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Need advice on getting a Hardinge lathe

jackal

Titanium
Joined
May 4, 2006
Location
northwest ARK
I've never ran one or been around one.
A local factory makes hospital beds and they are looking for someone to make some simple bushings.
A few years ago, a customer offered me a (LOT) of Hardinge tooling for money they owed me.
I can still get it cheap if needed.

Can someone tell me what would be a good starting lathe?
I don't need a tailstock, steady rest, etc. Just small parts that are ran in a collet.

I found a semi-local Hardinge lathe for $800, but I'm not sure of it capability. Would this be ok for a small bushing operation?

3/4" aluminum, 1 " long, 1/2" bore, chamfer, outside step, and part off.

Screenshot-20211221-200525 — ImgBB

Thanks for the info.
 

rons

Diamond
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Location
California, USA
Believe it or not from a quick search (Homeshop Machinist):
--------------------
Hardinge HC & HCT chucker lathes were originally designed and built, because Kodak wanted machines to help build lens casings and shells. Engineers from Kodak went to Elmira, NY to the Hardinge plant, and worked with their engineers to design the HC & HCT. Obviously they have other uses, but that was their original purpose.

The only real reason they switched from the older split bed to the solid dovetail was for marketing and sales reasons. Apparently toward the end of WWII their business was hurting, and this change made other machines obsolete so the manufacturing companies would need to buy more.
--------------------

Machine ID'd: HARDINGE HC & HCT Chucker Metal Lathe Chucking Machines - Ozark Tool Manuals & Books

If you will never need a tailstock then get a chucker model.
 

thermite

Diamond
I've never ran one or been around one.
A local factory makes hospital beds and they are looking for someone to make some simple bushings.
A few years ago, a customer offered me a (LOT) of Hardinge tooling for money they owed me.
I can still get it cheap if needed.

Can someone tell me what would be a good starting lathe?
I don't need a tailstock, steady rest, etc. Just small parts that are ran in a collet.

I found a semi-local Hardinge lathe for $800, but I'm not sure of it capability. Would this be ok for a small bushing operation?

3/4" aluminum, 1 " long, 1/2" bore, chamfer, outside step, and part off.

Screenshot-20211221-200525 — ImgBB

Thanks for the info.

It is the sort of work they did but I cannot see a(ny) manual shop making enough money at it to justify purchase of a manual lathe of any kind.

The part is too easy to make, too easy to ship, too low a per-each sell.

A(ny) CNC critter - no need to be local - with a skosh of spare spindle time can add one more program and whip out a Hospital bed maker's whole 12 month supply at silly small costs over the cost of the shiney-wood.

Specialized "pre-CNC" machines can do it as well - if not better - where volumes are a thousand times greater.

IOW.. a Purchase Order goeth to some other supplier - Materiel Management guru's are MEANT to have no fewer than two sources, so they WILL have - and ... you had best have other work lined up to cover your investment.

Not just the $800. Transport, rig-in, space, power, tooling.

And these don't run "fractional operator" or even NO operator involved AKA "lights out".... as CNC can do. So an already tooled bushing guru will eat your lunch?

Do you / will you have that "other work"? Your OWN product for example?
 

FredC

Titanium
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Location
Dewees Texas
Having run both HC chuckers and turret lathes. The HC would allow better precision if needed. The turret lathe will be faster if the precision is not in the plus or minus .0002 range.

Your almost free (now) tooling could work on either type machine.
 

Mickey_D

Stainless
Joined
Apr 18, 2006
Location
Austin, TX
Do you have a CNC mill? We have made parts like that on the mills before when the lathe was full and they turned out beautifully. Four vises with soft jaws so you are doing 4 first and second ops every time you open the door and a mill can make money on parts like these if it is not running a proper milling job. Personally I would not buy something like what you are looking at for a job like this because you have too many unknowns.
 

jackal

Titanium
Joined
May 4, 2006
Location
northwest ARK
It is the sort of work they did but I cannot see a(ny) manual shop making enough money at it to justify purchase of a manual lathe of any kind.

The part is too easy to make, too easy to ship, too low a per-each sell.

A(ny) CNC critter - no need to be local - with a skosh of spare spindle time can add one more program and whip out a Hospital bed maker's whole 12 month supply at silly small costs over the cost of the shiney-wood.

Specialized "pre-CNC" machines can do it as well - if not better - where volumes are a thousand times greater.

IOW.. a Purchase Order goeth to some other supplier - Materiel Management guru's are MEANT to have no fewer than two sources, so they WILL have - and ... you had best have other work lined up to cover your investment.

Not just the $800. Transport, rig-in, space, power, tooling.

And these don't run "fractional operator" or even NO operator involved AKA "lights out".... as CNC can do. So an already tooled bushing guru will eat your lunch?

Do you / will you have that "other work"? Your OWN product for example?

This is just for small batches. I lose a few orders for 20-50 pieces. They are usually small pins ( 1/4") with a shoulder turned, or a tapped hole in it.
These are extra pieces they needed for an order/ or messed up some of the big batch.
Those hospitals bed parts were for a modified piece on a bed.
I can't justify trying to run any of these in my big lathes. They all have 4 jaw chucks and parts seem too small.
The bed company asked me about getting a screw machine and running all their parts.
 

jackal

Titanium
Joined
May 4, 2006
Location
northwest ARK
Do you have a CNC mill? We have made parts like that on the mills before when the lathe was full and they turned out beautifully. Four vises with soft jaws so you are doing 4 first and second ops every time you open the door and a mill can make money on parts like these if it is not running a proper milling job. Personally I would not buy something like what you are looking at for a job like this because you have too many unknowns.

These parts aren't visible when installed. I was actually tempted to buy a H F small lathe to run them. Looking at the price and availability of the tooling, the Hardinge would be in the same range.
With the loose tolerances most of the parts have, I figure I could pay for it all with a few jobs.
The guy at the bed company pays $2 each for the parts from his supplier, I can run his customer stuff for 2x that, and he'll pay it. There is a 3 month lead time and set-up fees, and minimum amount from his normal supplier.
They were using die- cut plates for some of the bed. The dies wore out, and I suggested plasma cut plates. Then, they drill their own holes in a jig I made with drill bushings.
They have a fab shop with ' some' equipment, a couple of Bridgeports, but he doesn't trust his guys with a lathe. They still run drills backwards ,etc.
 

thermite

Diamond
This is just for small batches. I lose a few orders for 20-50 pieces. They are usually small pins ( 1/4") with a shoulder turned, or a tapped hole in it.
These are extra pieces they needed for an order/ or messed up some of the big batch.
Those hospitals bed parts were for a modified piece on a bed.
I can't justify trying to run any of these in my big lathes. They all have 4 jaw chucks and parts seem too small.
The bed company asked me about getting a screw machine and running all their parts.

I own a complex, "powered"., hospital bed, All singing, all bending - not-quite dancing top-end Joerns XL-something-or-other.

Complex enough as BEDS go but still at a MSRP of $5,000 the year we bought it, (not much over half that through HD Supply) they are:

A) Not all that high volume vs, say motorcar parts.

B) Not really uber-high precision goods, similar yardstick for comparison.

So yah, screwmachine could do the do, but SO fast it would sit idle most of the year.

CNC would be more flexible, and the investment in training more universally applicable to OTHER work, going forward?

Running a Hardinge, manually, on what they best do in volume to "hit your numbers" was borderline brain damaging @ 88 cents an hour, not the best use of your time at any current time-value for scarce skilled hands!

Dunno what your other "4-J" machines are, but it ain't usually rocket science to mount a power-operated collet system or a carriage, not TS, turret - recycled Hardinge goods, even - to most any lathe. Whether it was ever a Hardinge or never.

More saddles. Fewer horses. Less money and space consumed?

IOW - if you are going to do this, look beyond just ONE customer who could shift their orders elsewhere in a New York Minute.

2CW
 

memphisjed

Stainless
Joined
Jan 21, 2019
Location
Memphis
I'm thinking I sold you a faceplate about 2 years ago? You had a student from U of A meet me in Fayetteville to pick it up?

not me. I go to Mountain Home sometimes - not often enough. Have not been that far west in the hills since crystal bridges was new.
Just thought somehow you managed to get a foot in the door with Baxter (company not county).
 








 
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