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Hardinge Cataract BB59 restore to working condition

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
Hi
I just acquired this Hardinge Cataract BB59 lathe, I was lucking that the guy I bought it from had a bucket loader to put it on my truck. I took me the next day to get the lathe off the wooden desk it came on. Had to get the lathe off the desk and inside before in rained.
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Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I bought this lathe while away from home for a week. I had to take Lathe desk apart to be able to close my truck bed cover because of the heavy coming the next day. Hardinge did an amazing job in designing this desk, it unbolted completely except for the drawers.
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Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I was told this could have been a navy lathe. That would explain the grey painted over the original black. I took the spindle housing off the bed and removed the linkage to brake and drum switches. I wanted to get the spindle and bearings out of housing but I think I need a press for that, so that will have to wait. If anyone knows the procedure to remove the spindle and bearings please post it here or private message me. I looked all over google and can't find how to get the spindle out to add 3 new belt on the spindle. I stripped all parts that had grey on them.
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L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
My second Hardinge lathe, bought around 1980, was like yours, but had the original wood top and pipe leg bench. Mine dated to 1936 and the serial number was on the steel plate covering the brake linkage adjustment port on the rear of the headstock. Your tailstock is a later 1940's model which is a better design than the original.

I took the spindle out and soon regretted it. I could not get it out without destroying the cork washer-shaped seals around the bearings. Making new cork washers did not go well. Anyway, leave the spindle and bearings alone if they are at all still good enough to use. It is very common on these old Hardinge enclosed head lathes to find a previous owner installed link-type V-belts. That type of belt can be installed without removing the spindle.

Tony has a good cross section of the 1936-1939 headstock. Cataract Lathes

Here are pictures of my 1936 lathe, which I no longer own, and the cross section from Tony's site. The pipe leg bench is excellent, but was probably cheaper than the desk-bench. Too bad the back of your desk got that big opening cut out.

Larry

1936 Hardinge Cataract Underdrive Lathe 1.jpg 1936 Hardinge Cataract Underdrive Lathe 2.jpg 1936 Hardinge Cataract Underdrive Lathe 3.jpg 1935 enclosed headstock.jpg
 
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IrbyJones

Stainless
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Location
Poquoson
I've had an enclosed headstock like this apart before and what Larry says about leaving the spindle and bearings alone if they are at all good enough to use is surely true. Those cork washer seals are usually in bad shape and easily destroyed in taking the spindle out. I've made new ones like Larry and had the same result. Getting the fit between them and the rotating parts is so picky I gave up. It was either too tight and made the spindle get quite hot or they leaked. I even tried increasing the ID of hole in the 1/4" thick cork seals by .001" at a time and couldn't get them to work the way I wanted. Imagine doing that on your mill. :)

I was rebuilding the headstock of my friend's BB4 mill, which uses the same internal design as this headstock. The previous owner had replaced the front bearings with a pair of sealed bearings, so I just removed the front cork seal, which wasn't needed since that set of bearings didn't need oiling. Plus the front cork seals were destroyed. That previous owner had also lost the metal snap ring that holds the cork seal at the outside of the rear bearing, so I made another snap ring along with the seal. When I couldn't get the rear seals to work without heating up the spindle, I ended up making a set of shields for the open rear bearing. It luckily lent itself to that and worked out fine. I filled it about 1/4 with grease and then the entire headstock had grease filled and sealed bearings. It's running up to 3000 or 4000 RPM just fine.

Now to what I am really writing about - using a link belt to drive the spindle. I made a drive system for the BB4 mill and used a 3/8" wide link belt to drive the spindle. I only used a single belt because I wanted to use all three pulley grooves for different speeds. The single belt was OK since the mill wasn't going to do heavy work. The link belt worked really well. And it's the only way to go with an enclosed headstock - you don't want to be pulling the spindle every time you change out a belt. :) If you're wondering why the pulley that connects to the spindle has the steps arranged as large, small, large, I don't remember why I made it that way but I must have had a reason! :)

I don't know how well 3 link belts will work side by side. If not, the maybe just 2, spaced at the 2 far grooves. And I don't know how the lengths of 3 separate link belts will turn out to be the same. It may work OK since the tension will tend to stretch them to the same distance, close enough.

Irby

The BB4 mill.
346850d1649617376-hardinge-cataract-bb59-restore-working-condition-img_2919-0a.jpg


Drive system. Notice 3/8" wide link belt (in the middle) going up to spindle. There are 3 grooves on the spindle pulley.
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Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
My second Hardinge lathe, bought around 1980, was like yours, but had the original wood top and pipe leg bench. Mine dated to 1936 and the serial number was on the steel plate covering the brake linkage adjustment port on the rear of the headstock. Your tailstock is a later 1940's model which is a better design than the original.

I took the spindle out and soon regretted it. I could not get it out without destroying the cork washer-shaped seals around the bearings. Making new cork washers did not go well. Anyway, leave the spindle and bearings alone if they are at all still good enough to use. It is very common on these old Hardinge enclosed head lathes to find a previous owner installed link-type V-belts. That type of belt can be installed without removing the spindle.

Tony has a good cross section of the 1936-1939 headstock. Cataract Lathes

Here are pictures of my 1936 lathe, which I no longer own, and the cross section from Tony's site. The pipe leg bench is excellent, but was probably cheaper than the desk-bench. Too bad the back of your desk got that big opening cut out.

Larry

Hi Larry
How did you take the spindle and bearing out?
When I removed the oil caps the wicks were rotten, so I have to see what the bearing look like, replace the wicks and install 3 matching belts.
Frank
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I've had an enclosed headstock like this apart before and what Larry says about leaving the spindle and bearings alone if they are at all good enough to use is surely true. Those cork washer seals are usually in bad shape and easily destroyed in taking the spindle out. I've made new ones like Larry and had the same result. Getting the fit between them and the rotating parts is so picky I gave up. It was either too tight and made the spindle get quite hot or they leaked. I even tried increasing the ID of hole in the 1/4" thick cork seals by .001" at a time and couldn't get them to work the way I wanted. Imagine doing that on your mill. :)

I was rebuilding the headstock of my friend's BB4 mill, which uses the same internal design as this headstock. The previous owner had replaced the front bearings with a pair of sealed bearings, so I just removed the front cork seal, which wasn't needed since that set of bearings didn't need oiling. Plus the front cork seals were destroyed. That previous owner had also lost the metal snap ring that holds the cork seal at the outside of the rear bearing, so I made another snap ring along with the seal. When I couldn't get the rear seals to work without heating up the spindle, I ended up making a set of shields for the open rear bearing. It luckily lent itself to that and worked out fine. I filled it about 1/4 with grease and then the entire headstock had grease filled and sealed bearings. It's running up to 3000 or 4000 RPM just fine.

Now to what I am really writing about - using a link belt to drive the spindle. I made a drive system for the BB4 mill and used a 3/8" wide link belt to drive the spindle. I only used a single belt because I wanted to use all three pulley grooves for different speeds. The single belt was OK since the mill wasn't going to do heavy work. The link belt worked really well. And it's the only way to go with an enclosed headstock - you don't want to be pulling the spindle every time you change out a belt. :) If you're wondering why the pulley that connects to the spindle has the steps arranged as large, small, large, I don't remember why I made it that way but I must have had a reason! :)

I don't know how well 3 link belts will work side by side. If not, the maybe just 2, spaced at the 2 far grooves. And I don't know how the lengths of 3 separate link belts will turn out to be the same. It may work OK since the tension will tend to stretch them to the same distance, close enough.

Irby


Hi Irby
So you have the procedure to take apart spindle and bearing since you tried to fit new cork seals. How do you do it? I already took out the end cork seal to get the size. I will order the 1/4 cork from McMasters, I also order the 3 matching belts at the same time. When they built tease lathes they installed the cork seals so it can be done.
Frank
 

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
Hi Larry
How did you take the spindle and bearing out?
When I removed the oil caps the wicks were rotten, so I have to see what the bearing look like, replace the wicks and install 3 matching belts.
Frank

I made a special wrench to unscrew the nut from the left end of the spindle. The wrench is a steel tube with two steel dowel pins in one end to fit the holes in the nut. The tube has a hole through the wall for a hook pin spanner to apply torque. I have no respect for people who use a hammer and punch to work on this type nut. They leave proof of their incompetence behind.

DSC01954 (2).jpg DSC01955 (3).jpg

Oil wicks should be 100% natural wool felt or yarn with no dye. They should last for 100 years or more.

Where would you put three matching belts? My lathe and the cross section drawing used two.

Larry
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I made a special wrench to unscrew the nut from the left end of the spindle. The wrench is a steel tube with two steel dowel pins in one end to fit the holes in the nut. The tube has a hole through the wall for a hook pin spanner to apply torque. I have no respect for people who use a hammer and punch to work on this type nut. They leave proof of their incompetence behind.

Oil wicks should be 100% natural wool felt or yarn with no dye. They should last for 100 years or more.

Where would you put three matching belts? My lathe and the cross section drawing used two.

Larry

Hi Larry
My spindle version has 3 belts. I did remove that nut and picked off the cork gasket in front of the snap ring. Ill be home Tuesday and plan on pushing off the spindle and bearings on my press.
Hardinge Cataract Spingle discription.jpg
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
Here is a picture of the serial number from the brake adjustment access cover. Can someone explain how to read it?
Thanks
Frank
Hardinge Cataract Serial.jpg
 
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L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
Here is a picture of the serial number from the brake adjustment access cover. Can someone explain how to read it?
Thanks
frankView attachment 346872
Ser. No. 59-14086 was built late in 1939, probably in December, which means the three belt drive was a late development. It could have simply been to make the belts last longer, since they are so hard to replace.

The new, improved TR59 and ESM59 models came out in 1940. With the introduction of the TR and ESM lathes (split skirted bed), Hardinge dropped the Cataract brand name. These lathes can have solid V-belts installed without removing the spindle.

Larry
 

IrbyJones

Stainless
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Location
Poquoson
Where would you put three matching belts? My lathe and the cross section drawing used two. Larry[/QUOTE said:
Here is a picture of the spindle and pulley in the BB4 mill, which is the same as the one in this lathe except for the nose. It doesn't come out this in this configuration, though, because the second seal from the front bears on the area between the bearings and the first pulley groove. The spindle itself has to slide out of the pulley. You have to keep the pulley inside by engaging the "stop pin" on the side of the headstock to hold the pulley in place while pushing the spindle out of the front. Of course, you have to remove the front bearing retainer. Then you have to "surgically" remove the snap rings and cork seals that bear on each end of the pulley before it can be removed. A set of long snap ring pliers will be handy!
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The way the spindle looks when it is removed - pushed out of the front. There is a long key that either stays in the spindle or the pulley, I don't remember which. The rear bearing stays in place and is removed out of the back. I used a long piece of threaded rod and a plate that rested against three long rods threaded into the bearing retainer holes in the headstock to pull the spindle out the front. I also gave the rear of the spindle a few light taps with a dead blow hammer (plastic face) to help it along. As the spindle assembly came out, the bearing retainer slid along the three long rods. When I got it out far enough, I could just hit it with my hand (in a glove) at the far end to move it.
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And a picture of all the components except the cork seals and steel snap ring seal retainers. I did include one of the snap rings in the picture for some reason, though.
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Irby
 

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IrbyJones

Stainless
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Location
Poquoson
I forgot to mention that the mill headstock I was working on, and showed pictures of, didn't have the brake unit in it. The lathe headstock I have did, and the first thing you have to do is unscrew the little cap on top of the headstock that has the brake spring under it and remove the spring so the brake isn't pushing on the pulley.

Irby
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I forgot to mention that the mill headstock I was working on, and showed pictures of, didn't have the brake unit in it. The lathe headstock I have did, and the first thing you have to do is unscrew the little cap on top of the headstock that has the brake spring under it and remove the spring so the brake isn't pushing on the pulley.

Irby

Hi Irby
Thank you for this information, I is exactly what I'm looking for to take the spindle apart.
Where did you buy the sealed bearing? I ask because the cork will cost me $65 and maybe I should use the $65 towards sealed bearing, since fitting the cork seals is a pain.
Frank
 

IrbyJones

Stainless
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Location
Poquoson
I made the sealed bearing myself from the original open bearing. The inner race of the open bearing had a land on each side that looked like it could have a seal pressed onto it. The outer race didn't seem to have a good place to press anything. All the bearing seals I have seen were fastened to the outer race so they were stationary, but I decided to try and fasten the seal to the inner race. I made a couple thin seals with a little thicker part on the inner portion that pressed onto the inner bearing races. I filled the bearing about 1/4 full with grease, since that was what folks had recommended, ans pressed the seals in place, making sure they didn't touch the outer races. They seemed to work OK. I ran the bearing at 4000 RPM on another spindle with a slight preload like it sees in operation and it seemed to work fine. Ran it for several hours. Didn't sling any grease out of the small space between the outer race and the seals. Didn't get hot or anything. Sounded the same as the open bearing did before. So I used it in the mill.

Here are closeups of the bearing seals. I didn't take pictures of the bearing before I added the seals.

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Irby

On edit...

I found the same rear bearing from the lathe headstock spindle and it doesn't look like there's enough room on the inner races for a seal to be pressed on. Actually, they are called shields I think. This one, shown below, looks like if you were to cut a little off the phenolic spacer thickness on each side you could press a shield onto the outer races. It looks like the diameters where the shields would be pressed are straight, not tapered. Then the shields would be stationary like they are in the commercial shielded (sealed) bearings I have seen.

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IrbyJones

Stainless
Joined
Jun 9, 2005
Location
Poquoson
And for folks who are following this, the headstock cross section from Tony's site doesn't show the brake assembly that is inside the lathe headstock. The brake makes it a lot more cluttered inside. So I'll show a couple pictures of the brake assembly and how it goes around the spindle pulley. The stub sticking out of the top of the assembly in the picture below has a spring around it pushing the entire assembly down. The spring is located in the cylindrical piece sticking out of the top of the headstock.

Brake assembly around spindle pulley.
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Brake view from lathe headstock underside.
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Irby
 

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jim rozen

Diamond
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Location
peekskill, NY
Since you're using the original bearings, be alert for loss of preload in the stack, caused by wear. This will show as axial play once the spindle is assembled.

Any play at all means the preload in the bearing pair has 'gone away' and ideally those bearings should be replaced. You really cannot tell this has happened by visual inspecting the bearings.
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
Since you're using the original bearings, be alert for loss of preload in the stack, caused by wear. This will show as axial play once the spindle is assembled.

Any play at all means the preload in the bearing pair has 'gone away' and ideally those bearings should be replaced. You really cannot tell this has happened by visual inspecting the bearings.

Hi Jim
Do you know of a source for new bearing?
Thanks
Frank
 

Norsksea

Aluminum
Joined
Dec 10, 2007
Location
East Coast
I didn't know that the the two handles were for fwd-brake-rev and high-low speeds connected to 2 drum switched mounted under the wood top connected by linkage rods. I took apart the drum switches and for the contacts very worn but repairable. The pictures show the switch and wear. I have worked and repaired this type of switch before for my Bridgeport. I soldered silver contacts over the wear to use the switch.

Drum switch 2.jpgDrum switch 5.jpgDrum switch 7.jpg
 








 
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