What's new
What's new

History of 5C collets and how to find them in the Hardinge online catalog

L Vanice

Diamond
Joined
Feb 8, 2006
Location
Fort Wayne, IN
I thought this post will be of general (as opposed to Antique machines and history) interest, so I have copied it from Tooling, where I answered the following question.




quote_icon.png
Originally Posted by neilho
...Odd that Hardinge stock is so spotty in > 1" round collets. True, they're not through-collets, but I use mine pretty often. Could it be that other folks use something else for those sizes?

Neil



Here is a little history lesson to help you understand how to find stuff in the Hardinge on-line collet catalog.

When collets were invented by Moseley about 150 years ago, they were called "wire chucks" and were rather small, suitable for holding wire, as in watch making lathes. In a circa 1918 Hardinge Cataract catalog, collets with male threads were called "draw back chucks." The collet had literally outgrown the "wire" designation and B&S and other turret lathe/screw machine makers had introduced non threaded push collets for length control, making the distinction useful. I am not sure when Hardinge changed from using "draw back chuck" to "collet," but it was probably around 1930 when Hardinge was bought by a collet maker.

At first, the largest through bore for a Cataract No. 5 draw back chuck, now known as a 5C collet, was 1 inch. Later, the wall was made thinner, probably by using stronger steel, and the 5C could go as large as 1-1/16 clear through. Then Hardinge introduced the internal thread and a line of threaded stops. The thread only allowed through bars as large as 63/64 to go through. So Hardinge sold collets with a choice of stop threads or no stop threads in sizes from 1 to 1-1/16.

The word chuck for a collet is still used by Hardinge in the expression "step chuck," meaning a collet that does not take a bar clear through. Accordingly, the 5C collets of 1 inch and larger with internal threads and any size over 1-1/16 to 1-1/8 are considered step chucks and usually marked 5C-SC on the face. But Hardinge lists them as "5C-SC collets," just to keep up the confusion. The 5C collets larger than 1-1/8 are called step chucks in the catalog and require the cup-shaped step chuck closers that mount on the Hardinge spindle nose. The 5C step chucks are listed in a part of the catalog separate from the 5C and 5C-SC collets. Step chucks can be purchased hardened and ground to size or can be soft emergency type with three 1/8 pins to clamp on while boring out.

Some shortcuts to the Hardinge 5C collet online catalog:

Common 5C fractional inch collets: http://www.shophardinge.com/productGrid.aspx?catID=6888

5C-SC collets: http://www.shophardinge.com/productGrid.aspx?catID=8004

All types of 5C collets: http://www.shophardinge.com/categories.aspx?catid=6746

5C step chucks and closers: http://www.shophardinge.com/categories.aspx?catid=34

Larry
 
Last edited:
You filled some gaps in my knowledge of collet history and the links are most helpful, as the printed catalogs are hard to get.
Thanks
FredC
 
..,.And just wondering if there is any more evidence that
the Cataracts are actually Niagara Falls other than your
postcard??
50086d1199653027-cataract-tool-optical-co-lathe-cataract-buffalo-envelope.jpg


--Doozer
 
Thanks for the history lesson and the clarifications, Larry.

I didn't realize that the -SC collets were on a separate page from the through collets and that Hardinge made round through collets in 1" to 1-1/16" sizes. More to look for! I've a full set of 5C collets now and am on the lazy lookout for better-than-I-got and more of the unusual variants. Currently on the lookout for the hardened "small closing" 2" step chucks that don't need closers, though bigger than one inch diameter stock usually sends me to the 22J stash.

Looking at filling in my 22J set with the 32nd sizes and wishing for a distant dead-relative windfall.

Neil
 
..,.And just wondering if there is any more evidence that
the Cataracts are actually Niagara Falls other than your
postcard??

--Doozer

What post card? Your picture is of a 1901 Cataract Tool of Buffalo, NY envelope. Hardinge Brothers of Chicago, IL bought the Cataract lathe line a year or two later and Franklin Hardinge immediately began patenting improvements.

Here are pictures of a couple of pages from a circa 1910 Hardinge Cataract catalog. I think anyone familiar with Niagara Falls will recognize the "view" out the window, and that is not something seen from a Chicago window. The Hardinge Catalog 15, circa 1918, has similar pictures of the machines, but with a plain white background (no window). It may be that the cuts (pictorial printing plates) with the falls shown were part of their Cataract Tool purchase.

Note the text under one picture mentions "wire chucks" when referring to 3C collets. They use the term "draw back chucks" in other places in the catalog. "Universal chuck" is what we usually now call a three jaw, but the term universal chuck is still sometimes used.

Larry

DSC00412.jpgDSC00415.jpgDSC00416.jpgDSC00417.jpg
 
So this is probably a good place to ask - is there a specific formula for 3c verus 5c verus 16c versus 20c?
(Yes, I grok that 20c is bigger than 16c bigger than 5c... I'm asking is there some formula that generates the N in an Nc collet size?)

And also, given the size range, etc. how is it the relatively small 5c came to be so very common, with what seems the widest array of chucks and the like, while the large (more versatile?) 16c and 20c are relatively less common?
 
The Hardinge Cataract collets were made in sizes from 1 through 7. Those collets were renamed 1C through 7C in the 1930's. The 16C and 20C collets are a very recent design, originally made for use on NC or CNC lathes.

I have Hardinge Cataract headstocks that use 1C, 3C, 4C, 5C, 6C and 7C collets. I have never seen a 2C (Cataract) collet or a 7C collet, but I have the others.

Here are pictures of two pages in the circa 1910 Hardinge Cataract catalog showing the Cataract collets and their dimensions. Anyone is welcome to use the dimensions and try to derive a mathematical relationship to extrapolate the series to larger numbers.

Larry

DSC00418.jpgDSC00419.jpg
 
Larry have you been to the Museum at the plant in Horseheads?
You might have things they don't have.....and I'll bet on you that you know
more about the history than anyone working there at this point.

Maybe it's so obvious I missed it......where any why did the word Cataract
come from in the business??
 
Larry have you been to the Museum at the plant in Horseheads?
You might have things they don't have.....and I'll bet on you that you know
more about the history than anyone working there at this point.

Maybe it's so obvious I missed it......where any why did the word Cataract
come from in the business??

See posts 4 and 6.

"Your picture is of a 1901 Cataract Tool of Buffalo, NY envelope. Hardinge Brothers of Chicago, IL bought the Cataract lathe line a year or two later and Franklin Hardinge immediately began patenting improvements."

I have never visited the Hardinge plants in NY. Seems we usually want to get from Buffalo/Rochester (where we stop the first night) to Brattleboro in one day when we go to the Precision Museum and points east. SWMBO is more interested in the points east than in looking at old machines, so we compromise.

Larry
 
Yup, I saw and understand the when of the Cateract name, but what's the WHY
of the name/word "cataract".....how does that relate to the lathes/collets?
Usually a Cataract isn't something nice or desirable to have


See posts 4 and 6.

"Your picture is of a 1901 Cataract Tool of Buffalo, NY envelope. Hardinge Brothers of Chicago, IL bought the Cataract lathe line a year or two later and Franklin Hardinge immediately began patenting improvements."

I have never visited the Hardinge plants in NY. Seems we usually want to get from Buffalo/Rochester (where we stop the first night) to Brattleboro in one day when we go to the Precision Museum and points east. SWMBO is more interested in the points east than in looking at old machines, so we compromise.

Larry
 
It has always seemed far more likely that the "cataract" was Niagara Falls, of the Cataract Optical Co. Though the drawings of a cataract in the later literature did not look like Niagara, more like Montour Fall, Buttermilk Falls, or the ones at Robert H Treman Park near Ithaca. (I'm not suggesting in any way that those falls had any bearing whatsoever, just that the falls in the later advertising literature were more like them).

It's been a long time since I kind of was checking into it, but pretty sure there were/are not significant cataracts hear Ravensbrook Ave in Chicago.

I have never visited the Hardinge plants in NY. Seems we usually want to get from Buffalo/Rochester (where we stop the first night) to Brattleboro in one day when we go to the Precision Museum and points east. SWMBO is more interested in the points east than in looking at old machines, so we compromise.

I got a private tour with the president of Hardinge, while dkmc used the quiet time with his camera back in the plant to get those spy photos of the long bed TL lathes used for making Hardinge leadscrews. :D

The displays are interesting and it is nice that they keep them. But not particularly extensive or informative. Worth the pilgrimage once if it is on your way, but definitely call first. I tried a number of times when we first moved up here and they were actually kind of rude about it not being possible. (Unless you were buying a machine from them). At the auction, the president got in line with me at the food concession, we had a conversation and I beefed about it. So we left the line and he took me through himself.

smt
 
According to this website: Elgin Lathe

The "Cataract" name came from the river cataracts outside the original factory in Chicago.

Not vouching for the valadity of the above, just pointing out what that website says. :scratchchin:


Definition: Cataract


"The "Cataract" name came from the river cataracts outside the original factory in Chicago." Has to be the silliest statement I have read for a long time. Surely someone was playing a joke on a bloke who knows nothing of Chicago. Anyone ever heard of rafting the white water rapids or riding in a barrel over the falls of the Chicago River? No... The land around Chicago is very flat.

Larry
 








 
Back
Top