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  1. #1
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    Default Cataract No.5 Horizontal Mill

    With the talk about the small Hardinge mills going around, my interest in the Cataract No.5 mill has been renewed.



    I can't seem to find any info about them other then on the Lathes.co.uk site. From the picture, I can't tell if it has power feed or not, but I'm guessing it does. Does anyone know if any examples of this mill are still around? Larry, I know you seem to have almost every Hardinge/Cataract item ever made, you happen to have one?

    I would like to get one of these mills as it would match my Quick Change lathe with the little cupboard, and be very handy to have a horizontal mill in the shop since I only have a vertical mill.

    Any info would be appreciated!

    Tyler

  2. #2
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    I once turned down a chance to get a similar mill, on a cast iron floor stand. It was big and heavy, and I had not yet bought my first truck, so it was around 1975. I also turned down some quick change swing lathes for similar reasons.

    There is no power feed on the mill in the picture. I have never found a dividing head like the one in the picture.

    I have several of the Cataract bench millers, and several of the attachments to convert the lathe to a miller. I even have the geared and the belt drive power feeds for the little millers. Note that I have them, but I don't use them.

    Larry

  3. #3
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    Larry,

    Do you happen to have some pictures of your cataract millers? How capable are they? I'm guessing you need to take light cuts to prevent chatter?

    Tyler

  4. #4
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    I have only used one of my Cataract millers, a lathe bed attachment, on my Hardinge flat belt lathe. I also ran some parts on my BB4 at the same time. And I used a fixture on the lever cross slide of the lathe to hold parts while I milled them with a cutter in the headstock. That was back around 1983 when I was making machine gun parts for a local company. All three operations worked perfectly, but I have no other experience actually using the little mills.

    They are all in positions that do not lend themselves to photographing at present. But the old catalog illustrations at Tony's site show them pretty well.
    Page Title

    The first millers had I-beam section columns, replaced by a box section at some point. The first millers had the vertical axis feed directly below the cross axis feed, so you could only have a crank on one at a time. Later models had the vertical feed shaft to the left of the cross feed, so you could leave cranks on all three feeds all the time if you had three cranks. There was a stand to convert the lathe bed milling attachment plus a headstock into a self-contained miller. The millers could work with any of the lathe headstocks, so you had a choice of 3C, 4C or 5C collets. I have examples of most variations. I only have one vertical head with flat belt drive and 3C collet spindle, and have never seen another. Most of my examples need some kind of minor to medium work to make them usable. Because I have not needed to run them, I have not done the required work.

    I also have a unique lathe bed milling attachment that fits the Cataract lathes. The seller said it came from Franklin Hardinge's widow. Perhaps I will get it out and photograph it, since there are no catalog cuts of it.

    Larry

  5. #5
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    Larry,

    Do any of your flatbelt millers have any sort of original motor drive system with them? I am wondering how you would control the speed on the vertical mill since it only has the single pulley, or maybe they felt 1 speed would work fine....


    Tyler

  6. #6
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    The Cataract catalog 15 shows a number of complete bench and drive units, including electric motors and numerous flat belts and pulleys. The machines shown on the benches are lathes, millers and the sensitive drill. There are also lots of different counters shown by themselves. Each lathe or miller was usually driven from a three speed counter, with high, low and low reverse speeds, plus the three step pulley final drive. So the vertical miller would have had just a high and low. There is no illustration of the vertical miller on a bench and no written description of its spindle speed. My 1925 B&S catalog only lists carbon steel end mills, as far as I can tell, but there would still be a need for a wide speed range for milling brass and steel parts with end mills 1/2" and smaller.

    A previous owner of my vertical cut a V-belt groove in the spindle pulley and lost one of the idler pulleys. Like I said, most of my stuff needs at least some work to restore it. The idler pulley mounting could easily be used to attach an electric motor with a V-belt to the spindle, but I don't think the conversion ever got that far along. The thing probably has not been run for 70 years or more.

    Larry

  7. #7
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    IrbyJones is offline Hot Rolled
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    Tyler, you should also keep an eye out for the extremely rare milling attachment for the older Cataract lathes, built by the Burke Machine Tool Co. Even Larry doesn't have one of these, I bet!
    http://i100.photobucket.com/albums/m.../DSC02003a.jpg

    Irby

  8. #8
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    Irby,

    Thats got to be the largest lathe "attachment" ever, and probably the most expensive when compaired to the price of the lathe itself!!! What size is that lathe? Also what is that in the background on the right side of the photo, behind the red flashlight... looks kinda like a vertical spindle to something.

    Tyler

  9. #9
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    Quote Originally Posted by regcabdak View Post
    ...What size is that lathe?....

    Tyler
    Cataract 49 (4C collet, 9" swing) with 32" bed, made in Chicago between about 1915 and 1930.

    Larry

  10. #10
    stephen thomas is offline Diamond
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    Irby-

    That's a good one!

    Is the cataract just stored there, or did you have some application it worked better for than using some centers, or dividing head and center on the mill table?

    I've always hoped to come across one of the really old Cataract dividing heads in some nook somewhere to add to the collection; but never saw one. My oldest is still only the Elgin convertible 5c unit.

    smt

  11. #11
    IrbyJones's Avatar
    IrbyJones is offline Hot Rolled
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    Thought you guys would like that "milling attachment".

    I put the Cataract up on the Millrite table to get it off the garage floor during a nor'easter that could have brought salt water into the garage. While it was up there, I added a work piece and an end mill and took a picture to tease with. I have a nice dividing head so I don't see any use for the lathe like that! Larry's right (as usual) on the little Cataract size. One day I need to start collecting 4C collets for it.

    The machine behind the Millrite is a Van Norman 1/2 mill. Neat little machine, and slated to go to Jim B. up in NJ because he'll find more use for it than I do.

    Irby

  12. #12
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    Well I have yet to see a No.5 Cataract mill, I wonder how many were made...

    Larry, I had a question about the little cataract millers you have. Do you think a 5c lathe headstock would fit the mill properly? or would it be too big? One more thing, did they ever make the cataract headstocks with a threaded spindle nose?

    Thanks

    Tyler

  13. #13
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    The Cataract flat belt horizontal bench millers will take any 7" swing headstock of models 37, 47 or 57. They usually are found with a 47 head. Of course, the head can either be an original one with plain bearings or a later one with ball bearings. I have one Cataract mill in as-found condition that seems to have roller bearings in a plain bearing 47 headstock. I never took it apart to see just how it was done. I bought it from Ternstrom, the oldest Hardinge dealer in Chicago, so it may have been one of their experiments. But it had been used before it ended up in their attic.

    Hardinge sold the headstocks with threaded noses, but did not show them in the catalogs. I have never seen a 37 with threaded nose, but have an email from an owner of one. I have a 47 with the 1-5/8-10 thread and a 57 with the 2-3/16-10 thread. Here is a picture of 57-5289 with a threaded nose. Chucks and such are very common for either the tapered or threaded nose on 5C heads.

    Larry


  14. #14
    regcabdak is offline Cast Iron
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    I wonder how you would adjust the bearings in that mill you have that has the needle bearings.

    Are the tapered spindle noses a locking taper? just how hard is it to change chucks with the taper nose? I'm guessing the main advantage of the taper nose is it can be used with the spindle spinning backwards?

    Tyler

  15. #15
    L Vanice is offline Diamond
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    I have taper noses on the Hardinge lathes that I run. They work just fine and Hardinge has been selling them for over 100 years. The taper is 4 degrees and there is a cam and pin that locks the chuck tight, like a very short section of screw thread. You rotate the chuck a tiny fraction of a turn to install or remove it, much quicker than a standard thread of several turns. The design was Frank Hardinge's second patented design change after he bought the Cataract lathe line from the original maker. The patent was filed 21Dec1904. He applied for the spindle bearing patent 9Nov1903, just months after buying the lathe line. See US patents 894,634 and 894,635.

    Yes, the taper nose will safely drive a chuck in reverse.

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