Hardinge HLV Lathe Replacement Parts and Machine Value
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    Default Hardinge HLV Lathe Replacement Parts and Machine Value

    I am considering the purchase of a Hardinge HLV lathe, S/N HLV-BK-???-3. I spoke to a repair person who works on Hardinge machines and he strongly advised me to stay away from this old machine. He said getting parts is a nightmare. He recommended looking for a HLV-H or newer machine.

    I am setting up a home metal working shop mostly for hobby type use. This machine would not see a lot of heavy use, but I want something that I can rely on.

    I was wondering if there is a source for used parts for this machine?

    The machine that I am looking at sounds good when it is running – smooth. I do not know about wear though. The carriage drive screws all work. What are machines of this vintage worth?

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    Have you checked the bed wear near the headstock area ? (i.e where the carriage tends to travel the most) Two different methods on a small lathe....move carriage to headstock area and see if you can "pull up" on it and note the play if you can. Then move carriage to far right and repeat.

    Another method is to move carriage to headstock area and apply just a bit of drag via the carriage clamp lever, then move it to right and note where it gets harder and harder to move.

    One wouldn't think those hardened steel dovetail beds can wear, but they do. If wear is excessive then stay away from it unless dirt cheap and you can live with the inaccuracies by various compensation methods.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AISI 4340 View Post
    I am considering the purchase of a Hardinge HLV lathe, S/N HLV-BK-???-3. I spoke to a repair person who works on Hardinge machines and he strongly advised me to stay away from this old machine. He said getting parts is a nightmare. He recommended looking for a HLV-H or newer machine.

    I am setting up a home metal working shop mostly for hobby type use. This machine would not see a lot of heavy use, but I want something that I can rely on.

    I was wondering if there is a source for used parts for this machine?

    The machine that I am looking at sounds good when it is running – smooth. I do not know about wear though. The carriage drive screws all work. What are machines of this vintage worth?
    Some HLV parts can be made with not much effort. Others can be ordered. Look at what this guy did.

    Rebuilding a Hardinge HLV Toolroom Lathe

    If you buy a older HLV you should expect to work on it a little. It's not a Porsche.

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    The HLV is a fantastic machine but there is always the worry about wear, if I is in reasonable condition it can be bought up to high precision.
    Things to watch are those parts that can not be bought or made, the worst of these is the saddle drive motor, Hardinge changed it when they introduced the HLV-H and the new one won't fit.
    Bed wear can be corrected as the dovetail plate can be removed and ground.
    The cabinet electrics are all easy to replace.
    Your decision must be based on the price/condition ratio that applies with all used machines. When you have got it right you will have a great machine.

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    Thank you for your reply. I tried your inspection recommendations and found no noticeable differences anywhere along the bed. I spoke to a person who had used this machine years ago and he told me that it was tight and in pretty good condition. I am feeling better about the general condition of this machine. Replacement parts are a concern though.

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    Thank you for your reply. The link is very interesting with useful info.

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    Peter, thank you for your reply. The carriage of the machine I am considering seems to have uniform fit all along the length of the bed. I did not detect any difference in fit or changes in carriage drag resistance when the locking lever was partially tightened. Also, a person who used this machine years ago told me that it is in pretty good shape in terms of wear. Do you know whether the clutches in the HLV carriage are the same as the HLV-H machines? Or are the HLV-H clutch parts close to the HLV so that they can be modified to fit?

    Thanks

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    Check out Babin Machine tool in Massachusetts(?) - they used to be a Hardinge retrofit shop exclusively, but actually started making their own tools, eerily similar to HLVs after Hardinge decided to stop making/supporting them.

    http://www.babinmachine.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by AISI 4340 View Post
    Thank you for your reply. I tried your inspection recommendations and found no noticeable differences anywhere along the bed. I spoke to a person who had used this machine years ago and he told me that it was tight and in pretty good condition. I am feeling better about the general condition of this machine. Replacement parts are a concern though.
    That is a very good sign...what exactly is the price ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AISI 4340 View Post
    Peter, thank you for your reply. The carriage of the machine I am considering seems to have uniform fit all along the length of the bed. I did not detect any difference in fit or changes in carriage drag resistance when the locking lever was partially tightened. Also, a person who used this machine years ago told me that it is in pretty good shape in terms of wear. Do you know whether the clutches in the HLV carriage are the same as the HLV-H machines? Or are the HLV-H clutch parts close to the HLV so that they can be modified to fit?

    Thanks
    The clutches of the HLV and HLV-H are completely different in design and not interchangeable.

    Having said that, if the attached gears are not worn beyond use, the clutches will be perfectly ok. You may need to replace the thrust bearings and the collar on which they and the clutch spring bear (they wear and crack). But the collar is a simple turning and tapping job on a bit of 4140/4340 with a bit of heat treat to harden it.

    If the collars and bearings are ok, the manual has the adjustment procedure, which is simple.


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