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Early Hardinge Cataract 59

Lucaselef

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
I picked up this early plain bearing hardinge Cataract the other day. Has a 5c spindle with taper lock chuck. Has the slot on the back of the bed for a thread chaser, but no chasing parts. Also has the gear on the spindle for thread cutting, the original change gear bracket, and what I believe is the original telescoping power feed rod. Someone has modified a right angle gear box and motor to make it power feed although I haven't tested it to see if it operates.

Does anyone know how to disassemble the headstock? I'd like to clean and re-felt it before trying to run the spindle.

Any more info you could provide would be great, Im new to the cataracts.

Edit: I just learned the transmission is a borg Warner T92 3 speed transmission that was used in small tractors and crosley cars.
 

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L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
Lots of good info here, including cross section views of plain bearing headstocks: http://www.lathes.co.uk/cataract/index.html

It is important that the felt and yarn be 100% wool and not dyed.

The gear on the headstock can drive either the screw cutting or the thread chasing attachment. The teeth are 30 DP 14.5 PA.

What is the serial number on your headstock?

Larry
 

Lucaselef

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Serial number on headstock is 307. Serial number on end of bed is 3305. Does that mean I have a later bed with an early headstock?

Any idea as to to the age with those numbers?
 

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L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
That is a great picture. Thank you!

Any idea how the spindle threading gear is attached? Is it press fit on to the spindle?
The fit can be an easy sliding fit to a snug, but not tight, fit. Use a pair of prying tools between the brass felt retainer and the gear to pry it off the spindle. Try not to damage the brass.

There is a small key in the gear that engages a narrow keyway in the spindle to prevent rotational slipping. There are three things that can fit on the left end of the spindle. You can have just a gear for the chasing or screwcutting attachment. You can have a serrated collar for the lever collet closer. Or you can have a serrated collar with a gear pressed onto it so that you can cut threads and also have a lever collet closer.

Larry
 

Lucaselef

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
The fit can be an easy sliding fit to a snug, but not tight, fit. Use a pair of prying tools between the brass felt retainer and the gear to pry it off the spindle. Try not to damage the brass.

There is a small key in the gear that engages a narrow keyway in the spindle to prevent rotational slipping. There are three things that can fit on the left end of the spindle. You can have just a gear for the chasing or screwcutting attachment. You can have a serrated collar for the lever collet closer. Or you can have a serrated collar with a gear pressed onto it so that you can cut threads and also have a lever collet closer.

Larry
Great information Larry, thank you. I was curious if a lever collet closer was an option with the gear. However I noticed I don't have bracket in my headstock like I've seen on other machines with a lever closer. Is my machine too early for that feature, or was it an option?

On that note do you know roughly what year the serial number 308 on the headstock or 3305 on the bed dates to?
 

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
Cataract serial numbers are mysterious to me. I think some parts were numbered as the Nth number made of that part early on. I am pretty sure that all later numbers were mixed to signify the total number of all sorts of parts made. The earliest headstocks did not even have a serial number. When Hardinge Brothers left Chicago around 1930, they were at around Ser. No. 10,000 or 11,000. Production began slowly in 1903 and gradually increased over the years. I have a document that claims Ser. No. 5747 was made in 1927, but that seems doubtful to me. I am sure business was booming for a few years before the 1929 crash, but I find it hard to believe that it boomed that much. The first Cataract lathes were all size 37 and they made a lot of them over the years. The 47 and 49 are also pretty common. The 57's are much less common and I consider the 59's a rarity. The lathes that take 6C and 7C collets are extremely rare. By this reasoning, your headstock and bed may have been built at the same time.

The first generation of lever collet closers had the lever attached to the end of the bed and the lever was vertical. It used the same tapped hole in the bed as the threading attachments. At some point, they designed a new lever closer and provided an attachment point on the back of the headstock so that the lever was horizontal. The new-style lever closer could be used at the same time as either of the two types of threading attachments.

Larry
 

Lucaselef

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Cataract serial numbers are mysterious to me. I think some parts were numbered as the Nth number made of that part early on. I am pretty sure that all later numbers were mixed to signify the total number of all sorts of parts made. The earliest headstocks did not even have a serial number. When Hardinge Brothers left Chicago around 1930, they were at around Ser. No. 10,000 or 11,000. Production began slowly in 1903 and gradually increased over the years. I have a document that claims Ser. No. 5747 was made in 1927, but that seems doubtful to me. I am sure business was booming for a few years before the 1929 crash, but I find it hard to believe that it boomed that much. The first Cataract lathes were all size 37 and they made a lot of them over the years. The 47 and 49 are also pretty common. The 57's are much less common and I consider the 59's a rarity. The lathes that take 6C and 7C collets are extremely rare. By this reasoning, your headstock and bed may have been built at the same time.

The first generation of lever collet closers had the lever attached to the end of the bed and the lever was vertical. It used the same tapped hole in the bed as the threading attachments. At some point, they designed a new lever closer and provided an attachment point on the back of the headstock so that the lever was horizontal. The new-style lever closer could be used at the same time as either of the two types of threading attachments.

Larry
I don't think I've ever seen a picture of the vertical bracket style lever collet closer. Do you have a picture of one? I'd like to set this machine up with one eventually.
 

jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
The 59 lathe (headstock shown in photos above) actually came with that type of vertical closer. I'll post the photo of it when I get in to work on monday, they're on my work machine.
 
Jim, that lathe is interesting to me for 2 items:
1.) I have a closer & link that looks to be a dead ringer, but it is horizontal on what is probably an Elgin BB headstock.
2.) this one is a question: What is the taper in that TS? I have one that looks like that, use it mostly on my long bed woodlathe, and it came to me with a MT2. That just did not seem original to Hardinge? All my other TS's have either the Hardinge proprietary taper, or MT1.

To the OP:
It is ideal if the threading gear is set up on the closer serrated collar, so the collets can be used.
The keys are tiny.

OTOH, on many of the serrated collars, the key is a filed end of a pressed in pin. The pin is about 1/4" dia & might or might not be easily visible. The key end, down in the bore, is, again,tiny. Sometimes it can become loose, and you have to tap it down so it registers. (becomes effective to line up in the slot)

If the parts are clean, unmarred, and un-distorted, the fit between the serrated collar and the spindle spigot is an easy sliding fit - but it is so close that it can be the devil to get started. Don't force it. Keep trying until you figure it out. Lube helps, but it is not the full answer. It is one of those fits that is so good, it just won't go & will jam even after started about 1/8" if it is not aligned.

smt
 

jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
The tailstock taper in that lathe: both. =)

It came with the proprietary taper tailstock, and the underside of the one-piece tailstock was so badly worn I made a replacement ram that had a) a MT1 taper, and b) the location of the bore offset to correct the wear. I keep the original with the machine (now in storage). I've used this cheat on a couple of machines over the years, ones with one-piece tailstocks.

cat_tail_1.jpg


cat_tail_2.jpg


cat_tail_3.jpg


cat_tail_4.jpg
 

Lucaselef

Aluminum
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Thanks for the great pics Jim. I'm on the hunt for one.

Stephen, as of now I don't think I'm going to bother with the threading gear. I may try and rehab the current right angle power feed unit to get power feed, but eventually I'd like to add a simple servo driven electronic lead screw that would take care of power feeding and threading without needing a mess of change gears.
 
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For practical use that makes the most sense.
I was looking at my small organizer boxes of parts for threading last night, and thinking how many small bits& pieces, not to mention gears, are necessary for your project, if they did not come with the machine. So, OTOH, the gizmosity factor has appeal if the parts exist, In a steampunk sort of way.DSCN0717.JPG

:)

Jim - thanks for the information.

smt
 








 
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