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  1. #21
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    Chase threading is sort of obscure, especially as cnc has made it to the masses.
    However, it was about the fastest single point threading method from the 1850's through the late 1980's, and was still viable in the 1990's. Hardinge seems to have abandoned the DSM59 series geared versions in the 1960's, but continued to make & sell a ton of them on the HC direct connection models, used for production single pointing.

    I think these lathes were a hybrid of thought between the simple small watchmaker lathes, and engine lathes. And the accessories developed for them flowed out again both directions. Turrets, compounds, & cutting stations, e.g. I don't think the Harkness flat turret owed a lot to watch lathes, but the precision bench lathes, with and without turrets, owed a lot to the Harkness concept. Essentially, these small lathes were devised for limited mass production & custom semi-mass production of the mechanical parts, when control logic was an all mechanical system. (This type lathe, along with stamping machines, made the control logic systems for all of our gizmos until well into the electronic age - speedometers, all sorts of gage, typewriters, vending machines, switch gear, calculators, pinball machines, etc, etc) They were certainly used "everywhere" including model shops and non-production applications, but the design of the accessories and especially the work holding systems were for getting product out, not dinking around. they can still do that, though not as fast as cnc.

    The Op doesn't need any cnc, franken-lathe, or otherwise to use it as it was designed, though he may change his mind. As with any mechanical system, it has to be tooled up to be convenient, and then there is a small (in this case) learning curve before one becomes somewhat fluent. If he wants to make a lot of various size parts, but always with a specific pitch thread, it will be very convenient. Also, if he wants to single point runs of say "more than a dozen" small parts all threaded the same, it may be faster and more convenient than an engine lathe. With fewer parts between thread changes, the convenience factor drops compared to an engine lathe with a lead screw & QC box, but may still be viable for some size parts, or for a given interest or hobby.


    All that is really needed is a few hobs, and a simple gear train. Though Ames is not a maker i was ever really familiar with, it still seems that given the designation on the extant hobs, they intended them to be used at least in 1:1 & 2:1 ratios. I doubt more is possible without compounding - the gears get too big. It also seems that compared at least to Wade, Stark, and Hardinge; Ames was less ambitious about multifarious flexibility for some lathe attachments. Only the OP can decide how practical it is, but it needs be neither complicated, nor particularly expensive. I think the real stumbling block, unfortunately, for Ames chase system is the followers. Not even really "convenient" to make even if you already have an engine lathe. A bit tougher yet without.

    smt

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    HI Stephen,

    Looking at his website, I think the OP is in sort of the same boat I was, once upon a time: just starting out of school, and needing to keep my stuff portable. My original Ames is *still* on the monster-sized sawhorse table I built for it at that point in my life, designed specifically to be easily portable. (Tabletop=2 4x6 beams, with the legs mortised into them, and spreading out to about 36 wide. Ugly, but stable, and easy to move.) Eventually, I started to get to the point where I didn't need to move as often, so I bought an SB9, just to baby the Ames, and leave the Ames clear for the things it did best, while using the SB9 to do the roughing and threading.
    And then......the tools began to multiply.
    Now I own a machine shop. Multiple thousands of tons. Not gonna move that any time soon.

    Anyway, you're right, one of the things that makes the Ames/Stark/Hardinge bench machines so useful is their ability to mount all sorts of extra widgets, in ways that engine lathes just can't. The indexing head built into the headstock was the core of I can't tell you how many stone set rings, once upon a time. (I started out as a jeweler.) I built a rig to get a Foredom handpiece onto the toolpost at right angles, and that, combined with the indexing head, let me do in minutes something that it'd take a bench jeweler half an hour or more to lay out and cut by hand. I also built up a manual pattern tracer that Ames never made, which let me do production work to reasonable standard, easily. The adaptability of the things is their true glory. On the other hand if you want a 6" bar that's parallel to within .001" over 6, you're going to work for it. Hard. The SB9 was good for that sort of work. The Ames wasn't. But it did angles in a flash. Each has their own strengths.

    You're right about the Ames followers. I think my plan, if I go ahead and make more masters, is to make an 'extra' master per size, then run it through either my grinder, or a friend's cutter grinder to put some teeth on it, and have that one hardened. Spin it on any one of several different manual machines to cut the followers, and we should be good.

    Enjoying the chat,
    Brian

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    Hey Julian! So cool to see that you got some of these parts- You really need to swing by and see my setup. And I'd love to see yours too.

    This thread hijack is timely too as I have been working on my chase rig lately. I have been (slowly) adapting 7" Pratt and Whitney parts to my 7" Cataract lathe. I needed to make many of the parts but am closer than I ever have been to actually using it. I made the front screwcutting rig first (included a picture of that) and am now working back to the chase version.

    I just yesterday made a new top slide for the lever arm- Need to make the cutter holder next but that part is simpler and just clamps on the dovetail. I did have to make the spindle gear and made it to utilize my Rivett gears, so DP24 and 60 teeth.

    I do have a good selection of hobs and got them in batches. Some are proper Hardinge/Elgin and have the buttress thread and ability to cut the follower. I also got a big group of hobs that were for some sort of drill press type tapping machine. I had a picture of it at one point but no longer do. The hobs don't have a name on them and have V threads but do have the cutting section. They are primarily finer threads than the buttress hobs. I have maybe 30-40 of those. Julian, you are welcome to use them if they will work for you-

    I am also planning on making an adapter to mount the later Hardinge hobs that come with the 4 sided bronze follower. Those seem plentiful and not too expensive. Also an easy way to be able to cut if you only have a limited selection of hobs.

    Glad to see a discussion of this topic and of these lathes in general. I love mine and use it pretty much everyday. Making and repairing parts for it has been a very informative and enjoyable process.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails p-w-chase-arm.jpg   hobs.jpg   screwcutting-back.jpg   screwcutting2.jpg  

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  6. #24
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    Since it's BIN, don't think i'm raining on anywone's parade.

    rather complete Hardinge set:

    Hardinge Cataract 9" Lathe ULTRA RARE Threading Attachment w/ 3 Gears | eBay
    g:ZZAAAOSwIWxasn4n




    The essential pieces are there.
    Missing "skid plate", some nuts and washers, and all the studs, keyed bushings, shims and oversize washers. screws, & little fiddly parts for the gear train. Only one hob. Could be wrong - how many of that great pile of gears are duplicates? Though it's not uncommon to have a pair the same in a gear train, & maybe I have even used 3 at a time in a compound train.

    Of course an original lathe bed with the back T-slot to mount it to is still needed.

    Someone who knows how, ought to get a screen shot to add to this series of posts.

    Since I have 2 much more complete chase threading lathes, naturally I think this is a bit "undervalued"
    No, seriously, seems a little high, but then they aren't really out there & seldom even this complete if you want one & have the lathe bed it will fit.

    smt

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    The eBay Hardinge chasing parts are described as follows:
    "Very Good condition but not complete. Looks like its mostly there except for the cutter and various bolts/screws. Includes the following gears: 142 - 134 - 125 - 122 - 120 - 118 - 106 - 99 - 97- 94 - 92 - 90 (2) - 89 - 88 - 86 - 84 - 83 - 81 - 79 - 78 - 77 - 73 - 70 - 69 - 65 - 54 - 44 - 42 - 30. Plus headstock gear"

    He does not say how many teeth on the spindle gear, but I counted teeth in the picture and it is 70, which fits 5C spindles without a lever collet closer.

    The huge change gear collection makes no sense to me. The chasing gear set for a 70 T spindle gear contains:
    25, 30, 40, 50, 70, 100, 105, 125, 135, 140. So only the 30 and 70 are there and the rest of the numbers are useless. I have to wonder what they fit, and whether they are even for a Hardinge machine.

    For reference, here are the gear set lists for the Hardinge chasing attachments.

    GEAR SET FOR NO. 3 LATHE (40 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 50 (2), 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 (2)
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 4 LATHE (60 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 50, 60, 75, 90, 100, 105, 108, 120, 125
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 5 LATHE (70 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 30, 40, 50, 70, 100, 105, 125, 135, 140
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 5 LATHE (100 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 30, 50, 90, 100 (2), 120, 125, 140

    The biggest missing part, not counting the gears, is the rotational stop that clamps on the right hand end of the long bar. It would not be difficult to make from a picture. I have made a number of the gears, which are 30DP 14.5PA and have a non-standard bore and keyway. I ground a stock broach to the right width and made a broach bushing.

    I have several of the Cataract beds with the rear T-slot that I will sell. They are heavy.

    I copied the auction pictures.

    Larry

    s-l1600-1-.jpg s-l1600-2-.jpg s-l1600-3-.jpg s-l1600.jpg 70t-spindle-gear.jpg

  8. #26
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    Thanks for capturing the pictures!

    He does not say how many teeth on the spindle gear, but I counted teeth in the picture and it is 70, which fits 5C spindles without a lever collet closer......snippage.......

    For reference, here are the gear set lists for the Hardinge chasing attachments.

    GEAR SET FOR NO. 3 LATHE (40 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 50 (2), 60, 70, 80, 90, 100 (2)
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 4 LATHE (60 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 50, 60, 75, 90, 100, 105, 108, 120, 125
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 5 LATHE (70 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 30, 40, 50, 70, 100, 105, 125, 135, 140
    GEAR SET FOR NO. 5 LATHE (100 TOOTH SPINDLE GEAR): 25, 30, 50, 90, 100 (2), 120, 125, 140
    Now that is interesting, I did not know that.

    My first/yardsale 49 came with 2 each, 100 tooth spindle gears. They fit the 49 with lever closer, and appear to fit my 59's with lever as well. I reduced one of the 100T spindle gears to half width but leaving a collar. IIRC, back when i was using this lathe for all my single point threading, there was a compound train that interfered. in that area. I have also bored & keyed a "larger" gear (no time to count the teeth, and I can't remember) for similar duty.

    Per your description here, i went down and dug in the file drawer with the parts for another 49. It is an earlier model, though acquired by me more recently than the one i have been using for a couple decades. I took it apart and stored it. As you describe; the spindle gear on that one appears to be 70T.

    The huge change gear collection makes no sense to me. The chasing gear set for a 70 T spindle gear contains: 25, 30, 40, 50, 70, 100, 105, 125, 135, 140. So only the 30 and 70 are there and the rest of the numbers are useless. I have to wonder what they fit, and whether they are even for a Hardinge machine.
    They are not useless, if the original purchaser or someone along the way, like me, used chase threading for all threading. Back in the day, Hardinge would sell you whatever you wanted, and make later parts fit earlier lathes, no problem and not much extra cost. (contrary to industry practice, Hardinge figured out early that accessories and work holding where where the money was. Kind of like Gillete selling the safety razors cheap so you keep buying their blades. Very few other machine tool mafg'rs ever got that). That said, perhaps they were originally for the powered compound set up? Because of the wonderful interchangeable building block approach of accessories among the Hardinge machines, & conscious backward compatibility of new developments, there were shops that over a few decades amassed a lot of the brand. Then it became dispersed again with auctions, and clean-outs for the cnc era.

    As long as the gear train provides a whole number multiple of the hob, it will run conveniently. & some without other means will set up one part trains that are less convenient, in terms keeping the thread in time. There actually was one chase threading maker than designed a threading gage. I've never seen one and can't recall which brand.

    The biggest missing part, not counting the gears, is the rotational stop that clamps on the right hand end of the long bar. It would not be difficult to make from a picture.
    Good catch. Besides providing a convenient rest to keep the whole rig from flopping over backwards when external threading, that part allows setting a controlled upwards stop, which can be useful for internal threading. The part also includes a sideways sq. head screw, for fine tuning the longitudinal travel, though long. travel can be set by position of the threading platform if done before threading commences (so as not to lose synch).

    I have made a number of the gears, which are 30DP 14.5PA and have a non-standard bore and keyway. I ground a stock broach to the right width and made a broach bushing.
    About 30 gears came with the my first lathe, besides the spindle gears. A lot of the small ones, too. The second lathe only had a few more. Most of them have tooth counts divisible by 5 as in your chart, but IIRC there are a few others.

    smt

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    The Cataract screw cutting attachment that attaches to the slide rest feed screw uses gears that are like the chasing attachment gears, but are thinner. I have faced off some spare chasing gears to make them fit the screw cutting attachment.

    The gears in the screw cutting set are mostly in increments of 5 teeth, like the chasing set, but you also need 46 for 11.5 TPI and 127 for metric threads. The bench miller power table feed uses the same thin gears from the screw cutting set, but the tooth counts can be about anything if you are not fussy about the exact feed per revolution of the spindle.

    The nature of the Cataract chasing attachment makes for simple and quick work, but the hobs or thread masters can each only produce their own pitch or integer multiples (1x, 2x, etc.) The usual solution is to have an assortment of hobs. But James L. L. McCormack invented a sort of thread dial to fit Cataract lathes. The patent,1,497,109, was applied for Sept. 26, 1921 and issued June 10, 1924. It was assigned to Hardinge Brothers. The device was meant to allow many pitches to be cut from one hob, using gears with a wide variety of tooth counts. I don't know if the device was ever in production. It looks like a pain to use.
    Patent Images

    Larry

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    What i used to do was run a pass, stop the lathe, move the follower back to start and hover it over the hob while manually turning the spindle until the threading tool registered at the same time the hob and follower threads lined up. I would add the cut increment,set it in place and turn on the lathe. Only did that a few times, but as mentioned, it was all i had at the time. Previously I had been doing single point turning, including metric camera lens parts for my dad, on a mill-drill. Once on the Hardinge I just left the power switch out of the equation and did all the turning by hand. Really glad not to have to do any of that anymore.

    The only thing i see really "wrong" with the thread indicator in the patent you linked; is that at chase threading speeds those dials are going to be turning too fast to see. I guess that is why he adds the note about gearing them down. To be meaningful (without ridiculous gear diameters) that suggests a compound gear train at the input end of each shaft, and then it starts to seem cumbersome. I don't think the device as patented would be a "pain" per se: it is just a fixed accessory on the back of the lathe with a dial, one of which can be re-set, on a panel for the operators viewing pleasure. To be sure you were seeing a positive match, though, it seems the spindle speed could not be much faster than 100 rpm. There is some reduction shown in the bevel gears, but not much. maybe they should be worm gears. Hmmmm.....

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    Hi all,
    Thanks for all of your comments, and apologies for my nearly-year-late reply! Short explanation of what happened: I got distracted by the day job, then had an opportunity to actually fix this problem with help from my day job, then had to wait for permission to share the fix...

    Updates: The upshot is that I was able to make a gear to couple the spindle to the chase screwcutting mechanism, and it works great! I work at Desktop Metal, a metal 3D printing company. With some help from our Applications Engineering team, I was able to design and print a custom gear for my lathe out of 17-4 stainless on one of our Studio Printer systems. While the accuracy of the gear tooth profile obviously isn't equivalent to what a conventionally-made gear would provide, it's good enough for this application (unidirectional operation, no precision positioning requirements, low power transmitted), and we were able to make it at a fraction of the cost + time that would be required for a conventional gear. I've used it to cut a few threads so far, and they've worked great! You can see photos of the gear & download a STEP model at my website.

    Responses to earlier posts: First, in general, I'm very glad to see this thread expanding beyond Ames lathes to other chase-threading systems - I hope it's helpful to other folks, and all of the old machines are fun to see regardless.

    • Brian: Thanks for looking for my machine! I've attached some photos of the threader components - let me know if you'd like anything else. It's very similar to yours, except the bracket that mounts the geartrain to the lathe is more heavily built, but also only supports the thread master shaft at one end. My intermediate spur gears are a little bigger than the ones you have, too.
    • Stephen: Appreciate the images of the Cataract/Hardinge chase threading plate & system. Having the compound on the chase threader is a much nicer design. I have all the gears I need to run 2:1. I would need a 96-tooth gear to run 1:1. I think Brian is correct that it would be challenging to modify the gear train to thread other pitches, although I haven't done the math on this yet (and McMaster does sell 14.5º gears…). I have entertained the thought of an electronic leadscrew system, too - but Brian makes a fair point that at that point, I might as well just buy something with a proper moving compound! Really, what I'm most interested in at this point is a) making all of the bits of my lathe functional (e.g., if I have a given attachment, I want to be able to use it), and b) collecting as many bits as I can.
    • Burt: Great to hear from you! Your lathe is beautiful (particularly that scraping job on the compound...) I'd love to catch up some time and come by your shop - I'll reach out to set something up.


    Images:
    img_5109.jpgimg_5110.jpgimg_5111.jpgimg_5112.jpgimg_5113.jpg

  12. #30
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    More images of the chase screwcutting hardware:
    img_5114.jpgimg_5115.jpgimg_5116.jpg


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