Cataract Bench Lathe followed me home.
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  1. #1
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    Default Cataract Bench Lathe followed me home.

    I went to look at a Cincinnati Tool Grinder/Cutter this weekend along with a lot of other miscellaneous machine tools/tooling/etc. They had this Cataract Bench lathe advertised but said there was no cross slide. While I was there picking through things (and after decided not to get the tool grinder) the son mentioned that the father said the cross slide was "in the area". I spent another hour looking around and managed to find some sort of contraption that at least fit the bed. It has some aspects of a cross slide and some turret like aspects as well. I found two other pieces in the same box. I don't really need the lathe but it looked lonely and promised it wouldn't take up much room in my shop. The boxes near the lathe parts were full of shiny 1" and 1.25" bar stock in old cardboard sleeves that said "PRECISE" on them. I'm not sure what kinda of metal they are but I got them along with a lot of various hold downs, lathe dogs, etc.

    I plan to restore the lathe at some point. It looks like the lathe was setup for a few specific operations and I hope that what I have can be modified such that it would return to more general purpose operation. I'd love to hear more about what has followed me home!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_4221.jpg   img_4206.jpg   img_4223.jpg   img_4224.jpg   img_4225.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Default

    Some more pictures
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_4202.jpg   img_4209.jpg   img_4210.jpg   img_4203.jpg  

  3. #3
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    It is for turning balls. Speaking of balls whoever let that machine get in that state needs a good kick in the balls.....

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  5. #4
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    Catarcat Lathes (Tony had a bad spelling day)

    The bed is Chicago-made, and is probably the 32 inch version without rear T-slot and probably has a serial number on the right end. The tailstock looks like a Chicago 9 inch that would have the unique "Cataract" taper if original. The headstock looks like an Elmira ball bearing model from the 1940's. There will be a serial number and Hardinge stamp on the right end. The first two digits in the headstock number are the collet size and swing, maybe 49 for 4C collet and 9" swing. If it takes 4C collets, the thread is 1-5/8-10 and tooling is scarce. The picture shows the markings on a similar BB47 headstock. The build year can be determined from the number on your headstock, which is newer than your bed and tailstock.

    That rusty junk on the bed was not made by Hardinge.

    Larry

    hardinge-bb-s-n-47-22814.jpg

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  7. #5
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    Many thanks for the great detail! I looked at the back of the headstock and there isn't a number (or anything) on it. Is there somewhere else I should look?

  8. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCPDesigns View Post
    Many thanks for the great detail! I looked at the back of the headstock and there isn't a number (or anything) on it. Is there somewhere else I should look?
    "There will be a serial number and Hardinge stamp on the right end." The back is not the right end. Stand in front of the lathe and note which end is on your right. The end is machined flat, making a logical place to stamp markings.

    Larry

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    Indeed... somehow I thought you meant there were two serial numbers, one for the bed (on the right end) and the other for the headstock (on the back). You certainly didn't say that so I'm not really sure where it came from!

    So it look like it is a 9" swing and 4C collets. How do I decode the build date from the serial number?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_4234-1-.jpg  

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCPDesigns View Post
    Indeed... somehow I thought you meant there were two serial numbers, one for the bed (on the right end) and the other for the headstock (on the back). You certainly didn't say that so I'm not really sure where it came from!

    So it look like it is a 9" swing and 4C collets. How do I decode the build date from the serial number?
    "The bed is Chicago-made, and is probably the 32 inch version without rear T-slot and probably has a serial number on the right end." Many of the Chicago beds have a serial number on the right end, different from the headstock number.

    Your headstock, serial no. 49-14469, was built around the middle of 1940.

    Larry

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    Gotcha, now I understand. Chicago is indeed where the bed was made and is indeed 32". I'm not sure what you mean about being without a rear T-slot but the T-slot for the bed does extend the length of the bed.

    Many thanks for your quick responses and depth of knowledge. Any idea when the bed was made?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails img_4242.jpg  

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    "I'm not sure what you mean about being without a rear T-slot but the T-slot for the bed does extend the length of the bed."

    If you look at Tony's Cataract page, you will see a couple of pictures of Cataract beds with the optional rear T-slot, used for the thread chasing attachment.

    Larry

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    It is for turning balls. Speaking of balls whoever let that machine get in that state needs a good kick in the balls.....
    Poor bastid's only sin may be that he just DIED.. and a very long time ago.. so... "there, but for the grace of..." etc

  15. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by L Vanice View Post
    "I'm not sure what you mean about being without a rear T-slot but the T-slot for the bed does extend the length of the bed."

    If you look at Tony's Cataract page, you will see a couple of pictures of Cataract beds with the optional rear T-slot, used for the thread chasing attachment.

    Larry
    Right, I saw that on Tony's page and this lathe does not have that.

  16. #13
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    Poor old thing-looks as if it's been sitting under a Cataract for some time! Should clean up reasonably,though.

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