 AM #6
The TFB has to be the better lathe, but its lack of threading is a bit of a bummer.
If I had one, (and if I lived that side of the pond) I'd contact Paul Babin to see if his digital threading conversion could be made to work on it. Or, perhaps another electronic lead-screw system that could use a ball-screw in place of the normal lead-screw (thus avoiding the need for half-nuts and associated disengagement lever)
12-12-2010, 01:40 PM #7
Maybe I am missing something, I see a lead screw and I see the quick retracting device on the compound, also at the far end I see what appears to be the change gear lever for the gearbox.
and I see a blurry picture also...It is definitely an older machine...like late 60's or into the early 70's..by the variable speed controls with the limited knowledge that I have.
Take a better look at it ....or more pics.
I see that I made an error...that is not a change gear lever in the picture...maybe it is a TFB.... still a nice machine. check the bed wear..
Last edited by MICK 1958; 12-12-2010 at 01:42 PM. Reason: 2nd look
12-12-2010, 02:02 PM #8
there's a better view of one here:
12-13-2010, 12:42 PM #9
First thing is for you to download the manuals. You should have the owner's manual, the maintenance manual, and the parts manual. If you can't find links to these manuals on this forum (by doing a search), then you need to join the Yahoo group for Hardinge lathes.
Second, regarding the shuddering: it looks like the carriage lock may be partially applied, and you don't have a handle to release it. I forget whether that collar is threaded (like the clutch levers for carriage and cross-slide feed) or whether it is just a slight press fit. In any case, use a punch if you need to to stick in the collar and make sure it is released by turning it counter-clockwise.
12-13-2010, 01:04 PM #10
Chose the Hardinge no thread machine
First off, every ones response to my Hardinge, South Bend ? was instrumental in helping me decide on this purchase, thanks so much.
I made a big blunder however, before I left to pick up this lathe I arranged to have a local machine shop owner who owned 2 HLV's meet me at the sellers shop. Last minute he cancelled leaving me on my own at 5pm in a strange town.
The seller showed me the TF and I had him run it, I could tell he was not a machinest by profession, but he was able to run the auto carriage feed, motor forward/ reverse and brake, infinite variable motor speed and variable feed speed. Everything worked well but the machine looked a bit USED...One thing that I read that I believe I can confirm is that the non thread HL's are generaly used for production rather than prototype so they will have generaly more hours, I believe this is a very valid point when considering a purchase of a Hardinge.
I brought it home and with my limited tool knowledge, used my mechanical logic to check out the carriage, cross slide and compound rest.
Here is what I found.
#1 point the carriage has play in it. the Problem as you can see in the pictures is there is no more room to adjust the dovetail wiper blade as the allen set screws are at the end of their travel.
( MAYBE i CAN ORDER A LARGER WIPER)
#2 the compound rest has play in it, at this point I did not even try to adjust it as I am feeling way over my head, so I don't know if it has anymore adjustment.
#3 while testing it in the shop I ran the cross slide with the motor running and everything looked so smooth to me (remember it's been 30 years since high school machine shop)
well today I cleaned up the machine and moved the CS manually and it shudders when I rotate the feed knob, the shudder is greater when I move the carriage to the right than the left and the shudder is less when I put hand pressure down on the cross slide.
So I now I have to decide whether or not to try and fix it (I would rather fix my motorcycles not my tools) ,try to sell it to someone who is more knowledgable, or trade it back for the south bend that the seller has.
I am soooo open to the forums advise in this as I am in a state of confusion right now and am not thinking clearly.
BTW I know that the precision of the Hardinge is more than I will ever require for cycle work, but I really enjoy beautiful well made equipment and want only the best in my shop. I am semi retired, partially disabled, on a fixed to non exsistant income, so this decision is rather perminent, when the budget is used up then I make due with what I got! (2.5 is tops for the lathe) I need to make the right decisions first time around.
I think my main ? is this.
Am I in over my head if I want to turn this into a beautuful and tight example of a Hardinge? will it cost a fortune to tighten it up? can I do the work myself ( I am very pretty good at restoring motorcycles and turning wrenches) I really find it inspirational to work in a pristine work environment so I would probably repaint the machine and restore it.
, I could easily be overreacting or suffering buyers remorse. I just picked up a BMW r100/s with 86k stated miles and found out later that it had 256K miles!!!! so I am also recovering from that shock.
Thanks again for all the help and support.
12-13-2010, 01:26 PM #11
My 50y.o HLV-H looked far worse than yours. After a clean up and adjust it works brilliantly Renovating a Hardinge HLV-H
If you can take an engine apart and put it back together, I'm sure you can fix this up.
As Jim suggested, get a maintenance manual (I bought a photocopied one from ebay for £10).
A couple of tips:
The taper gibs on the carriage, cross-slide and top-slide are all adjusted from one end;each has two 1/4" hex socket screws, one behind the other. You loosen the front one, push the key through the front screw into the one behind then adjust the pair together (before locking the front one).
The carriage drive gear is Hardinge weak spot (see above link) if the carriage handle has a lot of backlash, there may be a problem with the gear and bearings.
If the carriage gear is OK, Drain the apron and refill to the level (don't overfill it) with automatic transmission fluid. (The oiler at the back of the carriage and should be filled with Mobil vactra way oil)
Hardinge usually locks a set screw with another on top, so if you are removing the handles for instance, remove the top set-screw and there is another underneath that hold the handle in place.
If you need to know anything else - just ask
12-13-2010, 01:57 PM #12
First order of business/panic is right
well Bill, you just nailed it, I am having a panic attack here cause the wife just saw me plunk down over 2k on what in her eyes is a boat anchor right where she parks her car!! I think if I could just tighten up the cross slide I would feel alot better, as it is as you can see by the pics it's at the end of it's rope. LOgically I don't see a fix as there is no room for adjustment, I guess I could shim it? in brass perhaps? I just don't know if I have the energy to chase problems to get this up and running. aaaggghh! How could this wear so much and is it indicative of the machine? will everything need fixin, probably better to get a better machine? (remember I am in a real panic and can't find a single valium in the house!)
12-13-2010, 02:23 PM #13
In 1985, I bought a 1960 TFB-H for $850 through a dealer on a sealed bid auction where I could not inspect the machine first. I thought I risked a safe amount of cash for such an expensive machine. The day I was told I had bought the lathe, I was also told to pick it up from a GM plant 100 miles away. The lathe was very used and dirty and the compound was missing. Even though James' lathe has a broken tool post T-slot, his lathe looks a lot better than mine. I bought a compound and other parts and a transformer to let me run the 440V motor for much more money that I paid for the lathe. But I eventually decided the bed is too worn to make the lathe actually usable. I bought a new dovetail bed, but I physically cannot disassemble the lathe to install the bed and re-scrape the various worn surfaces. Did I mention that the previous owner was General Motors? Yes, the TFB-H is a production machine and GM knew when to pull the plug on it. The thing has been taking up space in my shop since 1989 and I have made just one part on it, using the radius attachment, which is not affected by the bed wear.
So, James, before you get too deep into spending more time and money on your new machine, check out how badly worn the bed is. Replacing or regrinding the bed is very expensive and difficult. Is the carriage snug at the tailstock end and kind of loose toward the headstock end? Put an indicator on it and see how bad it is. You can get new blank tapered gibs and figure out how to notch and trim them, but the dovetails probably need to be scraped first. Dovetails on the cross slide and carriage are probably worn and are probably not worn exactly straight and parallel. New gibs will not fix the worn dovetails.
12-13-2010, 02:37 PM #14
I'm sure there will experts along to add to this later, but... [edit: ah-ha Larry's arrived early ]
It looks like most of the wear on the cross-slide in on the bottom of the slide and, probably, the top of the carriage. I believe some of the newer machines had hardened inserts on the carriage It may be possible to fit the same to yours.
It may be also possible to build up the under side of the slide with moglice or similar slide repair material.
12-13-2010, 03:09 PM #15
The two levers shown on the apron (1) for the compound cross feed, the other for turning. Both are electrically run with a friction type clutch to prevent a machine overload.
I have a Hardinge hand turret (no independant compound cross feed, taper attachment or tailstock). Threading is accomplished by an attachment to the back of the headstock. A master pitch sleeve is locked on the spindle near where the collet closer is located. The whole attachment is an oversized u shape. It trips foward ingaging the follower and then the hole whole attachment moves to the left the length of the thread. Compressed air feeds the tool 8-10 cycles till the thread is done.
No lead screw, no gears, no half nut, no thread dial.
Although to me a 'light duty' machine, it can hold pup tenths
danflyfish liked this post
12-13-2010, 05:13 PM #16
Bill, just noted the before and after pics of your resto, very encouraging! a pic is worth a...... thanks this is alot better than a pill
12-13-2010, 06:29 PM #17
Hardinge or simple Southbend /To walk or not to walk
Yes Larry I think I am driven to make this choice quickly, I also believe in full disclosure, I hate it when people hide repair issues (another reason I am posting with the serial # in case I sell, the new buyer will know some of what he is getting into) anyhow I will do my best to get this lathe up to speed with minimal costs, mainly my time.
If things start getting too deep I will walk and hope that someone with a stronger disposition comes along to take this project over.
So first order of business is for me to check the bed wear.
#1 what is the best method to check bead wear without having the ability to power up?
(I am reluctant to get a converter as I will most likely be getting a standard 220v machine if I walk)
Larry, you said "carriage snug at the tailstock end and kind of loose toward the headstock end? Put an indicator on it and see how bad it is" can you describe this a bit, I am assuming I need to just use a lever under the carriage and set my indicator to measure up movement? any particular points of the carriage to lever up?
#2 Bill,There has got to be a standard fix for the worn gibs (worn dovetails) on the compound rest (carriage), you were talking about Moglica? I assume that it is a flat bearing/ shim material? As soon as you pros start talking about scraping I start looking for the door. I would think that everything wears evenly and you just have to get wider Gib material or drill and tap and screw on a brass wiper shim, hmmmmm... I am starting to see that depending on where the torque is applied (whatever mundane production task this machine was made to do) would wear the dovetails any and every which way, so you would need to regrind the dovetails and use wider gibs to make up the difference? I can see the need for hardening this area( I still think flat bronze bearing shims would work, am I dreaming?) Do I send the carriage out to a specialist to regrind the compound (carriage)
or is this something that I can do myself? the seller said I can get a surface grinder cheap! he has 2 of them just sitting (although I am getting a bit leary)
#3 (thinking out loud) If I find the bed is good and the Carriage is fixable for reasonable cash, then I will get a converter so I can power it up and go through all the manuals making sure everything works, If I find that at this point it is more work than my skill level can handle, I can sell the Harding to someone who can benefit from the extra precision and knows how to get it out of the Hardinge.
I can then get a more simple, small lathe that does not have such high expectations placed on it. I just think it would be a shame for me to own a Hardinge and not have it performing like it should!
Anyone want to trade??
I hope you guys don't think I am a whimp, but I am thinking I should have gone with the Southbend, It seems more simple and is well within the tolerances that I need for custom Bikes.
Any and all comments are so appreciated, thanks for the input so far,, you folks are really good people.
12-13-2010, 07:25 PM #18
James give me a call I live in Tucson I have alot of experience fixing machines I wont charge you anything I am sure it is easy to get running they are very nice lathes. 751-6324 give me a call tonight if you can. Kevin
12-14-2010, 04:24 AM #19
As Larry says, check the bed first. It's possible that this machine has spent most of its life facing parts, so the bed may not be completely knackered (if the carriage gear is in good order, there's a good chance the bed is too).
Adjust the carriage gib at the chuck end of the bed until it's tight then back it of a bit, so it slides nicely. If you are able to wind the carriage all the way to the tail stock without it getting too stiff or stuck, then it's probably OK for what you want.
(note: my HLV's carriage is noticeably stiffer at the tail-stock end, yet will still turn better than 0.0003" over a 6" length without any effort)
#2 Bill,There has got to be a standard fix for the worn gibs (worn dovetails) on the compound rest (carriage), you were talking about Moglica? I assume that it is a flat bearing/ shim material?
Moglice is a liquid (a form of epoxy I believe) that can be moulded to form slide-ways etc. Tercite is a sheet material that may be better suited to a quick repair.
As soon as you pros start talking about scraping I start looking for the door.
You should not be afraid of scraping, if that's what the job requires (think of it as precision filing )
If you are going to do the work necessary to fix the machine, you may as well do it right.
I would think that everything wears evenly and you just have to get wider Gib material or drill and tap and screw on a brass wiper shim,
I suspect you'll need to have the carriage milled or ground flat to take a couple of hardened steel inserts and the dovetails touched up at the same time.
This Feeler Hardinge copy) has shims fitted (probably from new) Build Log Feeler FTL 618
12-14-2010, 05:23 AM #20
Our HLV at work tightens up slightly at the tailstock end, but it's still capable of fantastic precision. I can hold 1-2 microns over an inch or so and certainly a few tenths over many inches.
Something I don't understand is why regrinding a Hardinge bed is difficult or expensive. It's one of the simplest beds out there- flat with an angle on each side. It's even removable. What's the big deal?
FWIW, the tail stock on these is heavy and tends to be hard to move unless freshly oiled. Some people have installed an air fitting and valve so the tail stock can be floated a bit, making it easier to move.